Sunday, September 11, 2011

Christmas Project for the Guild

Meeting before last someone in our guild asked about any Christmas ideas to knit.  I got to thinking what a great idea to get started learning something now rather than waiting for December.  I started looking through my binder of free patterns and I came across a Christmas Wreath for the Passap Duo80 or E6000 first.  It looked like something from the 70's, but I loved it.  I don't speak Passap, but it seemed like what they were doing was knitting tubes and braiding them.  Great idea, but not feasible for our meeting.  We'll bring our knitting machines, but we don't bring ribbers.  We only have 2 hours.

Then I found Heidi's Braided Christmas Wreath pattern.  This talks about making strips of knitting and letting them roll in on themselves.  Something we can totally do in our machine knitting meeting.  Comparing the two patterns I decided to do a little something of both.  I really liked the simplicity of the Braided Christmas Wreath, but loved the color combination of the Passap Christmas Wreath.

So, I picked out three punch cards that seemed from the naked eye to be completely different (I really need to do swatches.)  After I got the strips done I thought that 2 weren't as different as I would have liked.  I wasn't sure they'd even look good together, but decided to just go with it.

As I was sitting on my bed manipulating the strips to decide what order I wanted them in.  Quite frankly I was trying to remember how to braid when my son walked into the room.  He talked with me a bit about his day and then as he turned to leave and he said, "I'll leave you to play with your Christmas snakes."  OK I thought it was pretty funny.

As I started braiding I was relived to see that the patterns did actually work together. I had knit 3 strips 30 inches long. I did 335 rows at T3 on my Studio Mod.700 standard gauge. According to the pattern it would make a 13" diameter wreath. Mine was stretched to 12" and I think it is too thin.
I wanted a bow and did a 30 inch strip of tuck with punch card #3 the red yarn. 485 rows T3. I wanted to give the bow a hint of texture. I folded the strip as if tieing a regular bow.  Then I hot glued everything onto a 12 inch wreath frame from JoAnns.

Since the wreath was not looking like something I'd want to hang up or give away I decided it would be my prototype.  Things I would do differently would be not to braid it so tightly.  I would not stretch it to fit a wreath form.  I'm going to use wooden embroidery hoops since they come in many more sizes than the wreath forms.  I'm going to do swatches of my punch cards giving me a better idea of what their finished pattern will look like.

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