Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Silver Lining

I got this lovely Russian spindle on Ravelry in a de-stash.  Up til this one I have been pleased with all of these types of transactions.  While nothing is always perfect, people listing items are usually VERY clear if there are any defects.

The metal spinning tip looked completely mangled and there was a divot/chip in the flicking tip.  The photo below is AFTER I fixed it - I really wish I thought to take a before photo.  It had gouges all over it (tool marks) and a very large burr on the tip that caused it to wobble all over and barely spin.  Knowing my husband has some metal files, I put this away for a little while - DON'T file angry (see below). Today was a day off, so I tackled this, and it really only took 5-10 minutes to fix it up.  

It could still use some fine filing to get it ultra smooth, but I've learned when sanding/filing things, its best to do it in small, short sessions ... I did once sand a hand sander right through the wall trying to fix a really bad, old paint and plaster job from the previous owners of our house ... oh and by hand sander I mean a MANUAL hand block sander, you know a flat piece with a handle that you clamp sandpaper onto ... not an electric one.

Now I am confident in tackling some of my other spindles and sanding the flicking tips / making minor adjustments.

I am quite pleased with how this turned out and happy that I didn't waste $40.  It spins incredibly now that it has a smooth surface and I fixed the divot in the flicking tip too. Its a gamble when you purchase things like this from other people, but generally knitters/spinners are good peeps.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Felines Vol. 32 2014

Apparently when mom is at work and its the first chills of Fall evenings, its a good time to commander her pillow.  How Riley got away with this with Willow right there (mom's pillow is her domain) I don't know.  Even though she's a tiny little thing, she's Queen B in this house and wins all disagreements, disputes and arguments with the other cats, all ruling are FINAL and in her favor.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Master Knitting Level 1 Vol. 5

I have finished knitting the Level 1 Project.  It is a mitten with some color changes and an interesting cuff.

When I started the Master Hand Knitter Program, I thought to myself "A mitten ... phew that's nothing!"

Uh huh ... said the person who had to cast on the cuff FOUR times before getting it right.  That nifty cuff is created by knitting open make 1 and k2tog tbl ... doesn't sound that hard right??  Try finding the running thread for the make 1 when its stacked on top of other make 1s and next to a twisted decrease ...

I am hoping my "jogless join" passes muster ... it doesn't look very "jogless" to me.  

Now I am taking a break from this mitten.  Then ends have to be woven in and it needs blocking, but I am so done with it for right now.

There's Halloween Self-Striping in the shop!  Get 'em before they disappear!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Almost Done

I finished Ravello the other day, it needs all the ends woven in and a good blocking to be REALLY finished.

Then I started a sleeve on the February Lady Sweater.

There are a few sweaters in my queue that I want to knit ... but I figured I should probably finish up the ones that are almost done first ...

Friday, September 19, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

Master Knitting Level 1 Vol. 4

That's a whole lotta swatches ... 15 to be exact.  I am using Lion Brand Fishermen's Wool.  One skein down, that's 465 yards I have knit.  I was pleasantly surprised by this yarn.  I choose it because of the yardage vs. price.  Its really not a yarn I would typically knit with.  Its a tiny bit stiff and scratchy out of the skein, but it blocks beautifully and plumps up and turns super soft.

I spent a lot of time last week finishing up the swatches.  I went back to review some of the earlier ones and found that I had not measured correctly.  So I knit them again.  Part of the criteria is that you follow instructions, if it says to knit the garter stitch section until its 4 1/2" that means 4 1/2" not 4" or 4 1/4".    

The reject pile - mostly rejects because of measurements.

The gauge swatches.  There are four different stitch patterns that gauge measurements are performed on.  The program does gauge a little differently than other methods, but it is considered a more accurate method.

Then there are increases and decreases.

And some different stitch techniques, lace and cables.

And finally some color work (which leads into some of the techniques needed for the project).

 I have one more swatch to go and the project.  The last swatch is a cable swatch that requires the knitter to balance a stitch pattern and write up a pattern with a chart.  The Level 1 Project is a color work mitten.

In addition there was a hefty amount of written work.  I have a few questions left to research and answer that relate to the last few swatches.  I have four single spaced pages of references that have been cited on the swatches and written work.

I've learned a lot of things that I just would never give much thought to and I'm finally utilizing all those books that I have that in the past I've looked up one or two techniques in and that's it.  Currently I am reading through the fascinating tomb of The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt.  It is REALLY the Knitter's Bible.  

Friday, September 5, 2014

Master Knitting Level 1 Vol. 3

Well its been a little bit since I've worked on The Knitting Guild Association Master Hand Knitting Program Level 1.

I started reading Knitting in Plain English by Maggie Righetti.  It is a fantastic book.  She was a knitting instructor for many, many years (before the internet and Ravelry and YouTube).  This book is very much like having an experienced knitter there to answer your questions from their own personal experience and past mistakes.  Its very conversational.  I highly recommend it to new and seasoned knitters alike.

So, besides reading, what have I done ... well I finally blocked swatches 7 & 8.  I had been tossing them around the room for the last 2 months every time they got in the way.

I spent some time today answering question 10 (of 22) that relates to these swatches.  I am stuck now until I knit some more, the remaining decrease questions relate to the next 2 swatches.

I was thinking, yeah um I'm crazy not stupid, hoping I would be wrapping this up by the end of September ... well, I have 9 more swatches and 12 more questions (some questions have up to 4 parts) and a project (mittens) to knit.  Maybe by the end of the year?!?!