Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Symmetrical Blocking

Let's admit it right up front.  Blocking of lace is just a fact of yarn.  Both knit and crochet lace must be blocked to make all the holes look, well, holey and so that the stitches line up and flow with good looking smoothness.

Many lace patterns are designed with a center spine from which the pattern increases.  Often this results in symmetrical sides.  That repetition makes blocking quite easy.  Well, easy in that only half the space is needed to block the thing out.

When blocking a center spine shawl it is a grand idea to have the sides come out that same size.  That is why I fold on the spine, pin/wire that line first and then match up the two layers so that everything is the same.

How do you know when your stitches are all lined up and ready to be pinned or put on blocking wires? 

When it look friggin' good.  That's when.

Lots of patting myself on the back over this one.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Mama's Hook Is At It Again

For those who really really know me, my love of Madelinetosh Spectrum colorway is no big secret. 

Well, there were a few skeins of Tosh Light in the Spectrum handing around (insert chuckle here)  and it felt like the right time to start another a project with the stuff.

The pattern is Winter Wonder-lace Wrap by Jill Hanratty which is designed for a sport/dk yarn and a 9mm crochet hook.  It just so happens, that Mama's old and well used wooden hook is a 9mm. 

It was time to use her hook once again.  What can it possible matter that this is the Tosh Merino Light?  Experience tells me that a wrap will fit whether it is a little smaller - or larger.  Experience also tells me that a fingering weight worked exactly like a heavier yarn produces lacy looking lace.

And so, I merrily keep the hook twirling and twisting along with a favorite colorway and Mama's hook.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Way The Color Stripes & Pools

About six weeks ago, a stupid thing happened.  I cast on a new "no pattern" top and started knitting around and around.  Over and over.  It went on and on.  About the only thing this boring work was good for was having something mindless to knit when I went to groups and needed to look busy when what I was really doing was listening to all the gossip.

It was such a stupid thing and so very boring that six (yes, six) other projects were finished and still that round and round kept going.  Finally, it was at a length where the front could be split from the back.

It turns out that there is not very much excitement to be had from alternate rows of purl stitches.  Not much at all.

I'm pleased to report that there is great excitement to see what happens to yarn when it moves from in-the-round to flat.  A whole lot of excitement.  I got all caught up watching the colors gather into little pools and then magically move back into a reflection of the bottom.

I've named her Bengal.  As in Tigers.  As in LSU and the Lady Tigers. 

Yarn:  Interlacements Michigan.

Pattern:  There is no pattern.   I just started with a plan and knit until it fit.

And I love the way that Bengal fits.  Yeah me!

Friday, June 12, 2015

What The Mesh?

There is a lot of mesh happening lately.  My inbox is filled with knit & crochet patterns that feature mesh open work on all manner of items.  Even a quick walk into a clothing boutique and "holey" fabric is displayed for the season.  Apparently, I have jumped on the band wagon.

Look at this!  That there is a whole heap of mesh chains interrupted by little leaf stitches.  The pattern is Down The Garden Path by Michele DuNaier.

There are those who will say that I am a fast crocheter (and knitter).  But really, with all those chains and single crochets this pattern works up lickety-split.  The whole thing only took five days.  And that includes blocking and drying time.

The result of all the mesh is a huge and feminine crescent.  This one will not keep you warm in winter.  But it will add flirty charm to a sundress or similar summer ensemble.

There is one major problem with this finished project.  It is not for me.  All that luscious cotton - all that frilly flirty girly stuff - and it isn't for me.

Such is life. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Lending A Helping Hand

This might not be the most profound thing you read today.  What follows will not win  accolades.   However, what follows will matter to four individuals that I do not know.

In between getting major projects finished, I fill the spare minutes with charity work.  Let me be clear about this - there is always time and leftover/clearance/special yarn that can be used for the greater good.

The scarf is destined for the Red Scarf Project.  This is the second scarf I've knit this year that goes to the effort.  A friend is collecting and will do the delivery - so my part is simple.  The pattern is really just one stitch.  Fisherman's Rib makes a squishy warm fabric that is perfect for a scarf!  I like it for a Man Scarf, but really it works for anyone.

Here are three washcloths that will be added to a group effort.  These are all left over cotton yarns from the stash.  I always seem to have two-thirds of a ball left over from some project or another and those bits just pile up in a drawer in hopes of becoming useful.

Well, washcloths are useful  and these cotton swaths become valued when combined with special soaps and passed on to those who need a little special moment each day.

So, to the four individuals who will eventually benefit from my stash and humble handwork - I wish you comfort, joy and wellness.  This old Cajun cares.  Be strong.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Watch Out Eunice

Ca c'est bon.

The Short Row Fantasy is complete.  Regular readers will understand why this Mardi Gras shawl is now named Eunice.  If you are new here, Eunice, Louisiana is my home town.  It's an amazing place to discover the Cajun Country and experience a local Fat Tuesday celebration.

For such a large and generous swath of fabric, this is a quick knit.  By carving out time, I was able to complete one "wedge" per day.  My shawl ended up being ten wedge repeats.  It would be fabulous with eleven or even twelve repeats but that would require more of the big color #3 - the green in my version.

Already a second colorway is being planned.  Well, actually, I might have already bought the yarn thanks to Annette who helped pick out the trio of shades.  

C'est tout.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Free Form Knitting - from the project perspective.

For a long time, it wanted to be a shawl.  It really did.  The knitter worked regularly and efficiently to let the yarn be all the shawl it could be.

Then the mojo changed and the knitting muse started whispering.

Hang Me.  You oughta take a stick and hang me.

The knitter tried to keep focus.  Free form knitting focus is a fickle thing.  One fairly straight edge for wrapping around the shoulders.  It sorta kinda stayed on track.  One undulating edge for capturing they eye and creating width  where width is required.

Hang Me.  You oughta take a stick and hang me. 

The whisper would not go away.  It was just there. . . interjecting itself into each stitch, each free thought.  So the knitter did what needed to be done.  The knitter wadded up the swath and banished it to a corner and the knitter left.  The knitter went away.  Vamoose.

Days passed.  Weeks passed.  And the voice of the knitting muse grew louder.

Hang Me.  You oughta take a stick and hang me. 

And that is exactly what happened.

The knitting won.

The muse is silenced.

The knitter is on to other things.