Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hi there

Long time no see. As is apparent, I've been having a heck of a time. My car died, my cat died, my dog almost died, and then I was so far behind at work from dealing with all this, that I did nothing but slave away for weeks. I'm feeling a little better and am trying to get back into the swing of things - hence, I'm back. :-)

The biggest knitting news is that Dottie (dottie2 on Rav) and I have started a new knitalong called More * More. This cryptic name hopefully avoids any legal proceedings that might be visited on us by the knitwear-designer's-name-who-may-not-be-mentioned. (I should make fancier graphics for the group, but I just don't have time.)

The group focuses on more advanced garments such as those designed by Alice Starmore, but any designer’s pattern is welcome. While we’ll be dealing with fit issues (ample girls always welcome), the primary objective is to offer a support group for more advanced knitters who want to finally make that dream sweater they haven’t had the time, endurance, and fortitude to complete.

While it will primarily be an online Ravelry group, we’re also going to have face-to-face meetups regularly. Our first event will be:

Saturday, April 21 
11 AM to 2 PM 
Roy Rogers Meeting Room 
301 Ballenger Center Drive 
Frederick, MD 21703

We hope you’ll join us! Bring your project and come hang out, each lunch, and talk shop. It will be a blast.

Those of us whom have already signed up are now planning what to make. For years, Dottie has longed to make St. Brigid and now she gets her chance. She's Cascade 220; naturally, her project's name is Brigid Pink.

Ironically, my project is based on St. Brigid, too - but not the Alice Starmore design. My sweater, which will be a DK weight fair isle cardigan, gets its inspiration from this remarkable painting by Scottish painter John Duncan entitled "St. Brigid."

My plan is to make a cardigan that uses a design like Ann Feitelson's Fridarey. During my recent dark days, I worked on genetic genealogy using recent DNA test results my father received. We discovered, much to our surprise, that we are Scottish, so creating a beautiful highland cardigan is exactly what I have in mind. I like the motif in this particular sweater which reminds me of the Ohio Star quilt square; my father is from the Buckeye State, so this is a nice tie-in, too.

I want meet the challenge of selecting and ordering colors for a unique and beautiful fair isle head on. To prepare, I read Ann Feitelson's classic "The Art of Fair Isle Knitting" which includes a spectacular chapter about color theory and about how colors work together in effective fair isle design. Properly educated, I used the lovely painting as my guide and I pulled out ten different colors in two hue ranges. I'm using Jamieson's DK, a 100% shetland wool since I couldn't bear the idea of knitting this in fingering weight. It's going to take forever as it is. 

Next step: work up the chart and start playing with the colors. I've got a couple of new knitting software packages I can use; if I don't like them, I can go back to Excel which I've worked with to design fair isle previously. I'll post my chart when I'm finished.

Meanwhile, I'm working on a quick crochet sweater while I wait for the yarn to get here. Crochet goes so quickly! This lacy pullover (? - haven't completely decided yet) is based on Cather by Mary Beth Temple. I'm using the same stitch pattern but with a smaller needle and thicker yarn. I wanted more lace and smaller holes, plus I'm going to make mine with as a modified drop shoulder and probably tunic length. 

That's the latest, girls. I hope you're doing well and are knitting away. No matter what goes wrong in life, we still have our knitting - or most of us do anyway. My Rav friend Linda broke her hand in a gazillion pieces and is in a cast for the next six months. Poor thing! I'd be knitting with my toes, I swear it. Get well soon, Linda!


  1. great to see you back in the saddle and hearing you are doing better, ODAT.

    1. You are always the first, my friend. ODAT indeed. xxxooo

  2. Oh, wow, what a nice knit along! I live in Bowie, so this is quite a distance for me, and I have a prior commitment that day. But maybe One of those days I will make it to the meeting. I've knit quite a few of her designs (mostly Fair Isle). I better get back to my Glass Beach cardigan - all I have left to do is the 2nd sleeve. If I do make it, I promise to bring all my Fair Isle knits.

    1. You're welcome whenever you can get there, Lola. Please sign up for the group anyway - Thanks!

  3. i'm so sorry, julie, for the loss of your cat & car. and almost losing your dog makes the terrible 'three' that always seems to occur. glad to hear you're back! i live in IOWA so won't be able to come to your get-togethers! but i love, love, love your color choices for St.Brigid!!! can't wait to see it in progress!! ^)^linda

  4. thanks, Linda. You're always welcome if you somehow end up out our way. and if you're interested in knitting along, please join the group, too. thanks!

  5. So glad you're back. We missed you. You're taking on more challenges too. I knew nothing could keep you down for long.

  6. woo-hoo, more magic on the horizon... I love your choice and the reasons behind it as well... glad you're doing better and getting caught up on business... can't wait to see what this group brings... let the festivities and modifications begin...

  7. Hester from AtlantaApril 2, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    So sorry for the whirlpool of troubles you had. Sometimes it seems like everything happens at once. And afterwards it takes time to recover emotionally and spiritually as well as financially! Glad you are feeling better and are doing this more * more group. It sounds very interesting. I live to far away to attend the your meet up in person, but if I lived closer I would be there. Best wishes - Hester from Atlanta

  8. Good to see you back again! I kept checking, and worrying about you. Hard times come around sometimes, and I'm glad you had your knitting (and crocheting)! The more more group sounds like fun.