Finally a picture. Really it’s not an easy thing to do with a
disinterested photographer. Got to go back to taking my own photos.

After all that whining I ended up signing up for year two. Classes start first weekend in October. I’m trying to remember all the projects we’ll be doing. Here’s a list but it might not be accurate.

puffy sleeves
dolman sleeve
raglan strip
crochet collar

Lots of traditional garments. Makes one wonder what techniques we’ll be using and whether Jean’s/Nihon Vogue’s will be much different.

There’s so little time to get non-knitting projects finished. Just went to the fabric store yesterday and picked up fabric to redo some chair cushions.

I’m still jogging. Nine miles for my long run last weekend. This weekend I get to take it easy, only six miles.

Graduation day

CertificateWhat a day!

At least five hours of furious knitting in a final push to complete my final project .

It was truly my knitting Olympics moment.

My needles kept flying as several students received their certificates.

About a half hour after later, I finished the last stitch on my project.

Jean  patiently  stuck with me even though nearly all the other students had packed up and left.


I’m so happy to have completed the class but to be honest not so thrilled with the way the lapels turned out on the final project. I’ll be reworking them in the next couple of weeks and will hopefully have more time to describe how I worked the collars (lots of short rows) and snap a final picture of me wearing the garment.

Today I jogged 7.5 miles without worrying about homework!

Madly knitting …

Final_almost_doneIt was too hot this weekend to wear anything under this cardigan, even just for a quick snapshot.

Only the collar is left.

Tonight I’ll update my design notebook with info about the crochet project and v-neck cardigan.

I’m printing out photos now.

Only four more days!

I hope I can make it.

Plugging along

Final project progressThanks for all the kind comments and encouragement. Everything came to a head last week. It’s so easy to get caught up in getting these projects finished that other responsibilities get neglected. After much reflection, the answer is to make sure to maintain proper balance and not go overboard.

I’ve been forging ahead on the final project managing to nearly complete three pieces of the final project – two sleeves and the back.  I would have like to have designed a more complicated garment but considering the time frame (five weeks) stockinette and 2×2 ribbing will have to suffice.

The most complicated part of this garment will be the notched collar attached to the diagonal openings of the two front pieces. I had hoped to use mistaken rib for the ribbing portions but Jean said it wouldn’t work well with the short rows that will be used when working the collars. She suggested switching to 2×2 rib instead. I’m don’t quite understand why short rows only work with certain stitch patterns but I’ll soon find out.

More crochet

Crochet vest
Our seventh project is a crochet vest. Being a crochet novice, I opted to make a toddler sized one. Mine will fit an average four year old Japanese toddler.

We spent all day Saturday learning how to chart decrease stitches around the curved areas of the vest. While the body of the garment is worked in double crochet, the curved edges are made up of a variety of stitches (single, double or slip) depending on the size of stitch needed.

As you can see in the chart below each stitch is carefully charted onto the curved areas.  Unlike knitting, each row can have different types of decrease stitches.

Crochet back graph
It’s an interesting technique and to be honest very intimidating for a
crochet novice like me. I barely know the difference between half
double and double crochet.Here’s a closer view of the left armhole after I filled in all the stitches. This one isn’t quite finished. I still have to sew up the sides and add a single crochet edge to the neck, armholes and lower edge.

Final stretch

Final project swatchGosh, as each week passes I never seem to accomplish as much as I had hoped.  This week I was aiming to have one or more garment pieces finished but have instead just finished drafting the pattern and casting on the first piece. At least I can say I’ve decided on the final details.

Most of the garment will be in plain old stockinette except for the ribbing and collar which will be in mistaken rib. All very easy to accomplish in a limited time frame. The collar is going to be the challenging part.

It’s so sad that this wonderful yarn has been discontinued. While knitting the stockinette swatch I started dreaming about incorporating cables into my design but gave up that effort a few days ago. The clock is ticking. It’s time to get started in earnest with our final class is only  six weeks away.

Really the one true difficulty I’ve have with this class is coming up with ideas. I’m perpetually wishing, “if I only had more time”.  Honestly I look forward to getting back to knitting on my own schedule, letting ideas evolve naturally.  Hey wait!  Come to think of it, most of my knitting ideas never really did evolve into full blown projects. Perhaps that’s because I had no deadlines. That’s partly true but also I didn’t have the pattern drafting skills that I have today.

So close

v neck cardi almost done
This one is ready for the next class when we’ll finish sewing the band to  the neck.

Of course I still need to sew on the buttons.


It’s so hard to put it aside with so little to do. Oh well.Crochetvestchart_3While I’m still pondering my final project I finished the drawing assignment for the crochet project.

Jean asked us to trace the upper portion of the front and back onto tracing paper, add a grid and then draw stitches onto the grid near the armhole and neck.

My tracings look quite messy with all those smudge marks.

Can’t wait to see what she wants us to do with this.

My ideas for the final project are coming together after searching far and wide for inspiration. Time is running out so this week I need to start finalizing the pattern drafting and start knitting.

Back to knitting

sewing band
Now that my crochet is out of the way (sorry no pictures), it’s back to the v-neck cardigan.

Last weekend we learned how to sew the vertical button band to the garment. Let’s just say, it’s slightly more complicated than picking up stitches for a horizontal band.

Typically there are more rows on a vertical band than rows in the garment so, a few calculations were made before starting. We noted the amount of rows in each section of the band – lower body, upper body, behind the neck – and then compared this with the row count on the body. We then calculated the exact points at which an extra stitches are  taken up from  the band. You can see in the photo where I marked the take up points for the upper right side. The left side has already been sewn.

It’s so useful to know the math for such situations. That’s probably one of the most valuable things I’ve learned from this class.

Oh and I almost forgot, here’s the buttonholes. More of those nifty short row buttonholes but this time done on a vertical 1×1 rib band.

Thank goodness the weather cooperated today. I now have one of the sleeves knitted and washed.