Saturday, March 2, 2013

Bringing you up to date!

As usual, time has slipped by me and I've been a bit negligent with my blog. My teaching schedule at StevenBe's and now the Yarn Garage have taken a big chunk out of my spare time. I'm certainly not complaining, far from it....I feel very blessed that my classes are so popular. You'll see, one of these days I'll get my act together and actually get my blog done on a more regular basis!

I would like to share something with all of you that I think you'll find really interesting. In a recent class that I had taught at StevenBe's, one of my students brought in some knitting that belonged to her partner's grandmother. At first glance I wasn't sure what I was looking at - in part because it was in such good condition but once I learned what it was, I asked Pat for her permission to put it on my blog.

What you're looking at is a bandage that was being knit on size 0 needles by the late Edna Harris from Bluffton, Indiana. Here is the shocker; it's from World War I! In those days, there weren't drug stores on every corner that supplied such things. Instead, the Red Cross had to rely on thoughtful women such as Edna to make bandages for our soldiers.

On to my knitting girls and what they are up to. Not sure if I mentioned it but I bought them all a copy of Susan B. Anderson's Spud & Chloe on the farm for Christmas. We all chose a critter and now we're busy knitting the farm....Literally!  I'll keep you posted with our progress.

Last but not least I want to share some of my upcoming projects and the yarns I'll be using for them.

As you can see, I'm a huge fan of Madelinetosh Vintage. The yarn to the left is called Cherry and it will become another Creedence Shawl. The Madelinetosh on the right is the very popular color way called Tart. The picture doesn't really do it justice but it's a red with a hint of black throughout. This will be used for my Creature Comfort Sweater...Which by the way will be a class this fall at StevenBe's! Last but not least is my lace weight Shalimar yarn. The fiber content is merino, silk and cashmere and as you can see, I'm already doing my gauge swatch. This will become a shawl that was created by my favorite designer, Corrina Ferguson. I'll share my progress in upcoming blogs.

Well, I'm off on my knitting adventures and I wish you well with yours!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Short Rows!

Where has the year gone? I say it every year but it seems that the older I get, the faster it goes by. Hopefully, all of my readers enjoyed a wonderful holiday with friends and family and are ready to get to work on all the resolutions they made on January 1st. No doubt that "more knitting" is at the very top of everyone's list as it certainly is on mine!

Besides the obvious ones of not starting a new project before completing what's already on the needles, I decided, thanks to my daughter Katie, to use my time more wisely. As a Christmas gift, she thoughtfully purchased a planner for me and guarantees that organizing my life will be a snap because of it. Well, that remains to be seen but I'm definitely willing to give it a whirl.

Which brings me to my blog. In addition to sharing pictures and stories from my knitting groups and classes, I will begin addressing technical issues that plaque many knitters.

That being said, I want to discuss "short rows". Short rows are exactly that, short rows. There are several reasons for using short rows and there are many different ways of performing them. The most common way is the wrap and turn method. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of confusion when working short rows on garter stitch pieces.

I have been approached several times by knitters that are displeased with the end result of what they believed or were told was the correct treatment of the wraps when garter stitch is involved. The problem is that they treated the wraps in the same fashion as stockinette and reverse stockinette.

This is what I wish to clarify; when working short rows on garter stitch pieces, you perform it, then ignore it! What that means is that you will go through the process of wrapping and turning, but when you come back to it, you ignore the wrap. Why? Because the wrap maintains the continuity of the appearance of garter stitch!

So now you know....Don't knit the wraps on garter stitch. If a pattern suggests you do this, I would seriously question the reason behind it. It may be because some people believe knitting the wraps closes a "hole" created by the short row, however, this is not the case. Knitting and purling the wraps is done strictly for cosmetic reasons.

In case you are not familiar with wrap and turn short rows or just need a refresher, I've included my YouTube video on the subject.

Finally, I would like to share a picture of the newest member of our family, Chester.  He is a 3 month old Netherlands Dwarf rabbit and is an absolute sweetheart!

Next blog, I will be addressing what many knitters' feel is a nasty subject - GAUGE!!!

That's all for now and I wish you good luck with your knitting adventures.

Until next time!