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October 31, 2005

(scarf) size does matter

Ruler  Herenthere

Remember way back in August when I started thinking about my friend's November birthday and what I might knit her? Well it's next week and I just got started (for the last time) this weekend.

I've cast on for 2 other scarves for her, and added maybe 7 balls of yarn to the stash in the process. None of them were sticking. I ended up going for a bulky weight Alpaca from Knit Picks. It's a very loosely spun 2 ply (that loves to split since Alpaca doesn't really stick to itself like lamb's wool).

I spent half of yesterday casting on a variety of stitch patterns. I started out with brioche, thinking a simple pattern would showcase the lovely yarn at its best. But the bulky weight yarn just looked so big done up in brioche. So I frogged it. This process went on all morning. I'll spare you the blow-by-blow but to give you an idea at one point I had 7 stitch pattern books sprawled around my living room. don't laugh i know you do it too!

The one you see above is a 2x2 rib, but every row the stitches are twisted (a RT or an LT). I'm twisting on both the knits and purls, giving it a zig zag effect*. I like the stitch pattern but it's making one bulky scarf. If I were the type to jump from one project to another I might wonder how it would look in a sport or fingering weight on bigger needles. See that measuring tape up there? It's a solid half-inch thick. I know scarves are supposed to be warm but this is New Jersey, not Siberia. I really think a sport weight might be the way to go.

But, since I've already bought this yarn, and her birthday is next week, I'm going to stick with it. The next pattern I'm thinking about trying is Daisy from Rowan 38. i have some cream colored sport weight alpaca in the stash that i could dye up real quick It's done up in Kid Classic so I'd have to cast on fewer stitches. The flowers may add too much bulk too, but I still want to give sportweight alpaca the third freaking yarn I actually purchased for her a try.

The scarf on the right is the Here n There scarf from Scarf Style. That's one skein of Silk Garden and it's only 13 inches. I bought 4 skeins which will make a 52 inch scarf if I don't fringe (and I really wanted to fringe). I love the texture of Silk Garden all by itself so I think the fringe is one of the best parts! I didn't get the yarn locally but I may have to see if I can get another skein (I think the color is 211). The scarf if one of those patterns that look a lot harder than they actually are. It's a 2x2 rib except for every 7th row you do a little cable magic. Since the repeats are an odd number of rows you end up getting cables on both sides.

* see those needles? they're circa 1983 boye. i'm glad my mom had the forethought to pack away my needles when i got to the age where my brain told me knitting wasn't cool. strangely enough, it's the same brain that told me prime numbers and programming languages _were_ cool.

October 31, 2005 in accessories | Permalink | Comments (14)

October 30, 2005

River Update

Done!

  • Anmiryam is thrilled to get this one off the needles.
  • Cambria is done too. When do we get to see a pic?
  • Ev finished as well. Judging by her pic I think she did over 20 repeats!
  • Kate is done too, and looks great in her pic with a matching top.

Getting Started

  • Marisa cast on and is wondering if she'll be able to add any repeats and still do the knot. Those of you who used KSH and knit the knot, did you have any leftover?

As for me, I have 14 or 15 repeats done.

River Close Up

Knitting this on US 8's instead of 10.5's makes for a lot more repeats! Here's another shot showing its full length. It's about 2/3rds the length of my couch now -- and that's unblocked!

Even though it's so long I keep on knitting because I hate leaving a mini-ball of yarn at the end of a project. I can't seem to throw it out, and yet there's virtually no use for it! I can probably do another 3 or 4 repeats but I've lost steam. Now that it's getting cooler I'll probably pick this up again soon (nothing like actually being able to wear a project to motivate you to finish it up!)

And finally, if you asked to join recently and I haven't added you to the sidebar please let me know. I've been trying to keep up but I'm pretty sure I missed a few of you!

October 30, 2005 in River Along | Permalink | Comments (8)

October 07, 2005

Just One More Sleep

Thanks everyone for you bon voyage wishes!

In 7 hours we'll be on the road on the way to Hyannis (to catch the ferry to Nantucket). A few days there, and then a few more back on the Cape.

I'm all packed -- yes, even my knitting! See?

Thebagispacked

That bag looks small but I've manged to get a lot in there.

  • Wavy Lace Shawl from VK Fall 05
  • Sock in Vine Lace stitch pattern in Hand Jive Yarn
  • River Scarf: I've been doing 1 or 2 repeats a night and hope to have this done when I return.
  • 5 balls of yarn for KnitPicks Snowflakes & Arrows Vest.
  • Anastacia sweater in progress, with 2 additional hanks of Cascade 220 to tide me over
  • 2 hanks of Artyarns Ultramerino 4...just because
  • A variety of patterns printed out and copied, slipped into sleeves.
  • 2 pairs each of US 0 and US 1 for socks...in case I buy sock yarn and MUST CAST ON NOW (that'll *never* happen, right?)
  • Notions bag with all the necessary goodies
  • Last but not least, Handknit Holidays. You really didn't think I'd leave home without it did you?

I can't believe I fit all of it into this bag! Everything is sitting in nice little ziploc bags so they can't cavort when I'm not looking.

While I'm Away

I'm not sure if I'll be able to blog while I'm away. I do plan on reviewing the yarn stores I visit, but that might have to wait until I get back. It's not clear how much internet access we'll have at the BnBs.

River-Alongers -- I'll be taking a break from updating this Sunday.

October 7, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (12)

October 06, 2005

Just a Couple More Days...

and our vacation starts!

We're going to Nantucket and Cape Cod. There's supposed to be some good golfing on the Cape, which means there will also be some good knitting! Packing clothing -- easy. Deciding which projects to pack -- really hard. I had planned to blog about that today but I still haven't figured it out. In a moment of weakness I considered packing a set of needles in each size up to 5mm -- just in case. So I need a little while longer to work through my separation anxiety.

I am however, really looking forward to visiting some new yarn shops. Here are my plans. Does anyone have any experience with these shops? Have I missed one?

Nantucket

Sheep to Shore

Cape Cod
Adventures in Knitting in Harwich Port (read a positive review here)
Kristal Sunnyside Wools in Brewster. They raise Romney sheep and sell some of their wool to Bartlett Yarns.
The Ladybug Yarn Shop in Dennis. I can't get much info from their site but they do mention Falkenberg kits (which I take as a good sign).
Blue Heron Yarn Studio in Barnstable Village. They carry a good range of yarn including Dale (I always like seeing their patterns in person), and Mountain Colors (oooh Cape yarn from the Cape!).

October 6, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (7)

October 04, 2005

Alright Alright I'll Tell You!

I've been getting quite a few "what'd you get at Stitches" questions and comments.

I think the fact that it took me a week and a half to post about it is a great indicator of what I thought.

It was....eh.

The market is definitely going through a low period. Quite a few good vendors were missing this year, and even with the new ones they were still one or two rows short of last year's event.

They were so desperate that they let in this "As Seen on TV" dude selling hand-held steamers. He took up at least 4 booths. It looked so out of place with his flashy booth and rolling rack full of clothing to be steamed to perfection. I have no idea how he did, but on Friday his booth was pretty empty every time I walked by.

Did you know that Stitches East is moving? Rumor is it's because the Atlantic City location is driving out a lot of the smaller vendors. It'll be in Baltimore next year (in November) and I'm hoping that will help "fix" it. I've also heard Stitches West is not suffering from this same problem. I'm seriously considering flying out for a weekend and attending Stitches West. It's in mid-February so it's well before MDSW. It's in a nice part of CA so I really wouldn't mind the trip. And anyway -- who would complain about a trip for some more yarn buying?

So...here's what I got.

Handjive

Two hanks of Hand Jive Nature's Palette fingering weight for a pair of luscious socks. The is really soft yarn, and I love the speckly coloration. All Hand Jive yarn is dyed with natural dyes. My colorway is called Odd Duck -- and the speckles do sorta look like a duck. I love how tightly spun this yarn is. It really reminds me of Koigu.

Shelridge

Two hanks of Shelridge Farms Soft Touch Ultra in purple -- probably for socks. I tried to pick out solids or near-solids so I could do more patterning in my socks. I have tons of sock yarn but almost all of it is self-patterning or so variegated that it wouldn't look good with texture. While I was at it I forced myself to pick a color I normally wouldn't choose.

Pearl

Two colors of Louet Gems Pearl (fingering weight) for the stranded sock I wrote about a couple days ago.

Caravan

Two hanks of Just Our Yarn's Caravan -- 65% wool 35% camel down. They had some finished samples that were washed and the camel bloomed and softened and gave a halo similar to a fine mohair. Really really lovely.

And that's it! I tried to stick with smaller vendors or (in the case of the Louet Pearl) something I couldn't find locally. Can you believe I went to the Tess booth at least 4 times and couldn't find anything I wanted? Her sock yarn selection was limited and I just didn't see anything else that jumped out at me.

I did find one other yarn that intrigued me -- Green Mountain Spinnery's Green. It's 60% wool and 40% mohair. Unwashed it felt rather rough but the baby sweater they had on display was sumptuous -- velvety and silky and wonderful. But I couldn't think of a project that I'd like to make out of it and I didn't want to buy a random amount of hanks just to drop into the stash.

Even though I did rag on SE in the beginning of the post, I am really happy with the yarns I got. They're yarns I would have had a hard time getting close to home, and I probably picked out a couple things I wouldn't have considered buying otherwise.

Guess what? Now that I bought all this new yarn I went and started a project this weekend with stash yarn. I'll show pics of that in my next post...

Yeah yeah I'm such a tease!

October 4, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (11)

October 02, 2005

River Update -- Week 7

We have some FOs this week!

Brenda finished her beautiful white river!

Diana finished up her longer version and includes some great pattern notes.

Melissa finished a couple weeks back but somehow I missed her post! She used Kid Silk Night and shares her thoughts on how it worked up.

What to do?

A couple KALers our there want our input:

Kate is trying to decide if she's knit enough.

Kellee has ripped again and is trying to decide what needle size to use this go round.

Casting On

Nancy cast on this week with the blue shade of Kid Silk Spray. She has a nice closeup of the slightly variegated look this yarn is giving her River. Very pretty!

Need a Raft?

A couple of your fellow KALers have emailed me saying how frustrated they are with this project.

Jacqueline has ripped several times and is wondering why River is causing so many problems (she knit Birch just fine!)

Jackie is also not feeling the love and is unsure of her color.

October 2, 2005 in River Along | Permalink | Comments (7)

October 01, 2005

Handknit Holidays -- Weekend Edition

As promised, here's a better view into the book. I tried picking out projects to showcase. In the end I just took a pic of every project.

I've created a photo album for them so you can flip through at your leisure.

My favorite projects (it was really hard to pick just a few): Swedish Heartwarmer Shawl, Over-the-Knee Socks, and the openwork version of Winter Solstice Table Runners.

October 1, 2005 in Book Reviews | Permalink | Comments (14)