Tuesday, June 27, 2006

going backwards (and a recap of gauge class)

no more progress on either project this weekend ... if anything I went back a few steps because I had to rip out what I had started on the neck of the pink sweater (I picked up stitches backwards so the purls were on the wrong side, causing the neck to roll inward, instead of out). I also lost a step in the baby jumper ... I decided to stop by the yarn store on my way home from work on Friday, since I had everything with me, and had big plans of knitting that night. I had dropped a stitch on one shoulder and Lois pulled it all out and is having me do that whole shoulder over. She also showed me how to do the yarn-overs and they are way easier than I was making them out to be. I really do learn much better from watching and doing than from just looking at examples in a book. So, I did all that pulling out on Friday and then didn't knit much after that. Friday night I made cookies and drove them up to Wes at work. He had a call right as I pulled into the parking lot, so I had to wait for almost an hour. Good thing I brought my knitting! I finished the bodice up to the shoulder bind-offs while I was waiting for him. So everything I have left to do on the jumper is small and easy ... three shoulders, two button tabs and duplicate stitching a flower on to the second pocket ... then just three-needle bindoff for the left shoulder, and sewing on the buttons, tabs and pockets ... done! I want to get butterfly buttons ... how cute would that be on the blue sky? A woman at Anacapa on Friday while Lois was helping me told me of a place to go in Camarillo that sells cute buttons ... probably should have gone yesterday on the way back from getting my oil changed in Thousand Oaks.
Anyway, on Sunday I went to the gauge class and learned some new fun things about counting stitches in a ribbing and also that when I knit ribbing my stitches are WAY huger than when I knit stockinette so if I am making a sweater that has ribbing on the edges, I might want to use a smaller needle or something. Of course she suggested that I knit a gauge swatch of the ribbing and the body stitches. I hate doing the swatches (just like I hate doing test strips in the darkroom), but I was already a little bit of a convert after my first swatch for the pink sweater two months ago was way off from what the pattern suggested, and the class on Sunday just kept convincing me. Barbara also explained how to swap out yarns for patterns if you don't like the kind of yarn the pattern designer used. That was very helpful as well. It was kind of a funny class because I really had nothing to show from it at the end of the three hours except a growling stomach (who plans a class for noon to 3pm? that is prime lunch-eating time!) but I learned some things that will help me to have more success with my knitting projects in the future!! She also demonstrated Sweater Wizard, which is a computer program that builds a sweater pattern for you based on your gauge measurements from a particular yarn. It sounded interested, but for now I am going to stick to patterns that have already been tried and made, and not just computer generated. Barbara showed us some sweaters she had made from using Sweater Wizard and they looked good, but she is also a designer of knitted things herself and can probably wing it a little easier.
I am starting to think about my next project ... I have a couple ideas, but haven't bought yarn or anything yet. Hoping to get lots of knitting done Wednesday and Thursday while Wes is at work, then can go to Anacapa this weekend and get yarn for the next project.

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