I've fumbled around, felt uncomfortable and awkward, but I think I may have gotten it:
This 3x3 ribbed scarf is currently eight-and-a-half inches long, and was knit using the combination continental technique! (woohoo!) It's going a bit slow, but with each row I'm speeding up.... my left arm/fingers/hand are pretty tired, but the strain on my wrists is just about non-existent! I figure as I hone my technique and my left arm becomes stronger, this will go away. I'm on my way to becoming a super-speedy-knitter!
Big thanks go to Annie for taking the time to teach at The Grove a couple of weeks ago and her fantastic book, and Kathy (aka Grumperina) for having created and posted such wonderful videos that show the technique "in person". These tools really assisted me in learning and practicing combination-continental knitting. Without them, I don't think I would have caught on quite as easily :)
...but first it was a little fun at Knitting in La Jolla on Saturday morning:
I picked up some Rowan Cashsoft Aran in Oatmeal for StitchesHomework and some learning in the continental style, and the most recent issue of Family Circle Easy Knitting. I know, I know, 'Family Circle Easy Knitting'? Not my typical magazine purchase, but I just feel in love with:
Way cute - Couldn't pass it up!
Then it was onto organization - of my craft / sewing / computer room. I guess I shouldn't complain about having to make it a workable area.... it's where I get to store yarn, patterns, books, fabric and everything else sewing...
Much better! I still have a mini-tower of boxes to go through, but they contain items that belong elsewhere in the house. Our bedroom will be next - but that requires the purchase of a wardrobe unit :)
Then it was onto the swatches needed for the finishing class I'm signed up for during Stitches West... here they are, blocking away:
I need to pick up some true stitch holders, my waste yarn just isn't going to do :) They look a bit on the pink side in the picture, but they are a more wintery white. I. Love. This. Yarn. It is so soft and luxurious. I used this same yarn, in it's DK weight, in knitting Cassie's bolero, and it was a joy to work with. I look forward to teaching myself (and practicing) the continental style of knitting. I think a scarf is in order!
Kris, Miyon and I met last night for our weekly knitting session - nothing like some good wine, good food, and good knitting to finish out the week!
I was really looking forward to casting on for W, and brought the yarn I purchased for it awhile ago. With the use of Kris's ball winder I ended up with:
Now that's a lot of yarn! Actually, just a little over 900 yards.
Well, I knit a swatch - the first one on US9s (which did not hit gauge) and the second on US8s -
Gauge is right on, however there is one problem - the ply is not consistent throughout the yarn, leaving it "see-through." It's not really clear in the picture, but Kris and Miyon can vouch for me. Now, for a cardigan this would be fine, but for a negative-ease tank, not so good. I decided to give the swatch a wash to see if it would bloom at all:
No such luck.
Must. Re-think. This. Project. Bummer.
I will have to keep my eyes open for a hand-dyed yarn at Stitches next month that is consistent in ply for the tank, and find a different project for the yarn... gauge is sixteen stitches per four inches, and it's a cotton/wool blend - anyone have any suggestions?
So, after determining the yarn was a no-go, I pulled out Andy's sweater. I worked on the right front side, which means I must have finished the left :)
Not far to go until the right side is done... Then it will be onto the center front piece!
Kris, Miyon and I met on Saturday at Urban Grind for an afternoon of knitting. As usual, the food was good, the tea and coffee were great, and the company was wonderful. We chatted and knit away - Kris worked on a scarf for the Red Scarf project, Mi yon on a cabled scarf and I on Philter's Home #77. I read ahead of the pattern a bit, and realized that I needed some help with the shoulder and neck shaping decreases on the back portion - the verbiage was throwing me for a loop. Luckily, Kris has experience with the Phildar pattern translations, and we worked our way through it, writing it row-by-row (thanks Kris!). I finished the back piece this afternoon:
And then I moved right onto one of the three front pieces (I'm trying to meet my January goals!):
This left piece is moving along quite quickly, being only 22 stitches, I'm already at 9"! Sweet! Only eight more inches to go before starting the armhole shaping - I'm so on my way to reaching those January goals :)
In other news, Kris, Miyon and I have decided that Erika *really* needs to start a blog - She is so creative, and has really neat ideas in all kinds of things that she could share with others - not to mention that she has a degree in English and is obsessed with all things knitting, Japanese crafty, vintage-y, and (more recently) sewing. She is the perfect candidate for a blog - I think we all need to encourage her to start one - what do you guys think??
Kris and I headed over to The Grove last night, and took a class in Combination Knitting from Annie Modesitt! What a wonderful person and fantastic teacher! It was so neat to meet her - and it was quite a treat to be able to take a class from her. I'm definitely one of those "gotta see it in person to learn it" kinda people - and this fit the bill! She had funny stories to walk us through the techniques (my favorite was the "floozy stitches" in cabling), and with just a couple of minor mistakes, I caught on. I definitely plan on using the combination knitting technique on my next project - it seems to go so much faster. Now if only I can manage holding the yarn in my left hand instead of my right, I could be speedy fast!
Speaking of fast - Annie is the fastest knitter I have ever seen! She can easily get through a sweater in a weekend. Wow - Kris and I were amazed. I purchased her book, and Kris and I were lucky enough to get her to sign them (Kris brought the two she had previously purchased).
Here's the swatch I worked on:
See those cables?!? Yep, I learned to cable without a cable needle! It was fantastic - I'm soOOoo not intimidated by cables anymore. I must complete a cable project (or two, or three...) this year!
It's been almost a week, so I guess it is over-due, but I hope everyone had a happy, safe and wonderful holiday!
Mine was very busy, as usual... dinner with the in-laws on Saturday; a one and a half hour drive on Sunday morning to visit aunts, uncles, parents, sister, nephew, cousins and grandma; another thirty minute drive to visit distant cousins; and then another thirty minute drive to visit grandparents. Phew - hectic!
Since Monday was the official "not at work" holiday, I spent the day with my parents and grandparents. It was a pretty mellow visit that consisted of games of Sequence and finished with at fantastic dinner at Rosine's. It was a great trip!
I received a few knit-and-sew-related gifts, go figure! The biggest was a blocking board with pins and blockers! No more blocking on cardboard boxes... I'm very excited about this! I received three Joann's gift cards - yes, three! Andy got me a collection of Madeira embroidery thread, that is currently on it's way, and I also got a small set of Madeira polyester embroidery thread to play with. Also unwrapped are a cookbook, The DaVinci Code, a sushi serving set, a BedBath&Beyond gift card, "life is good" pj's and Simple Knits with a Twist. I made out like a bandit!
So, you ask, what happened with River? Well, after a phone call from my dad (he had heard how heartbroken I was from my sister) he told me to wrap it unfinished! He told me that there was nothing I could possibly buy for my mom that would mean more to her than what I was making... even if it wasn't finished. So, taking my dad's advice, that's what I did. And, my mom was very happy... and so I have it back in my possession to finish!
And that's not all....
Last night was the knitting with Kris and Miyon night. As usual, it was a wonderful time. They were both so extremely kind:
Kris made the bag and Miyon gave me the cookbook! What great knitting friends!
I worked on River last night... got through about one-and-a-half repeats. I'm just about finished with the first ball of kidsilk haze, and with making the little beaded scrunchie thing, I'm more than 50% done! Mom will be getting this one back sooner that she expects :)
And, imagine my surprise when I saw Katy and thought, hey I have some LB Cotton Ease in Strawberry Cream and Ice Blue that just might be perfect for that....
Yet another one to add to the knit-list for after the first of the year!
Phildar, Phildar, Phildar....
I love their patterns! Gotta hand it to French designers, if Andy likes a knit sweater from one of their pattern books, they have to know what they are doing!
So, the Phildar yarn and books purchased from the last post were purchased from Phildar Wervik. The online ordering and shipping systems were different that what I have normally experienced. The items that I ordered had to be shipped in three different packages on different days - I am under the assumption that this is due to Belgium shipping and export regulations. Anyway, I received the first two packages in about a week because they were shipped priority. The third package was shipped non-priority, so I am still waiting for that one to show up... I am anticipating that it will take a total of four weeks. Anyway, Nicole is just great - she kept me up-to-date on the order status and when the packages were shipped. I would definitely recommend this retailer for Phildar orders... and I will keep you posted on the arrival of the third package!
The craft fair.... how did I get myself into this?!? One of my co-workers is a crafter in her own right... and she asked me quite a few months back if I would be interested in splitting a booth with her. "Sure" - I say - I can sell some knit scarves that used to be in a friend's boutique, before they moved to Portland.... and I'm sure I can design and knit some felted bags... and maybe make some embroidered bracelets with the fancy sewing machine. I blame this completely on moving twice in the last three months... the stock is very small. Very, very small. I will be a mad woman for the next month trying to get more made.
I am anxious about it too... the last time I participated in a street fair, some four years ago, I was attempting to sell some of my designed and painted ceramic pieces. Nothing sold - in fact one piece broke when a gust of wind knocked it down - I came out of it losing money. I fully believe that it was the type of person that the fair attracted the prevented the selling of anything.
I am hoping this one will be different... it's in a much better neighborhood and it is a fairly popular fair. If you are in Encinitas, CA on Sunday, November 20th, please stop by the Poinsettia Festival... especially Booth 713, between F and G Streets... I will be there, hoping that people will like what I've made and want to buy it!
Hi, my name is Marisa, and I'm addicted to all things knitting:
Phildar for Andy...
Phildar for me.
More Phildar because it has some really cute things in it.
Sorry it's been awhile. The move has sucked up much of my free time... but we are almost completely out of the slum-lord, yucky house! Yippee!
Quite a bit has been going on in the knitting, sewing, crafting front - I'll post it in parts to keep things interesting :)
Most recently (and after a two week hiatus), Kris, Miyon and I met on Tuesday for our weekly knitting. After some yummy grub from Pat & Oscar's (Thanks Miyon!), we settled in. Kris worked on River, Miyon on a beanie, and I on the Interlacements Shawl. This shawl goes on forever...
It's currently at 52"... I would like to get it to 70" before casting off. If my estimations are right, that's about eight more sixteen row repeats! Am I ever going to get this one done or what?!?
Kris then started on River's beaded knot... she was so nice to let me "borrow" some beautiful silvery-white beads that she picked up on her Rhinebeck Vacation:
Using her tiny crochet hook, I beaded them onto the second ball of KSH. I have yet to start the knitting on it though.
Speaking of River, here she is in all her 11" beauty:
That being said, I'm making some pretty good progress on October's Goals. This coming weekend I hope to get the Bolero blocked, finishing it up; and get blocking done on Ash.
Stay tuned.... coming up on Installment II of Catching Up.... a craft fair and major stash enhancement...