Sunday, February 12, 2006

Here they are!

If you can believe it, the only sock update for today is...mine! The Jaywalkers are done. Whew!

I managed to get the toe decreases done yesterday at my class and then grafted the toes last night. They are so comfy and fit really well. The colors are totally insane, but I like insane socks, so it works out just fine. The yarn is Knit Picks Sock Garden in Hydrangea. I would definitely use this pattern and yarn again. I really like the way it has the light and dark stripes on alternating rows. Very cool.

Now, I want, no NEED, to gush about that class I took yesterday. It was just incredible. Joan Schrouder is truly a knitting goddess and it was so much fun to take a class with someone who has such a goldmine of knitting knowledge and at the same time is a very skilled teacher. She struck just the perfect balance between teaching the entire class and giving individual attention. And she paced it so that the faster folks didn't get bored and the slower folks didn't get too lost. It was truly a spectacle to behold.

It turns out that the schedule was changed, so I didn't end up going to the Ethnic Stitch Patterns class (that will be next month). It was the Pacific NW Indian Sweater class. We ended up making a little tiny sample sweater:

Yes, it still needs sleeves, but I still think it's pretty amazing that the entire class got this far knitting from 11 am to 5:30 pm with an hour break for lunch. Speaking of lunch, I happened to be sitting in the front (yes, I am a geek, and proud of it), and ended up eating at a little table with Joan! It was great to just sit and chat with her. We talked about designing and colorwork and the Black Sheep Festival (which is down in Eugene, where she lives, in the summer and is the largest fiber fest on the west coast).

The first thing that we worked on in the morning was colorwork and how to work with one color in each hand. That, of course, meant that I had to learn how to pick. And I did! It wasn't even that bad, although I'm not going to switch because I've got my throwing fine-tuned into an art form. We did a couple rows stranded at the bottom to get the hang of picking on a knit row and a purl row. Then we started weaving in every other stitch. Here's what it looks like:

The weaving ended up being quite slick. She had a little handout with diagrams of how to weave by just flicking the carried color up or down around the working color. I still need quite a bit of work to even out my tension so the stitches will be to my liking, but I'm not terrified of two-handed colorwork anymore.

The other really cool technique that we learned was a nifty three-needle bind-off for shoulder seams. It's not the normal three-needle bind-off but it's almost like an i-cord and leaves a nice little decorative ridge running up the seam:

We also did short row shaping for the shoulders in order to prepare for the three-needle bind-off, which I knew how to do already but was able to fine-tune (especially the knitting/purling of the wrapped stitch).

Joan lives in Eugene, which is why we're lucky enough to have her teaching these three classes here. Ethnic Stitch Patterns will be in March, and then Ethnic Color Patterns will be in April. I can't wait for the next two!

The other thing that was pretty interesting was realizing how much my knitting has improved in the six months since I really got back into it. Blogging has been a huge part of that! It's such a great way to learn about new techniques, yarns, books, patterns, etc. etc. etc. And it's so inspirational to see what everyone is doing. I was able to really use yesterday to perfect and fine-tune since I'd done almost everything (or something similar) before. I didn't have to struggle with learning something radical and new (apart from the picking, which I think I picked up more easily because I'm also a crocheter and work the yarn with my left hand when I do that).

I also got word yesterday that the rejected Knitty pattern was accepted for the March issue of Spun! So you guys will get it soon as a free pattern, just not from my site directly. I think it's pretty cool, so stay tuned.

I will leave you with a picture of some hard-won Olympic Shrug progress. This was done while watching Canadian Jennifer Heil kick butt at the Ladies' Freestyle Moguls competition.

It's not going as quickly as I'd like, but then the past two days have been spent mainly knitting on things that are not it. We'll see how it goes when I put some serious time into it!

Happy knitting, y'all!


Blogger Acornbud said...

I love your Jaywalkers! Congratulations on the pattern being accepted by Spun. Looking forward to seeing it.
I was so bummed when my boys transferred home from U. of O because I didn't have a good reason to go visit the yarn store, oops I mean them, in Eugene;)
Black Sheep festival...hmmm...sounds interesting!

9:05 AM  
Anonymous jillian said...

Lots of news!! Woowee.

That little sweater is ADORABLE! Congrats on being accepted by Spun - yay!!!

9:50 AM  
Blogger Chrissy said...

The Jaywalkers look really great! The colours are sooo pretty. I love your little sweater. It's super cute. And congratulations on the acceptance of your pattern. Celebration!!!!

9:52 AM  
Blogger Sonya said...

I'm so glad your class with St. Joan was good. I figured she'd be a great teacher. So much knitting knowledge in one person!

Your Jaywalkers are gorgeous! I love the colors. And congratulations on the Spun acceptance. Great news.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Love those funky Jaywalkers!!! That Sock Garden yarn is so pretty. Your class sounded like an absolute blast, and the little sweater is unbelievable!!! Knit in one day, wow! Good news about Spun - I just joined their e-mail list so I can keep an eye out for your pattern. Happy Olympic Knitting (looks like you have a great start already)

11:10 AM  
Blogger candsmom said...

Your Jaywalkers are fantastic!! Love those funky colors- very cool. And congratulations on Spun!! That's aweosme news and I'll definitely be on the lookout for your pattern. Sounds like you had an awesome design class with Joan! And it's amazing to thing that you all pumped out a mini-sweater in such a short time, with colorwork, no less. (I love the pink and green, too) Your shrug looks gorgeous... I'm cheering all of you Olympians on! BTW, thanks so much for the quick reply! ;-) Take care, Chrissy! :-)

11:50 AM  
Blogger Phoebe said...

Love your Jaywalkers! I finished mine I'm up to 4 pairs of socks knitted in 2006! Also congrats on Spun!

12:00 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

The Jaywalkers are very pretty. I like how the sock garden knits up.

Congratulations on Spun! Now there are so many more knitting ezines to submit to, so there are more chances to get things published.

Your class sounds like it was a lot of fun!

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

beautiful shrug... envious of your class time! And... your jaywalkers make me want to knit some!!!

1:20 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

All your pics look great, especially the socks...I am so loving the colour of them!!

The shrug looks to me like it is coming along good, and I ike the pattern in it. Can't wait so see more of it.

3:21 PM  
Blogger msubulldog said...

Awesome Jaywalkers! I love the tiny stripes in the heel & toes. :)
That class sounds like it was really amazing. How wonderful to learn new things and realize how far you've come in your skills.
Hooray for the Spun acceptance! Can't wait to see it. :)

9:03 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

The Jaywalkers look great! :o)

4:47 AM  
Blogger amylovie said...

Your socks look great. Congrats on your acceptance!

5:18 AM  
Blogger Jeanette said...

I love your socks!!!!

I'm doing the shrug also for the Knitting Olympics. I love yours in red! Very pretty! Good luck!

5:20 AM  
Blogger Ragan said...

Your socks are great! I love the colors! I also love your little sweater, and the pic of the detail (wrong side). Wow! One of these days I will be able to do something other than socks, hats & scarves!!

5:34 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

Congratulations on having your pattern accepted by Spun! Also -- your socks look gorgeous.

7:16 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Don't know if I should email you or so, but I'm just happy to let you know that I finished my (hopefully) first pair of socks for February! I missed knitting socks, hopefully some more will follow soon!

Oh, and congrats on the publishing of your patterns! Liked the shawl in MagKnits!

1:02 PM  
Blogger Tina in Wonderland said...

I love the Jaywalkers! What a cool color pattern that yarn makes!

Sounds like everything is coming up roses for you now! Congratulations on the pattern being accepted!

That sounds like a fun, and very productive class! I can't believe you got that much done to the little sweater in one class!

1:51 PM  
Blogger Stariel said...

Love your Jaywalkers!

Mine are done too. Because we all know we need our daily Jaywalkers. :)

10:40 PM  
Anonymous Jaimie said...

Hey there! I saw your mention of Pacific NW in your Magknits ditty about your ziggy scarf and had to come take a peek! I live in Beaverton, so we are neighbors!

11:11 PM  
Blogger Brianne said...

I'm almost done with my first socks! I'm almost done with my first socks! Yay!

By the way, does the Sock Garden have any spandex/nylon in it? I'm using Dancing right now and I'm not loving the stretchiness of the yarn.

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Latoya said...

The class you attended sounded very helpful and progressive. I wish I could have been there.
What nice gifts that you received, too. Its great to have knitting buddies that can relate to the addiction of knitting.
Smile and knit on!

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Latoya said...

Okay, whoops. That part of the gifts that you received shouldn't have been posted to you. Sorry. That's what I get for having more than 2 screens open at one time.

4:13 PM  

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