Thursday, August 9, 2012

When All Else Fails, Follow the Pattern!

OK, I’m at the point where I can laugh about it. So, I thought I’d share my folly!!
I’m taking the Knitting with Beads class on Craftsy.com and absolutely loving it. I couldn’t wait to cast on Accola. I picked the yarn (lace weight for maximum stress), agonized over the bead choices and watched the lessons at least three times. I was ready.
I cast on for the edging, and was rolling along. But it wasn’t long before I noticed that the beads (gunmetal and hexagonal for maximum sparkle) weren’t really showing up. Do I stop and think? Of course not. I just keep digging them out of the nupps and press ahead to finish the entire edging.
Wow! Now on to the really fun part…picking up and seeing the actual body of the shawl take place. I pre-string the beads and realize that I’m not going to have enough. Not to mention that they weigh a TON on the yarn! Strange. I calculated and weighed very carefully. So, I order more. Do I stop at this point?? Of course not. I carefully follow Laura’s method to pick up the stitches and it works perfectly. I start on the body, but it doesn’t take long to realize that something isn’t right with the center panel. The beads are looking loose and “awkward”. Dare I say somewhat gaudy almost? Do I stop yet? Of course not. I just figure it’s going to all work out and plunge ahead on another repeat.
Finally (and I do mean FINALLY!), a bell goes off in my very hard head and I realize that if I continue this way, this shawl is going to weigh a ton, not to mention not look very nice. So, being brilliant, I take a look at other’s photos….uh, they don’t look like mine. Ruh roh!!!! Could I possibly have used the wrong size bead in the wrong place? Ding ding ding!!!
I can laugh about it now, ‘cause I’ve got the edging re-done and am working on my second repeat of the center panel. The beads actually look great! And yes, I still love the pattern and am really enjoying working on it. (probably a good thing given the fact that I’m on my second go round and don’t have a shawl to show yet! LOL)
The moral of this long story: if it seems wrong, and then still seems wrong, and then looks even worse…you probably should
stop and find where you went rogue before you waste tooooo much time!! :) :) :) :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

SSK!

I've been so bad about keeping up with my blog! But SSK has motivated me to keep on blogging! We're on the road back from the most amazing event eva!! Lex and I had a 2 1/2 day road trip down to Nashville, and are now making our way back to NY. I'll add some pix and give you all the details when we get home, but suffice it to say that we will never forget the awesome people we met!
Knitters have to be the nicest people in the world. I can't imagine any other large group getting together and hitting it off so perfectly. Even with people we had never met before, it was like being with friends we had known forever! Of all the memories we are bringing home, the people we met will be the most cherished! Knitters came from  near and far and settled in sharing their talents, help, advice and friendship. When the Knitgirlls first said that you will meet your new best friends at SSK, I'm thinking how can that be possible? Now, I know exactly what they meant. All I can say is that campus was filled with big hearts and lots of love! 
I'll share some memories and pictures when we get home. It was 5 days of spinning, knitting, shopping and lots of laughing! The classes were fabulous; Lynn Zimmerman, Rebecca Danger and Leslie of the Knitgirlls taught the classes I took and I am the better for it. I can't wait to get home to start putting some of my new found techniques to good use!
Until then....
Live, laugh and knit on!
Jan

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The New Addiction!


First, let me introduce you to Lydia! She's a Schacht Ladybug, and she is a beauty! And yes, she has started a whole new obsession!! I've caught the spinning bug!
I should explain that this all started last summer, when I found an interesting video on YouTube (ok, I was egged on at my LYS) on spinning. This particular method involved a drop spindle, aptly named, I might add, since it spends most of its time being dropped. Not to mention accidentally spun with enough gusto to take out any loose objects in its path. Well, it was enough to provoke my curiosity into finding more efficient methods to accomplish the same goal. And I did. Boy, did I ever!
My fall trip to Rhinebeck only encouraged me further, especially when I saw hundreds of people carrying huge plastic bags with various states of "sheep!" The bags contained fleece in various states including fresh off the sheep to cleaned, dyed and ready to spin! And then there was booth after booth of fiber dyed in every color and palette you can think of. You would think I'd be happy with the miles and miles of already prepared and ready to knit yarn. Uh.....no.
So, I began to research wheels on the web. Of course, the best way to do this would have been to try out various wheels in person. But, never having used one before, I was not about to humiliate myself in the store! No, I'd rather take my chances in the privacy of my own home! And I surely wasn't about to fall into the "You break it, you bought it trap!" I knew flat out where that was going to go!
So, to make an already too long story short, I decided on the Ladybug. And I'm thrilled with her! And I've been spinning....and spinning....and spinning! And believe it or not, there is a lot to learn about fiber, types of fiber, types of yarn...I could go on and on. And then, there's plying...singles, 2-ply, navajo ply...well, you get the idea!
Here's an idea of what I've been spinning:

And I haven't been neglecting my knitting! (Well, not too much!)
Here's some FO's of the recent past:




I will save the yarn acquisitions for the next blog! In the meantime, come join me on Ravelry, and Happy Knitting!