Monday, March 21, 2011

Knit: "Peacock" is Finally Finished & Off The Knitting Board! Plus, My Short Knitting Board History

The knitting board: a knitter's final frontier.

Weaving yarn dutifully back and forth along your board; hook and weaving bottom threads above tops; pulling the work down and starting again, some people might call it tedious and boring. But, once completed, a warm, double knit piece of woven delight awaits the wearer.

Behold! "Peacock" is complete!

I remember when I first introduced myself to the concept of the knitting board. I first laid eyes on one at the Joann's Etc in Porter Ranch. It was the day before my first crafting day Meetup with Sewing, Crafts, & Creative Projects @ Los Angeles . I was on a mission: re teach myself how to knit using modern beautiful yarns.

Minutes prior, an extremely helpful reference clerk at the Mid Valley library, a fellow hardcore knitter, gave me a few key suggestions:
  • Bernard yarns are very expensive but good quality.
  • Lion Brand is versatile and fantastic.
  • Have fun!
Armed with those three points, I stalked the massive yarn aisle located in the far back corner of the superstore. Rows and rows of yarns in hues of the rainbow greeted my eyes. What did I want to make? What did I want to do? And... what was this weird wooden thing in this box in front of me?

A knitting board? WTF is that mess? Is this what the Amish use? Whatever, I want to be hardcore! Where are the circular knitting tools at?

I passed the board by with a curious but dismissal glance. However, the concept stuck with me. The next day, it simmered and bubbled. I retaught myself how to knit, conversed with the other women and marveled at the varied array of crafts everyone was doing.

Still, the WTFness of the knitting board stayed on my mind. So, I did what any good person of modern technology would do. I researched. I Googled. I scoured YouTube. I saw this:

I was hooked, literally. The next evening, I purchased my 28" Knitting Board Brand adjustable knitting board (using a 40% off coupon, of course) and got to creative work.

I poked. I YouTube'd. And then I found: Knitting Board Basics: A Beginner's Guide to Using a Knitting Board with Over 30 Easy Projects. Detailed, colorful instructions on how to increase, decrease, cable knitting, making hats and more? Sold!

With the combination of pretty photographs in the knitting board book, helpful instructions from various resources, online videos and my tenacity for knitting while watching movies and sitting in cafes, I completed project after project. And now, my third project, "Peacock", is complete!

I'm very proud of it, as I am proud of all of my inspired and completed projects. I hope my success with my knitting board inspires others to experiment with it as well.

Project: "Peacock" scarf

Medium: Knit via knitting board

Description: Inspired by one of my favorite and most praised photos of peacock feathers, this 14" wide and 42" length scarf, done on a 28" knitting board, utilizes the the classic double knit stockinette stitch. Color blocks weave together the colors of vibrant blue, light green and heather grey.

Sourcing: All skeins sourced from Joann's Etc.

Lion Brand, Vanna's Choice® Yarn
Dark Grey Heather
Article: #860-404   UPC: 023032864044
Deep grey with strands of lightest grey

Lion Brand, Vanna's Choice® Yarn:
Kelly Green
Article: #860-172   UPC: 023032861722
Vibrant medium green

Premier Yarns, Deborah Norville®
Everyday Soft Worsted Solids Yarn
Royal Blue

Review Details: This was my third official knitting board project. I'm still in happiness and appreciation of how easy and fun knitting is on it. I envisioned the colors of this project while finishing up a previous model, done in hues of greys. As I greatly enjoy looking at a photograph I took at the LA County Arboretum of a cluster of peacock feathers, I felt inspired to use the primary colors of green and blue as my focus colors. For the "neck" color, I wanted to use the rich, luxurious base of dark grey heather, as I knew it would be a great base to set off the green and blue.

After a quick visualization, I drew a sketch to test the color combo. Then, I was off to Joann's to purchase the skeins.

The goal was to match the vibrant colors that I had visualized. Unfortunately, the blue in the Lion Brand Vanna's Choice® selection wasn't up to pair. It was far too muted. Luckily, I spotted a great royal blue in the Premier Yarns, Deborah Norville® collection that worked perfectly.

While knitting, I spaced the row weaves by the spread width of my thumb and pointer finger. That pretty much amounted to about half of the skein, based on how wide my cast on row was.

Overall, this was an easy knit of 1/2 skein green, 1/2 skein blue, 2 skeins of grey, 1/2 skein blue and completing in 1/2 skein green.

I love this color blocking pattern and will, of course, do it again. The thickness and length pairs fabulously well with a nice trench coat.

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