Wednesday, October 24, 2007

instant gratification

Today I was organizing some knitting stuff, and I came across an old project: some log cabin freeform squares that I had sewn up into a reversible bag with knitted handles. It was cute, but not functional. Besides being a little bulky, it didn't have any structural support. Just a bunch of layers of knitting.

I took it apart, separated the layers to make 2 bags instead of 1, and was going to put in some lining when I realized that the denim bags that I had stashed away were the perfect size to become liners!

I haven't actually stitched the knitting to the denim, but that will just take a few minutes. Instant gratification!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More workshop pics and some more finished socks

Finished Sockinas! Hooray! It's about time....

Here are Brandon's sample swatches from Saturday's workshop. Notice that I did not put them in the same post as my own swatch to avoid comparisons! I really like both of these swatches.

I fell in love with this scarf Saturday. It's made with the magic ball method. He told us about the project even though it's technically a different workshop, so we got a bonus. Basically, you tie odd lengths of yarn together to make your own variegated yarn, then you knit from it in the fair isle pattern and let the colors fall where they may. I'm going to try the method and make a bag at some point.
He also brought samples of sweaters from his newer book. Here's the cover sweater, and below, Brandon models one of the vests himself.

celebrity sighting

The knitting workshop wasn't my only big activity this past weekend. On Sunday I had an orchestra job in Raleigh playing for the Regis Philbin/Susan Lucci concert. I didn't know what to expect, but it was a lot of fun. They both sang, which was enjoyable, but the best part was the talking and chatting in between numbers. Talk about being at ease in front of a crowd! No beta-blockers for these two. After the concert, Krista and I got our friend Alan to take our picture with Regis, who was nice enough to pose with us. Yes, I do find it a bit discouraging that I have lots more gray hair than Regis.

Monday, October 22, 2007

color workshop

This weekend I went to a knitting color workshop taught by Brandon Mably of the Kaffe Fassett design studio. I've been to this same workshop 6 years ago with Brandon, but I didn't do so well. When I saw he'd be back again, I decided to sign up.

Our homework was to knit a 10" swatch of stockinette stitch in random fair isle patterns using our favorite colors. At the beginning of the class, Brandon looked at each swatch and talked about how the colors might look different, depending on what colors were beside them. He tried not to criticize, but we could tell which ones he liked and which ones he didn't! I was pleased that he liked my variety of purple yarns in this swatch of little squares.

Our assignment during class was to choose a postcard of a painting from his collection, then to choose yarns in the colors represented in the painting. From there we were to knit a swatch using those colors in the tumbling blocks pattern and work on making the colors work together. Within each section, colors were to graduate from one to the next. Between sections, we were to group colors by dark, medium and light to get sufficient contrast. This was harder than it sounds. Here's the blurry picture of my finished swatch from class, and below it is the postcard I used. Since I've been doing freeform, I've been able to blend colors together so freely, since the pieces aren't joined until you're ready. In this style of knitting, there was a bit more planning involved. I found it to be more restrictive, but that wasn't necessarily bad, just different. I really like the smooth nature of stockinette stitch knitting, and I want to do a project with the ideas I had during the class. More about that later.

Before lunch, he pinned all of the swatches in progress to the wall with their postcards so we could do an early analysis of the color work. He instructed us to step away often from the knitting to see it from a distance. All the better to see how the colors interact.

You can see in the picture that he spoke briefly about each one, praising what was going well, and At the end of the day, he pinned up the finished swatches and did an overview of each one. The last time I did this workshop, my swatch was rather pathetic (and no, I don't think I still have it) and his comments were encouraging, but I didn't feel very good about the project. This time, Success! Maybe I'm a student of repetition?

Lastly, the Sockina socks are almost ready to wear. Soon! Soon!

Monday, October 15, 2007

new projects

It's the season for gift-knitting. At least, it's the season of realizing that if you're going to knit gifts, you had better start NOW.
I have a list. I'm getting started. But there are many pictures I will not be able to post! They are gifts, after all, and shall be kept secret until their gifting.
I'll show whatever I can.

Friday, October 12, 2007

new Jitterbug

I taught a sock class last week, and this is the sock I worked on during class. Dusk colorway, very pretty. I always divide sock skeins that have punk yardage, and the picture above shows how little yarn I had left at the end of this sock.
Will start the second today, probably, so that I can wear them soon. It's cool today--sock season is upon us!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Opal re-knitted

Finally, the purple Opal socks are done! I knitted these a few years ago when I got back into making socks, but they were too narrow, and I didn't like the gauge. A few months ago I decided to reknit them. After the first sock was finished, I couldn't find the yarn for the second sock. Luckily it turned up and now the socks are finished and much better than the originals.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

lining freeform purses, and finished monkeys!

I've been lining some of the freeform purses that I made last year. Here's a yucky overly bright close up of Sherry's purse, about to be lined.
And a nicer shot of the whole purse in better light!

This one is my mom's, and it's actually been lined already and returned. I couldn't resist a close up of a spiral and bullion shell.

Not one, but two, two (!) finished monkeys. And no, I'm not that fast, it's just that both pairs have been on the needles for a while. I'm in the midst of a sock-finishing-frenzy. Two pairs to go, then I can start something fresh and new.