Sunday, January 31, 2010

Spring is Here, Oh, Spring is Here!

...Life is skittles and life is beer! --Tom Lehrer, "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park"


This is what I've been hiding all week--I'm calling it "A Hint of Spring".  I haven't sent it off to my swapee yet, but I've warned her away from anywhere she might see it.

And what did I spend all day doing today, to the point where I nearly didn't have time to make dinner before I had to be somewhere?

Writing up the pattern!  It's for sale! I've already sold one tonight!


Well, I was before, too, but this one has me shouting from the rooftops, blogophorically speaking.

This isn't a stitch pattern I pulled from a dictionary and called a new pattern.  I charted this one from the ground up.

This is the first time I've made a chart in a spreadsheet with a knitting font.  This is the first time I've written out directions from a chart--and boy, did I go cross-eyed proofreading that.  This is the first time I've really been pleased with a picture of me modeling one of my own designs!  (Give a hand to my husband on that one, I made him throw on his coat over his pajamas and come out on the balcony in the bitter, bitter cold to get the shots!)

And this is my first pattern for sale through Ravelry, which is very exciting to me.  I had a pattern for sale once through Chiagu, but it was a poncho, and it sold very, very poorly, mostly due to being published at the tail end of the poncho craze.  Notice how it's not on the site anymore, nor on my patterns list over there?  There's a reason.  Though I may very well tinker a bit on it to make it a stole and offer it for free.  Just because it was a poncho once doesn't mean the lace pattern can't be saved!

Anyway.  Dancing for joy. Squealing with glee.  You get the idea.

And now there's just the one secret knitting project on the needles!

If you need a little encouragement, well, there's a little button right here to tempt you.

Friday, January 29, 2010


There's plenty of knitting going on around here; but with Wisteria on hold and the other two projects being secret design projects...well, I don't have a lot to show for it!

What I do have, however, is physical evidence of the Christmas monies I received.  Behold, the newest purchases!


I am hard-pressed to resist pretty laceweights, so it's very dangerous to go to Etsy, but here I found a sale on some 20/2 rayon that was too good to pass up!  Those beautiful little cakes are 50g and 500yds each!  The top is the Gecko colorway, and the bottom, Silver Lining, which I could not get to photograph's a mix of lavender, dove gray, and pewter.  With this in my hands, I'm reconsidering my earlier plan to knit my next shawl with the KP Alpaca Cloud that's been sitting around for a few years now...

For scale, here they are compared to a 50g/600yd ball of alpaca/wool laceweight, and of course the obligatory penny shot.


If that were all, I'd still have a decent yarn post on my hands, but wait! There's more!

It's dangerous to get catalogs, too.  Because I've purchased from Herrschner's in the past, I'm on their mailing list, and I ended up with a Yarn Collection catalog a few weeks ago.  Their stash-building sales are just nuts!


Those are both "bags of 10" that I got on sale for $14.90 each.  (Sadly, they sold so well that when I checked this morning the Washable Wool is only available at a slightly higher by-the-ball sale price, and the Bamboo Wool has vanished from the site altogether.)  With shipping, it worked out to $20 for (easily) a sweater's worth of yarn.  I have tentative plans for the charcoal to become a February Fitted Pullover, as mentioned before, and the green, well, I'm not sure yet, but that's what stash is for, right?

I wish you could feel how soft these both are.  And I wish I had had more yarn budget to buy more than just the two bags while I could!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Trials and Tribulations

I got my scarf swap partner!  I was so excited to start, I immediately rooted through my meager stash to find the right yarn.  Nothing was perfect, but there was a skein of KP Bare that I had dyed ages ago and not been entirely happy with.  Back to the dyepot for the first time in at least two years, and this time I was much happier with it.

So much so that while it was drying over the bathtub, I swatched for a new scarf design.  Sure, I have quite a few perfectly wonderful scarf patterns in my Ravelry queue.  Sure, I have more in my books.  Sure, with one large lace design project on the needle already, it would be foolish to try to design a new scarf too!

And yet.

Either with my waste yarn (solely for stitch pattern experimentation) or, now that it's dry, with the actual scarf yarn, I have cast on and frogged six proto-scarves in the last 48 hours.

Proto-scarf #7 was charted and cast on this morning.  Cross your fingers for me, this one looks good so far.

Should it remain viable, I plan to offer it for sale through Ravelry.  I need more yarn money!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wisteria Hysteria!

With my scarf swap coming up (matches go out today!), these last few days I decided to make a big push on Wisteria.  I do want to wear this sweater this winter!

Check out my adorable new PJs.  Blue hearts!

The whole time I was doing the bottom cable chart I was terrified that the body was going to be too long.  I skipped a total of 6 non-decrease stockinette rows to shorten it by an inch or so already, because I'm a short-waisted gal, but still, I admit to more than a little nervousness.  Some of the finished W's I'd seen looked more like dresses than sweaters!

Now that that fear is gone--the length is just about perfect--I have to deal with the other size issue...the width.  It's a bit big.  Not terribly so, but in the back (where my boobs aren't!) it's a bit more obvious that it's big, especially with the pronounced flare down the cabled bottom.  On the model in the pattern, it's not very close-fitting, so I originally figured on making the size up from my actual bust measurement, not down, because of course I'm directly in between two sizes....

I wonder now if I should have knit the smaller size.  Which, very ironically for me, is the smallest size--I never knit the smallest size of anything!  Generally with a 39" bust I end up at the high end of medium, at the very least.

I really like some of the W's I've seen that are very form-fitting--the circular yoke and hourglass waist make it very flattering on a more substantial bust, which is good for me!  If I hadn't been so incredibly excited to cast on when the yarn came, I might have revisited my size decision and gone smaller.

I know from my swatch that the sweater will grow a bit when I block it, too.  So do I start all over (shriek!) one size down, or do I finish it, let it grow, and have myself another Comfy Cabled Sweater of Doom?

With all the planned design projects my brain is spitting out, I'm leaning towards finishing it.  Especially since my next sweater for myself is going to be a February Fitted Pullover, which should ease my desire for a cute and flattering sweater!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Return of the Revenge of the Son of Slinky Tank

Show off those shoulders!. Fits 38"-40" chest.

~750 yds DK weight yarn
Original yarn: Wendy Peter Pan Baby Yarn. Not recommended for 100% cotton yarn because cotton doesn't hold ribbing well.
Size US 5 needles: one 24" or 29" circular and one set DPN's
stitch holder
stitch marker

5 sts/7 rows per inch in stockinette. (Rib gauge is unreliable because it will vary according to the elasiticity of the yarn used.)
Finished Measurements
length: 20.5" 

Using circular needle, CO 200 sts using long-tail method. Do not join.

Pattern row: *K3, P2* across.
After working this row once, place marker, join, and begin working circularly. Repeat the pattern row, every row, until piece measures 13.5" from beginning.
(note: if you want to adjust the length, I recommend knitting to the desired length, putting all the stitches onto waste yarn, then trying the tube on, holding it up at the top. The armhole is meant to be rather high. This way you can check to see if the length is actually right for you.)
Divide for front and back: work in rib to 6 sts from marker, BO next 10 sts in rib. (You should be binding off 1 purl, 3 knit, 2 purl, 3 knit, then 1 purl stitch. If not, work more or fewer stitches before binding off to get into the proper position.)
Work in rib for 95 sts, BO 10 sts again in the same pattern. continue in rib on remaining 85 sts for back. (No, that's not a typo. The front and back are NOT equal.)
(WS) sl 1, k all knit stitches and p all purl stitches to the last st, sl 1, turn.
(RS) k3, p2tog, work in rib to last 5 sts,p2tog, k3.

Work another WS row as above, then begin decrease pattern, working all WS rows as above:
Dec row 1: k3, p2tog, work in rib to last 5 sts, p2 tog, k3.
Dec row 2: k3, p1, ssk, work in rib to last 6 sts, k2 tog, p1, k3.
Dec row 3: repeat dec row 2.
Dec row 4: k3, p1, p2tog, work in rib to last 6 sts, p2tog, p1, k3.
Dec row 5: repeat dec row 4.

Continue decreasing two stitches every RS row following this sequence until there are 51 sts remaining. Work even for 10 rows. Save stitches on holder while working the front.
(note: if this method of decreasing seems too confusing, dec any way you want, as long as you do one stitch per edge, every RS row.)
Work as for back until 51 stitches remain, ending with a WS row. Swtich to DPN's and work one row even, distributing the stitches between separate needles as necessary, then continue working across the back stitches from the holder. Join into a circle, and work for 6 rnds, decreasing one stitch each side directly over the shoulder joing (this helps keep the join from being loose). BO loosely.
(note: if you hate the thought of DPN's, join the front and back at one shoulder only, work the neckband flat, and seam the other side after binding off.)
Weave in ends. Use the tail left from the cast-on to close the tiny gap left in the first row because it was not joined. 

These patterns are all of my own design, and I retain the rights to them. Feel free to print them out for your personal use, but please do not sell them, repost them without my permission, or claim them as your own work. --Elizabeth Dallinger (Avrienne), 2010

Falling Leaves Poncho, Redux

Falling Leaves Poncho

~500 yards bulky yarn (wool or other natural fiber recommended)
Original yarn: Shoeller Stahl Merino Light (which I overdyed with Kool-Aid to make it multi: this yarn is still available, but it is NOT available, to my knowledge, in anything other than solid colors)
Extra yarn as desired for fringe; fringe requirements are NOT included in the yardage for the poncho body, since I used an unknown length of an entirely different yarn for my fringe.
1 size US 13 circular needle (at least 24" long), or size necessary to get the proper gauge
stitch markers
one DPN, any size

9 sts and 15 rows/4", blocked
I'm sorry! Since I hadn't originally intended to write up this pattern, I didn't take any gauge measurements before I blocked. Do the best you can to match it, but if it's not perfect, you'll have a slightly smaller or larger poncho that will still look great. The fabric is meant to be fairly loose and drapey, so be sure to use larger needles than recommended for your particular yarn.
Finished Measurements
Length (excluding fringe): 20". Bottom circumference: 80".

inc 1: knit into front and back of next stitch
inc 1 p: purl into front and back of next stitch
m1: lift the running thread between the current stitch and the next and knit it tbl
skp: slip 1, knit 1, pass slipped stitch over knit stitch
sk2p: slip 1, k2tog, pass slipped stitch over k2tog
pm: place marker
sm: slip marker

Falling Leaves Stitch (Flat)
Over 26 sts to begin; end-of-row stitch counts are given in brackets.
Row 1 (WS): k5, p5, k4, p3, k9. [26]
Row 2: p7, p2tog, inc 1, k2, p4, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, p5. [28]
Row 3: k5, p7, k4, p2, k1, p1, k8. [28]
Row 4: p6, p2tog, k1, inc 1 p, k2, p4, k3, yo, k1, yo, k3, p5. [30]
Row 5: k5, p9, k4, p2, k2, p1, k7. [30]
Row 6: p5, p2tog, k1, inc 1 p, p1, k2, p4, skp, k5, k2tog, p5. [28]
Row 7: k5, p7, k4, p2, k3, p1, k6. [28]
Row 8: p4, p2tog, k1, inc 1 p, p2, k2, p4, skp, k3, k2tog, p5. [26]
[From row 9 on, the pattern will be worked circularly, so the rest of the flat repeat is not included, to save both confusion and all the typing I'd need to do!]

Falling Leaves Stitch (Round)
All rows worked on RS.
Row 1: p9, k3, p4, k5, p5. [26]
Row 2: p7, p2tog, inc 1, k2, p4, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, p5. [28]
Row 3: p8, k1, p1, k2, p4, k7, p5. [28]
Row 4: p6, p2tog, k1, inc 1 p, k2, p4, k3, yo, k1, yo, k3, p5. [30]
Row 5: p7, k1, p2, k2, p4, k9, p5. [30]
Row 6: p5, p2tog, k1, inc 1 p, p1, k2, p4, skp, k5, k2tog, p5. [28]
Row 7: p6, k1, p3, k2, p4, k7, p5. [28]
Row 8: p4, p2tog, k1, inc 1 p, p2, k2, p4, skp, k3, k2tog, p5. [26]
Row 9: p5, k1, p4, k2, p4, k5, p5. [26]
Row 10: p5, yo, k1, yo, p4, k2, p4, skp, k1, k2tog, p5. [26]
Row 11: p5, k3, p4, k2, p4, k3, p5. [26]
Row 12: p5, [k1, yo] twice, k1, p4, k1, m1, k1, p2tog, p2, sk2p, p5. [26]
Row 13: p5, k5, p4, k3, p9. [26]
Row 14: p5, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, p4, k1, inc 1, k1, p2tog, p7. [28]
Row 15: p5, k7, p4, k2, p1, k1, p8. [28]
Row 16: p5, k3, yo, k1, yo, k3, p4, k2, inc 1 p, k1, p2tog, p6. [30]
Row 17: p5, k9, p4, k2, p2, k1, p7. [30]
Row 18: p5, skp, k5, k2tog, p4, k2, p1, inc 1 p, k1, p2tog, p5. [28]
Row 19: p5, k7, p4, k2, p3, k1, p6. [28]
Row 20: p5, skp, k3, k2tog, p4, k2, p2, inc 1 p, k1, p2tog, p4. [26]
Row 21: p5, k5, p4, k2, p4, k1, p5. [26]
Row 22: p5, skp, k1, k2tog, p4, k2, p4, yo, k1, yo, p5. [26]
Row 23: p5, k3, p4, k2, p4, k3, p5. [26]
Row 24: p5, sk2p, p2, p2tog, k1, m1, k1, p4, [k1, yo] twice, k1, p5. [26]
Repeat rows 1-24.

Things to Keep in Mind That Will Help!
The poncho is worked flat at the neck for several rows for a V-neck at the center front, then joined and worked in the round to the bottom.
The stitches that mark the center front (after the V-neck is completed) and the center back are always worked in stockinette stitch and always worked twisted, even while the neck and bottom borders are in garter stitch.

CO 61 sts, mark center st. Work 3 rows as follows:
Rows 1 + 3: k2, yo, k to center st, yo, k1 tbl, yo, k to last two sts, yo, k2. (4 sts increased per row)
Row 2: k to center st, p1 tbl, k to end.

Set up leaf pattern:
Next row (WS): k2, *p3, pm, work row 1 of Falling Leaf stitch (flat) over next 26 sts, pm, p3*, p1 tbl, rep from * to * once, k2.
Next row (RS): k2, yo, *k3, sm, work row 2 of stitch pattern to next marker, sm, k3,* yo, k1 tbl, yo, rep from * to * once, yo, k2.
Continue this way for 5 more rows, always increasing 1 st at each edge and two at the center on RS rows, always working the appropriate row of the stitch pattern.

Next row (RS): work as established to last 2 sts (up to and including the final yo of the row), slip those two stitches onto the DPN. Hold the circular needle as if you were about to start working in the round, and bring the DPN next to the first two stitches on the left needle. K 1 st from the circ together with 1 st from the dpn, twice. (Like doing a three-needle bind off, except without the binding off. Yo, k1, pm for beginning of round.

From now on, you'll be working circularly. Next round: k to marker, work next row of stitch pattern, k to center back st, k1 tbl, k to next marker, work next row of stitch pattern again, k to the two center front stitches from the join, k2tog tbl, k to end.
Finally! All the weird shaping is done! The rest of the poncho is a relative breeze, using just these two rows:
"RS" rows: k to marker, work appropriate row of stitch pattern, k to center back, yo, k1 tbl, yo, k to next marker, work same row of stitch pattern again, k to center front, yo, k1 tbl, yo, k to end.
"WS" rows: k to marker, work appropriate row of stitch pattern, k to center back, k1 tbl, k to next marker, work same row of stitch pattern, k to center front, k1 tbl, k to end.

Continue in this manner until the entire pattern repeat (rows 1-24) has been worked three times (72 rows/rounds). Purl 1 round (but still k1 tbl the center front and back stitches!), then BO very loosely. Weave in ends and block to measurements. Fringe as desired, either with more of the same yarn or a corresponding lighter weight yarn. 

These patterns are all of my own design, and I retain the rights to them. Feel free to print them out for your personal use, but please do not sell them, repost them without my permission, or claim them as your own work. -- Elizabeth Dallinger (Avrienne), 2010

I Did That?

What is old is still old, but sometimes, one must make it new.  Or at least re-post it.

This is not my first knitting blog.  It's not even my second.  And I did take several stabs at designing in the past.  Since nothing is ever truly lost on the internet, my old designs are still out there.  It's time to reclaim them!

I got my old designs hooked up to me on Ravelry, and for simplicity's sake I'm going to get them all in one place.

For now, I'm merely going to copy over the original patterns, I doubt there's much in the way of revising in the future.  But this will make it easier to provide pattern support, at the very least...the old pattern pages are linked to my ancient email account that I only keep active because it's the one on my Elann account, and I don't want to lose my credits!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How Cozy Was My Teapot

In the beginning, there was a teapot.

It was a wonderful teapot.  Better yet, it was a wonderful teapot on sale!  Which made it easy for the teapot to find a new home.

But the teapot was a very large teapot, and sadly, it came down with a case of the shivers!  It couldn't keep the tea inside of it warm until it was gone.

The teapot's owner knew what to do.  Knit the teapot a sweater!

The teapot was so happy, it kept a pot of tea warm all afternoon out of sheer joy!

Everyone was happy with how easy it was to get the sweater on and off, and how simple it was to get to the lid!

And they all lived happily ever after!

Okay, storytime is over, here's how I did it, and how you can too.

Start with a wool or mostly-wool blend.  The point is warm, and natural fibers are best.

Grab your teapot.  You need it to compare your knitting to at various stages.

Pick a needle size appropriate for a firm but flexible gauge with your chosen yarn, maybe one needle size down from recommended.

Cast on enough stitches to cover the entire height of your teapot with about two inches extra.  Unless you do a gauge swatch, this is an educated guess.

Work in st st for 4 rows, then in rev st st for 4 rows.  This is the basic welt pattern.  (This would be a good time to hold your knitting vertically against your teapot and see if you cast on the right number of stitches.  Start over with more or fewer if necessary.)

Continue working in pattern until your knitting will cover the teapot from handle to spout when stretched.  Not too tightly, though.  And end with the final row in either of the 4-row welts, doesn't really matter which.

Now, making the hole for the spout.  This is likely the most tricky part.  Hold your knitting up to the pot and decide how many stitches to keep live under the spout, and how many stitches to bind off.  Work one row in pattern (starting the next welt) and place markers at the top and bottom of the preposed spout-hole.

On the next row, bind off the stitches between these markers.  Remember how many there are!

Then on the next row, work to the hole, then cast on the missing stitches again.  (I used the backward loop CO, but as you can see it's a little loose.  If I need to make another, I'll probably try the knitted or cabled CO instead to make it a little firmer.)  Work to the end of the row, then work the next row in pattern--one welt complete with a giant buttonhole!

Now, the easy part.  Count the number of welts it took you to get to the spout (not counting the one you just worked with the hole.)  Work the same number again, then bind off, leaving the very last bound-off stitch on the needle.

Do you have a crochet hook?  I probably should have mentioned that.  Go get it.

Transfer the final stitch to your hook and chain for 4-5 inches to make the first tie. (This took me 25 chains, but obviously that will vary.)  Break yarn and draw through.

Attach your yarn to the opposite bottom corner and work another tie.

Put the nearly-complete cozy on your teapot, fastening the bottom with the two ties.  Pinch the edges together over the handle and mark the spot on each side with stitch markers (or just hold onto one side there and figure the other side from that!).  Make another tie on each side at that point.

Weave in your ends.  To finish the end of the ties, I drew the end through the final chain several times, making a tight knot each time, then trimming the end close.  I normally don't advocate knots, but trying to weave an end in neatly through a single chain was too tedious!

Now you are the proud owner of a custom tea cozy!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I'm Seeing Stars!

No, not really.  My eye is still healing, but it was never that bad!

The stars I'm seeing are in the wrap I finished.

Pattern: My own design, no name yet
Yarn: Various wool and wool blends from my stash, mostly worsted with some lighter yarns held double
Yardage: ~375

Hook: G
Final Measurements: 13" x 58"

Would I make this again? Well, yes and no.  I'm very happy with the crochet motif I designed for it and the whole join-as-you-go method.  What I'm not happy about is the lack of structural integrity...because it's an extremely open design in worsted weight, it's quite stretchy and prone to distortion.  To be really successful, the whole design needs to be worked at a smaller scale.  Whether or not I decide to try it...well, we'll see.  I have a few large (2000yd+) skeins of hand-dyed 10/2 cotton that might work for such a thing, and it would make excellent summer crafting, so it may happen.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Relative Position of the Weather

Aren't we always under the weather?  I don't usually find myself in outer space or in any other way, above the sky.  Which is where the weather happens.

Well, I have flown above low-lying clouds.  I suppose that counts.

The point being, my knitting and crocheting time has been impeded by a minor eye injury.  I find eyeballs rather squicky, and I'm guessing I'm not the only one, so I won't go into detail.  It is healing, slowly, and when I am able I will be back in full force.

I don't think it helped that I spent three hours this morning transcribing an ancient written edging pattern into chart form, then altering the chart through four iterations to make it into what I wanted it to be, like I was playing with clay.  No, it was more like I was trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle where I could arbitrarily alter the size and contours of the pieces.  Challenging, definitely; interesting, to be sure; easy on my poor eye, not so much.

This afternoon I even wrote out the "pattern", all five sentences of do this with this chart and then do that, then cast off....but actually starting it defeated me.  Dark red yarn, snowy Michigan evenings, and impaired eyesight do not a pleasant time make.  It was then that I realized, yet again, that I have never been good at resting, even when it's quite obvious I should.  New projects are my kryptonite.

Enough complaining!  I shall return with pictures of pretty things, one way or another.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Brought To You By Snowflakes

First, before I dive into gushing about my newest design project, which I am absolutely in love with, an update on Wisteria:

Thank goodness for the reflective powers of undisturbed snow cover...this is the best sunlight I've had for a photo shoot in weeks!  Not only is this the truest representation of the color, the cables really pop.  I wish all my pictures turned out this well...

Ahem.  Anyway.

Designing!  Because I am a fool, a glutton for punishment, and because I still don't have beads for Bitterroot, I am designing my own shawl for my first of 10 Shawls in 2010.  Bitterroot will likely be on the plate for February.

I am still mired deep in Crochetland.  In building my library on Rav, I dredged up all sorts of random magazines I had forgotten I had, including one lone issue of Magic Crochet that I don't even clearly remember acquiring.  It has some terribly ugly things in it, but it also has several fabulous doilies and patchwork-medallion style projects.  After testing a few motifs for size and workability, I decided to modify one pretty heavily (I think round 1 is the same and 2 and 3 are entirely different) and head to town in my scrap pile.

It's going to be a wrap, and unless I unearth more natural fiber scraps in the blue-purple-black family, it will stay three motifs wide.  The smaller separate piece is the start of the other Scarf Experiment #2, I'm working in from the ends for better color distribution.  I have enough wool from a failed sweater to get quite a few motifs out of several shades of purple, but my blues are a bit more limited--I've already used up two of them entirely, one for one motif and the other for two--so I don't want all of them to be clustered at one end.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Scarf Pneumonia? This Is Getting Silly!

Scarf Experiment #2 is done, and I pronounce it a success!

I used 18 different yarns, which I have listed over at Ravelry by name, but here, I will chronicle how they got into my leftovers bin in the first place, starting at the end and working in...

  1. This was a hat for my mother, and then some of the leftovers became a small purse which I sold to a friend.  
  2. Dishcloth cotton I got through a trade.
  3. My Rogue!
  4. My husband's Leo.
  5. Another dishcloth leftover.
  6. Acrylic recycled from one of my mother's old sweaters.
  7. Wool-alpaca I was gifted...I think I used most of it for a bag, though for the life of me I can't find it!
  8. Super-awesome ribbon I bought on a whim and never found a project for.  It went through various wips and frogs, and most of it is still tied up in something that awaits frogging.
  9. Wool from my first attempt at felting, ages ago.
  10. A tiny bit left from my Lizard Ridge.
  11. Wool from a failed cabled multi-color sweater which eventually became two hats and an unfinished bag that I will likely frog.
  12. Same as #11, different color.
  13. Leftover from an awesome mitered-square sweater of mine that I love, love, and adore...
  14. My MIL's Stonington Shawl.  (Ravelry link, be warned, couldn't find a good one elsewhere.)
  15. Same as #11, yet another color.
  16. A tank top of mine.
  17. My mother's impending birthday scarf!
  18. And finally, the one and only pair of socks I've ever knit for myself, and never wear.  I tried, I really did, but I just don't like socks!
And it gets worse...I just joined a scarf exchange on Rav!  Later this month I'll be paired up with someone, knit them a scarf according to their likes and dislikes, and receive one in return.  I almost wish I hadn't found out about it until closer to the close of signups so I didn't have to wait as long to get started!

    Monday, January 4, 2010

    Bloggers for Better Housekeeping

    Is it sad that I only cleaned the mirrors because I had to take the finished photos of my mother's scarf?

    I also find it absolutely impossible not to have a silly expression when I'm taking my own picture.  No matter how it looks in the mirror when I set up, the camera doesn't agree.  C'est la vie!

    Pattern: Crochet Ruffle Scarf (free but requires registration)
    Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun, black; Schachenmayr nomotta Princess, Orchid Mist
    Yardage: 150ish Homespun and 100ish Princess
    Hook: J/10

    Notes:  I didn't check my gauge and tend to work loose, both in crochet and knitting, so I wasn't surprised to reach the end of the third row and come to the conclusion that I didn't have enough yarn for the fourth and longest row, despite the pattern being written to only use a single skein.  I decided to work another row in a different yarn to give the ruffle a bit more definition--black is great, but doesn't show a lot of depth or detail.  And another advantage to crochet--it's easier to rip back!  The first time I worked the last row in hdc, as I knew I wouldn't have enough yarn to do an increase row of dc as the pattern stated, but it turned out I wasn't thinking small enough.  I ripped back the contrast row and worked sc instead, and didn't run out.

    Would I make this pattern again?  Absolutely, but not with Homespun.  Crocheting with it is as fussy as knitting with it, perhaps more so; I was constantly catching unwanted bits of the yarn from previous stitches as I worked.  The pattern itself was perfectly fine.  I may want a ruffle scarf of my own at some point, I'll just work it with a smoother, less troublesome yarn.

    Saturday, January 2, 2010

    Scarf Fever...Or Maybe Flu?

    Scarf Experiment #2 is turning out to be much more promising than the Freeform Scarf Experiment.

    I should be finished fairly soon--it's excellent TV knitting, and I just discovered that the entire run of Stargate SG-1 is available on Hulu for a while.  Last time I had checked it they only had Seasons 1-6!  I never got to finish watching Season 10, so I don't know how it "ended"--serious airquotes here because I know that direct-to-DVD movies exist, though I haven't seen them--so I'm diving back in by rewatching Season 9 so I can remember all the crap that was going on.

    But scarf fever has definitely afflicted me, since I picked up a ball of LB Homespun this morning--it's a little dangerous to have my LYS three steps from my bank--to make my mother a scarf for her birthday this month.

    Now, I may have, in the short course of this blog, given the impression that I am a knitter.  And I am.  But I have dabbled at times in other crafts, and I will admit crochet's superiority to knitting in a few things, this one being a sideways-constructed ruffle scarf.

    I have seen knitted ruffles, and they certainly look fine, but the thought of casting on at least a hundred stitches and increasing by the end to six or eight or ten times that, thanks, I'll crochet this one.

    I wonder if the mail is here yet with my Wisteria yarn!  I think I'll go check.

    Friday, January 1, 2010

    Darn Holidays!

    What gives with no mail delivery on the first day my yarn could have potentially shown up?  Hmph.

    On the other hand, we had a lovely NYE last night, so I guess I shouldn't complain too much.