The Knitting Journeyman

Gathering Up One Thread At A Time As I Weave This Web Of Mine.....

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What Did I Learn Here?

            Ok, so … I wrote a book of knitting patterns back in 2007.  2007?  You betcha.  Due to the spiritual nature of the book, and the fact that so many of my own personal views …and my knowledge of both knitting and crochet… had expanded, in some cases, quite a bit…I never really…did much w any of it.

            My poor book still sits there, waiting for me to care enough to go back, re-write nearly ALL the essay portions, and to test knit the patterns that, as yet, have not been test knit…and to re-knit the ones I did test knit that I no longer have the pieces for, due to whatever reasons.

            I designed many shawls…and bags.  I don’t think I did not one hat…and I know there were no socks.  I offered basic recipes for sweaters and skirts…but my thing is shawls, really…and back then, bags too. 
            I think it was 2008 that I decided I would/should test knit my shawls and whatnot…and sell them by pattern, not all together in a book.  Despite my best intentions, I am still not all too sure that all the designs will mesh together in a collective…so parceling them out seems like a good plan.  And one I mean to stick with.

            This is a picture of my first shawl pattern.  This prototype was to be my wedding shawl.  Or at least a prototype of my wedding shawl.  I grabbed the first white yarn I could find, which was caron simply soft, and after fiddling w needles for a bit, I chose a 8US needle.  This piece is not done at all.  I simply finished one pattern repeat and bound off…not in pattern, since there was supposed to be a mimic of the original cast off design at the bind off.

            What did I learn from this experience?  

1.       If I use worsted weight yarn, I need to use larger needles.  If I use different weight yarns, I need to make sure I use bigger needles than I think I do.
2.      I thought I was knitting from the bottom up; I found out I was knitting from the top down.
3.      I discovered I should not work the cast on tail end in with the knitting as I go …  it looks BAD in this example…and I was too stubborn to tink and re-do it.  Leave ends to weave in at the end.  Period.  Unless, of course, I use a yarn that can be blocked out well--which this ...did not...
4.      I want a different pattern for my wedding shawl.

All together, I like the shawl.  I like the way it was coming together.  I am actually very interested to see how it comes out when knit from start to finish.  I also like that I think this pattern will look interesting no matter what type of yarn you use.  I like doing things like that…where you can do what you want to do and the item still look good.  You can make this a very open lacy piece, or a tighter thicker not so open airy lace piece, as you desire.  I like that freedom.  Scarily enough, I was thinking of working this same shawl in a thicker yarn, aran, maybe even a chunky weight, on say 15US needles or more…because I love shawls.  I love shawls that are thick and warm, and more than just something pretty to toss over my shoulders…and this would be a very excellent shawl with which to do that.

            As for test knitting this shawl again, and the other triangle and Faroese-type shawls I have designed and waiting, thank you to the lady at Myers House and the Weaving Department—and to Classic Elite Yarns.  The lady was wearing the firefly fringed scarf.  I fell in love w that pattern—and rather drive back to my local yarn store to buy the pattern….I indulged and went to Jimmy Bean’s Wool, where I indulged in patterns from too many places, including Noro and Classic Elite…but I also bought brushed suri alpaca yarn…because I am a glutton for punishment.
            However, what I did learn is I can do my great big huge shawls…in miniature!  Yeah, I never thought of that before…I admit it.  It didn’t dawn on me until I cast off the wedding shawl and started to use it as a scarf…I thought I was just being weird…until I saw that woman in her gorgeous  scarf wrappy thing…hey—I didn’t know what it was…a scarf that’s a triangle does not compute w me—and a shawl that small?  Maybe a shawlette; that I could go for…
            Anyway…I do learn…that is my point.

Keep an eye out…I have to chart the pattern out…then knit something appropriate for viewing…not this piece….then I will have the pattern up for sale.  Thank you to the Crochet Dude for encouraging me—even though he does not know me from Adam—to release my patterns via Lulu—as his are the very first patterns anywhere I had seen released in such a manner—I love it.  He is not the only one who has encouraged me about lulu—but he is always the first one I think about when I think about Lulu.

            Oh, before I forget…my wedding shawl?  It’s going to be a rectangle…done in Kraemer Sterling silk & silver in heavenly blue—although comparing this blue to the ice blue of my wedding dress, I may go back and buy it in white instead…we’ll have to see.  I hate the cliché of a white wedding…not to mention, where I come from, white is the color of mourning…so you can see my dilemma there. I am already playing w two of the finished patterns to see which I prefer for my wedding shawl...I will keep you posted.
            More to come…so please…stand by.