Friday, June 23, 2006

Jo Sharp "Eclectic"

Hey, if anyone out there has a copy of Jo's "Eclectic" book that you want to get rid of, please let me know! I've been trying to get my hands on it for months. Thanks! Hannah


Summer Knitting: Too HOT to Knit??? NEVER!!!

OK, so it's hot. Is that any reason not to knit??? Of course not! But I would say that--obsessive as I am.

Enrollment in classes at Stitch DC and at the Capital Hill Arts Workshop has been slow to nonexistent. For some reason, people don't want to think about knitting and wool in the summer.

What they don't realize, though, is that this is the perfect time to:

A) Start knitting that killer sweater you want to wear when the cool weather returns. If you don't start now, it won't be done until next spring!

B) Knit yourself a cool tank top, bikini, headband, or sarong. There are so many gorgeous and inspiring patterns out there for summer clothes. Look at Nora Gaughan's Octagonal Tank in Knitting Nature, for example. Pretty, fun, and looks great!

C) Work on small projects. Socks, mittens, wrist warmers, or even a lacy shawl would make a perfect summer project. And they're small enough to take on vacation with you. And speaking of vacation...

D) Start a project to take with you on the plane or in the car when you head out of town for vacation or business. Nothing makes a flight more enjoyable! Time seems to fly. And even I--who get carsick at the drop of a hat--find that I can knit in the car. Especially when I'm working on something I don't need to look at all the time.

So stop complaining about the weather being "too hot to knit." Use cotton or silk or linen or hemp or bamboo, for God's sake! Make 12" cotton squares and join them into a bath mat. Or design some cool pieces you can later join into an afghan.

You just might find that knitting summer-size projects is so fun you'll want to work on them all year 'round.

Happy knitting!


Saturday, June 17, 2006

Ribbed Tank -- My own design!

After all this time I finally succumbed to designing my own pattern... I was going to make SWTC's Bamboo Tank (it's a free-with-purchase pattern), but as I read through I found myself thinking:
"Why should I sew seams--this should be knit in the round!"
"Why does the designer want me to begin with a bulky hem? I don't need THAT around my hips!"
"Wow. That neckline, which looks so nice in the photo, is really just a straight bind off with no shaping at all. Hmmm..."

So little by little, after a few minutes of complaining about the pattern's silly instructions, I worked out my own version of a ribbed tank.

To start, I casted on XXX stitches (it's a secret, but more than 100) IN PATTERN, using the longtail cast on method (I taught myself the purl version...). My pattern is K3, P1, all the way around. After 4 inches of this I will switch to a smaller needle, instead of breaking up the ribbing with decreases for waist shaping. The neckline will be basically square, but with a very shallow V, which will give it a "sweetheart neckline" appearance (I hope!).

I am about 4 inches in, and I have to say it's not exciting knitting. But I'm using Rowan Calmer (in Khaki, a light, sagey green), so the nice feel of the yarn running through my fingers offsets the boring stretches of K3, P1 ribbing.

No photos right now, but I will post a picture soon. Wish me luck!