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Mystery swatches

Back in June sometime, which was the last time I worked on the Master Hand-Knitter Level I swatches, I finished swatches 7-12 (3 decrease swatches, 1 yo’s swatch, 2 eyelets swatches) and half of 16 (colorwork swatch).  The trouble is I didn’t wash or label any of them, and apparently thought I would remember what my system of knots and stitch markers meant in terms of which numbered swatch was which.  (stupid. stupid. stupid.)  Now I have to sort out 7-9 and 11-12; the swatches within those two sets look distressingly similar to one another.  Please don’t tell me I have to reknit just to identify them!?!?! Continue reading

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Toys make me feel clever

I don’t knit toys very often, that’s usually my sister’s territory.  She has produced a number of wonderful knitted toys and finger-puppets both from her own design and from patterns.  I love toys, and even as an adult I’ve acquired many, I’ve even sewn several sock monkeys,  so I don’t know why I’ve neglected this area of knitting.  Having recently completed  only my second knitted toy (if I recall correctly), I can safely say that I understand why my sister likes knitting toys.  They make me feel clever, even if I’m going from a pattern.  It’s really fun to watch complicated 3-d objects curling off of the needles.  This particular one required a fair amount of seaming, which wasn’t my favorite aspect, however, the result was very worthwhile.

Knitted Dragon from Nicky Epstein pattern

Knitted Dragon from Nicky Epstein pattern

This is the “Hai-Riyo” pattern from Nicky Epstein’s Knitting on Top of the World

Sometime after Father’s day has past by (no need to overshadow celebrations of the male parent), I will be giving this to my Mother-in-law who collects dragon things.  My husband and I have a fun way of giving the gift planned, Continue reading

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Making peace with the cables

My confusion over the tight braid cable made me put the whole Master Hand Knitting project aside for a couple of weeks.  I wasn’t ready to call it quits on that tight braid (Swatch #15, first attempt), and yet I wasn’t able to find a solution to make it better.  I even dolefully tried to finish it knowing that I wouldn’t like it.  This was a non-starter.  I guess that makes me a true “product knitter”.  I can’t stand to work on something knowing that I won’t like the results and that it will serve no good purpose.

Now I’m fairly convinced that this “tight braid cable” really just isn’t a very good pattern (or maybe just a bad pattern for this size yarn and needles).  Because it’s so tight, and there is no room for knit stitches that aren’t crossed in one direction or another, there is no place for a shadow to gather.  Cables seem to need Continue reading

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A Cabling Conundrum

In order to illustrate the effect of different stitch patterns on row and stitch gauge, the TKGA Level I instructions require a comparison between the top halves of swatch #1 (garter stitch) and #2 (stockinette) with the entire swatch of #3 (seed stitch) and #14 (horseshoe cable).  The comparison of these four swatches means that they all have to be in the same yarn and knit on the same needles.

It might be nerdy, but I found it rather fun calculate the row and stitch gauges and find experimentally what I knew intuitively:  that it takes more rows of garter stitch to achieve the same length fabric as stockinette, or that in terms of stitches per inch a pattern of cable> seed stitch> stockinette> garter stitch.  It really reinforces the importance of making gauge swatches “in pattern”.

After agonizing about the ribbing tension Continue reading