Beautiful Knitting

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

Posts Tagged ‘level 2’

Argyle Done!!! and hat pattern posted

Posted by mtmom on February 15, 2009

The knitting and embroidery are done; the sock is blocked; only writing/editing remains for Level 2! 

And here’s what the unseamed back side looks like, just held together by pins for purposes of smoothing. 

I learned another important thing, while making this sock.  Dale of Norway’s Neon colors bleed (at least, the yellow does)!  Eek!  But the socks look OK.

I love how the underside of the heel looks, done EZ-style with garter stitch edges on flap; also slipped selvedges and different slants to the decreases. 

Now, all that remains for me to be done with my first pass at Level 2 of the Master Knitter program (I will probably have some items to re-submit after the judging), are the chart for the sock pattern and one more book review, then re-reading and editing my reports and printing out labels for the notebook divider tabs.  The swatches and their tags and paperwork are all done (I think that part was my favorite); the questions are all answered; the projects are tagged and bagged.  Thrilling!  Gotta finish this up soon, so my body can start recovering from all the typing.  (Chiropractor’s orders!)

Another accomplishment from this past week:  I wrote up a pattern for my Square-Top Child’s Knit Cap and posted it for sale on Ravelry.  Readers of this blog have seen several incarnations of this easy-to-start top-down design.  First, the green. . .

… then the Mexicana/Spectrum. . . 

… and, most recently, the Crayon. 

(Notice a running theme in colorways?)

And I’ve started another, to demonstrate to my church group. 

Much more mellow, eh?

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

Argyle Update and Cap Done

Posted by mtmom on February 1, 2009

Q:  Anybody know?:  Why is the Scottish region called “Argyll”, but the color-pattern is spelled “Argyle”?

Well, I’ve finished the intarsia section. . .

. . . and joined the back flaps onto one needle. . . .

. . . worked an EZ-style heel flap. . .

. . . turned the heel, picked up stitches, and have begun the gusset.

See how the sole section is still kept separate from the instep section?  I’ll need to seam that split later — that’s what the seaming swatch is about.  Alternatively, if I weren’t required to work this in “traditional” fashion, I *could* join the sole to the instep one row at a time by picking up an instep edge-stitch at the end of each sole-row and joining it in by means of a decrease.  Once upon a time, I knitted a single sock using this method, but I don’t think the join was neat enough in appearance to do on a Master Knitter submission sock.

Next, I’ll need to continue the gusset until it’s as long as the intarsia section, then go into the round for the rest of the foot.  I can seam before or after knitting the in-the-round section.  Then, foot to the toe, decrease the toe, graft, tuck ends.  I’ll not be seaming up the back of the leg, making examination by the judges easier.

Meantime, I’ve finished the square-top hat — an original pattern of mine that I’m in the process of writing up, at least in the one (grade school) size that I’ve made twice so far, once with a rolled brim, once with ribbing. 

DD really likes this one.

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

I was nearing the toe, when. . . .

Posted by mtmom on January 25, 2009

. . . I spotted a real problem with my LAST project for Level 2 of Master Knitter, the Argyle sock.  I realized that both of the published patterns I was using as guides had the same omission:  no stitches added for seaming.

I had finishED the intarsia section, joinED the back for the heel, completED the heel, workED the sole, seamED the instep to the sole, began working in the round, and was beginning to have visions of Kitchener sugarplums.  I looked at my foot-tube and saw. . . NO CORNERS ON MY INSTEP DIAMOND.  (I *should* have taken a photo — Bad Blogger!)

I had realized the cuffs had this problem, because 1 of the 2 patterns *did* include an extra stitch on one side in the cuff section, whereas the other pattern did not.  But neither one of them had extra stitches in the instep portion, and I missed it.  Didn’t snap.  So, when I seamed the top the bottom of the foot, the edge stiches of each got eaten up in the seam.  Since the diamond came to the edge, it lost it’s corners!

I ripped back fully one-third of my work.  Sigh!

I know I need to add seaming-selvedge(s), but what’s the *best* way to achieve this?  And what about the glitch in the fabric where the instep seam starts?  Now, I’m going to swatch to figure out these related questions , so that the beginning of the sewing-up is smoothest in appearance, and the diamond has points left after the seam is sewn.  Here is the swatch I’ve concocted:

You see, I’ve gotten pretty good at seaming parts that are separate — a major theme in Level 2.  It’s the spot where the fabric goes from being together to being separate to being together again that I didn’t like my results.  Hence the “buttonholes” — hope my idea bears fruit.  First hole has no extra stitches, 2nd has one extra on left side, 3rd has 2 extra, one on each side.  I plan to seam up each hole.  We shall see, eh?

Another knitting frustration:

I finished the Maltese Fisherman’s hat.

A nice pattern from Schoolhouse Press.  But even with my hair at its absolute fluffiest (just after shampooing), the hat is too big.Not sure at this point whether to try semi-felting it, to make it smaller, or frogging it and recondidioning and reusing the yarn to make a different hat.

Meanwhile, this past Tuesday I began planning in earnest for a Fair Isle sweater!  Definitely a LONG-term project!

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

Let’s Catch Up — A Retrospective and Status Report

Posted by mtmom on January 18, 2009

I haven’t posted alot about my knitting lately, so I thought I’d do a bit of catching up and summing up.

Last summer, when the bagpipers were in town and the Highland Games were afoot, I was focused on kilt hose.  I started a pair in DK-weight yarn that later got set aside.  I also began a pair in regular sock-weight yarn for a reenactor-friend, to be followed by a pair for an Irish piper.  I set these all aside when submission time came for patterns for Sock Madness 3.  Now that SM3 is pretty much handled, I hope to re-start on my kilt  hose.  I’ve been working both socks on one l-o-n-g Magic Loop circular needle.  Status as of 8/24/2008: 

I like writing patterns for Sock Madness.  Last year, the competitors wrote such nice things!  I know I could make my pattern-writing more terse, and shorter, and be able to say that all the necessary info is “in there”, but I prefer to include explanations and photos, to make the work more accessible and intuitive to the more-visually-inclined among us.  I suppose I write ’em how I like to read ’em.  No photo-posting, however, until the Cone of Silence is lifted and the contest coordinators release the pattern.

Aside from the socks, my main project-of-focus has been Level 2 of TKGA‘s Master Handknitter program.  I worked through the swatches and their accompanying questions, section by section.  Remember when I was experimenting with buttonholes in 1×1 ribbing?  Boy, I had fun with that one!

And then there were the reports (started, but not done), book reviews (not started, although I have taken some notes), and projects.

Vest 

Mittens

And now, Argyle sock[Yes, they really are THAT BRIGHT.  Dale calls these colors “neon”.]

I have progressed on these to just past the centers of the second rank of diamonds, but I don’t have access to the digital camera just now. . . .

I hope to submit my Level 2 work soon.  Perhaps by the end of the month?  No reason to hurry, except to be Done.

Along the way, I’ve worked on some hats — always hats!

Currently, I’m developing the pattern for my Square-Topped hat

and knitting my second Maltese Fisherman’s Hat, by Elizabeth Zimmermann.  [This one’s for ME!]

That pattern is available in a SpunOut one-sheet (#9) called “A Horde of Hats”, along with 4 or 5 other cap patterns, for $1 (plus postage) from Schoolhouse Press.  [NAYY, but I love to do business with them.]  Dig the garter stitch short rows.

Other projects still live, but are receiving less of my attention:  Fair Isle sampler scarf, Reversible 2-color pattern sampler, Twisted bias scarf, Noro entrelac shawl.

I think that brings us pretty much up to date!

Don’t forget to enter my 2nd Blogiversary Book Giveaway — scroll down a few posts and leave a comment THERE (so I’ll know it’s an entry) with a kid-safe joke/riddle or other nice comment about Aran/Guernsey/dbliss/kid-knitting.  Deadline is Jan 28, 2009, so there’s still time to join in.  I love to “meet” my readers!

Posted in Cap/Hat, Design, Knitting, Master Knitter, Socks | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Ribbing Troubles

Posted by mtmom on January 1, 2009

I’m having a crisis of knitting-confidence . . . about my ribbing.  The harder I try to correct this (relatively new) slanting problem, the worse it seems to get! 

This is for my level 2 Master Knitter work — the widely-dreaded Argyle sock.

Is blocking going to help this?  I’ve tried fiddling with a needle tip to straighten these guys, but they don’t stay fixed.

I’m considering whether I might rip this part out later,  and either (1) work a second band bottom-up from the freed stockinette stitches — but then I’d be 1/2 stitch off at each end for later seaming — or (2) work a second band from top-down and graft the 2 pieces together with a row of MC stockinette before the intarsia begins — challenging.  Either way, I’ll have to be making nicer ribs before I replace these.  Meanwhile, I’m pressing ahead with the intarsia, waiting for inspiration.

Ufff.  I’d like a knitting “fairy” to drop in, sit by me, and patiently guide me through this!

Insights, encouragement, and/or constructive suggestions welcome.

Posted in Color-work, Knitting, Master Knitter | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Christmas Knitting and Cetera

Posted by mtmom on December 14, 2008

What is your “Christmas knitting”?

For me, it’s this cap for my niece in San Antonio: 

I keep hoping I’ve made it to the start of decreases, but that point still eludes me.   The decision about how deep to make a cap always fills me with uncertainty, eventhough I make more caps than anything else!

The situation:  I want her to turn up the brim now, and then turn it down when she’s bigger; the ribs are stretchy enough to fit a broad range of sizes.  The one I made for DD is 4 3/4″ from cast-on to first-decrease, but she (1 year older than niece) doesn’t turn up the brim, so my current figuring is to make it about 4 1/2″ from where the ribbing changes.

What do you think?

Master Knitter has been my highest non-gift priority, and here’s the current state of the mittens (with kitty for scale)  ;-]  Thumbless and unblocked, but looking pretty good.

Several inches of snow blanket our ground this evening.  The juncos always come out in force when a storm is brewing, and you can see their tracks in this photo of my most recent charity-cap.  The yarn is Paton’s “Pooch”, a bulky wool-blend boucle.  Nice results, but a bit hard to work with, especially if you need to see the individual stitches.  This will be the to-be-turned-up brim.  I plan the rest of the cap to be plain Aran-acrylic stockinette, so I increased 50% in the first round, from 48 to 72 stitches.  Good deal — I’ve learned about a new-to-me yarn, and a local school-child will have a warmer winter!

Posted in Cap/Hat, Color-work, Knitting, Master Knitter, Yard/Garden | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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 »

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 »

Master Knitter Vest

Posted by mtmom on October 24, 2008

Peach Vest, for Level 2.

This project has held most of my concentration lately, and I’ve made some progress, some discoveries, and some design decisions. 

You can see the progress.  “What discoveries?”, you may ask. 

Well, I found that, although I had centered the lace panel in the fabric (31 sts, 16 st panel, 31 sts), when I divided the motif into its left-travelling and right-travelling “halves”, I discovered that the center stitch of the motif is nearer the right edge.  (With an even number of stitches in the panel, it would have to be uncentered, right?  sigh.)  The side points both reach the edges of the panel, but on different rows.  So, when I split it, I had more leftover stitches off the left side.  Since some of this designing is seat-of-my-pants style, I expect to run across things to have to decide about.  For this one I considered a few alternatives:  (1) go on as is and write the pattern as worked, but note for the evaluators what I found and what I decided and why, or (2) go back to the armhole shaping and bind off 1 additional stitch on the left (wearer’s right) side and mention it (or not) in the write-up, or (3) write the pattern with one fewer stitch on in the original cast-on and hope the discrepancy goes unnoticed (honestly, I didn’t consider this one for too long, but it *did* occur to me).  I decided to go on as is and wait to the end to see if a change still needs to be made and make it some place unobtrusive.  The places the centering will *show* are at the neck-division and at the shoulder-join.  If things are OK at the shoulder, I’ll just finish it off; if not, I can still rip back to the underarm.

(I’m taking careful notes!)

As I got closer to the shoulder, working both sides of the neck at one time, I realized that the stair-step bind-offs would be on different rows for the 2 sides of the neck and this might be used to my advantage in the mismatched-stitch-count dilemma.  I bound off the wearer’s-left half on a RS row, but worked the stitches on the wearer’s-right half for that one more pattern rep, so the final decrease ended up in the same (mirrored) L-R position as that on the other half — hey!  (I also inconspicuously decreased one stitch at the neck edge in this final row.)  They now look the same!!  Both have 14 sts, with the decrease-line 1 st in from the outer edge.

So now I’ve gone back to the back piece, to make it match the front.  I’ll need to bind off those shoulders in the same rhythm, too. 

(More of those extra-careful notes!)

And, since the pattern’s movement determines the depth I can make the neck-opening (it moves outward 1 stitch on each RS row and eventually runs up against the edge), the front’s opening is about 1/2″ shorter than I want, so I’ll need to add a 1/2″ dip in the center of the back piece — being VERY careful about how I center it, yes?!!

The real test will be in the sewing-up.

Leaf Fall.

We had a deep-cold snap about 2 weeks ago, and the leaves turned brown and gray (instead of gold) and are now falling. 

See that deep blue?  That’s really how it looks on a clear day here at 7000 feet+ elevation.  Just not that much air between us and outer space!

Days are currently in the 60’s; nights in the teens or 20’s.

Saw the doves again the other day. 

And the Dark-eyed Juncos have appeared at the millet feeder, too  (no photo yet, sorry) — a sure sign of approaching *winter*.  And I’m trying to keep the thermostat down . . . brrrr.  I need a new knit shawl!

Posted in Design, Knitting, Master Knitter, Yard/Garden | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »