OK, you steek fanatics, grab hold of your patience and put those refresh buttons on ice--it'll take me a few days to put something together on this intriguing subject!
The Curry Sweater has begun. Here's the start of the hem and an example of the way I chart patterns and colors.
I use Stitch Painter these days. I started out creating tables in Word and using an x to mark the stitches, so not having a fancy program is no excuse if you want to make your own designs! Many people like to chart with Excel. I don't indicate colors within the graph--I find I have an easier time with a simple black and white graph. I list the colors alongside the graph, at the spot where I would naturally make a decision about which color to pick up. The black squares are the color I hold in my left; the blank square are the ones held in my right. It can be hard to think of a chart this way--we are so used to thinking in terms of black square equals dark color, so I have trained myself to think of black as left, white as right. You have to evaulate your own knitting to determine which hand should hold the pattern yarn and which should hold the background colors. A subject in itself!
I got Marcia Lewandowski's new book, Andean Folk Knits. The author lived in Bolivia for a number of years and became fascinated by the knitting of the South American highlands, especially the bags. The book has some wonderful pictures and interesting charts. On the disappointing side: I would have enjoyed more discussion of Andean hats, and the patterns are presented without discriminating between indigenous forms and modern American patterns with added Andean design elements (for example, Elizabeth Zimmermann's jogging mittens are presented without attribution; the only change being the addition of a few pattern bands). I'm enough of a scholar to want more information. All in all, though, a good book that clearly conveys the author's love of the region.
Yesterday I joined Nathania and other Bay Area knitters at her new store, Commuknity, helping to fill shelves and baskets with colorful yarns in preparation for the grand opening today. They've all been working very hard indeed--it's not an easy job, setting up and running a yarn store! It was a pleasure to meet Sharlene in person!
Finally, I urge you to visit Ryan's Mossy Cottage for some moving pictures about the intended recipients of the Dulaan Project items. (A conspiracy theorist might say that, of course, photos can easily be doctored. Scam, indeed. Some people create their own hells, that's all I've got to say about that. Well, probably not all.)
Have a good weekend, everyone!