The total raised continues to go up . . . we are now at nearly $19,000! This is a picture of one of the activities: Silly knitting . . . more photos will be posted at Knit Michigan as soon as I get them in. If you have any photos to share, we’d love to have them as we were “camera challenged.” Also view photos at the Black Sheep Blog: http://bskg.blogspot.com/
Three new Crystal Palace Yarns arrived this week – Panda Cotton, Panda Wool and Bamboozle. All incorporate bamboo and are machine washable. The colors are fresh and spring-ey – the perfect anti-dote to all this cold! Find patterns for the new yarns at www.straw.com, but be sure to stop in and see them in person.
A lesson in knitting
Being the curious knitting explorer that I have turned into, when I submitted my application for the final portion of the Master Knitting program with TKGA, I also checked the box to enroll in the Mosaic Knitting correspondence course. Oh my! Is it so easy to check a box and so much harder to do the program! That was nearly a year ago. This week I decided that I needed to finish the Mosaic program before I went any farther on the Master Knitter program.
But, let me go back. Mosaic knitting is a form of slip stitch knitting where two colors of yarn appear in a row, but you only knit with one color at a time. Patterns are achieved by slipping stitches from the row below to bring the color to the active row. It may be worked in garter or stockinette stitch. The photos below (click to see them bigger) are, from left to right: the same pattern executed in stockinette stitch on the left and garter stitch on the right; three colors used (still knitting one color per row); and a border that I think was called junkyard dog or something like that (imagine it on the bottom of a little boys sweater).
The mosaic course is six lessons long. Each lesson is submitted before the next one is begun. The first four lessons progress from the basic technique through variations that include using variegated yarn and applying the technique as a border. The “graduation” project is a sweater of your own design that incorporates all-over mosaic patterning. The fifth lesson is the submission of the back of the sweater and the final lesson the finished garment.
It is this garment that has drilled home the importance of focus. It took me months to finish the back. I’ve now knit one front and 4 inches of the second front (my sweater is a cardigan) in less than two weeks. Getting into the rhythm of a pattern takes a few hours before you are “up to speed.” With the back I never got the rhythm because I knitted in fits and spurts. Now, with the focused knitting time I’ve been able to speed up the process.
Which poses the question, “Is it important to knit fast?” As a recreational knitter, I’d answer that with a resounding, NO. But, as a shop owner, designer and instructor, I have to knit fast! So, figuring out how to squeeze more hours into a day is pretty important. Which reminds me of a lady I was helping recently who was surprised that I knit at home, too. Let’s see, I frequently weave while the household is getting up and around and almost knit when I get home. When I’m too tired to knit or weave, there’s always spinning that needs to be done. It doesn’t end. And I never get tired of playing with wool.
Besides having the best customers in the world, I also have the perfect job for me. I’m a very, very lucky individual!