Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Why I'm Glad I have a Knitting Blog and that I Knit

Right now I'm waiting to register my daughter for a very popular summer retreat for teens. It is sponsored by the Continuing Ed division of Brigham Young University. There are sessions all over the country, but they have so many interested in certain sessions that there is a lottery period for getting your registration in. I am currently number 1492 in line with an estimated wait time of 39 minutes. Fortunately, I have something easy and mindless to work on. Yay Knitting! Other, less fortunate friends would just be bored, or have to play Scamble on facebook all that time. Bless their hearts.

As for why I have a knitting blog, it is because sometimes my other blog is just a chore. I'm just not that interesting that I have something cool to write about every day. Interestingly enough, during times that are challenging or even a bit depressing, my knitting output goes up and I can avoid having to report yet another blah day in the real world. Here, all is color and texture and progress toward the next thing. Yay Knitting again!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Knit One Below Scarf

Here is the sample of the scarf I'm teaching at the shop. This technique, newly explored in Elise Duvekot's great new book Knit One Below, is a variation of a brioche stitch that I first sampled from one of the Barbara Walker Treasuries. Elise has done a nice job fleshing out the possibilities of the stitch, and adapted it to modern yarns like this long repeat stripe called Paintbox from K1C2. It is knit so the colors start out opposite one another, converge in the middle, then shimmer back to the beginning. It was quick and fun to make.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Baby Surprise Jacket

I am teaching this for the wonderful South River Knitting Guild in Annapolis, MD, and so far, everyone seems to be doing well. There is so much on the web about this design, but I thought I'd put up a few thoughts, in case anyone needs help.

Here is a recap of what we talked about and hopefully where you are at. I'll be posting photos of my knit-along sweater tomorrow. Blogger is grumpy tonight.

We discussed the structure, which is brilliant, being all in one piece. As EZ says in the pattern, it looks like nothing you've ever seen when you're done knitting it.

We cast on and discussed which side to count ridges on. If I am knitting in garter stitch and I've used long tail cast on, I don't count the cast-on in my ridges. I count after I've finished even numbered rows, which in this pattern are the wrong-side rows. I count on the right side, though, because that's where the completed garter ridges will show up. The bottom line though, is that if you are consistent, you can count the ridges on either side. Really.

We talked about decreases. Most decided to use the decrease as written, which is sl 1, k2tog, psso. It is a double decrease that has a subtle, flat appearance. The alternative we discussed is the sl 2, k1, p2sso. This one looks great-like a traveling knit stitch on top of the garter fabric, but one has to remember to purl it on the wrong side to complete that illusion.

After casting on, establishing 2 decrease points, and knitting along for a bit, we increased in the cuff sections, which is to say before and after the decrease markers. If this increase happens on a right side row, then one also completes the regular decreases at the markers.

Remember to add some fun stripes as you go! If you change yarns on the right side rows, you'll have clean color transitions. If you change on the wrong side rows, you'll have interesting color blips at the change.

From there, decreasing continues until the stitch count is at 90.
Next comes 3 knit rows, then increasing begins for the bottom half.

Increase rows are as follows: *Knit to the marked stitch, m1, k the marked st, m1, repeat from * once, then knit to end. Instructions for several different make one's (M 1) are found here. Scroll down to the M1L. If you want to be very fussy and refined, you can mirror image your M1's on each side of the marked st, but if you choose to do them all the same, it will look just great, really.

On the horizon in the increase section is:
Watch your stitch count and check the instructions for an increase in the center section only for a little back shaping.

Watch your stitch count and check the instructions for the signal to shape the neck by binding off 5 sts at the beginning of the next two rows.

More soon! Feel free to comment or email me with questions: kellienuss at gmail dot com (replace the at and dot with appropriate punctuation symbols)