Knitting In The Round Is Not Flat

The weekend temperatures in Northern California were in the triple digits.  Today, Monday should be the last gasp of hot summer heat.  I took advantage of the heat over the weekend to block a lace cowl “hot” off the needles.  September Circle designed by Melissa LaBarre ” is a seamless loop scarf that combines a self-striping sock yarn and larger needles for a perfect fall accessory.”

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The patterns suggests Schoppel Wolle Zauberball Crazy (100 g/459 yds 75% virgin wool, and 25% nylon), which I found tucked away with the rest of my sock yarn.

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I’m a newbie to lace knitting, so I decided to use stitch markers after each 12 stitch repeat. This project is a perfect “in-between another” when you’re looking for instant gratification. For bind off, I (k2tog tbl, slip the st back to left needle) to end of round.  I find this particular technique results in a looser BO, compared to (knit 2 stitches and with left needle, pass first stitch over and off needle).

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Because of the characteristic of knitted lace, I needed to figure out how to block in the round.  I browsed through a couple of books and looked online and came across an interesting technique using two knitting needles.

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After following the steps of wet blocking, knitting needles are inserted and pinned at each end to the finished size measurement.  Take a look at Lisagrace Alsbury’s blog http://thegoodlifeiniowa.blogspot.com/2012/01/crafty-christmas-herringbone-cowlhow-to.htm

Blocking a Cowl

I’m looking forward to an almost twenty degrees cooler Tuesday.

Schedule Change

Almost two weeks ago, I was notified the Vogue Knitting Destination trip to Koigu Wool Designs was cancelled due to an unfortunate personal circumstance suffered by the Landra family.  I wish Kersti Landra a speedy recovery.

With a last minute change of my schedule…We were able to celebrate my husband’s birthday with an impromptu trip to the coast for a couple of days.  What we witnessed words cannot describe, we were part of something amazing. Due to the warmer waters of El Nino, an abundant food supply exists for the whales, dolphins, sea otters and sea lions, and birds.  I have never experienced such an awesome show of marine life.

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Pelicans, Cormorants, Sea Gulls and diving birds were everywhere.

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Sea Otters and pods of Dolphins cruised by for the  abundant supply of food.

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Of course, the unique and unusual also appeared.

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I’ve taken many pictures over the years, but this candid shot of my husband is one of my favorites.

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The end of a beautiful day on the beach.

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Time for the celebratory Happy Birthday dinner at Cafe Rio.

A Wrong Does Make A Right

After knitting about eight inches on Design Mine, I measured for gauge and found the width of the back was not to measurement.  Does a gauge swatch truly address the variability of yarn?  A gauge swatch is definitely necessary, but until the yarn has been knitted outside the confines of a gauge swatch, does a true textile emerge.

Online Linie 79 Evita, consists of a wrapped woven inner core which creates an interesting “thick and thin” yarn.  What makes Evita visually unique, also creates an inconsistent gauge.  Revising the number of cast on stitches, provided an opportunity for me to really “look” at the effects of inconsistency.

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The wrong side of the knitted piece has an interesting sculptural Ikat weave surface pattern.  For me, the wrong side of the piece is visually more interesting, in comparison to the right side.

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Design Mine

When I find beautiful yarn and a pattern, I jump right in with both knitting needles.  After knitting a gauge swatch, I begin knitting line by line, increase by decrease reaching the final row of  bind off.  I give very little thought to the process of designing because I love to knit.  Recently, I read an interview of “technical knitter” Catherine Lowe, conducted by Charles D. Gandy for Knit Purl, the Spring/Summer 2015 issue, in which she mentions,

“More often than not, the motivation for the new designer is “I love to knit, so I’ll become a designer and then I’ll knit all the time.  Actually, the new designer ends up spending most of his/her time dealing with business and professional aspects of the industry.”

I’ve had fleeting moments of design grandeur.  Practically every year I enroll in a design class at Stitches West, but when the instructor begins to discuss how to get the numbers for neck shaping and sleeve increases my eyes glaze over and my mind wanders.  Catherine Lowe argues,

“One great regret is that here in America we have no history of formalized apprenticeship in the hand knitting industry.  Technical skills can be transmitted through tradition and workshops-experience cannot.”

Who knew a trip to my local library would help solve some of my knitting woes of design.  Debbie Stoller’s, Stitch “N’ Bitch Superstar Knitting, speaks loud and clear to me.

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I’ve decided to start collecting experience by embracing Debbie Stoller’s “purls of wisdom.” The basic drop-sleeve cardigan from Superstar Knitting appeals to me and looks like a great start.  Locked away in my yarn vault, I found Evita by Online Linie 79, 50% Wool, 15% Nylon, 35% Acrylic.

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Using a Size 13 needle, I knitted a gauge swatch.  As I worked through the design process, the relationship between a gauge swatch paired with accurate measurements became quite evident. The whole design is based on at least 4 inches of knitting.

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Now, I need to write-up the pattern.

Chris From Canberra

Chris from Australia

http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21663247-lost-merino-recalls-fatter-years-when-australias-wealth-was-wool-prized-yarn-australia

According to other news outlets, Chris’ fleece yielded enough for thirty sweaters.

Thirty sweaters worth of wool shorn from overgrown sheep found wandering the Australian wilderness

An undated handout photo obtained on September 2, 2015 from the RSPCA shows a giant woolly sheep on the outskirts of Canberra as Australian animal welfare officers put out an urgent appeal for shearers after finding the sheep with wool so overgrown its life was in danger. The very woolly merino sheep was spotted wandering on its own near Mulligan Flats, a grassy woodland just outside the capital Canberra, by bushwalkers who alerted local RSPCA officers. AFP PHOTO / RSPCA ----EDITORS NOTE ----RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / RSPCA" NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - NO ARCHIVESRSPCA/AFP/Getty Images
An undated handout photo obtained on September 2, 2015 from the RSPCA shows a giant woolly sheep on the outskirts of Canberra as Australian animal welfare officers put out an urgent appeal for shearers after finding the sheep with wool so overgrown its life was in danger. The very woolly merino sheep was spotted wandering on its own near Mulligan Flats, a grassy woodland just outside the capital Canberra, by bushwalkers who alerted local RSPCA officers. AFP PHOTO / RSPCA —-EDITORS NOTE —-RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE MANDATORY CREDIT “AFP PHOTO / RSPCA” NO MARKETING – NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS – NO ARCHIVESRSPCA/AFP/Getty Images