Friday, September 2, 2011

The Knit Along.

In the knitting world, it's known as a KAL. I've written about them before and this afternoon's session was a great example of what's so wonderful about them. Knitting in a group, be it virtually or in person, allows us to share lessons learned (no one should have to repeat a mistake that someone else has already - usually painfully! - made), tips for and inspiration. I haven't done any research to support these next statements, but I suspect that projects worked in a KAL are:

  1. more likely to provide a positive experience (in Ravelry, this is the big smiley face); and
  2. get finished (provided we space them far enough apart to allow time to finish!).

KAL-time at Cast-on Cottage is a pretty loose affair (ooohh, doesn't that sound NOT like knitting!) We have a group knitting time (2:00 - 4:00 on Friday afternoons) and we usually have a designated project. But folks arrive as early as 10:00am (and leave as late as 6:00 pm - ahem, that is when the shop closes Mary!) and some knit the KAL project - and some don't.

Which brings me back to today. and why our Friday afternoon KAL is a must-not-miss event on my weekly calendar!
Beverly, Libby, Lydia, Kathie, Pat, Mary, Penny (with Holly), Jessica & Joanna
This is the group, gathered at the yellow table at 3:45 this afternoon (thank you Marci for taking the photo!) Nine of us knitting (ten if we count Holly; sadly, despite Penny's efforts to get Holly to hold yarn, turns out she's much better at growling at noticing small children than she is at knitting). Four of us working on the Nantucket Vest. Everyone chatting. and laughing. and sharing.

Not only sharing about yarn and patterns and who's knitting what with what...but also about the Nantucket Vest.  I demo'd casting on with two balls of yarn - a must-do suggestion for the circular part of this project. (and I looked for an on-line tutorial and didn't find one that was exactly right - this one gives the gist - you'll use two balls of your Nantucket Vest yarn and I suggest you drop ALL of the slip stitch when you're done).

And we talked about swatching. Swatching is important if you want to knit a garment that fits like the pattern says it will! Yes, you should swatch!

The pattern has gauges for three different stitch patterns using three different needles. Size 6's for seed stitch (worked in the round), size 7's for stockinette (worked flat) and size 8's for feather and fan (worked in the round). Because the two "in the round" swatches are a combination of knitting and purling, I don't think it's necessary to swatch them in the round. Seed stitch worked flat is really identical to seed stitch in the round (just be sure to knit the purls and purl the knits). And feather and fan worked flat just has rows 2 and 4 (the "wrong side" rows) reversed - i.e., row 2 = purl and row 4 = knit when you work flat. I worked my swatch to use all three needles and all three stitch patterns (you can see an example in this blog post). Suggest you do the same, but it's likely that if your size 7 stockinette swatch works out to the stated 4.5 stitches per inch you'll be fine.

If you're joining us virtually, please chime in on our Ravelry thread. We'd love to see photos! (I'll share one of mine once I'm through with that first seed stitch section).

...and a closing note to everyone who shared their Friday afternoon with me today - I LOVE this time - thank you!!

1 comment:

  1. it's always fun hanging out at the cottage. a great start to the weekend.