Beautiful Knitting

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

Archive for September, 2009

More Vest Progress

Posted by mtmom on September 30, 2009

(and Less Anxiety — hurray!)

vest_backI have been cranking out the fabric, with the aid of audiobooks and podcasts to keep me going and not watching the clock.

The armhole shaping was interesting.  I kept close tabs on exactly where and when I made each decrease, so that the pattern write-up will be accurate, updating the computer file and marking on my hard-copy as I went.  (The paper seems more “real” to me. . . .)

I’m about to reach another decision point, and I would appreciate your input.

Neck-back shaping.  To work it straight or modify the slope/opening.

(A) The slip-stitch pattern has such strong horizontal lines, any stair-steps (especially how they don’t *exactly* match left-to-right!) will stand out, leaving me with doing short-rows if I want to raise the neck.

(B) I can drop the center section by binding it off one pattern-rep sooner.

Or I can do both.  Or neither.  (That latter is by far the easiest option.)

Here are sketches to illustrate my options, as I currently see them.

vest_back_sketchesThe thicker green lines are where I think I might insert a pair of short-rows.  At first, I thought I’d add cream, making one rank of boxes taller, but then I decided the green option would be less obtrusive.  Q:  Would I need to add rows on the front shoulders as well, to have the front and back meet evenly?  That would be visually distracting — and right near the face — blech!

Q:  Might the straight dropped-center make the shoulders sit better than if they were fully straight across?

Here’s the main question/ what I especially wish I knew: Q:  How do each of these options affect FIT?  (This is a vest for a child, but even kids have necks that sit to the front of center, and they individually do/don’t have shoulder slope.)  FIT is the only reason that I’m considering modifying the simple, straight shape.

I don’t think I’ll have time to experiment, and probably need to just Decide and Go.  Hopefully, there will be other garments in which to try out other combinations. . . .

INPUT:  What has been *your* experience with making and with wearing these different kinds of neck/shoulder treatment?  Thank you for taking the time to think on this and respond in the Comments!  🙂

Posted in Design, Knitting | 1 Comment »

Turning of the Sumac — a September Progression

Posted by mtmom on September 27, 2009

I love watching the colors turn in autumn.  I’ve been trying to document the process in my backyard this year, by taking photos from approximately the same vantage point over the course of several days/weeks.

Here is the north end (south-facing) sumac grove, labeled with dates.

09 September

09 September

16 September

16 September

20 September

20 September

21 September

21 September

27 September

27 September

28 September

28 September

29 September

29 September

30 September

30 September

1 October

1 October

2 October, after a *cold* and windy day and night

2 October, after a *cold* and windy day and night

Posted in Yard/Garden | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Progress, with Anxiety

Posted by mtmom on September 24, 2009

I keep fighting this awful feeling that I’m not progressing “fast enough” to make the deadline with this garment and pattern.  But all I can do is keep moving forward.

Here’s today’s status:

windows_5inches It’s about 4 inches (10 cm) tall so far, and I need to get at least 10″ (25 cm) before beginning underarm shaping.

That’s the first point where I’ll really be able to see how the pattern stitch is going to align with the “holes” for arms and head, how the sides and front/back will line up in the final piece.

Gauge is 5.5 stitches/inch, or 22 sts x 38 rounds = 4″/10 cm on a US size 7 (4.50 mm) circular needle.

Have you noticed that circs labeled as 24″ may be 24″ from tip to tip, or it may be that the cable alone is 23-24″, with 8-10″ of tips added on after that?  That can make a big difference when working barely over 24″ of stitches.  Even this vest, at about 29″ circumference, would be uncomfortably stretched if I used a “24 inch” needle that was actually more like 32″ all told.  [my complaint of the day — sigh — forgive me]  This makes me uncertain what to prescribe in the written pattern; I may have to add a note/caveat on the subject, or else only recommend a 24″ circ for the larger sizes.  I find that a good fit between project-size and needle-size is very important to the “flow” of the knitting; don’t you?

Posted in Design, Knitting | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Mt. Mom is to be Published!

Posted by mtmom on September 20, 2009

That’s my big announcement.  CastOn magazine accepted my design proposal for their spring 2010 issue.  That means a deadline of 16 October — 4 weeks!

Here’s some of what’s happened on this front so far.

Original Swatch

Original Swatch

30 July: received the e-mail “call for submissions” from the editor.  I already had an idea along the lines of the issue’s theme, so I got to work.

11 Aug: mailed in a swatch and 2-page proposal.

8 Sept:  received e-mail acceptance letter:  “We would like to use your ‘Peek Through the Windows’ vest design for the spring 2010 issue of Cast On magazine.”  (wow!  eek!)

12 Sept:  received the yarns selected by the committee:  Cascade 220 in cream and deep teal.

somebody *really* loves this yarn

somebody *really* loves this yarn

Balled up the yarn (with a little {ahem} help) .




17 Sept:  confirmed new color-arrangements by sending in a photo of new swatch.

Swatch with new yarn and colorways

Swatch with new yarn and colorways

(They want the green over cream.)






Began writing stuff down and cast on.

"Windows" clipboard



Realized I didn’t know enough about how the pattern stitch was going to fit into the armhole and neckline shaping, so I went to the blackboard — my favorite place for figuring out stitch-counts.

."Windows" blackboard

Came up with the bare-bones of shaping and how to keep the 3-and-1 color rhythm centered.  Worked a doll-sized swatch with shaping.  Found where I want beginning-of-round to fall (and where it does *not* look good"Windows" doll vest

Figured out cast-on and bind-off  and join-up numbers, by means of another chart and a calculator."Windows" chart

Ripped back the 5 rounds I’d already done, gently steamed the yarn to get rid of the kinks, and re-cast-on.  Then re-figured, backed up most of 1 round and added 8 more stitches, realized I’d still acted too soon and backed up again (this time only a handful stitches — Learning!) and took those 8 extra stitches back out.

Now I’ve got 160 stitches cast on, joined into the round, and ready to proceed — this time with a much more definite plan in mind (and on paper!).  Hurrying can be such a time-waster!

More later!

Posted in Cat, Design, Knitting | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

An Original EZ-sweater Resurfaces

Posted by mtmom on September 15, 2009

I read this post by Jared Flood (aka brooklyntweed), and followed his links to this wonderful article by Sunday Holm for Twist Collective, about reknitting a sweater made decades ago by Elizabeth Zimmermann herself, and this remembrance by the sweater’s owner, a childhood neighbor to the Zimmermann family.

EZ fans (among whom I count myself) will really enjoy these!

Posted in Knitting | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

“How cold was it? . . .”

Posted by mtmom on September 12, 2009

It was SO cold, over Labor Day weekend, that as we returned from the County Fair, we saw this:

Snow on the Peaks, in September!

Snow on the Peaks, in September!


We had a nice time at the fair, even though it WAS rather cold and we weren’t adequately dressed.

We saw bagpipers.  These are Southwest Skye Pipes and Drums, and friends.


SW_Skye2 Pipe Major Michael Donelson.

Bass Drummer Ted Tonkinson.

Drum Major Joe Tulley.

Drum Sgt. Geoff Pavey.


There were ribbons on my exhibits, too.


That’s always nice!  These projects were all finished since last year’s fair.  How many do you recognize from these “pages”?

We also saw Ballet Folklorico, and the girls rode some rides.

ballet_folk ferris_wheelmerry-go-round


Next post, I hope to write about some big knitting-news around here!

(Hint: it has to do with designing.)

Posted in Cat, Celtic, Knitting | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Norah Gaughan video on Buttonbands

Posted by mtmom on September 4, 2009

I enjoyed watching this:  [this is a link to the video on Berroco’s own site]  They have quite a few how-to videos on this page.  (That should open in a new window — go check it out and then you can come right back!)  🙂

This 3-minute video from Berroco is about sewing on separate button-bands and is narrated by Norah Gaughan.

What I especially appreciated was Norah’s discussion of row-gauge and its relevance to getting a nice, firm, knitted button-band, and how to compensate for different row-gauges when joining pieces that have different stitch-patterns.

Posted in Knitting, Videos -- made by me | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Sumac always goes First. . . .

Posted by mtmom on September 3, 2009

The very beginnings of autumn are starting to appear here on the mountain.

Two weeks ago, a *few* yellow leaves peeked out from among their green brethren on the locust trees. aug_locust

And the sumac began to blush in hidden places.  aug_sumac1

But, with Labor Day coming up this weekend (and the County Fair — more on that later), the sumac has kicked up the colors a notch.

sept_sumac1 sept_sumac2Everything is still mostly green, as you see, including that aspen on the left and the honey locust on the right.

But more and more yellow, orange, and red are coming out in the sumac patch.

Every year it’s lovely,

and comes with cooler mornings and evenings.

One can just FEEL autumn easing on in.

It stirs something in me. . . .

How about you?

Posted in Yard/Garden | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

“The Butterfly Circus”

Posted by mtmom on September 1, 2009

I enjoyed watching this 20-minute short film on the theme of Hope, “The Butterfly Circus”, made by Joshua Weigel for The Doorpost Project.  (It’s not YouTube, so I can’t seem to embed it, but you can follow the link.)

Posted in Videos -- made by me | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »