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.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holes In The Knitting

Holes - on purpose.  Yes, the beret is finished.

 Isn't this fabulous?  Yes, I am bragging.  I deserve to be proud of this one because those little holes gave me quite a start.   A very simple seven stitch repeat with two pattern rows should not be a bother.  It just goes to show that if your mind is not centered on the project in your hands, bad things can happen.

But now the knitting is done and I am a happy camper.

This is the type of beret that wants to be blocked out on a plate.   I soaked the fiber for a bit and then inserted an appropriate sized plate.  Then the plate was balanced on a glass to that the bottom fell naturally and would dry at the same time as the top. 

And guess what?   There is still yarn left over!  Now, I'm using the stuff to crochet a pair of mitts.  Surely this will be the end of the stuff.

Although, as I look at the progress of the mitts and calculate the amount of yarn that is not being used, there will probably be enough left over to make a headband or two.

Really, people.  How many projects can one get out of 1 skein of sock yarn and two balls of pretty wool/silk?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Too Fun To Put Down

Once again, I bought too much yarn.  The recent shawl, le Papillion, needed less than one ball of Louise Harding Amitola and half a skein of the Baah.  That's a lot of left over yardage. 

This is Interlude which promises to be a light airy Springtime slouchy hat.  The pattern is free via Ravelry and can be had here.

This is a two-row lace pattern.  At first I struggled. 
The lace bit is simple.  But for some reason I could not "see" the thing in my mind (there is no chart - the repeat being just seven stitches of not much) and not being able to see the whole thing messed me up.

Now, I am so busy wondering when the color of the Amitola will change again that I can't put the thing down.  It is actually much farther along than the photo indicates.  I'll probably never wear this one and it is not appropriate for a chemo cap due to the fibers and the holes.  But I love it!  I'm hooked. 

Oh, wait.  I can't be hooked on this yarn/pattern combo because this is knitting - not crochet.  Let's just say I'm needling along at a quick pace.

Monday, December 1, 2014

UFO Is Out Of Sight

That's right, another UFO debunked and moved to the pile of FOs - finished objects.  Yep, friends of the cyber world, there is nothing like the smell of wet wool on a misty morning to get the happy thoughts flowing.  So delighted am I with this one that before commencing the task, I actually put away (properly) all of the clean dishes, washed the sheets and remembered that wet sheets should go in the dryer and the dryer should be turned on. 

That's a whole lot of delight and happiness. 

Pattern:  Nymphalidea by Melinda VerMeer which is available on Ravelry.

Yarns:  Baah La Jolla in black & Louisa Harding Amitola in color 119 which is more appropriately named Embrace.

She has been dubbed le Papillon.  This photo was taken whilst planning the blocking of this oddly shaped triangle that morphs into a mostly crescent shape.  Thus the planning of how to block.

And might I add, this baby is so long that it is on the floor for the blocking process because the yoga mat that I use for shawl blocking is not long enough, nor is the counter top long enough and so a part of le Papillon extends over to the freshly washed rug, which means that I had to wash and dry the rug yesterday so that it was clean for the blocking AND I am crawling around on the floor planning and pinning and inserting wires and replacing pins and smoothing and stretching wet wool and I stopped to write the blog post and rant about who in their right and sane mind crawls around on the floor with wet wool at 8:20 in the morning!

And that, gentle reader, is the truth behind my yarn obsession.