Thursday, 25 August 2016

Updated Mitred Shadow Knitting Experiment

So When we learned the shadow knitting technique - it seemed interesting to try combining it with mitred squares that turned different directions and had different sized triangles inside.

I've added a few pictures below.

This is what I had before. From straight on it looked like this:

From an angle it looked like this (No mater how you turned it because it was symmetrical patterns.

I added more squares and stopped using symmetircal patterns:

Friday, 19 August 2016

Garden and Birds

I have been so busy with work that the garden has been neglected.  As I watch the birds though I can see the seasons changing. Remember that scarlet tanager visiting the feeder?

It's exterior has gradually been changing to its winter "coat". There are slight traces of the brilliant scarlet now, but generally the bird is drab and not particularly striking.

Of course there are the other "guys" at the feeder.

The morning glories are blooming.

Knitting stuff

Birthday gift for the spousal unit and swatch from Stitches:

The birthday gift is a scarf in the style of scarf my spouse's  grandmother made him

Here is the whole scarf.

I tried a braid pattern that uses reversible rib cables and garter stitch to give it a little asymmetry.

Here is my magic ball swatch finished off from Gwen Bortner's class.  There are three different stitch techniques, but I like the straight magic ball knitting (with texture) best.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Stitches Midwest 2016 part 2

Saturday morning we had a class on Increases and Decreases with Judith Durant.

I had mixed feeling about this class. Judith was a good teacher and clearly knew quite a bit about the subject. She has written a book about 99 ways to increase and decrease.

This is the project we worked on in class. Unfortunately neither mine nor my sister's looked like that.

Ours looked like little pig faces - I think there needed to be a few more transition rows.

I  ironed my pig nose only to discover it  isn't even centered in my piece.

It wasn't always clear to me where we were supposed to start our increases and decreases on the hand outs (obviously) and I felt like there wasn't much more to the class besides the hand outs, unless we thought of questions we wanted to ask. This was the case with  several of the courses we took this time around.

Kennita Tully's Short Rows class also felt that way and I think it would have helped if she had demo'ed the techniques before we did them. I liked that we had a swatch project for the class - a little vest that would fit a small Teddy bear.

Unfortunately, I was not having the best of days and could not do a short row to save my life, so I lost the first half of the knitting period and only got my vest half finished after I got back on track. I had great difficulty understanding the written instructions (and was tred as I say) but since I had done all of these short rows before I can't tell if it was me or the instructions. We did Yarn Over, wrapped, German and Japanese short rows (top to bottom in each section of the vest.) It was an instructive swatch, but Ms. Tully worried too much about us being able to finish and thus didn't spend the time we needed on the technique.

Saturday evening there seemed to be a wedding taking place in some of our usual places for holding the banquet.  This might have been the bride:

Sunday we had our last class and our best class by far. It was Lily Chin's Cable course.We learned all about the sex lives of cables.  I think I have taken this class before, as well as Melissa Leapman's Celtic cables, but Ms. Chin is such a fantastic teacher that one always learn a ton (even having had the course before.)

We didn't have much time to practice, because Ms. Chin had so many examples and stories to tell, so I won't bother with my 4 row swatch, but my advice to others is to take any course they have opportunity to do so with Ms. Chin and they will not be sorry (uness they are easily offended and then these people might as well take a class from a handout or just read a book.) My sister and I left the class completely blown away and inspired.

After class we went to the market where I did some real damage and listened to Rick Mondragon read the  names of the door prize winners. Once again it was not us!

So traditionally I put a picture of my purchases up at the end of my Stitches blogs - so here is the damage:

Stitches Mdwest 2016 Thursday and Friday

So, it was time for our annual pilgrimmage to Chicago for Stitches Midwest. It was a bit disappointing this year. There were fewer vendors (probably because it converged timewise with Convergence in Milwaukee and many of the vendors were there.)  It also seemed like there were fewer classes and they overloaded them with more people than usual.

Our first class (Thursday afternoon) was Shadow Knitting with Franklin Habit. I wondered what on earth we could do for three hours with such a simple technique, but Mr. Habit did a good job of not only talking a bit about the technique and history, but also suggesting some creative applications.

Shadow knitting is a technique which creates a garter stitch pattern, where when you look at the piece straight on, you only see stripes, but when you look from the side a sort of ghost pattern appears.

Mr Habit did a clever version of an appearing and disappearing Tardis scarf (from Dr. Who). Below you can see how the technique works as you look at the scarf from different angles.

He gave us the traditional heart pattern. Here is my sister's final swatch.

I couldn't bear to do a heart, so I did an x instead.

Of course one reason to arrive for the first day, is the evening market preview.

Even with the smaller market size I was able to find lots to buy. (More on that later)

Our Friday morning class was "Making a Masterpiece of your Leftover Yarns" with Gwen Bortner. I always enjoy Gwen's classes.

This class was basically about making a magic ball, which is a new ball made up of a bunch of shorter scraps.  The skirt that Gwen was wearing was an example of the type of fabric we created:


Here is another example:

With my long lens I did not get good pictures, but we each brought a bunch of leftover yarn and then swapped with each other to make our "magic ball". The more random the lengths of yarn the better, it turns out! Here we are looking for good yarns for our magic balls.

Here is what I ended up with. (My sister's was prettier.)

Here is what my sister came up with:


Our second class was with a new teacher Kennita Tully. Our class was on asymmetry ("Loosen Up with Asymmetry"). I liked that Ms. Tully gave us historical and aesthetic background.  

We worked on elements that could be added to give our own garments asymmetry (although nothing we knitted was asymmetrical.)

 What was also really great is she showed us how to knit pleats.  Unfortunately I didn't get very far on mine, (See below) but this is definitely something I want to play with. (I hope to work on my pleat some time this week and finish it up.

That evening we went to hear Steven B. talk about unlocking our color future. It was a cute presentation.  Sort of your knitting aura - not sure where he got the descriptions, but I think he should have credited the source.  Steven B. is an exuberant, fun person with a marvelous sense of creativity and he runs a yarn shop right here in Minnesota.

This is his Willie Nelson vest.

I think the picture above captures a bit of Steven B.'s personality.

Oh, and I couldn't figure out my color - I seemed ot be all of them (just like Horoscopes, huh?) I guess red and yellow were my best matches. I WAS wearing yellow at the time.

After all this excitement, my sister and I were quite exhausted  and of course there was more to come in the next two days!