Gold with Figs

I’ve had this project finished for quite awhile, but kept forgetting to post photos. It was designed by my boss, owner of the most beautiful little yarn shop in Burbank (actually, the ONLY yarn shop in Burbank), and was so fun and easy to knit up, I’d like to make more in different colors. Minimal seaming (YES!) and very quick. I’m wearing it here with the dress I instantly thought of when I saw this yarn, but I’ve also worn it with dark jeans, a white tank top, and heels. It’s knit in Madelinetosh, which as I may have mentioned before, is just silk flowing through your fingers (even though this is merino!).  My only self-criticism is that I should have knit it tighter. It has stretched out more than I like and does not revert when I wash it.

The tree I’m reaching toward is a large white fig tree in our back yard. I’m not crazy about the taste of the raw fruit, but it is beautiful to look at the figs when they’re sliced in half. All light green on the outside, and pink and white on the inside. I want to take good closeups this summer when the fruit comes in, and when that happens (probably in August), I will share with you all for inspiration.


KAL and Knitting in Reverse

I am back and happy to be home in LA after my trip back east. In case anyone is wondering, I did NOT get my knitting confiscated, I DID knit while I was gone but I still hate the TSA. They don’t make me feel safer, they just make me feel like a criminal when I travel.

But, on to what I was knitting and what I learned while I was gone. My knitting friends and I decided a few months ago to do a knit-along (KAL) and chose a lace sweater pattern by Snowden Becker called the Shirley. Since I’ve only been knitting for about a year and a half, I will be the first to admit that I’m still learning basic things that more experienced knitters take for granted, and so did not expect this project to be easy. Unfortunately, it has become a complete headache for all of us, not just myself. The only good thing is I know it’s not just me and my inexperience. My friends are much more experienced and they are struggling with it also. Given the nightmare this project has become, perhaps I should have handed it over to the TSA.

The first problem is that it’s a very poorly written pattern, the stitch and row counts are off, and the increasing and decreasing are not done in a logical way either. Luckily, my friend knitted ahead and figured out the proper math and was able to coach the rest of us. She also contacted the designer to see about getting an updated and corrected pattern, and the designer has basically given us a runaround and not been helpful at all. So, first lesson is, do not EVER buy a pattern from Snowden Becker unless you want to buy a piece of crap that you will have to fumble through and rewrite yourself.

The second issue I will not fault the designer for, as the unfortunate fact is that most knitting patterns take a number of things for granted and assume that the knitter knows them. (It took me a night of staying up till the wee hours to figure out how to join in the round, and I will tell you that story in a separate blog post one of these days.) But thanks to this project, I now know another pitfall when it comes to knitting in the round. If you have a pattern that has you knitting and purling and then eventually joins, you MUST, MUST make sure you join on a knit row! Patterns take for granted that if you are purling all wrongside rows, that you will do the purl row before joining.  If you join on a purl row, then you WILL be purling the entire rest of the thing. I discovered this after I joined and purled a few rows. In lace weight yarn. I was going to just suck it up and purl the rest of the sweater, but since there is lace at the bottom, I realized if I was purling and not knitting, it could get even more problematic once I reached the lace portion. So yes, I knitted in reverse…aka, had to rip back. A day of backtracking and a migraine headache later, I was ready to move forward again.

So there is my hard-learned lesson and I hope my blog will save someone learning this lesson the hard way. And please wish me luck in finishing! The sad part is that I chose Madelinetosh yarn, and that yarn is just too special to not enjoy the project!