Variation on a Frill Update

Monday, May 22, 2006

the Frill in progress

My knitting is coming along. In case you tuned in late, this is the "frill" portion of Sivia Harding's Variation on a Frill stole from the Spring 04 Knitty. I'm actually 4 repeats into the body--check the gallery for that photograph.

To get the frill, you first knit 18 repeats of a two-row rib stitch pattern. Once you've completed that, you drop every third stitch and allow it to run down to the cast-on row. I had to "help" my stitches run. I'm sure they would have done it on their own eventually, but I couldn't wait. Some of the stitches are "waiting for help" on the left side of this photo.

So far it's a fun and easy project. I could have used a stole like this during the cool weather we had recently. It's back to 85 now, though.

 

Knitting interlude

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Listening to ...

The Cat Who Turned On and Off by Lilian Jackson Braun

Variation on a Frill

Let's take a break from the regularly-scheduled sewing talk and talk knitting a bit. Knit-itis struck me hard last week as soon as I started stringing those Elf Moon beads. Unfortunately, those are a pain-in-the-neck to string, and I wanted immediate knitting gratification--preferably lace

...with some beads on it.

I had no clue what I wanted to do beyond beaded lace. This mercerized cotton jumped into my basket, impressing me with its color and softness. When I wandered over to the bead aisle, the multi-colored beads seemed to leap from the rack to join the yarn. Procurement accomplished, I had only to find a suitable pattern.

Do you know how many beaded lace knitting patterns there are out there??? Too many for my frenzied mind to sift through, that's for sure. I wanted to knit, and *now*!!!

When I narrowed my target down to a wrap or stole of some sort, it helped. Then I found the perfect pattern for my chosen materials: Variation on a Frill from Knitty.com's Spring 2004 issue.

I'll have to say that doing a long tail cast-on with 151 beads almost drove my thumbs back into retirement, but that part's over. You can see from the squished scan that I am 3 rows in and knitting like crazy!

 

Getting started on the Elf Moon

Friday, April 28, 2006

When I ordered my kit for the MaryElla cuff from EarthFaire, I also ordered a kit for a bracelet called Elf Moon, which I can't seem to find there now. It's a beige-colored cuff accented by some dangling leaf beads.

Like the other beaded knitting projects I've done in the past year, this one requires stringing a bazillion tiny seed beads before you begin. (I said I wasn't going to do this again, but I've got *all those seed beads* just sitting there in my basket.) When I finished the Diamond Blossom on Wednesday, I just picked up the Elf Moon beads and started stringing.

I'll feel better when I clear that project out of my basket! (I don't ever have to do it again. Write that down.)

The MaryElla is fun to wear and people comment on it a lot. It does stretch with wearing though. I find a little rinse and dry shrinks it smaller again. I'll make the Elf Moon shorter, so perhaps I won't have the same problem with it. (When you have a 5.5in wrist, you don't have to string as many beads!)

There are a number of bracelet patterns at Earth Faire. I'll have to see if there are any that any don't require stringing those miniscule beads ahead of time.

 

Finished Diamond Blossom Scarf

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Finished Diamond Blossom, restingSince I can't seem to sew this week, I spent the golden hour during Star Trek on the sofa working in the ends of the diamond blossom. The thing had been sitting on my WIP list for about 3 months only needing this small task to be completed!

Being a fan of Iris Shreier's modular knitting, I was really looking forward to making this scarf last fall. I thought it was the prettiest thing.

Since I had already done 3 or 4 of her beginner scarves, this one was the next logical progression. It was not fun to knit for me, unfortunately. Nothing about it flowed, unlike the others. I could never just knit. I always had to be counting and correcting, and reading the instructions. I hate projects like that--especially garter stitch projects. (I would have forgiven it if it was lace.) Anyway, it's done now and I'll let it rest in the drawer and meditate on it's wicked ways until next winter. By then I'll probably like it.

When I picked it up to work in the ends, it seemed too short to be useful. That was because I didn't buy much more yarn when I started it--I mainly wanted to use the rest of what I had left from the previous scarf--a beautiful, easy zig-zag scarf that I gifted my SIL with. Fortunately, when I washed it in preparation for blocking, it stretched out to an adequate 9inx50in.

This was knit in Artyarns Supermerino color #111, which I love to knit!

 

DB Scarf

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Diamond Blossom Scarf
Title: Diamond Blossom Scarf from Iris Schreier's Modular Knits
Fabric: Artyarns Supermerino #111

You may have noticed that there hasn't been much knitting going on at this blog lately. The problem, mostly, has been that I'm spending my lunch hour riding the recumbent bicycle over at the Physical Activities Center rather than sitting on a bench in a quiet corner.

Bicycle riding isn't very conducive to knitting. On the bench outside last fall, I could eat a few bites of my lunch, listen to my book and knit, as desired. Not now. Just about the time I would pick up the needles, the fancy bike at the center would demand that I put my hands on the sensors so that it could check my heart rate.

The other problem is that I have not enjoyed knitting this diamond blossom scarf. Unlike the other modular knits I've made, this one just doesn't flow for me. My brain will not wrap around the process so that I can peacefully knit without referring to the pattern each time there is a new section to work.

So, I don't pick it up.

I'm never sure if I stopped at a place where I must count something, or slip-knit-pass, or just knit...

Being mostly a one-project woman, I'm bound to finish this before moving on. The ball of yarn is almost gone, and I've sworn to not buy another. That's why I started this in the first place--there was more than 1/2 a ball of yarn left from the last scarf. When this ball is done, the scarf is done and I am free to move on!

 

Bead knitted ornament

Monday, January 09, 2006

Tools and materialsTools and materials

It took a while, but I finally finished the bead knitted ornament from BagLady Press. Looking back, I first posted about it on December 1. I suppose a month isn't that bad, considering that it was December, and how *many* beads I had to string for this thing.

It seemed as if I would barely begin knitting, and I would have to stop and string 40K more beads. Definitly not a quick knit. It was easy, though, and the finished ball is quite lovely. (There's another image over in the Gallery, if you want to see that.)

There will not be a tree full of these at my house next year.

Any more bead/ed knitting at my house will be like this from FluffyKnitterDeb.

 

Christmas Knitting

Thursday, December 01, 2005

For our ASG neighborhood group's Christmas party next Saturday, we are planning a little ornament swap. The ornament can be handmade or whatever each person desires to do.

I am knitting mine, bead knitting, to be more precise.

If you recall my MaryElla cuff, you know what I'm talking about. This is where the beads "swag" between knit stitches. They aren't actually knitted onto a particular stitch.

I'm enjoying this knitting more than the MaryElla, for some reason. True, it was slippery going at first, but now that I'm an inch or more into it, it has settled down some. This project isn't as heavy as MaryElla, and is wider, which may have more to do with the greater satisfaction.

The pattern is from BagLady Press and is their free pattern for a Christmas Ball Ornament linked from their homepage.

I'm using a deep red perle cotton with bright silver-lined red beads. I didn't think I'd be able to do this particular ornament, since I would not have time to mail order my materials. (BTW, I found Earth Faire to be a great Internet source of these supplies.) Happily, I discovered that our Hobby Lobby store has a wonderful selection of both beads and perle cotton. I've yet to look for a styrofoam ball. I'm thinking that I'll wait until the thing is finished and can try it on them while I shop.

 

Knitting Talk

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I saw a cute signature on someone's MD list email a day or two ago: "Life's too short to knit with ugly yarn." Truer words have ne'er been spoken.

Generally I equate "ugly yarn" with "Wal*M@rt yarn". Generally.

The scratchy, plastic stuff is just murder on your hands. When I made my first multidirectional scarf, the scratchy plastic yarn sliding across my "tensioning" finger nearly wore a groove there. Texture and hand is one kind of ugly and usually the kind of ugly that drives me away.

Visually, though, the cheap acrylic yarns are often quite pretty. A case in point, the Sprout loved the finished MD scarf and wears it a lot. At the ASG chapter meeting, I spied this shawl on the back of a friend and she very kindly posed for photos:

Shawl

This shawl, I learned, was made from Red Heart yarn. Wow. It felt nice and looked very pretty. This shawl is from Myrna Stahman's Stahman's Shawls and Scarves and looks like entrelac from a distance, although it is simply a block of knit followed by a block of purl.

The book is on its way via interlibrary loan. I may even peruse the Red Heart rack at the Wal*M@rt. smile

 

Diamond Blossom Scarf

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Diamond Blossom Scarf from Modular Knits

Here's the knit du jour. It's the Diamond Blossom Scarf from Iris Schreier's Modular Knits. I'm still on the Artyarns Supermerino color #111. I had a big "hunk" left from the Zigzag scarf, so I bought 2 more skeins and started this.

I'm now working on the 3rd diamond. It's a nice pattern, easy, but complex enough to keep it interesting, like all the modular knitting projects that I've tried. Funny thing, though, my stuff always turns out short and fat, instead of long and skinny the way the projects look in the book. Perhaps it's the way they are blocked.

 

MaryElla

Monday, November 07, 2005

Mary Ella cuff

Beaded knitting is not like regular knitting--not much anyway. Not that it isn't the same old beloved knits and purls, but the motions and even the tools are different. While I worked on this MaryElla cuff for several days, the project did not aggravate my thumbs the way knitting usually does.

I suppose it is the action of slipping the beads across that keeps it from being repetitive and bothersome. The other thing saving my thumbs is that the knitting is rather boring. I wouldn't stick with it for more than a few minutes at a time, and my thumbs have thanked me for it!

Besides the knitting itself being boring, the needles are very small (size 0000) stainless steel double-points. Combine the slick shiny needles with perle cotton, and you get a slippery knitting experience. If you don't keep things under control, the whole mess will slide right off your needles and onto the floor.

And don't even let me get started about stringing all those beads, either. They came in a pill bottle style container, and you used a dental floss threader to get them onto the perle cotton. This process took quite some time, and I had to wear my reading glasses to do it. Fortunately I didn't need nearly as many as specified in the pattern, mostly because of my miniscule 5.5" wrists. I think I strung about 950, and didn't need quite all of those.

The finished object is a distinct pleasure, and once I make something to wear with it, will be fun to wear! The weight of it is nice in your hand, but not too heavy on your wrist. The pattern called for closing it with snaps, which to my way of thinking, is less than the bracelet deserves. As you can see, I closed mine with button loops and pearl, shank-style buttons.

Surprisingly, the buttons do not slip to the top when you wear the cuff. Despite my bracelet being a tiny bit loose, the buttons stay on the bottom. Though they look pretty enough to be a feature, I'm glad they stay where I intended for them to be.

Oh, and need you ask? I'm starting another one any day now!

Details

Pattern: MaryElla by Adrienne Robson, from Knitty.com
Materials: DMC Perle 8, and 11/0 seed beads purchased in a kit from EarthFaire.com. This is the "periwinkle + amethyst-lined crystal AB bead" combo.

Mini lesson

Making button loops is easy. With a sewing needle attach your thread at (or work over to) the desired location. Loop a single thread over to a location almost as wide as the button. Take a stitch. Loop another thread back to the starting point and secure that end. Do not cut. Make buttonhole stitches over the two threads all the way across. It won't take long and looks great!

 

Diamond Lace Bookmark

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Why would you want to knit a bookmark?

I can think of a few reasons: a fast gift, to use up a small amount of yarn, to practice a stitch for a larger project, or simply for the pleasure of it. I will be making more.

Diamond Lace Bookmark

I've yet to decide about the tassel. That seems like overkill, and since I'm thinking I'll gift this to the DH, no tassel would be needed. (DH, I don't expect that you'll read this, but just in case be sure to act surprised!)

This was a fast little knit, if you don't count three false starts. That seems to be my method--knit 8 rows, start over, knit 20 rows, start over, knit 40 rows, start over, make the thing.

The first three times I was disastisfied with one thing or another. First, I didn't like my cast-on. Next, I didn't like my edge and tried a method I read on a list. Third, I didn't like that and tried another. The fourth time I used the standard "knit the last stitch and slip the first as if to purl", which is almost always satisfactory.

The fourth try was completed in a few brief sittings in less than 24 hours: TV Sunday night, orthodontist waiting, lunch, dentist waiting, haircut waiting.

If you check out the pattern on Sivia Harding's website, you'll notice that I added a pattern repeat. That was to make enough length for DH's large Bible. I also used larger needles because I couldn't find my "4-oughts". I don't know what size they were. They didn't fit any of the holes on the needle gauge next to the couch, but I know they were smaller than 1 and larger than 0000. The yarn is a bit more of the Kroy sock stuff from the Travelling Vines Scarf.

The pattern would make a lovely scarf in some fatter yarn.

 

Diamond Lace Bookmark

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Hooked. Obsessed. That's me. At least until something else comes across my radar. Flush with the success of my Traveling Vines Scarf, I wanted to immediately begin another lace project.

Since I want to use the remainder of the Kroy Sock Yarn, a small project is a must. I settled on a little bookmark that I found on Sivia Harding's website. I'm incorporating some of the lace knitting tips that I found here. Primarily, I started writing down information about the project in a notebook, and am learning to use "lifelines".

The first thing I've learned is DON'T run the lifeline through your stitch markers. (Why? The markers must move up and the lifeline must not.) The second thing is that an orthodontics victim--uh, patient--knitting on her lunch hour will have tools for putting in lifelines.

Specifically, a quick search through such a person's dental kit will turn up some floss threaders and dental floss which work wonderfully for lifelines. (The serendipitous minty fresh smell of the knitting project will be a bonus!)

I'm up to row 21. I know because it's recorded in my notebook! No more guessing.

 

Traveling Vines Scarf--Blocking

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Presenting the Rustybobn version of DogsStealYarns.com's Traveling Vines Scarf:

Kroy scarf in block mode

Wow. I can't say anything but Wow.

Finished, it is 16"x60", and took 2 1/2 weeks, 23 repeats, size 7 needles, and 1 1/2 skeins of Patons Kroy sock yarn. Perfect--not necessarily the knitting , but certainly my pleasure with it.

Kroy scarf close up

Keats' "A thing of beauty is a joy forever" keeps coming to mind.

 

Traveling Vines Scarf

Thursday, September 29, 2005

After 11 repeats, the scarf measures 19 inches long. This thing should turn out to be of respectable size. The author's finished scarf measured 30" X 10" unblocked. My needles are size 7, rather than the 5 specified, so that has made some of the difference. Gauge schmage.

I've not finished my first skein of yarn, and I have another one. Since I would like to use the finished work as a stole, having plenty of yarn is a good thing. I should be able to get about 24 repeats out of both skeins, which, if I'm lucky, might block to 60" x 14" or thereabouts.

Even half-way through my 12th repeat of the pattern, it's still hard for me to knit a row without making a mistake. Usually it's a forgotten yarnover. On the purl side, when I notice the "off" stitch count, I might drop a stitch trying to fix the yarnover thing. That's when I despair of its turning out at all.

It's very pretty and light, even with the hair-pulling. When I KIP, people stop by to look at it. Fortunately neither they nor I can spot any mistakes in this squishy, unblocked state.

Traveling Vines scarf--11 repeats done

 

Traveling Vines Scarf

Monday, September 26, 2005

Sewing stash and knitting stash are both being whittled down. Two balls of pretty lavender Kroy sock yarn bought in Vancouver a few years ago are (slowly) becoming DogsStealYarns.com's Traveling Vines Scarf

This is *not* your mindless knitting. You have to pay attention. I can knit while listening to TV or my current mystery novel, but I've wasted a lot of time fixing mistakes. I'm not sure I corrected the worst one last night, but at least there are the right number of stitches. I'm sure it will show up *boldly* when I block.

The first pattern repeat is the worst. You don't know what you're aiming for, so it seems like you are making mistakes when you might not be. After that, you can at least look back to check progress. I've made it through 6 repeats, so I'm over 1/4 done if I stick to the 20 repeats specified by the pattern.

P2togTBL--ever tried to execute that maneuver? I thought it was a typo until I noticed it on several rows. It was only after I looked it up in Barbara Walker's stitch book that I figured out how it's done. You sort of turn the work toward you so that you can get the needle in the proper position.

Here's a "poofy" scan of my scarf--yes, it was scanned, not photographed. (I thought the light might be better.) There's a slightly more detailed scan in the gallery. Oh, and if the gallery loads up scrambled hit reload, I'm having a little >issue< with my style sheet.

Kroy scarf

BTW, I did not get the hurricane photos yet.... perhaps today. The DH is "consolidating" them. He's got so many from many different cameras that he wants to toss a few. I can understand that!

 

Knitting Small projects

Thursday, September 22, 2005

When my children were small, I hand-knitted each of them a pullover sweater. Only one each, and I still have them. Later, when I got my Bond "Sweater Machine" I knitted my son another.

He never wore it, so I gave it away. I knitted the DH a sweater with that thing, too. He never wore it, and I gave it away.

It's too hot here for sweaters. That's probably why I usually knit scarves and hats and socks and shawls and dishcloths. I just finished a dishcloth from Lion Brand Kitchen Cotton. Cotton yarn coupled with bamboo needles is very rough on the hands, but I finished it in two sittings:

New Dishcloth New Dishcloth close

It's pattern is very similar to one I found on the Lion Brand website and changed a little:

CO 46 (I used size 8 needles)
Row 1: K
Row 2: K
Row 3: K2 *K2 P2* K2
Row 4: K2 *K the Ks and P the Ps* K2

Knit these 4 rows until desired length and end with Row 2. Bind off. Work in ends.

Happy Autumn!

 

Zigzag scarf

Sunday, September 18, 2005

ZZ scarf almost completed

 

Zigzag scarf is growing

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Zigzag scarf in progress

Moving on with the ZZ scarf still took a bit of ripping, but I think I've truly got it now. I kept leaving the directions at home and would knit past where I should have, or start decreasing before I should have, or something. Now that I know what to do at the end/beginning of each "triangle", I like it a lot. It's just interesting enough to make me pay attention, but easy knitting to accompany some other semi-captivating activity.

I have not yet heard from my MD scarf recipient. I have a nightmare that she will call me up and say "Was something supposed to be inside this priority mail envelope?"

Mama always said "Don't forget to put your name and address inside a package!"

But this time I did. Worried

 

Zigzag scarf

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The zigzag scarf is a bit different. Different enough that I had to start over twice before I *got* it. Perhaps by tomorrow I'll have actually knit enough to photograph. Right now it's about 4 inches--not enough to lay flat yet. Eventually it will look like this scarf from Art Yarns gallery.

Oh, and I read the ball band and discovered that I am using color #111 of the Super Merino. Mine looks darker than the Art Yarns photo, but you get the idea.

Despite having to start over twice on the scarf, I enjoyed the puzzle. My second project of the evening was a little frustrating. I tried (yes, tried) to fix a bean bag chair for the church youth group.

I should have let the youth minister put duct tape on it.

The tear in the bottom seam might have been an easy thing to fix with the proper equipment. Just take it apart, patch it, and sew it back together. Easy as pie. I didn't factor in the aggravation of all that styrofoam inside it. The insidious stuff kept flying away and getting *everywhere*. The tiniest opening only needed a puff of air to send it gushing out. That proved to be my undoing.

I just couldn't take it. I got a roll of packing tape, taped the hole closed and threw it in the dumpster. Problem solved.

Guess who'll be shopping for a bean bag chair after work today?

 

More Knitting

Friday, September 09, 2005

There's still been no time to get into the sewing room, although I did manage to procure my thread on Wednesday night--maybe this weekend. Happily there is time to knit a little--during lunch, riding to and from work, sitting at the doctor's office.

Finished gift scarf

The gift scarf turned out really yummy (yummily?)! It's knit from Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in the "Vera" colorway. I want to knit more of this yarn. When I washed it (in shampoo) to prepare for blocking, it relaxed a lot and blocked out a lot bigger than it was when I finished knitting. I think my intended recipient will love it.

To any of my loved ones who might be reading this: If you are the one who receives this scarf and you don't like it, I WANT IT BACK!!! No questions asked or explanantions required ...

(and I will never knit for you again!)

-----

Later.... OK. That was snippy. Sorry. The scarf is now en route.

I might knit for you again, but you will *definitely* have to beg.

 

Margaret's Shawl

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

There's nothing like a crispy, freshly-blocked shawl.

Shawl from Muskoka Shawl from Muskoka-Back

The odd skein is clearly visible in the center back, and I like the effect. I very nearly used the entire skein on that center panel. Funny how that worked out. My first "Margaret's shawl", which is exactly the same size, used only two skeins of Brown Sheep. This one was from stashed Muskoka Aran weight yarn--three skeins.

Shawl blocking

Unless some VIP requests one, this will be the only one of these this year. There *are* two other shawls that I'd like to knit--the Sheer One Piece Shawl from the Modular Knits book, and this Lotus Blossom Shawl from Fiddlesticks Knitting that I first saw on someone's blog.

Since I've discovered that I can knit up a skein in about 4 days, I've changed the way I think about knitting projects. I used to start knitting and have no idea how long it would take to finish the project (and it might take nearly forever). Now, I think "I can finish that in 4 days x number of skeins." Very motivating!

The title of this particular shawl has bothered me. I called the first one my "Lace class shawl" but that lacks appeal. I looked back to see what Margaret called this shawl. Her title was "Margaret's all knit, lace edged half and half shawl".

OK.

 

Another Multidirectional

Monday, September 05, 2005

It being Labor Day weekend and all, we had our usual "Saturday before Labor Day" celebration down at the lake. With the gas prices, there were very few boats churning up the water, which suited me fine.

I infinitely prefer a man-powered boat to the gasoline-powered variety--nasty noisy beasts.

Happily I lazed the day away knitting on a new multidirectional scarf. I'm hoping this one will be good enough for a gifty for a special person, who won't be named here! This one is from a nice yarn--Shepherd's Sport by Lorna's Laces--that I found down at the LYS last week when I was there looking for the Modular Knits book.

I discovered that the slip stitch between the triangles looked much better when I slipped as if to knit
rather than as if to purl as I was taught. Clearly there are reasons to try various ways to do things before settling on a method for a particular project.

MD scarf from Shepherd's sport yarn

While I wasn't sitting on the porch knitting, or down by the lake eating, I was in the lake floating around enjoying the lukewarm water. Every now and then I would come upon a cool place...nice.

 

Taupe shawl keeps growing

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The lady at the LYS called yesterday to say that my copy of Iris Schreier's Modular Knits was in. I simply *love* the Sheer One Piece Shawl that Iris has in the book, so that will be on my needles soon.

I'm a one-project woman, though. I can't start any more knitting until I finish my current shawl. It's moving along rapidly--I've been able knit a skein in about 4-5 days. I just started the third skein of the shawl, so I should be done and ready to block by the weekend.

My tactic of putting the row of lace holes between the non-matching skeins looks okay. You can tell that there is a color difference. Since the holes are there, it looks like a design feature rather than strictly a boo-boo.

If I spend every bit of idle time knitting, I'll have a new shawl (or two!) to wear by the time the weather allows it.

 

Finished Multidirectional scarf

Thursday, August 18, 2005

finished scarf

All finished, and it only took 1 skein! I'll return the other one. No need to have cheapo acrylic hanging around when I've got so much nice yarn languishing in the stash!

 

MD Scarf

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The scarf is moving right along. I've got just over six of the triangles knitted now. The pattern specifies eight, I believe, but I'll probably go on to 9 or 10 before I stop. This is a nice wide scarf, so IMO it needs some length.

Since it's so easy to knit, I'm taking it everywhere and knitting a few stitches here and there. DH drives to work, so I can get about half a triangle done on the way. I have to drive myself today, so I won't get much done. :-(

It *is* in the car, so I may get to knit a few stitches today--only when I'm parked, of course. (No! That *couldn't* have been me knitting at the traffic light.)

I've got several other projects in the works now, so my sewing for self is temporarily stalled. My Maria dolly has announced that she wants a Regency outfit, so I'm researching that--I'll tell you what I decide tomorrow. Also, I've finally got rolling on recovering our breakfast area chair seats. You can see Maria with hair (!) and the chair seats on the WIP list in the gallery.

 

Multidirectional Scarf

Monday, August 15, 2005

The knitting bug is nibbling away on my psyche. I knew it would soon. It usually starts around August, when I start thinking of cooler weather. (Well, I think of cooler weather year round but you know what I mean!)

This time, I've joined a Yahoo! group called Mulitdirectional where you get, in exchange for your intro, a scarf pattern. When I was down south last week, I decided to start on it. Of course their LYS (local yarn shop) is Wal*Mart, so my yarn choices were very limited and my needle choices even more so. I finally wound up with some nasty plastic Red Heart and some size 8, 14(!) inch straight needles, which are *always* my tool of last resort.

I started knitting on the 14" needles and while I enjoyed knitting the easy pattern, I hated the resulting scarf. Once home, I ripped it all, and started over with a size 9, circular needle. I still hate the feel of the yarn, but these are *definitely* my colors!

I think I'll take it to every fabric shop I go to in the future. If it doesn't match the plastic scarf, it doesn't go to my house!

Multidirectional scarf in progress

When I get some better yarn, I plan to use this scarf to teach myself to knit backwards. This plastic stuff doesn't forgive wobbly tension, so I dare not practice on it. That was a problem with the first try, since I hadn't knitted in several months, my tension was loose at first. Now that I've hit my stride again, it's going fine.

 

Poncho-uh-Ponchette

Monday, February 21, 2005

A very productive weekend indeed! In addition to driving 75 miles to an ASG CAB meeting on Saturday, and setting up my MIL's new computer on Sunday, I finished a knitted poncho (check the gallery), completed the SWAP top I was working on last week, and started on a matching skirt.

I'm very pleased with the poncho. It's a super simple, two rectangle model with some crocheted trim of eyelash yarn. I only started it as a project to fill dead time (meetings and such), and am really surprised to finish at all. The initial idea came from the Lion Brand web site--the ponchette pattern.

Their Color Waves yarn is not available here, so I picked up a couple of skeins of Homespun in Windsor. Using the recommended needle size from the yarn band, I cast on 39 stitches, per the ponchette pattern, and just knitted mindlessly until I finished one skein, bound off, then knitted another. Sewing the two rectangles together required a little mental stretching--one end to the side of the other piece--but practicing with two paper rectangles helped me figure it out.

You can see that my finished project could hardly be called a "ponchette". There's nothing diminutive about it, thanks to my yarn substitution and large gauge. It's tempting now to go back and make a little one.