Monday, August 27, 2007

Busy Weekend

What a weekend! Are you ready for all the stuff I actually got done.

First, I finished the main knitting on my Fair Isle sweater. Now I only have to work in all those ends...

Then I made 3 mittens for the upcoming Socks, Mittens and Hats class at Lincoln Land Community College. Two of them were a pair made from 1 skein of Crystal Palace Taos in the Sedona colorway. They are done just with a basic pattern to show off the beautiful yarn and here’s what I had left!

Then I made this 1 mitt because I’m going to try an experiment. I’m going to try painting it with dye to see how that works – also as an exhibit for the class.

(Yes, I do have very small hands.)

While I was at it, I decided to do my swatch for my skrå-trøjer sweater. I got it done with black worsted weight wool and white fingering weight yarns using a size 1 needle. I thought the size 1 needle would be harder to use with the worsted weight yarn but it was okay. I did my swatch with 4 repeats of the pattern across and 3 repeats high. The pattern is 16 stitches by 16 rows and my gauge worked out to 8 stitches and rows to the inch (probably because of the difference in the weights of the yarns). I love the feel of it. With the gauge swatch I was then able to do the (quite considerable) maths required (I think I did it right). I even got it worked out onto an Excel spreadsheet with the repeats and the edging all marked out at the (I hope) right places. I still need to do the sleeves but I think they will be a bit easier now that I’ve kind of got things worked out for the body.

Blessings be on the head of Beth Brown-Reinsel who had the worksheet all worked out with examples of the maths to be followed. Bless her little pea-picking heart (as my Grannie used to say) because even with her help, it’s still a giant step of faith (because of my maths skills)!!! I’m determined to have me a wearable skrå-trøjer sweater by the end of the year.

This was also a good exercise as I found that I was forgetting stuff and had to go back to my little sample sweater to remember what we’d done. I certainly don’t want to leave it too long. The original was in blue and white and I did my sample in green and white but I think I’m going to use the same black and white that I used for my swatch to make the big one. One thing is that I think I have enough (from my Stitches shopping) of the black (I have about 2,400 yards which should be more than enough) and the white is easily obtainable so I shouldn’t have to worry about not being able to get hold of what I need. Also, I think that’s a very Scandinavian color combination. One thing’s for sure. When I wear this sweater, I won’t need a coat of any kind no matter how cold it gets!

It’s a little tempting to think of doing it as a cardi as it will be so warm but I’m going to go the full way for the first one (we’ll see if it’s also the last). I’ll also have to decide whether I’m going to steek the sleeves and front opening. The original one was not steeked so I may just go that direction. I don’t mind knitting color back and forth. Originally this pattern was knitted in the round up to the sleeve openings and then was knitted back and forth for the front and back. The sleeves are knitted from the cuffs up as they use the twinned knitting for the cuffs. So that’s what I’m going to try to do.

As if all that wasn’t enough, I took a class Sunday afternoon – a beginning PMC class. PMC is precious metal clay and it’s just what it says. It’s fine (.999%) silver in a clay form. You can mold it, shape it, cut it, wrap it around stuff that can burn away, and twist it. Then it gets dried out and fired and, whallah, you get a fine silver bangle or ring or earrings or whatever you want to make. At the end you just shine it up and, whallah. It’s absolutely amazing and you don’t have to have a bunch of specialty stuff to use it (except a kiln or access to a kiln that can heat it to about 1200 degrees). There is a lot of specialty stuff you can use but you don’t have to have it. I had a ball and made two wee things. I couldn't get a good picture but will try during daylight. They're not that good but they were worth doing to learn. I can definitely see myself using this stuff more for all kinds of things.

Sunday night I even got some of the 4500 yarn ends worked into my fair isle sweater. I have to say, I got even more of it done this morning at the clinic while I was waiting to be told I had an ear infection and needed both an oral antibiotic and antibiotic drops. Yea!