Last week I went back to Rocking Horse Farm for 3 days of Knitting Machine Camp. I’ve been doing this for years (last year, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008) and every year I learn new things and come home with a head full of ideas for projects.
Here are the highlights from this year. Day One:
I learned why I was not able to make a lacy scarf — I was not using the correct kind of stitch pattern. I also learned how to draw patterns on the pattern sheets that my knitting machine can read. I’m looking forward to knitting some scarves with my dyed alpaca lace weight yarn.
Two for one!
If you read the post from last year’s knitting camp, you saw that I knit a little Christmas tree ornament sweater with hopes of using it for a gift card holder. You also read why that didn’t work out so well! This year I think I hit on a workable design! This started out as a pattern for a pocket doll. I revamped it to hold a gift card. And it only took a few hours to knit! Since this prototype, I have thought of a couple ways to speed the process. I’m really excited to start knitting these!
I made several little capes – all doll sized. I learned the technique of short row knitting and how to add or subtract from the amount of flare in the cape. This will make great capes, bed jackets or wraps for folks in wheelchairs.
Sticking with the doll theme, I knit this poncho using a mock rib stitch – very simple by leaving every third needle out of work. Then I learned a fun seaming method which shows off, rather than hides, a seam.
Thrumming – right side
Above is little sample showing the outside of thrummed knitting. This is a technique used to make super warm mittens or socks. Short pieces of roving are knit into stitches at intervals across the rows. This leaves a little /\ on the outside.
Side view of thrumming
On the inside of the mitten, your hand is surrounded by soft alpaca fiber. This will keep hands super warm and will eventually pack down and felt slightly – more so in socks than mittens. While time consuming to do, the result is mittens that unparalleled in their warmth. I hope to create a sample to use to take orders for these.
All three days were filled with good food, conversations with new and old friends and lots of tips and tricks to use in future knitting projects. It is a treat to have three days to concentrate on knitting. Now to put all those ideas into real projects! Where should I start?