Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Knitters’ Day Out 2014

My morning class was with Margaret Radcliffe, who has published quite a few books:IMG_4400 Honestly, I didn’t have a moment to peruse them, but my friend Caitlin says they are very good. Margaret described The Knitting Answer Book as a “how to” book, while her latest (The Knowledgeable Knitter) is a “why” book.

The Ouroboros Moebius pattern was originally published in a magazine (Knit N Style Magazine? or KnitStyle?). Margaret said that she improved the pattern a little bit for class, mostly by specifying how to use markers to make sure you perform the initial join correctly. Here are my markers placed and ready to join:IMG_4395The moebius is knit in one piece. You start with a thin strip that begins with a point and then tapers to the full strip width (in our cast, 5 stitches). Then you join to knit in the round, and keep adding onto the edge using a technique that is similar to applied i-cord. You always have either 5 or 6 stitches on the needles, which means you can knit an entire cowl on dpns if you want.IMG_4398 You can see the beginning of the structure in the dark orange wedge above. The point is the beginning of the whole thing. Here it is hanging off Julie’s arm:

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The rainbow version above is knit from handspun made from a gradient roving. Margaret showed us some other examples of the pattern, too – this one is worked with two strands of laceweight, and she added in new colors gradually:IMG_4397These two examples are both worked in garter stitch, but you can play with others, too. For class, we worked a tiny version with a 12” circumference. Here’s mine coming together:

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I think this pattern has great potential for showing off yarns with stripes or longer color repeats, or handspun yarns. I’ll be trying it at some point!

I took NO photos at my afternoon class with Lily Chin, but we learned a ton of little tips and tricks. One of the more memorable tricks was how to attach shank buttons to knitwear without sewing. You can knit them in, if you use a bit of dental floss in a clever way. This has potential, but I still fret about button placement in relation to buttonholes. We used our crochet hooks a lot, too, and I think I will never again do a provisional cast-on again by knitting into the purl bumps of a crochet chain. There is an easier way! I also think I’ll try binding off with a crochet hook next time I have the chance. This class is based on her book, which is out of print but available used. I may have to keep my eye out for it.IMG_4405 What’s next? The marketplace, of course! I succumbed to another one of these awesome baskets made in Ghana. I have a couple and I really like them. And this one has such bright, happy colors. I couldn’t leave it. These baskets are all so different and you have to grab the one that speaks to you!

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I also got a bag of fiber labeled “Three Feet of Sheep.” The packaging was irresistible, as you can see.IMG_4409 The bag contains ten or so little bundles of fiber arranged in a gradient. The fiber is a mix of wool and silk. Since these take dye differently, the result is dimensional. I’ll get more pictures of the fiber out of the bag soon. I might spin this up during Spinzilla in a couple of weeks.

That’s all I bought this year. There were many hats in the donation bin, as usual:IMG_4423 Once again, it was a great day full of fun and learning. I’m happy to have this affordable, high quality event so close to home. We are so fortunate. KDO and MDSW have become major markers in the knitters’ year, one ushering in fall and the other spring. And the big wheel keeps on turning!

Happy Autumnal Equinox!

1 comment:

Steven said...

Cool technique on the scarf. And love that basket! My friend Meg has a Ghanian basket very similar to this one that she keeps yarn for large crochet projects in.

Was Lily scary?