Wednesday, September 28, 2016

slip stitch knitting

Recently my guild did a presentation on slip stitch knitting.  The choice of what direction to take the class was a heady one.  Did we do texture slip stitches?  Should we do mosaic slip stitches?  Or should we choose something else in the color work field of slip stitches??  Ultimately the presenters chose to do the something else.

The project was a cell phone carry case.  The gusset/strap was fabric stitch/linen stitch because it doesn't stretch.  For the front, back and flap, we were given a choice of patterns.  Samples were given both in person and in the pattern as well as the directions, Indian cross stitch, royal quilting, honeycomb tweed, false flame stitch and crochet-knit cross stitch and a less than satisfactory stitch, the two color plaited basketweave.  All are patterns from Barbara Walker's Treasury of knitting patterns vols. 1 & 2.

This is my rendition.  I used the crochet knit cross stitch for the front.  The two color plaited basketweave done a needle 6 sizes larger than the rest is featured on the flap.  And starring on the back in the second picture is Royal Quilting.

I used size US 4 needles and Lily Sugar and Creme worsted weight cotton yarn in dark green and a green/white "stripes".  This second has a really long color repeat.  The linen stitch and the two color plaited basket weave are very firm stitches.

Some of the other women chose to do a long strap to make it a cross body bag.  I chose to make it a wrist strap.  When I started this I had a different phone that was smaller.  My new phone doesn't fit this case.  But my new phone does a few more things than the other one.  So I will definitely be making another.

Who knows what will be coming up in the next year of meetings.  I'm looking forward to the planning when the ideas are pitched.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Swatching to see what might happen in knitting

Swatching to see what might happen ... This sounds so innocent, yet opens so many options.  There is a reason behind this madness.  Many of us are creating garments that don't fit quite right.  For those who do get gauge one way but not the other, maybe it's too short  and pinches us somewhere or the length is great but that quarter of a stitch we didn't think would matter in the 4 inches has now made a sweater or skirt wide enough to drive a Mac truck through.

Keeping the yarn, stitch pattern and needles the only constant, these are some options.  Gather all your different materials of needles, making sure they are the same size, mm not US.

1.  throw the yarn, yarn held in right hand, English style
2.  pick the yarn, yarn held in the left hand, Continental style
3.  yarn around the neck and flicked with the thumb, Portuguese style.  I have yet to be able to do this.
4.  aluminum needles
5.  bamboo needles
6.  rosewood needles
7.  plastic needles
8.  chromed needles, steel needles
9.  straight needles
10. circular needles
11. Western knitting, knit in the front of the stitch
12. Eastern knitting, knit in the back of the stitch
13. combinations 1, 2, 3, 11, 12,
14. each combination from 13 with different materials of needles.
15. knit from left to right instead of right to left

Work two repeats wide, one repeat tall (a stitch pattern 8 - 16 stitches wide by 8 - 10 rows is good for this exercise) of your chosen stitch pattern with each method. Keep a written list of which method or tool each repeat corresponds to.  Wash and block the final swatch.  Do not stretch, just pin out.  Let dry.

Now take your measuring tool.  A quilter's square is very useful in this event, as it is a solid piece of clear acrylic marked off in 1/4".  Do you find that certain styles of knitting are wider, shorter, thinner, taller?  How about the different materials?  Do they have any effect that you can see?  Count your stitches and rows..... make notes on your list of what does what as well as your gauge for each.  Now keep the list and swatch together.  You have proof of what does what.

Ready to start a garment?  Use the extra ball of yarn you bought to swatch and work your first swatch.  Wash, dry and measure. What's going on?  Check your list against the swatch you just finished.  Swatch using the method or tools that seems like it might make the change needed.  Wash, dry and measure.  Good?  Now either change again and repeat or start your new project.

Happy knitting.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What's Old is New Again

And what's new is old.

I love antique pattern booklets.  Some are not antiques in the usual sense but vintage.  I've also been looking through my books, booklets, sheets and magazines.  A friend was looking for a definite stitch and I thought I had seen it.  I didn't have it in my library but on Pinterest.

But I was looking through these while watching tv.  There is a new online car sales commercial that caught my eye.  It was crochet in the wild so to speak.  It was also too horrible to contemplate.  It was a man in a granny square suit that was ill fitting besides being a train wreck.  Let me clarify.  I like granny squares.  A lot.  They are a go to for afghans for me.  But this poor man was in a suit made of granny squares that pinched him if his walk it to be the proof of things.  See the commercial HERE.

But then I took another look through my magazines.  I have several Woman's Day Granny Square pattern magazines.  I'm certain there are some good uses for granny squares, maybe even clothes.  Thees might not be it for me.  I will grant that some of these are interesting in the construction.  The colors perhaps not so much, at least for my taste.  These are a few of the images that show up for granny square clothes images from google.  Interesting?

Image result for man in granny square suit  Image result for man in granny square suit  Image result for man in granny square suit

Image result for man in granny square suit  Image result for man in granny square suit

Image result for man in granny square suit Done in different colors that were not so jarring, This could be a comfy top.

Image result for man in granny square suit  I like this but again, the colors need to be updated.  Maybe some nice jewel tones in a mercerized cotton, slightly larger hook to open up the lace effect.....  Or perhaps to complement my red hair, greens and purples........

Most of the images, though, truly look like you are attempting to wear an afghan.
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Image result for man in granny square suitImage result for man in granny square suitImage result for man in granny square suit

The grey and black suit is a tad frightening for office wear.