Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Knitting in Barbados

Well we are into our final week. As always, the time 'drifts' by in the beginning and speeds up the closer you get to the end. This week it is flying at warp speed.

Instead of bringing hooking with me this year, I brought knitting. I had cast on a sweater for my daughter's birthday, with a promise of presenting it done on our return. And ta-da! It is. Because of consistent lovely breezes, I was able to knit in my usual perch - a chaise lounge overlooking the sea at the beach club where we hang out most days. Here are a couple of pictures taken there.

This is the sweater in progress. The pattern is "Bello" and you can find it here on Ravelry.  I was able to find a version knit by someone who is as tall as Laura and incorporated her modifications into the sweater as I went along. Once she tries it on, I will block it to whatever we need.

Pulling out knitting at the club unearthed a slew of other knitters. Suddenly there were lots of socks being worked on and lots of discussions with newly found knitting friends about events across the country like "Knit East" which is taking place in St. Andrews in late October.  If I weren't already going to Newfoundland to teach at Rug Camp this year, I would be sorely tempted....

Here is my third "sock by the sea". The first two were actually started on the plane down and finished and given to a friend who is a non-knitter but LOVES home made socks. The ones on the needle in this picture are short sneaker socks which will hopefully come back with me next year for my early morning walks each day. This one is finished and its mate is now on the needles and will probably get finished on the plane ride home next Tuesday.

Here is a picture of the finished sweater. It was a great pattern and I think the sock weight yarn will make it the perfect not-too-hot sweater that will get lots of wear.

I certainly missed hooking for this much time, but knitting is far more portable - not only for the plane trips, but also for at the deck. Can't really see hooking there, but who knows - maybe next year.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Howdy from Holetown

How remiss am I in my posting on this blog!!! I guess being in Barbados and not having brought hooking with me this year, I am feeling a bit detached. And sharing too much of the scenery here seems to be a bit unfair. We are more than half way through our stay here. I explain to people it is not a holiday: more like a trip to the cottage which happens to be a 5-hour plane ride away.

That said, I have hooking to share that is not mine, but the work of students who have shared with me and given permission for me to share here.

First up is a remarkable sunrise mat hooked by a student at OHCG school a couple of years ago in my "Photo to Mat" course. Not only did she do an amazing job, but she astonished her husband (and possibly herself). It is easy to see why.

This is the same class I will (hopefully) be teaching at Rug Camp in Newfoundland this coming August.

Another student who hooked with me in my studio in Parry Sound has been working on some mats that are for a special stool in her home. She sent me pictures of the series she has created. Her grand kids love to sit on the mat and love the whimsical patterns.

Although I didn't bring hooking this year, I did bring knitting and have been working away on a sweater for my daughter's birthday next month. Amazingly, it has been windy and cool enough to knit on my perch on the deck by the sea. The sound of the waves and the palm trees swaying are quite a different scenario for knitting from anything at home.

Here's a progress shot of this beautiful pattern "Bello" which you can find on ravelry.  One of the knitters who shared her project is tall like my daughter, so I was able to see the modifications she made to make it longer. Nearly finished the body and I will get going on the sleeves shortly.

This is a picture of the sweater finished and the lovely designer who created it.

Before starting Bello, I finished a pair of "scrappy socks" for a friend, knit with leftovers from all my other socks. If this gets done with time to spare, I have yarn for another pair. And if I don't get done, the socks will still be the plane project for the flight home.

Keep warm everyone.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Guess what I got for Christmas? Patience!

Or maybe just a little more self control.

A couple of my recent projects have called on me to "do the right thing" which means not throwing the entire thing into a bag and walking away. It means "backing up" to where you went astray.

The first is the Inspira Cowl I am knitting. I bought this as a kit from The Needle Emporium  in Ancaster when I was teaching at the OHCG School last year. I finally got around to starting it and was more than 1/2 way through when I realized I was complicating the pattern by twisting my yarn behind as I carried it along (old school technique when doing stranded work - not necessary on three stitch pattern).

It wasn't awful, but I knew it didn't look as great as some of the others on Ravelry. So I frogged the whole thing and started again. It's amazing how quickly you can frog versus knitting - even stranded work!

Now it is perfect and I LOVE the colours. Just a few more rows to go and it will be off the needles and warming my neck.  BTW, Julie at The Needle Emporium's kit is a much faster knit in worsted weight than the one shown on Ravelry. And she has about 6 of them on her blog A Really Good Yarn 

The other exercise in patience is a wonderful new dress that I made to take to Barbados. It is from another Marci Tilton pattern - Vogue 9112.  Since it is already packed, I am showing you an image from the pattern sleeve. I will take a picture when I wear it in the sun.

I made mine in a yummy coral red linen and it turned out beautifully. Like her other patterns, it is quite an architectural feat to assemble all the parts. I think there were 15 pattern pieces - here is a sketch from the pattern sleeve which shows how much stuff is going on. That's what make her patterns so interesting to sew.

The exercise in patience came when I attached the front to the back - about halfway through the assembly. Since linen doesn't have a wrong side, and since I didn't think to clearly indicate which was the right side, the fronts and backs did match and the side seams clearly indicated I had done something wrong. I had left front side to right back side - or something like that.

I decided it was easiest to undo the shoulders and the back seams - only FOUR! and re-do them. Note to self - check progress before finishing seams. About an hour later, I had reassembled and was on my way. Must confess there was a momentary urge to "bag it" and try again much later.

But my new "cup of patience" totally paid off. The dress is wonderful and I will definitely be making it again - having learned from my errors. Will make sure to choose fabric with a visible difference between right and wrong sides.

Is it maturity that gives us the ability to remain calm and "back up"? Or just the experience in knowing that if you take the time to undo - the end result will be worth it.