Monday, October 26, 2009

Road Trip to visit Cat Bordhi

I love learning more knitting techniques from other knitters. Cat Bordhi is wonderful inventive and talented knitting teacher / author has invited knitters to come an join her on "her" island. She lives in the Pacific Northwest in the State of Washington on an island in the Puget Sound. She organizes a retreat where she has about 25 students come to Friday Harbor and knit and share and learn for a whole week.

It took me all day to get here but I think the travel is well worth it, here are some pictures of the journey here. I always have an "airline" breakfast which consists of Starbucks coffee and trailmix with tomato juice. Oh the good old days of airplane food who ever thought I would miss it?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cruising and Knitting & Teaching on the High Seas...... Nirvana

Lots of exciting news will tell you more soon.
October 2010.

Life is great!

October 23, 1956

This date I always will remember and each year I post about it because I don't want the world to forget.
An event that changed my life!

Hungarian Revolution of 1956

And yes the tears and sadness still come and the memory still hurts even after all these years.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

XXX ZigZag Cross Over Stitch

I am progressing nicely with this little sweater. The color is wonderful and each time I try it on it seems to fit nicely. Actually I kind of do not want to take it off so I am hopeful that this will be a garment that I will wear a lot. For our climate here is Southern California this short sleeve open sort of jacket / sweater is perfect, just to take the chill off the shoulders. It would be a great addition to a fall or spring wear also.

I have been trying to figure out what kind of edging to do on this and I think I've got it. I first wanted this to be all garter stitch to show off the yarn and I'm pleased of the way it looks. I really do like the all knit garter stitch it gives a nice texture and hangs nicely for me. There is no curling to worry about and it's an easy knit. I knit Continental so the knit stitch is more efficient and goes faster for me than the purl stitch.

I wanted to stay with the knit stitches and looked through many different books of "edgings" but I just could not find anything that was easy, not much counting and that was knit and looked good. Then I remembered this XXX Zig Zag Cross Over Stitch. I am not sure where I learned this who showed it to me but I kind of parked it in my memory for just such a project. It may have come from one of Barbara Walker's books. That woman is so clever.

For future references I made a little YouTube video to show how I do this easy breezy edging.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Saturday notes

On Saturdays I try and not plan too many things on my calendar sort of letting myself relax and catch up with things I may have postponed during the week. This Saturday I am working on my top down sweater pattern that I will be teaching at Compatto Yarn Store in November.

3 Wednesday afternoons starting
November 4th, 11th & 18th. 12 to 2 pm.

Top down sweaters are such fun to knit because they kind of grow and you are able to try them on as you knit along making any adjustments that might be needed to fit your particular bumps or lumps. Oh I mean my particular lumps or bumps you or the person you are knitting for may not have lumps or bumps but may have a short waist and long arms or short arms and a long waist. You know what I mean.

When knitting a sweater the conventional way in pieces you usually start in the bottom of the back, then you knit two fronts and maybe then you could kind of try it on to get some sense in how this garment may fit. If there are any adjustments to be made you practically have to start all over again and this is why so many knitters give up.

The top down class I teach is to give the student an understanding the theory and structure of this simple and comfortable style. Most of all permission to make changes to the written pattern. My pattern is like a recipe, you can of course follow it exactly but you can add in your particular changes. Most patterns in my opinion are just a suggestion or a general outline of what to do, unless you are knitting a pattern like Hanne Falkenberg's Ballerina which is knit side to side and you better follow every single instruction. Then after thousands and thousands of stitches and hours and hours of knitting you sort of hope it will fit.

Sometimes it fits and other times it does not. The first Hanne Falkenberg "Ballerina" I knit turned out ok. Oh wait I had major problems figuring out the pattern not just the rhythm of the designer and instructions but I could barely see the print . The tiny font they used to save paper without any "breathing" spaces letters kerned as close as possible as if they were trying to fit everything on one sheet of paper. Oh no not as if they actually did fit everything on one legal size page. But once I kind of got the rhythm of the designers intent I was finally able to figure it all out and finished the sweater.

However I don't wear this sweater very much because it's back heavy and has a tendency to pull to the back and I end up tugging on it to fit right. So it becomes a tug of war when I wear it. But it has come in very handy to demonstrate to my students how adapting a style to your own body and comfort is very doable and for me necessary.

I modified the Ballerina, calling it the Banana-Ballerina. This version looks about the same but it's a bit longer in the front giving it more weight in the front and I took out a couple of panels in the back making the back lighter. Now this sweater sits on my shoulders nicely there is no tugging and is a comfortable to wear.

Here are some class projects we made for top down classes I did in the past. We knitted a small version of the sweater we had in mind and my little Teddy was a perfect size to knit for but once you learn the theory and the basic concept on how to knit this sweater you can knit any size you want.

This little sweet sweater was knit by Sandi Kagan, this was the first project she ever knit without following a pattern. She was amazed that she was able to do this easily after the first session of the 3 session class I was teaching at Amano Yarn Center.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

My Bugga obsession continues....

Those ladies at Sanguine Gryphon are very clever, they have managed to keep their yarn exclusive and hard to get? How and why this yarn phenomena continues I don't know. There are thousands of small yarn "dyers" out there begging people to buy their products and then there is Sanguine Gryphon and their "Bugga" and now "Skinny Bugga" line. Yes the colors are wonderful all named after bugs and creatures and yes the yarn feels very nice but there are lots of other yarn that feels sort of the same way but somehow they manage to keep this yarn so exclusive that you feel like you are lucky to be able to buy a skein or two.

Never mind trying to pick out the colors and the yardage you want, you just sort of grab for whatever colors you can get. Crazy isn't it? They post on when they will put yarn up for sale on their web site and at that given moment you can start looking at the pages and if you are lucky enough to see one of the skeins without a "SOLD OUT" sign you just grab and hope you can complete the purchase.

The "Bugga" base is unique because it's 20% cashmere 70% wool and 10% nylon, it's actually sock yarn it seems that nobody else is using this same base. I wonder why not? I would think that after seeing all this success the Griffin girls have surely some body would be jumping on the ban wagon I don't know of any. If you do let me know. There are other sock yarns that have 10% cashmere but somehow that 10% extra makes the yarn feel ever so soft and luxurious. I like to knit sweaters and shawls and other projects from sock yarn I always feel like this yarn is too pretty to waste on socks. Especially having to go through all that effort to buy this stuff. I wrote about them at the Sock Summit, where they sold all they had in 5 minutes. "Oooooh I want more Bugga...."

I was up bright and early at the designated time (6 am) and was able to grab these colors:

I was thinking about doing a "shadow knitting" project, either a top down sweater or a shawl of some sort. I'll have to see what they look like in person. I am currently knitting 3 top down projects all based on my top down knitting classes I teach.

There is good progress with The "Piros Bogár" but I wish I just had one more skein, I want to keep knitting.

What's the pattern? Here it is on a size 4 needle, all garter stitch with a M1 increase.

Knit and walk and ..... get out of the chair knitting by Cat Bordhi

I love this video. Cat is one of the most fun knitting ladies I know. Very soon I will be spending a week with Cat and I'll be on the ferry knitting and walking headed for one of the islands in Puget Sound where Cat lives.

There is also a little surprise serenade by one of the knitting ladies at this yarn store in Washington.

Here are some pictures of the island I took last year.

The Puget Sound (pronounced /ˈpjuːdʒɪt/) is a sound or complex of inland marine waterways in the northwestern part of Washington, United States, extending from the eastern end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca south to the head of the sound at the state capital of Olympia. It branches out from Admiralty Inlet and Deception Pass in the north to Olympia, Washington in the south.[1] The term is also used to mean the general region of the sound, including the Seattle metropolitan area, home to about 4.2 million people.