Where I write about knitting, crocheting and lace, and, on occasion general comments on other topics

New Projects

Written by: Lindy

October 28, 2009

Since I have finished several WIPs in the last couple of weeks and I will be finishing my first pair of SFS socks this evening, I have started two new projects. Both are scarves and both are Christmas presents.

Scarf one is for my DD. I am using a black Cash Vero yarn (Cascade Yarns) that is very soft and seems to have a nice drape to it. DD wanted a black textured scarf — so after a number of different swatches, I decided on the Diamond Brocade pattern from Barbara G. Walkers’ “Treasury of Knitting Patterns”. The pattern shows up nicely along with the moss stitch border.

Diamond Brocade Scarf

Diamond Brocade Scarf

Scarf two is for DD’s roommate, JC. Her favorite colors are red and purple, so I am using a red and purple sock weight yarn (Cascade Yarns, Hertitage) and knitting a chevron pattern. This is the swatch. I started out changing colors every two rows and then switched to changing colors every four rows. I think I prefer the four-row patterning to the two-row and will need to add more of a border because it really has a tendency to curl on the edges.

Chevron Scarf Swatch

Chevron Scarf Swatch

Readers: Which do you think looks better? The two-row repeat or the four-row? Leave me a comment, please. Thanks!

Completed WIP’s

Written by: Lindy

October 20, 2009

I’ve finally finished some projects!

The knitted bunny is done. It turned out a little lopsided, but it’s rather cute.

Knitted Bunny on Teddy Bear Blanket

Knitted Bunny on Teddy Bear Blanket

The lace scarf for my DIL is done. This is a lovely pattern. I especially like the three-stitch slipped stitch edging on this scarf. This is a technique I will keep in mind for future projects.

Lace Scarf

Lace Scarf

Update on SFS

Written by: Lindy

October 15, 2009

SFS_HeelFlap2
I have finished the legs on my SFS regulation socks and knitted the heel flap.

Then I did the heel turn – which required some juggling. I slipped one sock heel onto a another circular needle while I knit the heel turn and then repeated the process for the second sock. This seemed easier than trying to knit the two heel turns with the same circular needle at the same time.

SFS_HeelTurn3

The real challenge was to pick up the gusset stitches and at one point I had 4 circular needles in use. But I was successful in picking up the gusset stitches on both sides of the heel.

Now on to knitting the gusset and switching back to larger needles about halfway through.

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Things Learned from a Swatch

Written by: Lindy

October 12, 2009

It took me years to appreciate the value of doing a swatch before starting a knitting project. I cannot tell you how many poorly fitted sweaters I knit before I came to realize that it truly was worth the time and effort to swatch first.

I learned this when I bought my first knitting machine. You see, when you are using a knitting machine, you can’t even get started without doing that swatch – as you need it to tell you if you have your machine tension set up correctly. It only takes one frustrating experience with a too tight tension on the knitting machine to convince you of the necessity for doing a swatch or two.

Swatching also provides you as a knitter the freedom to become, as Elizabeth Zimmermann says, “The boss of your knitting”. If you know your gauge, and understand the basics of the design you are wanting to make – you are free to modify any pattern – or MAKE YOUR OWN.

So, I always swatch. This last weekend I did a swatch using the Baby Ull yarns that I purchased to knit a sweater and romper for my new grandson due the end of January. I had a couple of extra reasons for doing this swatch beyond determining what size needle I needed to obtain the stated pattern gauge. First, I wanted to try out the three color pattern for the sweater and get comfortable with it. Second, I wanted to see if I liked the color combinations of the yarns in the color pattern.

Swatch_Cardigan1 Here’s a picture of the swatch. I cast on 44 stitches so that I could have a 40 stitch area surrounded by a 2 stitch garter stitch edging. I started using US 2 (3.00 mm) needles and then switched to a smaller US 1 (2.50 mm) needle for the last part of the swatch. I did a section of garter stitch, then stockinette stitch, then the color pattern using the lighter aqua blue as the main color and then switched to using the darker teal blue as the main color. I finished the swatch by doing a section of sockinette stitch on the smaller needles, followed by a section of garter stitch.

Here’s what I learned from this swatch: 1) I need to use smaller needles than what is stated in the pattern in order to obtain gauge. This is important because I want this sweater to fit. 2) I like using the darker teal blue as the main color – I think the lighter aqua blue shows up better against it than the other way around. This is significant – because I bought 7 balls of the lighter aqua and only 1 ball of the darker teal. (I have now ordered enough teal to make the sweater, as my LYS did not have enough of it on hand…) 3) The 3 color pattern is fairly simple and easy to knit. I think it’s good to practice such things before starting off on a special project like this.

So to those readers who “hate to swatch”: do you see the value of what I did here? Swatching is a valuable technique that helps you be the “boss of your knitting”. Now go swatch!

Snow in October

Written by: Lindy

October 10, 2009

It’s October 10th! And it’s snowing — yes, I said snowing. It’s not unusual for Nebraska to get weird weather from time to time — but SNOW in October? Really? Here’s a couple of shots taken from my deck on the back of my house:

10-10-2009 Snow

10-10-2009 Snow

10-10-2009 Snow 2

10-10-2009 Snow 2

Weather report is for freezing temps all weekend and possibly more snow on Monday. Then, typically, we’ll be back to more autumn-like temps and weather. Let’s see — which knitting project to work on first?

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WIPs – Goals For October

Written by: Lindy

October 7, 2009

I still have far too many works in progress! I have made some headway on them, but I keep wanting to start more and find myself having to exercise some mental discipline. For now, I will not start any more projects until I finish the following:

Aida Scarf
Lace Scarf for DIL (nearly 50% completed)

SFS_12inches
Regulation Socks – SFS (ready to start the heel)

I am also prioritizing the projects that I have planned and for which I have purchased yarn. I hope this will keep me from my insane tendency to have too many projects on needles. In order of priority, the planned projects are: 1) Textured Scarf for DD; 2) Striped Scarf for JC; 3) Baby Sweater and Romper for new grandchild; 4) Regulation hat for SFS. The first two are Christmas presents, so I hope to start them sometime this month.

I have also decided that there are some WIPs that can just sit patiently on their needles and wait for a time when I am ready to pick them up and finish them. These are projects without any identified recipients or times for completion: So the Cable Rib Socks (for me), the two shawls and a “Moderne Baby Blanket” currently on needles are on hold for now.

Now, I just have to avoid the temptation of yarn shops and yarn sections in craft stores…

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Oh! More Yarn!

Written by: Lindy

October 3, 2009

During my recent trip to New England, I visited a couple of yarn shops in Boston, MA. And, of course, I bought yarn in each of them!

CascadeHeritage2
At Wolcott & Co. in Harvard Square, I purchased two beautiful hanks of Heritage Sock yarn (Cascade Yarns). I plan to use this soft superwash merino yarn for a scarf for my daughter’s roommate.

MindsEyeYarns1
At Mind’s Eye in Porter Square, I purchased a lovely skein of undyed handspun alpaca yarn and 3 balls of Online Linie 2 Supersocke Silk yarn. The alpaca was a stash purchase and will wait for the right project to find it. The sock yarn will be used for a scarf for my daughter (she picked it out).

BabyUll_1
I was still trying to decide what pattern and what yarn to use for the baby sweater I want to make for my new grandson due in January. After knitting the baby blanket, I decided not to use the same yarn for the sweater – so off I went to Personal Threads, one of the local yarn shops here in Omaha. There I found what I was looking for – I ended up buying Dale of Norway Baby Ull in three colors in sufficient quantity to knit a cardigan sweater and a romper to match! Oh, and I bought the pattern as well.

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