I'm Very Pleased!!
This little shrug is a birthday gift for my GD, Kate, who will turn 17 in July. I know it is done a bit early, but it has to be mailed to Germany! I would hate for her birthday to arrive and Nana not have the gift there for her to open. The spot on the lower right arm is just a water spot, so no need to worry!
I knit this beautiful shrug using Erika Knight's book 'Classic Knits'. I used this beautiful shade of Robin's egg blue, as Kate is a red head, and I think this will look great on her.
I mentioned in an earlier post about how I liked the suggestion of putting your increases or decreases in a few stitches from the edge and using them as a style detail in the knitting project.
There are three different pictures here of the same sweater and they are all different in colour. The full view is the most true to colour!
On these two photos, you can see the wisdom of the decreases being in those few stitches, as it makes a nice finished edge. The photo on the left is the side seam and the one on the right is the seaming of the sleeve. I used the mattress stitch for seaming, and I couldn't be more pleased. It really does pay to have good materials to work with. I am even pleased with the stitches I had to pick up around the fronts and the neckline. The only thing about the pattern I do not care for is the treatment at the underarm. You cast off 6 or so stitches when knitting the fronts and back at the armhole, but on the sleeve, you gradually cast off along the edge, and it seems to pull a bit and not lie as flat as I would like. It also shows a sort of draping from this particular join in the photo in the book. However, other than that small point, I think it is a wonderful project and I hope that Kate gets lots of wear out of the shrug. Kate is a knitter, so I think she will appreciate the work. I know that I will use the mattress stitch wherever possible in my future knitting.
You can also see the decreasing you did for rounding the front of the shrug, and again it makes a nice detail on the knit.
I have done a bit of knitting in the past few days, and while I knit, I listen to podcasts or books. I just found a wonderful podcast, in fact two podcasts, and the first one I want to tell you about is Unwound
. It is moderated and read by Kelli Robinson and it is a must listen. She tells you about some of her projects - she is a self taught crocheter and knitter, and also about her experiences with different fibres. Her book reviews are wonderful as are her review of different yarns. But perhaps the best part of the podcast is her question or poll she puts out to listeners. For instance one poll was about how you held your needles or hooks and how you knit or crocheted. The next podcast would have the voices of different knitters giving their method of working their craft. She also reviews books and has a little library of these books and if you call in to her poll, your name could be drawn and you could have a book or yarn of your choice. If you chose a book or fibre, she asks that you then please send in your own review of the prize. I am pleased that most people, so far, have indeed called in a review and it is great to hear others tell of a book - we just cannot afford them all, or then the yarn budget takes a beating!
She is an attorney, and so her research is terrific and when she gives a biography of a knitter, it is very well done and informative. There is no change in the volume in her podcast, which can be annoying if you listen to as many as I do and I just am so pleased to have found this podcast.
Oh yes, one feature on her podcast is a piece on finishing. It is done by Rene, who has a business in Seattle, WA and she finishes garments for knitters at a very reasonable cost. She gives some good hints on finishing your knitting and one I listened to yesterday I found interesting. She said that on knitting pieces for a garment, to treat the first and last stitch as a garter stitch, as it made seaming much easier, as the little 'bump' formed by the garter stitch made aligning the pieces so much easier. Fortunately I had already been doing this particular method of knitting. Give her podcast a listen, and I think you too will enjoy it and come away informed!
Another podcaster I am enjoying is David Reidy
from Australia. He is a science teacher and does most of his knitting on the two hour train trip into and out of Sydney to work. He also reviews books, yarns and I am looking forward to his different interviews he did while at the Easter Show in his area. He will talk to fibre artists, knitting judges, etc. A great listen and very informative. His volume is good too, but sometimes the cats tussle and play in the background and I have thought that something was happening in my house, until I took the buttons out of my ear and realized it was on the podcast.
I also enjoy Cast On
by Brenda Dayne. Unfortunately, Brenda has been having some health issues, but she is well worth a listen. She plays some great music, has done some wonderful interviews and shares her knitting experience with you in a wonderful way. I hope she is well again soon, as I miss her when she cannot broadcast regularly. She is American by birth, but lives in Wales and so you learn a bit about the fibre situation in that country. We should consider ourselves very, very fortunate in this part of the world!!