Friday, January 15, 2016

New Knitting Projects

I am as passionate about my knitting as I am about my quilting, well, except for maybe this past year. I finished a measly five quilts last year, compared to 28 knitting projects--several dishcloths, three sweaters, several pairs of socks, and bunches of hats, cowls, and shawlettes. I taught myself how to do toe up socks last year too. Not nearly as difficult as I imagined.

The Willow cowl, a pattern available on Ravelry, was finished right at the end of the year. The pattern calls for decreases as you work upwards, and I thought it was interesting the way the yarn started pooling right at the top, an effect I don't mind. In fact, I wish the whole cowl had worked up like that.

This is the way the cowl would look if you were wearing it. The rows of stockinette sort of collapse on themselves, and the lace sections look like coils. And I love that picot edge.

I've started a pair of plain socks with self-striping yarn for my sister-in-law who visited just after Christmas. I thought I'd try out a 9" cable for the cuff before putting both socks on one longer circular. The 9" cable takes a bit of getting used to, but it's fun to just knit round and round.

I love learning new techniques, and I saw workshops for Swing-Knitting on Ravelry last year but didn't get the time to try it out. There are eight different workshops plus two sock workshops, and the author wrote that you can learn all the basics in the first three workshops. So I purchased the first workshop a few weeks ago. The project for the workshop is a pair of wristlets, sort of like leggings, only for your arms. Never knew there was such a thing. Fingerless mitts never made sense to me either until I actually made a pair and wore them.

Anyway, swing-knitting creates these interesting asymmetrical curves through the use of german short rows. I think it's similar to the construction of the Dreambird shawl on Ravelry. The author likens the knitting to music--there are "stanzas", and "pauses", and you "swing the beat". I couldn't grasp the terminology until I'd knitted a bit, but the knitting is not difficult. It goes quickly and is really very absorbing.

The wristlet is knit flat, then the long seam is closed with Kitchener stitch. I could probably do Kitchener stitch with my eyes closed now. The edges are a little unattractive, so I'm going to get one of my knitting pals to show me how to add a little crocheted edging.

I may be the last to know, but I discovered Craftsy last year and have taken several of their knitting classes. They're very reasonably priced if you wait for a sale, and the instructors and videos are fantastic. I will be expanding my knitting skills even more this year. Right now, Lucy Neatby is offering a free Sock Knitalong on Craftsy. Besides the instructional videos, instructions for three patterned socks are included; and one of those is for a pair of toe up socks. Great time to learn the toe up method, if you're so inclined. Craftsy also offers a bunch of free classes and tutorials, and they have lots of quilting classes too.

1 comment:

Judy S. said...

Love that cowl and will check out that pattern! I've not ever heard of swing knitting. Sounds interesting though. Did you get buried in snow, too?