I made my first swatch for the TKGA Master’s program this weekend. I chose to make swatch number 3 first because, quite frankly, it is the easiest one. It is a small, 4.5 inch seed stitch swatch. I am familiar with the stitch, have used it many times to edge washcloths and cuff hats. But I’ve never had a knitting expert examine my stitches before, so that made me knit a little slower than usual to make sure each stitch was as close to perfect as possible.
I am using the required worsted weight yarn in a cream color. I purchased it from Unwind Yarn House (http://unwindyarnhouse.com/). They were at Stitches Midwest, and I liked the feel of their yarns. The kind I purchased is Timothy Street, and has wonderful definition. Each stitch can be seen, which exactly suits my needs for this project.
The edging of this washcloth I made last Christmas is seed stitch, which keeps it from rolling. Seed stitch may be an easy stitch, but I thought I’d learn a bit more about its origins if I could. Thanks to the internet, anything can be found. My first stop was http://knitting.about.com/od/stitchglossary/g/seedstitch.htm. Here I found out that it is made by working multiples of 2 stitches. Either an odd number of stitches in each row, working k1, p1 for each row (this was the requirement of my swatch) or alternate even number of stitch rows k1, p1 and p1, k1. Most knitters know this already.
What I didn’t know was it is also called the “British or Irish Moss Stitch”. The Tricksy Knitter website (http://www.tricksyknitter.com/knitting-stitches/irish-moss-stitch-634) also calls it the rice stitch.
The dense fabric this stitch creates (no matter what you call it) is very useful, but apparently it isn’t that interesting because every site basically said the same thing.
I’m glad the questions that have to be answered aren’t about the history or uniqueness of the seed, moss or rice stitch.
To keep myself on task a weekly report on my 2013 projects seemed like a good idea. I was going to call these posts WIP Wednesdays but that seemed too ordinary. So Whatcha doin seemed to be more in order.
This week has been productive project week for me. I haven’t taken pictures of the two projects I am working on except this one of the first square for the Spiral Fan Throw I am making for my girlfriend’s birthday.
So far I’ve completed 14 of the 35 squares and have them in two strips of 7. I only have 3 more strips and the edging to complete, so feel fairly confident that this project will be completed in time for her birthday. I’m using Brava Worsted from Knit Picks in Wine. I really love the feel of this yarn and the way it works up. It is soft and feels as though it will be really warm and cozy.
My knitting project is a helix scarf I am making for myself out of the bison yarn I purchased at Stitches Midwest. I was encouraged to start this project first by my friend. She was with me when I purchased the yarn and was anxious to see how it would work up. It has the feel of cotton even though it is 90% super was merino and 10% American Bison.
It is the hot pink and black hank in this picture of all of the yarns that I purchased at Stitches. As a sidebar – I have used almost all of the yarn pictured here. The blue and orange is now a scarf made for my son’s girlfriend. Go Bears!! The two at the top – the brown and beige variegated – are now a washcloth for my girlfriend for Christmas and several dishcloths for our kitchen. The only thing here that is still in my stash are the three little twists of bison yarn. They came with a pattern for cute little Christmas stockings. This is inspiring me to add those 3 little projects to my list of things to do for Christmas 2013.
How are your projects coming along this year? Have you jumped in with both feet? Are you planning your projects? Are you more of a free spirit and do what you do when you do it without a real plan of action? Just wondering what you are doing. 🙂
My work in progress update is kind of early this weekend. I don’t have a lot of progress so I thought I’d just get on with it.
I still have nine squares to finish for the snowflake afghan and will get on that hopefully in a week or so. I want to finish the scarf for my daughter-in-law then will go back to it. I am half way done with the scarf. Check out my progress.
Because our kids were here today, I didn’t go down to Culture Stock this week. Next week I am going back to see the progress everyone has made. While we were there last week, my cousin was talking about the washcloth I made for her daughter last Christmas. She said she loved it, and it was her favorite. How can I not add a couple more to my list of Christmas knitting? They only take a couple of hours to make, so I should not have any trouble whipping them up before the holidays.
So for Christmas I will be finishing the scarf, snowflake afghan and washcloths. I should have plenty of time as long as life doesn’t get in the way. If I have a bit of extra time (stop laughing!!) I got a really cool pattern today for knit ribbons. Some of the gifts would look pretty cool with these – but I am not sure I’ll actually have time to do these. Just the thought of tying up those cute little washcloths in a pretty homemade bow sounds like a plan. We’ll see how this best laid plan works out.
That leaves a pair of socks, the alpaca hat and buffalo mittens undone for the year. I don’t feel horribly bad because I’ve made good progress on all the other goals I’ve set.
The biggest short coming (is that an oxymoron??) is my lack of progress on The Knitting Guild of America’s Master’s Program. I’ve completed three of the swatches, but am going to do them over again because I have different yarn to use. It hasn’t even been wound yet, but will be done between Christmas and New Year’s because I have a glorious 10 days off work.
So I am now getting my 2013 list of projects ready. The Master’s program, two baby afghans (prolific parents in our circles!), shawl for my girlfriend’s birthday in March and the three leftover projects from 2012 are on the pre-list list for now 🙂 And possibly learning how to work my awesome knitting machine that I got from my mom.
How many of us knit something knowing that it is going to be plain, useful and probably scoffed at if talked about? Most of the time we see pics of projects they are made of lovely soft alpaca or warm wool. Friends oooh and ahhh over lacy shawls and complicated mittens, sweet baby sweaters and cabled hats. But whip out a ordinary garter stitched dish cloth (or dish rag as I fondly remember Grandma talking about) and they ask why you would waste your time.
I am proud to have grandmas that taught me to recycle and re-purpose items that I already have to save money. They also taught me that homemade items were better and lasted longer than store bought.
A few weeks ago my hubby was complaining that the sponges we were using to wash dishes with were stinky. Again. He was right. In the summer humidity, sponges get gross in a day or so. I’ve read that the amount of germs found in them is an unimaginable number. I’m normally not too worried about “germ reports” but it does stand to reason with sponges.
So I decided to make a few dish rags for everyday use. I got some great yarn – Tatamy Tweed – from Stitches Midwest last week. It is 45% cotton/55% acrylic and feels really good to work with. Within 3 hrs today I made a very plain, useful dish rag that is hanging under my sink right now waiting for me to do dishes.
You may think this was a waste of 3 hrs. I was watching a movie with my son and husband the entire time I worked on it. We chatted, I knitted and the morning was quite enjoyable. Washing dishes isn’t my favorite thing to do, but I’ll be a bit happier thinking that I enjoyed making this simple piece of utilitarian knitting while spending a Saturday morning with my family. Thanks Grandma and Grammie for instilling useful skills and values in me so very long ago 🙂