Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Idea In Action

Thanks to the holiday weekend, there was progress on the project.  After more fiddling, it was obvious that the center spine needed to be a four row repeat and not my original idea.  But that is the thrill of allowing the creative juices to meet the eye of the beholder.

This is the reverse of the spine.  The top portion of the shawl is simple stockinette:  practical, increases are easy, approachable by even a beginning knitter.

What is not showing here is a lace band that may or may not make the final cut.  Thanks to the use of a life line, this fiddling around can easily be frogged back to a great transition point.

More to come - - after more fiddling around.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Fiddling Around

A design idea for a summer shawl has been twirling through my thoughts for quite a few weeks.  Planning is always a good thing.  Research is near and dear to my heart.  But there comes a moment when thought becomes talk.  Or in this case thinking becomes twisting and the yarn is cast on.

There are stitches on the needles.  This is a bamboo sock yarn being worked on a #8 needle.  The beads are just being looked at.  Lately I am finding that adding beads toward the bottom edge of most any shawl gives a little sparkle and the weight helps blocking to stay put throughout the wearing.

And yes, actual notes are being written down.

Will all this fiddling around become an actual pattern?  That is to be determined.  For now, seeing a dream on the needles is enough to keep my internal motivation ramped up for the next little while.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Celebrating With A New Project

Sixty-five thousand two hundred eighty stitches.   That's a lot of knitting, especially when done in only two weeks.  But the task is over, the box is sealed, the label printed and the swath of linen/cotton blend is traveling to its rightful owner.  Naturally, I am celebrating.

The celebrating is in the form of crochet.  Right now this might not look like much, but it is in the service of a friend.  These few rows and my opinion of them might one day bring fame to another.  Yep, I am pattern testing for a guild buddy. 

If you hang around this blog you are aware that I am a huge supporter of knitting guilds and stitchery related groups.  Learning in these casual gatherings gets my juices flowing. 

So, there I sat at yet another guild meeting and making appropriate sounds of support for those sharing their latest finished projects.  Up popped Leo wearing a bright scarf that was constructed of short row crocheted triangles.  He claimed that it was "just" single crochet.  But the way he said it let you know that there might be some little hidden secret within the stitches.  At the end of his short moment in the show & share spotlight, Leo asked for three willing testers and promised to show how he got the texture into the single crochet stitches.

By stumbling over my own knitting bag and delicately balancing my coffee cup, I was able to be first to grab his arm and say those magic words, "Me, me, me - please pick me!"  If you missed the link above, check out Leo's blog post which shows his original scarf.  He has promised a video that shows his single crochet trick that changes the look of the thing.  And of course, when all the testers have done their thing, a pattern will  be available. 

Excuse me.  Thanks to Leo, I have a scarf to finish.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fuzzy Wuzzy Was A Yarn

Right up front, let it be known that I love the yarn.  It is on the needles and working up to look like a Mediterranean dream of Santorini.  The linen cotton blend is perfect for my climate - whether southern California or a sudden [fantasy] trip to Greece.

But, the stuff sheds.  Click the photo and have a look see at what passes for black pants.  As much as I love the final result of thousand of stitches worked in this specific yarn, I do not like the massive shedding.

I do not like it at all.

Luckily the finished object can get a nice wet bath and will be all the better for a soaking.  Join me in issuing forth a plea to the knitting goddess that the fuzziness is just a one time thing and will not be continual.  I fear that continual shedding of this many little short fibers will ultimately degrade the strength of the single ply twist and a thing of beauty will be lost for ever.

Alas, I shall never know the final outcome.  This project is for another and specifics shall remain untold.  But in the mean time, much knitting is taking place and endured as dreams of Mediterranean sun fill every stitch.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

But It Is So ME

Please don't chide me.  Some quirks of personality and behavior can not be changed.  Can not be controlled.  Can not be understood.

I bought it again.  Same yarn, same shade, same old me.

The color has been disguised as has the band from the skein.  In the past I  made an accent summer scarf with this bit of silk.  And, yes, I just went out and bought it again for another accent scarf.  However - and this is a huge 'however' - this time I also purchased the same shade in a mohair/silk blend so that the resulting scarf will have one half pure silk and one half blend so as to function in a southern California winter.

Say it or think it.  It matters not to moi.  I am happy - and it is so me!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Simple Works

Do you have a simple stitch or pattern that is your go to standard?  When it comes to knitting, that good old stand by the diagonal garter stitch dishcloth is my go to favorite.  One written pattern can be had here, but it is all over the public domain world - seek and ye shall find. 

I've made it in basic cotton for kitchen and BBQ needs.  In a soft organic cotton or sturdy linen it is fabulous for the bath.  Make it large and it become a great baby blanket.  Larger still and it is a lap blanket for the vets.  Should you be wondering, in any size smaller than a washcloth it is a cherished bird toy. 

The diagonal garter square is great, but  I'm working on a large project that could not be a square. A big rectangle of a blanket for movie watching is what was needed.  Enter a new simple and easy "no pattern" blanket pattern.

 The Garter Rib.  This is meant to be the right side.  Three garter stitches, followed by three knit stitches and repeated across to end with three garter stitches.  Experience tell us that starting and ending with garter will prevent the sides of the blanket from curling.

The pattern - should you want to use it - is thus.
Row 1   Knit
Row 2   (K3, P3) across to last three stitches.  K3

For this blanket, I'm also slipping the edges because that little chain look delights me. 

The fun part of the Garter Rib is that it looks perfectly acceptable on the reverse side.   Look here and discover garter separated by reverse stockinette. 

'Tis a miracle.  I love that no matter which way the eventual gift recipient flops the blanket, it will be presentable. 

One more instance where simple works.  This deserves a voila!