Sunday, March 26, 2006

Master Knitter

I DID IT!!!! I've achieved the official title of Master Knitter. I got the final letter this week, with congratulations from the Master Knitting Committee! It was a lot of work. I did the Level 1 work in 2002, had some swatches to re-do but basically got through it OK. Then in 2004 I did the work for Level 2. I started Level 3 late in 2004 and sent off the swatches, hat and sweater along with the written work in March 2005. I got the review back with a lot of swatches needed to be re-worked. My mistake was using Lion Brand Wool Ease so the tension was a mess. I had worked some swatches in a Lamb's Pride wool and they were passed as submitted. After the Christmas holidays, I used either Lamb's Pride or Cascade 220 worsted weight yarn and re-did all the required swatches. Then the hat had to be reknit. It was a Fair Isle and the review committee didn't approve my technique. I finally got all the re-work mailed off in late February. One swatch of the re-submission needed some re-work this time. It was the invisible bind-off technique. The commitee chair was very helpful in mastering this technique. I re-did that one and mailed it off a couple of weeks ago. Finally, I have passed all the work and can consider myself a Master Knitter. I sometimes wonder what my mother would think of this. She wasn't much for guilds or clubs. So I think she is probably laughing at my thrill for passing the work. I'm pretty proud though. I would recommed that every knitter do the course. It is sponsored by The Knitting Guild Association and can be found at the web site. TKGA has a national conference in PA in July. I am thinking of attending at least part of the conference. I know I said I wasn't going to a knitting conference this year, but as the time approaches, I get itchey to attend. We had so much fun at Stitches East, maybe we should try to attend this one.

Your last post mentioned knitting magazines. Did you get the latest Vogue Knitting? There is a dress that I think you should try for yourself. It is made of Cascade Fixation, one of my favorite yarns. I have decided to work out a pattern for a top that I can wear with my St. John's suits. Will keep you posted on that.

I've finished the Dazzling Knits vest that I posted a few weeks ago. I'll add pictures later but right now am looking for buttons for it. I've also finished the knitting of the Catherine Lowe Body Wrap. I need to block it and will post pictures of it later as well. So I'm looking for projects again. Always need someting on the needles, right?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Super Cute Summer Purse

In preparation for our beach trip I checked out the 10 day forecast. Unfortunately, it looks like I won't be getting a suntan since the high is supposed to be 68 degrees. So it looks like I will be getting a lot more knitting done than I expected and that's not bad news.

Over the weekend I purchased two new knitting magazines and I've been saving them to enjoy them while I'm on vacation. I didn't think looking at my mom's new knitting magazine was cheating and while I browsed the pages of the Family Circle Easy Knitting magazine, I found the cutest spring/summer purse. It's hard to find a cute, non-felted, purse for warmer weather. The best news, it's knit in kitchen cotton and it seems really easy.

I think I'm going to do this in yellow with blue and white flowers, so it won't show dirt so badly. Big needles, big yarn... I'm guessing it won't take too long to knit. We'll see how it comes out. I'll post a photo later. I thought FCEKnitting would have a photo of it on their site - but it hasn't been updated since 2005.

I've also done some research about LYS at my vacation spot and there's one right downtown. This map was very helpful. Pretty neat for travelers.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Socks and Jocks

I've gotten a lot of knitting done this weekend, thanks to the NCAA Basketball tournament. With a house full of guys cheering for or against one team or another, I've had to busy myself with something other than television. Don't get me wrong - I love college basketball, but there simply wasn't room for me to comfortably sit, enjoy the games and knit all at the same time. So here's what I've been working on:

My Mulligan Socks:
Ready to start the heel on this one. I'm going to do short row heels on these socks because I think I'll like the look a lot better. I hope to have at least one heel done before I go to the beach.

My Dorthy Scarf:
This is the emerald green scarf that I frogged last Sunday night while watching the Soprano's. I started the so-called scarf pattern that evening and the goal was to finish it before I left for my trip to NYC this week; however, my trip was postponed so now there's not a lot of rush. I will say that the stitch pattern is addictive and produces a woven, cloth-like effect with the yarn.

I'm a Ball-er:
I dragged out my ball winder on Friday night and wound the hanks of Blue Sky Alpaca I ordered for my Somewhat Cowl sweater. I will knit the swatch before heading to the beach so I'm not trapped there without the right size of needles. I hope I make a lot of progress on this project while I'm there. While the winder was out, I went ahead and wound other hanks in my stash.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

I'll Take a Mulligan - Or Two

Well, make that three. Last week I visited my sister in Boone and went to the LYS in Blowing Rock - Nan's Yarn Nook. I went in to buy the Addi Turbos for knitting my Somewhat Cowl sweater and I made the mistake of looking at the sock yarn. I bought enough to make two more pairs. I enjoyed my first pair and they are so darn portable, they fit my travel lifestyle.

So after a long day, I started a new sock. I was lazy and got cocky, so I didn't knit a swatch. I know. I know. Don't even go there. I really shouldn't be surprised that it was too small when I had the chance to slip it on.

So, I frogged it. It wasn't too painful - this time. Now you would think that I had learned my lesson and would have taken a little bit of time to knit a swatch before starting over. Of course not. I prefer to simply guess, keep my fingers crossed and get as far as turning the heel before I realize that I still didn't have enough CO stitches.

So I'm on my third try. I'm hard headed, but I eventually took time to knit a swatch last night, measure it and figure out the exact measurements I need for my socks. I will cast on tomorrow just to have something portable in the works.

Speaking of portable, the emerald green scarf that I knit on the flight to NYC has been calling my name recently. I really don't like the way it came out. Maybe it's because I never added fringe. Maybe it's because I don't like the way the variegated yarn almost striped when knit on the vertical. No matter what it is, I think I'm going to frog it tomorrow and start this "so-called scarf" pattern. I think the outcome is really cool and I think the variegated shades of green will really look cool in this pattern. I just love the color of this yarn too much to hate the project that it is used for.

I'm winding balls of yarn tomorrow. My Blue Sky Alpaca and the el-cheapo cotton that I ordered from Webs arrived on Thursday. Maybe I'll frog the scarf and wind it while I have the materials out. I'll post more tomorrow - with photos.