Today was the day I finally shipped the TKGA Master Hand Knitting Level 1 box off to Zanesville, Ohio. I opted for the 10 business day postal dlivery at $21 rather than the 1 day at $90+, given that it will take 6-8 weeks for me to get the results anyway. So that means I can tell myself the day of reckoning won't be until late August or even early September. I wonder what the customs handlers will think of a declaration of "knitting swatches"?
I took photos of each swatch and the hat, and will post those later. Fortunately Ravelry now allows for slurping from my blog so I don't have to clutter up my Flickr feed with project photos. There were a lot of swatches, but those were fun (even if I did have to do a lot of practice swatches). Except for the seed stitch swatch, which was not fun.
The report on blocking was fine. I found the questions difficult to answer, since so much of what I do is because it feels right (using the intuitive side of my brain) and having to come up with the right words for explanations was a little tricky. I felt like I was trying to explain what I see, and wasn't sure whether I found the right vocabulary. Time will tell, I guess.
Anyway, so Level 1 is more or less done. I have no idea whether I'll pass or need to resubmit any of the swatches. If so, I hope the feedback is something I can understand and incorporate in the reknitting process, something to learn from.
At some stage I'll probably do the next level, but for now I have a few other projects in the queue.
One of the things I've noticed while doing the research for the TKGA Level 1 is that cast-ons are often given different names in the various reference books. I figured it would be useful for me, and maybe for others, to list the cast-ons I used, what names they're known under in the books I've looked at, and any notes. Of course, this is really only useful if you have at least one of the books, for which I make no apologies.
||knitted, p73, fig 2.27
||a bit lacy and loose, but quick and you don't waste any yarn
||cable, p75, fig 2.35
||firmer than knit cast-on; my default.
||thumb, p67, fig 2.9
||double cast-on - thumb, p 25
||similar results to long tail
|long tail, knit, p38
||German, p68, fig 2.12
||double cast-on, p25
||looks best when followed by a purl row
|long tail, purl, p39
||combine with knit version for in-pattern cast-ons
||two-strand tubular, p78, fig 2.41
||good for k1, p1 rib or seed stitch
||stockinette-stitch tubular cast-on, p79, fig 2.44
||tubular: version B, p 27
||use for k1, p1 rib
I think it's an interesting comparison. No wonder it's sometimes hard to figure out what knitters actually mean by any given term.
The Knitter's Handbook: Essential Skills & Helpful Hints from Knitter's Magazine, 2005, XRX Books.
Knitter's Handbook : A Comprehensive Guide to the Principles and Techniques of Handknitting, Montse Stanley, 1993, Reader's Digest.
Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book, 2002, Sixth & Spring Books
For some reason I can't sleep right now, and after browsing a few Ravelry pages I figured I may as well update my Level 1 progress. I was hoping to get the whole thing finished by the end of this month, which will be a little tight, but if I tell the world, that will help me stick to the timetable, right? Maybe?
I have the blocking report almost done, just proof-reading to go. I'm not worrying about the details too much on this one, it's probably not my finest writing but I figure if all the useful information is there, that's the important thing.
I have knitted and blocked the hat, just need to sew on the i-cord loops. I've knitted all the swatches, and blocked all but two. Except for, someone on Ravelry asked about doing traditional versus modified SSK decreases, and the answer was to do the traditional method (the one where you slip both as if to knit, whereas I usually slip the second stitch as if to purl), so I'll have to reknit that swatch.
The major remaining items are to write up the cable pattern, answer all the questions, and fill in the tags for each swatch with the pattern information. In theory it's doable by the end of the month, let's see if I actually manage it. Getting over my insomnia would help.
Yesterday was the time to start blocking some of those TKGA swatches I've been knitting. I haven't finished all the swatches, but I've done over half and didn't want to leave all that pinning out to the last minute. It's been a lot of work so far, but worth it in terms of making me look closely at my knitting and figuring out better ways to do things.
I used the standard wool blocking technique: soak in some warm water with a little shampoo for 20-30 minutes, rinse in warm water, squeeze out gently, wrap in a towel, pin out on a towel placed on one of those interlocking foam boards, leave until dry. This evening I get to weave in some yarn tails. Maybe I'll do some more photos of the results once that's done.
I finally finished the seed stitch swatch for TKGA Level 1. It's hard to get an even fabric with no holes. I don't know how many rows total I ripped back to redo because on holding it up to the light I could see some obvious hole. In the end, I found I had to consciously relax, and rotate the stitches on the needle after each stitch to get the right amount of yarn in the knit/purl/knit transitions. It's still not perfect, but I think it's as good as I'm going to get it. Tammy and Louisa did some quality control at our Ravelry knit meeting, which helped my sanity on getting it done. And as soon as I got home I put it in the folder, to make sure no little fingers or sharp claws get to it.
I'll take a photo when it's blocked and post it.