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Sundays are for Swatching

I have felt a bit aimless in my knitting lately. I have been knitting a lot of simple things, stockinette socks, stockinette sweaters, garter stitch bags. While all of them are relatively easy, they are all also relatively simple. I like a good simple knitting project for stressful times, when the hands just need to be producing and the mind needs to be relaxing. I will still tell you, if you ask, that a plain stockinette sock is the best relaxation knitting in the world. But every now and then, there comes a point where a woman needs just a little more to do. Taking on the Pearl Street Pullover was part of that. I have never done a cabled sweater before, and I am enjoying the heck out of it, even if I am afraid I am going to run out of yarn. I think it was also my motivation for the ill-fated moth man scarf I blogged about last time. Ill-fated? Yes, it is already in hibernation. I have a record with lace yarn and it seems I am doomed never to ever finish a project made out of it. I think I need to come to terms with the fact that I am a cable and color girl, and that while the occasional lace is nice, I prefer the solid to the dainty.

Which brings me to today’s topic. You see, I have plans. Big plans. Plans that almost scare me a little bit when I think about it too much.


This is the pile of things I am going to work on today, because it’s Sunday, and if I can’t sit on my butt and knit all day, I don’t know what else Sunday is for. In the middle you see the beginnings of a sock. This is my control project. A simple pair of stockinette socks on the needles that I can pick up when my brain needs a break from all the new things.


This particular pair of socks are my little brother’s birthday present. (His birthday was a month ago, but I am consoled by the fact that it has been 100 or more degrees every day since then and he wouldn’t have worn them anyway.) They are some self-striping t-rex yarn that he picked out of my shop. He might have just turned twenty, but I am proud to say he couldn’t pass up having Air Bender inspired socks.

Why do I need a control project you ask? Well, mostly because I made two knitting decisions in the last week that prove I have obviously gone quite insane. Two things happened to me last week. I stumbled across Ann Budd’s blog where she challenged herself to knit every sock in her Sock Knitting Master Class book. Second, I was finishing up teaching my beginners sock knitting class, and was thinking what other knitting classes I should schedule for the fall. Some how, the amalgamation of these two ideas in my work-stressed brain led me to make two very ill-conceived decisions. One, I need to learn more knitting skills so that I can be a better knitting teacher, therefore I too shall knit through the sock knitters master class, and blog about it. Two, I will teach a sweater knitting class, because I love knitting sweaters and would like to pass the bug along. Of course, the pattern I chose, O W L S, I have never knit before. I don’t feel comfortable teaching something I have never done, therefore I need to knit this sweater. I don’t have any illusions about knitting it all before the class starts, especially given my insane sock undertaking, but I would like to stay at least one step ahead of my students.


The yarn I am going to use for O W L S is just some knitpicks Wool of the Andes Bulky I bought ages ago. I have a ton of this stuff laying around. I am not sure what my plans were anymore, but I have enough of this steely grey color for a sweater. Today I am swatching for the sweater.


I am also swatching with this lovely golden protoceratops sock yarn for the first pair of socks in The Sock Book (this might be how I refer to the Sock Knitting Master Class for the duration of the project.) I do have to confess, that I have not swatched for socks since probably the second pair of socks I knit. I have not had a problem thus far, but I figure when socks are patterned and offer different sizes, it might be prudent to get a good idea of what my sock gauge even is these days.

First up is Assymetrical Cables by Cookie A. Wish me luck.

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Free Knitted Wash Cloth Pattern

Tomorrow I teach my first beginning knitting class! We are starting off with that most useful of household object, the basic wash cloth. To celebrate, I would like to offer up, for free, the pattern I wrote for the class.

Materials
About 35 yards worsted weight cotton yarn (like Lily’s Sugar n Cream)
Gauge
4 stitch per inch garter stitch
Needles
US size 8/5mm straight needles
Tools
Darning needle

Pattern Key
BO– bind off
CO– cast on
K– knit
K2tog– knit 2 stitches together
(a decrease)
YO– Yarn Over —wrap yarn once around needle in the opposite direction as normal to create an increase.

Pattern
CO 3 stitches
Row1: K1, YO, K2 (1 stitch added)
Row2: K1, YO, K to end of row (1 stitch added)
Continue in the manner until you have 38 stitches on your needles
Next Row: Knit
Next Row: K1, YO, K2tog, K to last 4 stitches, K2tog,
K2 (1 stitch decreased)
Continue in this manner until you have six stitches left on your needles
Next Row; K2tog, K2tog, K2
Next Row: K2tog, K2tog
Next Row: BO
Finishing
Weave in ends and use!

Happy Knitting!

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Knitting Class

Between running errands and putting up the Christmas tree today, I have been cementing the details of my lesson plan for my first knitting class. I cannot say how jazzed I am to have the opportunity to pass on a bit of what I have learned over the last couple of years.

I finished one of my samples today, and it’s bright pink and fun.

Just for fun, my second knitting project ever.

I used it as a sleeve for my netbook while I was in school. It worked great!

Is there anything you want to learn how to make?