Beautiful Knitting

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

Posts Tagged ‘swatch’

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 »

Getting Near to Done with 2 pair Kilt Hose

Posted by mtmom on August 22, 2010

2nd pair for Robert

I’ve done all the (planned) increases on Robert’s forest green heather kilt hose.  The end is in sight!

The light bit of yarn at the top of the righthand sock shows where I worked one more pair of increases on sock #1.  Eventhough my ruler says 78 stitches is wide enough, and a slightly narrower 3-stitch knit-rib at center-back looks fine, I decided to try 80 stitches because it better fills out my ribbing pattern of (k5, seed3) around.  After another inch or so, I’ll be able to get better measurements of the girth.  I don’t have his legs available to try these on (he’s been to at least 2 countries since I saw him last), so I don’t know for sure how stretched — or not — these calves will be on him.  I’m really looking forward to finishing these and posting them off to him in County Derry.

And I still haven’t finished a whole ball of Wool-Ease in either sock!  Back when I was only able to purchase 4 balls of a single dye lot, I was concerned I wouldn’t have enough, but it looks now like 4 balls will be plenty — hurray!

DK hose for me

The second pair of hose that’s oh-so-near to being done is the pair for myself that I’ve been working on for just over 2 years.  I’m using Knit Picks “Bare” 100% undyed wool in DK weight, and had been knitting these 2-at-a-time on one very long circular until I got to the actual cuffs.  Now I can say I’ve done that (the 2-socks-on-one-needle thing), but I found it cumbersome and don’t plan to do it again any time soon.

I hope to have these complete before August 31st, the day to take County Fair exhibits over to the Fairgrounds for judging and display.

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Other projects in the meantime:

Red Cap in TLC "Amore" yarn

Red Seed-Stitch Scrap Scarf -- worked lengthwise

Swatching several "brioche" stitches

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

Kilt Hose Fever Approaches Again

Posted by mtmom on July 4, 2010

I totally missed blogging last week! — Sorry ’bout that.  Onward!

The instructors for our bagpipe version of Music Camp arrive this coming Thursday, and I want to be ready!  I’ve been adding to my extended swatch of possible yarn choices for Robert to look at, and working on finishing the kilt hose for myself which I began about this time 2 years ago.

Swatch rolled up

top end. . .. . . middle (sportweight to left, worsted to right). . .

. . . bottom end (worsted to left, doubled fingering to right).

And, yes, I have written down *all* of the yarn names and colors.

Nearly done with the knee-high stockings.  I plan to make the cuffs separately, with extended ribbing (in smaller yarn) to be tucked in at the tops of the socks and then folded down.

Posted in Celtic, Design, Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Catching Up . . . with Twists, Colors, and Caps

Posted by mtmom on May 23, 2010

Little baby aspen leaves mean spring is spring-ing here on the mountain!

I’ve mostly been working on the swatch for my Cast On pattern submission, but a few other recent completions somehow missed being documented here, so I think it’s time for some catch-up!

First, here’s the current state of the “real” swatch (vs my multi-colored swatch for trying out motifs and yarns):

3 wide and 3 narrow motifs to choose among

Due in Ohio by June 1, so I’ve got to finish it and pack it off very soon.

I have 2 ideas yet to try, one involves the lean of the twisted stitches, the other. . . is secret for now!  😉

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Latest progress on Fair Isle sampler scarf, motifs from Philosopher’s Wool.

And here are some recent give-away projects:

"3-Color Spiral Cap"

"3-Color Spiral Cap", top view

trying out Red Heart "Soft" yarn, colorway "Embers"

trying out Noro "Silver Thaw"; hat and short scarf with buttons

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Finally, some yarn “progressions” — groups of similar hue and saturation/purity, but a range of light/dark value:

Shetland blues, by value

Knit Picks greens, by value

Shetland oranges, by value

Shetland purples, by value

Posted in Cap/Hat, Color-work, Design, Knitting, scarf | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Lotsa Twisted Stitches

Posted by mtmom on May 16, 2010

This past week has been pretty much totally given over to Bavarian (or Austrian) Twisted Stitch knitting — and a head cold.

First, let me tell you that I finished (again) the orange Bayerische cap.


I learned a lot from using and adapting DuckyShepherd’s in-pattern decrease-chart, but I prefer how the top shaping turned out this second time.

At the same time, I’ve been working on an article on twisted stitch technique — ‘cus there’s lots of ways to do them — with also hopes of publishing an original hat pattern using traditional motifs.  (Proposals due in 2 weeks.)

For the hat, I started with swatching, and the ideas began to work themselves out in the knitting.  Where I began is not where I’m at now.  Instead of collecting motifs with a certain theme (tree, path, mountain…), I’m now selecting them by width (number of stitches in the motif) and “simplicity”.  I have found, only by actually knitting them, that some designs are easier to work than others — not in the sense or more or fewer twists, but in the sense of being able to see where you’re at within the design and where the next set of twists need to go.  You could say, some are easier to “read” as-you-go than others.  I’m considering this hat a bit of a sampler, introducing the intermediate but slightly adventurous knitter to the genre.

Here is my hat swatch.

At the bottom, you see just a bit of my theme-based beginnings, done in “persimmon” leftovers from the Smocked Band Hat in the current issue of Cast On (yippee!).  I decided that this yarn, “1/2 N 1/2”  wool-milk blend sport/fingering-weight, flattens too much (drape versus spring) to make the twisted stitches stand out, so I went back to Louet GEMS sport in color “linen grey”.  This yarn is  pretty much perfect for the task, because it is smoothly spun (worsted vs woolen) and tightly plied.  But, since this is a test swatch after all, I went on to try a third yarn and may yet add a fourth.  The peach yarn is Dale of Norway’s “Falk” sport superwash, leftover from my Level II vest.  The results look good, but this yarn is more frustrating  during out-of-order stitch manipulation, because it’s more splitty than the GEMS.  Designers need to give the magazine project-selection committee several yarn alternatives, so exploration is definitely a good thing!  I may yet try some of the Rowan “Whiskey” I bought recently.  Anyone here have experience with that yarn?  I especially wish I knew how it held up to wear, because I bought it with an eye toward sportweight socks/kilt hose.

You can also see where I changed course on motifs, adding some, eliminating others.  I think I’ll be going with the Hauser (top left), Striped Squares (topmost right), and Burning Love (I kid you not on that name!) lattice (bottom left) for 3 wide patterns, and 3 narrow ones will be Little Chain (far right), Braid #1 (bottom left-center), and Small Overlay (top left-center).  I think that will get me a good total width.  Although I do like the bumpy Wheat Ear divider (very center), and using dividers at all is definitely optional, I will probably stick with the plain k2tbl columns between all motifs.

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

Samplers for Fun

Posted by mtmom on August 9, 2009

I haven’t been slacking off, while I wait for the go-ahead on the next pair of kilt hose (Robert has been in France at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient).  In the meantime, I’ve swatched some interesting fabrics from Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders, edited by Judith Durant.  Luxury swatch

2 different yarns (one a simple gray wool, one a variegated mohair-blend).

3 different stitch patterns.

From bottom to top:

(1) a reversible cable, from a scarf design by Jeni Chase (p. 159);

(2) an open slipped-stitch pattern, in gray and continuing in multi, from a neck warmer design by Sarah Keller (p. 203);

(3) an interlace multi-yo stitch, from the band of a hat pattern by (again) Jeni Chase (p. 207).

Slip-stitch patterns and variegated yarns are just made for each other, don’t you think?  Each plays up the strengths of the other.

I’ve also gotten about 1/3 through the Sampler sweater from Beth Brown-Reinsel’s book Knitting Ganseys, designed to lead the knitter through the constituent parts of a traditional gansey’s construction, but on a small scale (doll-sized) and in big yarn (5 sts per inch) for quick results.  I chose a yarn I’d been wanting to experiment:  Cascade Venezia Worsted (70% merino wool/ 30% silk).  pink ganseyIt starts with the Channel Island cast-on, then a 2-piece overlapping garter-stitch welt, 2-stitch purl “seam”, initial in the plain area, and definition ridge of garter stitch.  Next will be vertical panels of diamonds, cables, and background stitches, along with gussets growing out of the side seams.  Last will be sleeves, shoulders, and neck.  I’m thinking of designing a full-size sweater in this style for Level 3 of my Master Knitter work, so this sampler is great for getting my feet wet and seeing if this is indeed the way I want to go, instead of Aran style.

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

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?

Posted in Master Knitter | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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 »