Wednesday, April 23, 2008

a bag or two

I forgot to tell you yesterday - I made a couple of the shopping bags from No 44 to take with me to give to my sister and sister-in-law as a hostess gift. When I went to San Diego in February, I made one, used it as my carry-on bag (purse, extra shoes, book, camera, etc) and then gave it to my friend Candy - she loved it! So I figured I'd stick with a winner and churn out a few more, one navy and one plum, good goes-with-anything colours. They are pretty quick to make, I have it down to about 50 minutes if uninterrupted. I have been knitting the handles tighter (T5) and a bit wider (12 sts) because I found the first one stretched out too much. Also, at the end, after knitting the side, instead of taking the whole 160 sts off on waste yarn and then having to rehang to join, try this: set to hold and bring half to hold. Knit waste yarn on the half left in work and drop off. With garter bar, take side-in-hold half off, turn and rehang with right side facing you. Now rehang the waste yarn side, putting right sides together. This eliminates having to rehang all 160 sts from waste yarn. After this, I think I'm going to start knitting them on my Brother machine so I can use the lace carriage for the every other needle thing, that should cut out several extra minutes times four!! Or, maybe a new challenge, figure out how to do the lace carriage trick quickly with the Silver Reed!! I'll keep you posted!

Monday, April 21, 2008

cheating at swatches

I'm packing up to go teach at the Cardiknits Academy - what a job to decide what to take and what not to take - I have more than enough current stuff to fill 2 suitcases, but I do need to take some personal stuff, like shoes...
I have been trying to add a picture to my posts, so here goes - this is the first sleeve of my tweedy 'Caped Wrapper' that I talked about in last post - actually it turned out to be exactly what I need for one of the workshops where I show the stages of fit to finish, so I've semi-completed it and will take it and be able to show shortrowing the sleeve cap, seaming and finishing details.
oh, I think I got the photo added - here's where I put yarn marks on the first sleeve to simulate a tension swatch. Hope you get the idea!
Anyway, back to packing - I'll talk to you next week and tell all!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Recreational knitting

(Actually written April 18)This is so nice, it’s Friday afternoon, spring is finally here, the snow is gone. I’ve got a few days of no deadline to worry about and I’m doing some ‘recreational’ knitting - that sounds kind of kinky, but what I mean is the ‘just for fun’ variety, no pressure, no mega-swatching or keeping tons of notes, worrying about writing the pattern. I’m re-making ‘Caped Wrapper’ from No 43 - it turned out to be one of my favourites of that issue, I’ve worn it a lot and gotten tons of compliments!! I really liked the stitch pattern I’d used (it was one of my one-row-tucks that I totally love and when making the first one had a hard time deciding which side of the fabric to use as the outside) so this time I’m going with the purl side as outside and I’m using Yeoman Yarns Twister - it’s a tweedy (ha, ha, guess what colour?) green, of course. Adds nicely to my Wardrobe probably won’t believe this and maybe I shouldn’t tell you, but I didn’t even make a swatch...I’m just going with the written pattern - using the same tension and it’s so easy!! oh, you know what? I’m going to let you in on one of my ‘cheats’ check the gauge and make sure I’m not wasting my time entirely (when remaking something in a different yarn), on the first piece I knit - usually a sleeve - I hang yarn marks as I’m knitting to use to measure the gauge after I get the piece off the machine. That way, I save the time and yarn of making a new swatch and it’s makes me feel better to know on one piece whether this is going to work out or not.
Fast-forward to 6:30 pm, got all the pieces made, just the front and collar bands to go but will save it for tomorrow morning when I’m fresh. Also, before I forget, funny thing, this tweedy yarn looks better on the knit side, so knit side/out side it will be!
I guess enough play for one day, I’d better get my taxes done!

mudslide time

Well, we finally got No 45 off to print! between no-shows, getting through the photoshoot, Rick's flooded basement, writing the last little words and the final proofing, I'm ready for a drink! a mudslide (equal parts of vodka, Kahlua, and Baileys over ice - in that order or it'll curdle) is preferable but I'd settle for a light (or is that lite?) beer... what does that tell you...
Anyway, I'm blogging because I realized I have other things to say or tell you that either don't deserve to get printed in the magazine or, most likely, no space left for. I promised from day one that KNITWORDS would only have good stuff, not a lot of filler, aka useless crap, so now, I'll throw it all here!! Don't say I didn't warn you...
I do intend to share some of what is going on with the magazine, maybe give the odd preview or what's not going to make the cut as well as the odd recipe or two (see, I already snuck one in, ha, ha!) I always thought that was so funny in the old Carriage Trades to see a recipe and I've threatened once or twice to put one in K'words and I was told in no uncertain terms that you didn't want to cook...