Saturday, June 19, 2010

yarny goodness

You know, it is still really thrilling to get a big box of yarn in the mail. I worried that by committing to knitting something in a contractual/business way I would lose some of the joy that wool and (sharp) slick metal needles bring to me, but if anything the opposite is true. I find myself ever more compelled to stretch my skills and learn more (in related areas as well as knitting skills) in order to satisfy the "next step" in this business, and each area has it's own pleasures. Ripping open a package full of yarn spells new inspiration and exploration, possibilities. The fact that I no longer carry guilt for spending $ on knitting "stuff" makes the whole thing that much better. (not that you should necessarily feel guilt for spending money on your hobbies, I just tend to have issues with money and worth, etc...)

I have gotten started on the first of a series of children's sweaters that I am pretty excited about. I am working them all in Armenian Knitting, which seems kind of unknown even though there was a really great book put out about it a couple of years ago by Schoolhouse Press. The first is a ladybug sweater that I hope to finish this weekend so I can get the charts and patterns sent out to test knitters.

I may put up pictures of the others as I work on them, but I am still thinking about how I am going to publish so I may keep my cards close to the vest so to speak...  ;-) This ladybug sweater will be published by Knitpicks so a little extra publicity is not going to hurt.

I am thinking about putting all or several of the sweaters and caps that go together in this theme as a book/let (don't know how long or involved a project this could be) that is instructional in nature, in case someone enjoyed the schoolhouse press book and is looking for more patterns that use this technique, though I am not sure how to go about researching this in any more detail than Meg Swansen already has. I mean, it isn't as though I will be able to delve into some museum's basement supply of knitted antiquities very well. (as if such a place existed, hah! wouldn't that be a joy?) I think I may put out some message online looking for anyone who may have more info or family/older relatives who were around when this was a big fashion deal. Anyway, I am pleased with how the first sweater is coming out, I had some concerns but everything seems ok.

Because of the way the yarn is trapped and carried along behind the knitting, I have found on a previous Armenian knit garment that the "jaquard weave" look was too much, and the weird ease made the thing really unattractive. I ended up felting that project and it made a quite nice handbag, which I won't show here right now b/c I am waiting to hear back from someone if it will be in a handbag book. I will put it up if/when I find out. So far, I have found that keeping the "traveling" yarn really quite loose (seems perhaps too loose, but it isn't) is the key. So long as you avoid this trapped yarn pulling the outer stitches in the fabric is very nice. Time will tell though as to how the fit works out and everything lays. I have my fingers crossed that it doesn't end up too tight on Maggie. My gauge calculations with this have been a little tricky.

I think I might be well served to put up a video on youtube or something for people to see how this "trapping" can be done, otherwise I am afraid the general knitting public will be put off or daunted by the idea of a new scary technique. It seems that the simpler patterns far outsell the more complicated ones so I better make sure these sweaters are clearly explained and show how simple they really are once you get the yarn carrying.

(Anyone a youtube expert? I've never done this before and am concerned...)

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