Sunday, February 25, 2007
They gathered together at the crack of dawn (OK, so more like 8:30 AM). A hardened band of knitting fanatics each with their own secret agenda but with one motto tattooed on their souls. "Swatches? We don't need no stinkin' swatches!" They were the Magnificent Five (Hey. That's what would fit in the SUV).
You will have to wait for my second post for a look at my loot!
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Please see above a picture of a very small part of my Tepco collection. I also tried out a little more dyeing with some laceweight yarn that I think may be silk (I lost the tag) I have no idea how much of it I just dyed and it reminds me very much of the 60's and tie dyed things. I was trying to keep the yellow seperated from the rest of the colors this time and was able to managed it. I'm not sure that I'm glad I did however. I'm using the cold-dye method again. I lay plastic wrap on a plastic tablecloth, put down yarn that has already been soaked in water and squeezed out until just damp. I used foam disposable paint brushes that you can buy at the hardware store and diluted a lot of the colors I already made up for the last time I dyed. You paint the areas of the yarn different colors and use vinegar in a spray bottle as a setting agent so the dye will "strike" and hold fast onto the yarn. When I did the yellow section (I did it last rather than the suggestion to do it first) I immediately hit the yellow section with the vinegar spray. I think this helped to get the fibers to soak up the color better. At least I like to think that. I also did not saturate the entire work area with dye this time and so there was less waste and less blotting up to do. Cooked 3 hours in plastic in the old used crockpot and you have what I like to think of as "The Summer Of Love" colorway :-) You can also see my progress on Boundary Waters (Row 84). I have continued to have problems casting on the center for circular shawls. I tried with the Emily Ocker's Cast-On method but crochet hooks and I just do not get along. Instead, I did what I know how to do. I used a tatted cast-on method with picot's for the number of stitches needed. Worked like a charm! I also do something they don't tell you to do. I always do the first few rounds at the center in much smaller diameter glove needles than what is requested in the pattern. Easier to manipulate and once you have a few rows on, you go up gradually in size until you reach your desired needle size. Tough if they don't like it. It's my lace, not theirs! I'm still working on WRS but you don't get to see it until the center is all done. If you need a fix, go to missalicefaye and look at her progress on her shawl.
That's all for now. I hope to post pictures of the loot and booty we score from Stiches West!
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
My sister taught me to knit. She's one year older and much more patient than my mother ever was. Mom used to knit my father a vest that could, swear to God, stand up in the middle of the floor without anyone in it. That's how tight she used to knit. An actual reflection of the woman if you catch my drift. When my sister taught me to knit, there were a number of knitting "truths" that she explained to me. When I teach someone to knit, I find myself quoting her often.
- When you are learning to knit and you make a "mistake", it is not a mistake if you do it over and over again. It is a design element.
- If you have a hole in your knitting, it's not a hole, it's lace.
- To knit is to rip. If you cannot rip, you cannot knit.
- Illiterate women have learned how to knit. Don't be afraid that you can't
- Knitting patterns are not perfect. There is almost always a mistake in there somewhere so sometimes it's not you.
There are many more of these truths. I bet you can contribute some to this list for me. My point is, even knowing these truths and teaching them to others. I sometimes forget them. A good example would be # 5. I had tried to knit the Shetland Tea Shawl from "A Gathering of Lace". I kept getting hung up on the Madeira Lace section in this circular shawl. I could not get it right. I thought I just stank at lace and gave up in disgust for a very long time. I stopped doing any lace at all and went back to cable knitting. The shawl sat mouldering away in a bag, mute witness to my lack of knitting skill. I couldn't rip it, I couldn't knit it. To rip it under these conditions was to admit defeat. Very different from ripping because it's not a pattern you like or a color you fancy or you are bored. I couldn't knit it because it kept coming out wrong. Because I forgot about truth # 5, I never checked to see if there was a correction to the pattern. Until, that is, someone mentioned it on the Yahoo shawl knitting group. See above, there are corrections to the patterns from that book.
For any knitters new to lace. Welcome. Thank you to everyone who posted suggestions for new lace knitters that they could try. It was very very thoughtful and helpful of you all to contribute to a little list I have now put on this blog.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE any new lace knitters. Check to see if there are corrections to any lace pattern you are going to try for the very first time. Remember. Sometimes it's not you if it doesn't come out right!
Good night to all! and Good Knitting!
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Monday, February 05, 2007
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Please see above my copy of "New Style of Heirloom Knitting". I went to "J" town in San Francisco to the Kinokuniya Bookstore and bought it rather than send for it. I was pretty sure I could find it there since I knew where the craft/knitting section was in that store and could recognize the cover picture. Since I have a little experience with knitting Shetland Lace now, I think I might actually give these shawls a try. The book also contains wonderful projects in cables and color knitting as well, but that's not why I bought it.