Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nordic Knitting Time!

With the advent of fall, it is time to get Nordically Knitting! This is a callout for the Nordic Knitting Club at River Knits. Our first club meeting will be on Monday evening, September 29th, from 7-9pm, at River Knits on Main Street in Lafayette. You can bring a project you are already working on, or come and pick out a new project. I will help anyone who is looking for inspiration or guidance, and there are plenty of other people in the club to help out too. We will have sample pattern books of sweaters, mittens, gloves, hats, scarves and socks for all ages and sizes. These will include a Teddy bear sweater pattern for a trial garment with nordic patterning and Norwegian sweater construction techniques on a small scale. It is really cute and you can see it modeled on a Teddy and a Raggedy Ann below. Also, there are great nordic patterns for Christmas Stockings, small and large. Or, bring a pattern you already have, and we will help you pick out the appropriate yarn.

Any type of northern European knitting is appropriate for this club - Norwegian, Estonian, Swedish, Icelandic, Fair-Isle, Finnish, Latvian and others. This isn't a class, so it is helpful if club members know how to knit in the round and how to use two colors while knitting ("stranding" technique). You don't have to be an expert though, and we can help.
So, don't be shy and come and join in the fun! Nordically yours, Sheryl

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Charity Knitting Times Two

Did you ever read those instructions that tell you to go through a pattern and circle the numbers that apply to your size? Well, I do this (most of the time) when knitting sweaters and other larger projects, but didn't really think that I needed to for socks with only 2 sizes. Well, a senior moment has proved me wrong. (Or maybe it is the fascinating and distracting conversation at charity knitting on Wednesdays!) I was making a pair of socks for the CIC (Children in Common) sock challenge, and had decided on the larger of the two sizes. Since I was knitting the second one of the pair on the plane during a business trip, I left the first sock at home to save on space in my knitting baggie (really - it is a plastic sandwich baggie). I had counted the heel stitches and knew that I had 20 on the heel flap. So..... that must mean that I was making the smaller of the sizes, and I couldn't remember for sure. The pattern uses Noro Kuryon and is from the pattern-a-day calender. The larger size was CO 44 and the smaller size was CO 40. I was a little surprised when I got home and put the two socks together and they were pretty different in size! (Photo 1) I started pulling on the smaller one on the right, trying to make it bigger, and thought that I must have been pretty stressed on the trip to have changed my gauge so much. How could this be?? Maybe I could block it bigger, but it really wasn't even close. Finally I had the sense to count the stitches. Even though the heel flap in the first one was 20 (don't know why I did that, is is supposed to be 22), the total stitch count was 44 around. So now what to do? Rip one of them out? They were too different to make a pair, especially for charity. There was no way I was sending them off to a child I didn't know, looking like this. I had started with 3 balls and had a ball left, but not enough to make two more socks.

Lucky for me, Elizabeth at River Knits had one more ball of the same color of Kuryon (different dye lot), so I snatched that up to make another pair of one medium and one large sock. The upside is that now there are 2 pairs for the charity basket instead of one! The large pair is shown in the second picture. My memory lapse had a positive end result. Now I circle my choices on the instructions, even when there are only two. I told myself that I must be getting wiser as I'm getting older. Something must be improving, because it certainly isn't my memory. And I had twice as much fun knitting these great Noro socks!