Monday, July 13, 2009

Masters Monday, Week 5: 20 of 16 swatches to show you, and I still need 6 more

The knitter, swatched nearly to death

Masters Monday - Week Five: Okay, after the not-knitting of last week, I was due for some SERIOUS swatching. And man, oh man, I really don't think I can do better on most of these. (The ones that I can? MOAR RE-NITZ!!) The changes from knit to purl are all even. The selvedge edges are all the same, and match. The decreases are tiny and almost unnoticeable; ditto the increases. The stitches to the left of my cables match the stitches to the right of my cables. My lace is lovely. (I'm much better at lace than most stuff, I've realized. I place all the blame squarely on Deborah and her lovely Secret of the Stole series.) Even the color change thingy? Not so bad, thanks to the Techknitter article, and my newfound ability to figure out how to manipulate stitches around what I'm doing so The Thing I'm Doing looks better.

In the process of putting this week's knitting together, I have two resources for you: (1) the TKGA Basics, Basics, Basics reference materials, shiny-brand-new 2009 updated version. Just re-reading this helped a LOT. (2) So You Want To Be A Master Knitter is super-helpful (and calming) as to what the reviewers expect. It's all common sense, really, and explained in the Level 1 materials - but it's helpful to my brain to see things worded differently, or highlighted/stressed in a new way, and it might be to yours, too. Check it out.

Here's what I've got that was reviewed (by me) for acceptability to be in my submission:

#1 - I have a new-found love of garter stitch selvedge edges. I can make them look very pretty now. Also: bar increases play well with ribbing! The bottom swatch WOULD be acceptable, except I ran out of yarn near the top - and I don't want to try hiding that many weave-ins in this swatch. On the other hand, the top swatch, when I went to unravel it, I'd done such a good job hiding the tails that I COULD NOT FIND THEM. Re-knitting anyway.

#2 - Stockinette. No gutters. I'm really hoping I got the edges right - because I'm still not happy, it's getting re-knit anyway. Also, note the lovely knitted-for-the-fourth-time (on the left) nearly invisible bar increases in the ribbing. Or don't - they're nearly invisible!! Woo-hoo!

#3 - Seed Stitch - from two weeks ago. Still my best swatch.

#4 - Bumpy little Bar Increases. So cute! The one on the right was deemend "acceptable".

#5 - M1 increases. Used the yarnover-below method to keep them even. This time, the one on the left is the one that will be turned in.

#6 - Lifted increases. This took some SERIOUS re-kintting (and re-knitting), but they're nigh-invisible, dagnabit. I know I can do invisible, so it's getting re-done.

#7 - I think - Mirrored decreases, part 1. By twisting what will be the ssk stitches in the previous WS row as I go, they're much smaller when I actually get to them. Yes, I realize I took the photo upside-down. And since I only *think* this is the SSK/K2tog, I'm re-knitting.

#8 - I think - Mirrored decreases, part 2. Can't really tell the difference, which I think is the whole point, but means I need to re-knit this one, as well. Dagnabit. This, kids, is why you label the danged things as you go.

(Um, see the upper right swatch in the #6 photo. Looks like this swatch snuck in up there.)
#9 - Full-fashioned decreases. I'd actually use these for a neckline, they're pretty. Used the same previous-row setup for the ssk. And, since I'm not 100% certain that the misplaced swatch in the photo is, in fact, this swatch, it's getting re-knit. Did I mention that you should label these things as you go?

#10, #11 and #12 - Yarnovers, Simple Eyelet #1 and Simple Eyelet #2. The first two are fine; I had to re-knit the bottom one, since I didn't read the directions accurately, and didn't make the not-K2tog decreases SKP. *Sigh*. But at least it's re-knit now. Is it bad that I enjoy the lace patterns the most?

#13, #14 and #15 - Single Cross Cable, Horseshoe Cable, with a shout-out to Winnie Rose for posting her photo first (so I'd have some clue!), and two possibles for the My Choice cable. Not the mated cables, as I'd planed. Too similar to Single Cross. So, instead, I shamelessly followed Wovenflame into the Walker Treasuries, and tried a Windblown Cable - but reversed it, to see if I could. It didn't look nearly as pretty as hers, so I made something up (lower left) that I liked, but two repeats came in over 4.5 inches; so I did the one on the lower right, which I like a lot. Now, to see if I can re-knit it next week from what I wrote up, and have the two look The Same. PS, if you're thinking of doing this, CHECK OUT WOVENFLAME'S BLOG (Pssst, Alex, she weaves, too!).

#16 - The Colorwork Swatch - a Dreaded Hat Preview

Well, if the final swatch is a preview, then... there must be a DREADED HAT. I have gone over and over the hat pattern. I have swatched flat. I have swatched circular. I have gone up a needle size, then down three. I have almost put my eye out with a DPN (thank the PTBs that I wear glasses!). I have, in short, turned myself into a little ball of panic over this dratted hat, which, as I suspected, will be the Thing That Takes Forever And Holds Up My First Submission. On the other hand, I make a really pretty pom-pom, so there's hope it'll look decent someday.

This week, I do the re-knits for any swatches in which I found Un-Forgivable Errors (the main "error" seems to be forgetting to label the danged things so I can tell what they are later). So, swatches #1, #2, #6, #8, #9 and #15 need re-doing. (6,8, and 9 shouldn't have to!! Dangit!!) I need to work on the hat some more - hey, at least I cast it on! - and get my questions in final form, since at this point, I've got a couple of sources for each thing, and found half a dozen sources for the report. Also, first full draft of the report. (And for those of you wondering how I'm getting "all this done so quickly"... I don't have pets or children, and my husband has learned, in the ten years we've been married, that I get obsessions from time to time, and this is one of them.)

See you next week!


  1. You have done a lot of work on these swatches. So you make pretty pompoms. Come teach me as mine look like a 2 yr old made them.

  2. Great Job! What a lot of work. I think your knitting looks fabulous. Keep it up, you will be a master knitter for sure.


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