Monday, June 21, 2010

Homework

On July 10, I'll be venturing back to western Pennsylvania for another class with the world-renowned knitwear designer, Kathy Zimmerman. This time, she's teaching a Knit to Fit class where I will learn how to make a sweater with my yarn, my gauge, and my measurements. In other words, the Holy Grail! My major goal in life is knitting a sweater that actually fits, so this class will be a real blessing.

As homework, Kathy told me to bring two patterns, two swatches, and a shirt or sweater that fits well so I can determine my ideal measurements. I'm thrilled by the prospect of making just about any sweater I've ever dreamed of, but damn! It's a difficult choice. There are hundreds of patterns I've seen over the years and thought, "I'd love to make this but it doesn't come in my size and I'll never figure out how to make it fit." Now I have the opportunity to make one dream sweater - actually two! And after I learn how, I'll hopefully be able to modify patterns to my heart's content.

My first choice: a sweater that has been bopping around in my brain for months. I want to make a circular yoke sweater with the venerable Barbara Walker's Saxon braid.


I want a simple, classic look, so it will button down the front. As I learned from the Handstrikket, I will forgo ribbing along the bottom and use a hem instead. Other than the cable, I want it to be simple - nothing but stockinette stitch. This will drive me insane from boredom, but I know I will like the sweater better in the long run. Here's a sketch and a swatch of what I have in mind.



I'm using my favorite yarn, Berroco Ultra Alpaca, in the Stone Washed Mix colorway. I'm in love with this heathery blue color right now. If anything looks like well-aged denim, I'm all over it.

For my second sweater, I'm pondering a couple of Kathy's designs. She is famous for her timeless, cabled sweaters. I'm going to work up swatches for her Sparkling Red and Katharine Hepburn cardigans and then decide.

 


If you're within driving distance of Ligonier, PA, come join me in taking the class. You'll learn from the best of the best, in an amazing yarn store, in a town that's right out of Frank Capra movie. Plus I'd love to meet you! Learn more about the class.

Meanwhile, all of this planning is keeping me away from the Handstrikket. No wonder - I'm lost in endlessly boring stockinette stitch. I would really like to finish this up before Kathy's class however so I can use it for measurements. I also desperately want to plow through my way-too-many UFOs. Sigh... besides my increasing pile of projects, I come up with something else I want to make every single day. 

I admit it: I am a fickle knitting floozy. :-)

4 comments:

  1. Wow, lots of projects on the table. I envy you taking a class with Kathy Zimmerman! I'm into spinning these days, I dream of a class with Judith MacKenzie McCuin... oh well.. maybe one day. Until then, I have 2 pounds of Yak and a pound of silk to spin and transform into something marvelous...(hopefully ;)

    Have fun during the class and tell us all about it when you return. :)

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  2. Kudos for being a gal who seizes the opportunity!
    You will enjoy and benefit, I know.
    As for the Saxon Braids..it is grand. You have no problem reading charts, surely.
    IMO,FWIW I like the red cardigan . The Hepburn would definitely look matronly on a plus size. But that's only through my eyes.
    The Handstrikket is a work of patience.And you've got it.
    Enjoy the workshop!
    t_a

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  3. Wow, the sweater you are designing is going to be gorgeous. The color is soooo nice! I cannot wait to see it on you!!!!

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  4. Michele, my gal pal Chris just took classes with Judith and absolutely raved about the experience. I hope you'll get the opportunity to take a class with her soon. I'd love to see your yarn... please send or post a pic.

    Teresa, not sure I read charts well at all... I need practice. There's a really great Eunny Jang post about the Saxon braid: http://www.eunnyjang.com/knit/2005/11/technickety_how_to_unvent_a_si.html

    And Anonymous, thanks so much for the kind words! Please stay tuned for more developments on my new Saxon Braid sweater. And thanks for reading my blog!

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