Beautiful Knitting

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

Posts Tagged ‘Master Knitter’

Twisted Stitches, Ganseys, Fair Isle, and Kilt Hose

Posted by mtmom on May 2, 2010

I have long loved color-work, but lately, especially due to my involvement in Level III of TKGA’s Master Hand Knitter program, I’ve been exploring other “ethnic” knitting genres.  Level III requires projects, swatches and research into various knitting traditions, including techniques particular to Fair Isle, the Isle of Aran, and Bavaria/Austria.  As part of my research and design planning (and for other projects I have in mind), I’ve got several samplers going.

Yarns for next band in Fair Isle sampler (begun June 2007)

Yarns and motifs for Kilt Hose (begun March 2010)

Gansey Stitch Sampler (begun around 4/20/2010)

Beginnings of Sampler of Bavarian/Austrian Twisted Stitches

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In the cream sampler, you see Channel Island cast on, holes to indicate needle size (in this case, US 4 and then 3), “steps” or “ladders” on the right, and stockinette, “Mary Anne”, and “Betty Martin” on the left.  This is currently #1 option for Level III sweater project.

I haven’t heard back from my kilt hose client lately, but I’m proceeding with a sampler for him (and other potential commission-ers) to consider, next time he’s in town.  Robert asked for thicker yarn and muted colors, and Dixie wants deep blue, so here you see some worsted-weight possibilities, and the beginnings of sport-weight options (more traditional for kilt hose), plus various ribbing and cable choices.

Lots of Shetland oranges to choose among, eh!  I added in some periwinkle blue-purples and greens, plus some pinker reds/corals, depending on what seems called for as swatching progresses.

I have enjoyed working on my Bayerische cap enough that I’m really looking forward to doing more with these sorts of twisted stitch motifs (including a Level III swatch).  Rightmost photo displays my new stitch dictionary and yarn for the purpose.

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“Congratulations! . . . “

Posted by mtmom on May 23, 2009

I passed Level 2!

(Not to leave you in suspense, it’s just that I really didn’t have much computer time yesterday.)

Some comments, excerpted from my completion letter:  “Your resubmitted swatches and written items were all nicely done.  The edges of your swathes were straight and even.  Seams were all neatly joined. …  The [resubmitted] written instructions read clearly and contain all necessary information. …  You made very good use of the Design’er’s Notes on swatch #16 to include special instructions.  The buttonholes are correctly worked.  The tubular edge on swatach #21 is very nicely done.”

I am now “eligible to apply for Level III,” but haven’t saved up enough knitting-dollars yet.  It’s probably just as well, because I’m currently feverishly working toward a knitting deadline:  the pipers come back to town in early July and I want to finish the commissioned kilt hose before they arrive.  Then I’ll also have time to make any alterations before they leave. RWatt sock

This particular pair is for Robert Watt from Northern Ireland.

Some of the other instructors have expressed interest in handknit pairs as well, but I don’t know if I’ll want to do this.  A custom pair can take 90 knitting-hours and that’s alot of “production knitting” time — not usually my favorite.

The yarn is very nice to work with:  Satakieli 100% worsted-spun wool from Finland.Satakieli green

I also finished a knit cap. honey hat on Ch, profile

I enjoyed the knit, once I figured out the placement of the double-decreases and especially after I realized my in-pattern top-decreases were working out.

I may write this one up, but I’d want to check with Arenda first — she used this stitch pattern in some socks in last spring’s Cast On.

honey hat on Ch, top

Posted in Cap/Hat, Celtic, Knitting, Master Knitter, Socks | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

It’s Here!

Posted by mtmom on May 22, 2009

mk2 box

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Level 2: Resubmit #8 (and LAST!)

Posted by mtmom on May 14, 2009

I think I’ve done all the re-writes successfully, and now I’ve finished the last re-knitting (hurray!).

Swatch #21, original

Swatch #21, original

Evaluator’s notes:  “The decrease in the ribbing for fiting the curve is a very creative solution.  However, it interferes with the continuity of the rib pattern.  Adjusting the number of stitches along the curve would give a better result.  The tail weave in the seam [is] very bulky.  Tails need to be clipped.”

What you can’t necessarily see from the front is the fact that the 3 knit stitches in the crook of the curve have no purls between them.  (It’s more obvious from the back, but I don’t have a photo to show you.)  I decreased them at about 1/2 and 3/4 of the way through the ribbing to draw the fabric together.

Swatch #21, re-ribbed

Swatch #21, re-ribbed

This band has 1 stitch fewer, but is ribbed throughout and has a tubular bind-off.

And, don’t worry, I’ll trim off those tails before shipping it!  I don’t want to miss anything in my rush, now that the end is in sight. . . .

Last step:  cover letter.  Maybe tonight?

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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!)

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

Level 2: Resubmits #4 and #5

Posted by mtmom on May 4, 2009

Two swatches grouped together today:  Swatch #8 and Swatch #9, both dealing with twisted decreases and both having similar problems.

Swatch #8

Swatch #8, original condition

Swatch #8, original condition

Evaluator’s comments:  “The decreases are done correctly.  Tails need to be trimmed.  The bind off has a loose stitch at the end.  Blocking is uneven.  The left edge of the swatch is longer than the right edge.”

Swatch #8, bind off corner

Swatch #8, bind off corner

I must agree about the bind off!

The unevenness of the edges is not so apparent in the pre-submission photo above, but was more pronounced when the package came back to me.  How did that happen?!  Anyway. . . .  I’ve reworked the last couple of bind-off stitches, re-wove and trimmed the tail, and am reblocking the swatch, taking GREAT care about squareness.

Corrected Swatch #8

Corrected Swatch #8

———….————–…..————–

Swatch #9

Original condition Swatch 39

Original condition Swatch #9

Evaluator’s notes:  “The decreases are correctly placed.  One decrease is stretched.  Note the thread marker.  Same comments as above regarding bind off and blocking.”

Decreases in Swatch #9

Decreases in Swatch #9

Here are the first 3 decreases along the left edge.  The bottom one was marked as being “stretched”.

I spot-wet the area and twiddled the dec-stitches and their neighbors.  Having reworked the final bind-off stitches and re-tucking the end, I’m now reblocking the swatch with wires and pins, spritzing and being oh-so-careful about even edges.

Reblocking Swatch #9

Reblocking Swatch #9

Do your fresh eyes see anything more I should do on these?  Comments so far have been friendly, constructive, and encouraging; I really appreciate your discussion!

Posted in Master Knitter | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Level 2: Resubmit #3

Posted by mtmom on May 3, 2009

More on my resubmissions for the Master Hand Knitter program Level 2.

The third swatch I’ve been asked to resubmit is Swatch #7, wherein I seamed 2 swatches having stair-step bind-offs, as in a sweater shoulder-top join.

Swatch #7 – Stair-step Seam

Original Swatch #7

Original Swatch #7

Evaluator’s notes:  “The instructions for this swatch are well written.  The problem is at the end of the seam.  The end is stretched so that the seam extends beyond the edge of the swatch.  This could be [caused by] a problem with the bind off or [by] the tail weave.”

Reblocked Swatch #7

Reblocked Swatch #7

At this point, I’ve just spot-wet and reblocked the offending area, smooshing and tucking the end down, vs stretching it out flat as before.  I’ve also sought to unroll the edge stitches, forming a better line for the corner to align with.

The white tails were already woven into white fabric, no tails were woven into the seam, so tail bulk can’t be the problem.  Neither do the final bind-off stiches look overlarge – well, maybe a bit on the left piece, but not so much that I think redoing would improve it significantly.  Perhaps blocking is the main problem and re-blocking a sufficient solution.

What do you think?  Is more radical intervention called for?  Does this blocking job look good enough, or might I do well to tease and cajole it a bit more?

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

Level 2: Resubmit #1

Posted by mtmom on April 27, 2009

First swatch to resubmit:  Swatch #4 — Single Rib

Evaluator’s notes:  selvedges are loose and uneven, seam should be tightened to pull more firmly, tails need to be trimmed, tail weaves are too bulky woven down the seam, cast on and bind off are niely done.

Original Submission

Original Submission

I had done and redone this particular swatch several times, and had another one saved that I think may meet the requirements. . . with a few changes.  The edges looked more even to begin with, and I’ve now tightened the seam considerably and redone the tail-weaving to be less bulky. Reblocking for good measure.

Resubmission Swatch 4

Resubmission Swatch 4

Look better now?  Level 2 standards are very high, but I’ve set myself to achieve this level of mastery of my craft.

Next:  Swatch 5 — Double Rib

Posted in Master Knitter | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Warming Up and Fiddling Around

Posted by mtmom on March 1, 2009

Winter and spring continue to wrestle for dominance (as a devotional I read recently put it). Eventhough we know who wins, it’s entertaining to watch the process. Our weather is warming up this week, and the dormant lawn in starting to show again, from under the snow. 

Knitting-wise, today, I’m fiddling around with some child-sized socks as prototypes for an idea I want to explore. 

It has purl stitches

along the sides,

and I have PLANS

for that panel

when I get to the

ankle! 

When I’m testing a design idea, I often wish knitting went faster, so that I can see the results — good or needing refinement — while it’s still fresh and my mind is still turning.   So, here, I’m using biggish yarn and knitting for a smallish foot.  😀  I don’t want to wear myself out — my neck is acting up something fierce! — but I SOOO want to see if this pans out!

Speaking of sock designs, Sock Madness 3 is taking sign-ups *NOW*, from Sunday 1 March until 6 March, OR until they’re full at about 200.  If you’ve ever thought you might like to get in on the fun crazies that are the Sock Madness speed-sock-knitting contest, send the coordinators an e-mail pronto!

Two hats are progressing.

The US Postal Service tells me that my box of Master Knitter materials arrived in Ohio this past Tuesday — hurray!  So by now it will have been sent on the first reviewer.   I don’t expect to hear until the entire process is complete and several people have evaluated my work.   Then, I’ll get my box back with notes included.  Waiting.

So, what are YOU currently waiting for?  Are you trying out a new idea?

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

It’s in the Mail!

Posted by mtmom on February 22, 2009

Well, I completed my Level 2 work and put the notebook all together.  (Hurray!!)

And made sure all the projects were tagged and bagged.

And boxed it all up, with padding for protection (I hope!).  Here, teen-genius helps the box and me out to the car.

We posted the box to Ohio, and hope to hear soon that the main office has received it and sent it on to its first reviewer.

I felt pretty lost the first few days after the push to finish was done.  But I’ve since gotten back into editing the pattern I submitted to Sock Madness.  Hillary has been test knitting it, and had some extremely helpful suggestions to improve the pattern’s clarity.  The best way I’ve found to check one of my patterns is to see if I can knit *from* it, so I cast on a third sock and have worked almost all the way back through the main parts, leaving out the length of the foot and the heel turn.  (No photos — it’s secret!)

And I’ve also got another incarnation of my new Square-Top Hat pattern going. 

Then, I pulled my hibernating Kilt Hose out and decided I didn’t like how this arrangement of calf-increases looks.  So, I ripped back the last 3 increase-pairs and have devised a new plan.  We shall see.

And maybe a bunny, maybe a skirt, maybe that entrelac shawl,will also be added/restored as Works in Progress.

. . . while I wait to hear about Level 2.

(Hurray again!  Phew, too!)

Posted in Cap/Hat, Design, Knitting, Master Knitter, Sock Madness, Socks | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »