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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Getting Back on the Ball

Many thanks to everyone who has answered my survey so far! The feedback will be very useful for my future plans - especially your pet peeves! Most of what bothers you is eliminated in my patterns, but there is always room for improvement and I am certainly taking them to heart. I would like to have at least 30 10 more people take the survey so I have a good selection of knitters covered, so if you haven't taken it yet would you put down your needles for just a few minutes for me? I know it's a lot to ask, but I will be so appreciative! Survey is now closed! Thanks for all your help!

Looking at all the responses actually has me feeling a bit better about things and has put a new fire under my bum. And just in time too! I found out yesterday that Debbie Stoller is finally ready to bring the Advanced book to the front burner so that project will now added to the list. I also have 3 projects in the works for One Planet and just might have something else in the works for Sundara. As I always say, when it rains, it pours!

I have finally finished the button band on the design inspiration project! Yay! Now I'm debating if I still want to put the pockets on it. I'm going to sew it up tonight if I have time and maybe I'll take a picture and do an informal poll: pockets or no pockets? I'm leaning towards pockets, but we'll see. Button placket how to post coming soon!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Too Tired to Knit + Knitting Survey

I just can't seem to get past this lull I've been in for the past month or two. The knitting mojo is definitely suffering from the long hours spent at work everyday and it's getting quite old! I miss my knitting!

I've been trying to finish up the "design process" sweater and write up my last few installments in the series, but every time I try, I get delayed a bit. Not much is left on the sweater! It's soooooo close! To keep this from being a completely picture-less post, here are some buttons that I picked up from work last week for the sweater:

It also didn't help much that I came down with a horrid cold two weeks ago due to the crazy rainy weather we've had here in NYC. However, with the weather warming up, I finally felt better just in time to catch Lolly on her visit to The Point last Friday. We've been attempting to meet up for about 2 years now so it was nice to finally cross paths.

I hope to have another installment in the design series to post this week, but in the meantime would you guys mind helping me out by taking a little knitting survey? I've been thinking a lot about my designs and expanding my pattern business lately and any incite into your knitting minds would help so much! It's short and should only take about 5 or 10 minutes, but if you're a busy bee like me and can't fit it in - could you help by passing it on to another knitting friend? Many thanks and good knitting karma will be sent your way :) You can find my survey here.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Design Process - Blocking

As promised, I finished up the left front this weekend and am finally able to proceed with the series. I know I had mentioned talking about picking up stitches, but how could I leave out the very important process of blocking! Shame on me!

I know there are people of both the wet block camp and steam block camp out there, but personally, I belong to the steam block camp - for the most part anyway. There is just something about putting your brand new sweater in a tub of water that really scares me! In fact, washing my sweaters brings about so much anxiety that it's really not funny.

So I start by grabbing my sweater parts, pins, blocking board and measuring tape. I lay everything out matching the measurements from my sketch book to the sweater and pin everything down. The blocking board makes this process an absolute charm, by the way! I used to pin everything out on a towel on the floor, which worked, but I hated it and it took double the time. In fact, honestly, before the blocking board I have to admit I didn't really do too much proper blocking to size. It would get a shot of steam from the iron to smooth the edges for seaming, and that was about it. Don't have a blocking board? You know how you never know what you want for your b-day/Christmas/Hanukkah/other holiday? Exactly! :)

blocking 1

So we have everything pinned down and even, so now I hit it with a good amount of steam being careful not to touch the iron to the surface. Sometimes with stubborn seams, you'll need to use the tip of the iron a bit but try your best not to make contact if you don't need to.

After steaming, the pieces will be a tiny bit damp, so I let them dry for a bit before unpinning them. And after unpinning, I still let them sit for a half hour or more just in case the knitting wants to pull back to shape on it's own. Trust me, being patient will pay off in the end! As with swatching, proper blocking is very important for a pleasant outcome of your garment.

blocking 2

Next up: picking up stitches for the neck and buttonband and placing buttonholes.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

All Finished!

The Pea Pod Baby Set is all finished! After washing, the yarn turned out super soft and I'm very pleased.
Pea Pod Set Finished

Pea Pod Baby Set by Kate Gilbert
Size 6 needles
Rowan DK Wool: 3 balls Avocado
Started: March 23, 2007
Finished: April 3, 2007

I am very happy with the final outcome, but I had a hard time getting into this project for some reason. Maybe I just don't like deadlines that don't have to do with design projects? I don't know. But for such a small project, the knitting sometimes almost drove me up a wall. This coming from the girl that thinks a Stockinette Stitch garment on size 2 needles is a good idea!

So now I can get back to the "Design Inspiration" project, which has hit a snag for the past 2 weeks or so. I did something when increasing in pattern on the left front and I couldn't figure it out for the life of me! I ended up charting it out and ripping back quite a bit (I was about 1/4 the way done the sleeve). But it's back on track now and I hope to have the left front done by the end of the holiday. Once that is done, I can continue my series with calculating stitch pick up for the front button bands and sleeve cuffs. Also, I'll show how to calculate evenly spaced buttonholes.


Finally got around to checking bloglines today, and I was surprised to only see 410 posts waiting for me. After not checking in for several weeks, I was dreading how much I had missed, but apparently you guys are just as busy! Hope everyone has a nice relaxing holiday!

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Here we have the Pea Pod Baby Set pre-block:

Pea Pod Baby Set Pre-Block

After a little bath and 6 buttons, she'll be all ready to go for the baby shower in 2 weeks. Apparently baby couldn't wait til her due date in May though. There were a few complications and mama had to have a C section yesterday. Baby unfortunately only weights 3 lbs, so it will be a little while before she can fit into her little outfit. Send good wishes her way!