Friday, May 25, 2012

Last weekend was the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival.  I think this is the third year.  It seems to grow by leaps and bounds every year.  After telling everyone I know that I had no intention of buying ANY yarn AT ALL, I naturally came home with several bags.  I simply cannot resist Miss Babs' yarns.  Not only are the colors wonderful, the names suck me in.  I am trying to finish up the next round of birthday presents before I have to start on design work for Cast On so I got yarn for those projects.  I didn't forget about myself...I bought yarn named "Moo & Ewe" (80% milk fiber & 20% merino) for a garter stitch stole.  I picked up two skeins of a cashmere/silk yarn for fingerless gloves for my daughters for Christmas. 

The colors in the photo aren't completely true but they are close.  The top yarn is the milk/merino for me.  The color name is Rolling Hills.  I don't know what Babs' inspiration was but it reminds me of Mt. Olympus which was the backdrop of my childhood.  The purple is actually a lot brighter. 

I also bought some yarn from Briar Rose Fibers.  I've been thinking of doing a version of my Medusa's coat for me but I wanted a lighter fiber.  When I saw this, I knew it would be perfect.  It is 50% tencel and 50% merino.  It is very iridescent and very light.

I think my students got together and decided I needed a week off.  I didn't get a single lesson to review.  It made me feel very unloved! 

I heard from TKGA that two of my classes at the meeting in Manchester are sold out.  Registration ends June 11th.  I am looking foward to the meeting. 

This tip is a continuation of the tip from last week.  M1L (left slanting make one increases) are easier to make.  I find that very few of my students have problems with these.  Occasionally, they forget to twist the horizontal strand which results in the open form of this increase but that is it.  As for the M1R, this increase pulls yarn from the stitch to the right on the row before but this is much less noticeable than on the right.  If you look at the photo from last week (the M1L increases aren't labeled), you will have trouble even seeing the small stitches.  As with the M1R increases you can eliminate the smaller stitches by making a yarnover on the previous row. 

I rarely use this increase in actual projects.  I prefer lifted increases as they are less visible but it is a matter of personal preference.  Here is the video: M1L video

Salon will be on Saturday this week from 2-5.  I think we will be able to go back to Saturdays for a few weeks.  I didn't want to conflict with the Preakness last week.  I hope everyone who comes will bring the yarn they got at the fiber festival for a show and tell. 

I finished up the gray socks for me.  I found the stitch pattern in one of the Japanese stitch dictionaries I got at Stitches West.  It looks like a cable pattern from a distance but it is actually lace.  It has a lot of stretch which makes it ideal for socks for those with wider ankles and calves. 

I just noticed I didn't get one of the socks on the form straight.  I reversed the direction of the "cables" on each sock.  It was cold enough last week I could actually wear the socks. 

I've now started on the birthday socks.  As soon as I saw this yarn I thought of a very special friend of mine who hasn't had an easy time of it this spring.  The yarn Miss Babs' Forever (as in Diamonds are...) and it is a pretty good match for Tiffany Blue.  I'm calling the socks Breakfast at Tiffany's but if I decide to write the pattern up I will probably have to rename it as that is probably protected.  How about "Breakfast at a Certain Jewelry Store on Fifth Avenue"?  Anyway, one sock is done and blocked and I hope to finish the second one by tomorrow.  I got this stitch pattern from one of the Japanese books as well.  It was interesting trying to figure out how to keep in pattern when beginning and ending rounds.  Some lace patterns are very tricky when you work them in the round.  I think I did a pretty good job.

I've been having a lot of fun with the Japanese books.  I finally ordered the one I should have bought at Stitches. It is the 1000 stitches.  My only complaint about these books are the yarn they used for some of the swatches.  For anyone who wonders why we require light colored, smooth, non-heathered, non-tweed, non-fuzzy yarns for the Masters Program, take a look at these books.  I know that it was an artistic decision (no doubt by a non-knitter)  but it was a REALLY STUPID one.

This up-coming week I will be working on my proposals for the winter issue of Cast On.  The stitch anatomy lesson will be on Pleats.  Binka and I are doing it together.  Typically we do a pillow for the lesson but I am thinking of doing a pleated baby dress.  A pleated pillow isn't all that exciting.  I'm also thinking of a pleated jacket.  I will be doing the snowboarding hats.  I already have the yarn.

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