TKGA MHKP Swatch One – Attempt One (Failed)

I have been a member of The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA) since January 15, 2015.  Almost seven months later and I have yet to start.

I mean I’ve started but each was frogged.  I’ve had the worst time figuring out how to increase by five stitches evenly after a k2p2 rib.  Something so simple has thrown me for a loop (pun intended) for at least five attempts.

Today is going to be the last.  I’m going to post my journey in this post and those who already follow me on Twitter @CrazyPurls with live updates #TKGAMHK.

I’ve previously mastered the long-tail cast on method, however my friend Polly who writes Knit Me For a Loop has told me she thought she knew too but perhaps wasn’t doing it the way TKGA would want.  So I’ll post links here in case they help someone else on the journey.  As usual, I’ll update my How to Knit page too.

Fair warning, the data below is live knitting data and therefore I cannot know for certain if my tips and tricks had their intended effects.  I might come back and update this post after I submit to TKGA but don’t count on that.

Speaking of that, here is the reference for my long tail cast-on method.  Long-Tail Cast-on (Howcast – Video).

Long Tail Cast On

Long Tail Cast On

For the ribbing I recommend K2P2 (Tricksy Knitter – Blog) to learn the stitch.

My biggest issue on this stitch is keeping a nice even tension on the edges.  What I do is knit the first stitch (in pattern) and then insert my needle to pull a loop through as to knit again; however you do not let the parent stitch fall off as normal.  First you pull your working yarn taunt.  Not too tight, a quick light tug will do.  Let the parent stitch fall off and then bring your yarn towards you for the p2.

K2P2 Rib

K2P2 Ribbing

Now time for the decreases.  For this I just Googled my question.  I’m not the first person to have attempted this and I’m certain that someone else will have solved this problem.  You see I’m on the gray line between perfectionism and OCD.  So it must be even.  How to add five stitches evenly to RIBBING is not a problem I’ve encountered previously.

I started at Stockinette Increase (TECHknitting – Blog). While that was a good demonstration it wasn’t what I needed.  Increasing in Ribbing (Knit Witch – Blog) had just the thing, even though it refers to 3×3 instead of 2×2.  I think the same theories should apply and therefore I’m going for her method.

I’m still driving myself crazy with the whole “increase evenly” thing.  Go from 20 to 25 stitches evenly in the same row.  I never end up with 25 is the problem.  I mapped this out and it seems like a good choice.  It compliments my perfectionism without being perfect.  I can live with that.

I started with this, just instructions for the row without increases.  (warning I did something wrong here; will update in new post)

k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2 (20 sts)

Then I added two lines | to signify an increase.

k2, p2, | k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2,| k2, p2 (22 sts)

I’m left with needing three more lines.  I decided to put one in the very center.

k2, p2, | k2, p2, k2, | p2, k2, p2,| k2, p2 (23 sts)

That pleased me with symmetry so I figured I’d break up the sections just outside the center in half.  I’m thinking this will work.

k2, p2, | k2, p|2, k2, | p2, k|2, p2,| k2, p2 (25 sts)

If I were to add m1 to each line above, then we’d have the following as instructions.

k2, p2, m1,  k2, p1, m1, p1, k2, m1 p2, k1, m1, k1, p2, m1 k2, p2 (25 sts)

I’m worried on how it will look so I’ve modified the stitches so that they match the stitch they are with.  So I’ve written down the instructions as I knit for accuracy.  Hopefully it helps someone else who is struggling the same as me.

The m1 I’m doing can be found in detail on Stockinette Increase (TECHknitting – Blog).  I won’t borrow someone else’s images, so you must review this post to understand anything I say below. For ALL increases, insert the head of the right needle into the red stitch and put the red stitch onto the needle exactly as shown in TECHknitting’s blog post.

k2

p2

pull up and knit into front loop of red stitch

k2

p1

pull up and purl into the back loop of red stitch,

p1

k2

pull up and purl into the back loop of red stitch

p2

k1

pull up and knit into front loop of red stitch (I’m sure this is where I messed up.  I will try the backloop next time)

k1

p2

pull up and knit into front loop of red stitch

k2

p2

Count up and make sure you have 25 stitches before you move on!  Here is what I ended up with.

K2 P2 Increase Row

K2 P2 Increase Row

Now on to work in garter stitch for some time, that should be easy.  This just means I get to knit each row until I have the prescribed length.  For help with garter stitch, see Garter Stitch (Dummies.com – Website) or Garter Stitch (New Stitch a Day – YouTube Video).

I couldn’t resist taking pictures in progress.  I think the increases I did will work but I had to knit a few rows before I felt more confident in that.  Thoughts?

RS Garter after Increases

RS Garter after Increases

LS Garter after Increase

LS Garter after Increase

I won’t know for sure until I block.  Now just to knit in garter for a bit to get the below.

TKGA Swatch 1 before Bind Off

TKGA Swatch 1 before Bind Off

I will have to reknit this and update this post with the proper increases.  It was definitely one I had wrong and I’ll need to review my notes in this post and correspond with the loose stitch.  since this is for grading, it has to be perfect.  I’d ignore such an error in a sweater.

Mistake in Increase

Mistake in Increase

There is always next time!

Sick Take 2 & Project Organization

The flu wiped out my department at work for a week just a month ago.  This week some head cold replaced it and it has taken us down one by one.  I went home at noon on Friday.  It was month-end and I had an AM conference call so I put in an appearance, having worked the two days before just as miserably.  My nose hurt from all the blowing and it was really hard to concentrate.

Having extra time on my hands for the first time in months, I started “Project Organization”.  This projected involved (notice the past tense) redoing our fail filing system so I can not only find what I need but get the paper clutter under control. I had piles strewn throughout the house.  I also wanted to start a home and budget binder.

I went to Office Depot and bought lots of goodies.  I should never be left unattended at a yarn or office supply store.  I tried to stall when DH asked me later how much I spent.  Let me say that every dime was worth it.  I made our files easy to move, since we will buy a house this year (if I state it as a fact it must come true).  So I bough multicolored hanging folders, binders, a labeler, paper, and other misc items for the chores ahead.

Our files are now in two file boxes, divided into color zones.  I will go into details of that in a later post.  I have a few sources I’ll share then to help anyone looking for a simular system.  I didn’t follow just one program and kinda made up my own with inspiration from others.  I also put together my buget binder and a household binder.  I have already advised DH that I’m tracking our finances and he has agreed to provide me the receipts I need.

You see, we have a joint checking and savings account we both contribute to, but we also have personal checking accounts that we use however we please.  This means no fights over the same pool of money.  It works for us and everything is paid upon receipt or is auto-paid out of the joint accounts.  We contribute almost equally and share any surplus.  We are a team, but lately we have been extravagant and I want to protect our nest egg before we do it any more harm.  It will after all fund our new house and renovations.

So a budget we will have!  I had to swallow my perfection and skip over January completely.   I started with February.  I plan on going back to January before the year is over if I find the time.  I will share my binders and the printanles I used and created for each.  As I go I will make modifications and plan on sharing perfected documents instead untested drafts.  I found that many existing printables don’t work well for our house and I had to make those used for my budget needs.

I also started on my TKGA Master Hand Knitting Level 1 project.  I read the directions for the second time and took notes, because I have to make a binder for that too.  I sketched out the sections and printables I will have to make for that.  By next week I hope to have started Swatch #1 research and attempt a cast-on for it.

The first few swatches are really easy, but I want to do this right.  I was telling Polwygle at Knit Me For a Loop what I hope to get from this endeavor and I am now sharing that with you.  Obviously being one of the few to achieve the pin is an honor it itself, but I also have long-term goals for my future in knitting.  I want to design patterns and teach classes.  The TKGA program will do this by teaching me the basics in the way I learn best (self-teaching) by giving me a structured learning plan to complete at my pace.  There are no quizzes or tests, just swatches and projects that require research and detailed reports.  If what I submit passes, I move on.  Otherwise I correct my mistakes, lessons learned, and try again.  It will be a journey, but I’m lookong forward to it.

What are your knitting goals this year?