Monday, May 23, 2016

What Constitutes Happiness For One. . . .

Corra, a top down pullover by Jo Allport makes for quick and successful knitting.  The original pattern is knit in one color of Araucania Kiñe.   But with a blank canvas of stitches to work with, I did perhaps go off scheme.

 - - - - Step up on Soap Box - - - -

Color!  I love color.  Asymmetrical color makes me very pleased and nigh on to giddy.  Where is it written that sleeves must be the same color?  Who ever said that a pocket must be aligned with some vertical or horizontal perfection? 

My style might not be to your liking.  And your style might not be to my way of thinking.  However - and this is the whole point - this yarn thing lets each person decide personally what constitutes happiness

 - - - - Exit Soap Box - - - -

My Wonky version of Corra  is two colors of Kiñe interrupted by Baah! La Jolla (a mini skein did all of this striping!) 

Yes, the Kiñe is dk.  Yes, the La Jolla is fingering.  Who cares?  Not me.  I just keep knitting  and let the needle circumference & surrounding stitches take care of making it all work out.

 There is no pocket on the pattern.  I added this one by picking up at the bottom seed stitch edge.  No, it isn't exactly on the front.  It isn't exactly centered on the middle stitch of the side.  It is skewed toward the front and of a size that it will not hold a phone.  But it will hold keys or mad money and that pop makes me happy.

Go back to the first photo of smiling me and notice that the sleeves are different.  One is black. Why.  Because I like it that way.  No other reason.  Well, it does cause the casual observer to take a second look and admire my handknit sweater and wonder how they, too, might own such a marvel of happiness.  And that also make me happy.

Always keep 'em guessing.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Eleventy Million Stitches Later

The deed is done!  Yes, it did feel like eleventy million stitches to bind off and I might have uttered frustration toward anyone who would listen.  But, 'tis done.

And properly washed.

On a side note, I don't weave in ends until all the blocking is done and fully dry.  This allows the ends to match the blocked gauge rather than the unblocked gauge.

It works for me. 

Many who have graciously posted Knit 'n Slide photos on Ravelry indicate an aggressive blocking.  For a moment, I to went that route.

But, as if often the case with this old Cajun, my gears shifted mid-pin & wire.

The yoga mat that is my go-to-blocking-mat wanted to grab & hold the fiber.  So.  I let it.

A nice soft undulating edge was the result.  And I like it.  Mostly I like it because 1) it saved a whole heap of time, and 2) the plan is the wrap and wear this one with jeans or my cotton jersey grey summer dress.  And the soft edge is casual enough for both of those ensembles.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Knit 'N Slog

It started out so innocent.  Knit 'n Slide by Himself - Stephen West.

Look at how cute and not daunting it is.  Just a few knit stitches, a slide back to the beginning and a few more knit stitches.  Turn and repeat.


And then this happened.

It grew.  The only excitement was the occasional row of k2tog and yo.

YO, YO, YO, YO. The knitter's life for me.

I knit.  A lot.  Boredom set in. 

But I kept knitting.

Finally the excitement began.  Color 3 was introduced and there was actual reading of the pattern in order to knit a pattern.  Boredom vanished.

Enter a state of slogging along.

I carried the thing around whilst doing domestic chores.  Every spare block of time was devoted to the thing.

A lot of stitches became even more stitches.

And those stitches barely fit on the longest #4 needle I own.

I knit big holes.  I knit short rows.

I knit a lot!

One hour per row.

One friggin' hour just to knit one row.  How am I supposed to find enough hours in the day to make row progress and still have time to get in the 10,000 steps that keep a girl healthy?

I've started counting stitches as steps and calling the knitting thing exercise. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Ready For Summer

Rectangles Rock!  While my real mantra might be "I am the Master of my yarn, I am the Captain of my stick(s)," my second mantra is probably "I can make anything from a rectangle."

Voyage is my latest rectangle based sleeveless top.  It has a basic boat neck design.  The Nettle Grove from Plymouth Yarn has the look of watercolor when knit up.  It is a unique blend:  45% Cotton, 28% Linen, 12% Nettle, 15% Silk.  AND - get this - it is machine washable and can be tumble dried.  Ain't that cool???

I don't really write up a pattern for these rectangular tops.  Sometimes I cheat and make the body part in the round.  However this yarn wanted side seams, so it is knit flat.

The basic recipe is this:
  • figure out YOUR gauge (using intended needles) and cast on for front.  This is called Knitter's Math.  I've finally gotten over the horror.  You can too.
  • knit any ribbing for 6 - 8 rows or as desired.
  • SS until the length will reach your underarm.
  • Change to garter*: RS= k5, YO, ssk, k to last 7 sts, k2tog, YO, k5. WS = knit across.
  • Bind off when piece measures desired length.
  • Make a back exactly the same.
  • Sew side and shoulder seams. 
That's it, folks.

Well except if you want a different neck line.  Then you knit in shoulders on each side (aka little rectangles) and proceed along.

 * The change to garter is not really required. The majority of the upper section can be seed, ss or rss or what ever floats your boat.  BUT - and this is quite important - keep 5 - 6 (or more) edge stitches in a flat stitch pattern (ie garter, seed, double moss, etc.) so that the arm hole edge does not curl.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Thriving and Surviving In A Yarn World

While the world whirled onward, the Los Angeles County Yarn Crawl swiftly moved through four days of fabulous thrills and lots of "stashing."

For two days I worked The Crawl and loved every minute of meeting, greeting, stamping, pinning and encouraging participants.  We gave out prizes!  And surprised many a crawler who did not know about our secret unannounced door prizes (a staff alarm randomly sounded and the next customer to walk in received yarn!)

The real heroes down at The Knitting Tree, LA are Jane (mastermind of the plan and the one with all knowledge ),  Chris (brilliant designer and super colorist), Annette (owner and the personality behind the vibe & community spirit) and Bruce (owner and proponent of superb customer service).  

To all the crawlers, we raise a glass in salute.  Thank you one and all.