Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Shetland Wool Week Classes

This morning I was up and ready to book classes for Shetland Wool Week as soon as they were available online - 6:00 AM, my time.  All the time spent trying to get concert tickets in past has paid off - great training.  I was ready with my wish list and my credit card was at hand.

I'm so pleased that I got all of my first choices:

Click to enlarge
Of course, there is much more to do.  There are open studio visits, Sunday tea, gatherings with other knitters at The Hub, museums, sightseeing, etc.  It's going to be a full week of knitting.  I'm looking forward to spending time with friends, and making new friends from places far away!

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Countdown Is On

Sign-ups start tomorrow for classes at Shetland Wool Week.  I've got 4 of them picked out, plus some events, talks, open studios and get-togethers (makkin' and yakkin').  I've got my fingers crossed (which makes it difficult to knit) that I'm able to get my first choices.  It's hard to believe that Wool Week is in 4 months.

Sunday, May 22, 2016


Do you know this pattern?

Screen shot from The Great British Sewing Bee
It was seen on a British TV show and is a lovely design.  A late friend was working on this same shawlette, in these same colors.  She used Plucky Yarns.  It would be a shame to leave the project unfinished

Update: I've learned that the pattern is "Avant l'orage", which translates as Before The Storm.  It's a slip-stitch pattern, available on Ravelry in both French and English.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Tubular Bind Off

I've been knitting for a very long time and one thing that amazes me is that I'm still learning new techniques - new to me, at least.  I'm pleased about that.  I'd hate to think that there is an "end of the road" where you know it all.  Where's the fun in that?  Where's the challenge?  What would keep me interested?

I just learned how to do the Tubular Bind Off and I like the result, although I've had a couple of problems along the way.  The problems were all mine, not the technique.  I found that dropping a stitch back a few stitches and down a couple of rows, then trying to go back to pick it up is a pain.

Basically, you're putting your ribbing onto two needles.  For my K1, P1 ribbing I put the knit stitches on the front needle, the purl stitches on the back needle, then join using the Kitchener stitch.  I have no problems with the Kitchener stitch.  It's well-stuck in my brain.  However, it's not a good idea to try to do it (over a total of 260 stitches) when the yarn is black (with a slight halo), it's late and I'm tired and two light bulbs (out of 4 in the lamp) have burned out and I'm trying to avoid replacing until the next day - not a good combination.

For so many stitches you need to leave a long tail to do the Kitchener stitch.  I went overboard and could have grafted about 1000 stitches, so the tail was constantly getting twisted and tangled.  After redoing the tubular bind off a second time I've learned my lessons.

I'm working on the top-down Machu Picchu sweater and I wanted a bind off that didn't flare at the waist ribbing.  This one seems to be doing the trick.  I found excellent instructions by KnitPurlHunter. She's a good teacher, her videos are clear and a great resource.  This is a bind off that is stretchy and looks good.  I'll be using it often.

It should be easier to bind off the cuffs on the sleeves when I get there.  I hope so.  Like I said, I've learned my lessons.