Monday, March 21, 2005

Great start

Looks like you have a great start on your sweater! I hadn't seen the magazine with the pattern, but it looks like it will be a cute one. Congratulations on doing a gauge. That is the smart thing to do, and you have compensated well for the extra 1/2 stitch realizing that it will be a tad bigger around because of it. I can't wait to see the finished sweater.
I finished the ballet sweater I was making for my Heidi. I'll give it to her for Easter and hope that it will work for her. I finished last night just before bed time, so I didn't get to take a picture. I left on a 6AM flight this morning. Needless to say, I didn't have time to take pics this morning either.
I got the wild notion on Saturday to crochet the Coming Home (Martha Stewart) poncho from Lion Brand. Their web site has a pattern to download for free. I had enough skeins of black Homespun to make one and thought it would be good for travel in a few weeks, when you only need a light jacket. So I started it on Saturday and finished on Sunday! Looks pretty good. I am shorter so it hangs a little long on me. I'll send a pic of it as well. It is a fairly easy project and you can tell it goes fast. Do you crochet?
I'm still working on my pullover out of sock yarn. That is my airplane and hotel knitting at present. I did work out a gauge and started my graphs for the Wright Wrap. I'm getting a little nervous about knitting it, wondering if I will like it, if it will look OK, etc. and the big question, will I use it? Who knows? It is always the burning question when knitting, will I like it and will I wear it or will it be an exercise in knitting only to be on the shelf for the remainder of the yarn's useful life? Oh, the philosophy of it all gives me a headache.
I'm sorry that we had to cancel the TKGA conference, but I am looking forward to Stitches East in October. Keep looking a the web site, so we can get early picks on classes before they fill up.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Sweater Start

I started the pink sweater I've been talking about for weeks now on Thursday. I've got a good start on the back, as you can see.

My swatch was a half a stitch bigger than what was called for, but since I was in-between sizes on the size chart, I thought it would be ok. I may pay the price in the end, but I guess I'll live and learn. I'll be happy if it looks like it is supposed to when complete and save actually fitting for the next try :).

I still have the straps to finish on Heidi's purse, which I must finish this week. She'll be here for Easter, so I want to have it done so she can take it home with her.
By next Saturday I hope to have pictures to post.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

On the Road Again

Well, I'm finally back to traveling after being at home for 5 months. It was wonderful to have that time at home. But alas, one must work. I am in Lincoln, NE this week (as last week). I arrived a day early since flights didn't cooperate. My first stop was Threads, the local yarn shop. I met the owner, Gladys and really enjoyed talking to her about my next project. She was so helpful. I wanted to just see some yarn that I could use for my next big project and since she was so helpful, I returned this week to buy some of the colors she has in stock and place a special order with her for the other colors. I'm embarking on a design, I'll call the Wright Wrap. It is a wrap inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and uses about 9 colors. I'll be carrying the yarn back on the plane on Friday and working out my gauge so I can actually draw the graphs that I will need to knit it. You know how it is when you decide that you want to do something really unique. I hope it turns out as great as I have pictured it in my mind. I am so glad to find a yarn shop with a friendly person.
I am knitting in the hotel room at night with the sock yarn and the sweater is turning out very interesting. The pattern is not symmetrical but interesting. I'll attach a picture of it when I get back home.
Thanks for the remarks about my sweater and cap. TKGA has it now and I'm waiting to hear their critique. Should take a few weeks for them to review and comment. My worst fear is that none of the work will pass their evaluation. I would encourage you to get the first level of the master's program and go for it. It isn't too difficult for you to do and what you will learn is priceless. I have learned a lot about knitting by doing all the swatches, answering the questions, doing the book and article reviews, etc. It's a great teaching/learning tool. There are 3 levels and no deadline for getting them finished. Once you pay and get the requirements, if over a year has passed and you haven't completed the work TKGA will send you the updated requirements, which gives you another year to complete the work. I did the first level in 2000, so it has taken me 5 years to complete the other 2 levels.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Sweater Envy

I'm still working on my sister's purse. It's mindless knitting at this point and after making four of the same bag, I'm not sure I want to make one for myself, no matter how much I like the pattern.

I ordered a bunch on yarn from KnitPicks this week. A lot of single skiens to experiment with in colors that I like, but have no real need for. I thought I could use them as filler for my recycled yarn project.

In my haste to rip up my garage sale find last week, I failed to take a picture of the sweater before the disassembly - but here are the balls of yarn that were once a Banana Republic 100% cotton purple sweater.

I liked the texture of the yarn - ribbon like. It should make a nice addition to the wool I have left over from a couple of projects and another sweater I plan to tear into in the next few weeks. The unraveling went well. Not too many short pieces. I saved all the short strands and tied them together to make a cat toy since they all love chasing the balls of yarn as I knit. They love it.

I think that tomorrow I will go out and buy some Lion Brand Yarn and try my hand at the sweater from the cover of Knit 1 magazine to wear this spring. I can appreciate that there is MUCH better and nicer yarn in the world than Lion Brand, but for my first attempt at a sweater I don't want to spend a fortune and I like the coral color that they used in the pattern. I have a horrible tendency to be attracted to dark yarn - black, gray, brown, navy. I'm attempting to break away from this safety net with this first little short sweater. If they don't have pink, I will look for kelly green - my new favorite color for spring. If this sweater goes ok, I will invest in better yarn for round 2. I'd like to actually knit it in a much lighter weight yarn so I can wear it for cool evenings, but I think I will start with the pattern "as is" before thinking I know better than the designer.

Your pieces for your Master Knitter program are just wonderful. I can only hope I will have enough guts to even attempt something like that one day. I guess for now I will just have to admire all of these beautiful things I see and use them as inspiration.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Mailing today

I read about your thrift shop work. I know a woman who did this. Found a navy blue wool sweater at Goodwill and ripped it apart. She then added a varigated yarn to coordinate and knit a great pullover. She has worn it a lot, so it can be done. I've seen it and it looks good. Good luck with yours. Keep me posted on how it goes.
I just returned from the UPS store where I mailed my submission to TKGA for the master's knitting program. I can't believe that I finally finished all the work required at this level. I hope the committee that reviews submissions is OK with what I have done. They usually have some portion that they think you could have done better and will ask that you re-knit that part, either a swatch or an item (sock, cap, etc) that you had to do. I just hope I don't have to re-knit the sweater. That is too big a job. It was my goal to finish the submission while I've been on this extended vacation. Looks like I just made it since I go back to work tomorrow.
I took a class last week on making swimsuits so I could make some dance/ice skating leotards for my granddaughter. So I've been busy with that. I made a pink one during the class and decided that she needed a cross over (wrap) ballet sweater to go with it. I had found this really neat yarn at Michaels and wanted so badly to make something with it, so the ballet sweater is the right thing. I really don't have a pattern. I found some directions on google search and adapted them to her size. The yarn is sooooo soft, Moda-dea (never heard of that brand before) Dream. It is blend of chenille and eyelash. I have finished the fronts and back so I started the sleeves this morning. I hope it turns out OK and that she will wear it. I've done some really cute things that never see the light of day once I finish them because she says they are "itchy." There is no way this is itchy.
I'm going out of town for work tomorrow and will not be home til Saturday. Traveling again the following week, so at least I'll have this project to take with me. I agree that you can get a lot of knitting done while on the road. I really don't have anything to do while in the hotel at night so knitting keeps me company. I think I'm at home again the last week in March but will know more tomorrow which will give me time to get the homework done for the TKGA conference classes.
I'm looking forward to the trip to the conference and seeing you there. It will be so great to share our craft together in person rather than electronically all the time. I think you will find the conference to be inspiring and fill you with ideas. Have you started your coat yet? It might be a little difficult to travel with those pieces, but if you are gone for a few days, put it in a piece of checked luggage. Once I plan to knit something, I must start it right away. Then I can put it down occasionally and go back to it later. I have 3 projects on the needles now and another one or two in my head. Am doing a sweater for me, linen stitch with 3 colors of sport weight yarn, a sweater made with the self patterning sock yarn and the ballet sweater. Surely I'll finish one of them soon.
Travel safe and knit happy.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Blue Suede Blogging

A great way to make progress on a project is to travel on a weekly basis. I'm almost done with the body of my sister's purse. I should start the straps sometime this week.

I read a very interesting article while on the plane about knitters who go to thrift stores, buy old wool sweaters, unravel them and reuse the yarn for other projects. So today, my two girlfriends and I went out garage sale shopping and I decided to see if I could find some wool sweaters to rip apart and try my hand at this. I found some purple cotton and some brown wool from two different sweaters. I like the way the two colors and textures look together, so I hope I can successfully rip these sweaters apart and make a wrap or scarf or something. It was fun looking for things to reuse.

I finished the hat I started on when sick from the SNB book. All I have left is the pompoms. I'll post pictures this week before I send it off to Boone.