Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fleece Artist - Einstein Jacket

If you are visiting Serenity Knits, have a look at the beautiful new jacket knit by Gabriela. She used the Curlylocks and Mo yarn from the Fleece Artist Garter Stitch Jacket kit to knit Sally Melville's famous Einstein Jacket. There is plenty of yarn for a generous length jacket and the hand dyed colours are amazing. Best of all, it is an easy garter stitch knit that makes you look like you were a genius knitter.

Another bonus is that this is a quick knit project - even for those of us who don't knit like Gabriela. It can be easily done in a couple of weeks and ready to wear for the early, cool days of spring.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Completed Sweater / A Day Off

A large part of the fun of our classes is celebrating the completion of a project with our students. Jackie just finished her sweater that she has been working on in "Project Class" for the last couple of months. She has taken 8 different colours of sock yarn in related hues, and held 2 strands together to make a double knit (DK) weight of yarn. Every 8 rows she changed the colours as she knit her pullover and the result is beautiful.

Even though Beth, Gabriela and I think of Serenity Knits as our second home, we do occasionally take a few days off. It was an absolutely perfect winter day with fresh snow, warm temperatures (comparatively) and bright sunshine. This is how Gabriela and I spent the day without our knitting needles and with great ski conditions at Mount St. Louis / Moonstone.
The snow conditions couldn't have been better. Here all the fresh snow was well appreciated.
Gabriela (left) grew up in Austria where she learned to both ski and knit - a great combination and she is extremely talented in both areas.

Between ski runs, Karen (right) has been planning the design for a new ski sweater. A coordinating hat would nice too. Now back to the slopes.

The leg muscles are starting to complain by the end of the day, signaling time to head back home to curl up with our knittng. I hear that the forecast is for snow again tomorrow - bringing a good excuse for more skiing and more knitting - no complaints here!


Friday, February 8, 2008

The Last Afghan Square

Many of you have asked me if I have finished knitting my final afghan square. Yes, I have - 3 times!

I wanted my last square to be an easy one, after spending about 10 hours each on many of the other squares. In our advanced cables class, the students are encouraged to design their own last square, so I thought I'd be a good example. I still wanted to maintain my "forest and foliage" theme - just as long as it was fast. I definately have problems with patience at the end of a long project.

A simple dishcloth style, starting with a knit-in eyelet leaf seemed like a design that would help me reach my goal quickly. All that I needed to do was garter stitch with an increase at each end on alternate rows. Of course by the midway point I was bored and changed to a stocking stitch and eyelet pattern and just decreased much like I had increased - each end, alternate rows. Having just taught a finishing class a couple of weeks ago, you would think that I would have remembered talking about the ratio of stitch width to height on garter stitch vs other stitch patterns - but no - I just kept knitting away and ended up with an elongated diamond as the top section of my "square". Feeling rather foolish, I ripped back to the middle and decreased as I would for a stocking stitch square - 3 out of 4 rows - not thinking about the effect of the eyelets - and ending up with another very lop-sided "square". It was back to the middle again and this time a proper decrease of 4 out of 5 rows and finally a real square. A few appliqued leaves from Nicky Epstein's book Knitted Embellishments completed the effect - finally. When will I ever learn to follow my own advise and try a little tension swatch first?

This was the last square of my second Heritage Afghan. Several of the squares were from the "Great North American Aran Afghan" and other booklets in the series. I chose squares that had leaves, trees or other foliage to tie into the decor for our house that is located in the middle of a forest. The border is a sculpted leaf pattern and is about half finished. Then, all that is left is the assembly. (Hopefully none of you are keeping track of the growing number of my "almost finished" projects). I promise pictures soon.


Monday, February 4, 2008

Learning to Like Football

Last night's Super Bowl football game has made me rethink my position on televised sports. I never could figure out how anyone could justify sitting in front of the TV for hours on end watching a bunch of men play their games. That was until my daughter Marie and I sat through the "Big Game" and spent our time eating great food, watching hilarious commercials and knitting. I struggle on most days to fit in an hour of knitting and this was a licence to knit for 4 hours without interruption. There were no complaints from the guys and even the dogs thought this was quality family time as long as a few snacks dropped onto the floor every now and then.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl Knitting Fun

I love the Super Bowl! No, I don't like football - about all I know is that the Patriots and Giants are playing and that the Patriots have a perfect season record on the line. However, a big event like the Superbowl is great. I sent my hubby Steve out for game food yesterday (it's just too hard to pick out junk food for others) and a veggie platter for my daughter Marie and me. Steve is even going to BBQ for us pre-game. By my calculations, that will leave about 5 hours of uninterrupted knitting time for the girls. Marie and I have claimed the seats nearest the knitting light and will actually peek at the commercials and half time show.

Marie is going to be finishing up some fingerless gloves in Noro's Silk Garden. I'm ready to "tackle" my mitered square cardigan. There are only 20 squares left of the close to 300 that I started with. My plan was to work on one square a day and have the sweater finished in a little under a year - yeah- right. It's a WIP that has lasted close to two years. At the rate of one square every 20 minutes (that is allowing time for pretending to be interested in the game) I'll be ready to sew it together and work the edging by tomorrow????

The sweater is knit from the back, around to the front, with the lapel squares reversed so the right side facing when it is folded into position. After the squares are finished, the back is seamed, sleeves set in and border knit all the way around. Did I mention - there are just 20 squares to finish on the left front! (I tend to get extremely excited when the end of a long project is in sight.) Here's to a great Super Bowl.

You'll get a full progress report tomorrow. Right now my needles are ready for the drop of the ball - sorry -"official kick off".