Archive for March, 2011
I do know exactly what happened to that stained glass sweater – but I have not thought about it in a very long time.
This sweater was initially created for a fashion parade in Orewa, north of Auckland, New Zealand. It must have been around 1989. It was a simple intarsia sweater, created with various wonderful browns/oranges/fawns variegated yarns separated by black mohair lines – hence “stained glass”
I believe that our daughter was to wear said sweater in the parade, and right now I cannot remember if she actually did so. But I guess that is okay after all these years.
The sweater was in the parade in Orewa and then went with other local fashion designs and two other knits of mine to Hawaii for a parade and event there.
Our daughter at the time had very serious glandular fever and had been away from school for 6 months – and her recovery was very slow. She had been very down, a young teenager with lots to look forward to, being very ill for some considerable time. We encouraged her to apply for a Rotary Scholarship which if successful would provide her impetus with something so big to look forward to. She had to decide if she could go to Hawaii for the fashion parade as a model or to “somewhere” on the Rotary Scholarship if she was successful.
She opted for the Rotary Scholarship and was successful. – It is another story but even up to a few weeks from departure date for Europe on that scholarship we were all uncertain if she the strength to go – but she did and she had a wonderful year in Denmark.
Back to the sweater – which went to Hawaii without her.
After the sweater was paraded in all its glory along with two other pieces of mine in Hawaii it returned to New Zealand and it became our daughters sweater and she wore it for many years. She went on to university in Auckland, where she lived in a flat with others and one of the others had a dog. Nothing unusual in that of course – except that the sweater faded from view. One day I asked about the sweater which had travelled the world and been part of her life for a long time and it transpired that the “dog” had chewed a great deal of it. That is it was unwearable and destroyed.
She sheepishly brought the sweater home and we looked it and we put it to one side. I did plan to undo, unravel, reknit etc the sweater – but I kept looking, I washed it by hand very gently and looked at it some more.
Eventually I decided that it was just too hard to fix. Mohair is very difficult to undo and the damage was extensive.
So it went to the sweater pile in the ether somewhere.
30th March. Tidy mind, tidy stitches.
Just how do I keep my yarn and other crafty things organised? It seems like this should be a very easy question to answer. BUT I am living in the Netherlands, in a house, so called, of three floors.
Floor 1 – Kitchen, dining space, bathroom & laundry, entrance door and steps up
Floor 2 – Lounge and steps up
Floor 3 – attic bedroom
So what do I do with my stash and other crafty components in this house, so called?
Well I do have 2 plastic filing cabinets with yarn in the lounge, and in the bedroom I have a window seat under the eaves with plastic containers of yarns, knitting needles, fabrics, crepe paper, crochet hooks, plastic tubes, buttons, beads and WIP’s and UFO’s and so on and on. Generally I sort my yarns by type so that all the dk yarns are together, as are the mohairs, fun faux furs, 12 ply yarns, cottons and so on.
The BIG trouble is if I am creating:
then that Best Beloved knows that chaos (from his point of view will ensue).
Especially if the creation will be using the freeform intarsia technique.
Because then it is only the colour that matters – more or less.
I remove from all the cubby holes, bags, boxes and containers all the colours that I could require and I spread them on the coffee table, across the 2 couches and on the chair in front of my knitting chair and even on our bed, the only real bed in this house, so called. The yarn weight or type has become irrelevant – it is now all about the colour. And I play with all those colours, move them about, change the order, take them outside and see how they look in sunlight and so on.
Then I have to manage the yarns I am not going to use and I just put them into the nearest container or three, or move them all to one couch or anything to get them out of the way so that Best Beloved will survive the event and so that I can now knit.
Which means all of my yarn stash order is now lost.
But creativity rules even in this house, so called.
Does that mean that being a free form intarsia knitter/designer means an untidy mind? Hope not.
I will not contemplate it meaning Untidy stitches though. That would never do.
A waistcoat is a simple garment to create in one piece. Knit, sew in any ends, join shoulders, block, wear.
The aim of knitting a garment in one piece is to KNIT – BLOCK – WEAR, truly that is as it should be, ME: I often knit, photograph, gift or wear.
If you have never done this before – choose a waistcoat pattern – one without a repeat design on it. Stick to stocking stitch (stockinette stitch) or garter stitch as in my picture otherwise your first piece will require recalculation of the pattern stitches as well.
1. Recalculate the cast on stitches required by adding the front left, back and front right stitches together.
For example: Back – 80 stitches and each front 40 stitches.
Depending on the style and the person for whom you are creating the piece you might reduce a stitch at the sides to compensate for the fact there will be no side seam to sew so this piece will be ever so slightly wider, but we will stick to the basics here.
2. Use a circular needle and cast on the 160 stitches.
Knit first row as per the pattern – Place a marker at the positions after stitch 40 and again after stitch 120. The marker is slipped everytime you reach it.
4. The pattern will tell you how many stitches to cast off. For example if the pattern required 4 stitches to be cast off for the front and the same at the back – then cast off 8 stitches at each armhole – 4 either side of the marker.
When the work is divided for the armholes – I divide my yarn into three sections (could be 2 balls with one of those balls being fed from the outside as well as the inside) so that I am doing the decreases on the two front edges and the armholes on the whole waistcoat. Continue with shaping required at the armholes as well as the front edge shaping.
You could choose to knit the fronts and the back separately from this point or do it as I do all sections together – which ever you prefer. I do prefer knitting them at the same time with an added benefit being you will always have the same number of rows when you cast off for the shoulders or do your 3 needle bind off.
I am sorry I don’t have an example of a waistcoat other than these two, both in garter stitch but with tuxedo points- one asymmetrical and the other with symmetrical points. Both were knitted in one piece, the only finishing the odd ends and a crochet trim. They were also created with many colours in simple undefined stripes. So of course this method of creating a garment is also a stash busting opportunity.
knittingmom asked the question – I been wanting to learn how to that kind of one piece knitting. But very intimidated by it!! thank you! Appreciate it very much. Really want to learn that method!
Skill + 1UP or I think I want, I think I want to knit socks!!
Have I been upskilling myself in the knitting world in recent times?
I guess so. In the time since I arrived in Europe, specifically in the Netherlands at the end of August 2008 I have tried a number of techniques that I had never looked at previously and I have rekindled an interest in simple lace stitches. It has been easy to work on new techniques when away from all the interruptions that a normal life at home in New Zealand allows. In New Zealand one had friends to see, family to be with, stuff to do other than knitting, like gardening and so on. Here in the Netherlands Best Beloved is at work so I have peaceful time on my side, time to explore and to play with yarns and concepts and colours and obviously to explore and experience the Netherlands and so I have.
My little list of new or rediscovered skills is as follows:
and then there is the orange crepe paper crown that I started, required for Queens Day on the 30th of April. I have also used dpn’s for the first time knitting a pair of simple ribbed fingerless gloves.
But my big hairy goal – is sock knitting.
Which sock pattern would you recommend for a new sock knitter, me.
I can knit in the round, I can knit simple lace, I can follow charts, I can follow written instructions, I can knit with dpn’s, I have sock yarn, and I have IOU’s for 2 pairs of red socks.
Help please, advice requested. Which sock pattern do you recommend for plain red socks for the two men in my life, my son and my Best Beloved?
World Wide Words: states that Upskilling is a moderately common technical term and the Second Additions Volume of the Oxford English Dictionary cites a first use as long ago as 1983.
Upskilling refers to increasing the skills of workers, usually through training. Critics say that upskilled workers are not necessarily better paid, nor do they have better promotion prospects, and that upskilling benefits the employer rather than the worker.
I think the critics are nearly right – upskilled knitters are not necessarily better paid – but they have lots of fun, gain pleasure, have more to offer other knitters and are all round contented, well balanced, and interesting people.
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