Friday, December 31, 2010

Swatching and ideas...

So last night I couldn't sleep. I spent a crazy amount of time before bed looking at information on blocking and that got me to thinking on swatching.
One of the articles I had stumbled upon after reading through TKGA Forum on Ravelry was this one - called " The Swatcher's Manifesto".
This got me to some thinking. When I knit socks, I get hit or miss results. This is because, I never think to swatch for socks!
Now, swatching has been given a bad name. Not many will admit to liking to swatch, and even less actually take the time to wash and finish the swatch to see how the yarn really reacts.
But I have grown very tired of misfitting socks, sweaters, tops and other items.
Now, to get a true reading from the swatch itself, you need to actually not knit one but two swatches. One is washed and finished as it would be during use, the other is a control swatch.
Some people advocate only swatching in plain stockinette, but I tend to go with the other opinion and do a pattern repeat, as yarn will react differently in different patterns.

This year I intend to do the 12 socks in 12 mos.
My plan is to use 12 different patterns for these.

Which means, I need to do 24 different swatches at least. Also, taking into account that knitting in the round gives a different tension than flat knitting does, how do I make the time involved in this count?

So, I have devised a plan.

I will find my bag of leftover sock yarn, and shall use it to do the cuffs for 2 socks. I will then use each as a place to swatch the pattern and yarn for the 12 pairs. One will be washed, the other will be a control.
Once the normal length for my socks is reached, I shall do the heel and foot for them in another yarn. If I am figuring this correctly, I should have about 1-2 inches for each pattern repeat. So I will have a few extra pairs thrown in and will also have a great way to see how the yarn reacts.

Any suggestions or comments about the plan?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Almost finished

So work has been taking time out of things. I finally had to admit, after reading The Yarn Harlots blog, that I needed to relax and enjoy Christmas.
This means I had a few projects yet to finish. Today, almost a week later, I am down to 3 more projects to finish or do. I am patting myself on my back as I type this. Its an amazing feat for me to do.
Part of the reason I am still not finished, is I have been working for my sister. Most of my days are spent there at this desk:I have to admit although it looks messy, I know where everything is. Also - for those curious - That is one of Connie Togel's beautiful artwork as the background of the computer. I change it every week.
The business I work for is the brain child of my little sister Mary - shown here:

The decorations around her window were added while she was on Safari in South Africa this year - she loves Dr Seus! Just for the record - she is an awesome shot and managed to bag more than a few animals in South Africa. She is having some of them mounted, and I will get photos later.
She is an amazing gal ( no I am not in any way biased) who is so full of energy. I am proud to have her as my sister. The business is called - SMart ReSale LLC. We get in off lease laptops, and after they are wiped, and the operating system reinstalled, we check them over and list them on eBay.
Then they get put into the boxes, and ready to be shipped.

But even with work, I did manage to get a few things done. The 2 Santa hats I made for my young nieces turned out to be a hit. Maddie got the red one with white trim and was happy to pose with her mom Janet here:
Sophia, the youngest niece, was not into posing with her hat, so Maddie jumped to the rescue with the help of her dad, Jonathan, and her Uncle Roy in background.
Instead of making New Years Resolutions this year, I have decided to make Christmas Resolutions.
1. Get Christmas Presents started now for next year,
2. Follow the 12 pair of socks in 12 mos like The Harlot.
3. Get exercise
4. Stay positive.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

On The 2nd Day BEFORE Christmas.....

I was feeling good, and thought I had everything done for Christmas. So good, I had thought about working on the Master Knitter Level 1 swatches.

Then it hit me....

It is 2 days before Christmas, and I have 4 pair of fingerless gloves to make, one hat, a blanket to put together and oh, one pair of regular gloves to finish.

Right now, this is what the knitting looks like:So for now, I am knitting, probably the next 24 hours or so straight.
Wish me luck

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas is coming......

I have been working hard on knitting and trying to be good. Except when I get angry and forget the restriction of not to lift more than 10 lbs.
So far I have learned that crawling on the floor is not a good idea 2 weeks after surgery, neither is picking up the loom bench you have smacked your toes on the 4th time.
Needless to say, remembering restrictions is not one of my strong points.

The good thing - on the 8th of December the packet for the Level 1 of the Master Knitter program arrived. Perusal has begun as has the work on the swatches. One swatch is done at least for now, that is if it continues to pass muster here. The amount of information and learning is so exciting.

The one thing that seems to be a bit hard now, is not tearing out and re-knitting all of the projects that are on the needles. Where once the knitting looked good, now there appear glaring issues.

Healing is going slow, but Saturday I talked DH into driving me to work. Once there, I managed to work about 5 hours before we headed home. Originally I had planned on heading to work today, but the threat of white outs and the snow storm have me staying home.

Snow is coming down now, and knitting is occurring. Slowly the house is beginning to look like Christmas. Will get some pictures of all the completed projects later today, and will post them tomorrow.

Knit Happy!