I pinned this gorgeous afghan on Pinterest and have been obsessing over it ever since I started knitting. I'm a color fiend. And when I start something new, I tend to mix loads of colors together. Seeing this afghan made me want to try it. This is Laura Aylor's Lizard Ridge Afghan. Laura is a beautiful knitwear designer.
The yarns used in this pattern are also part of what make this pattern so spectacular. This is Noro Kureyon yarn. Eisako Noro is a true artist with the colors and Laura maximized the impact of these colors with this design. The yarn appeals to me because of it's organic nature. The mixes and graduations between colors, plus the inconsistency and organic thickness of the yarn. It knits up into a piece of art.
Here is my first piece. I used three different skeins of the Noro Kureyon and knitted them into an infinity scarf. Here it is posing on a piece of coquina at Marineland Beach in Florida. Don't you want to be the scarf?
I got loads of compliments in the first wearing. It is most definitely a conversation starter. I always test my pieces for feedback. And this one is a big winner.
And while yesterday in Florida was 83 degrees F (with a tornado!), today it was in the 60's. Gotta take advantage of the coolish days to wear the pretty knits.
I make my infinity scarves long enough to wrap around twice.
Self-Imposed Knitting Apprenticeship
Since I'm in OCD mode on knitting, I've been buying yarn, supplies, patterns, and Pinning anything I love on my new Knitting and Crochet Pinterest board. I love the free-from crocheting, too. But, I'm restraining myself from exploring that until I get more basic skills under my belt with knitting.
I got the idea to consider this deep dive into knitting an "apprenticeship" from Barbara Walker's book, A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. I found this bit of information particularly interesting, "During the Middle Ages the famous 'knitter's guilds' -- which were, of course, composed entirely of men -- brought the art of knitting to a very high degree of refinement. A young man who wished to become a member of such a guild had to serve as an apprentice to a Master Knitter for a minimum of three years, and spend another three years year in travel, learning foreign techniques and patterns. After this, he had to pass a grueling examination, knitting a number of original 'masterpieces' of his own in a very short time, and then was admitted to the guild as a Master in his own right. The men of these guilds made exquisite garments that were worn by kings and princes, and every member of the nobility had his or her favorite Master Knitter, as well as a favorite tailor or dressmaker."
The internet makes this much easier in so many ways. If I get stuck on something, I can look it up and/or watch a video. I switched from English to Continental style knitting simply through watching a video. So cool. While I started with English knitting when I learned on my own, and I have taught this to my nieces because it's the easiest way to get started, I switched to Continental to ease the strain on my wrists. It has been much easier on my hands.
Lizard Ridge Pattern - Skill Development Notes
- Knitting backward - I'm noticing that while technically it's possible to knit backwards continental, it's more efficient for me to knit backwards English. I'm still slow, but I'm starting to get a better rhythm with it. I just couldn't get the proper tension with the Continental hold. It's still slower for me than knitting forward.
- The video I learned from. This is really English knitting backwards.
- This is the closest to how I have settled into backward knitting. Great suggestion on how to keep the tension.
- Really like her method of holding continental and throwing English.
- Another video
- A variety of methods for knitting backwards.
- Continental knitting backwards - involves throwing instead of picking
- Steam blocking - I have the HomeRight Steam Machine. I used the hand-held with the squeegee attachment with the fabric cover. Works like a dream.
- Reading the knitting (knowing where I did the wrap and turn without using a stitch marker). I'm not a big fan of the wrap and turn method. When I pick up the wrap, you can still see the stitch. I found some other methods to try to see if I can make that short row resolution more invisible.
- Carol Sunday's Wrapless short rows
- Update: I learned German Short Rows from Very Pink Knits.The transitions using German Short Rows are much more invisible to me than the wrap & turn. It took me a little while to figure out that basically you're pulling up the row beneath with the working row and squishing them together with this method. I prefer this method MUCH better than the wrap & turn. Technical note: if you're using German Short Rows to replace a wrap & turn, you include the wrap & turn stitch (i.e. knit 8, w&t becomes knit 9, then you pull up on the 9th stitch). I find it easier to translate the w&t directions rather than mentally translate them.
- Learning to adjust to mistakes. I tended to add a stitch. I think I figured it out with the wrap and turn I would accidentally turn it into 2 stitches. But, I learned how to just adapt and roll with the flow. The yarn and the pattern are very forgiving to mistakes.