Wednesday, April 18, 2012

is it the middle of April already?

Well, I have been doing some knitting – I made about 8 swatches for the ivory project and wasn’t getting anywhere. I made a poncho for Rhiana – using an acrylic yarn and the lace pattern from Gossamer – her mom liked it but she didn’t – said it was scratchy…what can I say – she is a princess, I guess.
I did my KnS (Knit’nStyle) project for #181 – trying to keep track of when and where that magazine is going to show up is just plain confusing. My editor refers to the month that it is for, but is really 2 months earlier, like when it shows up on the newsstand. I know I’m confused! My pay check is referenced by the proposed news stand appearance. My contract is for the work due date which is about 4 months before the on-sale date… so I keep track by the issue number – old habits are hard to break! Anyway, the garment is a mid gauge version of ‘Angled’ and it turned out really well.
I got a new computer – my offspring chipped in for a birthday present and it’s been a bit of a learning curve, new programs, etc – usually I’m like, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it; don’t change anything, I like it the way it is; but they felt it was time for me to move on! It took a few days to get the keyboard sorted – kept getting the French e with an accent instead of the question mark…had to mess around with location and all that – if you say you’re in Canada, they think everyone here should be typing in French, so I’m posing as an American…
Managed to get that pesky year-end bookkeeping done, so good for me!
Then, I realized, I have a bunch of yarn to play with…over the past few weeks, packages had arrived from three yarn companies with supplies for future KnS projects – time to swatch some more!
There are 3 different yarns – now, if you know me, you may realize that I am talking hand knitting yarns that I’m not really familiar with. Most of my knitting is on the standard gauge machine, using machine knitting yarns – a different ball game. Branching out into the world of hand knitting yarns to use on the mid gauge machine is always an experiment. I choose them by fibre content and, going by the manufacturer’s suggested gauge and yardage, try to estimate what I will need for my project and usually add an extra ball or two, JIC (just in case) – that reminds me – what is the difference between a skein and a ball? In Canada, we generally call it a ball of yarn when it is wound into a ball or oblong shape where you pull the end from the centre. If it's in a big loop, twisted and rolled back into itself, it'S a skein or a hank, like when your mom used to make you hold it out on your arms while she wound it into a ball... If it is wound onto a small cardboard tube with the end on the outside, it’s a ball – please don’t answer this, I’m just saying…it doesn’t really matter!
Back to choosing yarn for the KnS projects, I don’t really care what colour I’m using because I don’t get to keep the garment, so I just pick something that I think will photograph well, but I have come to the conclusion that selecting a yarn by the colours on a webpage is not an exact science and am usually glad I was not trying to pick an exact colour or match something. Just for fun and inspiration - even though I have a general idea  or plan of what to make with the chosen yarn, nothing is carved in stone - I need to play with gauge, stitch size and possible stitch designs. Generally I like my finished machine knitting to be tighter in gauge that what is the manufacturer’s suggestion. My swatches here are the temps – just to see what stitch size is going to work best and give the ‘feel’ I want – the ‘lines’ are a loose row between stitch sizes and the holes are for the number of stitch size used. I knit almost the whole ball - to sort of guess how far the yarn is going to take me from this - then, feel each stitch size and decide what number to use - then rewind back onto the cone for the real tension swatch.
Stay tuned! Today, I’m making another ‘Gossamer’ – it’s my DIL’s birthday and I’m behind, again!!

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