Friday, June 7, 2013

I am finally back from my travels.  The Retreat at Mackinac was wonderful even if the weather was a bit disappointing.  Suzanne took this photo as we walked back to the hotel.  (You can see a bit of Charles at the right.  My students were terrific.  I was a bit apprehensive about teaching two days of design with absolutely no knitting but I felt the students learned a lot.  (I hope they feel that way as well.)

The best part of staying at the Grand Hotel is hanging out in the lobby knitting.  Suzanne also took this photo.  It must have been early in the day as I don't see any knitters there!

I spent a few days at home before heading out to the Olympic National Park.  I don't suppose you can complain if it rains when you are visiting a rain forest.  We didn't see the sun the whole time but the rain just adds to the appeal of the scenery.  This is one of the beaches. 

We spent our last night at Lake Quinault.  It was interesting to compare it to the Grand Hotel.  This is the view from the back of the hotel.  Not bad!

I may not be making an entry next week as well.  I am having surgery on both hands on Tuesday.  It shouldn't be a big deal but I may not feel up to typing by Friday.

An assortment of lessons arrived while I was traveling but it didn't take long to catch up.  I am continuing to be impressed by the quality of the lessons for the finishing course.  I received a few orders as well.  Luckily, none arrived while I was in the Olympic National Park.  Cell services was very spotty.

Before I left town I received an email from a former student of the Basics class who was having difficulty seaming seed stitch on a horizontal (bound off) edge.  I realized that my tips regarding how to seam horizontal edges showed just stockinette stitch.  I didn't bother to use other stitch patterns as examples as the process is exactly the same.  I promised I would have some examples this week.  When you seam ANY horizontal edge, you ALWAYS place the seam in the stitches IMMEDIATELY below the bound off edge.  It doesn't matter if those stitches are knit or purl stitches.  For knit stitches, the needle goes in and out of the "V".  For purl stitches, the needle goes in and out of the center of the purl stitch which is right below the "frown."  (I discussed the anatomy of purl stitches in an earlier posting.  You want to be careful not to insert the needle above the "smile."  the "smiles" are the space between stitches.  The goal, as for any seam, is that the stitch pattern lines up. 

In the photograph below, notice how the seaming thread seems jagged.  It may look like the seam is jumping from row to row but it is actually placed in the same row.  When it is pulled tight, the seam will be straight.

This example shows what the shoulder of a cabled design might look like.  The reverse stockinette stitches are seamed in the center of each stitch immediately below the "frowns" while the stockinette stitches are seamed in the center of the "V".   The cables will be aligned at the shoulders when the seaming thread is pulled tight.

When you are seaming horizontal edges in a stitch pattern, make sure you have the same number of stitches on each piece and that the stitch patterns will line up.  The video shows the process of seaming both the seed stitch and the cable pattern.  Seaming stitch patterns on horizontal edges.

The next tip will be about how to count stitches when binding off.  A former student requested this topic.  Again, it may not be next week.

Salon will be tomorrow from 2-4:30.  It will be nice to see what everyones' projects!

Since I'm not sure how much time I will have to take off from knitting, I am finishing up all of the socks for upcoming birthday gifts.  I found a stitch pattern I liked in my Japanese stitch pattern books.  I made some slight modifications.  I'm not sure what I will call it...maybe gum drops?  Here are the socks for Cara, Jordan, Susan and Martha.

The dark purplish yarn is the new Rowan sock yarn.  I had started these socks in a different purple variegated yarn but the pooling was very unattractive.  We stopped at Churchmouse Knits on Bainbridge Island and I picked up this skein.  I love the way these socks turned out.  Very Subtle.  I am happy to say that Magpie Yarns here carries the yarn.  I am going to stock up!  I always swear I will NEVER EVER buy variegated yarn again.  It looks so nice until you knit it up.  The dark pink socks are for Susan.  I love this color.

The final thing I had to do before surgery is work up a few pairs of baby socks for Stephanie as an accompaniment to  a darling kimono she is making for the new daughter of a nephew.  (Is that convoluted enough?)  Baby socks are a great way to use up leftover sock yarn. 

The only other thing I am working on is a sweater for myself.  I am replacing a beloved commercially knit sweater which has finally fallen apart.  I'm using some lace yarn from Miss Babs.  The color is Regent which is spectacularly beautiful.  Babs stayed with me while she was at the Kentucky Fiber Festival.  It was great seeing her again.  Her yarn is so lovely.  I especially love the names. 

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