Tuesday, November 04, 2008

and making progress

its interesting how once you get serious about knitting, like really working on technique, and getting the right bits and pieces together to help, the end product tends to improve! funny that.

some people call themselves process knitters, and are really good at just winging it, and adding their own touches to things, but i am not real good at that. i think i dont know enough about the actual technical aspects of knitting as a form of engineering to know how to experiment, if you know what i mean. on the weekend i was looking through a book, which i now cant remember the title of, but i really need to read it cover to cover, it was all that stuff about knitting that if you are self-taught you really never learn, because all ive ever done is learn from patterns, or from other people showing me what to do in certain situations.

i think this is often the case, that you need to know the rules in order to break them, and i dont know enough about the underlying rules of knitting. but i was explaining lace knitting to a novice the other day and i was able to explain the whole decreases sloping one way, and decreases needing to be matched with increases etc etc, so some of it must have sunk in.

this is good, because its a long lacy summer, and i have this gorgeous baby alpacky in donni's bruised bloodwood, and i tried three times to get the cambria wrap off the ground, but it wasnt happening. it looked to some like i had missed a row here or there. i think this was the case. on the weekend, i saw bells had one of those magnetic board things, and she said she got it from craplight, so i went there yesterday and snaffled one, and my what a difference $7.45 makes

also, i am surprised to find that charting the written pattern has helped. i got used to a chart with the shetland triangles, because it gave me a visual of what sort of shape the yarn overs etc should be making. i am pleased to find that my hand drawn chart for cambria has yielded improved results:

also, i have learnt enough from knitting misshapen garments to knit test swatches. i dont bother for socks or wraps etc, but for clothes its vital for someone who needs to follow a pattern line by line (ie, me!) i am about to cast on the cobblestone pullover (rav) for trent tonight, and i want to use smaller needles than the pattern suggests because i want it to be a bit finer on him. gauge is 18 stitches and 29 rows on 4.5mm (4inches). i always always always get row gauge and and am always short on the stitch gauge. how weird is that?!

in this instance, with a bit of blocking, i get close to gauge both ways, using 4mm needles, so i am pretty confident i can proceed as per the pattern for his size on smaller needles and have it block ok. its also got a bit of ease in it, so should be fine i think. this yarn is jo sharp DK in 'heath' (they were out of smoke). it suits him very well and is a lovely cool violet grey with a nice shine on it in proper light.

in other matters, progress is being made on the home front, and though there will always be iss-ews, at least there is willingness. in something that may be considered too much information (but its my blog and i can say what i like!) i have decided to go back to therapy. its been a while and you think you get done with things but they have a way of coming back to haunt you. like the ghost-sickness dean had last night on supernatural. mmmmmsupernatural....

on a lighter note, i am highly opposed to the australian habit of taking days off work for sporting events especially when only two states get it, and its the wicked and cruel sport of horse racing, except for when you get Viewed in the work sweep. i love (almost) black horses, so that makes it ok.

k xx


m1k1 said...

YES. I knew you could do it. Charting is the way.
I had a knot in my stomach earlier when I looked at your site and It Was Empty on my viewer.
So I am so happy to see you here after all.

I'm getting a bit predictable with the need to show the word verification, but today it is "uphour", so I hope you have so many uphours they become updays.

Rose Red said...

Those magnetic thingys are great. I must get more! And charting out written patterns is the best!! I bought a graph book thingy to help with that and I love it!

Cambria looks much better this time around - yay!

And double yay for getting the winning horsie in the work sweep!

Bells said...

Wow, yes what a difference $7.45 make. It's a very useful tool. Couldn't survive without it.

I love how you're getting all techy on us. Good work!

And therapy is good. I applaud you doing so.

Georgie said...

I am now very p*ssed - I was at craplight 4 hours ago!! And had no idea they had those board things. Note to self: have words with Bells ;-)

"Knitting in plain english" by Maggie Righetti would be the book youre thinking of.

And cambria is looking very nice now you've got the hang of it!

2paw said...

I knitted myself a jumper in that pattern when I was very young and I made the sleeves two different sizes and: I just used to roll one up!!! How times change. I love charts now- they make it so much easier to absorb things. I like to colour mine in too!!

amy said...

I'm self-taught, too. One of the first "projects" I did was the sampler from Jacqueline Fee's Sweater Workshop. Taught me loads and I highly recommend it. I also have my sister's copy of the Righetti book--by this point I think it's just mine now. :)

Word verification: "contain"

And before I forget--good luck with the therapy. Not too much information at all. I hope it helps.

TinkingBell said...

Oh - it looks so beautiful!!
I too have some bruised bloodwood - I wonder what mine would like to be?

Caffeine Faerie said...

Can I borrow your cambria chart too? I'm really interested to see how your Baby Albacky knits up, because MIne was always going to be a Cambria, and I'll just copy you instead now, you trendsetter, you.

I'm so glad things are looking up. I have been quite Worried and Concerned on the other side of the world, good luck, I hope it helps resolve some issues. Still sending good karma and big hugs your way. :)