Wednesday 22 April 2015

Our theme at the Yarn Over Sleep Over Retreat last weekend was to
Laugh a Lot,
Eat a Lot (I know I definitely pulled my weight there, ha, ha),
 Learn a Lot (I learned a couple of "new to me" techniques so I could teach them for our Speed Knitting:  new stretchy cast on and a new lace bind off),
and partake in some extra curricular activities.
 Same weekend next year at the Fern Resort.
 Have you been to a retreat lately? What did you really love about it.

I'm still retreating. Off to another retreat on Friday: Knitting at Lake Lauzon in Algoma Mills, ON (northern Ontario). We're going to Steek. The first cut is the deepest (song) right? There may be some sweaty palms. I hope everyone survives.

Friday 17 April 2015

YarnOverSleepOver Retreat

It's retreat time. This is the Yarn Over Sleep Over retreat that 9 needlework professionals, including Lyn and I, run together and teach at. We are being pro-active. Why wait to be chosen to teach when we could run a retreat of our own? This is our third year and the organization over the year leading up to this weekend is interesting, as all group work is, and very rewarding. Nine strong-minded entrepreneurial minds coming together, well you can imagine the sparks fly sometimes, all to the good. We have a wonderful weekend planned for our 43 attendees.

I've got all my samples for my two classes, a fashion show and for the Speed Dating Knitting.
What may you ask is Speed Knitting? Our first activity at the retreat is based on Speed Dating where one set of people, for example Women, sit in chairs along a wall and across from them sit those that came to date. Each person spends 2 minutes with the person in front of them and then moves to the next table. In our case, we're not looking for dates but for knitting know-how. A group of knitter sits at one table and tries a technique for 10 minutes then moves to the next table. It's quick, it's fun and hopefully educational. Our 4 tables this year are: Nupps, Garter Stitch Cast Off, Stretchy Cast On and Machine Knitting. As we all know, knowledge is power, power to the knitter.
Hope you have a great weekend, I am going to,

Thursday 9 April 2015

Mosaic Sample

I've working up my first sample for a Steek workshop I'm running in Northern Ontario. It's a weekend at Lake Lauzon Resort in Algoma Mills, ON on April 25 & 26. Yikes, it's coming up soon.

Steeks work really well for 2-colour knitting because it's so much easier to do colourwork in the round. For this workshop we're going to make a hat or headband with 2 colours with a steek which will be cut and a buttonband put in it's place. Although the usual method for colourwork is to work a fairisle pattern, I decided to tackle Mosaic knitting.
I think I am in love. Have you tried this? There are lots of advantages, especially when worked in the round.
1.  Work with only 1 colour on a round at a time, perfect. No need to carry a second colour.
2.  The charts are easy to read once you know the trick. The trick is that each row of the chart must be worked twice with the same colour of wool.
3. The charts are easy to work with. Working with the dark colour, knit the dark stitches on the chart, slip the light stitches.
2.  The second round in the same colour is a snap. Phew. Always nice to have a comfortable, easy round. Work the stitches that are in the colour you're working with and slip the other stitches. You can have fun with the stitches on this round. By knitting the stitches you produce stockinette stitch or by purling them, garter stitch.
I see possibilities here. I worked the green (light colour) in stockinette stitch and the blue (dark colour) in garter stitch. What if I did it the other way around and made the green in garter stitch and the blue in stockinette stitch? How different would it look? What if I made the background the light colour and the shape in the dark colour? What if I did it all in garter stitch?

As you can see I have some more mosaic knitting in my near future. I can't wait to see what will happen.

Thursday 2 April 2015

Stalled, why?

I'm stalled on my Blue. It just sits there making me feel guilty. I need to decide how long to make it which isn't a huge decision but I'm not making it. How come?
I like the colour.
I like the design.
I like the knitting, of course. But still, there it sits.

I don't want to write it out as a pattern. AH-HA, There it is.

The thought of writing it out has stopped me in my tracks. I think I have been knitting ahead of the writing. There is a tricky part around the buttonholes which has me questioning myself. Could I have worked this out better? Maybe and maybe not. I don't think even if I had anticipated the entire design before I started I could have set this up any better. Besides I don't generally work that way. I think up things as I knit along and then figure out how to do them. I did that several times on this sweater with much ripping back and reworking. I like the result.

It's easy enough to work the buttonhole, A-line increase and add another stitch pattern repeat, all at the same time, while I'm knitting but I'm anticipating a challenge when it comes to writing it out coherently. Did you catch those magic pattern writer words, "at the same time"? I know all knitters are a little suspicious when you see those words so I'm going to try not use them.

Reframe how I think about this:

It's a challenge I'm capable of meeting.
It will improve my pattern writing skills.
This may open up new avenues for more complex designing and writing.

I've almost convinced myself. I'm going to take this on and write a little bit of this pattern each day. And finish knitting it of course. Let's not forget about that. LOL.