My Virtual Sanity

Have you ever felt the need to share your thoughts with virtual strangers just so you can pretend that you have adult conversations during the day? Well, that's what I'm about to do. Be prepaired for my life as a stay at home, obsessive knitter, and my attempts to stay connected with the rest of the world.

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Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Friday, February 10, 2006

Friday Morning, library again, and Shadow knitting

Happy Friday morning everyone!

I haven't written in a few days, so I figured you were all deprived of my cute kids again. It is currently 7:45 am, and as you can see we are once again still in our jammies. I actually put more effort into breakfast this morning than is required to poor a bowl of cherios, but not by much. I made biscuits. Well, I opened a package of Bisquick brand cinnamon swirl biscuit mix, added 1/2 cup water and dropped the dough on the cookie sheet. I'm such a talented chef don't you think?

Yesterday we made a special trip to Walmart to obtain said biscuit mix and bought Alex some new sleeper jammies. His previous ones were much too small, and because of this were getting holes worn in the feet. One night last week, I looked at him and thought that the strings holding the feet on MUST be hurting his feet, so I grabbed a pair of scissors and cut the feet off. Problem solved right? Nope, Alex broke down in tears that I had cut up his jammies. *Sigh* some times you just can't win. Well, while at Walmart yesterday, I saw a package of sleeper jammies for $7 (2 pairs of jammies). They were size 5T and he is a very small 4T, but I figured they'd definitely not be too small! Here he is, sporting his new too big jammies proudly, and holding up his new library book.

On Wednesday mornings we sometimes go down to the library for the little kids story time circle. It's designed for kids 18 months to 3yrs and is very short. They usually read 1 or 2 stories, and do some activity songs and stuff. Alex loves it. Shaya's not so sure. She tends to get shy when there are a lot of people around, so she hangs pretty close to my lap. I suppose that way she can jump back in real quick if one of the other children suddenly turns into a monster or something. The last few times we have gone, she hasn't even wanted to participate in the activity songs, but amazingly this week she climbed off my lap and danced along with the other kids (all be it VERY close to me). I had to return most of my knitting books, but I renewed (online, isn't that great?!) Creature Comforts, Knitting on the Road, and the Knitter's Dozen "Bags". While I was there, I also picked up the last book that looked worthwhile from the shelves "Shadow Knitting" by Vivian Hoxbro.

So, guess what I was knitting yesterday instead of my baby blanket (which I actually haven't touched since Sunday)? I made a wash cloth to try out the "shadow knitting" aka "Illusion knitting" technique. I find the whole effect very cool. All of the patterns, or charts that I found in the book boring. They were all geometric shapes, or stripes and I wanted a picture. So, I ventured into cyber space. Unfortunately Cyberspace was just as disappointing. All of the charts or pictures that I found were for things like hearts. Who really wants to make a heart when they can make a maple leaf?! I decided that I needed to make my own chart pattern. I found a maple leaf that I liked from a cross stitch chart (ya, there's a good tip for you, cross stitch charts are more plentiful than knitting charts on the internet, and are completely interchangeable in my mind). I turned it sideways and removed every other row.

Shadow knitting, or Illusion knitting is actually very simple. You pick 2 colors that you like, 1 dark, and 1 light. The whole pattern will always be worked in 2 rows of 1 color, then 2 rows of the other. Unlike with insartia or fair isle the pattern emerges based on strategically placed garter stitch rows. These garter stitch rows literally cast a shadow, or even hide the other color when viewed at a side angle. It's kind of like making mountains and valleys of color. From the front (or top) you see both the mountains and valleys, from the side, though, the mountains hide the valleys on the other side and all you see is the mountains. Cool huh?

Ok, basic tenants of making a shadow pattern:
  1. always maintain the pattern of 2 rows in first color, 2 rows in second color
  2. all right side rows will be knit
  3. all ws rows for the main pattern color (ie the color you want your pattern to show up in. My case green) are knitted WHERE THE PATTERN IS TO APPEAR
  4. all ws rows for main pattern color are pearled WHERE THE PATTERN IS NOT TO APPEAR
  5. all ws rows for the background color are KNITTED where the pattern is not to appear
  6. all ws rows for the background color are PEARLED where the pattern appears
This will in essence create alternating garter stitch rows. Where the pattern is, the main color will be raised, but on the same row the background color will be in plain old stockingette. On the alternating rows the background color will be raised, but the main color will be in stockingette. I hope that didn't confuse you too much. I created an actual chart in photoshop this morning and you can see it here. I also added it as my VERY FIRST free pattern. Enjoy!

Also last night I got to go to my first real, in person, knitting group! My Church has put together a knitting/crochet group. It was so nice to get out for 2 hrs and hang out with other women. I actually didn't know the women who showed up well, so it is also a great way to get to know some new people with whom I have something in common. We are going to be a fairly informal group and meet every Thursday evening in one of the member's home. We hope that this will encourage people to come if they are available, but not to be pressured to come each time. I'm all excited :D

It is now 8:10, and amazingly in the time that it took me to type up this post, my 4 yr old has gotten himself dressed. Of his own free will and choice, with no prompting from mom, he went into his room, found a shirt and pants, and got himself dressed! He now looks like this:
Shaya, on the other hand is still in her jammies. Well, sorta, she's currently sporting the "shrug" sleeper jammie look (sleeves and shoulders on, unzipped with tummy and legs bare).


Blogger Calamar said...

Can you do any cross-stitch pattern, or just the real basic ones? I have one of a tiger's head, what about that?

BTW Good Morning!

PS Why did you add word verification?

7:59 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

The pattern needs to be fairly basic in shape. If it gets too intricate, the details get lost. I did see someone did a penguin though, which is amazing! The more detailed the pattern, the larger the project needs to be to accomidate it.

8:12 AM  

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