25 January, 2007

My lucky day

I won a contest! I never win anything. Marianne had a birthday contest on her blog and I was the lucky winner.

She sent me this gorgeous KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud lace weight in beautiful heathery blues and greens. My favorite color combination. It's called Tide Pool, so cool and pretty. It will make a lovely, lacy scarf. And she also sent beautiful stitch markers. The blues go perfectly with the yarn, I may have to knit one in, a la Amelia! Marianne also sent me several other sweet smelling and delicious treats.

Unfortunately those are no longer available for photographs...

But look how pretty this yarn is... So incredibly sweet of her.



Then, the very next day I won a ticket to an orchid show at a garden club raffle. I started to get a little bit full of myself and my luck, and thinking this might be a winning streak, I hurried out and bought a lottery ticket. Alas, the streak was not be.

Thank you Marianne! I am so excited about my new luxurious yarn. I think I want to make something like this. Or this.


19 January, 2007

Works in progress

Apologies for rewriting the previous post on color dominance and consistency (the bad and the ugly) so many times :) I don't mean to make it sound as if my two handed method is the only way to go, it is more about the consistency in yarn placement no matter what method you use. I wish I could manage to control the yarns with both strands in my left hand, that would be ideal, but in addition to tangling the yarns, I can't control the tension that way. I'm working on it, though.

Liz and I have started a knit-along for our Poetry In Stitches projects. Becki has also joined us. If anybody else would like to join, they are welcome. I have yarn for one more Poetry project coming, the camisole in pale blue, so this will keep me going for a while. My goal is going to be able to wear the Brocade sweater this winter and the camisole this summer. It's no fun to finish something just in time for the season to be over, which is my usual strategy!



The Brocade Leaves sweater has had its peony border redone, so that's just now finished. I procrastinated a lot in frogging it, but then once I did it was fun to reknit the border. The big repeat kept it interesting, and I am liking the amount of detail in the flowers. It's a consolation for knitting with fine yarn where the rounds take a long time.



The Victorian Lace scarf has 17 repeats today, but yesterday it had 18. Funny how that goes. I don't know yet how long I will make it. The pattern calls for 20 repeats, but with my thinner yarn that is not going to be long enough, so I will just keep going for as long as I feel like. I am using one of my lovely new Addi turbo circular needles, which were sent to me by Kris. It's perfect.


For both Poetry In Stitches and Victorian Lace Today I have seen comments about of the lack of "names" for the patterns. It's funny how blogging makes it necessary to name our projects, I myself made a name for my "brocade leaves" only so that I could blog about it. I am fine with designers not naming their creations. Good designs speak for themselves. I sometimes even think it's a distraction to see everything named in a pattern book, it starts a whole subconscious process of wondering how that name fits the garment, when really what I should be thinking about is how the garment fits me. But giving something a cool name definitely makes people want it more. And having the names makes it easier for blogging. Maybe I should just go back to calling my sweater the "p124 sweater", it's a very pure kind of name.

I don't want to catch anybody not drinking

I can't resist this.
From the Philosophy Depahtment at the University of Wooloomooloo:







What Monty Python Sketch Character are you?




G'day, you're Bruce! You think like a philosopher, especially after you've had a few cold ones...Australia RULES!
Take this quiz!








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For the complete text of one of my fave Python sketches, courtesy of the University of Adelaide, click here.
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03 January, 2007

The bad and the ugly

(Edited May 11, 2007)

For knitters who are new to color knitting, I thought I would share an experience from my distant knitting past. This is a sweater I made in 1992. It was not my first try at color knitting, but I guess it's the first one I finished. (I do remember some brown and orange legwarmers in the late 70's when I was in middle school. Probably a good thing they didn't get finished).



This is one of my favorite patterns, but I can't wear the sweater without embarassment, because I know that everybody can see that halfway through the body I learned a lesson. I didn't rip it out, because I really had no idea it would be so obvious.

You all have heard about how you always should keep the same color in front at all times. Or that you should always keep one color in the left and the other color in the right hand as you knit. This is where I learned it. Up until a little more than half way, I was keeping both colors in the left hand (I knit continental) and just picking one up at random. I did not pay any attention to the fact that sometimes the black was in front, other times the white. Then I realized (well, my mother showed me) that keeping the contrast color in the right hand, though slower, would make a much more even pattern. I started keeping the white always in my left and the black always in my right which automatically keeps the white always in front of the black.

Edited to add: I don't mean that my method is the only way, lots of knitters do this while holding both strands in the same hand. The main thing is that the yarns are always in the same position relative to each other. Usually I keep the color there is more of in the left, regardless of whether it's background or contrast. In this case, the white stitches will be more prominent than the black.

Edited to add: Note that with the way I knit, the white background color ends up being the more dominant/prominent color. Most knitters probably want the contrast color to be most prominent, but this works better for me.

Let's see the back of the sweater. See how half way up the diagonals go from fuzzy and irregular to crisp and even?



On the inside, it's also obvious:


The effect on the rose pattern panels is more subtle. But you will see, the minute you start thinking about the colors like this, your stitches and motifs will start to look very even.

Kris wrote about yarn dominance today. This is one of the side effects of that! I don't do this for the sake of the color dominance, but for the sake of keeping the pattern neat. For me it's more of a "color consistency".




It's very simple but it makes a big difference.


I learned so many lessons on this particular sweater, for example about picking up stitches for button bands and collar (they had to be redone), and how white could have obvious dye lots... (when I redid the button bands and collar of course I couldn't get the same lot). I also learned that some shapes might make me look like a football player....

Hope you enjoyed this visit to my hall of shame!

I vant to be alone

Pip was able to get into her special corner after all...