Beautiful Knitting

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

Posts Tagged ‘Cast On magazine’

Tweedy Knitting and Glove Repair

Posted by mtmom on March 20, 2011

I’ve had the treat of marathon knitting and designing this past Friday and Saturday, as DH and DDs went on a Spring Break camping excursion to someplace warm and remote.  Turning this . . .

Rowan Felted Tweed yarn, 10 balls

into this (etc.).

Swatch for decreasing in pattern

It kept me VERY busy!

And will continue to, until I get through that whole bag of yarn!

(another design project for Cast On magazine)

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In the meantime, I thought I’d tell y’all about some mending I did recently.

First request was for the thumb of a pair of Latvian mittens, bought for me by a dear friend on her trip around the Baltic, and then gifted by me to DS.

Glove, holding "hoot!", both to be mailed to DS at college.

hole in end of thumb, loose stitches stabilized by safety pin

repair made with darker brown yarn

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Second request was for several tears in a pair of Norwegian gloves well-loved by our church organist.

Charly's Norwegian gloves

Observe: Norwegian's do NOT tuck in ends -- they knot and leave them!

And unused colors are twisted and carried up at end-of-rds. Also see hole in finger end.

I do not have “after” photos, because a super-cold day came and I really RUSHED to finish these and get them back to their owner!

At least you can know that your “loss” was definitely his “gain”.

 

Posted in Design, Knitting, Mending | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Galaxy Tams — Design Process, Part 2

Posted by mtmom on February 3, 2011

Continued from previous post.

I hope you all find this interesting — I didn’t know about much of this before I actually started publishing patterns with a magazine, so I figure it will be new to most of you.

The Yarn.

After the senior editor of Cast On magazine let me know they wanted me to make TWO hats, one in EACH of the 2 yarns I’d suggested as possibilities, and once I had agreed to the proposed fee, she then asked about an alternate choice for the mohair-blend yarn, “Yarn A”.  Another project in the issue would be using the yarn I’d used in my swatch and proposal, and they want to include a broader range.  I went online to yarndex and started hunting for other yarns of similar composition (70% mohair, 30% silk) and gauge (laceweight, but usually knit at DK gauge because of fluffiness).  I chose several yarns that I thought would work, eventhough I hadn’t actually used any of the new options.  The editor contacted the yarn companies, to see who would be interested in supplying yarn to a designer for their upcoming issue.  Berroco agreed for 2 skeins of Ultra Alpaca, and Knit One Crochet Too said they had 2 balls left from open bags, but they were from different dye lots.  We agreed that this would be OK, since I would be double-stranding the yarns and that would blend them (vs get stripes where I changed balls).  Each yarn company mailed their yarns directly to me.  When they arrived, my knitting would begin!

The Pattern-Writing.

While waiting for the yarns to arrive, I started in on the writing.  The general outline of any pattern begins the same:  skill level, title, materials, gauge, special techniques, abbreviations; all these come before the actual instructions and I could get these (all but final gauge numbers) done before even beginning the knitting.  I looked up the Craft Yarn Council’s standards for skill level:  because the hat would use double-pointed and circular needles, and contain 2 simple eyelet patterns, it fell into the “Intermediate” category.  The title came pretty quickly in the process, especially because my DS had spent last summer working at our local observatory:  “Spiral-Armed Galaxy Tam”, or “Galaxy Tam” for short.  The yardage of each brand of yarn I could have found online, but instead I waited to copy this info from the ball bands.

What took longer was writing out directions for the circular cast-on and tubular bind-off.  The magazine always includes a glossary of basic techniques at the back, so I checked a past issue to see if these were already covered.  Kitchener stitch, the final step in the BO was in there, but the directions were for a flat piece.  I had to add extra details into my pattern about beginning and ending the grafting in a round project.  I wrote up a paragraph for the CO and for the BO, and repeatedly read and checked them for accuracy and clarity.

I even began writing up the instructions, because I already knew the basics of what I planned to do.  I went back and forth about including markers, and ended up including them because it shortened the amount of detail I needed to include before I could say, simply, “rep from *” and “continue”.  I think writing the Technique Tips and Designer Notes may be my favorite part.  I can explain and suggest and instruct, beyond just enabling a knitter to reproduce a hat to match the model.

Much of this was edited later, as I went through the knitting and discovered how things actually measured on the needles and then when I came up with a modification to the ribbing that very much pleased me but took some explaining.  I ended up having to use * and ** and even *** for those instructions!

Knitting the Prototypes.

2 tam tops

I began with Yarn B, the alpaca, because I had it in hand first.  I finished the top and then paused to catch up with Yarn A, the mohair-silk, to make very sure that they turned out THE SAME size.  I would have to include different numbers for the 2 yarns in several places in the pattern.  Lots of arithmetic:  2 yarns, in 2 gauges, in 4 sizes each.  I was glad I would have several weeks to do this (about 4 – 5), so I wouldn’t need to rush beyond my ability to keep my wits (and my notes) about me.  As I came to each new section of a hat — switching from increasing to even and then to decreasing, or beginning the ribbing — I would take care to write down or add to my draft EXACTLY what stitches I needed to make:  Should they (p1, k1) or  (k1, p1) at this point?  How did the YO fit into the ribbing rhythm?  How did the even vs odd numbers in the panels of the different hat-sizes affect this?  I have learned that I mustn’t presume I’ll remember later!

I liked knitting both, but think I enjoyed the mohair-silk more.

about halfway done with the pink

When each tam was complete, including tucking in ends, I blocked it over a pair of dinner plates, separated with several washcloths to add depth.

white tam blocking, top view

pink tam blocking, side view

I did lots of measuring, both during the knitting and after blocking, because these numbers were ESSENTIAL to the arithmetical magic that is Pattern Grading, i.e., the figuring of stitch and row counts for the sizes I didn’t actually knit, but that others might want to make.  Oh, the agony over the calculator!  (and I have a math degree)  Predicting other knitters’ results. . . !  What can I tell them that will help them succeed?!

The Parting.

When all the knitting and all the writing (and re-writing, and re-re-writing, etc.) was done, it was time to pack up my “babies” and send them out into the world.  I used lots of tissue paper and a sturdy box, rechecked EVERYTHING, and took several deep breaths.  It was DONE!

I hope you’ve enjoyed journeying along with me!

Posted in Cap/Hat, Design, Knitting | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Tam Proposal in the Pipeline

Posted by mtmom on November 30, 2010

I don’t know whether the editorial committee will choose to include my pattern, but I’ve sent 2 swatches to Cast On magazine for possible inclusion in their summer 2011 issue.

in Ultra Alpaca

in Kidsilk Haze

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Same design in each, but different textures due to different yarn choices.

I would make a tam similar to this one, below, made by me for DD several years ago.  But the straight portion would be longer, instead of the short section of purl rounds in the middle of the pink version.

Pink Swirl Cap -- top view

Pink Swirl Cap -- side view

I won’t know until the 2nd week of December, at the earliest.

Then, if accepted, the committee would send me the yarn they select for the project and tell me my deadline — probably around the end of January or beginning of February.

The work and pattern writing can get pretty intense, but I’ll be sure to let y’all know what’s up!

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

WIP Doldrums

Posted by mtmom on May 30, 2010

I’m finding it hard to get excited about finishing up some of my projects.

I lost affection for my Sideways Socks when so many Sock Madness knitters had trouble with the fit, but feel I *ought* to work out the tweaks and sizes, for the sake of those non-competition knitters who’ve requested copies of the pattern.

I have made progress since this photo, but my heart just hasn’t been in it.

A bit better with the kilt hose.

I’ve added about an inch since this image, and have about 3.5″ left to the top, with the last 2 to 3 inches being plain-ish ribbing for a “garter”.  As I think about turn-down cuffs, and how to work the topmost bits of these stockings, I may decide to go with a multiple-cuffs option:  i.e., finish off the top as for a knee sock, then knit a cuff(s) separately with a long bit of ribbing to tuck in under the sock-top.  The plain ribbing doesn’t show, because the cuff is longer and folds over it.  The advantage to having multiple cuffs, is that each can have a different pattern, even in the same yarn.  I would have 3 layers of fabric just below the knee.  Wonder how that will affect the socks’ staying-up power?

Charity-wise, I have a yarn-scraps seed-stitch long-ways scarf (reds) and a baby hat (white with variegated pastels) on the needles as well. . . .  (No photos yet, and no light until tomorrow.)

I sent in two Bavarian Twisted-Stitch proposals to Cast On this past week — one for an article on technique (Arenda H. has encouraged me on this one), and one for a cap/cowl.  I don’t expect to hear back from the selection committee before the 10th of June or so, but I have been concentrating so much on these that my knitting “mojo” seems to be flagging now that they’re sent off!  I itch to ball up some yarn and start something new!  Something with silk or rayon. . . .   But don’t want even *more* WIP’s, if I get bogged down, or if the proposals come through, before I finish something.

Wonder if some of the doldrums have to do with all this Product-knitting, versus Process-knitting; with finishing up an object versus enjoying the stitching.  I appreciate both, but the former I perhaps associate with pressure, the latter with pleasure? . . .  Maybe I should pick up my Level III swatching again — always a satisfying challenge!

Could also have to do with being so emotionally drained from watching the Mel Gibson movie Braveheart for the first time this weekend — heart-wrenching stuff!  I realize that there is some historical fudging going on, but Wallace’s defeat as depicted in the film is just so heart-breaking to watch!  Betrayal — Such passion and pathos!  Did you know:  Scotland doesn’t currently have an official national anthem, but one of the most popular current contenders (“Flower of Scotland”, composed 1968) refers to these same struggles between Wallace and Bruce and Edward, which eventually led to Scottish independence from England in the Middle Ages.

Posted in Cap/Hat, Celtic, Design, Knitting, Sock Madness, Socks | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Milk Cap is in the Mail — Hurray!

Posted by mtmom on January 15, 2010

I am so glad to be done with this — not that the knitting or writing was arduous, but the Monday deadline was really wearing on me.  I actually *like* the cap.

(Um, yes, that's me.)

And it’s a pretty good match to one of my favorite jackets.

But I don’t know if they’ll let me have it back. . . .

I plan to ask!  🙂

Top view, blocking on dinner plate.

Side view of blocking arrangement, moved from bathroom into sunlight for photo.

Yarn is “1/2 N 1/2”

by Kollage Yarns.

50% milk (!)

50% wool

l would categorize it as sportweight.

Needles US 6 (4 mm)

168 sts

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