Monday, January 12, 2015

A New Use For The Stash

Now don't laugh.  I still have a latch hook tool for making those rugs we all worked on a few decades ago.  That craze, however, was not my first attempt at hooking a rug.  Several women in my family made hooked rugs or pillow tops. 

 I remember Mama cutting strips of wool or felt and little me winding it into balls.  The last piece that Mama made is a cherished pillow top that still graces the yarn studio.

Here is her pillow.  Over forty years old and still going strong.  This is done by pulling up loops of wool to the right side of the work.  It is a different working process from the new method that I learned.

That's right - something new for this old brain.  And I get to use up stash yarn in the process.

Here is my first effort at rug punching.  In this method, a special tool is used to punch from the back of the work.  The tool makes uniform depth loops on the right side of the work.

I learned from Una Walker, she of Wooly Walkers fame.  Click over and see some of her great work.  Una is also a shoe maker - great video on her site about how to make felted top shoes.

The base of my mug mat is monk cloth, which folds up flat and does not take up much space in the stash "area."  A few punch tools will slip easily into the "other supplies" bin and I plan to start with small hoops rather than a large one. 

A few new supplies that easily hide away, a new use for the yarn stash, and my time is now wasted looking for ideas in the great wide world of Google. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Fuzzy Knitting

Katia Jumbo.  Super bulky and gigantic to work with for someone who prefers a nice dk.  It is a fun fuzzy acrylic that works up fast.  Well, the Tree needed a fast shop sample made so I put down the Noro sweater and picked up the Big Needles to make a vest.

This is a re-gauged interpretation of In The Mood by Veronik Avery (click the link - it's free).  The pattern is great and it was easy to change for this fat yarn.

My only issue with the yarn was how to "weave" in the ends.  Normally, I weave in as I go, but that was not working on this yarn.   And I don't think there is a needle eye large enough to thread with this fluffery.

Adaptation was required.  I had to finger weave the ends through the stitches.  It was easy and allowed me to get the tension just right. 

This big super bulky vest is not my style.  It is a style that many will enjoy and within the first day on display in the shop, it garnered attention and several folks tried it on. 

Here is Annette, one of the owners, showing how cute the thing is when worn with style.

Making this vest (and trying it on) reminded me that this yarn world is wide enough and wonderful enough for everyone!

Yarn on people.  Yarn on.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Slow On Year Turning

Yeah, yeah, the calendar claims that it is a new year and I should be rushing around with renewed vim and vigor.  I'm a bit slow on the uptake and I admit it.

Actually, I was a bit slow on the let go as well.  This was to be a 2014 present for Himself.
It is not a vest.  If it were supposed to be a vest - it still would not have made it into the 2014 FO list on Ravelry.

The good news is that the sleeves were cast on last night.  I'm counting that as progress.  This is not a difficult thing to make.  But it has reminded me that knitting a man size is a whole heaping lot more stockinette than knitting a short woman size.  And that is all I have to say about that.

The Noro stripes wanted to be continuous so the bottom is knit in the round.  Experience tells me that even with all the color, I will see the row gauge change when I start knitting the front & back flat.  So. . . .I came up with what is probably not an original thought but it tricks my eye and makes me happy.

First, please know that the bottom ribbing (4x2), the row break at armholes and the top two inches and neck ribbing are Noro Solo that enhances the blue of the stripey part.  At that row break, not only did I use the solid blue, but two purl ridges were tossed in.  Those ridges and solid color trick the eye into ignoring the change in row gauge that shows up with this method.

For those who are wanting to tell me a thing or two - - -I don't steek.  Yes, that would solve the issue.  But I don't steek.  I'm scared, don't you know.

Monday, December 22, 2014

So Long

So Long, 2014.  Thanks for all the fish.

Plain ribbed scarf, undyed alpaca.

It is not fancy, but it is warm.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Six Things - A Holiday Challenge

Once upon a time there was lady who loved yarn.  She loved to knit with it, she loved to crochet with it, she loved to bead with it, she loved to felt. . .   blah.  blah.  blah.  I could write a very long yarn about what happened to some yarn.  Instead, I shall now show the whole story.

TOTAL of 946 yards of fiber

One skein of Baah La Jolla (400 yds) = $29.75
Two balls of Louisa Harding Amitola (546 yds) = $24.60

1.     Shawl – Nymphalidea  knit with short rows & simple lace.  Available via Ravelry.  If you read this blog with any regularity, you've seen le Papillon.  The Amitola provides the color shift of the short row sections.  This took about three-fourths of one ball.  For this one, I did not manipulate the color changes - - just knit it as it appeared.

  2.     Hat – Interlude Hat  knit with a two row lace repeat & blocked into beret shape.  Available via Ravelry.  You might also have seen the hat.  This one has black ribbing because I love the bounce of the Baah! and (personally) the black is more functional rubbing against the forehead than is a light shade of the Amitola.  The second ball of Amitola was used here because I did not want any break in the color way.  It was pure serendipity that my favorite teal shade became the very top of the hat.  Love it!

  3.     Mitts – Easy Crochet Wristers uses post stitches to make ribbing.  available via Red  This is the same crochet pattern that I used whilst traveling on vacation this past summer.  It is quick and easy.  And easy to adjust if you need more length in the wrist, hand, thumb or finger area.  Since I was on a theme of black bands, the post work ribbing is nice stretchy Baah!.  There was much manipulation of color in order to get the pink and purple to cooperate.  I'm happy with the result.  But that breaking of yarn left lots of bits from the two original balls.  It was time to start thinking of how to use the colors that were left.

  4.     Headband – Crocheted using Foundation Double Crochet & Post stitches.  No pattern.  The post work is so very stretchy and that got me to thinking of making something that is all stretch, which led me to make this headband.  Please note that to keep the beginning edge as stretchy as possible, this began with Foundation Double Crochet (fdc).  If you are not familiar with the technique, check out the bazillion videos available online.  This headband fits me.  It might not fit anyone else; and I'm OK with that.  

  5.     Necklace – Simple crochet chain with beads & wisps.  No pattern.  By now, the black ball was finally getting tiny.  And the little lengths of color that remained were exactly that - little bits of the same color that had been separated out from the original.  I was determined (and a bit desperate) about what to do that would result in another useful item.  And then it dawned on me:  everything old is new again.   A quick search of the bead stash and I was stringing beads for a necklace.  The bead pattern here is ten chains, one bead, ten chains, three beads, and repeat.  It is long enough to double (because I no longer dance the Charleston and therefore do not need beads down to my knees for twirling 'round & 'round).  Then I put wisps of all the same color dangling off.  It almost reminds me of The Lion King.  Either that or I was totally loosing it at this point.

  6.     Dryer Ball – Inside is the superwash Baah; outside is the feltable Amitola.  In honor of Ana Petrova.  You can't imagine the mess of sting that remained at this point.  In a last ditch effort to use it all up,  I made a dryer ball.  The inside is the Baa! - because it is superwash and doesn't felt.  Then I wrapped and wrapped and wrapped all the bits of Amitola (it being 80%wool and 20% silk, which does felt) and jammed the wad into the toe of an old knee-hi and tied it in tight.  Tossed it in the hot wash with baking soda and VOILA!  A dryer ball.

That is it.  I am done with all of the yarn.  If I were gifting all of this, that would be five gifts for others and one for me.  All from about $60 worth of yarn.  People - - that is $10 per gift for hand made love!  Now who was it that said knitting is expensive?  They know not what they say.