Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Knitting Retreat and Fair Isle Knitting

On Saturday, I attended the Frog Pond Fiber Arts Knitting Retreat. Oh it was so relaxing and enjoyable. A good time was had ball all. Special thanks to Chris, Vicki, Sarah, Karen, Deb, Elizabeth and Janet K. for all their hard work and/or donations.

Elizabeth gave a Fair Isle class. We all got to pick our own projects and she would help us with tips and techniques that she has learned while doing her own projects. I picked the Linen Jeans Purse from the book "Norwegian Sweater Techniques for Today's Knitter" by Therese Chynoweth. I used a Berrocco Cotton Twist yarn in a Chocolate Brown and Blue.

I have did a Faux Fair Isle project not too long ago, so I knew a bit of what to expect, but I did learn a few new things. One is that the yarn that you want to show up in the foreground (the blue) needs to always be the top yarn and the background yarn (the brown) will be the bottom yarn. I tried to do 2-handed knitting, but my left hand is just too stupid to figure it out. I did better with the "throwing" method. That's how I normally knit anyway. In order to keep my 2 yarns in the correct top/bottom position, I figured out if I put the top yarn over the back of my hand I always knew where it was and could grab it and keep it in the top position.

Here is a picture of what I had gotten done by Sunday night. This was knit in the round and my tension was pretty good, except for the areas where I switched from one needle to the next. See my lovely floats. :o)

I finished the rest of the knitting on Monday night and then got a chance to practice my next new technique; Steeking.

Elizabeth didn't show us how this was done at the retreat, but she did explain it and she had showed some of us previously how it was done. For those of you who are non-knitters, steeking is cutting your yarn in order to either add a sleeve, neckline, or edging. It's very terrifying! I have this fear that as soon as you cut one thread the whole knitting project will just fall apart. Since my yarn is cotton/rayon, I had to run two rows of machine sewing on either side of the line that I was to cut on. If you look closely, you can just see them. Thank god Nicki had the idea of using white thread. I had planned to use black. Would never have been able to see them!

And then, you take several deep breaths, pick up your scissors and while holding your breath CUT!!

I was so relieved when nothing unraveled. Even with the lines of machine stitching I thought it would all fall apart. I picked up my flap stitches last night and was able to knit 4 rows on that before I headed for bed.


Kay said...

Beautiful work, Sandy. I used to knit a lot, but this is beyond me.

Laura said...

It looks gorgeous. I'm sorry I couldn't be there in person on Saturday to see it!

Carly said...

Lovely! I love blue and brown together!