Wednesday 30 March 2011

Enough about what I'm doing. Here's what they're doing at Sweet Yarns (facebook page) in Sudbury, ON. Lots and lots of felting.

These were knit with the Sheepstrings Big Bag and Sheepstrings Felted Purse patterns using Northern Lights chunky wool. Both of these patterns are for an unadorned felted bag. I love the embellishments!
This is a beautiful rendition of the Tote Stripes bag. Very rich looking colours.
And why stop at bags?
Felting is lots of fun and it's great to see the creative additions added in.

Monday 28 March 2011

I think it does take some time to be comfortable taking a step away from the pattern. But it is fun when it works out.
I got one more sweater done despite the barking and sneezing of a cold. Don't you hate a spring cold? Yuck. But I must say that knitting a little sweater in chunky weight yarn sure goes quickly even with a fuzzy head.

On Wednesday we're doing a group button sew. Sure is nice to have the company. We're going to have a huge pile of sweaters when we're done. I have a couple more to do before then. I'll be busy knitting tomorrow.

Friday 18 March 2011

I didn't hear from anyone who wanted to stand up for all the knitters who like following patterns. I like to follow a pattern too. I do it when I'm learning something new, when I want to relax, when I've been asked to make what's on the photo (how else does someone choose a sweater for mom to make), when I like the design and won't be designing anything close to that garment myself.

A knitting pattern can be likened to a recipe. Sometimes you just want to follow it exactly and get a good result. You know it's going to be a good meal. I find it's really relaxing to follow a pattern. And knowing that it's going to turn out really becomes important when you are knitting something for someone else.

The book we're doing is like a recipe. The first section will the the main recipe. The second section will be saying you might throw this in or substitute this ingredient for that ingredient and it will be slightly different and good. If you sub in chicken for beef in your dish it's altered without too much change in the preparation of the meal. We tried all the substitutions and they all work, there will be photographic evidence. Then we get to the last section where the substitutions are a little more involved and may hopefully lead you to try even more substitutions which take you further away from the basic recipe. I like this gradual approach. The basic recipe is still there and can be worked over and over until you feel the urge or occasion to try one of the subs again.

A sub into the basic cardigan.

Saturday 12 March 2011

This is a newborn size with a small front panel running alongside the buttonband and this back panel. It's fun to try different combinations of patterns for the back panel and see if they work. This one is a keeper for the book.

The intention of this book is to take you one step away from the pattern to a place where you can combine the stitch patterns offered into something that is your own design. I'm trying to set it up so that you're comfortable doing this. But stepping away from the pattern is a little risky. What you come up with may not turn out exactly as you had envisioned it. A good reason to start with baby sizes because they are quick to make, quick to frog and try again. This is an adventure and the thrill of getting a combination which looks just right is wonderful.
Why do you knit a pattern exactly as written? Do you often go off on a tangent to the pattern and end up with a different design? Do you do this elsewhere, in cooking, sewing, another art form?

Friday 11 March 2011

I am still writing out the last section of the book. The first section has been corrected by our patternchecker and is now pristine. Not much knitting is getting done on my side, lots more pecking at the computer keys. But Bernice has been working hard with her needles. You might like to check out her progress. It's a sneak peak into the 'pick a pattern and design it yourself' sections of the book.

Monday 7 March 2011

One more sweater done. We have quite a collection now. They all need buttons so a big button sewing day is in order. I'm trying my best to do some boy's sweaters. Some knitters don't have any girls to knit for and find that books mainly feature styles for girls. Boys' sweaters can be fun to do too. This one was a nice knit in Perfection by Kraemer. Although I really wish we could extend the colour range available for boys. It's still very restricted mostly, from the comments I hear, because of the baby's dad. Loosen up guys!

I have sent the first section of the book, the Basic Cardigan, to our pattern checker. That means that I'm pretty happy with it. Yay. In a couple of days the second section which deals with patterned borders is going too. This brown sweater is in the Border section. We have several sweaters knit for this section already. The last section is working with panels of pattern. Bernice and I have come up with a list of patterns we like. Now we're working on combinations and Bernice has knit some up. But I haven't seen them yet because she's keeping them a secret until tomorrow. It's time to stop writing and try some combinations myself.

Wednesday 2 March 2011

I'm on a single track now. It's all book, book, book. My husband asked if I dream about it since it's the last thing I do at night and the first thing I do in the morning. I'm a fun gal to be around! Apparently there is a point in a project where for me it is all consuming and I'm there now. This would explain my problem with committee work. What do you mean you have to go home? We haven't made all the decisions yet. What do you mean we have to wait until next month's meeting to make the rest of the decisions. You have a life outside of this committee? What is that about? Lots of fun.
But it is fun for me. I'm loving this. We're rolling downhill now instead of pushing the book uphill which we have been doing for the last couple of months. Soon we'll be running to catch up with it. More samples are coming off the needles.
And the last section of the book is on the table. And I think this morning I got another idea for doing it. Don't you find that solutions pop into your head first thing in the morning? I do. I guess I do dream about it.