Saturday, October 18, 2014

Class Proposals for July 2015 Knit and Crochet Show

Bag Stitch is great for baskets
I just sent in my class proposals for next year's conference - it was like wandering around my booth from last July (but more organized).

Foundation Stitch Sampler
The classes cover foundation stitches, embellishment basics, crochet for knitters, tops/sweaters/pullovers (including side-to-side, top-down, and round 'n round constructions), stitching on the diagonal, baskets, samplers, and slippers/socks.

The Mobius class doesn't have a good photo right now -- maybe next year!

Crochet for feet
Almost all my classes are based on ideas described (at length) in this blog - what a blast it would be to do these hands-on!

This looks familiar, in a sideways way

Flowers are just the start; add gnurling,
corded fringe and Romanian cord

A Blox Top, on the Diagonal,
with shaped finishing
Round 'n round pullovers,
for dolls, for people

Samplers are great meditations 

Side-to-side construction

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Manipulating Increase Lines

Single increase on each
side of a center point
Single increases
centered over
several rows
Increases stack over each other to create a visual seam line.  When increasing only one stitch, you can increase in the first stitch of the increase in the previous row (see picture on left) - so from one row to the next the increases balance out to create a line over several rows.  The reason that top-down sweaters tend to be raglans is that the increases are centered over each other, like corners on a motif.  Often there is a point (see picture to right), and the stitcher increases one stitch on each side of that point stitch, with the increased stitches get added to its own side.  The effect at that whole increase point is to add 2 stitches.

Another option is to make a double increase in the point stitch.  That visual line can be manipulated:  Increases don't have to be centered over each other.
Double increase
centered over each other
Increase to the sleeve for 3 rows,
then to the front for 4 rows - we
don't know which way the increase
at the top of the picture goes.

To manipulate the visual line, the increases still have to line up over each other, somehow -- just not centered.  In the next increase row, choose whether to increase in the first stitch, or in the last stitch, of the previous increase point.  That way, the increases from the previous increase get allocated to one side or the other.  Notice that where the current increase being made is going (like the top double increase in the picture to the left) hasn't been decided yet -- that gets decided in the next row.

What is tricky about this is how to write it in a pattern.  In the case of adding one stitch on either side of a marker, if you look at the fabric, you are adding 1 stitch  in the 2nd stitch of the previous increase, then in the 1st stitch of the next previous increase - which sounds really complicated.  It sounds easier to say simply "increase 1 on each side of the marker." The orientation of the instructions is to focus on the relationship between the increase and the marker -- not on placing the current increase in a certain relationship to the previous increase in the line, which involves looking at the fabric structure.  It is easier to write the instructions that way.  On the down side, it creates a dependency on instructions and plays down the relevance in knowing what is happening in the fabric.

If the relationship in the project is between the stitcher and the yarn, with the pattern on the side, it is easier to look at the stitches, see what structure is going on, and simply say, "Increase to the front (or to the sleeve, or to the back)."  If more knitters and crocheters engage with the fabric, maybe that kind of pattern-writing will evolve.  It could happen.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Interesting Yarns

I just tried taking a survey put out by the Craft Yarn Council (CYCA) - it was in a post on Ravelry but also on the CYCA website.  Partway through, each time, at different points of the process, my computer hung on me, so I moved on.

But it prompted some thoughts:  Right now my table is covered with several pounds of Phentex yarn I bought at the thrift store recently.  "Knitting Yarn of 100% Polypropylene - New Tomorrow's Yarn Today!" - I suspect from the 1960's.  The distributor (Pic Corporation) has an address on the label indicating "Conn." instead of "CT", with the yarn manufactured in Canada and Phentex corporate headquarters in Quebec.  I will most likely make 7" squares with it, joining them into small rugs and adding an edge.  Nice brainless project, functional, and they will come out looking just as they ought.

The survey had me thinking about where and why I buy yarn.  As a member of SABLE (Stash Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy), I don't need to buy yarn.  At all.  But I do like to hang out at yarn shops and visit a bit.  It is rude to go to shops on a regular basis and not buy anything.  Shops are there to sell stuff, and if you want them to be there, you have to buy stuff.  It is also good to buy a bit of current and/or really interesting stuff to keep in touch with what's out there now.

I also buy yarn at the thrift store, especially yarn affectionately referred to as dead lady yarn (or at least retired lady yarn) - that's the yarn left over after grandmothers and great-aunts can no longer use it, and no one else wants it or knows what to do with it -- hence a couple pounds of Phentex 100% polypropylene.  It's just intriguing to figure out something cool to do with it.

In the survey from CYCA, those reasons were not included in the options for why anyone buys yarn.  It seems to me that understanding outlier reasoning for stuff can be relevant -- and may turn out not to be so outlier after all.  Who knows, if we aren't paying attention to those things?

In asking how long I knitted/crocheted, the options went only up to "20 or more years," while it was very specific about shorter lengths of time.  I would have been in the 40+ category, if there had been one.  The feminist movement had a huge impact in the 1970's, so many women in their 50's now didn't learn to knit or crochet (for real) until 20 years ago or so.

The structure of the questions was interesting that way.  Makes one wonder what the statistical take-away is from surveys.