Friday, October 31, 2014

Japanese Short Rows

I'm back at long last and and moderately healthy.  It really takes a long time to get over a cold.

Back at the first of the month, I taught at the Tenntucky Fiber Arts Retreat which was a lot of fun.  It was at the Lake Barkley State Resort in KY.  The facilities were great and the meeting was so well planned.  Joseph, Rachel and Ann did a fabulous job.  It will be an annual event.  The participants all had a great time as well.

I then went off to Stitches East to work at the TKGA booth.  Lots of knitters stopped by to say hello.  I had time to visit some booths.  I'm actively looking at yarn for the Yarn Tasting.  I couldn't buy much as I wasn't checking luggage but I did find a few things.  One of the vendors carried Wild Hare fibers and I couldn't resist this bright yarn for a pair of socks.  The green is from Neighborhood Fiber Company.  I hope they can participate in the Yarn Tasting.  I fell in love with their yarns.  The colors are named for neighborhoods in Washington DC, Baltimore and Columbus OH.  I had to get Rock Creek Park, the DC neighborhood I lived in.  I am hoping to see Chevy Chase, DC sometime soon.

I flew from Hartford to Santa Fe which took most of the day.  We spent several days in Santa Fe and I had time to visit a lovely yarn store a few miles from downtown--Yarn and Coffee.  I like to look at local yarns where ever I am and they had several.  Their stock was down as the Taos Fiber Festival was the week before.  I did get these two skeins.  You can't see the label of the second yarn, it is Wooly Wonka.

We then went to Durango and took time to do the train to Silverton.  This view reminded me of the sweater I did a couple of years ago.  Durango has a lovely yarn store, Yarn Durango, as well.  I stopped in and got some yarn for to work up a pair of mitts for the free pattern sent to new TKGA members and a pair of Herdy earrings.

I did a lot of knitting during the month and came home to my computer to write up the patterns.  The photo shoot is November 11.

Not many lessons arrived while I was gone but I am ready to review now!

As promised, this is the final video on Short Rows.  It is my least favorite but don't let that influence you.  My recommendation is that you try the various methods and find the one that gives you the best results.  My problem with this particular technique is that it is easier if you use safety pins and I'd rather not use props.  Also, I can never remember how to do it.  Preparing for this video, I looked at several sources and many of them are inaccurate or downright wrong.  Add my bad attitude to the mix and there you go.

The chief advantage most sources give for using this method is that you avoid wraps which doesn't seem to be that big of a deal to me.  Instead after you turn and slip the stitch you place a safety pin or marker that clips to the working yarn.

When you work the short rows you knit (or purl) the slipped stitch and then use the safety pin to pull up a loop to work with the next stitch.  When you work this on the purl side you have to move the loop to the other side of the stitch.  The video goes into this process.  Here is the link:  Japanese Short Rows

If you are doing the Masters Program, be very careful if you use this technique for the short row swatch.  Some sources are better than others.

Salon will be on Saturday from 1:30-3:20.  It will be the Great Yarn Giveawy.  I had not cleaned out my basement studio in a year.  What with my hip problems and all of the deadlines, travel, etc.  I just didn't get around to it.  I took time this week and hauled up tons of yarn.  This is a perfect time of year for this with holiday knitting coming up.  Bring a bag.

First up is the striped dress.  I worked on this at the Tenntucky Retreat and at Stitches.  I finished it up on the flight to Santa Fe.  I discuss the design process of this dress in the blog I am doing for TKGA.  The front and back are exactly the same.

Next up was the dish cloths for the Confident Beginner pattern.  These will be styled as a wedding shower or  house warming present.  The article focuses on how to read charts.  The garter stitch border also provides an opportunity for learning about the differences between garter and stockinette.  The yarn is Quince and Co Kestrel which is a linen tape.  It is ideal for a dish cloth.

Then it was time for the hand towels.  They are part of the same article.  The yarn is CotLin from KnitPicks. They had very little in stock.  We had to change our color selection several times.  I wasn't wild about the black but it would be a good choice for a hand towel...doesn't show the dirt.

Finally some short row shawls.  We had selected this yarn, Kavo from Shibui for another designer but it wouldn't work for the project.  I decided to use it for shawls.  It produces a very interesting fabric.  The shawls are done in garter stitch and it looks like chain mail.  I had enough yarn to work up two samples.  One has short rows worked every fourth stitch while the other has them worked every three stitches.

Now that those things are done, I am moving on to holiday knitting.  

Friday, October 24, 2014

I am back from my travels but I brought home an awful cold as well as some new yarns so I will not be making an entry until next week when I get my voice back....

Friday, October 3, 2014

German Short Rows

I will be leaving for the Lake Barkley Resort and the Tenntucky Retreat as soon as I finish this entry.  I have everything ready.

I spent the first part of the week writing the blog I am doing for the TKGA website.  It focuses on the design process and stuff I have to do as the Executive Director.  Since I am going to Stitches East next week I will try and do a posting about that as well.  Since I had finished the jacket, the blog describes the type of decisions you have to make while designing.  If you are a member of TKGA you can find it at  Sign in and click on For Members.

I will not be posting for the next two weeks as I will be at Stitches and on vacation.  Hopefully, I will have some fun stuff to report when I get back.  I've not been to Stitches East before.

I've heard from knitters who signed up for courses several years ago but didn't complete the course.  Again, my policy is that there is no time limit for completion as long as I am the instructor.  Just send me an email or contact me through Ravelry or this blog and ask for the updated materials.  I'll check my records and if you are a student I'll send the materials.

This week is German Short Rows.  I got a comment on the video I posted this week and if I weren't such a Youtube idiot I would respond there but I am in a hurry to get out of town!  The questions was if you can use a different short row technique when a pattern specifies another one.  YES!  Most patterns (except socks) don't usually specify which technique to use and if they do, it is Wrap and Turn.  You can use whatever technique you want.  The results of short rows are all the same.

My new favorite is the German Short Row technique.  I am so glad I decided to do the short rows techniques for this blog or I probably would have never tried this.  Knitters tend to have their "GO TO" techniques and Wrap and Turn was mine.  I generally try to use a new technique in every project but I got lazy with short rows.

With the German technique you don't wrap and turn.  I could describe this method for hours and it would be clear as mud.  I strongly suggest you look at the video first before reading further.  German Short Rows

This photograph shows the purlside in progress.  The red arrow shows the stitch and yarnover.  As I worked with this technique I learned that you should not pull the working yarn too tight or the short rows will be very visible.  Try and use a consistent technique.

Here is a photograph of the knitside in progress.

What really appeals to me about this technique is that it is so easy to work the short rows.  You just knit (or purl) the stitch and yarnover together.  I like the way the WS appears as well.  

Here is the RS.  I think it looks pretty good.

The next posting will finish up with the Japanese short row technique.

No salon this weekend or next.  Salon will resume on the 19th.  I am very excited that the Met HD season is starting again.  Alas, I will miss Verdi's Macbeth on the 11th as I will be at Stitches.  I'll be on vacation when they encore it and since this is a fly fishing trip I don't see me convincing my fellow travelers to try and find a theater to see it.  Oh well. On the 18th they are doing my very favorite opera of all time...La Nozze di Figaro.  The final sextet is the most sublime music ever written.  

The jacket is done! I finished up the pattern, chart and schematics on Monday.  It took all day.  I wound up naming it the Maggie Prescott Jacket.  I was inspired by a character in the old movie Funny Face.  It looks to me like something she would wear.  

My next project gave me fits.  It is a fitted dress with zero ease.  Julia will model it.  It is knit top-down with raglan sleeves in the round (three of my least favorite things).  The yarn is Rylie by Hikoo, a linen and alpaca blend.  I did the neckband originally and hated it.  I wanted a tubular cast on and it just didn't look like I wanted it to look so I decided to do a provisional cast on and pick up stitches for the band and do a tubular bind off.  I liked that but I didn't like the placement of the increases for the raglan.  After ripping it out 3 times, I finally on my way.  I am keeping track of the progress for my other blog.  I love the yarn. It is very forgiving.  Here is a photo.