Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Clementine Shawl by Joe

The beginning of the Clementine Shawl in the current issue of Interweave Knits


Update on the Clementine Shawlette project. I made it through the first section of the pattern, all 46 rows, without TOO much trouble this time. Then I started on the second part, only 22 rows, but they threw in some extra stuff. There are rows with extra YO’s, k2tog I already knew from prior projects, there are several ssk’s that got me at first. But with instructions from my live-in Knit Master and studying pictures I got it done, or so I thought. When I got to the end of the row with 6 YO’s, one of those slip two knit one pass two over thingies (I actually have that down pat), one ssk and one k2tog, there should have been 29 stitches on the needle, well, there were 30 and as all you good knitters know, the only thing to do is find the mess up tink back and fix it. Ha, I have news for you, there is another way and I am sharing it now as a favor to you guys. You don’t have to tink back, just k2tog on the first two stitches on the next row and lo and behold, you are back to the correct number of stitches and you can’t even see it……..ta da!!! Time saved. Of course I have not told the little lady, she seems to think that is just something good knitters don’t do, so that is our little secret, okay?! Actually, there are several places in the there I had to do that, but so far she hasn’t found them, so I guess it just goes to show that if you are as good at hiding things as I am, then you can fool even the most discerning eye.

The next phase of the pattern takes me out to 69 stitches OTN after 40 more rows, then it goes into a pattern repeat of 4 rows for a total length of 15 inches. That makes half the shawlette. After making the two halves, then I will kitchenered (whatever the hell that means) the two together for the completed piece. So, stay tuned, updates will be forth coming as I proceed.

I was just informed that I need to say that I am knitting this out of Art Yarns Supermerino color 101, don’t know why that is important, but there I have told you, and I might get a nice reward for being a good boy………hea, hea, hea……..

Until next time, knit on……

Friday, February 16, 2007

Coming Out of the Yarn Closet

OKAY, after much deliberation and soul searching and mostly from insistance from the little lady, I am coming out of the yarn closet. I admit it, I knit. So, now that is done, I feel as if 100 skeins of worsted weight Alpaca has been lifted from my soul. I started when Debbie opened the Knit N Needle. I figured that if the wife was going to run a yarn shop, I needed to learn as much as I could about the business so I could be of greater assistance to her. Not only did I need to learn about yarns and needles, I needed to understand the nature of knitting. SO, I had her teach me. Well, being the craftsman that I am, (leather crafter, decoupage, macramé, tea cup night light maker, ceramic setter, silk painter), I knew I could master the art of knitting easily. And I did, at first. I got the long tail cast on, the knit stitch and the Purl (nasty little bugger), all easily. My first real project was a scarf, all knitting that Debbie hung in the shop as a display. All the ladies that saw it just marveled over it, “Joe did that, WOW!” She kept it in the class room so the beginners would see it and get inspiration from it. The second project was a knitted watch hat; all went well until the double points came into play (more nasty little buggers). Somehow I got the dad gum thing turned inside out, upside down, backward or something cause I ended up with a knob on the top. Debbie said it was wrong (I thought it added some style to the thing), she said I had to tink back and redo it. WELL, if there is one thing I detest is backtracking. I do not undo very well. She insisted; I said if she wanted it undone, to do it. I spent all that time getting to the end, and I for sure was not going to undo and redo, (we had one of those family disagreements), the resolution is pending. Now to the reason I am blogging. I was knitting a blanket for myself, practicing to improve my skills. After many rows, I got a little bored with just straight knitting. I began to purl every other row, I can stocking knit, how about that! Well, that got boring also, so I began trying to do some patterns along the way and was doing fairly well, but you guessed it…..Bored again. (Patience is not one of my virtues). Then the mail lady arrived with the Spring issued of Interweave Knits magazine. Looking though it I found this really cool pattern. The Clementine Shawlette, a beginner pattern. I can do this I boldly announced, and of course my darling wife who thinks I can do anything (got her fooled but don’t tell her), says yes you can. So, she got me some yarn and a set of #4 circulars like the pattern called for. Off I go following this chart thing. Knit, purl, YO, even some animal called sl 2 as if to k2tog, k1, p2sso, thank God I live with a pro knitter, or the whole thing might have ended right there. Now this is where it gets to the point where she said I had to start blogging. First the needles were too small, (I kept telling her that), then I had a whole row of purl stitches that absolutely would not cooperate (kept slipping off, could not get the needle under the stitch, kept forgetting to go in the back door, (like that idea, but that is another blog topic), and finally the golf words started flying. And not the nice ones like par, putt, birdie, the Sailor ones, (most of which I learned while I was one). I am sitting there madder than a jackass with out a briar patch, and my loving, darling wife is laughing her head off. Well, she had to put down her knitting to come help me, or she more than likely would have had a set of broken circulars #4 in size. She of course thought it was just me knitting too tight or missing the pattern or something. She got some yarn and did some rows, and guess what, THE NEEDLES WERE TOO SMALL, she got me some 10.5 CP straights and lo and behold things got better. Well better at least for a while. Now the other problem. The darn pattern just does not make sense to me as charted. There is all this k on RS; p on WR, and P on RS; k on WS, blocks in the chart. Well to make a very long story short, after 9 (and I hate the word), FROGGING episodes, and many attempts at TINKING, (like I said, I hate backing up and redoing), I figured out the pattern is written all wrong for a beginner. (Sorry Interweave Press, but I got an easier way to chart this one, give me a call if interested.) Any way, I have it figured out now, and I think I might get going on this one and actually finish it. Time will tell and I will let you know the outcome. I do want to make mention that this is a lace pattern, (how about that for a beginner!), Debbie mentioned it to her friends, she tells them everything, well not EVERYTHING, like what I told her on her cell last night at her Knit Night out with the girls. And her friend Jutta, who is a whiz at knitting and had just finished this beautiful lace shawl, gave Debbie some wonderful red lace weight mohair from Germany for me to use. That was so generous of her, but that will have to wait until my skills improve. It has about 100 strands of this very fine yarn, my level of patience is nowhere near where it will have to be for me to attempt anything with that stuff, I have enough trouble keeping my needle from getting between the strands on what I am using now, no way would I keep control of that stuff. BUT, one day, so, Thank You Jutta.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Adding to My Stash -

Joe and I were in Clear Lake TX this weekend visiting friends Bill and Betty. Joe and Bill golfed; Betty and I went to Twisted Yarns in Old Town Spring and Yarns 2 Ewe in the Heights. We had a great time! In Twisted Yarns, we ran into Debbie W and Sandy - ladies I knit with every Thursday! We are all about 3 hrs from home.

As you can see the Favorite Socks book, sock yarns, sock needles and a new sock knitting bag! Toddler Knits book and the baby sock I made Saturday evening. The wound ball is Colinette's Giotta ribbon yarn in the same colorway one of the Jitterbug sock yarns - Toscana.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Knitting Like Crazy

Even though there was no post last week, I have been knitting like crazy. The baby shower is coming up in less than two weeks and I want to be sure that I have my baby knitting done and it is absolutely perfect! Pictured below are the various projects I am working on:

This sock in Crystal Palace 's new Panda Cotton , #9575 Circus, is my knitting at night while watching TV with Joe. I love this yarn! It is truly like knitting with silk. I am almost to the toe today and anxious to start the second one. I am hearing that Panda Cotton was a HUGE hit at TNNA!

This pair, also in Panda Cotton ,#0432 Strawberries and Limes, is finished except for the kitchenering. I always like to do kitchenering on both socks at the same time. Weird, I know, keeps me from wearing one without the other.

This is the baby set that will be my primary knitted baby gift for the shower. It is almost finished - I am ready to start the ribbing around the neck and down the front. I had knitted a pair of baby socks in this Fixation colorway. When Pam saw them, she said that she would love a little sweater set to match. The problem was that I didn't have enough of the yarn - thank God for Google and the Internet! (I am pretty sure after seeing baby Jaden's feet, that I need to make another pair of socks to match a little bigger) I am hoping to find some really cute little boy baby buttons.

This is a simple little newborn baby boatneck sweater. It is really cute except that the sleeve increases are incredibly ugly. The were Kfb, deciding to follow the pattern exactly for a change, I knit on but I should have used the knit in the stitch below probably. I think you can see them clearly in this picture. So, I am going to remove this sleeve pick up sts around the armhole and knit a seamless sleeve. Seems much easier to do that in the first place. This sweater probably won't make it to the shower. So I will have time to knit a little pair of socks to go with it.

I am ready to be finished with projects and work on some designs of my own that have been on hold.

Joe and I are going to Houston this weekend (I enjoy knitting in the car) He is going to be golfing - I am not sure what I will be doing. If I can swing it, I would love to go to Twisted Yarns in Spring. The hitch in that plan is that I am going to be on the South side of Houston in Clear Lake! (18 holes of golf is plenty of time to drive across Houston and back)