Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Stitches West: The Classes

I took two classes at Stitches this year.  First up Latvian Wristlets from Beth Brown-Reinsel.  This was a 3-hour class that explores techniques in Latvian Mittens.  Lots of single colors in a round.  I was hoping to experiment with colors in the class so I can plan out my Latvian Mitts, a pattern featured on the cover of the last Knitting Traditions put out by Piecework Magazine. I think the colors worked out and it looks like I can mix them up pretty freely.  The braids really encourage contrast.
The herringbone braid in the middle is especially nice.

IMAG0292Here are all the colors I used.  You were suppose to have 4, but like I said, I wanted to experiment.  Judging from my Latvian Mittens book, there doesn't seem to be a rule about how many colors to use, as long as it's more than 2.  Yarn is Handwerk's Sock Plus 8, sadly now discontinued.  It's stretchy so I have to remember to go up a size when I switch to the stranding bit, then back to smaller needles for the picot finish.  I had issues during the class and after so here are some notes I'll be refering to when I actually start the mitts.

IMAG0292_zoomZooming into the above picture, I'd like to point out the lovely half braids near the cast-on edge.  There's a two-color braid followed by a single-color braid sandwiched between purl rows.  The problem?  This is the wrong side.  Somehow things got flipped when I went to start the lace portion of the cuff.  The picot edge needs to be whipped stitched to a lower set of stitches than I chose, probably would keep it from curling (besides the needle adjustment noted in the last paragraph) and would probably hide the ends tucked in a little better (I can't see them from the inside.

Another class I took was Even More Challenging Japanese Stitches a 6-hour class.  I've been collecting Japanese stitch pattern books for awhile now but haven't been able to get into a class with Gayle Roehm (the Queen of Japanese Stitches).  She also had a 3-hour class, Challenging Japanese Stitches.  Here's a swatch and the start of a tam all showing the stitches she presented (I started the tam in class, but I've frogged it and will restart it in a better yarn).  Also pictured are the books I picked up at the market.


I also got a copy of Stitch-n-Bitch Superstar Knitting Go Beyond the Basics.  It covers a lot of material and has some pretty cool patterns.

That's it for Stitches West.  Now that it's March I get to buy even more yarn using my birthday discount at various LYS's.


Vivian said...

I love Japanese stitch patterns! The first time I tried fancy stitches was from a Chinese pattern book, which was copied from Japan.

Your color combination for the mitten is very sharp. Will look great when it's finished.

Spinster Beth said...

I haven't heard of Japanese stitch ... love the mitten cuffs!

Jocelyn said...

They are just like normal,kniiting stitches but can get very intricate and just a little tricky. The pattern books are fully charted stitch dictionaries so you don't necessarily have to read Japanese. The symbols are weird so that's where things get tricky.

Carol said...

Love your Latvian wristlet - the colors are beautiful. Can't wait to see your mitten project/