Wednesday, July 30, 2008

a peek at No 46

Well, No 46 is in the MAIL!!! And it looks great!!! I’m very happy with it and I’m sure you will be too. I’m feeling generous today, so I’m giving a quick preview of the cover - actually I’m beating Rick (our web designer as well as layout guy for KNITWORDS magazine) before he gets to show you on the website - he’s so darned punctual about changing everything on the stroke of midnight on the night before the new issue becomes current - Lindsay’s back on our cover - doesn’t she look great?
This garment, called 'Dress Code' is done on the LK150, using Jaggerspun zephyr 4/8 wool/silk which was fabulous to work with. It has an incredible, lovely sheen and gives a relatively lightweight fabric with nice drape. Lots of tips and techniques for making pleats, facings and hemmed edges. Enjoy!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I have a ‘cute kid’ story - hold on, stay with me, there’s knitting involved too!
My 4 yr old grandson, Nathan, and I have a play-date every week or two. He loves ‘Bob the builder’ and we have a full collection of the ‘machines’ in tiny size - the best $7 presents I’ve ever bought, for the joy and time he’s spent with them. So, he comes to Grama’s and expects to spend a good while playing ‘Bob the builder’ - funny thing, though, I actually have to play Bob, hold him up and talk for him and Nathan acts out each of the ‘machines’.
Now, we are having one of the worst summers on record here in TBay, very cool and very wet. Also, around Grama’s house lately there is an over-abundance of scarves - you’ll see what I mean when you get No 46 (I’m assuming you remembered to renew). Getting back to Bob, Nathan announced that ‘we’ should make scarves for the machines because there was going to be a snowstorm.
Now, I’ll back up just a bit and tell you that in preparation for going to TNNA last month, I thought I’d do a little hand knitting to get in the mood, something I have not done since I found knitting machines. I actually had to go and buy a pair of needles, got one of those huge balls of cotton and I’d been knitting round dishcloths for the past while, the evidence laying on a table beside my favourite chair.
Nathan goes over and grabs the needles - ‘Are these your knitting sticks, Grama?’ Amused, I agreed. He then asked if there’s any more of that red wool left over from his new sweater, because red will look good on ‘Roley’(a green steamroller). I found the part cone and gave it to him. He flipped the ‘sticks’ back and forth a bit over the top of the cone and then said, ‘I’ve got a better idea, Grama. We should use one of your machines!’ So we went down to the LK150 - it has long been his favourite because I have the yarn swift at one end of the table and a manual cone winder at the other end and often let him wind some yarn off skeins for me. He loves to see the yarn swift whipping round as he turns the handle of the winder from four feet away. So, I let him cone off a small bit of the red yarn so we could use it doubled on the mid gauge - I thought I’d let him knit a short bit of slip cord, like the ‘knots of work’ and it would be a perfect scarf for a little machine. I did the ‘e’ wrap, got it started and showed him how to pass the carriage back and forth. By the 4th pass, he was pushing my hand away, ‘I can do it, Grama!’ About 6 inches later, I said, ‘Will that be good?’ ‘That’s perfect, Grama!’ I cast off and we went up to try it on Roley. Nathan insisted that we fix the ends up and then said, ‘Okay, Scoop needs a orange one!’ - Scoop is the yellow backhoe.

Six machines and scarves later, I was getting a little tired of the exercise. I learned long ago that Nathan is definitely not ‘attention-deficit’ but in fact much the opposite. So, in an attempt to divert him to something else, I said, ‘I think the snowstorm is over.’ He countered sadly like he couldn’t believe I hadn’t realized, ‘ It’s JUST pretend, Grama!’
Well, our play date was over, but he can now tie knots and bows quite well!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

sleeveless in TBay

Oh, I wish you could see what I just made!! It turned out so cool! I love it! But I’m getting a little ahead of myself. This is for No 47 and you haven’t seen No 46 yet! Maybe I should tell you about No 46 first...It started out with 'Fit’n’Flare', a dress in tan WCD, (wool crepe deluxe, my all-time favourite, go-to yarn, see I made for myself. It was actually for the Spring issue, No 44, but got cut at the last minute and held over for summer and again got cut - I’m wearing it in the photo for 'About Me'- now I’ve had time to make a jacket to go with it to take it into fall - I didn’t have enough of the tan yarn to make a plain jacket, so mixed it with black in what I call a nothing-print-fairisle and now have a beautiful cardy that also works well with black pants and a black cami - two outfits for the price of one!! Next on the knit list was something for my granddaughter, Rhiana. My friend Candy gave me some totally cute buttons and I designed this outfit for R around the buttons. I had so much fun and even went to payless to get her shoes to match. Of course, they had a 'buy one, get half off', so she also has her first pair of black patent maryjanes with a little satin bow to go with whatever I make for Christmas... Okay, now, not sure if you’ve noticed, but I do tend to get a bit obsessive about things. Nothing serious, but when I come up with a technique I like, I have to do it several times, sorta to get it out of my system, I think. Anyway, my latest thing is sleeves - stick with me and you’re gonna see every thing I can come up with. So, I had been working on a split sleeve - you know, open up the top of the arm and fastened in several spots along the way. The ‘easy’ way to do it would be knit two half’s (sp?), and seam underarm and act like it was one piece, but no, that’s not for me, I wanted to make it in one piece, so now we have ‘Best bib ‘n’ tucker’, totally-cute, a little-sexy, tunic with split sleeve, buttoned, pintuck square yoke, lots of things happening.
Then, not to leave out the mid gauge knitters, I have a wonderful ‘cardigan-coat-tunic-dress’ made on the LK150 - Lindsay is wearing it on our front cover with skinny jeans and high boots, looking fab, of course. The sleeves on this are quite full and gathered at the top, self-cuffed snugly below the elbow for a 3/4 look - I think this used to be called 'leg o' mutton sleeve'.
And scarves, we’ve got ‘Bonhomme’ a g-carriage vertical stripe, just-for-looks scarf and ‘Two Left Feet’, using up leftover sock yarn, both from Evelyn McNabb, the second one done on Passap, which I Japanese-ified - totally fun!
Okay, back to the sleeve thing, we also have a jacket called ‘Curve Appeal’ with a set-in sleeve and a buttoned cuff, like a shirt would have - the bands are knit vertical full needle rib and added around the entire outside of the garment which, you guessed, has curved front edges.
Of course, I couldn’t leave out my little Nathan - he’s starting pre-kay in the fall, so I did him the classic school cardigan, 'School Days' with lots of techniques for the beginner knitters. And there is much more, something for everyone, I hope: 'Crossover' and 'Reverse Option' from Eileen M; 'Henley Her Way' by Jeanne Crockett; 'Wild Oats' done on the SK860 mid gauge; 'Barcelona' from Ev McNabb; etc, etc.
Now, about this thing I just finished, it’s brick red, tuck stitch that reminds me of wide wale corduroy, totally cool sleeves and big buttons (another one of my ‘things’ lately!!!) Enough said, you’ll have to wait like everyone else.