Saturday, March 09, 2013

Happy Wristlets

I love colors, Happy colors! Colors full of energy!

Personally I am a purple person but when I was asked to contribute with a knitting pattern to a new Finnish-Swedish magazine, Est-Elle, I wanted something full of energy so I decided to make a pair of wristlets in orange with cerise seedbeads.

I was so happy that I have been given the opportunity to publish this  pattern in , Est-Elle, 3/2013.
The picture in the Magazine was smallish so here I give you more mood pictures.

I will translate the pattern and add it to Ravelry.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Swing-Knitting I

Just a few weeks ago I stumbled across a new knitting technique. One would think that one knew it all by now but, no I do not, and even if it feels like I every day learn something new, it seems I still have a long way to go.
I have on Ravelry seen some amazing knitting done where the rows are not straight nor complete, it is something that looks like cascades of leaves, rolling mountains, waves at sea.
I have been intrigued and mystified, I had discovered Swing-Knitting!
The origin of Swing-Knitting are some German textile artists that wanted to combine picture weaving techniques with knitting.
The term Swing-Knitting were not used from the beginning, KlugeStrickArt is another name, it seems that both names exists and are used parallel even though the Swing-knitting term has reached out from Germany.
Swing-Knitting is in short a way to use short fields of shortrows stacked on top of each other leaning to the right or to the left. By keeping track of the short-row turns you add stacks of shortrows on-top of each other up to the turning points of previous stacks. it is important that every stitch is knitted the same amount of rows vertically to get a straight knitting even when the rows are broken up and stacked horizontally. The way the shortrow turns are tracked is with adding safety pins at the turning points.
So I purchased the three first workshops into this technique and cast-on.
The first workshop resulted in a pair of arm-warmers, I made more repeats and changed the pattern some.

The second workshop were supposed to become a slouchy cap, I changed the workshops pattern from a cap to a hat. And then I changed the rows and pattern in the pauses. Of course, as a good learning piece I made my bit of mistakes in the beginning but I am now getting a grip on this part.

Next workshop is a wrap, half pocho/half scarf  but neither do I care much for this type of item, nor for the way the shortrows are stacked up in this piece. I do however think that this time, I really need to follow the pattern...
Dicipline needed!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Garnyran in Korsholm

Garnyran in Korsholm

Yesterday I were a happy participant in Garnyran in korsholm, arranged by Korsholms Vuxeninstitut. The program started with a lecture by Maria Blomberg who told us about social medias and Knitting. Maria has started her blogging and participating with speed. She participates in several bloggs, her own blogg Knappmakerskan is updated with new projects frequently.


After Maria's Lecture it was a long lunch and there were people crafting and showing what they had learned at different classes at Vuxeninstitutet.
One lady were assembling a Qvidimina Jacket. Qvidimina were a lady who earned her living by handicrafting to other people. Her cardigan/jacket has a very specific look although it is basically made of granny squares. The tiny granny squares are crochet very densely with two threads of different color at the same time and instead of trying to hide the joins it is done in a contrasting color with a very specific pattern. It really is a one-of-a-kind design.
There were also some LYS owners there with yarn and needles for purchase.
Maria Blomberg talked about the 5 hour cardigan and charity knitting that she has taken on.
Were were also lucky in that they had a beading exhibition in the premises with some very beautiful beadwork.

Knitting workshops

Last autumn I was asked if I were interested to teach a workshop at a yarn happening in Korsholm, Finland. I said yes of course and waited for someone to tell me that I would get the job.

Since then I did not hear anything about this until three weeks ago when I received a call were I was asked to keep two different workshops, 1,5 hours each. 1,5 hours is not much time to dive in to something new so I had to try develop something really small but still desirable.
The workshops were Knitted Necklaces and Knitting a seamless doll sweater.

Knitted Necklaces

The workshop in knitted necklaces went quite well, unfortunately it takes quite some time to string beads unto the yarns but the participants were quick to learn and they had all grasped the concept before the 1.5 hours finished.

Knitting a seamless doll sweater

Knitting a seamless, topdown sweater were more of a challenge for my students. They were all new to knitting with Magic-loop although luckily half of my group had participated in Maria Blombergs Magic-loop Workshop before attending my workshop. but joining to knit in the round were a challenge for all of them and using stitchmarkers were also a new concept.
 I think that they all had at least learned to use stitch-markers and Magic-Loop, and how to do the raglan increases before the class ended.
This workshop really needs 4 hours to present all details in a relaxed time frame.

All in all it was a full day and I learned some new things and were inspired to develop new aspects of crafting.

Sock knitting and toe-up socks

Knitting toe-up

I knitted my first pair of socks attending a weaving education at Kvevlax Hemslöjdsskola 1991-1993, and thought it was quite easy. Those socks were knitted from the cuffs down. The biggest issue for me at the time were my dislike of knitting with dpn's. I knitted socks for all my family and then I stopped.
After discovering Magic-loop almost 10 years ago knitting socks were became an easy task and after learning how to knit 2 socks at the same time the second sock syndrome disappeared.
Now the last couple of years I have tried and tried to get the flow with knitting socks from the toe and up. I really, really would like to love this method but...
after knitting about 5 socks this way I still have problem getting the knitting to flow. I like socks with an instep and knitting from the toe up makes this a bit awkward for me. Knitting cuff down is easy, just knit the heel flap as long as I want it, make the heel shaping  pick up stitches along the sides of the heel flap, decrease until you have the right amount of stitches. Easy peasy!
On the other hand I love the cast on when knitting toe up, I use the Turkish cast on ad it is sooo smooth  Increasing at the toes are fun but then...
Knitting the socks from the toe up I have to "know" where to place the first increases for the instep, Then I need to "know" where to stop. This continues, I feel trapped, I need to measure and calculate far more than cuff down. I just can not get the flow with these socks.
These my latest toe-ups with an instep heel turned out quite well but there were no music when I knitted these.

So I decided to try a completely new heel for me. I knitted the complete sock straight up after the toe shaping with only one exception, I knitted the stitches at the back of my sock on a spare yarn piece the same way as when knitting a thumb on a pair of gloves, slipped the stitches back to my left needle and then continued to knit with the sock yarn over the spare yarn.

After the length of the sock were knitted and the socks were cast off, yes to at the same time with Magic-Loop. I picked up the stitches around the spare yarn, removed the spare yarn and decreased at the sides.

These socks were unbelievable easy to knit. I made a pair in two days! The foot became a bit to long hence the heel sits to far up my leg but they became quite good for a first try. I will try this way of knitting toe up socks again but I still prefer Knitting the cuff down way.

Taking those sock pictures reminds me that I really, Really should get a sock blocker!
Either buy or make some...