Friday, February 26, 2010

The Calm before the Storm: Knitting with Blizzard

Faithful Reader: I have not forgotten about the 10 months to Holidays Knitting. I'll be posting about that topic soon! Thanks for tuning in!

Some people go out for bread and milk before a storm. I go out for yarn. Before the snowstorm hit Southeastern Massachusetts a little over a week ago I visited my LYS, the much-loved Knitting Circle, to be sure I was stocked with new yarn and a new project. I had been eyeing Reynold's Blizzard for a while: 65% Alpaca and 35% Acrylic. I decided to use a pattern out of Jean Frost's Jackets books: Fairfield.

One of my goals with this project was to learn how to calculate my own gauge and apply that knowledge to the project. As much as I love Sensei I must learn to be an independent knitter. Besides, as Sensei says, "My students depend on me. What are they learning?" So I'm out to make Sensei proud.
Here's the process for those who need the skill: I worked my swatch in pattern. My Knitting Sensei measured my knit stitches and then my purl stitches to determine how many stitches I had per inch. She averaged those amounts together to get my stitches per inch because I swatched in pattern. The pattern is a lovely basket weave similar to Reynold's Blizzard pattern 82331.  I duplicated that process and came up with the same numbers. Relief! The Wabi Sabi Knitter can be taught!

Sensei and I also decided to cast on stitches for the fronts and back on a circular needle (size 11) so I'd have less finishing work to do. The pattern has 8 rows that are wonderfully easy to work. The yarn is buttery as one of my friends mentioned. I recommend winding it (as opposed to knitting from the yarn pulled out of the middle of the skein) as every once in a while the yarn velcros to itself a bit. I did notice a knot early on while winding the yarn. Knots aside, the yarn is a pleasure to knit up.  I am very pleased with my choice. The irony is that I've been unable to knit because I injured my hand after slipping on some ice. I'll keep you posted on my recovery and progress on the project.

Comment with any questions and ideas! I hope you are enjoying your knitting life. Be well!


Penny said...

I don't know what any of this knitting stuff means, but I love you and miss you! XOXO

Shandeh said...

I love that "Blizzard" yarn too! I have a skein in my stash that I need to use.