Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Test Knitting

Hi Lynn! How is everything? I hope your New Year has started off well and I really hope it's a great year for you and Tom!

It's great being back in New Zealand. After four months gone, I almost forgot how beautiful it is here, even with all the construction and road repairs going on around our earthquake-savaged city. The air is so clean here and looking around, everything seems in sharp detail. It's the same in Antarctica when I am there. It's as if I've been looking through a dirty window all my life and now it's clean.

Since being back, I've been working on the book, including working on some of the patterns that I created and test knitting some of the others. Gauge is a particularly interesting thing... how two knitters can knit the exact same thing and have vastly different results in gauge and size. I know that you and I have very different a bit on the tight side...and dare I say you are on the looser side of knitting? Perhaps you are the normal knitter after all...but what is normal anyway?

That is why gauge is so important. To test your yarn, needles and knitting style to see if it matches up to the pattern you are knitting. If you don't do a swatch, it can be frustrating after all that knitting, to end up with something that doesn't fit.

So, gauge is on my mind, can you tell? I've been trying to get one of the patterns right...a pattern from our friend Kathy that will be in the book. I've knitted this hat 3 times and on the last try (third time's a charm?), it worked out. And I've rewritten the pattern just a little bit to make it more realistic.

My second attempt came out so small, I just frogged the whole thing. I went up a needle size and this is my 3rd attempt, sitting in suds for blocking...
Much better!

I've also been working on some commissions I got over the holidays. The first one is done and out the door...went to a woman in Vancouver where I hear the winters can be very cold and rainy.
It's made from New Zealand merino wool and possum yarn with one of my favorite contrast yarns, Noro Ayatori, a luxurious and oh-so-soft blend of wool and silk. It's a good substitute for Noro Silk Garden. I put a lining of windblock fleece in it and sewed in our little tag. Love it!

I'm excited about the book! It's coming right along. I finished the Nacreous Clouds hat pattern and now moving on to the other two I have left to do.

I leave you with a couple of photos of some cool street art I found while wandering around New Brighton the other day. Since the earthquakes, there is a lot of street art around, and some of it really talks a lot about what people have been through here.

 Hugs to you! ~Christine

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