master knitter

The past few days haven’t produced much in the way of knitted objects, but have been educational and somewhat interesting at least.

First off, I got several new books in the mail. I love getting reprints of the classics:

I also got a shipment from Knitpicks so I could start swatching for my Level 2 vest. I’ve pretty much set on doing a houndstooth vest of my own design. Probably a scoop neck. I heard people say that Palette was scratchy, but I find it quite soft and very pleasant to work with. Here’s what I’ve done as far as a swatch I like:

I also tried lavender and cream, but didn’t care for the end result. There wasn’t enough contrast I think. I have several other colors to play with, and might have to alter from the pink/brown combo above if the committee thinks it’s too dark.

I shudder to think how much knitting it’s going to take to make an entire vest at 8 stitches per inch. Good grief, what am I getting into :)

My laptop was out of commission for the weekend as the cord broke and I had to have a new one shipped to me. During that time I did a fair amount of swatching for the master knitter stuff. I misread the instructions for my first cable swatch so I’m using it as my test swatch for the Cable Flare solution. Here are the cable ones I did finish, plus a very pretty lace swatch that ended up being too big :(

You can kind of see some little black lines on the lace swatch. Those are extra T pins in my “cat prevention” attempt. I do not know what it is about knitted swatches but they are cat magnets. Even with the pins, I caught one of them sneaking a paw or two onto it. Sheesh.

As for the cables–wow you can really see the flare problem. I’m kind of surprised they don’t have us resolve it on all 3 swatches.

I also did some seaming work. I seamed an exceedingly beautiful 1×1 rib seam, but realized after the fact that my cast on edges aren’t the same (one’s bumpy, one’s smooth), so I have to redo it. I might rework the entire swatch to use a tubular cast on anyway since those are so pretty.

I’m struggling a lot with the seed stitch seam. I got my copy of IK from Spring 2002, and it’s helpful but translating it to the reality of my swatch is being troublesome.

My airplane knitting for the week consisted of lace swatches for my level 2 tkga stuff. I used the Barbara Walker Treasuries (books 1 and 2). One of the fun parts of this has been charting the patterns. I prefer to work lace (and cables) almost exclusively from charts, so before starting each swatch, I charted out the lace pattern.

Here are 3 of the swatches I did. The bottom one is a Milanese Lace, and I don’t think I’m going to use it. I got lazy and made it too small I think. The top left is “Starlight” lace. I really like this pattern. It’s clever and open and pretty. The top right one is “Elfin” lace. It’s a very straightforward pattern–easy to work and pretty.

I’m working on another lace swatch now, to replace the Milanese one. It’s a wider pattern, and more of a panel than an allover stitch as these were. I’m a little worried that it might end up exceeding the 7″ square limitation, but we’ll see how it goes.

On Thursday I got the letter with my resubmitted level 1 swatches saying that I passed! I then got started on the knitting for level 2 in earnest. I have all the pieces knit for swatches 1-4, and 6-7. I had a question on number 5, but that’s been answered so I can get to that soon. I also knit the decrease swatches (8-10), and started on my first lace swatch.

Here’s a peek at all the ones I’ve finished as they’re being blocked:

The lace is going to take a while. I’m using size 2 needles and some pretty fine laceweight yarn. The inch of seed stitch on each end is a bit time consuming. For the first one, I’ve picked “Elfin Lace” from the first Barbara Walker Treasury. I got it all charted out, so writing the pattern should be quite simple.

I have a flight tomorrow, but will probably take my socks in progress instead of dragging this TKGA stuff along. It’s no fun to carry around my reference books.

I got my level 1 Master Knitter submission packet back! I have one swatch to re-do and one question. That’s it! Not much at all :) Maybe I’ll do it this weekend.

Still working along on the clover shawl. Almost done with the clover leaf pattern repeats. I think I’ll finish that this weekend and get on to the eyelet section. I love this yarn.