Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Always Learning

I think what I most love about knitting is the constant learning - depending on the way you knit. With that in mind, I have been working my way through Elizabeth Zimmerman's The Knitting Workshop - as I wrote in a previous post.

The book starts out by having you, the knitter, cast on 72 stitches on circular needles. (I used 9mm needles and chunky yarn.) Then she has you increase, telling you that Make One (M1) is the best increase - as it's almost invisible. Then you knit in the round for two inches. I did that Continental. (Regular readers will remember that I usually knit English style.)

The next chapter begins with "You are now ready to begin color work." That's not a direct quote, but my first thought (a direct quote) was, "Oh geez! I'm not ready." But you know what? I was ready. I had the main color (acid green) in the left hand and the alternate color (sort of a beigey purple) in the right. And it worked out beautifully, as you can see by my finished product.

If you click on the picture, you can see that up close, the M1's are not as invisible as Ms. Zimmerman promised. I also found it really awkward, which tells me that I may be doing something wrong. Also, when I knit with the alternate color and then with the main color, I pulled the alternate color a little too tightly, so they just come out looking like holes.

The decreases were really nice. She explains how the decreases differ. How the one slopes left and the other slopes right. I decreased with a knit two together and got the spiral shown here.

At the end of it all, the hat is really, really large. Unless there's a water headed Mongolian that's going to get this, it's going to be too big for most people. I think I'm just going to throw it in the wash and felt it. That way it will either fit a normal head or a child's head. I've already cast on for another hat in some of Fred's left over rust yarn that's more of a worsted, or the one that's right below that. Is it DK?

Learning is so much fun I'm really enjoying it. I think that the color could be something that I begin to incorporate into my work, so I want to do it again and make sure that I've got it down.

I also just started a Baby Surprise Sweater, also in the same book. It's a lot of counting, but I've heard good things and it's just knitting and decreasing and increasing. There's no purling. It's sort of a pain, but I like that it's just knitting and thus, easier to do while watching television.

What I really need to concentrate on is getting my stuff together to send to my ISE4 partner. The deadline for sending it off is tomorrow and I've got to get a few extra things ready to throw in the box before I send it off.

I am totally impressed with my hat.

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