Thursday, March 19, 2009

Who needs jewelry?

I was just finishing up my chronically late update on the state of my Master Hand Knitting progress when the mail arrived inside the front door.

I opened the door. Amongst the mail was a cardboard tube, addressed to me.

Inside, another tube. This one plastic.

Hold on. What does that label say?

Oh, baby!

Inside, the most bee yoo ti ful needles I have ever had the pleasure of slapping my eyes on.

14" straights, stiletto points, Teardrop Cap in sizes 5, 6, 7 and 9

But that's not all!

set of 5 5" dpns in size 0
set of 5 6" dpns in sizes 1 and 2.

An IM to my husband, upon opening the package, received the following reply:
"Happy early birthday." (It's next week.)


On to MHK news (or not)...

I've totally dropped the ball on Master Hand Knitting stuff this past week. Yesterday, I knit swatches and then embroidered initials on them using duplicate stitch for no reason. Well, there was a reason. Sort of. Some of the Level III knitters on Ravelry were discussing the duplicate stitch swatch and how it's kind of tricky to do well, and then the co-chair who hangs out on the board mentioned it's the swatch most likely to need resubmitting.

So I decided to worry about duplicate stitch in Level III rather than to block my lace swatches or work on my History of Knitting report for Level II.

I really don't need to worry about duplicate stitch, mostly because I'm not working on Level III yet. Years ago, I made a few sweaters for my niece and nephew that called for duplicate stitching some motifs on them, and I don't recall it being particularly difficult. I never thought anything was particularly difficult back then. I didn't know anyone who knit, so I figured if I followed the directions and it looked all right, then I was doing it right. But I had to know -- is duplicate stitch something I do in an acceptable manner?

I think so.

I ran out of yarn while duplicate stitching my initial. Sophia took a look at what I was doing and and asked if I would make her a swatch with her initial on it that she could put up on her bulletin board. So while I watched "Life" last night, I made her this:

I didn't notice all the sewing thread bits that were lying across the swatch until I uploaded the photo. They are from my attempt to block this swatch, which actually has to do with Level II.

English Mesh Lace
A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, p. 193
I attempted to use the thread along the edges as a way to block without pins so the edges wouldn't be all wavy. I failed miserably. I can't figure out a good way of anchoring the thread ends.

The #$%@ lace swatches continue to be the bane of my existence. I don't think my seed stitch border is long enough on the above swatch. I thought I could block it so that it would be, but for some reason, the border is longer at the bottom than at the top, even though they have the same number of rows. I think it might have something to do with the direction the YOs pull the knitting above rather than the knitting below. Or some other reason. Gah. I hate lace.

How come no one ever complains about the lace swatches?


Nancy said...

What a wonderful birthday present! You definitely have a Keeper! On your you have lace blocking wires? I wonder if they wouldn't solve your problem?

Deborah (aka Mt. Mom) said...

I used wires to block my lace swatches and it went OK. Threaded wire through each edge stitch and it distributed the stretch pretty evenly. Of course, I haven't gotten my submission back yet, to know if mine passed. . . . Personally, I like a bit more substantial fabric than you've got there (find it easier to make and work with), but that may be only taste. Lace is not my favorite either. :)

Happy Birthday!