Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sneak Peak on New Techniques

I've recently decided to really up the ante in some of the projects that I have been doing.  I know I already make some really technical pieces but I kept feeling like it wouldn't hurt to try even more complex patterns.  To manage this I went to the best place on Earth.  My local library.

As you can see I went a little bit crazy once I found out that I could have 75 books checked out at once.  With all these great resources at my disposal I read as much as I could about some of the techniques that I've seen but never had the guts to try.  I also found out tips to make afghans that I have completed in the past better.  One of those being what is referred to as color blocking. 

There are two different ways to color block.  One is called the Jacquard process and the other is called the Intarsia process.  The Jacquard process is worked more when you're doing a checkerboard type of pattern and you crochet over the yarn you are not currently working.  The Intarsia process is used when you are trying to design a specific picture so you only work with the yarn when it is needed.  This usually causes multiple strings to be in use on your work at one time.

After learning this information I finally decided to try it on a pattern that I have wanted to do for years but didn't think I could do it.  It's actually one that I have shown in the past on here only with the twist that I have been DYING to try out.  Since I'm so excited that this is turning out so well I just have to show you what I have now even though I'm not even close to being finished.


It looks so cool, right?!?!  

I'm using the Intarsia approach to this baby blanket and because of that I'll probably need to do a complete sc blanket to attach to the wrong side of this piece so that it hides the crossing of the strings in the back of the work. 

I'm so excited and can't wait to finish this to show you all.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sweater Sleeves

by Kelly

Winter has finally arrived now that it's February. Snow and frosty windows and a kettle of hot water for tea on the stove. My husband and I are Generation X, so we don't like coffee in the morning...or ever, in fact.

I'm now knitting sweater sleeves. I thought there might have been a problem with the pattern, but now I've reconsidered.

Here's the part of the pattern that worried me:

Change to larger needles and proceed in stocking st, inc 1 st each end of needle on next and every following 6th row to 54 (76-74-74), then every following 8th row to 68 (76-80-82) sts.

I'm knitting the medium size, which is the second set of numbers. See how the 76 doesn't change? I took that to mean that I should increase every 6 rows to 76, without changing to 8th row increases. And that was fine, and I started knitting away...and then I began thinking, always a dangerous move for me. Would the shape of this triangle that I was making be too wide at the bottom, since there were more increases near the cuff than the other sizes? Was I going to end up with a baggy lower sleeve?

So I did an Internet search, and asked around in a couple of knitting forums, with mixed results. Then I broke down and dug out the knitting graph paper and did a rough graph of each sleeve so I could compare the basic shapes. And guess what...turns out that the shapes are actually pretty close to each other.

Eventually I decided that I'm going to knit the sleeve as the pattern says and if it looks at all suspicious, I'm going to do the math to figure out a two part slope comparable to the others and knit that sleeve also, and then compare the two.

I will not give up on this sweater project. Knitting resumes today.

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