Friday, December 2, 2011


About the third week of October I finally sent in Level II of the Master Knitter course.  What a relief to have it out of my house and off my mind, as I don't expect it back for at least another month or so.
Finishing up this level made me crazy.  Right now I'm not feeling like I want to go on to Level III, but we'll see how many things I have to resubmit to pass Level II.

At a doctor's visit this week, the doctor noticed my barn jacket (pattern on Ravelry) and told me she is a knitter too although she claims to have two left hands and three thumbs.  I'm glad she's not my surgeon! She said she'd like to knit socks but has trouble managing those "double sided" needles.  I told her about using two circulars and later e-mailed the Simple Sock On Two Circulars pattern I wrote a few years ago for the class I taught.

I also sent that pattern to the young man who waited on me at Office Max who was having trouble learning to turn a heel.  Amazing how I seem to find other knitters everywhere.

Learned yesterday that Braeden, age two and a half, asked to wear his backhoe sweater on Thanksgiving.  (Photo on my ravelry projects page) .  Braeden is our next door neighbor who often asks to come see my husband, Clint,  and dearly loves all kinds of big equipment, especially backhoes.  He doesn't seem to have any feelings for me one way or the other, but I keep making sweaters for him anyway just because he's so cute.

My birthday is coming up soon, and I'm using it as an excuse to get all kinds of goodies I've wanted for a while.  Yesterday the UPS man brought three books: Stephanie Pearl McPhee's newest "All Wound Up,"  Mary Jane Mucklestone's beautiful new book of fair isle patterns, and Shirley Paden's book on knitwear design.  What a volume that one!  It could be a design college textbook.  Can't wait to finish my Christmas knitting so I can start a new project using the techniques in Shirley's book.

Speaking of Christmas knitting, I have several projects in process, and can't quite seem to finish any of them.  One sweater only needs a button band and buttons, one is about a third finished, a scarf needs to be a little longer, a cowl is waiting to be cast on, and one sweater is waiting to be sewn up, although that may take a bit of doing since when blocking the pieces I discovered that while the sleeves and back are worked with raglan shaping, the fronts are designed for set-in sleeves.  How on earth I managed that one, I do not know, but to comfort myself from this strange turn of events, I've made three Scandinavian fair isle mittens since last Friday.  All for right hands.  The first was too small, the second too big, and the third just right. (I'm wondering if the Big Bad Wolf is waiting to gobble me up).  No, it's just that all these projects needing to be done before the 25th are gobbling me up.  The second mitten to match the third - that does make sense, think about it - may have to wait until January, or at least until Dec. 26th.

I hope everyone else is doing better than I am with the Christmas knitting.  Maybe I should think about a nice glass of wine rather than Scandinavian mittens.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pluggin' Away

After almost two months into Level 2 of the TKGA Master Hand Knitter Program, I'm making progress, but slowly.  I have 21 swatches done, but may do a couple of them over.  I got so tired of the buttonhole swatches that I quit on them - have two left to do, plus the last cable swatch.  All of the patterns and other written work need a final proof reading, and swatches need remeasuring, just to be sure.

I have an argyle sock finished, but not good enough to submit.  I used part of the sock yarn for the lace swatches, so had to order more sock yarn before I can do the next one.  I had one heck of a time figuring out how to seam the instep stitches 1/2 stitch in from the edge - finally think I have it!  I've discovered that pearle cotton is my friend.  I pick up stitches with it before picking up or seaming with the working yarn.  If I've made a mistake somewhere the pearle cotton slips out easily without damaging the yarn.  Now if I could just figure out how to weave in the tails in all that seed stitch, I'd be feeling a lot better about this.

I've made several mittens and although each one looks a little better than the last, I still don't have one good enough to submit.  Fair isle isn't hard on hats, but on this tiny little circumference, it's giving me fits.

I've found a vest pattern I think I want to use, but haven't swatched the stitch pattern yet, or bought yarn.  Plan to do the vest for Will who is almost 9, so if I have to redo it, it won't take as much time or yarn as an adult size.

I finished my rose colored sweater and although I don't really like the yarn or the pattern, the color is nice and the sweater is soooo comfortable.  I wear it a lot.  I also made a cardigan sweater for my 12 year old granddaughter, Sophie, and am now working on one for one of the 8 year old triplets.  Doing some intarsia work on this one, and using a tubular cast on, which I love! (don't love doing it, just love the result).

I've read that level 2 is the hardest - I surely hope so!  It will be a happy day when I pass this level!!!!!
Back to work now...........

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Level I - Passed!

Just got the word this morning that I have passed Level I of the Masters Program.  Woo - Hoo!  Time to celebrate, but honestly I just want to get started on Level II asap.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Ready to send my resubmits off today.  Now for another period of waiting, hoping, worrying!  I think I'm in pretty good shape now, but there is one wonky stitch in Swatch 16 that I couldn't figure out how to correct, so we'll see.  I knit Swatch 16 at least four times and there was something I didn't like each time.  I finally got tired of it, and decided to send it on in.

My goal for 2011 is to finish one sweater, or other large project, and one pair of socks each month.  I have January's socks done (Tiptoe through the tulips, by Stephanie Purl McPhee) and am working on the third piece of Patterned Kimono Jacket by Plymouth in "deep rose" Nashua Creative Focus Worsted.  I do not like this yarn, but have seven skeins of this nice color, so will make the sweater and see how it wears.  The swatch looked pretty good after blocking, so I'm hopeful.