January 16, 2006

Watercolor Legwarmers


All along I thought I'd use a stitch pattern and a single color, but when I sat down and thought about them I kept coming back to colorwork.

I wanted something subtle, so at first I thought I'd just alternate between 2 colors to get a really muted, shaded effect. I started drawing out little stitch patterns and eventually I got to an actual pattern.

Now, I know you can't clearly see what pattern is there. Occasionally the 2 colors of yarn that are next to each other almost match. But I like the overall effect -- it's blended, but you can definitely tell something is going on there.

I've used a total of 4 colors -- the MC, plus 3 others in the stranded area. The stranded area can use little scraps -- making this the perfect project for using up scraps from leftover socks.

My stranded knitting technique is probably my weakest and this project is giving me some great practice. Gauge isn't terribly important as long as I can slip them over my ankle and let them slouch a bit on my leg. Blocking will be my best friend for this project!

I've found my stranding is pretty even in the middle of the row. My problem is deciding how loosely to strand when it's between the 2 needles. I still need some practice before I know just how much to leave. I was thinking about cutting a piece of cardboard and inserting it so the yarn would be forced to follow the shape of the cylinder. I'm open to other suggestions though. Maybe it's just something I need to work on for a while longer?

The stitch pattern is really versatile. I can easily see making these up as armwarmers as well, and with less stitches they could definitely be made in a heavier wool. I'm already thinking about other lone balls of yarn I have in the stash to pair up for a totally different look.

All this inspiration from "too much" sock yarn!

January 16, 2006 in accessories | Permalink | Comments (30)

November 13, 2005

Scarf Sunday


It's funny how much pleasure I can get out of a little scarf. I'm so happy with how this turned out.


Pattern Mistake Rib: CO 23. Every Row: *K2 P2* to last 3 sts, K2 P1. Slip first stitch of each row knitwise.

Yarn Knit Picks Decadence 100% Superfine Alpaca in Winter Berry. 2 full hanks (242 yards) for scarf and approx 30 yards for fringe.

Needles US 10. I started with my Boyes because I love knitting narrow items on my straights. But, the point of the needle combined with the loose spin of the yarn caused extra splitting. I switched out to Addi circs and it was better. Even still, the US 10s killed my hands and I took several days off before knitting the last portion of this scarf.

Size 71 inches long without fringe and 6 inches wide. In my opinion this is a perfect length for a scarf. It's longer than I usually do and I love it. The width will probably decrease 1-1.5 inches with wear if it's anything like my mistake rib scarf.

I'm tempted to order some of the yarn for a scarf for me. It's really soft and warm, but my hands will not be happy with those US 10s and I don't think I'd like the yarn knitted any tighter. The scarf has great drape and I wouldn't want to lose that.

I'll hold off for now, but I have to place a knitpicks order later today and I'm not sure I'll be able to hold out!

November 13, 2005 in accessories | Permalink | Comments (14)

November 08, 2005

Quick Pic and a Question

My friend's scarf is about 60% done. Her birthday is tomorrow. I knit on it on and off this weekend but for some reason it's hurting my hands. I can't even figure out why -- it's 100% alpaca, mistake rib (k2p2), done on US 10's. The only thing I can think of it's the US 10s. I don't often knit with needles that big, but really...are they that big??? Anyway, I don't think I'll be done by tomorrow, but I'm taking her out for dinner next Friday so I still have time.

It definitely needs to be wet blocked. Right now it looks almost like Brioche stitch, right?

OK, time for the question.

First, I need to stress -- THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME.

A very close friend just found out she's pregnant. Never having been pregnant, nor really even planning on it, I'm very much out of my comfort zone (knowledge-wise). I wanted to get together a lilttle package/gift sort of thing and I thought I'd ask you all what would be good to give her (or the couple) for their first baby.

Is there a must-have book that comes to mind? Or a subscription of some sort? The due date is mid-summer (yeah it's really early) so I'm not thinking baby items as much as I'm thinking pregnancy items. Have no fear though -- the baby knitting will be coming!

So c'mon ladies -- gimme your best advice. This is for a very special couple and I want to do something nice for them.

November 8, 2005 in accessories | Permalink | Comments (33)

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)

August 22, 2005

Shrugging Along...

one arm's almost done
but is it?

It's really hard to tell exactly how long to make these sleeves. There's so much stretch to this lacy stitch that the proportions already look whaky. So I decided to seam it up and try it on (you know how much I like try it on as you go).

I'm glad I did because I realized 2 things:

  1. I still need about 2 inches before the sleeve is the proper length to my underarm
  2. I don't like the full length sleeves

So what am I going to do? Well, after a big internal battle of "Is it really that bad?, It's black, you'll wear it in the winter anyway, and Great, I'll just unseam a little and be done with it!" I admitted to myself that the sleeve was not wide enough to look good when pulled further up my arm. The drop stitch pattern looks best when it's only partly stretched.

I'll keep knitting this shrug across my back and back down the other sleeve and use that to determine the length (I think it'll be somewhere near that red line). Then when I've found the perfect length on that arm, I'll take out my scissors and cut cut cut!

And even though it would have only been noticeable to me the insanely picky a select few, both cuffs will now end the same exact way -- with stitches being bound off.

Y'all can breathe a little easier now.

August 22, 2005 in accessories | Permalink | Comments (4)

August 17, 2005

A Little Late to the Party


I've finally caught the shrug bug. I thought shrugs wouldn't work on those of us who were busty, but once I tried on a few in the stores I realized they could! I've already bought 2 shrugs that tie in the front so I decided I needed one of those shoulder-back type shrugs.

I'm making the drop stitch shrug from the Summer 2005 IK Staff Project. Here's a closeup of the stitch pattern. I picked Dale Stork instead of the called for yarn (a silk blend) because I wanted more of an everyday shrug.

The Stork is a finer gauge so after some swatching I decided to add one repeat in order to get the correct width.

I'm really impressed with the Stork yarn, and even considered it for my long-awaited Martha. Stork's a baby yarn though, and the color selection isn't very adult-friendly. So back to the drawing board on Martha.

Back to the shrug.

After a few repeats I noticed that both sides are good options for the right side (mental note -- this would be a nice scarf). I've decided I like the wrong side better.

right sidewrong side

I must have a thing for water lately, because what's drawing me to the wrong side are the ripples that look like undulating waves. The right side has a harsher look to it, and while it's pretty too, I like the softness of the wrong side.

What do you think?

August 17, 2005 in accessories | Permalink | Comments (14)

May 22, 2005



After many unsuccessful tries yesterday, I found a stitch pattern I love. I tried variations of feather and fan, I tried stitch patterns that make waves longways, and I considered trying a modular knitting approach.

Finally, I came across the Corona Pattern Stitch from the Reader's Digest Ultimate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stitches.

The thing I love about this yarn is how it looks almost unspun. The stitches that dip down into the eyelets several rows below really show off that detail. Wanna see? Here's a closeup. It's a really easy pattern to memorize because you can figure out what your next row should be just by looking at the row below.

I bought 3 hanks of this yarn (600 yards) and I think that will be way too much for this scarf. Heck, Clapotis only takes 600 yards! Even if I don't use it all up, this yarn is such a pleasure to work with that I'm sure I can find a second use for it.

May 22, 2005 in accessories | Permalink | Comments (13)

February 15, 2005

Ombre-Dyed Scarf

After organizing my stash I realized I had 3 skeins of DB Cashmerino Superchunky in cream. I've been wanting another scarf so I thought I'd whip one up quickly.

Once done, I felt it needed a little more oomph, so I decided to try my hand at Kool Aid Dyeing it.

Since the DB has some microfiber in it I wasn't even sure if the dye would take. I mixed up a water bath and gave it a go. It was pretty easy and the kitchen smelled like Jello. Wanna see the step-by-step process? I took a few pics for you!

The dye took, but the variations just aren't strong enough, so I'm going to have to make another pass at it. My plan is to just dye the darkest third this go around and see what happens.

February 15, 2005 in accessories | Permalink | Comments (13)

January 12, 2005

Ok, Ok, I Won't Frog The Sock

Wow, my "To Frog or Not To Frog" post yesterday sure did elicit lots of response -- multiple offers to send yarn so I didn't have to break my diet, and sweet comments about the theft. Thank you all so much! The break in could have been a lot worse -- they didn't damage the cars, nothing of sentimental value was lost, they didn't try to get into the house, and no one was hurt. And after having a few days to reflect upon it, that's the way we're looking at it.

Now that that's over with, I hereby promise NOT to frog the sock. But, I do need to make a bigger pair and I'll do that before making sock 2 for myself. My friend Evelyn offered to send over some Encore that's in her stash in a medium blue color and that should be perfect. Plus, it keeps me out of Rosie's which is really the ultimate goal. I don't think I could ever leave there with just a few skeins of Encore!

Fun Scarf

I started a fun and quick scarf out of Kureyon in my stash.


It's a herringbone pattern that I found at Sheep in the City. Here's a closeup. Isn't it cool?

A couple notes about this stitch pattern:

  • This pattern is SUPER warm and thick. I'm using US 13s to knit this and I typically knit with the needle size listed on the ball band. I tried it on 10s and it was so tight it felt more like a woven fabric than something that was knitted
  • The back looks pretty much like reverse stockingnette. It doesn't bother me much because the Kureyon still keeps in interesting, but I thought I'd mention it.
  • It knit up fast. Really fast. I knit through the first ball in a few hours.

New Rebecca!

Hey, did you notice? The Spring/Summer 05 Rebecca is up!

January 12, 2005 in accessories | Permalink | Comments (10)