family, knitting, living

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

2 responses

  1. becca

    well, i think they look good.
    i knew you were talkin about doing this and i was hoping we could do it together one dy but i’m nowhere neaar a perfectionist and hearing you taling about swatc rejection… hmmm… i’ll just cheer you on!
    i think the stitche sare nice and even and i love how the increase grow organically out of the ribbing section.

    October 2, 2009 at 1:48 am

  2. Ann

    HI Diane, it’s Ann from Crazy Girl Yarn Shop in Iowa! They are looking great! Good luck!

    October 3, 2009 at 7:34 am