Tuesday, September 20, 2016

That was the weekend that was

Last weekend I anticipated much knitting would occur when I visited a friend one state over. Some knitting did occur, on the socks, but sweater knitting was non-existent since I had left the critical working needle on the coffee table at home. Just as well, as I noticed a flaw in the fabric today, one that I might have let go had it been only visual. Since it would throw off the matching of the front and back at the seams, I was forced - FORCED, I tell you - to rip back about eight inches.

Over at the knit-along I am knitting-along-side-of, someone ripped back an entire l-o-n-g cardigan since it turned out all wrong for her body. Other knitters-along have ripped back cheerfully as well. I won't say I was cheerful about it, but I do want my sweater to be as near perfect as can be.

My weekend visit just happened to coincide with A Wool Gathering. Despite all the pretty yarn, gorgeous roving, raw fleeces, and fiber arts do-dads, I managed to walk away with just a knitting belt. Right now, I tuck one 13" straight needle into my armpit, which sort of works for supported knitting. I envision a knitting belt as a necessity to improving on this technique. Unfortunately, I can't find any 13" double-pointed needles above size US6. From watching YouTube videos, I see I can simply remove one end of a pair of straights and use them.

Just before I left on my weekend trip, I wove a few rows using the "natural" colored yarn. The whitish yarn completely overwhelms the other colors. Argh! So I am contemplating alternatives. Right now I lean toward variable width stripes using the yarn left over from warping, interspersed with stripes of natural. Today I weighed the leftover yarn, and I think I have enough to do this.

Fiber arts are always an adventure.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Progress report

I tell people that the most important character trait or talent a knitter needs is persistence. It takes a lot of stitches to make even small things, like socks. One must keep putting one stitch after another, until done.

I'm not done yet, but the sock heels have been turned and the front of the ruby red sweater reaches almost to my waist.

Then, inspired by the first meeting of the local weavers guild for the 2016-17 season, I started warping the loom for a blanket, to be woven in three panels. Per usual, this project has been a learning experience *already*. I used a warping board, but since the back rod/warping stick on the Ashford is not removable, one needs to jury-rig something if following the instructions in Inventive Weaving on a Little Loom. Instead, I cut the loops and threaded them through the heddle one by one.

I *was* going to try to weft with a gradient of grays, but decided it would be too challenging to get the three panels to match. I'm going with "natural" instead, but may add a row or two of something colorful, to help me keep track of the rows. The weft yarn won't arrive until Thursday, so I have been stretching out the warping stage, to keep my motivation motivating.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

WIPs and pieces

I was knitting in public the other day, at the Little Turtle branch of our local library system, when a woman stopped to ask what I was knitting. Usually it is non-knitters who initiate such conversations, but this woman (whose name I neglected to get) is a knitter and a spinner. In fact, she invited me to the local spinners guild, which I know about but have yet to attend. She also clued me in on how to knit tube socks for kids: use this spiral pattern so they are more likely to stay up.

Now I am itching to finish the current socks so I can try out the spiral ones. This pic of Vintage Kitchen is just before the heel turn, one of which I completed today. Heel turns require good light and a quiet atmosphere so I can hear myself count. Rarely do I finish more than one a day.

I was hoping to hang out with the knitters in Slow TV National Knitting Eve, but the dialog is in Norwegian, necessitating the reading of subtitles. Some knitters can knit without looking, but I am not one of them, especially when working a heel turn. I watched a bit, but decided I would rather knit to acoustic music from Spotify.

The top down sweater is coming along, slowly but surely. I work the front until I reach the end of a skein, then work the back to the end of a skein. The pattern is six rows long, and I can listen to a book on CD while working it (current listen The Plague of Doves, by Louise Erdrich).

So I have a big project for knitting on the sofa and a portable one for hauling hither and yon. When the sweater is finished, I plan to complete the stalled poncho. Then there is another sweater's worth of yarn that might become a cabled pullover. And then I added a sweater to my queue today that is knit in fingering weight yarn. I think my knitting eyes are too big for my needles!