Monday, January 23, 2012

Bee's Knees

I finished it!

I learned about steeks as I went. I picked up and knitted stitches along the front cut edges:

knit on them...

...till they were the right length.

Then, I tacked them down on the wrong side, affixing them to the stitch which I picked up. This makes a casing that the raw ends live in SO THEY CAN NEVER UNRAVEL. I hope they were listening.

Here is the finished knitted binding on the front:

Chris said it looked just like the picture in the book! Now, I must decide whether to do the hook closures, such are in the book, or whether to knit an i-cord frog and do the regular buttons.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Happy Birthday to me!

This day last year I made the pattern Shazam and wrote it.

This year was a bit different. I was quite busy with the ordinary things of life, but I did have some nice surprises: breakfast in bed -- eggs! Cooked by someone who hates them, for someone he loves; a slice of chocolate, chocolate chip cheesecake at the homeless shelter where I volunteer; a Rowan membership magazine waiting for me on my stoop when I got home; a sweet poem written by a sweeter girl; all the kids being in evening activities so my honey and I could have dinner together; heat that is (sort of) working.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Eek! A steek!

This week, I cut my first steek. Well, sort of.

A year and a half ago, I went to the Nordic Knitting Conference and took a class with Danish designer and fabu knitter Ruth Sorensen. While there, I mentioned in passing that I had never cut a steek. She grabbed one of her projects, forced the scissors in my hand and had no mercy. But in a kind way.

But, that was her knitting. This is mine. In September, I cast on a lovely little kid cardigan by Mary Scott Huff called the Bee's Knees. It is in her book The New Stranded Colorwork. I knit it up rather quickly, but it is a steeked cardigan. The concept behind it is, one knits a long tube of fabric using multiple strands of yarn in multiple colors in order to get a colored pattern of some kind. Patterning is much easier if one is always knitting it looking at the right side of the work - not turning and purling on the wrong side. When one turns the work, it is much easier to get the patterning wrong, or twist the different colors around each other in the opposite direction from the right side of the work. All that can effect the finished product.

The downside to knitting a huge tube of fabric is, when you knit all the way to the shoulder height and cast off (or reserve stitches for a three-needle shoulder bind-off), you then have to cut up the front for the cardigan opening, cut down the sides to insert the sleeves, and cut a shallow opening for the front of the neck.

Yeah, I know.

Well, I've done my first real steek now. I called my hubby down and he documented it for me. In the middle of the video, the sound diminishes for around 20 seconds, but it comes back.

(Sigh. The video will not load. I will try to upload it on another post.)

Even though I am now a steek graduate, of sorts, I still haven't cut the armhole steeks and the arm steeks. That was another cool thing in this pattern: Mary had us knit both sleeves at the same time with 8 waste stitches between the two. That way, all the patterning and stranding is done at once. When done, one secures the stitches with machine stitching, and cuts the sleeve tube into two sleeves.

I hope to do it today.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Christmas is done -- Bring in the New Year

Got some Christmas projects done, and I am free-to-be Jan-u-ary!

First, I knit a friend's son a stocking

I knit a dear friend in the service some socks

And, I knit Suzy Hoo a hat!

So, this New Year's we went to London -- again!

But, it was London, Ontario. And, it was after a day at Niagara with the kids.

So, the kids are back in school, and I have pulled the Kauni I bought from The Trading Post booth at the Michigan Fiber Festival in August. What lovely yarn they have! A few other people carry Kauni -- Little Knits and Webs, and now the Shuttle Shop near me -- but it is so nice to touch and feel the wool one is buying.

After researching the Kauni Cardigan, designed by Ruth Sorensen, I have been planning on knitting the damask version of the cardi. Now I'm onto planning which colors should go side by side. Too bad I don't have enough yarn to knit a hat as my swatch. In fact, I remember having this conversation with a Ravelry friend about two years ago! It's about time I cast on!