Knipper's blog

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First Baby Surprise Jacket

Finally did this in July after being inspired by the many that have already taken the plunge. Totally fascinated with the structure of the project.

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Latest Raglan - in Shephard Worsted Mineshaft colorway

Purchased this yarn back in 2005 and finally got around to knitting with it. I am a big Mineshaft groupie haveing used the yarn in the other weights.

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How do you keep your notes when designing something from scratch

Whenever I am working on a project that I am just creating out of my mind, I will scribble down a few notations.  Like a pattern motif, bound off so many stitches here and there, picked up this number etc.  Then someone asks me for the pattern.  Then I try and write it out.  I should take better notes.  Instead I get so involved in the creative aspect that I forget about the diligence of good, detailed note taking.

Any suggestions from my fellow comrades out there?

Not to good at this, but I will try and post the sweater I recently completed.  I used the concept of decreasing from Ann Budd's handy book of sweater patterns for the set-in sleeve; otherwise the design is mine, experimenting and ripping (when it did not look right to me).  I used wool from cottagecraft (in Canada).  But I must learn the tricks of sucking in the stomach muscles etc when being photographed.

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Do I mudwrestle for those 2 skeins or use patience and cunning

Was at the NY Sheep and Wool festival on Saturday, October 15th.  Had such a great time and it is the 6th year in a row that I have been there.  After the week of rain the day turned out to be wonderful.  There was even a rainbow as we drove through New Jersey to get to our destination.  Three of us (Carol, Ed and I) drove over to Trenton to pick up Lisa and off we went - all devoted knitters, silly travel companions and had plenty of fun. 

We parted to go our separate ways to find our treasures and arranged to meet up and key points and times to eat and share our buys - gloating over the ones that we call grand larceny - where the price to the yardage is just such a steal.  I was able to see various friends and venders that I have cultivated over the years and just have a great time in the country.  Picked us some more alpaca from A Touch of Twist for the throw I am making.  For $ 20.00 and 500 yards, it works for me.  Picked up a knitting bag from Maggie Alexander (of Bundaflicka/Maggie's Farm) - isn't that a great actressey name? She makes these wonderful soaps and has started these bags that have great pockets inside and a wild button to keep it closed.  And that wild button part brings up the " I bought the butchest bag there and that is definitely open to interpretation."  And did I mention it is in chenille.  Enough said!  From there I attacked the Brooks Farm site  which was packed and again another bang for the buck.  The kid mohair I got will keep me in good standing with several of my sisters; and the merino in browns, rusts, will make a great pullover for me this winter.  Their area was packed with knitters, and thankfully, they had plenty of merchandise or it could have gotten ugly.

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Joining the pimping process with Technocowboy

My pattern in Menknit magazine follows Technocowboy's entry.  It is on page 15 and is a scarf using the fisherman and old shale patterns. 

Quite delighted with the way it turned out.

The next deadline is October 30th.  If any of you guys have patterns, particularly sweaters - send them in.

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Men's Knitting Circle in Philadelphia

On Tuesday, September 27th, the first Men's Knitting Circle kicked off in Philadelphia.  Eight male knitters attended, some I knew, some I did not.  It went over well and we are meeting again the last Tuesday of October (the 25th).  Plenty of creativity in the bunch. 

I followed advice for various people and advertised it and talked it up in Philadelphia and various websites.  MenWhoKnit and PhillyKnitters as two, the local yarn shoppes, the PGN, various stores.

Interesting note is that the owner of establishment told me that several women asked if they could attend, and he explained that it was for the guys and that they could start one on another evening.  No disrespect to the ladies but the idea is for the fellas to have a place to sit, knit and enjoy each others company and share the male focused creative process.

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Back from Maine

Had a great time teaching my sideways scarf workshop in Maine to members of the Maine Spinning Registry.  The group used fiber that they had spun themselves.  Have taught this workshop a few times and this group of knitters was on target filled with the willingness of the creative process.  Experimenting with color, texture and willing to frog it if it wasn't feeling right.  I had brought plenty of samples to show them the many possibilites. 

Sugarloaf is a great place to wander around, go swimming and hiking as needed to take a break.  And, of course, plenty of knitting and drinking coffee, strong coffee. 

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Teaching in Maine

Getting excited as I will be teaching my sideways scarf workshop in Maine this weekend to the Maine Spinners and Knitters guild. Lots of creative ideas and hanging out with some friends that I have made over the years in the world of fiber.

Getting to Boston first to join a friend who raises angora bunnies in his garage - and yes, he spins the fiber. Then we drive from there up to Sugarloaf in western Maine for the workshop. Another person will be teaching how to shape sweaters, and another person will to an intro to weaving.

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Feather and Fan (or Old Shale) pattern

Have been experimenting with the feather and fan pattern to make some scarves.  First decided to use some of my Koigu stash and make a scarf using 5 of the skeins.  Out of the 50 gr skein I used 28 gr, comprising 25 repeats of the pattern (4 rows for each repeat).  Liked the look of  it quite a bit.  Could even use 3 full Koigu skeins and get a scarf almost the same length of 50 inches long.  Idea is to let colors flow into each other.  After using 2 1/2 skeins, I placed on holder and began using other 2 1/2 from the opposite direction.  When length the same, I grafted pieces together with kitchener stitch.

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We buy the yarn one year; finish the project years later

Back in March 2001, while on a business trip to England, I purchased enough Blue Face Leicester yarn (color Sienna, Aran weight) to make a sweater.  Found this store in York (a city that is a delight to visit) at the top of the Shambles.  During that year I played around with swatches but not making a firm decision on how to proceed with it.   

Finally, in autumn 2004 I began knitting the sweater designing an exaggerated rib of K4P2.  (4 stitches = 1 inch on size 8 needles)Completed the front and back and joined them using the three needle bind off concept.  Picked up the neck on 16" circulars and size 6.  Decided on a turtleneck using the Elizabeth Zimmermann suggestion of knitting the neck until I was sick of it.  About 4 1/2 inches in to is did not like the way the neck was looking, so I put it down and worked on other projects.  Three weeks ago, I picked it back up, ribbed the neck out and restarted it.  Wanted a turtleneck that would have a bit of a roll to it and a compliment of the rib motif.  I just kept purling (so that when it would roll, the stockinette side would show) and put the opposite of the ribbing at the front center stitches.  Made it 6 inches long and then bound off.  Quickly did both sleeves (they come out even) for this drop shoulder design and sewed it all up.  Even got a few days of wear out of it over the chilly weekend.  The fiber is very soft and warm and I am pleased with this undertaking, particularly the neck line , which I am often critical of on my sweater projects. 

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