It *is* Wednesday, right? I hope so because here’s some stuff I’ve been knitting. This little black and white chevron scarf has been my go-to travel project lately, so I’ve got a good chunk done.
I’m really enjoying this one, both the process and the product. The yarn is silky smooth, doesn’t split, and when I almost drop a stitch, it doesn’t unravel too quickly. Plus it looks more complicated than it really is, so people are impressed with my mad knitting skills (which aren’t really that impressive). Everyone loves the bit of green on the end, and they’re sad when I tell them the green will get pulled out so I can stitch the ends together. I confess, I like the green too. But I want to be able to wear this with everything, which means no little pop of color.
Here’s the other thing I’m knitting. I restarted my pink and gray infinity scarf and it’s going much better. I decided to go with the addition of the white yarn, so I did a 4-row border before starting with the pink. I added one extra row of pink stockinette before switching to the gray. I think it will be lovely. It’s a pleasant knit but not as mindless, so this project stays home.Of course I have several WIPs I’ve been ignoring. I think I have a wee case of Startitis. And I also think I’m going to frog my Rikke hat. It’s pretty but I really really don’t like doing garter stitch in the round, which means I never want to pick it up to knit. And the Malabrigo Arroyo I chose for it deserves better than that. Yep. Just decided. I’m gonna frog that today.
Oh, and I bought this neat Knitted Animal Hats book by Fiona Goble, and the hats are super cute and I was so excited…until that night when I had yarn in hand and was ready to cast on. Every hat in there is knit flat and seamed! Who does that?? I know, lots of people. But not me. That’s part of the charm of hats for me, the ease, the quickness, the lack of seaming. I tried. I started one, the Mouse hat, and it wasn’t working for me. But I feel guilty returning the book, so I guess I’ll keep it for inspiration. I can always make the base hat however I want, and use the book for the ears, faces, etc. Anybody out there a fan of knitting hats flat?
Yesterday was kind of a rough day. I had errands to run and insensitive comments to absorb, and the latter was a bit difficult. It didn’t help that I didn’t get much knitting time, and what time I did get was spent mostly frogging and starting over.
My newest project is the Hogan Infinity Scarf, which is this really striking cowl done in dark pink and gray with a lovely lacy chevron pattern. I happened to have some Rowan DK in my stash in just the right colors, and supposedly the right amounts. I immediately cast on the 198 stitches and set about knitting. It has a border of pink on both sides, and I noticed as I finished the first pink border that my ball of yarn was awfully small. I weighed it and discovered I’d used 35 of the 50 grams on just one border. Clearly I wouldn’t have enough for the second. Well. I had to think about this.
The pattern makes a rather long scarf, and it’s done in multiples of 9. I did some math that made sense at the time (but seems suspicious now) and decided I would start over with 144 stitches. So I frogged the 11 completed rows and now have 5 rows with the new stitch count. The nice thing is that it knits up quickly, so if I get more done and it doesn’t seem long enough, I won’t mind too much starting over again.So yeah, this bit of knitting didn’t do much to improve my state of mind. After dinner I decided to go to Joann for retail therapy. It failed miserably. They didn’t have the handles I want for my blue/pink silk bag. They’d sold out of the clearance yarn I wanted to get more of. And none of the full-price yarn called my name. I tried. I picked up skein after skein and nothing happened. I didn’t want to buy yarn just to buy yarn. I left the store empty-handed…but with the understanding that I would visit my LYS today. Good solution, isn’t it? I’ll let you know tomorrow what comes home with me.
I’ll finish by sharing some beauty shots. Puppies had a photo shoot the other day and they posed wonderfully.
I know I have neglected you, dear readers, but I have been busy making things to show you. Plus I have been busy with other non-yarn things. (I know, what’s wrong with me?) But yesterday was all about yarn, and I finished a project that’s been hanging over my head for months.
A few weeks ago, I posted about a lace cowl WIP that I had picked up again, and I had to frog it and start over. I tried really hard. I got around 10 rows done, set it aside to make a hat…and could never bring myself to get back to it. Apparently, I HATE fingering weight yarn with a passion. And fingering weight yarn with a lace pattern? That is my nightmare, clearly. I messaged the friend who’d requested it and asked if I could modify the pattern by holding the yarn double. She was chagrined that she’d asked for such a difficult pattern, but I assured her that was not the case. Really, the pattern itself is quite simple. There are many knitters out there who would love to make a long lace infinity scarf with 360 stitches in fingering weight yarn on size 4 needles. It was just a combination that I had no idea I would dislike so much. She gave me free rein on the cowl, and I had it DONE by the end of the day. Seriously. Started and finished in one day. Now, that’s mostly all I did yesterday, but in the previous incarnation, I *might* have gotten a third of the way through. Can I say it again? The cowl is DONE.And I love it. I love how it turned out. I’d bought three skeins of Premier sock yarn in Hot Lime, so I held three strands together, took the Spring Lace Infinity Scarf pattern (which really is quite lovely) and cast on 108 stitches. Then I just knit in the lace pattern until it looked tall enough. It came out at 7 1/2″ tall, so I could have gone at least another repeat or two, but for a spring cowl I think it’ll work well. Whew! I’m so glad to have the done so I can send it off!
I also managed to whip out a cowl for another friend. I had one skein of Plymouth worsted alpaca in dark grey, so I used the Darkside Cowl pattern, and I made that in less than a day. It’s a fantastic pattern; I’ll definitely be making more.It’s super cozy, the way it hugs the neck. Mmmm. I need to make myself one.
I enjoyed my little cowl-knitting break, but I think I’m ready to get back to hats. I’ve got a spring crochet scarf to finish up, but then I’m breaking out the circs. I sold a hat on Etsy (WHEE) so now I’m motivated to replace it and add more. And we have cold, snowy weather here today so the best thing to do is snuggle up with the puppy and the yarn.
Guess what I finished last night? My rainbow cowl! I’m so happy because that means I can either wear it or list it on Etsy. But I’m so sad because that means I can’t knit on it anymore and I so enjoyed knitting with that yarn. I totally need to save up to buy some more Vice yarn. Great stitch definition, soft without being too floppy, and those colors!This is unblocked, so I still need to wash it and pin it out but I think it’s a great size. This was a wonderful travel project too, so I expect I’ll be making more with my fancy single skeins. I even have about 60 yards left, and I’m wondering if I can squeeze out a wee pair of fingerless gloves, something just like a handwarmer. If I succeed, I’ll share it!
Oh sure, the animals are okay. Noisy at times and kind of moist, right, but they’re fine. No, my problem is when frogs are a part of my knitting. Several months ago, I got a request for a lovely spring infinity scarf. It’s lightweight and lacy, and I found the perfect yarn for it, and cast on. But since it’s a lace pattern (a bit complicated) with fingering weight yarn (that’s really thin for you non-knitters) on tiny needles (size 4. That’s small for me.) it was a slow start. I thought I got around 5 rows done before I had to set it aside to focus on Christmas knitting. My friend was fine waiting, so it hibernated for over four months. Yesterday I pulled it out, got comfy on the couch, and starting knitting at row six.Two rows later, I had a problem: an extra stitch. Eh, okay. I knit two together and moved on. By the end of the next row, my pattern was way off. I counted and somehow had lost SEVEN stitches. SEVEN. What the actual heck. I looked back at all the teeny tiny stitches and counted my rows and realized I hadn’t stopped at row five, like I’d thought. I might have been at seven, maybe eight. This project was not off to a good start, so I decided I’d do well to learn from my mistakes and start over.
This morning I frogged it all. Then I printed out the pattern so I could actually keep track of where I am. I’m more experienced with lace now, so I think it’ll go a little faster this time around. Not crazy fast, because it’s still lace with itty bitty yarn, but a little faster. Or at least smoother, and I’m okay with that. I might even look into that whole lifeline thing. Plus I’m going to knit with the pretty new needles I got at a late Christmas exchange yesterday!I love them. I also love the handmade buttons I got. They’re made from walnuts. Cool, huh? I think they’re going to look awesome on some hats…which I can make with my pretty new needles too!I got to give some gifts yesterday too, which was fun. My niece got a crochet Hello Kitty hat, which would have been a big hit…if she weren’t currently obsessed with all things Elsa. But I’m content knowing that it’ll fit her for a while and a time will come when she will wear it with pleasure. And my nephew got a Yoda hat, and it actually fit and it looked adorable on him. So I’m calling that a win.And last night I got to go on an actual date with my husband where we ate a meal neither of us had to cook and talked to each other, and then we went to a bookstore (or two) and ended up at Starbucks drinking hot drinks and talking some more. It was delightful. I think I’d like to do it again sometime. But for now I have an empty day ahead of me and yarn calling my name.
Yesterday was quiet and cool, so I spent much of the day on the couch with my yarns. I managed to frog the striped hat from yesterday’s post, so it’s all ready for a redo. I’m waiting until after I open my birthday presents, though, just in case there’s a set of interchangeable 16″ needles in one of them. (*fingers crossed*) I also worked for a while on my Quadratic shawl, and I cannot wait until it’s done and I can wear it. After lunch, I pondered the many WIPs I have, and the projects I need to complete soon, and I decided I could cast on for just one more. It’s for someone I like (okay, all my knitting is for someone I like) plus it’s an unusual project for me. It’s called the Spring Lace Infinity Scarf and with any luck, it will end up looking like this.
Spring Lace Infinity Scarf by Linda Thach. copyright Purl Avenue
This is fingering weight yarn (i.e. very skinny, i.e. not bulky at all, which is what I normally use) and it’s a lace pattern. It will end up being open and delicate and lovely (I hope) but it will knit slowly and will take much time and attention to detail. I managed to get through the casting on of 360(!!!) stitches and knitting of five rows. This is what it looks like so far. So yeah, it will be slow going on this one, but I think it will be delightful. I’ll probably spend some time on this today … or maybe I’ll spend the morning reading my new book!