Sutton Hoo-Be-Doo!

The face of the Sutton Hoo mask is coming along well –

I see things about it I’ll be changing in the next go-round (the chin’s not long enough, the mouth may be too wide, the nose is too small and upturned) but overall I’m very happy with how it’s seeming.

As I write a pattern I usually take my notes in chart format – it’s the best way for me to visualize later exactly WHAT I was thinking when I did certain stuff, a way to move from the visual of knitting to the visual of a chart (and vice versa) without needing to translate it into words – which can mean different things depending on my mood or what I had for dinner.

Anyone who’s read more than one pattern – and especially those who tech edit them – can understand that there are dozens of ways to write the same technique out in words.

And while it’s true that there are also many ways to approach a chart, especially in patterns where increases and decreases happen within a portion of the fabric, once I have the fabric represented in a symbolic way I can generally see the changes I want to make more easily.

Here’s the start of the chart for this, my working model. The final won’t look like this, I’ll have to find a way to abbreviate it (perhaps only showing one side?) because it could take up several pages as it’s written now. So enjoy the work in progress!

I’m nearing the point where I’ll set the face aside and work on the sides and back of the helmet, then join them all together to work the head. It is hands-down the most exciting thing happening here outside of the 10″ of snow we’re expecting today…

I’m loving the yarn I’m using – Artyarns Mohair Splash – it’s hard to capture in photos how well suited it is to the feeling of the piece.

When I create an unusual piece like this I generally work it out several times in various yarns to double/triple check whether it’s a good idea. I think my second pass on this will be in a light worsted weight – maybe something like Hand Maiden Casbah – which will make the stitch definition stand out better for photograhy.

The Lux yarn arrived yesterday from Buffalo Gold for the Chiton – man, this is some LOVELY yarn!

The color selection is limited, but very nice – I’m using the lightest color, natural, but they sent a few skeins of other colors for me to swatch. I’ll be rolling it and sending it to my knitter today.

It was in the high 30’s, so when Hannah got home from school yesterday we got out the bikes and rode to the Yarnery because I felt the need to look at a wall of yarn (I bought some Clyde from Louet to swatch up for a future project – I know I could get a swatching ball from the company, but when I see the color I need for swatching I can’t hold myself back…)

Then over to Bread and Chocolate for an after-school snack, and to the Bead Monkey where I bought some stunning beads to add to the Lux for the Chiton. They’re needed to add weight and drape. (Grad school flashback: often drapery weights are added to the hems of lightweight costumes to give a nicer, more well defined movement to fabrics, which may otherwise seem too flow-ey on stage.)

I won’t be using many knitters for the pieces in the book, I’d rather knit them myself and the have folks reknit them as necessary. But I know that this Chiton needs a good, fast, strong hand so off it’s going to Miriam Tegels, the fastest knitter in the world (opinions differ, but she’ll always be number one to me!)

Upcoming Classes

I’ve added a bunch of classes this summer, I’m teaching again, baby!

First and foremost, there’s the Cruise. It’s my first, it was originally marketed as more of a crochet cruise but more of my knitting classes have been added. I am finding myself itching to get on that plane and fly to Florida for the week long knitting, resting, sunning and eating adventure.

Here’s the itinerary: Sit by the pool, knit, eat, knit, drink, knit, get off the boat, walk around, drink, knit, repeat…

If you’d like to join me and Drew Emborsky, please contact Craft Cruises and make your reservations now. I’ve heard that the spaces are filling up – I want to give those crocheters a run for their money (baby!) Just kidding. I’m a crocheter, too. Please refer all complaints to Drew Emborsky.

And MORE teaching – On The Road Again!
Traveling and teaching is exciting – something I’ve missed SO much – and I’m really looking forward to it.

Mentally I feel that I’ve had a nice break, things are in a settled pattern as far as Gerry’s health is concerned (knock wood) I’m not saying there hasn’t been a decline, but it’s currently steady and measured and comprehensible. Not like the scary ride last year, when I just wasn’t sure from month to month how much time I’d have here at home vs. in chemo wards, hospitals and doctor’s offices.

I’ve been asked to teach again at the Great Lakes Fiber Show – a festival I just LOVE! Then on to Mountain Knits, followed by a fun & reflective time at the Squam Arts Workshops in New Hampshire. I finish the tour teaching at The Naked Sheep in Toronto, then I just happen to wander through Ohio again for TNNA on my way home. Where are my frequent DRIVER miles?

You can see my calendar here, or peruse my lovely visual aid below.

I’ve heard that interest is already piquing, and I always get emails from folks telling me they wanted to take one of my classes, but got locked out. Then I have to d
o some fancy begging to get them in class.

So I figured I’d better start blogging about these trips NOW so folks who read my blog can get a head start. See, you knew you were reading for a reason, right?

If you’re a shop, guild or venue that would like to hire me somewhere along my route, please feel free to email me! It may work out – or not – but perhaps we can set up a future engagement.

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