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June 04, 2005

Knittery day

Do you know what's the most stupid-looking thing in the world? Me. Okay, me in a certain situation - trying to knit in the English (right-hand hold, throw the yarn) method. I might as well be a fish trying to peel a banana. Or be deep-sea fishing with a banana. The lure of stranded knitting is out there, though:

  

Pass a tissue, I'm drooling!

Of course I have investigated, purchased, and tried Strickfingerhuts (aka, knitting thimbles), but, eh, they are too darn big for my fingers. Next think you know, it's me, four Band-Aids, funny-looking coil on my finger, and needles being tossed at the wall. So, learning to knit two-handed, in the traditional way Elizabeth Zimmermann does in her videos, is what I'm opting for.

Along those lines, today I took a color-work class at the Knitting Room along with my friend Rosann. Although I was pretty clear on how to strand "in theory," it was nice to have scheduled stranded-knitting time, so that I can practice my English knitting. From the class itself I learned a lot of little tricks and gathered many observations about color-work knitting. Here's a picture from the class:

The pink and white swatch is mine! The heart is worked in intarsia (which I already knew how to do), and the rest of it is stranded. You can see I totally screwed up took some liberties with the "garter stitch" border.

How do I feel about stranding? Comfortable and curious enough to start a small project. I have some lovely worsted weight merino wool in a wine red and rose pink that's itching to be a hat, I think. Any hints about where I can find a pattern for such a thing?

From the class Rosann and I proceeded to visit the sale to end all sales at Wild & Woolly Studio in Lexington. There was a ton of yarn on sale, and I actually bought some, without a specific project in mind!

This is 10 balls of Lana Grossa Cool Wool 2000, 100% wool. I've definitely noticed this yarn before: versatile gauge (24 sts/4 inches) and it feels and looks remarkably like Rowan 4-ply Soft. Notice the lack of pinkness and redness. I'm not sure how that blue is looking on your monitor, but it's not a "baby" blue, it's very much a "Rowan" blue. Ten balls translates into 1750 yds, enough for a small sweater like the Vintage Pink Cardigan (i.e., 3/4-length sleeves, doesn't go past the hips, no fancy collar). I also got a pair of Bryspun circular needles - wow, the cord is so weird! All flexible and wobbly! I'll have to try them out. With needles, I like to have one of each kind, because you never know which kind will boss the yarn around the best. I'm such a needle ho (other than Addis, whose blunt tips I detest).

Tomorrow, an update on grandma's blue socks.

Posted by Kathy on June 4, 2005 10:35 PM

Comments

Class sounds like fun, and the yarn looks lovely! There's *lots* of talk about the new Bryspun circs; on the About.com Knitting Forum, MaryTess posted a link to a discussion about them. You should post/blog your inimitable review!

oh I want to do one of those classes...I havent really ventured (knowing what I am doing that is) into colour knitting. On my list! Love the yarn...and the needles. I do love addis but detest the bluntness as well...aweful for pulling sts over etc. Let me know how these needles are...I will source some out here!

Oh, my goodness, that class sounds SO cool. You lucky dog. Where can I get me one?

I used that Cool Wool 2000 for my Backyard Leaves. It wasn't ideal for that project (shoulda used something drapier), but, DANG, I loved working with it. It was so plush and sproingy, I expected it to make noise.

I think even worse is watching me trying to pick the yarn Continental style.

I'm envious of your intarsia talent. I can't do intarsia for anything - although I've tried! Your intarsia heart looks great.

Mmm, I love the color of that yarn.

Jen & I were at the W&W sale yesterday too!

You are a rock star for those links to the tubular stuff in your previous entry. I've been doing the tubular cast-on according to Nancie Wiseman's Book of Finishing Techniques, and it's pretty slow going. The yo Italian method is freaking brilliant. Looks much faster.

Also, I've been wanting to adapt the tubular for in-the-round for socks as well, and unsuccessfully googled for hours. THANK YOU. All bookmarked and everything.

Fair Isle/stranded, how I love thee. But I'm really awkward at it. I made one thing...the trim around the opening of a bag I felted. It came out really nice, but I almost killed myself making it. I'm not much for the Norwegian all-over motif stuff, but cuffs and chest-stripes (like the image you found) for a bit of fancy detail, that I really like, and it would be nice to get the hang for that stuff.

Your swatch looks great! I'm a HUGE Faire Isle fan, so I'm looking forward to Grumperina FI creations. ;-)

As for a hat, try "Hat's on!" by Charlene Schurch. Lot's of really neat stranded patterns.

See, now I feel the same exact way about Continental knitting. It's not a pretty site once I get a burr up my butt to try it again.... for the 6 millionth time. I'm still a flinger though.

That yarn looks FABOO! Can't wait to see what you whip up with it.

You will become addicted to stranding! It is lots of fun. For hat patterns, I like the book Hats On! by Charlene Schurch. I have made several in the book and they all involve colorwork.

Oooh, those pictures are enough to make anyone want to learn to knit both ways, especially the pillow! Where are they from?

If you haven't already, be sure to check out the Philosopher's Wool video about two-handed fair isle. http://www.philosopherswool.com/Pages/Streamingvideo.htm

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