Friday, February 25, 2005

Raglan sweater pattern generator

I'm trying to figure out how to do a top-down raglan sweater, AND turn it into a hooded sweater with a front "kangaroo" pocket, too. Darn, I don't do anything the easy way, do I? Gotta mess with it somehow.

Someone on a list confirmed that it ought to work -- it would be easy enough to cast on at the neck, knitting flat for a while so as to leave an opening in front, then joining and knitting the rest of the sweater in the round; then I could go back to the neck after the rest of the sweater was done, pick up stitches, and knit the hood.


Knitting Humor

Lise, you'll appreciate the Sinister Intentions one.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Knitting Thimble Review

I originally bought one of these knitting thimbles (Inox, plastic with a metal guide) for the currently stalled Norwegian-style hat, but it doesn't work very well (which may be the reason the hat got stalled).

I decided to try one of these (Clover, all plastic, more snug on finger) instead, and like it a lot more. This little gadget makes stranded knitting MUCH easier.

I'd like to try one of these (coiled wire thimble, from Inox), but haven't bought one yet. Will post a review when I do.

Nathan's socks! (Nathan is five, btw.) I decided I just couldn't stand the idea of knitting plain blue socks, so dropped by my LYS and got some red and yellow sock yarn and put in the checkered band.
My friend Lisa liked the idea of making the heel and toe of one sock yellow and red respectively, then the reverse for the other sock.
 Posted by Hello

Here's the former koigu "garter stitch" shawl, take 2. I'm not sure I like it this way as much, and am considering frogging it and going back to garter stitch, but with these needles, which will probably be better than the larger gauge I'd tried before. Posted by Hello

Note: this is Koigu KPPPM #506.

Shot of my garden this afternoon -- it's been snowing all day Posted by Hello

Monday, February 21, 2005

Socks -- the ones in blue are for my friend G. who has size 12 feet. They fit Kevin, who has size 11 feet, so I can use the same pattern with the Opal yarn (upper right corner) when I start his. The blue yarn in the top center is for my nephew Nathan's socks. He's five. I stopped by Springwater again today and got some red and yellow yarn to spice his socks up a bit, though -- wasn't thrilled with the idea of knitting the kid's socks all in blue. They need more color. Plus I can use the rest of the red and yellow and blue to knit his brother's socks -- red with blue and yellow stripes. Posted by Hello

2/22 -- G's socks are done. Woo hoo! Man, that guy has big feet; these socks took forever!

Now I'm doing the finishing touches -- weaving in the ends, and weaving some extra yarn into the inside of the heels.

Here's the start of the flowerbasket shawl. I got to the end of the first "lower basket" row, and then quit for fear of messing up -- the pattern has a repeat, and my xerox (which I'm carrying around instead of the whole magazine) didn't show the repeat clearly, so will work on it more tonight after marking that. Posted by Hello

Note, 3/26/05:
This is Koigu KPPPM #516.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Frogging the Koigu, and Crafts Store rant

Went by The Mannings on Friday en route to my costume workshop, and bought more yarn (of course!), including some Koigu Premium Merino in a different color for the Flower Basket Shawl, and got a good look at the Koigu shoulder shawl in the store. It's NOT garter stitch, it's knitted, which shows off the colors a bit better. It's also knitted at a smaller gauge than I've been using, which makes sense -- that shows off the lace border better.

So, frogged the garter stitch shawl and am starting over. Will post pics soon.

Crafts store rant:
I signed up to teach knitting classes at a crafts store (big chain store) that opened up in my town back in December. It's a nice store, great yarn selection, but they really don't have their act together on getting classes scheduled. Back in December, I signed up to teach Beginning Knitting on Tuesday evenings in February, and, I thought, in March.

One Saturday afternoon in mid-Jan., I got a panicked call from the store, asking where I was, because I had a class. Turns out the other woman who is teaching knitting hadn't shown up for her class, so they called me, on the off-chance that it was really my class. Oh, boy... So I went by the store, and tried to make sure everything was all set for my Feb. class. Fine.

So, Thurs, Feb. 3, I went by the store to check again, since my first class was Feb. 8, and found that the OTHER knitting teacher's name was on my class signup sheet, she'd changed the time of the class (not a bad idea, in retrospect) to start an hour earlier, and she'd substituted her own supplies list -- which recommended Fun Fur for a beginning knitting class. WTF? That is NOT a beginner's yarn. It has NO give, and you can't see your stitches. So, I a) confirmed with the classroom coordinator that it WAS my class, and b) got the names/numbers of the students and called them all to make sure they were aware of the changed class time and had the correct yarn (a plain worsted-weight). I also gave the front desk my March signup sheet.

Saturday, as I was driving to western PA for my costume workshop, I got a call from a potential student asking whether she could sign up for the Beginning Knitting class late (she'd missed the first lesson), since she already knew how to cast on and knit. I said sure, but mentioned that I had a class in March. She said I wasn't on the March schedule.

Sure enough, when I went by the store Monday night to check, I found I wasn't on the March schedule, despite the classroom coordinator putting me on her calendar... and there's no room to squeeze me in on a weeknight. (I can't teach on weekends -- too busy.) Nor is there any room in April's schedule. So I'm not teaching again until May and June. This isn't a problem -- I really enjoy teaching, but I don't really need the money or anything. But I AM getting really fed up with the lack of coordination and organization at this store. Grrrr....

And, in the meantime, the only teacher they'll have in March and April is the other teacher, with her Fun Fur recommendation. Ptooie!

Anyway. I'm going to work on my "touch of lace" shawl (the one I just frogged and restarted) and various socks, and try not to get too aggravated.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Another stalled project. This is a Nordic-style hat; the white part is supposed to go inside the rest, so it will be double thickness, with a turned-back brim. Posted by Hello

This is me, with my 18th c. mitts. Damn, I need to lose about 10 lbs... Or get bettre lighting for my pics. Posted by Hello

Koigu garter stitch shawl -- the tan yarn shows me the right side of the piece, so I can tell when to make the increases Posted by Hello

Koigu scarf, Nordic hat, and being stalled...

I fell in love with Flower Basket scarf in Interweave Knits Fall 2004 when I saw it, which is why I bought the magazine. It's now available from Fiber Trends, but I have the magazine, so...

I bought the Koigu Premium Merino with the idea of using it for the Flower Basket scarf, but then saw another scarf that I liked, plain garter stitch with a lace edging, and thought that I'd do that instead. Well, the Flower Basket is still calling me, but I don't want to frog the garter stitch scarf and start over. So I need to find another yarn. Not really keen on any of the yarns I've seen the FB done in, though, so gotta find something else.

The Nordic hat is inspired by a design in Knitting in the Nordic Tradition by Vibeke Lind. The hat is shaped like a football, with one end going inside the other, so that it's double layered. The bottom edge is then turned up as a brim, so you actually have four layers around your ears. I doubt I'll finish it in time for any weather where I can actually wear it, this winter. Oh, well. I started it because I thought I was going to Utah for a company retreat, but wound up not going, which is just as well.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Projects, and first knitting class

So, I taught my first Beginning Knitting class last night (the first of three sessions). Got there at about 6:15, got set up, & had a FULL class. I think I need to limit the class size to 8 next time. 10 or 12 is almost too many. A two-hour class is a good idea, though.

Most of the students "got it", but there were two who couldn't see what their hands were doing -- they were still splitting stitches, doing yarnovers, and/or pulling too hard and pulling stitches off the left-hand needle at the end of the two-hour class. I tried pointing these things out, but ultimately their success will be up to them.

I'm debating frogging the garter-stitch shawl/scarf I'm working on (in Koigu's sport-weight Merino, I forget the exact label) and doing that basket lace scarf from Interweave Knits Fall 2004, which is the reason I bought that issue in the first place.

Need to finish the second Sassy Stripes mitt, too.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Repost -- trying again

Ok, so here's the deal. I've been knitting off and on since I was a teenager, so that would be more than 15 years (I'm 36).

This past fall, I had a major c.f. at work, and decided to try to Do Something Else. Not necessarily full time, but enough to make a few extra bucks and see where it goes. One of those Something Else things is to try to sell my knitting patterns online, and maybe sell kits (patterns plus yarn). If I don't like it, I'll quit. In the meantime, I've been trying to change stuff at work, and that's beginning to pay off -- people are beginning to understand that the system doesn't work, and are agreeing to make some of the changes I've sug
gested. So that's good.

I've got a few simple patterns I'll be posting for free, too. I also plan to post pics of stuff that I'm knitting just for fun -- I'm knitting the Hermione Hat from AtypicallyKnit right now. This site, btw, is one of my inspirations.

I've already mailed off my Christmas package to the nephews, so I hope to have better pics than the fuzzy ones I took prior to mailing.