Beautiful Knitting

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

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

This Blog Going Inactive

Posted by mtmom on September 29, 2011

Sorry, y’all, but changing priorities and schedule have meant I’m not blogging these days.

If I start posting again, you’ll see it here!
Thanks to all you regular readers, and to the occasional visitors as well.

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In Defense of Hand-Crafting

Posted by mtmom on September 24, 2010

Just read this and wanted to share it with you.  Blog post on Annie’s Yarns from 2007 that is an impassioned “rant” about the importance of crafting by hand (in her case, spinning), and especially its place in building civilization and culture.  (Where did I get this lead?!  Was it Feral Knitter?  Can’t recall just now….)

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Vest: Edgings are Next.

Posted by mtmom on October 4, 2009

I’ve completed the back and front, and joined them up (twice now — ahem — all part of “the design process”!).  Hurray!

vest+cat (Do you have a helper like this?  I know Jean does. . . .)

Next, I went to pick up stitches around the neck opening, to add on the neckband, and discovered I had some more choices to make.

(I thought I’d figured this out already, but. . .) I see at least 2 ways to go from here, depending on when I bind off the neck sts and where I pick up the band sts.

The slip-stitch pattern has a single garter-stitch ridge of green between each rank of “windows”.  How many ridges do I want at neck-front?

I could have 2 ridges:

2 ridges

2 ridges

Or, I could have 1.5 (I don’t like the row of stockinette stitch — interrupts the flow):

1 1/2 ridges

1 1/2 ridges

Or, I could have a single ridge:

1 ridge

1 ridge

I don’t have the original swatch anymore, to examine and see what I did then.  I think I had 2 ridges.

Now, I’m thinking to go with the single ridge.

I still have enough (I think) time to do it that way, and then change it if I don’t like how it looks.

After the pick-up ridge(s), I’ll do one repeat of the border pattern, to echo the bottom edge.

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New Look, Same Blog

Posted by mtmom on August 18, 2009

After seeing my son set up his own new blog, I’ve resolved to spruce things up a bit around here. First, I chose a new “Theme” that allows the width of the main text to adjust. Next, I updated my “About” page. Then, since this “theme” doesn’t show my sidebar list of “Completed Projects” (and since it just needs doing!), I’ve started bringing my page of “Finished Objects” up to date. This means finding and pulling together photos and dates and text since October 2008, so it’ll take a while to complete. (I can’t find photos of my Level 2 mittens, except the one post-review! May have to check the Trash file. . . .) I hope to post actual knitting content here soonish.

Oh, my teen-genius son’s blog, you ask?  It’s called “Rice, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Education”, and may be found by clicking the name/link.

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Knitting Daily TV Video — Sock Cast On

Posted by mtmom on August 11, 2009

A stretchy Estonian cast-on for top-down socks, demonstrated by Nancy Bush for Knitting Daily TV. (Scroll down the target page a bit.  It’s a nice read about Sock Summit.)

Or, just watch the YouTube video here: 

Posted in Knitting, Socks, Uncategorized, Videos -- made by me | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Comparing old and new Kilt Hose

Posted by mtmom on July 22, 2009

This past week, I got to compare Robert Watt‘s well-loved and well-worn kilt hose to the new pair I was in the process of making for him.  Lots of measurements were taken.
Robert's old sock 1 each Rbt socks w cat

The different stretchiness of the new ribs (purl vs seed) and the new yarn can be seen in the different widths of the 2 socks.

. . . Chloe has been finding the old socks *very* interesting, btw. . . .

Still, the piping went on. (Hooray!)  So while I had both these pairs in my possession, Robert had to play in his “back-up” hose. Robert on small pipes in white hose

There have been a few times in this process that I’ve had to do this:

sock + raveled yarn looped raveled yarn and then this:

reconditioning yarn . . .

and then hold the mini-skein loops over a steaming kettle to de-kink them (amazing to watch!),

let cool, and knit on.

The Satakieli yarn held up quite well, even to this treatment.

His old pair were made with a worsted-weight yarn, and he wants his next pair also to be heavier than the first.  I’m considering several possibilities:  Satakieli held double, Louet Gems sportweight, Louet Gems worsted weight, and Guernsey sportweight wool.  All are worsted-spun 100% wool and tightly-plied, for smoothness and durability.  These qualities also make for excellent stitch-definition, should I decide to go into fancier textures.  Waiting to hear from him on color-preference, and then . . . we shop!

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Wool Festival

Posted by mtmom on June 7, 2009

Here are two videos of Churro sheep-shearing at our annual Wool Festival. The first shows Navajos (or could be Hopi, I failed to ask) using non-electric shears; the second shows Brian Owens of Showlow shearing with electric clippers.  Both are over 9 minutes — sit back and enjoy.
Link 1:

Link 2:

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It’s Here!

Posted by mtmom on May 22, 2009

mk2 box

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Level 2: Resubmit #6

Posted by mtmom on May 9, 2009

Jumping ahead to Swatch #18 – Buttonholes in Double Rib Band.

Swatch #18 - original

Swatch #18 - original

Evaluator’s notes: “The K2P2 ribbing should be maintained consistently along the length of the entire swatch. Revise the description to match the resubmitted swatch. Abbreviations should be explained.”

Firstly, let me say (in defense of this admittedly odd-looking swatch) that I had researched buttonhole placement, reading about it in all my knitting reference books:  Montse Stanley, Katharina Buss, Vogue Knitting, and Nancie Wiseman in particular.  Ms. Buss expressed definite opinions as to where to place buttonholes in various ribbings, including 2×2:  horizontal should be centered over 2 knits, whereas vertical and round should be centered between 2 purls.  No one single ribbing rhythm would suit for all 3 types of buttonhole.  I was perplexed.  I asked in the TKGA online forum about whether I should have one ribbing and some off-center holes (some over knits and some over purls, not in center of the 10 stitches), or have multiple ribbings and holes all centered ideally (what I ended up doing), or have them all over only knits or purls but not “ideally” centered as per K. Buss.  I struggled to word my dilemma.   I thought I understood the answer to be that each section of the swatch would be considered independently from the others, meaning that I could center each hole within its own 2″ section.  That’s what I did.  Apparently I was mistaken and the judges want that third alternative.  I wrote to my evaluator and asked, including copies of the online messages, and she confirmed that I needed to decide on only *one* ribbing rhythm, and center the holes within it.  OK, I can deal with this.  After the cooling off period of waiting to get my box back, it started to seem a bit silly for me to have worried/be worrying so much about putting my horizontal buttonhole over purls instead of over knits, so I decided just to move it.

Swatch #18, first re-do

Swatch #18, first (partial) re-do

At first, I wanted to redo as little as possible, not eager to wrestle with ribbing edge-stitches more than necessary.  😉

So, I cut the swatch just at the stitch-change and sewed an outline-stitch bind-off to replace the cast on edge, unpicked the old bind off, joined in my new yarn (I’d run out of white), and knit a purl-centered horizontal buttonhole.

Not too bad, but I didn’t think the faux cast on was good enough, and I forgot to work my first row in new color as all knits.  I didn’t have the heart to re-redo this (I had felt so clever!), so I set this one aside to save and cast on for a completely new swatch.

And here she is, pinned out on blocking board.  A few extra rows in between holes, to make extra sure it measures correctly even after the long-term shrinkage I seem to be getting.

Swatch #18, complete re-do

Swatch #18, complete re-do

Meanwhile, spring springs on!

at churchapple blossoms

and outside my bedroom window

Aspen buds

Aspen buds

As Kristin Nicholas, author of Kristin Knits, wrote recently on her blog“The older I get, the more I realize that a person only has so many springtimes in their lives — I want to enjoy each one as much as I can.”

So, go out (if you’re in the northern hemishpere) and get you some spring!  (Southern “mates” can catch some autumn instead!)

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Level 2: Lace Rewrites

Posted by mtmom on May 7, 2009

All my lace swatches (#11 – 13) were accepted (hurray!!!), but I must resubmit the patterns.  My evaluator had these things to say:

11 – “This is a nicely done lace swatch.  It is blocked well.  The pattern is difficult to follow and needs to be simplified. … Refer to Arenda Holladay’s articles for more guidance on pattern format.”

Swatch 12

Swatch #12

12 – “The swatch is nicely knit and blocking is done well.  The seed stitch border has some loose stitches and needs a more firm tension.  The top border is short of 1″.  The pattern has the same issues as noted above.  . . .”

Swatch #13

Swatch #13

13 – “This swatch is nicely worked with good tension and is nicely blocked.  The bind off edge has a large loop at the end.  Top and bottom borders are less than 1″.  Same pattern issues as noted previously. …”

I was pretty sure I had read the Holladay Cast On articles, but I must have been thinking, “yeah, yeah, uhuh, got it,” and then gone on to write in my own style, just making sure “it’s all in there.”  When I went to rewrite this week, having her specs right next to the document on my Desktop and referring back and forth, the process was SO easy.  I do think the rewrites are clearer and more concise.  I tend to hold my reader’s hand and lead them through a process, rather than put down bare bones, but this latter is apparently more what’s sought in this case.  It’s a good thing if I can switch effectively between styles, according to audience.

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