Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Here's my new scarf. (How's about my photography...not bad? Still working on learning the camera's "ropes". If you look at the clock you can see that I'm going to be late for work!) I got a new Bean parka, and needed a scarf to match. This is made with Araucania, Aysen from Chili. It is merino/alpaca/silk (70/20/10) and is so soft and snuggly. This is the Multi-directional scarf pattern found all over the web. The yarn is closer to an aran weight and I used #9 needles (don't ask me from metric, I can barely deal with American needle sizing. One must know and gracefully accept their limitations.) I got a nice dense fabric, with a wonderful drape.

And not a moment too soon because the winds were whipping this morning like nobody's business and we're expecting it to go down into the teens tonight. When I arrived here it was in the high 30's, now 2.5 hours later and it has dropped 10 degrees WITH the sun!

But I need a hat! A matching hat!

So I got this and have begun another cloche.

It's New England Highland wool, out of New Hampshire. It's a bit harsh, and not nearly as soft as the Patons Classic Wool I used for the last one, but I could not find a good match in the Classic Wool. The color in the photo is way too pinkish. The color is actually very plummy. I didn't notice the odd coloring until now so didn't try to color correct it. I'm hoping that the felting will soften it up quite a bit or I may not be able to wear it. I'm a very delicate flower you see. I need to take some time tonight and find suitable beads to knit into the banding. And then decide how I want the banding to look. Do I want it the same as my first one? Do I want to change the position? Decisions, decisions... It may just depend on my mind set, and attitude when the time comes.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Never stop....

...evolving. I've never shied away from new things--new techniques, new innovations, etc. At least when it comes to non-lethal activities. No one ever died or had their head shaved if a beading experiment or a knitting project turned into a stinker. So after having a devil of a time with my DP sock needles slipping out of my alpaca monkey socks, I decided to give another technique a try. Which brought me to this.

Now I'm not going to say (like Cat Bordhi) that "socks soar on two circulars", but it isn't half bad for someone like me who is not very gentle with socks in progress. I spent way less time picking up stitches than I did with my previous pair. The yarn is Mountain Colors in Mountain Tango. I'm kinda surprised by the striping going on, I didn't expect it, but what the heck. These are being knit using KP size 1, 16 inchers. I don't think I'd want to use circs that were any longer for socks.

I must admit though that they are stalled for the moment. I'm attempting to finish a scarf to go with my new snuggly warm down parka. As you all know, it is in the single digits here, and I didn't have a scarf to match my new parka. So what's a knitter to do? Knit a new one of course. Duh!

An aside: I see that because of the abundant sunshine we have hit a high of 23(!) at the moment.

Friday, January 04, 2008

What I did .....

....on my Christmas vacation.

I knit hats, not one, but two!! I'm kinda hat picky. I have a head for hats. But not those tight cap type thingies that can be knit up in a snap. I look best in something with a brim that doesn't make me look like a pinhead. So I opt for hats with brims. One is B. Marie's bucket hat. The more intrepid among you can page back to last winter, when I made not one, not two, but THREE of these hats. (I'm no quitter.)All three were made with Patons SWS because I was enamored by how well it felted, soy and all. However, I was not enamored by how disproportionately the stuff felts--too much in length not enough in width. My buckets looked like hippie felts. Not bad, but not the look I wanted. So I tried yet another, but this time two things were different: 1) the yarn. I used Patons Classic merino and 2)I bossed my felting around. Even though the stuff tried to felt too short, I yanked and pulled and the proportions are so much better. It only took ONE skein of Classic merino and felted like a dream. I cast on on December 30 and was finished the evening of January 1st. Happy New Year indeed!

On the left is the cloche from Elegant Knits. It also only took one skein of Classic Merino, with a second for the contrasting stripes--but I used hardly any. It also has iris beads in the stripes. This was my traveling knitting, and literally only took a few days even with sporadic knitting. I was a tad concerned about how the neutral and white would felt, but I need not have worried. Everything felted beautifully.

This next photo is of a cat tunnel from "Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair". Every year I make something for the "kids". One year, Pi Beds, then catnip filled mice, this year a tunnel.

I'm told that "Velcro" has taken to hiding in the tunnel just to ambush his arch rival "Demetia". Glad everyone is happy....We aim to please.

And finally the Sock Monkey Hat was a huge success. Doesn't she look happy?

So my final Christmas knitting tally is:

A Multidirectional scarf. (Fun knit will do it again)
Monkey socks (already started another pair)
Moebius scarf (many more in my future)
Two Sock Monkey Hats
Two ribbed hats
Fuzzy Feat
Cat Tunnel - which was remarkably like knitting an afghan, and which I will never do again.

So there you have it.

Now what the heck is in the water in Iowa?