Fiber Corner

Daily life of a knitting designer/publisher of handknitting patterns

Friday, January 27, 2006

Knitting Olympics

Yes, I've done it. I've signed up for the Knitting Olympics. In the past, I've always tried to knit one special project for the duration of the games anyway--usually a lace shawl. This year I plan to design and knit a pair of socks with Bavarian Twisted Stitches in them. Plus, have the pattern finished by the end of the closing ceremonies. That will be the most difficult part for me. I tend to dawdle when writing patterns.

I'll be using some of Lisa's Sock! yarn in the Turqua color. Don't know whether they'll be toe-up or top down yet. I just wound the skein and am swatching a bit since I've never knit with it before. I'm going to figure out my gauge and some stitch patterns so I'm ready to cast on during the opening ceremonies.

I found this great USA sock button on Jessica's blog. Hope I saved it correctly and if not, hope someone lets me know.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Dyeing experiment

A couple of years ago I took a dyeing workshop taught by Merike Saarnit at Stitches Camp. It was tons of fun! We played like a roomful of kindergarten kids and our class sorta bonded. Since Stitches camp is going to be held at Lake Junaluska, NC again this year with Merike as one of the instructors, one member of the class e-mailed everyone to try to get us to return.
Now, it would be fun but there are just too many new and different events still to try--Maryland Sheep & Wool, John C Campbell Folk School, and Convergence, to name a few. However, her e-mail did get me thinking about dyeing. I had some Corriedale top laying around and so I thought I'd try my hand with that and see what happened. It's certainly not in the same league as "real" handpainters, but I'm pretty happy with it.

Here's a shot of it as it's being spun. It measures 41 wpi and I'm trying to produce a single which isn't too overtwisted since I'm thinking of knitting Hazel Carter's Tempelhof Airlifter shawl with it. The color makes me think of flying off into the wild blue yonder.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Aran afghan

A knitter I met through the Master Knitter program contacted me a few weeks ago about knitting my square in the Great American Aran Afghan. I've heard talk about the afghan in a few other places lately (maybe there's a knitalong going on or something), so I thought I'd post a photo of my completed afghan.

It's knit from the Plymouth Encore that was part of my prize. Besides the Encore, (actually, I still have enough of that to knit another entire afghan), I also won all the books XRX had published at that time (through Gathering of Lace) and several bags of Galway. I used most of the Galway for my master knitter program swatches and, they were aqua blue, not cream colored. How shocking! (private joke that only the other master knitters probably get)

I'm still completely amazed that my square was chosen in the contest. When I set out to design it, I had no intentions of sending it in as it was purely a personal sentiment (see Dec 9 entry). I had knit one of Knitter's previous afghans and inserted a square of my own, and thought I'd do the same with this one. After showing it to my LYS owner and having her strong encouragement, I took a chance. It sure paid off.

Monday, January 09, 2006

A well loved shawl

Ever have a stuffed animal when you were little that was simply loved to death. Well, that's sort of what happened to my Faroese Shawl. I literally wore it everyday during the winter for the last 3 or 4 years as the Faroese style lent itself to staying put on my shoulders no matter what I was doing. Plus, I could crisscross the ends and tie them behind me and have full mobility. Last summer, I even sometimes wore it when I would go for a walk in the evening if it was a little cool. Of course, nothing lasts forever and all of sudden it went from wearing a little thin to worn out.

So, for the first time ever, I knit an exact duplicate. The pattern was from an old Knitter's (K47, I think) and is also in the Best of Shawls and Scarves from XRX. It's knit with Laceweight Icelandic from Schoolhouse Press and size 8 needles. I needed just over 3 skeins of yarn. In fact, when I called SP to order it last year, I only ordered 3 skeins and had to describe the color over the phone. When it arrived, it was slightly darker than the original--probably just a dyelot thing. I knit the shawl in about 2 weeks (because I was cold and the other one wasn't really keeping me warm anymore) so, when I was nearly finished and ran out of yarn, I just sent an e-mail to Meg ordering one more skein figuring they'd still have the same dye lot (and, knowing that my CC# was on file with them and had a current expiration date). Well, a few days later the package arrived, along with a note asking me to send them a check as they had a minimum order amount for charges. It never even entered my mind, but makes perfect sense, and I think it illustrates what really "good people" they are there. Other places might have waited to contact me first and wanted payment before sending the yarn.

I can't wait to start wearing it!