Friday, January 22, 2010

Interrupting The Farmer for an Important Knitting Announcement

This Saturday, January 23rd, PBS's Create TV station is holding a Knit and Crochet Now Marathon. Check your local channels for listings. Create TV is one of PBS's digital signals - on our WGBY it is 57-004. I might not cable or satellite or high speed internet service but I get PBS's Create TV! How amazing is that? For those of you who don't know, I am a "knitting expert" on this PBS t.v. show. I go to Detroit once in a while to tape segments. It's been a fun experience and I am over my television appearance jitters for sure.


Julia is threatening to watch her mom on t.v. all day long. I will stay far away from the t.v. when I'm on - I hate to watch myself on t.v! I'm glad I have been given the opportunity, don't get me wrong. Here's the link to the new Knit and Crochet Now website. There are awesome free patterns on it, videos, and you can sign up for the weekly newsletter. The new season is just beginning (we taped it in October). I don't think they will be showing the new season but they will have all the past seasons on this "marathon." Here's the line-up of the shows and the times they will be broadcast. What a way to spend a Saturday - knitting and watching t.v. It all begins at 6:00 a.m. EST. Check it out here! But don't forget to go outside and take a walk!

In other knitting news, I'd like to introduce you to a new, very easy, but extremely colorful "Kristin Nicholas" creation modeled by our own "Julia." Available in my Shop as a instant PDF download, Julia named this sweater and hat set her "Cozy Cap and Pullover." This sweater has been in her rotation of sweaters this winter and it is surely her favorite. I think she may be the only child at her elementary school who wears wool and animal protein blends! We'll see how long this wool-love lasts! She is already showing a partiality to cashmere. I hope she finds a good job! When I look at these photos from ten months ago, I can't believe how much she has changed in looks. Here she looks like a child and now, she is changing so quickly it is scary. It's a good thing I took these photos when I did!

The incredibly beautiful photo I took of Julia in March of 2009 served as our Christmas card this year (see below). What a moody shot. I didn't know what I was catching that day because it was late and dark and the sun was low. You can see the crocheted flowers on the yoke of the sweater which dresses it up a bit. I added French knots to the flowers to make them more realistic. I've got 2 videos on my sidebar I made for you - one for the simple crochet flowers and the other for how to make a French knot.

Let me tell you a little about the day we took these photos - I know you all will get a kick out of it. It was late winter and the weather was finally getting a little warm. Spring was in the air and sugaring was finished. I had finally finished this sweater. In the back of my mind, I was planning to do a bunch of new patterns that would be available on my website, not in my books. The grass was threatening to turn green. Green grass was not the look I was going for so I knit in great urgency. I crocheted and embroidered the flowers, sewed them on and hoped for an overcast day. As luck would have it, no sun was out and the grass only had an inkling of green to it. I picked Julia up from school and told her she had work to do. I promised her $10. Off we went in search of a place on our hill that wouldn't look too springy.

Poor kid, I make her work. I'm not the best photographer and I need to try a lot of variations to get the image I want. The first place we went was our neighbor's field where our sheep often graze. There I got this photo and the Christmas Card. I love the colors, the cloudy sky and Julia's cold look.


In this photo, Julia was dancing. Aren't those red boots the cutest? They were inexpensive rubber boots I picked up at the grain store. Sadly, they no longer fit here. Thank goodness the sweater still does.


Next, we hopped in the truck and moved on to a woodland scene with leaves that were already laying on the forest floor for at least five months. It was still pretty and I loved how the colors of the sweater popped out from the brown and gray background.


I hope you like this new pattern. The yarn and sizing specifics (it is sized for toddlers to children, no adult sizing) can be found on my website here. Here's the thing - even if you are a beginner, you can knit this sweater! It is knit entirely in garter stitch (knit all rows). The stripes are made by alternating colors every second row - it's easy - trust me. The yoke is made all in one color. The instructions are given for knitting the neckline in the round so some purling is involved there. But, if you knit the neckline with one shoulder seam open, you would be able to work the garter stitch back and forth and then sew the seam closed. You can order the pattern here on my shop page.

I think that the simple striping of garter stitch looks so much harder than it is. If you want the stripes to stand out and look stripey, make sure you choose colors that contrast greatly. If you want a more subtle stripe, then chose colors that aren't as dark and light. I used my Julia Yarn in Magenta and Espresso for the base stripes and Blue Thyme for the yoke. There is no end to the variations you could make to this simple striped sweater and cap.

Here's the question for the weekend. This is always something that fascinates me when I go around teaching or run into knitters on the street. So many times they say to me "I only knit. I don't know how to purl." It always blows my mind that there are many people afraid of the purl stitch.

So, do you only knit? Or do you know how to purl too? Do you like to purl or do you disdain it?

The Farmer will be back next week with more answers to your questions. And of course I will have more lamb photos. See you on the tellie (telly?).

26 comments:

Beth said...

I knit AND purl and I think I like purling just about as much as knitting. Like the alternation of movements and the possibilities when you know both stitches.

Lovely pictures of Julia. She's a hard working girl!

Gerri said...

I just don't get the whole don't purl thing. I love to purl!

Penny said...

hee hee. i actually love purling because i purl faster! i knit continental and still haven't figured out the proper wrap/tension on my finger for knitting (i started with crochet ~25 years ago) so i feel i knit slow ... but for purling i figured that wrap on my thumb out years ago. ok, a lace shawl knitted under deadline helped me learn to love the purl, but still! ;)

and garter stripes are really pretty. i love the shots and julia and the design! i need to think of the right little girl for it! ;)

(and if those boots are a kid's size 2.5, i'm looking for a new pair of happy rain boots.. i'll need to stop in agway next time i visit my mom)

Sarah said...

What great photos! It is times like these that I wish I had television. We can't even get PBS here with rabbit ears. All of us, but Nelson, knit and purl!

Leslie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leslie said...

I have never understood how people "hate" purling.

Now that I've "learned myself" Continental (bless you You-Tube) I have to concentrate when I purl but when I throw purling is as fast as knitting!

$10, huh? Julia does well for herself :)

Unfortunately, our satellite won't pick that channel up and the husband has YET to try the converter box for the antenna TV.

Keary Naughton said...

I knit and purl, but would like to make a sweater and I am terrified to make one, but I am kniting the Great American Aran Afghan in a class that take a year, one square every two weeks. The first square was a challenge but the second seems easier.

fracksmom said...

I made your sweater and it is over in the Sweateramonth group for my january sweater. It was easy to make, and i put a flower on the hat since the girl wasn't a pom pom fan. she loved it so much she would't give it back so i could fix the sleeve.

Anonymous said...

I'm an English style knitter, and it seems to me that my motion for knit is just the same as the motion for purlin, the only difference is where the needle is placed. So I knit and purl happily. The only place I have a decided preference for knit only is on patterns using two colors or stranded knitting. It's hard enough for me to keep the colors in order and follow a chart, and purling just makes it a little harder to keep track of the pattern. Otherwise, it's "6 of one, half a dozen of the other," as my Nana would say.


I love the pattern, and I have just the right little girl in mind!
Barbara M.

GodfreyKate said...

You're a star, Kristin!

I missed your designs when you left Classic Elite. I'm a folkart fan, so I particularly loved your collections inspired by textiles. Now you're back designing, producing and writing with even more flair than before. Having you as part of a tv marathon is the frosting on the cake. Well done, Fiber Goddess!

Thank that farmer of yours for the generous run of answers. I still love a good leg of lamb, but now I'm smarter about it got to my table and I'll act on that as a consumer. His approach to animal husbandry is inspiring.

marit said...

Great photos, and the sweater looks really cosy:-)
I both knit and purl,I knit continental(I think!?)or is it norwegian???, and have never tried the american way...Purling fairislepatterns is not always fun, but I don't mind steeking either...

Virginia said...

This almost makes me wish I had TV!

The sweater is really cute. I'm loving the photos you posted today. It looks like Julia really did earn her $10. :)

Turtle said...

you know when i did start knitting and for maybe the first year or so i hated purling. Don't have a clue why unless it just strained my wrist at an odd angle or something. But somewhere it changed and i could care less if i am knitting vs purling, love them both!

Gramma Phyllis said...

I knit continental and knit and purl with ease. I don't even notice any difference in tension between the two. Of course I've been doing it for over 50 years so that may have something to do with it.

Love the sweater and I have a young lady in mind for one. I'll have to see if I can work it into the long list of things to make for a large family.

rebecca.hunt said...

The Christmas Card photo portrait of Julia is really a *great* piece. It is so painterly in its composition.

Knitting Out Loud said...

Lovely sweater! Is there an adult version?

Anonymous said...

I knit and purl but have to concentrate more on tension for purling since I find those stitches are a bit looser than the knit ones!

Sandy in NJ

turtlewoman said...

Knit/Purl???? Is there really a difference? If purl is simply the knit stitch done in reverse then I assume they are basically one and the same. I would think?????

To answer the question - I do both, enjoy both. I enjoy the change and I think my hands and wrists enjoy the change. I also love the possible design elements involved in using both. Just think about what a sudden row of purl stitches can do on an otherwise solid piece of knitted fabric. I could go on and on but I won't. :-D

Lindy in AZ

Elva Undine said...

I knit and purl! Even my husband can knit and purl, and he only learned to knit in exchange for me watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Perhaps the prejudice against purling has to do with the teacher, sometimes? I was taught, matter-of-factly, that knitting, purling, casting on, and casting off were the basic building blocks of knitting. And that's what I teach friends now.

knittingrid said...

Purling only bugged me for the first few projects, as Turtle said. So much knitting needs purling to make it work; ribbing, garter stitch (in the round), lace, and textured knitting. How can any serious knitter not love purling?

Kathy said...

I just watched!!! You were great. I am SO embellishing my knits with lazy (or is it crazy) daisies!! Super cute!

Nan said...

Until I began reading knitting blogs on the internet, I never realized that people who knit might not know how to purl or would prefer to knit. I actually prefer purling slightly over knitting. (I purl faster than I knit.)

Love your site, Kristin! I look forward to your blog regardless of subject! Thank you for sharing your knowledge, stories and pictures!

Anne said...

As a child, I was only taught how to knit and I created a single scarf, bright red, from two non-matching skeins of acrylic yarn. I didn't know how to cast off so I suspect that it is still on the needles wherever it is that unfinished projects disappear to. Around 35, I dropped needlepoint and took up knitting, teaching myself to purl. (And cast off!) I now find I don't like doing large stretches of garter stitch (I would rather do K1P1 ribbing if I need the fabric to lie flat), I prefer stockinette, and am equally happy to knit or to purl.

Love the question, by the way. Some designers seem to thing that lots of us prefer garter stitch so we don't have to purl when I find it takes just a little more concentration or something to get the needle into the knit stitch above.

LaurieG said...

I knit and purl. And when I teach people to knit I always teach them to both knit and purl in the first lesson. I always thought that the prejudice people have towards purling is because they come to it second. And one of the first people I taught to knit remarked at the second lesson that she preferred purling because she could see the stitch being made.

Maggie said...

I knit and purl - for 16 years now - I started when my baby girl was a baby. I think your Julia is precious. Love your blog and website.

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