family, knitting, living

Archive for September, 2009

Master’s Knitting

I don’t think I have mentioned it on my blog yet…but who knows!  I have started the Master Knitting Program offered through The Knitting Guild Association.  Here’s the link in case ny of you are interested.

In short, one must knit numerous swatches demonstrating mastery of specified techniques, do research, answer technical questions and eventually design an Aran sweater and write the pattern.  I am on the first level.  There are three levels.  I consider myself a good knitter….not the best, but reasonably good.  I expected this to be somewhat challenging, but fun and informative.  Wow!  It has been challenging and I only have gotten through three swatches!  individually, none of the techniques have been particularly hard as far as being able to do them.  However, the level of perfection that I am finding myself in pursuit of is ridiculous.  Two months ago I would have knit the swatches below and called them great.  Now, I am wondering if they are even “good enough” to submit.

The 2by2 ribbing comprised the majority of my frustration and time.  I am a continental knitter and due to the way I purl, my purl stitches are looser than my knit stitches.  It really showed up in my first three tries at the 2by2 rib.  The ribbing was rolling open where the stitches went from a knit to a purl.  I found an article at the TKGA website about this very thing!  Apparently I am not the only one to be cursed by this phenomenon.  I think I have fixed it.  The remedy is basically tugging on the working yarn right after the knit stitch and then again after the first purl.  It sure does slow things down a bit….but it may be worth it if it keeps me from having to reknit them after being rejected by the committee.

The stockinette swatch with the 1by1 ribbing was much better in the ribbing section, but did cause me some problem again with the difference in tension between my knit and my purl stitches on the stockinette portion.  When the tension between knit and purl in stockinette is different, the result is a fabric that has a slightly rippled appearance.  I had to tackle this several times.  I think I am now satisfied with that.

I am hesitant on my increases on both swathces, but especially on the garter stitch swatch.  I think they show.  The point of this exercise, was that you make increase that are invisible.  I did a lot of research and found what I thought was going to be the most invisible increase for ribbing…the knit in front and back (vogue calls it the bar increase because of the bar that it leaves behind).  This happens to be the increase I use most often, but now I am wondering.

I have not blocked these yet and I have finished the seed stitch swatch, but have no photos yet.  I will block all three and repost.  I would love feedback from anyone who has any ideas on how to make my knitting better, words of encouragement or anyone who wold like to commiserate with me!  Hell, I’ll take any kind of feedback!

Anyway, here are the swatches.

garter and 2by2 ribbing

first two swatchs

And here is a picture Mycah drew of Henry on her Leapster game.  Isn’t it the cutest!!!!

mycah's drawing of poppa on the leapster

A Little Catching Up…Again

Sorry about the utter lack of content of late.  All summer has been spent visiting our dear friends in GA or them visiting us.  We also went to the beach with them…so we have been burning up the road.

The girls started school about two weeks ago.  I would like to say that I have been lounging in my satin robe eating bon-bons hand fed to me by Henry.  Alas, I cannot.  I have been volunteering at the library a good t, taking yoga a couple times per week, going crazy with Mycah’s chef birthday party and being a bit under the weather.  Oh, well…I don’t like sitting on my ass anyway….it just gets wider when you do that!

One trip to GA was exceptionally productive for me and I do have a couple of pictures to prove it……of course, I had to steal them from Wendy’s website.  (more on that later)  I’m sure everyone who reads this blog knows that I have some talented friends.  One of whom, is he Fashion Instructor at a private university in GA.  She is responsible for directing my husband’s purchase of my new pride and joy…the Bernina.  She decided that I needed some intensive sewing lessons; as in 4 days of non-stop, 10 hour a day sewing.  I had a really good start from working with Tracy and from the little knowledge needed to do the finish work on my knitting.  So, we worked and worked.  I learned how to make box pleats, how to finish seam allowances, how to make buttonholes and to put in invisible zippers.  I also learned the fine art of pressing and interfacing.  Anyway…I came away with a shirt for myself, a dress for each girl and a skirt for each girl.  AND…they actually look like something I would pay for…in a store!  Here’s a pic of the dresses and my top.


Now I am just going to add a bunch of photos…some of from the first day of school and some are from Mycah’s Birthday Party.  She had a chef’s birthday…that explains the aprons.  The kids made a mess and had a blast.  Also, the photo from the last post with the yarn and such in it is from a swap I received from a  great gal in VA.  I was trying to get the picture from here to Ravelry asap since it is bad form not to acknowledge receiving a swap as soon as you get it.  Plus, I got a great swap, so I really, really wanted to make sure my partner knew I was appreciative.  So, I threw it up on the blog hoping it would help me get it on Rav….it didn’t work.  I had to link to my blog.  But, at least it is in the blogosphere, somewhere.

One more thing, check out the photos Wendy took of the girls.  They are on her website.  She is starting up her photography business and I have to say…if you are in Middle TN, you’d be foolish not to use her!!!!!