Sunday, October 29, 2017

Quietly Happy, that last pic is HRN For Knotions Patterns!

insideoutandbackwards

Theknitterssolemullberry

theknitterssoleash

scrumptious!

ah someone made ME something

in Hot Right Now1 Yay!Photo Credit to Knotions.com

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Agalina is a Glacier

       Agalina.....

 Agalina is a Glacier. She sits on the western side of the Antarctic Penisula and other than that there really isn't anything remarkable about her.  Until I made her into a shawl, that is!

As with all glaciers she moves through two different systems....Plastic Flow and Basal Slip.

How does this relate to knitting you might ask.

Basal Slip is one way I could (and did!) describe a technique where you use two strands of yarn and slip the needles back to the beginning of a right side row to knit it again and Plastic Flow (movement within the ice itself)  could be the movement of yarn overs and decreases to form a lace border.

I have said it before, and I will say it again...inspiration can be found everywhere!

Agalina... the name sounds pretty, right?

A glacier really is just a  block of ice slipping and sliding down to warmer areas, where it inevitably melts and potentially once again, can end up a sheet of ice to repeat the process. An endless cycle.


Well, the shawl does have an end, the lace, which is so fun to knit, but even the slipping and sliding down to that lace border has its own charm and interest along the way.

Knit in a cozy worsted weight yarn...Cascade Superwash 220 and large for me needles (US 7 and 8 or 4.5 and 5.0 mm for my metric friends) this shawl knits up very quickly.














I used three colors, Aran (which is cream) Celestial and Baby Denim (which are both blue tones.) But my test knitters  used everything from a deep red to purple, to one intrepid knitter who dyed two gradients and used one dark to light and the other light to dark throughout her piece.





And now for the best part...this pattern is available for free courtesy of Knotions online webzine!  It is just one of several great patterns this month.  There is something for everyone in this issue, from a children's sized dress to a cabled sweater for adults, shawls (of course), hats and mitts.  Go take a peak and see which patterns you want to knit.  I have several on my list!

Happy Weekend!  As we are forecast snow flurries, I think I will do one of my favorite things...sit by the window, enjoying the fact that the weather is outside, while I am inside with knitting needles in hand!

What are your weekend plans?

~M



Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Photo Shoots

It seems like anytime the weather is decent and TDQ and I are both available at the same time, we do the same thing...photo shoots!

This past weekend we went to the park for one as we had the entire day to play with, but many times it is a case of taking the half hour or so we are available and making the best of the front or back yard!

Doing most of our photo shoots outside does has one disadvantage.  When I know the pattern is going to be released in the fall or winter, I am trying to get her to look cold, when really it is very hot (because the lead time on some patterns is months!) and then there are those patterns where we are taking pictures in the middle of January for items where she needs to look like she is out on a beautiful spring or summer day!

In August I think it was, we were out taking pictures of a cozy fall shawl!  (Nothing like wearing a worsted weight wool shawl during the dog days of summer to really not put you in the mood for pumpkins and apple cider!)

She was a trooper though and finally, this Friday I will be able to share more of the story behind the shawl with you!

In the meantime...out take pictures from a couple of photo shoots for you!

Can You Smile?

Can You Look This Way?

Really?





See ya Friday!

~M


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Endless Bay- Not Quite a Log Cabin

Confession...I am not a monogamous knitter!

I know, surprised you, right?

Right now I have several things on my needles, several more that need photos...some that are secret, some that just haven't made it to the blog and some...well one...that is getting mentioned today!

Stress knitting....do you do it?

I know we all have stress in our lives and some of it to be honest is probably a good thing!  It keeps us learning and growing, keeps us on our toes and stretching just a little bit further.  But all the real life stress means that sometimes, not too often, the knitting needs to be simple.

Not much more simple than a garter stitch blanket, right?

This has been my traveling knitting for a little while now...endless miles of garter stitch in four colors with a little extra something....

I have yards and yards to go before this is anywhere near bed sized, so I better get back to knitting!

~M


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Swatching on Saturday


A pile of shape swatches

As I mentioned during the week, I am sort of participating in the Initiate Knit Design Challenge hosted by Aroha Knits.  I say "sort of" for a number of reasons.

Reason 1 is that I really shouldn't let yet another new design jump my queue!  I have some other things that have to be finished on a timeline due to prior promises.

Reason 2 is that the Indie Designer Gift Along is rapidly approaching and my commitment to it this year is to not only have my designs be part of the package, but to knit other designers patterns during the Gift Along (sneaky way of getting my holiday knitting done too!) and be able to participate in the chat threads. (If you haven't played before, it is an amazing experience and the chat threads move at the speed of light...blink and 100 new posts have been made; shower, sleep, eat, work and pages upon pages have been created.)

And finally Reason 3...I don't actually follow the same process in design.

But wait! (you might say) Why would I participate at all in something that isn't my process?  Well, sometimes it is good to shake things up a bit.  The same as there are no knitting police, there are no design police though, so if your process is different that is a good thing. (And that is something to remember when participating in these challenges, there is no one true way.)

My process does not involve hours of soul searching and creating mood boards to come up with an idea.  Ideas are easy!*  Imagining what the finished piece will be, for me is easy...sketching it out isn't as easy and so long as I have a clear picture of what I want, is just one more step that I don't need to take.

There is a Reason 4 and that actually came into play yesterday with the email "challenge" about swatching for your design.

I am pretty opinionated about swatching and why I feel that swatches can be "dirty little liars" , especially if you are swatching to follow someone elses pattern and are trying to make a fitted garment.  The first one is...

DO NOT put garter stitch edges on your swatches UNLESS your finished piece has garter stitch edges.

Why?

Simply put garter stitch behaves differently than lace patterns, cables, texture or plain knit one row, purl the next stocking stitch.  The stitches "squish" together forming those nice rows of ridges but, that affects the neighboring stitches and distorts the gauge.

The same way that putting an i-cord edge on a piece can give structure but might mean that on a long cardigan front, every so often you need to work a few extra rows between the i-cord to stop the piece from "gathering" at the edge.


The second thing that I think a lot of knitters get wrong with swatching is they don't make their swatches big enough!  As you get used to working with the yarn and needles you have picked (and do swatch with the yarn and needles you intend to use!) you may find that you "relax" more in the knitting, so a little 4 to 6 inch swatch doesn't actually represent what a 34 inch piece (or larger) will be.

I understand that might mean you have to buy an extra ball of the yarn you intend to use so that you can make a really big swatch, but it is a small price to pay for a really great finished object that actually fits!

From a designer perspective I would add a third thing...swatch in the general shape you intend to make.  For example, if your design is a top down triangle shawl, swatch as a top down triangle shawl...observe how your shaping at the edges and spine affect your chosen stitch pattern...does it look "wonky" or does it flow?  If it looks wonky...what can you change to bring it back into a smooth design?

I will get off my soapbox now, and let you continue in your regularly scheduled weekend.  Today is "I Love Yarn Day!" so I hope your plans include spending some quality time with your favorite yarn to celebrate!

~M

*To demonstrate this: Find your favorite author, tell them you have a great idea for a book and you would like to get co-author credit for giving them the idea if they write it...watch them laugh at you!  Ideas are easy, execution is hard!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

If it's Wednesday it must be...

I might have over committed my fingers just a touch.

You know those whirlwind European tours you can book... 7 countries, five days, four nights?

That is what my knitting schedule feels like!

Along with the things I was already working on, I decided to go ahead and participate, at least a little, with Aroha Knits Initiate Design Challenge.

Days 1 and 2 involved finding your inspiration * and deciding on what you were going to make, then some potential shapes/stitch patterns/techniques.

My Day 1 mostly revolved around the yarn.





This is a weighted striped gradient!  Which means, in case you didn't know, the colors move from light to dark, striping the lilac and the gray but each color section gets longer so when you knit it as a top down shawl the stripes end up the same width!  I got mine at Wool Gathering, but you can get it here!

Techniques, stitches and shapes...that part was easy, I knew I wanted to do a top down triangle and as I haven't done a "fickle knitter special" in a while....cables and lace will be involved!
Now to wait for Day 3 (Friday) to find out what's next!

In other knitting, this sample jumped on my needles...more about that at a later date!
And The Revenge of the Nupps Shawl is not growing at all...because there might be a couple of other things that jumped on, off and on my needles.

So if it is Wednesday I must be knitting one of those things!

What's on your needles this week?

~M

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Swatch or WIP

This week was supposed to be all about getting a chunk of knitting done and off my needles, things like a million nupp shawl...
instead.....




When you are 300 or so yards in, does the swatch suddenly change from being a swatch to a full fledged work in process?
The debate continues in my head...and on IG...so far I am being told it has graduated to a WIP!

So I suppose I should add it to my WIP collection, but really....it's just a very big swatch!  :)

What are you working on this week?

~M