Friday, July 28, 2006

World Cup Knitting crawls toward conclusion


Here we are so far. This is the body and yes the front and back are different. The yarn for both is Debbie Bliss Cathay, my new favorite, cotton/silk blend. I knit this from the top down and inserted vertical darts. See below.

This is the back. I included a sort of medallion like square at the top. Intention is to draw the eye away from my derriere and upward. At 5"2" I don't go upward very far. I added the light blue and gold at the bottom on the advice of my friend Beth. She took Lily Chin's design class at Camp Stitches and has truly become a wealth of good advice on the subject. She said to add a color I never wear to the design just to put it somewhere not near my face. What a great idea. This has kept the piece from being just another pink and purple sweater. This pic also shows the very beginning of the sleeve.

Found the pattern for the sleeve in one of Barbara Walker's books. The yarn is Noro Lily--more cotton and silk. I expect to use this stitch pattern again because it is so easy.

1 (WS): Purl
2 (RS): Knit
3 (WS): Knit 3, Purl 3 across the row
4 (RS): Knit the knit sts as you see them, purl the 1st purl st, knit into the st below the 2nd purl st, purl the 3rd purl st

Repeat. Only every other 3rd row should be P3, K3 to offset the designs.

I've done even more, but DH is in Oshkosh at the Fly In with the camera. More pics as it finishes.

First class at Charlotte Yarn is next Saturday and I am excited. This will be a simple lace scarf class, but students will receive two patterns that I have designed. Remember my motto--keep it easy and mindless whenever possible. Thank the good Lord for plastic st markers.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Socks with Bicycles

Thanks to the design skill of Lucy Neatby , DH is getting a pair of socks with Bikes. He's a cycling fanatic. It's been a long time since I knit anything for him. The very first piece I ever knitted was a fisherman knit wool sweater. (No one told me it was too hard.) It took 2 years. He was pleased. Said, "This will be great to wear when I take out the trash." (@#$#%$#^) What he meant was that it would keep him very warm no matter how cold the temp. Took me 20 years to figure that out.

As I started this sock, he reminded me of his "dainty" ankles. They match his dainty knees. The pattern calls for 80 stitches and I wasn't interested in tinkering with the pattern to hide decreases and increases, so I used smaller needles: 00 needles that took me two weeks to find. Worked well. Tried them on him and he said, "The ankle could be a bit looser." I said, "No, it couldn't." Now I remember why I don't knit for him.

I really don't knit for someone who doesn't appreciate my enormous skill and effort. I follow EZ's advice and always knit for myself even if the product will go to someone else. I make the things I am interested in making. And I darn well expect my family to rave about them. I explained this to DD#1 recently. I simply said that if she expected more sweaters for herself or her son, she should make a big production of praise when I gave them. It doesn't matter if she truly loves them, it only matters that I get some praise. Later I'll ask for advice for the next time and she can carefully word any criticism she has at that time. Seems fair to me.

Bama Harriet is coming today to plan a sock KAL for our guild. Neither of us have done this before so we are going to copy the organization we have seen others use. The tough part is that it has to have several knitting levels in order not to leave anyone out. Also, I believe in dpns and she is a 2-circs kind of girl. I've been playing with the "knit the gusset first" option and she may win me over---at least for that pattern.

Monday, July 17, 2006


Enough said!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Not Enough Time

Too many ideas!! I made new Austrian Traveling stitch wristlets using a Tulip pattern that Candace shared. The Gem Merino fingering weight from Louet was much better than the Cashmere at holding stitch definition and at just bending things around. I also did a small piece in linen/cotton. No stretch. Agony to knit. My traveling stitch projects will be wool and that probably means socks.

My multi-Cathay jacket is coming along. This was to be my World Cup Knitting, but has become my Tour de France and entire season Formula I racing project. I placed the vertical darts a bit high and had to frog the two front panels. Then my idea for shaping the back in a similar, but shallower, way was a failure. I always learn more from failures than successes, so frogging equals progress in my world.

Steve's Bicycle socks are coming along. I'm through with the section depicting the guy on the bike and heading for the heels. I just read a pattern for a heel that makes the gusset first and then turns the heel--no nasty picking up stitches--so I dropped the socks and started a mini-sock to figure it out. More when finished.

My new classes for Charlotte Yarn have been posted on their website ( I go up today to put up samples and posters. I am looking forward to meeting lots of new people to join the great group of knit students I already know. I am still knitting visual aids for the classes.

I have a new idea for a bag pattern, several great new yarns, an inclination to do some really fine lace work, two grandsons who need sweaters----- I need more time!!!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Camp in Colorado

The above link is to my photos from the Colorado Knitting Camp. What a blast!!! Austrian Travel Stitches are just beautiful, but demand attention. They allow me to get the look of a wonderful texture like an Aran, but they don't make the fabric so bulky or stiff. Check out my first effort which was Wrist Warmers out of Noro Cashmere from a few Christmases ago. The design is my own, but the techniques, including the picot bind off, I owe to Candace Eisner Strick who taught the camp.

This is by far the most diverse and supportive group of women I've ever met. About half come to camp every year, but do not really see each other except in July. After many years together their bonds are strong. However, they manage to make each 1st year (or returning after 7 year) camper feel that they are totally part of the group and will be so forever. It is truly amazing. So much knowledge, yet knitters at many levels, and so much laughter. Every knitter should attend this camp at least once. The whole thing is a tribute to Sidna Farley who started this camp about 20 years ago. Sidna's health is very grave, but her legency lives.

I bought some lace weight 2 ply worsted spun Cormo from a local resident. I think a lace shawl is in order, but haven't decided which one. My last one was too delicate for a klutz like me. I pulled it on everything I passed. I'll knit this one to a tighter gauge. The yarn is natural in color, but I intend to dye it. Color depends on the size and shape.

I also bought one of those crank out the I-cord devises. Talk about fun. I may make Icord out of all my scrap yarn and turn it into a rug--or not. I love the look of Icord cast ons but not the tedium of knitting them. This may change my whole design process. I feel an Icord class coming on.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Living on Advil

Getting ready for camp. Finally read the directions about what to bring. Plenty of supplies in my stash, so I'm ready. I'm taking the last of my Christmas cashmere to make some wristlets. Maybe a small project won't hurt my hands too much. I am taking Advil and trying not to knit. Battle lost!! At least I am resting every two rows.

Finished the top down raglan for older grandson. I love this sweater. I used a superwash dyed by Danette Taylor in her Purple Haze colorway and another superwash which was undyed. I swatched for a long time to find a pattern that allowed the beauty of the hand-dye to show. Just knitting muddies them all except, of course, the marvelous Noro. (It's spun in the colorway rather than dyed.) Finally settled on a two row pattern: (1) K2, slip 1; (2) Purl. Changed colors every two rows. So simple and a great vertical effect on the horizontal rows. It looks like a rib only not as stretchy.

I'll hang it at Charlotte Yarn to advertise my class in top down raglans.

Also on the needles--an original designed inspired by the multi-yarn cardigan in Leigh Radford's book AlterKnits. It's my World Cup Knitting project which will not be finished due to injury timeouts for overuse damage!!!!!! I'm using vertical darts in the fronts as well as short rows. The back will have the shallowest of darts. Don't know what shape or length the sleeves will be.

Steve's bicycle socks are underway. Had to buy needles from Bath, England. I really like Inox needles and needed size 0. Needles in Concord had them but they were just ignoring their website even though it was sending acknowledgements for orders. (New owner will take over in late July.) More on these later.

Judy Ditmore will be bringing yarn to sell to the Colorado Knitting Camp. I wish I had the control to leave my credit card at home. Don't!