Tag Archives: Knitting

Swatching – A Necessary Evil

Blocked Cotton Swatches

Blocked Cotton Swatches

I always swatch before starting projects which need to fit (clothes versus warshrags and shawls). As recommended, I then wash and block my swatches. While I don’t always make my swatches to a minimum of 4 inches by 4 inches, I do test the various repeats.

For the next attempt of the Botanica Medallion Sweater, I need to re-swatch since I am using three different colors of Tahki Cotton Classic in white (from a yarn swap), aqua (from Purl by the Sea in Montauk) and forest green (from Purl by the Sea in Montauk). As a result, I want to ensure that the colors don’t bleed which would ruin the top. In addition, I am going to increase the size of my needles to make the top more lacy. Hence, more swatching.

While I’m swatching, I am also preparing for another project, the Eloise Sweater which is a free pattern from Lion’s Brand. This sweater was on show in the Lion’s Brand Studio and looked multi-purpose. Further, the pink Lion’s Brand Recycled Cotton has a candy cane impression (from the Lion Brand Studio) so I am hoping that this will be fun to knit and a great gift for a little girl.

I strongly recommend swatching and getting projects ready in advance while you’re working on or finishing another project so that you’re ready to just start when the spirit moves you. This prevents lustfully starting to knit only to find that you’re way off in your gauge on the real thing!

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

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Happy 4th of July from New York City-Knitting Included!

Empire State Building Lit in Red, White, & BLue

Empire State Building Lit in Red, White, & BLue

Happy July 4th! I wish you all the best. Here’s the shot of the Empire State Building which gets wrapped in different colors every night. Working on the lighting must be like working a wonderful color pattern in light instead of yarn!

I hope that you all had a wonderful time.

One thing about holidays is that it gives us time off from work to spend doing the things we like most–knitting, seeing friends and eating fun foods.  My knitting friends and I met to celebrate with some roof top knitting under the shade of a large green umbrella. There was also holiday grilling and a sinfully wonderful chocolate layer cake and ice cream. Since I continued to progress slowly on my current projects so that there isn’t much new to show today.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Planning Vacation Knitting

Overcast skies at Fair Harbor Beach

Overcast skies at Fair Harbor Beach

This year, we’re going to Fire Island for a beach vacation where we both get to indulge in our hobbies. My husband wind surfs in the bay and I knit on the ocean beach.

In preparation, I plan out my knitting, especially since there aren’t any yarn stores on Fire Island in case I run out of yarn or supplies or get bored with my current project(s).  To this end, I like to bring a variety of projects that involve different types of knitting and materials. 

For me, beach knitting is great for zen knitting where you get into the knitting zone without having to think. I find that it allows me to relax. This can be good for complex patterns such as lace, long projects that require lots of knitting which would take months otherwise, quick projects that you can finish in an afternoon on the beach or more simple minded projects requiring little thinking. 

When it comes to vacation knitting, I  tend to over pack since I like having the option of changing projects. Vacation knitting is a great way of having a memory of your vacation in terms of the finished item. 

This year, I’m  bringing a combination of pieces. Since I’m looking to reduce the number of WIPs and my stash,there are some stash buster projects in the queue. Here’s what I’m bringing with me:

1] Fountain Pen Shawl (Source: Interweave Magazine 2009)- This project has been planned for outdoor summer knitting since I’m using black Malabrigo sock yarn that I bought on sale at The Point. Alyssa, the manager, inspired this project. After knitting the Shetland Lace Scarf, I had promised myself not to make any more black lace pieces until my choices for the Malabrigo sock yarn were been black or white (and I have tons of white yarn from last year’s wedding projects!). 

2] Nightsong aka Gail (Source: Free Online) This project is already in progress using a free pattern that I found on the internet for free. I used the comments on Ravelry to help me. I’m using a cobweb weight lace cashmere. Between the fineness of the yarn and the complexity of the pattern, it’s taking longer than expected to finish. It’s a present that’s due on July 1st which is definately going to be late.

3] Hemlock Ring Blankie (Source:  Brooklyn Tweed). I’m planning to knit this project in a cotton, wool, silk blend made by a small producer. The yarn looks more interesting than it is to knit with. Usually, I’m not one to jump on such a big internet trend like the Hemlock Ring Blanket but lately I’ve been bitten by the lace doily bug and wanted to use a tried and try pattern to better understand how to extend a doily. This project is a gift.

4] Mitered Top (Source: Vogue Knitting Summer 2009). This is a Norah Gaughan pattern which should have a broader audience given it’s great line. It may be the mix of yarns that turns some people off. Given the way that the top gets more fitted may hurt its following, at least on Ravelry. (Part of NaKniSweMoDo)

5] Grey-Beige-White Long Sleeve Top. (Source:  Basic seater top.) This sweater was started back in March since I wanted a hand made sweater for the spring. Unfortunately, I didn’t get it finished in time. The colors were perfect for the spring in an Anny Blatt/Bouton D’Or linen blend called New Jeans. I am knitting it in a reverse 3/1 rib with a v-neck. The project is crawling towards completion. (Part of NaKniSweMoDo)

6] More knitted doilies. (Source: Online) Using Ravelry’s search function, I’ve been collecting a variety of patterns to test using scraps and swapped yarn. (Recycle projects to use up yarn while creating something useful.)

When I started this list the Botanica Medallion top on the cover of the Summer 2009 Vogue Knitting and my Estonian Lace Shawl were in the queue but I decided to cut back a bit.

In addition, I’ve made sure that I have hard copies of all of the patterns and put them into plastic sleeves to protect them. I  also fortified my knitting notions to ensure that I have enough stitch markers and highlighter tape to keep my projects straight.

Of course, this is more knitting than I can do in this period of time but I believe that it’s better to be overstocked with projects than being bored!

What do  you do for your vacation   knitting?

Sumbtted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief