Beautiful Knitting

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

Archive for the ‘Master Knitter’ Category

Another Fair Isle pattern band done!

Posted by mtmom on October 6, 2008

There has been a dirth of knitting content here of late — partly due to the “secret” nature of my work on a new pattern for publishing.  I think this photo may be “safe”, though.    I had been concentrating on only this for the past several weeks.  But now that the pattern has been submitted, I have branched back out.  I’ve resumed my work on Level 2 of the Master HandKnitter program — hurray!  I’m so glad to be at it again.  The Master’s program is so satisfying to me!  Here’s some progress on my vest project: 

I intend the finished product to be for my 8-year-old DD.  Then there’ll be more swatches, projects, and reports. . . .

And, also very exciting to me, I just completed the “Autumn Colors” pattern band in my Fair Isle sampler. 

I drew the motifs and colors from Betts Lampers’ cardigan design, “Autumn Colors Fair Isle”, in Sweaters from Camp, a soon-to-be-out-of-print book from Schoolhouse Press.

I have had the next band in mind for some time:  same motifs, but interlocking, and done in Noro sock yarn on an off-white background.  You can see the barest beginnings of it at the photo’s top.  I wonder how many rounds I’ll get before the yarn changes color?  I had to tink back 3 times before I got the colors aligned properly, but I’m hoping I can forge ahead from here.

The exciting news around the knitting/crocheting/fiber circles of Flagstaff?  A new LYS opening later this month!  “Purl in the Pines”, the ONLY yarn shop in town.  We haven’t had one for 2 1/2 years, since Unravel closed after about 2 years in business.  Many of us are very hopeful of gaining a new place to see and feel yarns, and a new focus for community.  (When I get a link, I’ll post it in the blog and in the sidebar.)


Posted in Design, Knitting, Master Knitter, Sock Madness | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Master Knitter — Cables and Holes

Posted by mtmom on July 10, 2008

Some cable swatches, for your perusal.  I made 4, picked 3 to submit.

Wave Cable

Wave Cable


Close-up of Wave Cable

Close-up of Wave Cable


Open Cable

Open Cable

OXOX Cable Hugs & Kisses

OXOX Cable "Hugs & Kisses"


Gull Stitch, w/ compensation for cable flare

Gull Stitch, w/ compensation for cable flare


[Captions are a new feature — I like it!]

Now that I’ve done three cable swatches, it’s on to . . . buttonholes!

Horizontal, vertical, and others (like eyelet).  I pulled out several resource books and tried 31 different styles.  

32 Buttonholes!

32 Buttonholes!

    The “tubular buttonhole” I tried twice.  

Tubular Buttonholes

Tubular Buttonholes

  Next, I plan to focus on just a few — the ones that looked best to me in the LONG sample — to hone my technique.  Then, a swatch for submission with the best of each kind.

While the Master Knitter compels me strongest lately, I have also cast on for a pair of kilt hose in KnitPicks cotton-blend Risata.  I *hope* (at least feebly) to finish these before July 19th, the start of our Celtic Heritage Festival. 

Risata kilt hose - the beginnings of a cuff

Risata kilt hose - the beginnings of a cuff

Posted in Celtic, Knitting, Master Knitter, Socks | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Nice words and Master Knitter Lace work

Posted by mtmom on June 30, 2008

Gracious fellow sock-designer, ruth “the Yarnarian”, wrote some very nice things about me and my Godmother’s Sock pattern today.  Won’t you go and check out her blog:  And this woman knows sock designs!  Need corroboration?  Here’s Celtic Memory Jo’s blog post where she praises Ruth’s “utterly glorious Leafy Green Socks” (scroll down toward bottom, after small-town-Ireland St. Patrick’s Day parade photos).   The Ravelry pattern for those socks is here:

In my last post, I predicted Master Knitter lace photos, and here they are.

Tilted Block or Tilting Trellis.  Master Knitter Level 2 Swatch 11 (lace 1)

Arrowhead Lace. Master Knitter Level 2 Swatch 12 (lace 2)

Openwork Diamonds.     Master Knitter Level 2 Swatch 13 (lace 3)


Anyone reading this who has more expertise than I in knitting lace — I’d appreciate some constructive feedback.  The judges will be looking for even tension, consistent hole-size, smooth decreases, and proper blocking.  Blocking the first one was especially challenging, due to the wavy nature of the biasing stitch-pattern.  I used a smaller needle on the third one, since it had so much stockinette and I wanted it to be very even.  But perhaps that was just my lace-insecurity!  I should probably re-block the 3rd swatch’s bind off row — it looks like it pulls in just a bit. . . .

More progress on the Fair Isle sampler “Autumn Colors” band.  Three quarters of the way through the first of three motifs.  Fair Isle sampler, \

Pretty bright, eh?!  Especially compared with the Feitelson band just beneath.  I’m considering knitting another band in this sampler with the same motifs (love the 3-rhythm!) but different colors — perhaps a Noro sock yarn for one color. . . .   Also comtemplating Meg Swansen’s “Russian Prime” pullover, which has a comparable 1-3-5 rhythm that might feel similarly “right”  [Image of sweater about 1/3 down this page of SHP videos].  This scarf is becoming quite a bag-ful:  (Hi, Chloe!)Bag full of Fair Isle

Our Honey Locust tree is done leafing out and looks grand!  Love the multi greens!Honey Locust tree

Prediction for next post:  Cable swatches and Sock-tops.

Posted in Celtic, Color-work, Knitting, Master Knitter, Sock Madness, Yard/Garden | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Kid-time, peach vest, and SockMadness 2008!

Posted by mtmom on February 10, 2008

Well, Lent is turning out to be more “intrusive” than I had expected.  Conscience has pricked me in a couple of areas, and one of them may well impact my blogging.  I’ve decided to attend more to some maternal responsibilities that I had been delegating.  (That means, spending more time with my kids and less on the computer!)  I think my posts will end up being shorter.

Some knitting progress to report:

The peach vest I’m making for dd and for my Master Knitter certification now has a back about 6 1/2″ long.  back piece of peach vest

I have also worked about an inch of the front — just gotta see how the lace panel is going to look and how many rows of it will fit before the undearm.  More photos as this progresses.

Eventhough I feel I’ve got enough projects going, my soul is in great need of some beauty to feed it.  I want color!  So, I’m thinking it’s time to pick back up the Fair Isle — a favorite in these pages.

Start thinking about itButton from Round 2 of Sock Madness 2007
Sock Madness sign-ups will begin on 15 Feb! 
The excitement, the drama, the commraderie, the sore hands. . . .  It’s really wonderful.  Go to their site and check it out.  You’ll need a Flickr account and a way to upload photos of in-process and completed socks. 

Update on the book giveaway:  I have not heard back from Jane/jolenna1.   [Hey, gal:  where are you?]  I’ll wait a few more days, but once it’s been a full week I plan to draw another name.  Wanna move out one of these books I’ve set aside and get that “hot spot” off my floor!   stack of giveaway book-choices, et al

Posted in Biblical/Spiritual, Knitting, Master Knitter, Sock Madness | Leave a Comment »

Snow, Kitten, and Master Knitting.

Posted by mtmom on January 17, 2008

I may have lost my voice, but my fingers still work!  😉

May I show you a little of the lovely snow we got last week?  My ds had been in Iowa, attending/helping/observing the caucuses there, with a group of 20+ homeschool students and parents, and they drove back in weather than eventually turned into this:  snowy front yard  (This mom was more than a little anxious, I’ll tell you.)

He and dh shoveled every few hours for a few days.  So then our front yard looked like this:  snowy front yard later 

As long as I don’t have to drive — or have someone dear to me driving in it — I really enjoy the snow.  Chloe finds it very interesting, but mostly . . .  relaxed kitty . . . she keeps to her usual duties. . .

like laundry inspection.  kitty snooping in dryer  into the dryer

I, OTOH, have been working on stealth-knitting and Master Knitter swatching.  Seams:  swatch 7 

Decreases:  swatch 8 mirrored  swatch 9 twisted  swatch 10 and double.

And now, lace!  swatch 11, lace #1

Posted in Cat, Knitting, Master Knitter | 4 Comments »

Moebius Action, and beyond

Posted by mtmom on October 14, 2007

Begun at Knitting Night; finished at Knitting Night . . . one week later.completed moebius mini-wrap

That’s FAST for me!me wearing neck-cozy

The tricky parts were picking up stitches in the bottom of the cast-on row (necessary for a one-phase “knit-it-twisted” moebius vs a two-phase “knit-flat-then-twist” moebius), and tracking the pattern in the fuzzy yarn I chose.

I found with this project, as I have before with other crank-it-out projects, that I don’t enjoy the process as much.  This does not bode well for the top-down skirt that dd Cherry wants.  But the current apparent unavailability of long skirts for small girls makes it a perfect candidate for do-it-yourself-ing. . . .  Perhaps I should rent a sewing machine again.  Sigh.  So hard on my shoulders!  Still, I don’t have to decide just yet.  We shall see.

I have yet to finish the Mad-to-Dance socks, or to start the second knee-high sock.  Wonder why?

But I am slowly progressing on the Master Knitter vest for dd Kathy.  Getting gauge with Falk on US size 4 inch of wooly vest

That’s a crocheted provisional cast on you see there — my favorite kind of prov. CO.  I’m planning to do the edging last; most likely in the round, after seaming the front and back, but perhaps flat and before seaming — we’ll see when we get nearer, shall we?

Oh, and have you seen this?finished 3rd pattern band

I’ve completed the third pattern band on my Fair Isle tubular swatch/scarf.  The original Snow Sky pullover (designed by Ann Swanson of Rochester, Minn., and published in Sweaters from Camp, Schoolhouse Press) was executed in silver and charcoal, to give the impression of snowflakes in a dark sky (very nice!); I’ve opted for a more floral look.  A very clever use of light and dark by Ms. Swanson, I think. 

Began the fourth pattern, but my first color choices don’t have enough contrast, so I’m doing the next rep in stronger tones.  I’m so glad to have color-work to do!

Much division of effort on the charitable knitting front.  With the local weather turning colder — a hiker told me she saw snow falling on the higher trails yesterday — I’ve felt the urge to get some warm hats into circulation.  Also the annual craft sale, orgainized by the gal who taught me to knit, comes up in November.  Perhaps I could get another item to her in time?  I try to make that offering each year, in thanks for the gift she gave me.  Mustn’t wander too far into WIP-limbo!!!sumac leaves (September)

Posted in Color-work, Knitting, Master Knitter | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Lots of different stuff

Posted by mtmom on October 7, 2007

I have really been enjoying Ravelry this past week.  (I’m known as “mtmom” over there too.)  Uploading pictures, describing patterns, yarns and needles . . . it’s a bit like blogging in short-hand.

Well, I’ve been working on my Master Knitter program.  I seamed up two pieces of k2-p2 ribbing, and I think it turned out rather well!  I’d been particularly concerned about the evenness — or lack thereof — of my edge stitches and their immediate neighbors, since seaming hides some features of my stitches but highlights others.seaming double rib

Here’s my swatch-in-progress (also, swatch-in-hibernation  — ha!) for the Argyll/Argyle sock project, also a requirement for Level 2.swatching argyle patterns

And, did I tell you?  I finished the first knee-sock!first knee sock is done

I’m quite proud of this shaping — especially given all the ripping back I did to get it just so.  Still, I think I’ll do the second one just a leeetle bit differently:  add one more pair of increases before the instep/arch and begin the post-widest-point decreases a tad sooner.first knee sock, on leg

This was my first time to use a tubular bind-off on double rib.  I followed Montse Stanley’s (Reader’s Digest Knitter’s Handbook) directions, except that I separated the knits onto one needle and the purls onto another to make it easier to see what I wanted to do.  Went pretty well; I’d do it again — and plan to, on the second sock.

I bought some new needles.KP harmony needles

Aren’t they pretty?  I’m not as blissed-out as Tsock Tsarina perhaps (hi, lisa!), but I do like them.  Using them already.  In this:Moebius Mini Wrap, 2/3 done

Just started this at Knitting Night on Wednesday.  Isn’t it cute?  My first moebius.  Meant as a neck cozy.  A bit of a foray into the land of “get it done”.

And I’m still considering what large project/garment to start, in the wake of finishing the Neapolitan Ice Cream Sweater.  Perhaps this (for me):pattern and yarn

Or this (for dd):yarn and pattern

The latter is more product-focused — she wants a long skirt; the former, more process-focused — I want to try the new-to-me shaping techniques.  I fear I’ll become impatient with the skirt quickly, eager to move onto something more interesting.

And, speaking of interesting:  I saw this in a book last image of Fair Isle jacket

[“Lady’s Jacket”.  Sarah Don, Fair Isle Knitting:  a practical handbook of traditional designs, St. Martin’s Press, 1979; also recently reprinted by Schoolhouse Press]

I find the gingham-look areas, combined with higher-contrast patterns, intriguing.  I wonder what it is about this pattern that attracts my eye?  What makes it look “comfortable”?  Do I like the open front?  What could I incorporate into my own wished-for Fair Isle jumper design?   Hmmmm. . . .

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

Action on Several (Knitting) Fronts

Posted by mtmom on September 28, 2007

I received my invitation to Ravelry this week, and have been busy posting photos, describing projects, and linking to posts on this blog; my handle there is “mtmom”.  It’s cool how much the system already knows about yarns, patterns, and books — I type in a yarn name and the screen fills in the yardage automatically; I enter the name of an online pattern and a thumbnil pops up!  Entertaining.  I’m trying to restrain my self and limit the time per session I spend there.  The features I most look forward to utilizing are (1) yarn-searching, where I can see what others have made from a particular yarn and hopefully get a feeling for whether it would work for what I might have in mind, and (2) pattern-searching, to see one item in several different yarns/colorways and explore which appeal to me most for that item and, hopefully, what they look like on various body-types, like Knitting Daily has done recently with their “Galleries” — same sweater modeled on different women.

Meanwhile, knitting has not stopped just because I finished a large project (yay, me!).  I have pursued a number of ideas for nexts, as well as kept at some WIP’s.  I even finished a new item!Choco-cherry cap

My lion seems to be taking a cue from WendyKnits‘ teddy, but he’s still a bit camera-shy.  I started and finished this cap all in the space of 28 hours, so it bears 2 names:  “the 28-hour cap” and “Choco-cherry cap” after the TLC Essentials yarn I used for the main body.

The knee socks are progressing, too.  After making it all the way to the top this past week, I decided the calf was too spacious at the widest point and ripped back to just before the last pair of increases.  I have now re-progressed to this point, about halfway through the top ribbing.Knee sock, just into the top ribbing

I was of two minds about whether to rib in k1-p1 or k2-p2.  The former I’ve had good success in binding off flexibly but neatly with a tubular BO, but the latter pulls in so nicely and I prefer it’s appearance overall.  I’m going with the 2×2 — at least, for now — and we’ll just have to see how the BO goes.  I expect to try a tubular variation.  Then, I want to see how my final sock compares with the measurements I have written down.  I hope this will help me make future socks, for folks I do not have handy for try-ons, from measurements only.

And here’s an update on the entrelac baby blanket — now on the 6th row.Sixth row on entrelac baby blanket

I’m choosing colors as I go, rather than following an algorithm, like the colors of the spectrum in order.  (That was one plan I considered a few rows back, but the turquoise-blue seemed too strong to go just after the lime-green. . . .)  I guess this is going to be a “cool” section, then “warm” again later.  We shall see.  I’m becoming much more confident in my entrelac work, picking up the stitches and joining the rectangles and edge increases/decreases and such.  That’s a joy to me.

And, speaking of increasing my confidence — drum roll, please — I’ve dived back into my Master Knitter work for Level 2!  (ta da!)

Here’s swatch #4:
  seaming 1×1 ribbing.k1-p1 seam swatch

(Actually, I’ve reworked the bind-off since this photo was taken; I think it’s an improvement.)  And, in case you wondered why you’re seeing green through my cream stitches, the seam MUST be worked in contrasting-colored yarn for the judging.  Swatch is currently drying from yet another blocking.  Next will be labelling, writing up, and moving on to k2-p2 seaming.

And this photo represents the very beginnings of one of the projects for Level 2:  the vest.CO for peach vest

You see here the US size 4 needle, Dale “Falk” yarn, and a page from Ann Budd’s book, The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns.  The cotton yarn on the needle forms a provisional cast-on, to be removed later.  I’m currently planning to add an in-the-round bottom edging onto both front and back pieces after I’ve seamed them.  I’ve also chosen a lace panel pattern from Barbara Walker’s Treasury and LeisureArts’ 99 Knit Stitches to use on the front, but I’m keeping that under wraps for now.

I am a busy knitter!  (And lovin’ it!)

Posted in Knitting, Master Knitter, Socks | 3 Comments »