Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
I've been preparing for a class on gauge and couldn't resist this goofy little sign for the shop
...so I thought I'd share it here, too.
Knit a swatch
Sometimes, customers just want to be told which needle size to use and don't want to bother with a gauge swatch. I think that it comes from a lack of understanding about gauge, being able to accurately count stitches and knowing what to do with the information when they have it. When we understand what we are doing, we can make adjustments that will pay off in the long run. When we simply plough ahead, "because I just want to knit," then sometimes the results are a bit surprising ...and disappointing.
Sometimes, customers just want to be told which needle size to use and don't want to bother with a gauge swatch. I think that it comes from a lack of understanding about gauge, being able to accurately count stitches and knowing what to do with the information when they have it.
When we understand what we are doing, we can make adjustments that will pay off in the long run. When we simply plough ahead, "because I just want to knit," then sometimes the results are a bit surprising ...and disappointing.
Amazingly, we could think up a purpose for every tension of this swatch, but obviously, some areas were more desirable than others! When Sue saw it, she insisted that we keep it downstairs to help customers understand the effect that needle size has on the fabric size ...and drape.
And now I'm on a mission to come up with more swatches.
How about one using different needle compositions, all with the same size needle?
What if several of us knit up the same swatch? Will our gauge be the same?
And then we'll need one made up of different stitch patterns.
Because, after all, an educated knitter is a happy knitter!
(Interestingly, as I wrote this blog and tried to get consistent font sizes, the program kept hanging up on me. It looked a bit like my swatch ...with tiny stitches and huge stitches ;)
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
The book just makes me smile. Not only does it have great photos of deliciously traditional stranded knitting, but it is full of the wisdom of so many knitters.
For 39 years, Elizabeth Zimmermann's (and now, her daughter, Meg Swansen's) knitting camp has inspired knitters to stretch their skills and knowledge, discuss and challenge each other and share tips they have learned, or tricks they have worked out on their own. Throughout the book, Meg credits other women with numerous "Why-didn't-I-think-of-that?" ideas. I can just imagine the excitement at camp as one person comes up with an idea, someone else expands on it, several people try it out and improvements are made. It must be like a think tank for knitters.
Is it just me? Or does that sound like a knitter's heaven?
The 60-inch green ankle band has been started and we have about a dozen flowers ready to attach ...but we will need way more than that! If you want to whip off a knitted or crocheted flower, (they really don't take very long), you'll be putting a smile on a tourist's face! To see how April Showers can bring May Flowers, we hope you'll join us for a
free knitted flower mini-workshop in April.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Roxanne and hubby, Neville, of Zen Yarn Garden will be at the shop on Saturday, April 21 from 1-3 pm. They'll bring their latest creations and colourways along with two new St. Thomas Landscape Series yarns, Springwater and CASO.
This shawl is Roxanne's free pattern, Mezquita, which will be an option for our Knitalong. Once the bit of lace is done, the short row stocking stitch section couldn't be easier! And I know you'll love the generous length of this dramatic shawl.
Hope you can join us!
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Teaching always inspires me. In my last Baby Surprise class, one of the students bounded ahead and was finished the basics by the second class. Because it was a small class, we also covered several I-cord tricks (applied, I-cord cast off, and three-needle I-cord cast off). We did a garter stitch hood and grafted it invisibly at the top. By the time we were done, I was anxious to start my 8th Baby Surprise with new plans for longer sleeves ....and I don't even have any grandchildren ...yet! So far, sanity has prevailed, but I'm sure that before the next class, I'll be casting on for another!
Since I had yarn leftover, I thought I'd make a hat based on the Baby Surprise and the Gull Lace Baby Hat, below:
Because of another baby sweater class, I searched for a matching hat ...but ended up designing my own. Here's the Gull Lace Baby Hat based on Elizabeth Zimmerman's February Baby Sweater:
Thanks for the inspiration, knitters!