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TKGA Level 2 – Passed!

April 17

I am delighted and relieved that I finally passed Level 2 for the TKGA Master Hand Knitting Program. After knitting (and re-knitting) 24 swatches, answering 19 questions (and I did not get them all right the first time around), writing book reviews and a report, working 2 small project plus a vest (which I chose to design from scratch) it is OVER. Hurray!

If you’d like to perfect your knitting skills, you might want to tackle the Program too.  This level covers seaming, decreases, lace, cables, buttonholes, button bands, stranded knitting, and intarsia. There is a fair amount of pattern writing, preparing you for designing your own patterns and submitting them for publication. There is quite a bit of research involved in this level. I found it very challenging, but it was worth it. My skills improved a lot as a result of completing it.

Here’s my work. The only thing not showing in these photos is the vest. I hope to publish it one of these days. You’ll see it then.

 TKGA Level 2 Level2_7_12 Level2_13_18 Level2_19_24 Level2_Projects

TKGA Meets the Real World

April 17

You may remember I’ve been working on completing Level 2 of the TKGA Master Hand Knitting Program. It is a detailed and challenging program! Before I started the program I didn’t understand the real-world application of it. Yes, I wanted to learn how to become a better knitter. But I didn’t realize tAll Postshat each level’s notebook becomes a valuable part of my reference library.

Here’s an example of how helpful it is for me to have my Level 2 notebook full of swatches and instructions. I’m making the Forest Weave top designed by Yumiko Alexander. It’s worked sideways, and the sides are bound-off edges. One of the swatches in the seaming section of Level 2 is a horizontal-to-horizontal seam like this.  I’m able to look at my swatch and instructions from my notebook to easily remind myself how work this kind of seam. Very handy!

Knitting and seaming

 Wish me luck. I’m re-submitted the swatches and text I had to re-do on Monday. Let’s hope I pass this time!

TKGA Resubmits Level 2

April 14

You may remember I’ve been working on completing Level 2 of the TKGA Master Hand Knitting Program. I’m embarrassed to say I received my comments and list of re-do’s last summer, and only now have re-knitted and re-written the things I didn’t do right the first time around.

The committee members who reviewed my work took an incredible amount of time to write detailed and very helpful comments on my strengths and weaknesses. I so appreciate their efforts! They complimented the things I did right, which was encouraging. Their criticism of the things I did wrong, and the kind way they put it, helped me to learn a lot. I got to add new techniques to my skill set that will prevent me from carrying the same old mistakes forward into future knitting.

I sent in my resubmits today. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this time I will have passed!

“Reversible Scarves” for eBook Readers

April 7

Reversible Scarves Cover

I’m thrilled to announce that my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues is now available for Apple’s iBooks, Amazon’s Kindle, and Barnes and Noble’s Nook! By specifically formatting the book for each device, we’ve ensured you’ll have the best reading experience for your favorite gadget.

What is the advantage of device-specific books over a PDF? The main benefit is reflowable text. Reading a PDF on a mobile device may require quite a bit of scrolling to see all the text. With device-specific formatting, you’re easily able to increase or decrease text size for easy reading. And each device has its own type of flexibility and features which its devotees love and can now use to enjoy my book.

You can check out these sources for Reversible Scarves for your favorite device:

Apple iBooks

Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Noble Nook

Is PDF your preferred format? No worries, it will soon be available through Ravelry. And if you’re not a member of Ravelry, it doesn’t matter. You won’t need to log in to purchase the PDF version of the book there!

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Baby Time

April 3

This gal has been hanging out on our lawn a lot lately. I think she’ll be giving birth very soon! The other day her belly was moving around a lot – she was either breathing heavily or her baby (s) are kicking.

MamaDeer2014

posted under Critters, Nature | No Comments »

Spring Scarf

March 28

Here’s the just-right-for-Spring version of the Mistake Stitch Rib scarf from my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues. What I love about this simple stitch pattern is how well it lends itself to variation. The book covers everything from sport weight to mohair to bulky versions, with this one being my favorite for this time of year.

 reversible scarf, mistake stitch rib, sport weight

Spring Exhuberance Day 1

March 20

So happy to have spring flowers coming along at last!

Spring_Rose_2014_sml

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Duplicity in Red

March 10

I recently finished another Duplicity scarf from my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues. I made it a little shorter than usual, since it’s for a very young friend. Actually when they saw me making it, the boy and both his sisters said they wanted to share it. There’s nothing like enthusiasm to make knitting fun, eh? The bright red colors seemed just right for children.

knitting scarf reversible

The pattern uses a printed and a matching plain sock yarn in double-knitting, so it is definitely not a quick knit. It is, however, useful for social knitting since it’s very easy to do.

 

Resources:

“Duplicity” pattern from Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues

Duplicity, scarf, double knitting, reversible

DROPS Fabel yarn

 

 

posted under Book, Projects, Scarf | 2 Comments »

Gaugefy App

February 27

You may remember I’ve been working on the second level of the TKGA Master Hand Knitting Program. I’m learning to be a stickler for gauge (oh dear, I’ve become one of those people). In Level 2, we have to write instructions for our swatches, including gauge.

A tool that I’m finding to be helpful is the Gaugefy app for Apple devices. It’s very easy to calculate gauge, since it lets you enter any measurement for your swatch – you’re not stuck with 4″ x 4″ for example. It then takes the stitches and rows in your swatch and calculates stitches per inch.

app, Gaugefy, gauge

You can then hit the “Create” button to go to a page that allows you to to use your stitches-per-inch calculation in a number of ways. I like using it to get the 4″ gauge to put into the gauge section of my patterns. Or you can you can estimate the measurements that you’ll get using a certain number of repeats. Or go the other way and figure out how many repeats you’ll get in a given measurement.

app, Gaugefy, gauge

This handy app has a free version which I use all the time. For $1.99 you can get a version with even more features. It will store your gauges for you for future reference.  As a designer, this is really handy. I can have at my fingertips the gauges for yarns I use in design work, or gauges for specific stitch patterns.

app, Gaugefy, gauge

Gaugefy seems like such a simple little app, yet is very handy!  You can check it out for free in iTunes and upgrade to the paid (but still really inexpensive) version if you’d like to be able to save the results of your swatches, including yarn and needle size.

Frog Tree Feather and Fan

February 23

 Feather and Fan, reversible scarf, Frog Tree

Here’s a sample I made from Frog Tree’s Pediboo Worsted. I was excited to get to try this yarn, since tone-on-tone colorways are a relatively new addition to the Pediboo line. Frog Tree has created gorgeous colors in both the worsted and sock weight.

This is the reversible ”Feather and Fan” pattern from my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues.  In the partially worked ball of the yarn, you can see the subtle variations of lighter and darker blue:

FeatherFan_FrogTree_Ball

 

I love the “Feather and Fan” pattern – it’s a fun and easy knit. It always makes me nervous at first, though, since it looks like a jumbly mess as it comes off the needles. After wet-blocking – giving it a good stretch – it transforms into a beautiful, feminine creation! You can see the beautiful color variations of the new Frog Tree tone-on-tone line:

  Feather_Fan_FrogTree_ed2

 

This scarf is on display at the Ball & Skein & More in Cambria, California – it was one of the first shops to carry the new tone-on-tone version of Pediboo Worsted. I loved getting a sneak peek of all the gorgeous colors available! The Feather and Fan scarf uses only two skeins.

 

Resources:

“Feather and Fan” pattern from  Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues :

final-08599

Frog Tree Yarns

The Ball & Skein & More – the amazing yarn store in Cambria, California

Storm Mountain Cardigan

January 21

I’ve been in a stash-reducing mood lately. I had a bunch of Rowan Felted Tweed DK sitting around for a pattern I decided not to make after all. What to do? Through the magic of Ravelry, I found the perfect use for all that yarn – Storm Mountain by Heidi Kirrmaier.

The pattern is simple to make. Worked from the top down, it uses raglan shaping for the sleeves and eyelet increases to create the pretty back. Heidi uses ingenious stitch count tables to make it very easy to keep track of the repeats and number of stitches at each stage along the way.

Storm Mountain_2_sml

As you can see, there are a couple of ways to wear the sweater; it can cascade down the front or be secured across. The open front was not so great outside in the winter snow, but will be just right in the spring!

Storm Mountain_1_sml

  Storm Mountain_3_sml

Being a seriously pear-shaped person, I needed the top part of the sweater to be smaller than the bottom part. I made the following modifications:

First, I cast on using cable method for firmness. I made the top half, down to about 7.5” beyond the yoke, in smaller needle sizes (#3 and #4); this gave me a tighter gauge as well as less garment width. Then I switched to #5 which gave me the gauge as called for in the garment for the bottom part of the sweater. I worked one fewer pattern repeats in bottom half, since I got the called-for length.

I struggled with the SSE as described in the pattern; clearly I was doing something wrong. I chose instead to do: RS first 4 sts: ktbl, p1, sl1,p1 RS last 4 sts: p1, sl1, p1, slwyibWS first 4 sts: p, k, p, k WS last 4 sts: k, p, k, slwyif

 I found the sweater easy enough for tv-watching and social knitting, with just enough going on to also keep it interesting.

Many thanks to my husband Steve for braving the snow to take these lovely photos!

 

Resources:

Storm Mountain pattern

Rowan Felted Tweed DK

Frost!

January 9

The recent Polar Vortex brought beautiful frost formations to my windows. I was mesmerized, seeing trees, birds and even a flower garden in them. What do you see in them?

 

Frost

Frost_sml-15

Frost_sml-16

Frost_sml-17

Frost_sml-24

Frost_sml-25

posted under Nature | No Comments »
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