Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Harmony Trail

We spent some time up at my sister's house in MA, outside of Boston. She was to be my guinea pig as far as meeting with residents of a new suburban development. In the end, due to (I like to think) school vacation week and FREEZING cold weather, we ended up just hanging out and doing family things. I do wonder if my project description, which my sister emailed to the development's email group along with an invitation to get together and talk about things with me, was speaking in a language that was somewhat foreign to this audience. I will have to work on that, I think.

I did take some pictures and talk with my sister and her husband about the project. She advised me (rather wisely I think) to focus less on the word "sprawl" since it has certain negative connotations. I am not interested in putting people off, in fact I am interested in just the opposite, so I have tried to explain my interest in that which can be called sprawl in neutral words. It was great to be able to spend time there and really absorb the lifestyle, so to speak. It confirms my suspicion that, for this project to result in anything, it will take a good amount of time to generate trust and relationships.

As for knitting...I haven't cast on for the first fair isle piece yet. I hope to do that tomorrow. I have been practicing my two-color technique, which I had never really done until I knit a Bohus for the 2006 Knitting Olympics.

Have no fear, I didn't knit a Bohus in 16 days! It took more like 6 weeks--all that black stockinette stitch!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

the fair isle pattern is shaping up

I finally finished (sort of) my first section of my 6ft diameter image of Sun City, AZ translated into fair isle pattern. I have divided the image up into eight 200 st pieces that decrease to 45 sts. When all of those are knit, I will be able to pick up all the sts on circular needles and knit the last bit (like the center of the tam) in a more traditional manner.

But how to knit fair isle pattern in flat pieces, you ask? Good question. I have bravely decided that I would rather cut eight steeks than deal with all those purl sts, so each piece will be knit in the round with a steek (decreases on either side of the steek sts), then cut. Will this work? I don't know.

This is the image I am working from. The red triangle is the section I am graphing in fair isle patterning.

This is the beginning of my graphing out a pattern. I am using a program called Stitch Painter. I originally turned my nose up on the idea of using a computer program to graph the pattern. After spending two days pinning up graph paper (only to realized most of it was not going the right direction), and color in the squares for about 3" of pattern, I realized that I needed to do something if I was going to pretend that I could ever finish this project in my lifetime. I won't even talk about my other original idea of spinning and dyeing all the yarn myself. That was taking my idea of an - ahem - ambitious project just a little too far (esp. considering that, at the time, I did not know how to spin or dye yarn).

I try not to let total absence of skill or knowledge interfere with my ideas...