Thursday, 21 September 2017

Knitting behind the glass

It's fall now. The season is marked off for us by the beginning of the competitive curling tour. Since our daughter has been competing I have knit many, many garments sitting behind the glass. I began again on Labour Day weekend, a couple of weekends back, knitting the first of the many garments I will knit this year at curling rinks watching Team Flaxey play.

My husband is holding up the Top Down Ridges sweater in a new Cotton Tweed colour, Rose. It's very pretty but not tooo, tooo pink.
Just back from a second weekend of curling spectating. I have a sock in Comfort Sockenwoole going.
and started a hat and scarf in Red, White and Black Norspun. Garter Stitch is easiest in a crowd sitting on bleachers.
Go Team Flaxey.
Deb

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Neatening Cast Off GAP

I'm sewing in ends and I have a method to show you that I learned a long time ago which seems to work for me. There is always a gap your cast off edge (and cast on edge too) between the beginning and the end.
It can be closed nicely as you sew in the end.

Begin with the yarn on a needle and held to the back of your work. You can see that my yarn is attached to the Right Side of the gap. Bring the needle through the first stitch on the other side of the gap, from Back to Front.
Now bring the yarn to the back of the work again. Thread the needle through the first side of the gap (in my case the Right side of the gap), from Back to Front. That "Back to Front" part is important.
Now take the yarn and needle to the back of the work again and repeat threading the needle through the stitch on the far side again. Pull the thread snug and see how it looks. I hope it looks great. Mine does.

Thread the end through the wrong side to finish.
By threading the end through from the Back to Front on one side and then from Back to Front on the other side you are making the yarn do a figure 8 with the crossing going into the gap and filling it up. Let me know if you try this. It totally works for me.
Deb

Sewing, ugh.

Not my favourite job - sewing buttons on. But here I am set up with my handy sewing kit ...
which I probably bought in high school, hence the happy face. Although why I don't take it off is question that I can't answer. Maybe it has significance that I have long forgotten.

I'm always amazed when I get to the button sewing part. Can you thread a needle easily? I wear reading glasses, strong ones, and mostly I wave my thread at the needle where I think the hole is because I can't actually see it and it always astonishes me that the thread actually goes through the hole. Not the first time, ha, or the second either but eventually with patience, lots of patience, it all works and I can sew on the buttons.
Success. This is the Top Down Ridges pattern in a lovely new Cotton Tweed colour, Rose.

Would you like to see this as an adult pattern? Would you wear a garter stitch cardigan in DK weight yarn? I'm think that I would.
Deb

Friday, 1 September 2017

Getting Ready

It's going to be a busy week. The Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter's Fair is a week Saturday and I'm already awake in the middle of the night trying to think of a good way to do the show. It's one day so set up is critical and needs to be fast. I'm also working the booth solo so I'm trying to make it as easy as possible for people to choose a kit and cash out quickly so I can service everyone as best I can. I also like to have a chance to talk to knitters but there are a couple hours in the middle of the day where this is hard to do.

This year I'm doing a Cabin Fever Kid's booth. All children, all the time.
I'm sorting and kitting up some of the little sweaters now. I feel like I have some sort of handle on this.

My new thought for the knitters is to have a section where you can choose a pattern and then pick up a package of your favourite colour of Cotton Tweed. Pick and choose. These are the sweaters I have choosen to take so far. Have I missed any of your favourites?






I have lots of packages of 2 & 3 balls in a wide assortment of colours. As a shopper I would enjoy doing this. What do you think? A good idea? Would you like to shop this way?

I'd be happy to hear your comments. Setting these shows up is always tricky and I'm thinking this might be a fun way to do it.
Deb

Friday, 25 August 2017

First of the Compass sweaters

I'm back from 3 weeks at our camp which was a wonderful time. Some knitting done but not too much. Lots of rain so lots of reading. It was that kind of summer. Now I'm playing catch-up so this is short.

I did get this little sweater done. It's knit in 4 directions of the compass by my dearly departed friend, Bernice Vollick (check out her patterns here). She did several sweaters in 4 directions which are fun to do and No Finishing. Pick up off of each of the sections to begin the next one. Garter stitch sections are worked flat and the lower body and the sleeves are done in the round.

Now I'm reknitting it in turquoise and purple.
Deb

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Preparing for Retreats

I'm getting ready for a couple of retreats coming up. Two in September and another in October. Nice to get ahead with samples and class notes.

First up is two days of knitting at Lauzon Lodge in Algoma Mills, Northern Ontario on September 23 & 24. We're going to knit Gauge Free mittens. No swatches, no checking gauge, use any yarn and any needle to knit any size. It's magic! Knitting from 9:30am to 4:30pm for two days should result in at least one pair of fully finished mittens. Lunch, and it will be delicious, is included for the $90. Accommodation is extra if you're not local. Sharon has 3 B&B rooms open and there is a motel in Blind River. September isn't too early to think about getting some winter knitting done and maybe a couple pairs of mittens for Christmas presents.
Here is one happy student with her mittens from the Eastern Needlers Retreat made.

Next is a retreat the weekend after in Sudbury, Ontario (yes it's the northern ontario tour). I'm teaching Two Triangles Make A Hat. Another Gauge Free workshop. Again no swatches, no gauge to check, use any yarn with any needles for any size. Yup, it definitely works. It's a great group of women and we are going to have fun!
Fall Knitting Retreat
September 29 to October 1, 2017

Prices include meals, workshops, snacks, door prizes etc.
from Friday night till Sunday afternoon
Single Room $270 Shared double Room $240 per person
Here is one sample I've finished and another in progress.
Now for a striped version, almost done but not quite.
Perfect for all the odd bits of yarn you have around. It's done with 2 50g balls of yarn.

Next, still time to get samples done, is our Cabin Fever Retreat at the end of October 27-29. Our design theme is Small Changes. Three classes where you will knit one wrister using the same 3 colours. You can go home with a set of 3 fraternal wristers which gives you 3 different looking pairs. Cool, eh? Here are a couple of samples for my class which is based on 2x2 rib pattern with small changes which result in a different pattern every time you change colours.
Lyn and Elizabeth Fallone are working on their samples so I can show you the fraternal wristers. I like to set up classes where at the end of the weekend you go home with something you can actually wear and 3 wristers is a pretty good bit of knitting over the weekend.

So far a little ahead of the game. I did finish my 4 directions of the compass sweater but the photos are on my phone and I'm at Tim's using their internet and forgot my cable to transfer the pics. Next time.

How is your knitting going? I'm knitting outside between rain showers, it's one soggy summer.
Deb

Friday, 28 July 2017

Knitting by the Compass

I've started knitting a baby sweater. They are so much fun, so small and sooo quick. Just started yesterday and have quite a nice bit done already. It's worked so far in Cherry Cotton Tweed so will be bright and cheerful.

This one is worked in 4 directions of the compass.

It starts with the neckband. Then the right shoulder saddle goes West and here I'm just starting the left shoulder saddle (East), leaving the remaining stitches on hold at the neckband.
Lots of garter stitch and counting of ridges which is great for TV knitting in the evening.

Then on to the Back (North) and then the Front (South). Travelling in my armchair!!
Couldn't be easier. Almost ready for a colour change.
Stay tuned,
Deb

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Lightening picture day

It's time to get out my phone and take some photos. My camera is in repetitive cycle of zooming in and out and then shutting off. I think that means it's toast. So I'm debating about buying another camera or using my phone? Any thoughts on this?

My Lightening pullover is done and on my mannequin. No one to take my photo so she is it.
I even dressed her up and put a skit on her. She's better dressed than I am. 

The Lightening Bolts get larger and larger as they travel down the sweater. I charted it all out although I'm sure you can figure it out pretty quickly. Then you just have to count holes. They also go down the sleeve shoulder.

The yoke starts out with 8 bolts and then is widdled down to 4 and then only 2. It will keep you on your toes!

There is side shaping too. Lots to keep you busy.
One more check through the pattern and then I will post it next week. I already have my next sweater idea waiting in the wings. It's anxious to be centre stage.
Deb

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Raining while Lightening Bolts dry

Sometimes designs take a very long time to finalize. I'm close on the Lightening Bolts. It's been a journey with changes, changes back and then reversed. The only idea I had in my head at the beginning was for the yoke with the lightening bolts. The rest of the sweater needed to be worked out on the needles, ripped back and worked again. I'm really happy with the shaping which formed because of the continued increases down the front and back and the decreases needed at the sides. A happy result.

 It's washed now and photos are up next. Not today since it's raining again while my sweater drys, sort of.

Deb
P.S. Thanks for the hat crown suggestions Brenda. I will put them in. The first triangle goes around your entire head. The second triangle fills in the space to make it a tube. Now I'm working on putting stripes in just for the fun of it.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Triangulate a Hat

Experiments have started. I knit my first gaugeless hat with two triangles. Just cast on until it goes around my head at the bottom of the first triangle and then work a second triangle. No need for gauge or stitch numbers. Good for car knitting as you can see. Lots of plain knitting.

 Now it gets folded in half sort of. And attached.
Now I have a tube which is great but I thought it would be a little taller. It needs some height if there is to be a turned over brim which is what I like in a hat. I tried adding at the top for a crown.
Nah. Didn't like that so it got frogged. Then I added some length at the bottom. The length would be the amount of turn back for the brim or the amount of height needed for a slouch style hat.
That seems to make more sense. There is now a brim for a slouch hat worn as is or a turned back brim.
Now to figure out what to do with the top for the crown. I could leave it for kitty ears but I'm looking for a couple more ideas. Do you have something that worked on a hat made in a straight tube?
Deb

Friday, 16 June 2017

Build A Scarf, Gauge Free

Now it's time to think. I have a few days to go up to my cabin and do just that. My "think" is going to be on how to make hats with triangles and without any regard to gauge.

This is my summer project. I want to develop a series of Gauge Free patterns. Imagine, no gauge to worry about!

Most people have trouble with getting gauge. It's a reason why blankets, shawls and other garments that don't need to fit are so popular. Getting gauge can be very difficult. So let's forget about it altogether. But what would that entail?

I have one pattern so far for a scarf. Build A Scarf with Knitacation, a new design company I'm part of. You begin with any yarn (about 200g) and any needle.

 Knit the first triangle until the depth of the triangle is the width you would like your scarf to be.

Then turn and begin a second triangle, attaching as you go.
It's fun to see it come together.
Then make a second scarf because now you're on a roll. This one is a little wider and with heavier wool.

I can think of a lot more possibilities: a couple of striped triangles, blocks of colour within the triangles, change yarn weights with some triangles for different sizing. Go for it.
Deb

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Progress

Almost there. I've made several changes and I'm liking the tunic with cap sleeves better than the original.
Now it looks like this so far in Denim Cotton Tweed. I'm already anxious to get it off the needles so I can wear it since our spring is still very cool and something over a T-shirt is just perfect.
The larger holes in the pattern are working for me.

The sizes are quite wide in this pattern. Sizes: 35 (41, 45, 49, 54)"
I needed a size between two of these sizes so I have worked out a way of working between sizes which is going to work. Yay. It's even easy to work several more inches to make a size bigger than the largest one I have there. Working the garter stitch edging on the sleeve before the Great Divide is going to do this.
I'll save that for another post. These are the little things that make a design happen for me.
Deb
P.S. t_a, Ha, ha, ha. I laughed out loud when I read your comment. Thanks for that.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Change the increase, change the sweater

Although I finished knitting this sweater I am knitting a second one.
This seems to be my designing process. It's very slow. I'm stuck in a system of designing where I knit everything twice to get it right.

Now I am making changes. I decided that I would like bigger holes. This will make the design more prominent. In the first sweater I used the openM1 increases to make my lightening bolts.

On the second one I am using YO's which I am liking better. The larger holes, for modest old me, would require something worn underneath. More changes.

Now that I have these larger holes which will continue down the front and back of the sweater, I am going to make it with cap sleeves so that I could put it on over a T-shirt. It will even work over a short sleeved T. I think this will make it a very wearable tunic, fall, winter and spring.

I'm not fond of the peek-a-boo lace top. How about you?
Deb

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Stitch Panels in unexpected places

I've done this in several patterns now and really enjoy breaking up the stockinette stitch of the body with a stitch pattern worked down the sides. We very conveniently cast on a number of stitches at the underarm and these stitches lend themselves to being decorated with a pattern.

I, like lots of knitters, don't especially enjoy knitting sleeves. They are a little more fiddly than the body. They have to be done, although it does make vests a really good looking option. On my new sweater I decided to continue the stitch pattern down the underside of the sleeve.
I think it works. Sort of. What do you think?
I guess wearing it will tell the tale.
Deb