Beautiful Knitting

Where Mt.Mom knits, crochets, designs, and seeks Beauty as food for the soul.

Archive for November, 2008

Break from Buttonholes

Posted by mtmom on November 23, 2008

Let’s do a little catching up here at BeautifulKnitting.

My hands started hurting this past week — probably from all the “precision knitting” I’d been doing for the Master Handknitter program — lots of seed stitch and ribbing and buttonholes!  So I’ve had to take a break, limiting myself to “easy-listening” sorts of knitting projects, until the soft tissues settle down.  But that also made me realise I hadn’t posted here about all those swatches. . . .

Swatch 17

Swatch 17

Swatch 18

Swatch 18

Swatch 19

Swatch 19

Swatch 20

Swatch 20

If I decide I’m completely satisfied with these, I’ll be able to say I’m done with buttonhole swatches. . . at least for now.  🙂

Then there was picking up stitches along a curving neckline:

Swatch 21

Swatch 21

I did this one twice, and may do it yet again.  Any other Master’s candidates (or committee members) care to comment on this swatch and its ribbing?

In non-Master’s -related knitting. . . .

I’ve completed 2 more caps: one a “Kliban cap”, designed by Meg Swansen and available on Schoolhouse Press‘s $1 one-sheet “Spun Out #8:  Five Wooly Caps”, and the other my top-down version of Cathy-Cate’s “Grow-with-Me Baby Hat” in purple Classic Alpaca DK [that’s a free pattern, y’all], posing unstretched and stretched, on each end of a yarn cone.

And I’ve cast on for a new one, this one I hope to give to my blue-loving niece for Christmas.  It’s my own design, based on a Zig Zag rib pattern that Arenda Holladay used in a sock pattern for Cast On magazine last year — basically a travelling 2×2 rib. 

The yarn is DreamBaby DK — microfiber and nylon — very smooth, but a bit squeeky [squeaky?].  Not so bad that I don’t want to finish the cap (that’s why I frogged the Fiery Eyelash scarf), but I probably won’t go out of my way to use this yarn again.  Knit ‘n’ learn!

Posted in Cap/Hat, Design, Knitting, Master Knitter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Spending Wisely

Posted by mtmom on November 20, 2008

I very much enjoyed David Reidy’s essay in the middle of his podcast this past week.  Please go to his site and download the (approx. half-hour) episode and listen to it yourself.  About crafting in “tough economic times”.

Sticks and String,   episode 82: “So Much More”

The show is also available through iTunes, if you search for “Sticks & String podcast” (note that “string” is singular).

I have long maintained that Spending Wisely does not merely mean Spending Less.  It has to do with Where you Spend your money, whose work you support with your dollars (or pounds or yen or euros or whatever).  For instance, I’ll spend a bit more to buy a SchoolhousePress book, or another title that I’m buying *because* they recommended it, directly from Schoolhouse Press, rather than saving a few dollars by buying from Amazon.  Not that Amazon is bad — I truly appreciate the service they provide — but I especially want to support Meg Swansen and her company.  I want them to still be in business when all the panic is over.  As David Reidy said, “It’s an investment in my knitting future.”

Think on it:  given finite knitting dollars, where are the *best* places to spend them?

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Color Decision

Posted by mtmom on November 12, 2008

Newest color swatch for the Master Knitter level 2 mitten project:

Lighter values– good.

CC continuity — not so good.  (The green and orange don’t look like continuations of the same lines as much as I would like ideally.  But, they look good overall.)

CC contrast with MC — better.  (Pattern doesn’t get lost in background.)

Gauge — good.  Using 5’s for stockinette, but 6’s for the color-work part, because stranded stitches are *closer to square* in their shape than plain stockinette stitches are.  The 22 sts between the edge sts are measuring the desired 4″, to conform to the supplied pattern.

Recipient preference — good.  (DD likes these colors.)

So, I think we have a winner!

But, for now, back to the buttonholes; seed st tonight.  I want to finish this section of the Master’s swatches, including the associated questions to answer, before I move to the next project or the report/reviews.  At least . . . that’ the current plan.  😉

With all the gift-knitting ideas I have floating around, I’m trying to keep start-itis in check!

Posted in Color-work, Knitting, Master Knitter | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Knitting Explorations

Posted by mtmom on November 9, 2008

Knitting continues at Chez Mt. Mom.

Having finished the vest for Master Knitter level 2, both the knitting and (I hope) the writing-up, I turned my attention to another one of the required projects:  a child’s pair of mittens with a band of stranded color-work just above the thumb-separation and before the tip-shaping.  It calls for 4 colors of my choice.  Here’s my first experiment: 

Too dark overall, I think.

Back to the stash bag.

For more color-work, let’s check in with my Fair Isle sampler/scarf. 

The purple is now gradually morfing to red-violet/hot pink.  I’ve decided to change the background color from cream to lightest gray, to see how that looks.  Can’t really see it yet in the photos, but it’s there.

I came in after taking that photo, to do some more knitting, and look what happened out there: 

Storm is moving in!

Hey, it’s just started to snow!

What I did while the clouds rolled in:

These are some more reversible 2-color stitch-patterns, from Jane Neighbors’ book.

The 2 you see here are each 2-color variations on what we Americans call “moss stitch”.  That’s a k1-p1 pattern where on one row you match the stitches, knitting what look like knits and purling purls, as in ribbing, on the alternate rows you work the opposite, knitting the purls and purling the knits, as in “seed stitch”.  (I know that in the UK, the terminology is different, but I can’t always recall whether they call our seed as their moss, or our moss as their seed.  Jo?)  In the lower band, the colors change on *each* row; the light row is always the “matching” row, and the dark is the “opposite” row.  In the upper band, the colors change every *2* rows; you change colors on a “matching” row, and keep that same color on the “opposite” row.  The next band I hope to do will have me switching colors on the “opposite” rows and keeping the same color on the “matching” rows.  Then, pure seed stitch, also with 2 rows of each color.  We’ll see what those looks like!

Also finished another cap this week (last night, actually). 

3 strands wound together, knit on 11’s.  Nice and cushy!

Posted in Cap/Hat, Celtic, Color-work, Knitting, Master Knitter, Reversibles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Vest Complete!

Posted by mtmom on November 3, 2008

It’s done!!!

I’ve finished the pieces, seamed them, added trim, and tucked in ends.

And it fits!!!

Hurray!

The story:

I began with the back piece, working the plain part until nearly to the underarm.  Then I cast on the front piece, to see exactly how many rows of pattern would fit before I split for the V-neck (I didn’t trust my arithmetic).  I finished the whole front and then went back to the back to add in the lace rows and supplement the neck opening with another 1/2″.  Seamed shoulders and sides, then picked up stitches from provisional cast-ons for bottom trim to be worked in the round.  Armholes next.  Finally the neck trim, which I ripped out once because of flaring.

I am pleased.

I hope the Master’s judges are too!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »