Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Photographing Your Knits

As part of her Summer Sweater Knit-A-Long, Shannon at luvinthemommyhood has been featuring a number of really interesting guest posts on a variety of knitting topics.  One of my favorite posts was about photographing your knitwear by Michelle at My So-Called Handmade Life.  

Taking good photographs of my knitting is something I struggle with.  Most of my photos usually look boring and stiff.  I never seem to capture the feel and atmosphere that I'm looking for. 

So after reading Michelle's post, I found the perfect opportunity to put her advice to use.  It had been raining most of the day, but around dinnertime the sun came out.  Our neighbors have recently moved and so hubby and I had complete privacy in our backyard to play around without an audience.  We went to work and captured some great images (I think).

watching the hummingbirds fly by

Here's what I learned:

1.  Our work backyard fence makes an interesting backdrop for these photos.  I like the textural element it adds to these pics.

2.  My most recent haircut is distinctly lopsided.

3.  My husband is a great photographer, but not a great fashion stylist.  I need to train him to tell me when my bra strap is showing and when to suck in my gut.

We'll keep working on the photos, but I think there is great potential in our backyard to take some interesting shots.  BTW - this shawl is my latest free pattern:  The Crossroads Textured Shawl.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Summer Sweater Knit-A-Long, Update 3

Yea!  Hurrah!  I'm almost done with the two fronts of my Peterborough!! (Celebration ensues).

But, of course, with progress comes more modifications.  As I was knitting the first front piece, I realized the original pattern called for another rib band across the waist in the front.  I had not read through the entire pattern before starting (again) and did not realize this was part of the design (I partial blame the photo with the pattern that hides the ribbing with a belt - but then again, I should have checked what I was getting into before starting).

I didn't really like the ribbing in the front and hadn't planned on it.  However, if I omitted it, I would have to do more decreases on the front pieces than I had done on my back.  Luckily, I realized I could work in the additional decreases that I needed along the Stst edge by the cabled collar.  This actually solved two problems - I could add in the additional decreases and still match my back piece AND I could create a slight v-neck on the collar that would pull this itchy wool yarn a little bit away from my neck. 

I ended up doing 5 decreases at the lace edge.  I'm hoping with a good blocking, they will be unnoticeable in my stitches.

Next up - the sleeves.  There's nothing really interesting to say about sleeves.  I'm planning to knit them in the round, instead of flat, by casting on only 60 sts.  Hopefully, I will have them both done by September 1!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Yarn Bombing the 'Burgh

from http://knitthebridge.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/the-bridge-goes-up/
photo by Annette Sandberg

I'm decidedly NOT a fan of yarn bombing.  This latest craze of covering anything and everything with knitwear just seems like a waste of good yarn to me.  Sorry.

However, I am very impressed with the Knit the Bridge project in Pittsburgh.  A local community group got permission from the city to cover one of the city's (many) bridges in knitted panels.  The finished result is really amazing.  Check out all the photos here

I lived in Pittsburgh for 9 years and loved it.  And this project reminds me of what I loved so much about the city.  There is a real sense of community among the people there, especially artists.  There's always something fun, exciting, and creative going on.  I miss it!

Congrats to the artists and community members involved in this project on a beautiful and successful yarn bombing.  You've made a convert out of me!! :)

And on the subject of knitting - I've recently added a new article on my Hubpages:  The Best FREE Websites for Knitters & Crocheters.  Check it out :)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Summer Sweater Knit-A-Long, Update 2

This post could be subtitled "Ah, Bugger!!!"

Well, I've finished the back section of my Peterborough for the Summer Sweater KAL.  While working on the back of my sweater, I was granted the opportunity to re-familiarize myself with one of the most important tenets of knitting:  ALWAYS READ THROUGH THE PATTERN BEFORE BEGINNING!!!

Alas, I had not.  I thought I could cast on for a larger size in the hips and just do more decreases to make the chest and shoulders a smaller size.  But I didn't realize (and didn't read) was that for the back rib band, the pattern calls for more increases as you start the band, and then decrease stitches as you finish the band.  This screwed up all my math and calculations.  And I had already knitted half of the back of my sweater :(

I was able to remedy this by doing *no* increases before starting to knit the back band, and doing more decreases as I was finishing the band.  And the math worked out. Yea!!

So, I'm moving on to the front sections of my cardigan, along with the lace and cable collar.  As with all things, this collar is proving more difficult than expected.  But more on that in my next post.

If you haven't seen it yet, check out my latest free knitting pattern - the Crossroads Textured Shawl.  This is my first shawl pattern and I'm pretty pleased with it :)

Til next time...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

New FREE Knitting Pattern: Crossroads Textured Shawl

As promised, here is my latest free knitting pattern:  the Crossroads Textured Shawl.  I really love how this came together.  I intentionally designed a shawl that was simple enough to wear with just a top and jeans, yet can be dressed up to wear to a special occasion or a more dressy outfit.

It might be difficult to see in these small photos, but this
 shawl features a striped design (though it can be knit in a solid color) and a beautiful textured edging. (The shawl pin I made myself.  More info and a link to the tutorial can be found here.)

I hope you like this shawl pattern!  Now back to knitting my sweater for my KAL  :)