Master’s Monday 10

To do:

  • Design the Knitter’s Choice cable swatch and write up the pattern for it.
  • Finish the hat
  • Weave in all the ends and block the swatches
  • Tag and bag the swatches
  • Do the written work (answer the questions about the swatches and write a 2 page paper on the care and blocking of knits)

One week left in the month of March. Meaning I need to stop working on this and these and buckle down to get this project finished and in the mail.

*sigh*

Master’s Monday 9

For me, the hardest part about level one of the TKGA master knitter certification has been staying focused and motivated enough to finish it. This week, I spent a lot, and I mean a lot, of time, thinking about weaving in the ends of my swatches, or thinking about sitting down to flip through the stitch dictionaries, or thinking about doing something on my TKGA project. But in the end, I didn’t actually do anything. Instead, I finished these:

And then I cast on this:

And these:

(sorry about the crap photo)

I still hope to have my binder completed and sent to the guild by the end of this month, but I will really have to buckle down if I’m going to meet that goal. *sigh*

Master’s Monday 8

A crazy week here at Chez Interrupted prevented me from getting much, if any, work done on my master knitter project, or any other project, for that matter. I did, however, manage to get these three swatches blocked and I must say that I’m very pleased with the results. In addition, I assembled my research/reference materials for the written work, retrieving The Principles of Knitting and The Knitter’s Book of Yarn from the library, along with a number of several of all of the books on cabling they had on the shelf that day. (Sorry to anyone who might be designing cabled knitwear in my town this week–I’ll get them back to the library soon, I promise!)

I hope complete the Knitter’s Choice cable swatch this week and weave in the ends of the remaining swatches. I’d also like to get a satisfying start on the written work.

In the meantime, Marlene over at Wovenflame is making quick progress on Level 2 of the TKGA MK Certification. Go check it out! Her swatches just amaze me.

Master’s Monday 7

There had been a shameful lack of progress on my master knitter swatches lately. In all honesty, I think I was avoiding it. That is until I got this message from my friend (and co-masterknitterconspirator) via private message on Ravelry:

picture-2.png

and my competitive side took over.

WIP Wednesday? Too busy with the swatches to post. Also, it was the only thing I was working on. I finished 15 of the 16 required swatches in about three days and cast on the required hat.

Since I still need to do the knitter’s choice cable, I picked up a half dozen stitch pattern books at the library on Friday. Also, I requested this and this via inter library loan as research for the written work. So, finally some progress on the TKGA master knitter front. Yay! My goal is to have my package sent to the guild by the end of March. Which, barring any unforeseen circumstances, is reasonable and totally doable. :-)

What Master’s Monday?

Sadly, I have no new swatches to show you today. Enjoy this recipe instead.

Sausage Soup

1 package (of 5 links) Sweet Italian Chicken Sausages
2 boxes Kitchen Basics chicken stock (MSG free)
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 lb new potatoes (I like the red, white, & blue mix from Trader Joe’s), cut into about 1 inch pieces.
1 cup (or 2) fresh spinach
1 Tbsp fresh chopped basil (or 2 or 3 cubes of the frozen stuff)

Squeeze the sausages from their casings, crumble and brown (discard the casings). Dump in the chicken stock, the diced tomatoes, the potatoes, the basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are done (tender, but not crumbling). Top with the spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted.

–WW friendly, only 2 Points(r) per cup! (According to their eTools Recipe Builder.)

2/21/08 update–I forgot to mention to brown the sausages in about a tsp or so of olive oil.

Master’s Monday 5

Inspired by a friend who is whipping out her swatches with obscene speed, I worked exclusively on my seed stitch this week. (I apologize for the lighting in the photos. It’s gloomy here this morning!)

Here is the blanket square I’m going to send to Maryse:

Here is the alpaca scarf I’m knitting for EZ-E (Isaac will get one, too):

Obsessed? Yes, I was. And here is the resulting seed stitch swatch.

I feel that it’s much better than my past swatches and that once I wet block this sucker, it’ll be even better. Thanks for all the great suggestions. The solution seemed to be to tensioning my yarn around my pinkie finger not once, but twice. This made all the difference in the world. I’m moving on, people.

Swatch 1.

Master’s Monday Returns

As I promised myself back in July, I hauled out the stuff for my TKGA’s Master Knitter (level 1) course and knitted up a seed stitch swatch. It sucked, so I knitted up another one. That one sucked too.

seedstitchswatchattempts

See the holes? Not good. I am knitting with Cascade 220 on 4 mm needles. Any readers out there really good at seed stitch? I could really use some advice.

Master’s Monday 4

It is quiet out there on the knitting blogs–I guess everyone is reading. I had an agreement with Mr. Interrupted that he could read the book first, so I wonder if I am the only Harry Potter fan not reading book 7 right now?

So, today is Master’s Monday. Here’s the best of what I worked on this week.

I’m unhappy. That was done on a US 5. See the holes? *grumble* (Also, that is not as good a picture as I thought. Sorry!)

I really hesitate to go down to smaller needles for fear of being unable to get a 4×4 square–you must cast on 20 stitches, you see. Also, I’m not sure if going down a needle size would really solve my problems. Perhaps I just am not a good enough knitter (yet) for the Master’s program?

Besides, I’m starting to feel the pressure of my many other knitting projects. You know, the ones with a holiday deadline? (I’m sure you have them too.) So, I’ve decided to focus on SoS and Holiday knitting and pick up the Master’s program again in December or January. That way, I’d get in a few more months of solid knitting and approach the swatches fresh.

So long (for now) Master’s Monday!

Master’s Monday 3: The story so far

TKGA’s Master Knitter program requires candidates to knit up a series of swatches to demonstrate the knitter’s knowledge of basic techniques. Here are my three attempts at the seed stitch swatch:

The seed stitch swatch must have no holes in it when held up to the light. The middle swatch was my first. Not only is it full of holes, but it is also not a square. The bottom swatch was my second attempt. I pulled each stitch so tight that knitting it was not natural for me. Also, there were holes–not as many, but still. The top swatch was my third and best, but still, there were holes in it. I was feeling frustrated, but figured I’d send it the best one and perhaps the reviewing committee would have suggestions for me.

Then, this week Ravelry added a groups feature and, guess what, there is a group for people working on the KGA’s Master Knitter program! I joined. Many of the posters had the starter package, but hadn’t really done much of the knitting and the moderator suggested that knitters start out with the seed stitch swatch because

“if you start with the seed stitch you can keep going down in needles size … until you reach a swatch you are happy with. Then you can use that needle size for the rest of the swatches that need to match. No re-knitting of the earlier swatches needed.”

I had a major aha! moment. My problem was that I was knitting the seed stitch at a gauge that was just too big. Since the swatches must all be knitted with the same needles and in the same gauge, I decided to do something drastic. Here are all the swatches I’d knitted as of last night:

The offending seed stitch swatches are not pictured, and most of the swatches are beautiful. Here is what it looked like when I was done (frogging them all):

Oh my gosh, it looks just like Ramen noodles! Anyway, today I will soak the yarn in hot water to get the kinks out, then I will begin again. This time I’ll start out with the seed stitch swatch, on a smaller needle. Maybe a US 6?