Sunday, February 23, 2014

And #3 Is a FO!

Basket Weave pattern, Cascade Greenland yarn on size 7 needles

The third car seat blankie from the booklet reviewed earlier is now finished. This time I used the Basket Weave pattern and a new-to-me yarn.

Cascade Greenland is a washable wool and was clearly NOT the right yarn for this pattern. I muddled through and finished it, but it's Just Not Right. The twist of this yarn is very tight and it's incredibly sproingy (technical term). Though I had 2 ounces more than required, and should have had about 20 yards left after knitting the pattern to size, I found myself making this one a couple inches smaller than the pattern calls for. It was a nice yarn to work with, and I will probably buy more in the future, but it was the wrong yarn for this project.

I have not washed and blocked yet which might help the drape, but probably will have little effect on the size.

The booties shown are my go-to pattern (Morehouse Merino Knits) and match the last two car seat blankies. There is not enough of the Greenland left to do much more than trim a pair. I'll have to think about that.

Oh, and the color (which is pretty accurate on my screen) is called Lemon Yellow. Not even close.

In other news: I have done something to my back which makes standing up painful. Mind you, not sitting, not standing. Not walking. Not chopping ice or shoveling snow. Just getting from a sitting to a standing position. Twenty minutes of ice allows for 5 minutes of pain-reduced position shifting. Not fun. Yes, if it doesn't resolve (and quickly), I will be heading to the doctor.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Something For the Babies

Everyone I know, it seems, is having a baby or a Baby Grand. What to do? What to do?

Enter a new (2013) and newly-discovered pattern booklet from Leisure Arts.

I got mine at Amazon.

Eight sweet and easy patterns for just-the-right-size carseat blankies. Worsted weight, pattern calls for size 8 or 9, mostly. I went down one needle size.

They work for strollers, baby seats, anything you'd use to "bucket" a wee one.

The good news is that any one of them could easily be up-sized to make a crib blanket or lap robe (or full size afghan for that matter).

But the good part of these and the size the pattern as written makes (16"X20" or thereabouts) is that there isn't a bunch of extra fabric to tangle up and trip baby (or parent).

I've finished 2 since I got the booklet.

This one is called Stacked Cables (no cables in sight, no cable needle needed). The technique is a wee bit tricky (yos from knit to purl and then back again), but 3 repeats in and I was speeding along on all but one of the 4 rows of the repeat. (It was the ws after the pattern row.)

Basic washable wool (Nashua brand) on size 7s.

Ribbed Chevron here in Plymouth Jelli Beenz (75/25 acrylic and wool) on size 8. The photographed sample is in a solid. If I make this one again, I think I will use a solid so that the pattern is more visible.

Making my basic go-to booties to go with each.


Thursday, February 06, 2014

Repurposing Old Sweaters

Several years ago, I made the Other Half a most wonderful cardigan of superwash wool in a navy blue so dark as to almost be black.

Though it fit him well for the times (over-sized sweaters being all the rage), that puppy

and grew
and grew
until it was no longer stylishly over-sized, but rather  ludicrously large. And styles had changed as well, so you see the problem.

Did I mention that it was an extra large? And dark, dark blue (can you say "midnight?" ). And 732 miles of seed stitch? And that it had (as superwash wool does) grown a bit (okay, a lot). The me that knits now (in 2014) knows to use smaller needles.

Beautiful wool. Wonderful pewter buttons. There was a photo but I can't find it anywhere.
Crinkly yarn

So, it was time to repurpose that sweater. First, I frogged the whole damned thing and used my trusty ball winder to make lovely cakes (about 430) of the wonderful wool. 

And I started to reknit using a go-to pattern (the Adult V-neck cardigan in Rich Designs Kids to Grown-Ups Seamless Sweaters-love this classic booklet. Use it lots!).

Again, sorry I didn't take a photo, but the reknitting with frogged yarn was not going well. It had the look and feel of a hearty boucle. Not exactly the manly look I wanted!

So I slipped the live stitches to a piece of yarn and gave the sweater-in-progress a good soak in warm water and a spin-dry in the salad spinner.

I was more pleased with the fabric once it dried and was back on the needle, so I commenced to re-hanking all those pretty little cakes of used yarn.

After a bath and hanging to dry, the resulting yarn is satisfactory.

I do wonder, though, if I might be happier in the long run if I had just trashed the original sweater (after removing the buttons, of course) and started over in something new.

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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

More of the Same

Remember the shot of the deer from a couple weeks ago?

They're gone.

And in their place, we have. . .


And more of it!

This is the view from our front porch.

I wish I could say that it is melting, but no. Instead, there's a prediction of up to 1/2" of

To top it off. 

Something warm and cozy is in order.

A new scrapghan to use up the odd bits of animal fiber yarn is currently On The Needles.

It's a wide swath of wool, llama, alpaca, angora, you know the drill. If it was previously on an animal's back (or front) it's fair game.

The Finished Object will be a hexagon as big as the needle (60" circular) allows.
Here it is spread out.

Recipe is simple:

Using similar weight yarn and appropriate needles, CO 6 stitches and divide over 3 DPNs.

R2: increase in each stitch.

Knit 2 rounds, placing a marker between the 2nd and 3rd stitch on each needle on one of the rounds.

Next round, and every third round going on, increase at the beginning of each needle, before and after each marker, and at the end of each needle.

When there are too many stitches for the dpns, switch to a circular (probably a 24-29" to start, then later to a 60"), placing a marker between the stitches for each DPN. (6 markers)

Continue knitting, increasing before and after each marker every 3rd round until you run out of yarn, or space on the needle. Change stitches as desired. I threw in a purl round fairly often to make a thicker fabric and to help it lie flat. Finish with a deep garter stitch (k 1 round, p 1 round) border. Bind off loosely.

Mine is currently about 40" across (from point to point) and I am fast running out of room on the needle.

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