Saturday, August 06, 2005

Only a week after sending off my book proposal, one of the publishers responded they loved it, and it's going to be published. Five months of work off and on when I had the time. I'm very happy. It's nice to believe in yourself and then have others believe in you too.

One of our local yarn reps gave me a sample of some new yarn to play around with on Friday, a 50% wool and 50% soy silk blend. I made up a pair of wristlets. The colorways are terrific.

That's kitty's face you can see in the photo...she was curious and just had to see what was going on.

Monday, August 01, 2005

It really was one of those days. After I knit and seamed the entire shrug it was about twice as wide as it needed to be; I'd done a gauge swatch after knitting only three or four rows, and it turned out the stockinette stretched quite a bit once knit. You know, the classic sweater where the sleeves go down to the knees? Somewhat like that. So I had to rip it completely and reknit it. I'm about halfway through and the fabric is pictured above. The reverse side looked much better so that will be the right side.

I bought labels for my finished garments and this is the first one that will have a label attached. Since I am going to be selling them now, it seemed right.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Heard back from one of the publishers - they let me know they had received my book proposal and asked for patience because their review process takes three months. In three more months I could have the remainder of the book done. However this is the timeframe I have heard in the past, and what I expected.

Am working on a new shrug today (finished the purple one), in autumn leaf colors of brown, red/orange/gold, purple, and green. Funny thing is that everyone else that saw it did not pick up on it being an autumn colorway! What other colors would you pick for autumn? One person said it looked I am trying to tone it down with a base color of burnt sienna. It's one of those days. Will post photo tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Bagged the Nimbus shrug. It was too wide and not going to be long enough, and I decided the texture was too thick. It needs to be used for something different and I'm not sure what. I'd gotten about halfway through (about 170 yds) before I pulled it from the needles.

Decided to do another shrug with a different colorway. I combined yarns from three different scarf projects. Now this is the way NOT to do a shrug; Two Gatsby Lux and four Great Adirondack yarns, two of which were very pricey. Too many expensive yarns and not enough in return. The price to pay if you want to knit in large gauge with small gauge yarns. However, I like it, and it hangs very nicely, so I'm going to keep it. See swatch below.

Knitted with one yarn held throughout, the cotton/silk, which had 315 yds. That is held alternately with the gossamer (both these yarns tog cost almost $70), rayon Frills in Kenya and a Gatsby Lux in grey-blue, and rayon Frills in Raspberries and a Gatsy Lux in pinks. I changed out the other yarns every six rows.

Here's a photo of the knit fabric:

Monday, July 25, 2005

This is the shrug I'm knitting out of the Nimbus (well, a close-up of the knitted fabric):

Have been so busy trying to get my book proposal out the door. It is finally completed and on its way. Over 30 knitting patterns, about six months of work in my spare time. I hope to get a positive response from the publishers.

Did not intend for "daily" blog to become "monthly."

Am working on a simple summer shrug for myself using a discontinued Berroco yarn called Nimbus, in the turquoise/marine blue/grey colorway. It is knitting up extremely fast on size 17 Addis in stockinette stitch. Ever since I learned to pick rather than throw my purl rows I can knit so much faster, and have come to not mind stockinette on straight needles at all. Still I have to confess that for speed and mindless knitting nothing beats stockinette in the round.

Nimbus is a cottony tape yarn that is ragged/fringed on both sides. I don't have quite enough (only four balls), so I'm going to pick up the sleeve edges after I've sewed it together and add on a ribbing in a smaller gauge yarn. I'll probably use two circulars because I don't like dp needles that much.

I had purchased some Berroco Foliage online from Kalaideoscope Yarns this summer, but at the time they did not have all the colorways so I only purchased two. The first was Statice (black, olive, purple) and the other Russian Sage (blue, green, purple).

I noticed that the Berroco autumn book with patterns using Foliage, doesn't have patterns made up with all the colorways either; the same ones were missing. I thought that was interesting. One of the best colorways that was not available until the last couple weeks or so was the one in the autumn leaf colorway called Chinese Lantern, with bright red, yellow, green, and purple. I think that would be beautiful combined with a brown.

I have talked to two yarn store owners about Foliage who had very different opinions on it. One did not order it because of the acrylic. The other ordered it because it was a terrific price point and the acrylic was not that noticeable.

My main attraction was that it was a single ply (roving) yarn, with vivid color changes, and that the color changes were spun loosely. I have such a weakness for rovings.

Anyway I hope to be inspired to make something from it soon, probably using domino (mitred) squares or intarsia (think Kaffe Fassett), to avoid the muddied variegated look.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Here are sections of two fabrics I have knitted, each using about 20 different yarns (couldn't get the entire yarn range in one photo). I was trying to achieve a color blend but am not entirely happy with either one. It is interesting how a group of yarns can look very good together before they are knit, but not necessarily when they have been knit together. While I believe it is true you can combine just about any yarns, in practice it is difficult to get a balanced and interesting blend where all the colors you wanted to stand out are visible.

In the first sample two of the rows are the same Blue Heron colorway, each held with a different add-on yarn, and the third row alternates between different yarns of different related colors.

In the second sample, various rainbow yarns ran along one set of rows, while the other two yarns were one of the colors found in the multicolor yarns.

These are the colors of KPPPM that I am using to crochet a winter scarf; after that the remaining yarn will be knit into a shrug.

I got started with making the squares for a couple of the colors. I found that doing traditional two-tone grannies looked too dated and that doing each square in one color looks more modern. I am undecided about whether I'm going to stitch them together in a grid, or crochet openwork around them.

Had some problems posting photos to the blog the last couple days, but seems to be working today.

This is the open-weave sweater:

These are the yarns I am using; the two on the bottom are being knitted into the sweater, and the three on top are going to be tied onto the sweater when it is done.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Haven't posted in awhile but I've been busy on many projects this last week.

Have been experimenting with the standard openwork st (repeats of yo, k2tog or yo, p2tog). I've determined that it is much easier to work this on an even number of st rather than an odd number of st, also the knit and purl versions are identical, so simply pick the st you are most comfortable with.

Example: try casting on 15 st and knitting every row as follows: k1, * yo, k2tog, rep from * until end of row, or p1, * yo, p2tog, rep from * until end of row.

Compare this with: CO 16 and either k1, * yo, k2tog, rep from *, k1, or p1, * yo, p2tog, rep from *, p1.

I concluded the even number of st is much easier to work because with the odd number, when you k2tog or p2tog, you are going in through the yarnover first, which automatically tightens up the next st so that it is hard to get the needle through it. When you're using an even number of st, then you are going in first through the st and then the yarnover.

This is for a simple open weave sweater I designed that is knit in one piece. I started it at today's Fourth of July parade and got one sleeve done.

Also have taken a break from knitting to crochet some tiny tiny squares using KPPPM in 11 different colors, for a scarf for winter.

Finally, am working on some items that I'm knitting with three different yarns at one time (knit first row with yarn A, join & knit next row with yarn B, join & knit next row with yarn C, now yarn A is waiting for next row, and you continue A B C for all the rows. I change out the yarn on each of the three about every 2-3 yards, using over 20 yarns in total for each knit fabric. I've done two colorways so far, a southwestern colorway that evolved from Blue Heron daffodil colorway, and a bright rainbow colorway using aqua, bright blue, yellow green, fuschia, and violet.

I'll photograph all these and post tomorrow.