Last week I was at Meg Swansen’s Knitting Camp and someone brought to my attention that I had not blogged since November. Wow, that’s quite a while. It isn’t that I haven’t been knitting. Since then, I’ve completed 2 sweaters, a vest, 3 lace shawls and several pair of socks. I just haven’t been writing about it. Recently, I’ve been trying to do more with photographing my f.o.’s, so it makes sense that I should be using this blog to show some of that work.
First things first, though . . . I mentioned going to camp. Here’s a photo of my camp buds.
Six of us have been constant companions (well . . . via the internet) since Camp 1 last year. We picked up a couple more friends this year. I hope we’ll be keeping up with them, as well. Camp was great fun. I learned new (to me) tricks, received a LOT of inspiration, and had a blast with my friends. I don’t think you could ask for more than that!
Our sextet all met up in Angie’s hood with oh-my-gosh amazing hamburgers at the Serena Cafe. We took off, a caravan of two vehicle–Angie driving one, and Olga the other. After a bit of road time, we stopped at The Fold, a yarn shop in . . . well, frankly, I have no idea where we were. They had lots of nice yarn, but I didn’t buy any. I did get this very cool pair of old fashioned sock blockers.
The sock is a pattern I wrote out for my 5 buddies. It’s called “Road to Camp.” It features a weaving right and left twist pattern. When I named the pattern, I had no idea it would be so prophetic. We left The Fold, written directions in hand and Angie in the lead. The first turn indicated by the directions was onto a closed road! Angie literally threw the directions out the window and headed down the next road . . . a twisting, turning gravel road. We also had no cell phone reception out there in the woods, so we didn’t get any of the complaints (or curse words) from vehicle #2.
One of the great aspects of Knitting Camp is having breakfast at The Kitchen Table–the restaurant owned by Lloie Schwartz, sister of Meg Swansen. Lloie comes in every morning well before dawn and bakes the bread that will be served that day. Everything there is wonderful, but I’m especially fond of the pancakes! It’s the sort of place that’s usually inhabited by local folk. These are the ROMEOs:
ROMEO stands for Raunchy Old Men Eating Out. There’s a group of local ladies that come in after them for breakfast. They’re all very fun!
I had decided that, for my project to work on at camp, I would start EZ’s Gaffer’s Gansey. And I decided I would do it in the beautiful grey Canadian Regal I purchased at camp the year before. I thought I would cast-on in advance, but no. The loose instructions in the back of The Knitting Workshop tell you to cast-on 225 stitches. Yes, 225 stitches, at a gauge of 5 stitches per inch is indeed 45″, the desired size. The problem is you are then instructed to do a 2×2 rib. Hmmm . . . 2×2 rib with an odd number of stitches. Perhaps that’s a technique I haven’t yet learned. No . . . I’m pretty sure there is no technique that allows you to make a 2×2 rib out of an odd number of stitches. Easy enough to fix . . . just cast-on 224 stitches. But my fear is that if there is this error, what else might be in store for me? My revised plan was to make a thorough gauge swatch and wait to cast-on until I got to camp, where I could get the “good” pattern for the sweater. I was glad I waited. The new pattern was converted to EPS, so instead of casting-on 225, or 224, you cast-on 204 for your 2×2 rib. Great! 204 is an even number! I’ve got this covered. I cast-on 204 and did my 30 rounds of 2×2 (30 rounds is a lot of ribbing!). The next step is to mark off 6 stitches on each side–p2, k2, p2 for the side seams. Ok . . . here’s another problem. If I mark the last 2 stitches of the round (p2) and the first 4 of the start of the round (k2, p2) and then count out 96 stitches (204-12[the side seams], you’re left with 198 stitches, so that’s 96 stitches for the front and 96 for the back), you arrive at a k2 . . . not a p2. Really no way to rectify that. I showed it to Amy Detjen. Sure enough, it’s an error in the pattern. By this point, I’m fairly frustrated. In the meanwhile, Meg, out of the blue, started talking about ganseys! Low and behold, she said side seams on ganseys were commonly just a single purl stitch. Perfect. I can cast on 206 (close enough to 204), *k2, p2, repeat from * for 98 stitches, ending with k2, then p1, *k2, p2, repeat from *ending with k2, p1, end of round! Perfect! I frogged my 30 rounds of 2×2, cast-on 206 stitches and I was off and running. Well . . . I was off . . . but not running. Funny, for that math to work, you have to actually be able to count to 206. At this point, I excused myself, went to my room, and cast-on again. In the silence of my hotel room, I was able to count to 206, and establish the pattern. Important lesson learned: if you’re going to *k2, p2, gossip, repeat from *, you have to really have the right number of stitches to do it. Once I got the pattern established, I was able to *k2, p2, gossip, repeat from * myself into a stupor. Here’s a photo of what I’ve to so far, and some of the resources I’m using:
And speaking of * . . . Meg told a story, one day at camp, about someone she knew who was irritated when people mispronounced the word asterisk, so she made up this rhyme:
Mary had an aeroplane in which she liked to frisk. Wasn’t she a silly girl, her little asterisk?
Don’t get it? Say it out loud and in rhythm. It will come to you. 🙂