TKGA 2015: Masters Day

Wednesday started bright and early simply because I was still on East Coast time.  I woke up at 3:30 am and couldn’t get back to sleep.  By 6:30 am, I was showered, dressed, packed, and at the front desk to get my room changed.  I couldn’t get into a new room until the regular check in time of 3:00 pm, so I left my suitcases with the bell hop and went to breakfast in the Terrace Cafe on the hotel property.  I forgot to mention this yesterday, but all the food I ate at the hotel was excellent.  Since it was also expensive, I ate most of my meals at the mall which was behind the hotel property.

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Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with orange maple syrup and a couple scrambled eggs. YUM!

After breakfast, I headed over to the Conference Center.

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Since I received my registration packet in the mail a couple of weeks before the event, I already had my tickets, but I needed a sleeve to hold my name badge, so I stopped at the registration desk.

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I got two surprises at registration.  Neither should have been a surprise; I knew about both things, but had totally forgotten.  Since this was my first time attending TKGA, I registered as a newbie.  This meant that I was assigned to a buddy group, consisting of three newbies (including me) and a previous attendee.  My buddy was the program organizer, Kate Steinke.  The surprise I got at registration was this envelope:

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Inside, I found this pin:

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Kate crocheted a pink pin for each newbie and a blue pin for each buddy!  I attached mine to my name tag.

My second surprise was a goodie bag from Lion Yarns.  The first 500 people to register for the conference got this goodie bag.

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The small booklet on top of Laugh with Lola! is graph paper. I’ve never seen a graph paper booklet that small! The key chain is a tape measure.

Here’s a better look at the yarn.  I hadn’t heard of this yarn before, and at first glance I thought it was wool (because of the texture) blended with silk or bamboo (because of the sheen).  It’s actually acrylic!

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I also bought two TKGA pins

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I added them to the collection on my backpack:

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After registration, I headed to Masters Day!

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The Masters Day program included four tracks: one for each level of the Master Hand Knitting program and one for Level 3 graduates.  I am working on Level 1, so I attended all the Level 1 sessions.  Since those are the only sessions I attended, I can’t tell you about any of the other tracks!  Here’s the schedule for the day (downloaded from the TKGA website):

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I was so busy learning that I failed to take pictures during the day.  Sadie Pachan, the Managing Editor of Cast On, took this picture of my table.  At least I have proof I was actually there 🙂

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The three mornings sessions were vitally important to completion of Level 1, as these are the three skills underlying every single swatch.  While each swatch does test other basic knitting stitches, if yarn selection, gauge, and tension are off, every single swatch will be off.  I learned this lesson the hard way during the afternoon’s swatch review!

The information presented during the morning sessions is already available to everyone taking Level 1.  The general instructions, the On Your Way to the Masters articles in Cast On, the TKGA Ravelry group, and YouTube videos by several MHK Committee members cover the same topics in detail.  I don’t know about you, but no matter how much research and writing I do (and I’ve done all of it for the first 15 swatches and the blocking report), I’m never 100% certain of my application of the technique.  I’ve knit for a long time, but I’m self-taught, and I know the hazards that this can involve.  No matter how much I think I understand, I don’t always do it right!

The morning sessions were valuable because we got to see examples and ask questions.  During yarn choice, we could hold up our yarn and say, “Is this light-colored?”  Answer: While other colors might be acceptable, you can’t go wrong with white, cream, or pastels.  The green yarn that I thought I might use for the mittens (the same yarn that I used for the swatches below) is too neon.  It takes about 8 hours (all volunteer, by-the-way) to review a level 1 binder, and 20+ hours to review a level 2 binder.  MHK requires light-colored yarn to make it easier for the reviewer to see the stitches during his / her detailed review of our work.

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During the gauge session, we walked through the steps of measuring gauge, using swatches provided to us.  While I was working on my Level 1 swatches at home, I watched Arenda Holladay’s excellent videos on marking the swatches for gaugemeasuring for gauge, and calculating gauge.  During Masters Day, we used this same process with one important addition — we saw the process of placing the markers (in Arenda’s video, the markers are already in place).

I found this demonstration to be particularly valuable on the cable swatch.  Throughout Masters Day (and the 2-day Finishing Class I took on Thursday and Friday), I was repeatedly reminded of the importance of differentiating between a knit stitch (looks like a V) and the space between stitches (looks like an upside down V).  While I’m generally skilled at reading my knitting, the first two times I placed the marker in the cable swatch, I put it in the wrong place.  When you have a knit stitch next to a purl stitch, it is difficult to see the demarcation between stitches.

Here’s the swatch I marked at home:

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I threaded the markers through the column of purl stitches beside the cable on the right and the border on the left.  When you turn the swatch over, you see that each marker runs through the middle of a column of knit stitches.

Here’s the swatch I marked during Master’s Day:

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This swatch is correctly marked between stitches.  On the back side, I did not split any stitches.  On both the front and the back, the green yarn is barely visible!

My biggest aha moment of Masters Day came during the tension session.  I learned that I have tension issues.  During the afternoon swatch review session, I realized that some of the problems I had with the swatches which I thought were execution problems were actually tension problems.  Since these two sessions run together in my mind, I’m going to conflate them into one discussion on tension!

During the tension presentation, we saw several examples of swatches with poor tension and with good tension.  We saw gutters across the entire swatch and gutters only along the edge stitches.  We also learned two techniques for diagnosing whether our purl stitches are larger than our knit stitches or vice versa.  (For most people, the purl stitches are larger, but that isn’t true for everyone!)  The first technique is to cut the yarn after a purl row and after a knit row, pull the rows out and measure the yarn.  Suzanne Bryan, current Committee chair, wrote a step-by-step blog post on this method.  The other technique is to knit a swatch with four rows of one color and four rows of a different color.  This method, detailed on knittsings blog, makes it easier for you to distinguish between purl rows and knit rows.

I’ve knit for a long time.  I did all the research for the swatches and learned the definition of guttering.  I’ve read many posts on the TKGA boards re: struggles with tension and guttering.  I looked at the back of my swatches, but since my guttering is not as pronounced as the examples I had seen, I didn’t recognize it.  Here’s pictures of the back of two Level 1, Swatch #2 that I knit.  The top row, on size 7 needles, is the one I brought to Masters Day.  The bottom row, on size 8 needles, I rejected because I didn’t like the gauge.  The guttering is more pronounced on it, so I’m including it here.  The pictures on the right side are close-ups of the right edge of each swatch, where the guttering is more pronounced.

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For those lucky readers unfamiliar with the concept, guttering happens when your knit and purl stitches are not the same size.  In reverse stockinette, two rows of purl bumps snuggle up to each other and on either side there’s a bit of space between the cozy rows and the next pair of purl bumps.  As a result, the knitting looks striped.  (The front also looks striped, but I think it’s easier to see on the purl side, so only included those pictures here).

At least three Committee members looked at my knitting and offered suggestions on tension and guttering.  My knit stitches are larger than my purl stitches.  In addition, the guttering gets worse as I work across the row.  Suggestions included trying a different yarn, going down another needle size, and taking a video of my knitting so I can see what I’m doing differently on my knit rows and purl rows.  The Committee members tried to encourage me — it’s not the worst guttering problem they’ve seen and I don’t have to reknit all 15 swatches.  I appreciated the kind words, but I’m actually not discouraged by the notion that I might have to reknit all the swatches!  In fact, I was happy to learn that other things I thought were problems were a result of tension issues.

For example, here’s the picture of all the swatches pinned out for blocking.

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Notice how the increase and decrease swatches aren’t symmetrical.  I thought I wasn’t executing the paired increases and decreases correctly.  The increases and decreases on the left side of the swatch look more pronounced to me (the pencil points to the spot where I think this is easiest to see).  While my increases and decreases aren’t perfect, my tension problems exacerbate the problem.  If I fix my tension, I will likely fix the symmetry of my increase and decrease swatches.

Remember last month when I mentioned that the Raindrops on Roses shawl is slightly asymmetrical?  It’s probably just me.  I had the shawl with me in San Diego, so when I got back to my room at the end of Masters Day, I looked at the back.  I have the same guttering problem on that shawl, and it is more pronounced on one side.  I also had with me an Icarus shawl that I knit 3 years ago.  That shawl does not have the same guttering problem.

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These were important revelations for me, because it means the problem is not the yarn or needle size on my TKGA swatches.  The problem is how I knit, and it’s a problem that developed in the last couple of years.  I’ve been knitting more and knitting faster than I did before.  I already knew my tension had changed substantially, thanks to the Liquid Silver Shawl, but I didn’t know that the increased speed and change in tension meant I developed gutters.

I immediately signed up for TKGA’s Taming Tension Course and Patty Lyons Improve Your Knitting: Alternative Methods (affiliate link) Craftsy Course.  I signed up for the latter course because it covers several different ways to hold your needles while knitting.  I’ll be working through both courses during August, trying to figure out my tension.  I knit through my entire flight on the way home from San Diego, and I looked carefully at how I’m holding my needles.  I’m pretty sure I know why my knit stitches are larger than my purl stitches.  Later this week, I plan to record myself knitting so I can confirm my suspicions.  I’ll share the results on my blog.  Once I find a solution to my tension issue, I plan to reknit all the swatches.

After swatch review, we had a blocking demonstration.  My swatches pictured above are poorly blocked; you should ignore them.  I was stretching out the swatches too much, attempting to correct the tension issues through blocking.  That’s never going to work!

Several attendees brought swatches with them and Suzanne showed us the proper technique.  She put the swatches in a bowl of water and gently pressed them down, holding them in the water until air bubbles stopped rising to the surface.  She then blocked several participant swatches, including swatch #15 (horseshoe cable) and #13 (yarnovers).  In short, the proper method is to pin the bind off and cast on edges straight, without stretching the knitting.  Then you gently unroll the edges and pin them down, again without stretching the edges.  Of all my swatches above, the only one that I think is properly blocked is #15 (the swatch with two cables).

During the Q & A Session, Joyce demonstrated a method for working the cuff on the Level 1 mitten.  I haven’t looked at the mitten yet, so recorded the demonstration for my reference.  She kindly granted me permission to post the video publicly.  On one row of the cuff, you knit three, then k2tog.  On the next row, you work a m1o increase, followed by k2tog.  The k2tog on the preceding row tends to tighten the stitches, making it difficult to see the running thread that you need to pick up for the m1o.  She showed us an easy way to get to the running thread.  Most of the video demonstrates Continental knitting.  If you knit English style, like I do, skip to 2:50 for a method that works for you.

I did not take any classes on Wednesday evening.  After Masters Day, I picked up the key to my new room, dropped off my things and headed to the mall for dinner at True Food Kitchen.  When I finished dinner, something happened that transformed my day and, I believe, the rest of my Conference experience.

Everyone falls prey to negative self-talk at some point.  I’m particularly vulnerable when I’m tired, and by early evening on Wednesday, I was quite tired as I had been up since 3:30 am.  From my room to the restaurant was a 10 to 15 minute walk.  The entire time, one of those negative lies (that I’m unable to connect with people — otherwise, I wouldn’t be going to dinner alone) burrowed its way into my head.  The food was truly delicious and I enjoyed it, but the negative voice still echoed in my head.  The waitress brought me the bill and I gave her my card.  Just about the time I was beginning to wander where she got to with my credit card, she came back.  “You don’t owe me anything,” she said.  “Someone else paid for your dinner.”

I’m not the kind of person this happens to; I don’t think it’s ever happened before.  “Are you serious?!”

“He doesn’t want me to tell you who he is,” she replied before I even asked.

Incredulous, I practically ran back to my hotel room and wept with gratitude (I’m tearing up again as I type this).  I have no idea who this stranger was, but here’s a public thank you.  Your random act of kindness blew all the negative crap out of my head.  Because of you, I didn’t isolate myself during the rest of the conference, like I probably would have otherwise.  Since I didn’t isolate myself, I met some new friends from across the country and the world.  Thank you.

TKGA 2015: Arriving in San Diego

I was in San Diego for The TKGA Conference from Tuesday, July 21 through Sunday, July 26.  I intended to blog while I was there, but I was so busy enjoying myself that I didn’t have time.  I had a truly spectacular time, and was sorry to see it end.  This week, I’ll write a series of blog posts about the event.  I hope you decide to come next year; the Conference will be held in Charleston, SC, a mere 5 hour drive from my house.  I’ve already put it in my calendar!

The main part of the Conference ran Thursday to Saturday.  Wednesday was a one-day pre-conference Master’s Day, with different tracks for each TKGA Master Hand Knitter Levels and a track for Level 3 graduates.   Tuesday and Sunday were travel days.  On Tuesday, my flight left Orlando at 10:40 am and arrived in San Diego at 12:10 pm local time.  The flight was uneventful.  I read the whole way — The Age of Homespun, which is fascinating and which I will review on this blog once I finish it.

I took Super Shuttle to the airport and checked into the hotel.  There was a long line to check in, and most of the people in the line appeared to be fiber crafters:

imageThe Town and Country Resort is a large property with multiple buildings, two high-rises and several two-story buildings.  My first room was on the second floor of one of the two-story buildings, on the far opposite corner of the property from the conference center.

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It smelled musty.  I wasn’t going to complain; I knew this resort and all the nearby hotels were sold out.  But when I was getting for bed and walked barefoot into the bathroom, I discovered that the carpet in the entryway was wet.  I didn’t see anything leaking anywhere in the room, but obviously there was a problem somewhere and, judging by the musty smell, there’d been a problem for a while.  I was exhausted and it was late, so I stayed in the room on Tuesday night.  On Wednesday morning, I went to the front desk and asked to be moved to a new room.  My new room was downstairs in the same building and obviously had a facelift.  I had no problems with the new room — I was hardly ever in my room, except to sleep!

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The English-garden-meets-California landscaping was beautiful!

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I spent Tuesday afternoon and evening in my room, even ordering room service for dinner.  I took a nap for a while, finished knitting the last 3 Level 1 swatches that I wanted to finish before Master’s Day, and then blocked all 15 of the finished swatches.  (The swatch on the bottom right isn’t one of the Level 1 swatches; it was homework for one of the Masters Day sessions.)  I brought my blocking mats with me, just for this purpose!

imageTomorrow I will write a post about Master’s Day.  I learned a lot about my knitting and about the Master’s program.  I’m particularly glad that I went to San Diego early so I could attend Master’s Day.

A Year of Projects 2015: Week 29

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Despite my modest list of goals for the week, I got little done.  I published my YOP goals of the week on Sunday.  Early in the evening on Tuesday, Chris’s mother told us her brother passed away and the funeral was on Friday.  We flew up to New Jersey late Thursday night and came home late Sunday night.  This morning (Tuesday), I’m flying to San Diego to attend The Knitting Guild Association Annual Conference and I won’t be home until Sunday night.  When I found out about the funeral, I immediately developed a long list of things to do in the two days before we left.  I knew that most of what I needed to do before TKGA had to be done before we left for NJ!

Chris’s Uncle Angelo was 85 years old.  His birthday was September 4, one day after Chris’s, so when Chris was growing up, the family often celebrated the two birthdays in one party.  One of the pictures on display at the funeral home showed Chris and Angelo cutting a birthday cake together.  More than 20 years ago, Angelo suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed on his right side.  Despite that, he lived on his own, mostly taking care of himself.  His sisters did his grocery shopping, but he prepared his own meals.  Around the time Chris and I first met 15 years ago, Angelo started doing 3D puzzles.  He completed more than 20 of these puzzles, using only his left hand.  Some of the puzzles were on display at the funeral home:

imageAngelo served in the Army (I believe during World War II, but I’m not sure), so he had military honors at the funeral.  I always find this ceremony — taps, folding the flag, and presentation of the flag to the family — touching.

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Now that I’ve lowered your expectations re: my completed goals, here’s a reminder of the goals I set last week:

Goals for July 13 to 19, 2015

  • Finish the Miranda Shawl
  • Knit all the homework swatches for TKGA classes
  • Finish knitting the MHK1 swatches
  • Spin 1 color of the BFL / day (there’s 10 colors / 8 ounces total in Three Feet of Sheep)

On Deck:

  • Mittens for MHK1
  • Liquid Silver Shawl
  • Bubble Baby Blanket
  • Weaving with VCR tape
  • Color and Weave Study scarves
  • Begonia Swirl Shawl

I did not finish the Miranda Shawl.  I did knit several rows after Sunday, but I didn’t take a picture of it to include here.  The body of the shawl is all stockinette, but it is short rows.  While it’s not difficult and there is a regular pattern to the number of stitches in each row, I’m finding that I do have to focus to keep track of which row is next.  Once I learned about the funeral, I put this project on hold.  I did put it in my bag to bring to TKGA.

I finished all the homework swatches for TKGA swatches.  I knit a dozen of them before we left for NJ, and brought the rest with me to NJ.  Since each swatch is small, they made for excellent travel knitting.  I blocked them yesterday.

imageAll but one of those swatches is for the two-day Finishing class with Arenda Holladay!

As of last Sunday, I had completed 4 of the 17 swatches for the Master Hand Knitting Level 1.  I knit the 5th swatch and blocked the 5 finished swatches before we left for NJ.  After blocking, I found an error in one of them so had to reknit that one.  I also didn’t like the fabric I created on any of the swatches.  I knit them all with Cascade 220 on US size 8 needles.  I decided to reknit all of them with US size 7 needles.  Before we left for NJ, I did research and wrote answers to several questions related to swatches I hadn’t previously knit.  I brought the yarn and needles to NJ with me, and I’ve finished knitting 12 of the 17 swatches on size 7.  I don’t have a picture for you because they aren’t blocked.  I actually packed blocking mats and plan to block them in my hotel room tonight so I can bring the swatches for review during Masters Day tomorrow!  I also plan to knit three more swatches on the plane

Before we left for NJ, I finished spinning 4 of the 10 colors in Three Feet of Sheep.  Obviously I won’t get any more spinning done during the Tour de Fleece, since I’ll be away for the rest of the Tour.  I do hope to finish spinning the Three Feet of Sheep by the end of the month, however, so I’ll be working on it after I get back.

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As you’ve probably guessed, I didn’t even look at any of the projects I had on deck.

Goals for July 20 to 26, 2015

  • Sew the lining into my Quinn Bag
  • Finish the first 17 swatches for MHK1
  • Finish the Miranda Shawl
  • Knit at least 1/2 of the Bubbles Baby Blanket
  • Cast on the Begonia Swirl Shawl

I am bringing my iPad with me and I hope to blog from TKGA.  My next YOP post will probably be on Monday, as I won’t be home until late Sunday night.

Updated List of Goals for 2015

Knitting

  • Knit myself a sweater
  • Improve my finishing techniques
  • Finish MHK Level 1
    • First 3 swatches finished by June 24, 2015
    • Swatch #14 finished July 11, 2015
    • Swatches 1-12 knit on size 7 needles, finished by July 19, 2015
  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar
    • Tribbles, finished January 18, 2015
    • Leaves, finished March 30, 2015 but never blogged
    • Heart Illusion Dishcloths (in progress)
  • Charity Knits
  • Do some test knits
    • Sand Tracks Scarf, finished June 16, 2015
    • Grisou Scarf, finished June 24, 2015
    • Raindrops on Roses Shawlette, finished June 27, 2015
    • Miranda Shawl (in progress)
  • Finish or frog all UFOs
    • Traveling Scarf
    • Bigger on the Inside Hat
    • Evenstar
    • Quinn Bag
    • Baby Blue Monster
  • Socks
  • Other Projects
  • Design at least one project from scratch

Crochet

  • Learn to read crochet patterns
  • Learn all the basic crochet stitches.
  • Make at least one non-granny square crochet project
  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar
    • Diagonal Crochet Dishcloths (in progress)

Spinning

  • Breed Specific Spinning
    • Cormo (in progress)
    • BFL (in progress)
  • Learn to spin on a drop spindle

Weaving

  • Continue playing with color and weave drafts
  • Learn pick up stick drafts
  • Learn Inkle Weaving
  • Learn Kumihimo braiding
  • Explore Twill weaves on the floor loom
  • Make items for the Guild Sale
  • Other

Dyeing

  • Finish dyeing the MAPLE LEAF Shawls
  • pH / water source experiment
  • Return to dye triangles project

A Year of Projects 2015, Weeks 27 & 28

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I didn’t write a Year of Projects post last Sunday, so this post covers the last week and a half of progress.  Saturday, July 4 was Independence Day in the United States.  My husband had Friday and Monday off, and we planned to go to the beach at least one day.  We didn’t go because I wasn’t feeling well on Sunday and Monday.  On Friday, my family got together for lunch:

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Chris and I hung out around the house for the rest of the long weekend.  The rest of this week was our usual routine.  Today we did some yard work.  The aloe plants in our backyard are blooming.  I love their flowers!

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I’m also happy to report that while Tiger seemed suspicious of his cat bed when I first made it, he’s decided he quite likes it.  It is now his favorite place to sleep — if no human lap is available, that is!

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Let’s review the goals I set when last I wrote a Year of Projects post:

Goals for July 1 to 5, 2015

  • Knit at least 1/2 of the Sweet Summer Shawl
  • Cast on Miranda Shawl
  • Swatch and Cast on Bubbles Baby Blanket
  • Swatch and Cast on Liquid Silver Shawl
  • Finish spinning and plying the Cormo I’ve been working on since February
  • Start spinning the 3 Feet of Sheep (8 ounces BFL) on July 4 for Tour de Fleece

I finished the Sweet Summer Shawl on July 8.

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I cast on the Miranda Shawl, knit 8 rows, discovered that my mistake on the cast on row was going to be a problem, ripped it all the way out, and cast on again.  I only cast on again yesterday and I’m now making excellent progress.

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Since I’m working on the Cormo as part of Tour de Fleece, I’ve been writing regular updates about it (Stage 1, Stage 3, Stage 6, Stage 7).  Today I finally finished plying it!  The bobbin on top is the one I finished plying for Stage 7.  I finished the other two bobbins today.

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I have not started the baby blanket, Liquid Silver Shawl, or spun any of the BFL.  I didn’t include anything about the Master Hand Knitting swatches on my goal list, but it is an ever-present goal.  I knit one more swatch in the last week:

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Goals for July 13 to 19, 2015

The next two weeks I will be very busy.  My cousin is in town next weekend.  I’m also taking a three-day weaving workshop from the 17th through the 19th.  On the 21st, I head to San Diego for The Knitting Guild Association Annual Conference, and I won’t be home until the 26th.  I have a long list of things to do and little hope that everything will get done!  I’m trying to write a modest list of goals, and it’s taking every bit of restraint I have to keep it short.

  • Finish the Miranda Shawl
  • Knit all the homework swatches for TKGA classes
  • Finish knitting the MHK1 swatches
  • Spin 1 color of the BFL / day (there’s 10 colors / 8 ounces total in Three Feet of Sheep)

On Deck:

  • Mittens for MHK1
  • Liquid Silver Shawl
  • Bubble Baby Blanket
  • Weaving with VCR tape
  • Color and Weave Study scarves
  • Begonia Swirl Shawl

Updated List of Goals for 2015

Knitting

  • Knit myself a sweater
  • Improve my finishing techniques
  • Finish MHK Level 1
    • First 3 swatches finished by June 24, 2015
    • Swatch #14 finished July 11, 2015
  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar
    • Tribbles, finished January 18, 2015
    • Leaves, finished March 30, 2015 but never blogged
    • Heart Illusion Dishcloths (in progress)
  • Charity Knits
  • Do some test knits
    • Sand Tracks Scarf, finished June 16, 2015
    • Grisou Scarf, finished June 24, 2015
    • Raindrops on Roses Shawlette, finished June 27, 2015
    • Miranda Shawl (in progress)
  • Finish or frog all UFOs
    • Traveling Scarf
    • Bigger on the Inside Hat
    • Evenstar
    • Quinn Bag
    • Baby Blue Monster
  • Socks
  • Other Projects
  • Design at least one project from scratch

Crochet

  • Learn to read crochet patterns
  • Learn all the basic crochet stitches.
  • Make at least one non-granny square crochet project
  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar
    • Diagonal Crochet Dishcloths (in progress)

Spinning

  • Breed Specific Spinning
    • Cormo (in progress)
  • Learn to spin on a drop spindle

Weaving

  • Continue playing with color and weave drafts
  • Learn pick up stick drafts
  • Learn Inkle Weaving
  • Learn Kumihimo braiding
  • Explore Twill weaves on the floor loom
  • Make items for the Guild Sale
  • Other

Dyeing

  • Finish dyeing the MAPLE LEAF Shawls
  • pH / water source experiment
  • Return to dye triangles project

A Year of Projects 2015, Week 26.5

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For the past week, I’ve been crafting like it’s my job.  I also had an unusually high number of fun activities.  I had lunch in Diagon Alley with Ravelry friends who were in Orlando on vacation from Massachusetts.

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Of all the items listed for sale here, I most want the never-tangle wool.

I went to my first ever professional soccer game.  It was my cousin’s wife’s birthday and that’s what she wanted to do.

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My husband and I bought tickets to view last Sunday’s SpaceX Falcon 9 launch from the NASA causeway.  We didn’t want to get up at the crack of dawn and drive over, so we drove over Saturday night and stayed in a hotel.

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If you look closely, you can see Launch Pad 40 and maybe the rocket on the pad. There’s 4 objects that look like buildings. Pad 40 is between the two right hand buildings. There’s 4 lightning towers surrounding the pad; the rocket is in the middle.  It’s a slightly thicker line than the 4 surrounding towers.

Here’s the video I took of the launch.  The vehicle failed 139 seconds after launch.  I stopped recording two seconds before that because I was using my phone to record video and could barely see anything at that point.  It looked like a beautiful, perfect launch with nothing more to see.  And then the Liquid Oxygen tank exploded.

 

I still managed to get quite a bit of crafting done!  Let’s review the ridiculously ambitious list of goals I wrote:

Goals for June 21 to 30, 2015

  • Finish Raindrops on Roses Shawl (Headmistress Challenge)
  • Finish Grisou Scarf (homework, but which class?)
  • Finish Solid / 1×1 Scarf (OWL)
  • Three more color and weave scarves to meet OWL 50% (highly unlikely to finish)
  • Finish current Heart Illusion Dishcloth, plus 4 more (COMC?)
  • Tier Scarf (Charms or Potions)
  • Crochet Dishcloths (Transfiguration)
  • MHK1 swatches (Divination and / or Charms)
  • Small stuffed bird (DADA)
  • Cast on Sweet Summer Shawl (Quidditch Round 3; due July 8)
  • Liquid Silver Swatch (OOTP; due July 19)
  • Cast on Begonia Swirl Shawl (Headmistress Challenge; due July 28)

Fully Accomplished Goals

I finished the Raindrops on Roses Shawl.  I absolutely love it.  I test knit this for Assorted Musings (Ravelry, blog); the pattern will be released on July 15.  I plan to publish a detailed blog post for FO Friday on July 3.

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I finished the Grisou Scarf.  I test knit this for Sasoolero (Ravelry, blog) and I’m not sure when she plans to release the pattern.  I will publish a blog post on this project for FO Friday on July 3.

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Partially Accomplished Goals

I started the Solid / 1×1 Scarf.  I’ve woven somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of it.  I have the hardest time taking pictures of weaving in progress.  Since the finished work gets wound onto the cloth beam, it’s difficult to see progress!

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I finished the Heart Illusion Dishcloth that I had in progress, plus two more.

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I started the tier scarf and knit about 1/3 of it.

Knitting while waiting for the rocket launch.
Knitting while waiting for the rocket launch.

I crocheted one dishcloth.  In my goal, I didn’t say how many I wanted to knit.  I need 18 for the Dishcloth Advent Calendar, but didn’t expect to get them all done this month.  I was hoping for 9.  I learned how to single crochet increase, single crochet decrease, and crochet through the back loop.

I knit the first 3 swatches for MHK1.  I still need to weave in the ends and block them.  I also wrote answers to several more questions.

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Unaccomplished Goals

As expected, I did not weave the 3 additional scarves for my OWL.  I did not make the stuffed bird.  I decided to submit the Grisou scarf for DADA instead, and didn’t need the bird for anything else.  I have not cast on the Sweet Summer Shawl.  I will be doing that today.  I have not swatched for Liquid Silver.  I will be doing that today.  I have not cast on Begonia Swirl Shawl.  I think I’m going to wait a couple of weeks and cast on before I go to TKGA in San Diego.  It will make excellent travel knitting.

Other Projects

I made a felted cat bed for Tiger.  I managed to knit 1,047 yards worth of garter stitch in less than 3 days, felt it, and stitch it together!  It wasn’t on my goal list because I hadn’t decided to do it until after I wrote that list.  Tiger’s been sleeping on an alpaca blanket my father bought me when he was in Peru and I didn’t want it ruined.  I needed a quick replacement.

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Goals for July 1 to 5, 2015

  • Knit at least 1/2 of the Sweet Summer Shawl
  • Cast on Miranda Shawl
  • Swatch and Cast on Bubbles Baby Blanket
  • Swatch and Cast on Liquid Silver Shawl
  • Finish spinning and plying the Cormo I’ve been working on since February
  • Start spinning the 3 Feet of Sheep (8 ounces BFL) on July 4 for Tour de Fleece

I’m tempted to write more, but I think this is more than enough.  My husband is off on Friday and Monday for the July 4 holiday.  I will have less crafting time than usual because I’ll be hanging out with him, and we’re going to the beach for at least one day!

Updated List of Goals for 2015

Knitting

  • Knit myself a sweater
  • Improve my finishing techniques
  • Finish MHK Level 1
    • First 3 swatches finished by June 24, 2015
  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar
    • Tribbles, finished January 18, 2015
    • Leaves, finished March 30, 2015 but never blogged
    • Heart Illusion Dishcloths (in progress)
  • Charity Knits
  • Do some test knits
    • Sand Tracks Scarf, finished June 16, 2015
    • Grisou Scarf, finished June 24, 2015
    • Raindrops on Roses Shawlette, finished June 27, 2015
  • Finish or frog all UFOs
    • Traveling Scarf
    • Bigger on the Inside Hat
    • Evenstar
    • Quinn Bag
    • Baby Blue Monster
  • Socks
  • Other Projects
  • Design at least one project from scratch

Crochet

  • Learn to read crochet patterns
  • Learn all the basic crochet stitches.
  • Make at least one non-granny square crochet project
  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar
    • Diagonal Crochet Dishcloths (in progress)

Spinning

  • Breed Specific Spinning
  • Learn to spin on a drop spindle

Weaving

  • Continue playing with color and weave drafts
  • Learn pick up stick drafts
  • Learn Inkle Weaving
  • Learn Kumihimo braiding
  • Explore Twill weaves on the floor loom
  • Make items for the Guild Sale
  • Other

Dyeing

  • Finish dyeing the MAPLE LEAF Shawls
  • pH / water source experiment
  • Return to dye triangles project