Tuesday, November 24, 2015

And Miles to Go

I'm infatuated with the Philosopher's Wool method of woven colorwork.  Infatuated doesn't even begin to cover my exact feelings for it.  So here I am, after mastering the effortless memorization of the four individual stitches, I am now trying to master the execution of them.  

My right hand refuses to get with the program, and my left hand is resentful and angry.  I'm a continental knitter, and extremely ambidextrous in my non-knitting life to boot, so I can't afford to have a resentful left hand!  My solution: practice until you've got it.  So here is my first practice mitt.  After many fruitless COs with this exact yarn combination where I didn't get anywhere near gauge (and therefore wasn't making a usable project) I struck gold - or maybe pyrite - with this pattern.

You may notice some sketchy-looking stitches in there.  Nothing horrible, but some are raised-up & some have fallen behind.  My "normal" knitting doesn't look anything like this, so it's either my tension causing everything to be wonky, or the technique (combined with my tension too, of course).  I'm going to power-on, because I already see a big difference in my cuff & the part above the braids.  I feel like I'm making progress.  I'm HOPEFUL that by the time I finish the second mitt, I will be passably-good at this technique.  This amazing, brilliant, clever-beyond-belief technique!

And then, of course, these will make a lovely holiday or birthday gift for my girl!  I doubt she will nitpick the perfection (or lack thereof) of my stitches.  Not if she ever wants to get any more hand knits again!  I can't say that, she'd just requisition whatever she wants from the drawer anyway, like she always does.

This next one is my first attempt at my first swatch for MHK-L1.  I had a HELL of a time getting a picture of this!  It's dark in my room (for photography), my cell phone - which I normally rely on for these things - has refused to take pictures the past few days!  It clicks, blinks, and makes all the normal signs that it's recording but it doesn't.  It's time for an upgrade, methinks.  I was ok with it when I stopped being able to answer calls on any kind of regular basis; I don't like to talk on the phone anyway.  I was ok when my few games became impossible to play - I just deleted them & went on my merry way.  I was even ok-ish when it stopped letting me upload existing pictures onto FB & Ravelry (by "ok" I mean I wasn't exactly SCREAMING obscenities, more like muttering them along with threats) but if it's not going to take pictures, I might as well toss it into the road.  It's definitely time for an upgrade.

Honestly, I suspect that around the holiday season - phone program updaters send out new updates to make things glitchy so you'll want to update your year-old (or more) phone.  It's devious and underhanded, but completely plausible.

Anyway, this swatch pleases me.  Not because it's perfect, but because I'm literally on day two of this correspondence "class" and I've learned a metric goat-ton about my own knitting already.  For instance, I had NO idea there was a front & back side of the long-tailed CO!  I mean, I was vaguely aware there was some kind of difference but that's as far as my curiosity went.  I just blithely followed the patterns & never wondered why some started on the WS directly after the CO & some were RS.

I also knew I had some slight tension issues with my purl side knitting, but I'd mostly corrected this with some extra tensioning & it's rarely an issue in my not-going-to-be-professionally-judged everyday knitting.  In fact, I've been pleased with my purling for a while, and still am for that matter, but I see that I have a little bit to work on near my selvedge edges.  I don't have a baggy row or anything, but I do have a few wonkier stitches and I feel that is room for improvement.  So I'll re-knit this swatch and use it for my blocking experiments later.  Everything happens for a reason!  That reason, in this case, because of my research I know what to look for in the way of glaring errors!  And also some reassurance that at least my first swatch isn't only fit for the burn pile, lol.  In fact, I think it's pretty passable!  Maybe even as good as not bad.

Also, this morning while I was thinking about starting this particular swatch - I happened along a great tutorial for a KFB increase without a purl bump.  Jeez, sometimes things just fall into your lap when you didn't even know you were looking for them.  So I spent half an hour agog with happiness while absorbing the tutorial in all its glory, then realized I might be able to test it out for the 1st time on this swatch!  It worked.  Magnificently.

So far, this course is worth its weight in gold.  All I've done is thoroughly research my paper & do half a swatch & I've got 20 pages of "OMG, this is a thing?" notes, lol!  Even though it's not for a Professional certification, you should try this class if it's at all feasible for you.
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