New Knitting

Cosmic Wonder Dust Scarf
Cosmic Wonder Dust Scarf

This is the new project. The yarn is called Cosmic Wonder Dust. I think it looks like a party. I really love the colors in this yarn.

I really wanted this yarn. They didn’t have the weight that uses n.6 needles. These particular skeins use n.9 needles and it feels really thick. Still, it knits very quickly. I started this project last night and already have a lot completed.

Cosmic Wonder Dust initial work
Cosmic Wonder Dust initial work

Before this morning, I had just a few rows of the scarf done. Three conference calls and I have a lot more done.

Also, my process must be progressing, because I only ripped the cast-on off once. I was happy with my progress after the second cast-on.

This might be the last scarf I need for Christmas gifts for the YM’s friends. We’ll see. He has roommate who wasn’t there, but found the house and I may make one for her just so she doesn’t feel left out. I think I will have the time.

I want to make one for the YM as well, but I have to find some yarn that is even softer than the merino wool.

Lichen Scarf

Lichen scarf
Lichen scarf

I finished the Lichen scarf. It was finished yesterday, a little later than I wanted, but I didn’t carpool last week, so I didn’t have as much time to knit.

The deadline was because I went to the knitting store on Monday and bought yarn for the next scarf. I don’t want to stash yarn.

The tightness of my stitches was a little off at the end, but I am pleased with how the scarf came out.

Lichen Scarf To Be

Lichen Yarn wound
Lichen Yarn wound

I know the Nighthawk Scarf was barely cold in the box of gifts when I went and bought more yarn. There are not many yarn shops near me, so I have to take advantage when I can.

There is one near my hairdresser and since I was getting a cut, I stopped and bought yarn as well.

I bought two skeins of the yarn shown, which is Madeleine Tosh Lichen. The person receiving this scarf-to-be likes dark green. I couldn’t find an all dark green skein, so this is what she is getting. I am not a huge green fan, so the purple and grey will relieve me a little bit.

This is knit on size 6 needles, but I cast on to size 7s and then purl on to the size 6s to keep the curve from developing, like on the Nighthawk scarf. I really wanted to get started, but forgot my size 6 needles, so I haven’t gotten to it yet.  Soon.

I was tempted to buy two additional skeins as well, but resisted. I really don’t want to start a yarn stash. I have a fabric stash and that is my limit.

Finished Nighthawk Scarf

Finished: Nighthawk Scarf
Finished: Nighthawk Scarf

I am pleased to say that I finished the Nighthawk scarf. I started it just about a month ago and finished it over the weekend. I wove in the ends at Craft Night, so done and dusted.

As I almost always say, I am pleased with how this scarf came out. I was also pleased with the size and feel of the yarn. As I said in a previous post, it has a kind of springy feel.

The finished scarf is rather heavy. It is also long, but I wanted it to be long. This scarf, the Monarch scarf and the next few scarves will go to the YM’s friends who helped take care of him this summer.

Finished: Nighthawk Scarf -full
Finished: Nighthawk Scarf -full

 

More Knitting

Since I finished the last scarf, I have started another one. Since I took TFQ to some knitting stores a while ago, I have been wanting to try some Madeleine Tosh yarn.

Since I bought the bamboo yarn and started that scarf on a whim, I didn’t try the Madeleine Tosh yarn then. I couldn’t find any Madeleine Tosh yarn that appealed to me at Monarch Knitting, so I bought some other lovelies.

Madeleine Tosh Night Hawk Scarf
Madeleine Tosh Night Hawk Scarf

Finally I found some Madeleine Tosh yarn that I felt like knitting and started in. I don’t remember starting my first projects (about a zillion years ago), but my process now is to knit, rip out everything, knit some more, rip a bit, then get a handle on everything and knit like a crazy woman.

My first issue was that I didn’t like the curve (left sample in photo). I cast on pretty tightly which created a curve. I didn’t want to rely on the weight of the rest of the knitting to straighten it out. My SIL suggested casting on with larger needles. I did that and the next sample was great.

I made up the pattern, which was to purl 4-5 rows to keep the edges from curling, then to purl 5, knit 35 and purl 5, again to keep the edges from curling.

I really like this yarn and will definitely use it again. I like that it doesn’t stretch much, but is springy. I also like that it doesn’t have any acrylic in it.

Another Scarf

Finished Blue & Purple Scarf
Finished Blue & Purple Scarf

While I just posted about a scarf I had finished, I am posting about another one. I have a very strict policy about not stockpiling yarn. I buy 2 skeins at a time, I make a scarf, then I buy two more. I finished this scarf last week and finished the Bamboo Scarf about a month before that. I like to knit on planes and I had a lot of flights in April, May and June.

Finished Blue & Purple Scarf-detail
Finished Blue & Purple Scarf-detail

I bought the yarn for this scarf in Monterey at Monarch Knitting on a break from the Grand parlor crazy.I like the way the scarf came out, but I wasn’t crazy about the yarn. It had some acrylic in it and I didn’t like the way it stretched while I knitted it. It wasn’t springy just stretchy. It made larger spaces between the stitches. This isn’t a bad thing; I just don’t like it.

One thing I learned was to play around with the needle size. On my newest project I used a larger sized needle to cast on and then I switched to a smaller sized needle to do the knitting. We’ll see how it turns out.

One of the YM’s friends really liked the colors, so I made the scarf for him.

Bamboo Scarf

Bamboo Yarn
Bamboo Yarn

Occasionally I knit.

I learned in Austria when I lived there and have made a sweater, a vest and a scarf that I can remember. Now I just knit scarves, though I am tempted to knit a skull cowl for the YM.

I haven’t for awhile, but when I saw the colors of this yarn, it drew me in and the softness sealed the deal.

It ended up that the different widths of the yarn were really a pain, but I am pleased with how the scarf turned out. Knitting and listening to audiobooks is a great activity for airplane trips and you all know I had enough of those in the past few months.

Bamboo Scarf
Bamboo Scarf
Bamboo Scarf detail
Bamboo Scarf detail

Once I got the hang of knitting again, I went to town and was able to finish this scarf in a few months. I found that I liked purling better than knitting, which my SILs think is a scream, so the scarf I am working on now is all purling. I think I will do the next one with 4 purls on the edges and knits in between.

I might enter this scarf in the Fair. I made it for me, so it will be around the house. I may, however, make another that is better. We’ll see.

Finished: Knitting Box

Knitting Box Closed
Knitting Box Closed

Yes, the Knitting Box, which seemed like such a failure, is finished. It took me much longer than I thought it would. Even though I should be done with this project, I am tempted to make another just because I would like to perfect the process as well as make a few modifications.

Knitting Box Open
Knitting Box Open

SIL likes it and I hope she will find it useful. I was nearly finished when she dropped off her child and requested a wrist band instead of the belt loop she originally requested.

Knitting Box One Flap Open
Knitting Box One Flap Open

No dice. I did not want to rip out the seam and insert a longer loop. I didn’t have it in me. Fortunately, SIL is very thin and the belt loop was generous enough to fit over her hand. It is tight enough not to slip off as she is in transit.

The above photo shows that I added some snaps. I had some large black snaps on hand, which SIL said would be fine to use. I decided I wanted something to match the piece. I looked for pink snaps in several local shops with no success. I am sure I have seen colored snaps before, but I couldn’t find any. I must have seen them online. I finally bought clear snaps and they work well to keep the box closed. I was able to finish it while she was out.

Corner Detail
Corner Detail

Part of what I wanted to do was secure the corners into a small box shape. I did that with beads and Laura Wasilowski hand dyed Perl Cotton. I hope it holds up. If not, I can fix it.

Snaps in Action/Corner Detail
Snaps in Action/Corner Detail

Above you can see the snaps and unfolding action as well as a bit of the corner detail.

Open View from the Side
Open View from the Side

I put two snaps on the edge covering the section where the yarn will come out. I thought that SIL could only snap one in order to allow the yarn to flow out more smoothly.

Another View - Closed
Another View - Closed

You can see how the yarn would come out with one snap open.

Another View - Closed
Another View - Closed

I will be really interested in how this project actually works in practice and if SIL uses it. I like the way the box looks in this picture and wonder if it will stay like that while she is on the go and knitting.

One of the things I really ended up liking about this project is how it became a group effort. I appreciate my SIL and my niece helping me figure out the solution to my challenges and to all of my readers who gave me resources. I also appreciate the opportunity to do something a little different and to Ruthann Logsdon Zarroff of Mirkwood Designs for posting the original Truffle Box pattern.

Thanks!

Knitting Box Un-Fail?

Knitting Box - A new view
Knitting Box - A new view

Last week I discussed the Knitting Box. I thought it was a hopeless failure and I would have to go back to the drawing board.

My fabulous readers came up with some solutions, including a list of comments about “portable knitting sacs” (thanks, Jessica!) and using a pattern for a take out box (as in Chinese take out). On Jessica’s list, I found the Port-a-Pocket and the Knit Knack Sack. One lady also described how to make something similar from a CD. I couldn’t exactly follow her directions, but my go back to them if the failure cannot be repaired. Knituition also had directions for a knitted wrist yarn holder. Sarah on Ravelry shows a slight variation of Knituition’s wrist yarn holder. Halcyon Yarn also has a wrist yarn holder, which, not being much of a knitter, looks like a torture device to me. I will only subject my SIL to that as a last resort. Finally, there was something called a waisthook. I have no idea how this works and am also thinking torture device!

One of these hints led me to the portable knitting pouch, which is made from fabric and up my alley. I also found a Yarn Traveler bag, which is interesting, but doesn’t quite fit the belt criteria. The portable knitting set was also a source of inspiration.

Potential Amount to Sew
Potential Amount to Sew

I decided to bring it with me on the trip to Mother’s Day brunch and show it to the intended recipient. My SIL agreed with me that the Mirkwood Designs pattern has style and I should try and salvage it if I could. My SIL and niece played around with it in the car and we all brainstormed on how it could be salvaged. First, they found a different way to fold it (above). This way of  folding it keeps the box together pretty well. It is actually probably the intended way to fold it. The bad part is that the parts still aren’t strong enough to hold a ball of yarn. An idea they had was to sew up the side about an inch, so that the box will already be partially shut.

Beaded and Sewed
Beaded and Sewed

I think sewing it up a bit is a good idea. I used some Perl cotton so that it doesn’t matter if the stitching shows. If I put some beads on the end of the Perl Cotton I won’t I have to try and hide the knot. My only concern is that they would get stuck on stuff as my SIL moves around with the box on her belt.

I will probably put something on the top to keep it together. I talked about buttons. My niece suggested snaps and SIL suggested velcro. I’ll see what I have around and try them.

I always say that more brains are better and this is a perfect example of more brains getting involved helps a lot. Thanks, all!

Knitting Box Fail

I have been trying create a portable knitting bag for my SIL.  The idea is that she can put the loop on the ‘box’ through her belt and the bag/box part will hold a ball of yarn. The point is that she can knit while standing in line and her ball of yarn won’t roll away.

Finished Piece
Finished Piece

The engineering part of this has been a challenge. I didn’t see the one that she saw and only had it described to me. I searched the web for a pattern (didn’t go to the Library and look through their patterns). I wasn’t sure what to call this thing, so searching and looking in indexes was hard. I thought I was golden when I found a truffle box pattern over at Mirkwood Designs (great podcast, BTW).

Various Pattern Bits
Various Pattern Bits

Not only the pattern seem like I could blow it up and use it, thus eliminating the need to deal with proportions, but it also has style. The copy center at work helped me blow it up. Then I traced for the fabric and traced it again for the interfacing pattern and traced the square one more time for some Timtex-like stiffener.  The short answer is that I couldn’t make it work. You should make the designs at Mirkwood Designs as truffle boxes, though, because I am sure they are fabulous made out of the right materials for truffles. Her recipe for the truffles sounds fabulous, too.

I have to admit that not everything works the way I intend it. This is one of those things. I am not giving up, but I have to regroup and start over.

Finished Piece
Finished Piece

I am not sure why it doesn’t work, but it doesn’t. One thing I do know is that the sides aren’t right. The piece has style, but no functionality. The idea was that the curves would slightly overlap the straight edge and keep the ball of yarn in. Alternatively, I thought I could also put a cute button on each side with some ribbon to wrap around it, which would keep the thing closed.

I don’t consider failing a bad thing. I am not happy about it, but failure helps me learn and that is good.

Now, back to the drawing board. Need a failed project?

Knitting Progress

Knitting - March 2010
Knitting - March 2010

The progress I am making on the next Orphans.org scarf. They like them to be 60″. I am on the second hank of yarn and not even at 30″ yet, so I am not sure I will make it.

Sue, a CQFAer, suggested I not cast on so many stitches and make the scarf more like 25 stitches wide. I will try that on the next one. I like doing this because I feel like I am doing some good for the world. It might be a small thing, but perhaps it will make a difference

Knitted Scarf Complete!

Knitted Scarf: complete
Knitted Scarf: complete

When we went to the North Coast, I also brought along this scarf, which I discussed before. I only had a few rows to knit before I was ready to bind it off.

I knitted a few rows and started to bind it off. When I had about 10 more stitches to bind off, I realized that I didn’t have enough of a tail to finishing the binding off. I was in a patient mood, so I unbound what I had done and unknitted a row, then bound the scarf off.

This was a really good reminding experience. I have knitted a few things and once I get going, I am ok. I liked the stitch, especially since the edges don’t curl. It is no great masterpiece, but I enjoyed working on it.

I didn’t measure it, but you can see the approximate length (25″??) because the charm pack is 5×5″.

I would like to get more yarn and make another scarf. I don’t think this one is long enough, so perhaps I will use 2 skeins next time. Perhaps I have a knitting needles roll in my future?

Thanks to Michele and Ginny for getting me going on this project.

Knitting

Knitted scarf
Knitted scarf

Just to be clear I do not consider myself to be a knitter. I know how to knit, as long as someone can help me. I have knit a hat, a vest, a sweater and am now working on a scarf, but I do not knit often or well. I do not have a knit stash.

I started a knitting project last year and it has been sitting in a drawer. A confluence of things came together to get me to pull it out.

First, I have been listening to the CastOn podcast lately, which I spoke about in a previous post. Second, all of my quilt projects which require hand work are in transition.

  1. Kissy Fish needs more machine quilting and then I have to prepare the facing before I can hand sew it. I am happy with the beading I have done on it.
  2. Beach Town is essentially done in terms of beading and hand embroidery. I steamed the living daylights out of it last weekend and now need to trim it and prepare the facing.
  3. Moon and Stars is a project I started a looooong time ago and don’t believe I have ever discussed here. I have to get it out and photo graph it and see what it really wants and needs.
  4. Flowering Snowball/Cross Blocks is embarrassing. OK, the project itself is not embarrassing. I am embarrassed to tell you what my problem is with it.
  5. Laura Wasilowski Garden piece need some petals. I think it is too spiky for me. She recently commented on my blog and got me to look at that piece again. I am going to put it up on my design wall and see what I see. Any comments you have would be appreciated.

As a result of all of the above, I had no handwork to bring over to my SIL’s house on Saturday for dinner and hanging out. Since I am physically incapable of just sitting and watching TV, I dragged out the knitting. My SIL got me back in the groove and I was off and running. I was really pleased with how much I got done.

Knitted scarf - detail
Knitted scarf - detail

Sorry the above photo is dark. I was trying to get the detail for you. I am doing the same stitch over and over. I don’t remember if it is knit or purl. I just know how to do it. 😉

Part of the reason I got this project out was hearing about Orphan.org on CastOn. They collect various things for care packages for foster kids who are at college. I have wanted to do something fiber related for charity and this might be the thing. I’ll see how this scarf goes and then decide.