Monday, December 31, 2007

Tanglery--When Skeins Go Bad

It started out innocently; wind a cake from a skein of Schaefer Anne yarn into a perfect cake for knitting the perfect scarf to go with my new red jacket. But what was that? A nasty click-clack from my ball winder and an abrupt halt. No matter, this can be fixed. (It might have made as much sense to knit directly from the skein.)
For sure, hanging it on the bedpost didn't make a lot of sense, either. There was some (okay, a lot) exasperation going on here. 560 freakin' yards of fingering weight yarn, for goodness sake!
Several hours and an Excedrin PM later I'm rewinding the skein.
Note to self: Buy only small skeins from now on.

Happy New Year, and may all your tangles be small.

Friday, December 28, 2007

And Under My Hat...

Under my hat my hair is flat. I look (and feel) completely ridiculous in most of them. But it's probably the best feeling hat I've worn in a long time. Not too tight, not too loose, but just right!

Yarn: Mountain Colors Twizzle, colorway, Steelhead
Pattern: Toboggan Noggin, by Amy E. Anderson.
Needles: #6 Addi Turbos

Comments: I really like this pattern. I got it with a purchase of yarn at Lakeside Fibers in Madison, WI. The yarn is pleasant to work with and the colors are purely luscious.

The top of the hat can be closed or partly open or completely open to slide down the neck like a cowl.

With another skein in the wings, should I make gloves? Fingerless? Mittens?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

She's Gonna Be a Hokie!

My granddaughter will be going to Virginia Tech next year to study architecture! She was one of a few who received early acceptance to the school and she is very excited, as it was her first choice (Iowa State, her dad's school, had also accepted her application). Can ya tell I'm too terribly proud?

So, a grandma has to make something in her school colors, right? But this is still in the works, so don't breath a word of it, okay?
The maroon and burnt orange are good, but I haven't trimmed any loose ends yet in case I change my mind about the stripes.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Season's Greetings!

Have a Wonderful Christmas!
I feel so blessed to be able to connect with each of you as we knit our way through life. Thank you all for being there to encourage me. And a Happy New Year, too!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Two FO - La-La-La-La-La!

Here's the second of these scarves I've made (the first one I gave to my sister):
Pattern: Morehouse Farms Knit/Purl Scarf
Yarn: Morehouse Farm Merino Morehouse Merino 2-Ply in Oatmeal colorway
Needles: #5 Addi Turbos
Comments: Instead of the two skeins as came in the original kit, I used three skeins. This made the scarf very long and rather luxurious looking. Morehouse Farm has the loveliest Merino. It's a joy to knit, has a beautiful "hand," and has to be the best smelling wool available! I think this photo captures the essence of the stitch pattern, which is the same on both sides.

The second finished object is this reversible cable scarf:

Pattern: Onduleux Cables by Angela Johnson at Yarn Garage
Yarn: Shi Bui Sock in Rapids colorway
Needles: Susan Bates #5 Straights
Comments: I altered the pattern, which was written for thin worsted weight yarn, to fit the fingering weight yarn. Really like this pattern, too, as it is also reversible.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Reversible Cable Scarf in Progress

I know some of you have seen this in my Ravelry projects (my name there is keredding), but for those of you who are pure blog readers, here is the latest on this scarf progress. Not much, to be sure, but it's moving right along.

The cables look the very same on the back as on the front, which I find really attractive.

Here's something I originally read in the New York Times about the aging brain. It mentions, among other things, knitting to help keep your brain agile, even in the face of certain brain diseases. Here is the same article in the International Herald Tribune. We knitters suspected all along that knitting was good for you, didn't we?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Morning Frost

This was the view of my back yard from the living room window this morning. My little old camera just doesn't quite capture the beauty of the hoar frost on the trees. It was magnificent! And the sun is shining! Tender mercies.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Ruched Scarf - Finished!

Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug, 116 velvet plum (main color) and Koigu KPM, 2239 (contrasting color)
Pattern: Gathered Scarf by Maryse
Needles: #4 and #7 straights

Comments: I loved making this scarf. It was a totally fun pattern to do and it went pretty fast. One has to be watchful switching needle sizes, but that quickly becomes second nature as you change sizes on the decrease and increase rows.

I made a couple alterations to the pattern as written. Instead of a rolled stockinette stitch at the edges, I substituted the garter stitch and those rows were done in an analogous color, darker than the main one. This lovely detail that I thought was so important to the finished product is not revealed in the photo. But it is apparent in real life.

This pattern has such a beautiful, unusual texture and is so light to wear, since it's made with fingering weight yarn, that I am considering raiding my stocking yarn stash to make another. And maybe some matching wristlets!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Ruching Around

Starting another scarf before finishing two that are already on the needles is probably not prudent. But this scarf spoke to me, with its ruching between rows of garter. Even the back side of the scarf has an interesting texture.

Using fingering weight yarn and with a few minor changes to the pattern, the scarf is taking shape rather nicely. I am totally enjoying the knit. If it turns out the way I hope it will, I've got lots of sock yarn backed up in the stash to make another. And another. And another.

Seems like a good way to use some of that sock yarn that is way too beautiful to tread on.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Noro Striped Scarf #3 – Variation on a Theme

The Winterscape

Winterscape, is my third—maybe not last—Noro Striped Scarf. Reminds me of the countryside blanketed with snow and lined with bare-barked trees in shades of brown and gray and soft white with a dash of golden grasses. The next time you drive through the country in winter, take a good look at the landscape’s natural colors. In their subtlety, they are calming and refined and most beautiful to behold.

Yarn: Noro Silk Garden #267 and #269, two skeins each.

Needles: Susan Bates #7 Quicksilver straights.

Pattern: The Noro Striped Scarf, as seen on Brooklyn Tweed’s blog.

Comments: Is Noro refining and softening their Silk Garden yarn? These two colors were much squishier/softer in the skein than others and remained so on the needles. I decided to change the striping a bit on this scarf and rather than doing just the two row striping, added a variation on each end, with a ¾” stripe at the very center of the scarf (this stripe was done simply because there was a bit more brown yarn at the end of knitting the first two skeins and because I wanted a point for measuring where to start the next controlled striping). Also, I like the unexpected effect it gives. I carried the opposite color up the side, rather than cutting the yarn and weaving it in. The effect is not that noticeable and it reduced finishing time.

Here is the chart for the striping:

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Beautiful Wool

There's a new yarn shop in Minneapolis called Bella Lana (Italian for Beautiful Wool). Everything is white--except the yarn--and the shop is illuminated by round white lanterns completely filling the ceiling, corner to corner. It's one of the prettiest shops I've seen and the selection of yarn is very nice, some of which I hadn't seen before. I purchased some Bryspun needles, not always easy to find in the city, and they also have my favorite double points, Susan Bates Quicksilver.

Here's something else I found there this afternoon:It's a small velvet bag with beaded handle and a beaded scroll design on both sides--perfect for one sock in progress at the symphony, your lipstick and comb!One of the customers sure looked like Annie Modesitt. I was too shy to ask. Was that you, Annie?