Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ravelry Mania

I'm home recuperating and just well enough to become absolutely obsessed with getting all my yarns into Ravelry. The problem with my yarn stash is that it mainly consists of one or two skeins per yarn so it's going VERY slowly. I've spent 10 hours today retrieving, organizing, photographing, and putting back about 70 yarns.

And, I'm only about 1/3, if that, done.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ashland Bay "Columbia"

Have I said how much I dislike this fiber? This is close to the end of what I'd bought when I first started spinning. And, in July 2007 I sold the Bosworth Journey Wheel to someone who really wanted it, with the help of the wonderful Bosworths. It was quite an adventure but I learned my lesson never to use the services of my local so-called shipping store. The Journey Wheel was a beautiful piece of furniture for my small apartment but never versatile enough for me. I needed a wheel that could spin thick to thin. I'm sorry that I had to part with Jonathan's beautiful handiwork.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Coopworth Skein, May 2007

This finishes up one my first rovings. , except for one spindlefull I found just after I spun and plied this. Because I spun the Coopworth is fairly thick and fuzzy (read: woollen), it did not ply well on the Journey Wheel. However, I was able to ply it on my trusty Louet.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Socks with Trekking XXL

Pattern: My own for The D.B., starting with 96 stitches on #1 needles. Gauge is c.9st to 1". Stitch pattern: basket weave rib -- her favorite
Materials: Trekking XXL Color 298, dye lot 4206 ; 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon. 2.5 oz (100 g) ; 459 yds (420 m);
Jawoll Superwash Sock Yarn by Lang, Color Dark Moss 75% superwash, 18% nylon and 7% acrylic.
She loves this yarn so much that I bought the only 6 I could find on the web plus 3 more of the Lang Jawoll Dark Moss.

Aren't these pretty? I made them for The D.B. but I gave them to her before I photographed them. I've lost the ball band but do remember that it was a skein of Trekking XXL bought at Woolcott & Company in Cambridge in June 2006. I finished them sometime in early 2007. Meanwhile, the socks are in the semi-dress section of the The D.B.'s sock cabinet.

There's no way to coordinate the colors in both socks but it doesn't matter. The stitch is The D.B.'s favorite -- basket weave rib.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Stoke-On-Trent Knit & Felt Tote by Sarah Bradberry

Phoebe the cat is studying the pre-felted market bag. The photo was taken in early January 2007. I haven't fulled/ felted the bag yet because we've been having septic tank, or rather, the pipe to the septic tank problems in NJ so I don't want to tax the waste water disposal situation.

Finally, in on February 2, 2008 I felted the bag while doing the laundry in the city apartment's basement washroom. It took two go-throughs.

My daughter visited me on February 9 -- a refuah shleymah visit following my surgery on February 5. She is mighty pleased with her birthday present bag in her favorite color combination of pink and brown.
Materials: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted
Pattern: Sara Bradberry. Click title of posting for link to pattern

Monday, February 18, 2008

Hat Emergency solved!

Hat Replacement #1
My DB loves this hat. Actually, she just adored its predecessor, lost in a cab, probably, at the end of January. She was disconsolate! But, not to fear, I always keep skeins of the yarn set aside for possible replacement of the hat and the matching mittens. The DB is a most faithful sort, not one to lust after a new hat style. So, last Monday I started to replace it. Made originally in December 2001 from a Bernat booklet's beret pattern, which I adjusted considerably, this hat had (has) been a great success.

Why are there two photos of what appears to be the same hat? Because yesterday, Sunday, I finished the second, emergency backup hat ...just in case the first gets lost. The differences between the two: I made a couple of mistakes in the decreases in #2 and the pompom is more compact.

Materials: 1 skein each of Lamb's Pride Worsted in Periwinkle and Creme. #3 & #5 circular needles; #5 dps,
cardboard for pompom
Circumference: 21.5" -- women's medium

Pattern: Cast on 106 stitches on #3 20" circ. needle using periwinkle. Complete 10 rounds in k1p1 rib. In next round increase to 120 stitches every in alternating 7th and 8th stitch (k in front and back of stitch). This increase avoids the holes of "make 1, using the horizontal thread between stitches" in the original pattern. Thus: increase in first stitch, then in 8th, then in the 7th and so on.
Change to white yarn and begin pattern: k11, p1. This creates 10 sections in the hat, separated by a purl "ditch" which helps hide the increases and gives the hat structure and shape.
Change color every two rows. The first row of the new color is the increase row until 220 stitches have been reached for a wonderfully full tam-like beret. For a more modest, less outrageous beret, increase only to 190 stitches.
Increases: After some experimenting I found the perfect increase for this hat. Knit all the k stitches in the section and only then pick up the horizontal yarn between the last knit stitch and the purl stitch. Place it on the needle with the yarn on the front of the needle slanting from the bottom left side of the last knit stitch to the top of the needle (up and left). Increase by knitting a stitch into the back of the loop on the needle. This avoids holes.
When you reach the desired outer width of the tam/beret, in the next color change begin decreases, knitting together the last two knit stitches before the purl in each of the twelve sections. As with the increases, decrease in the first row of the color change. Continue to decrease until 24 sts remain. Last decrease: knit together the last k and p stitch in each section. Thread yarn through stitches and pull together tightly through bottom of hat to avoid that silly bump which sometimes results.
Pompom, optional but mighty -- use any method you like. I wrapped a lot of yarn around a 3" wide piece of cardboard, tied the middle of each side together firmly with matching thread, slipped it off the cardboard, wrapped the thread around the two little "waists" to make 1 pompom, cut the loops and trimmed it until it was round. Very simple. No tools are ever needed for pompoms.

This is a thick, warm hat.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hat & Scarf for Stitch'n'Time's Sunday Lunch Program Project

Here's the hat and scarf I finished on February 10 during the first days following surgery on February 5. Let me recommend this as a great recovery activity. I chose something that wouldn't be too much of a challenge and would also be very forgiving. Instead of knitting either the hat or the scarf as the directions advised, I decided to knit both.

At work we have a charity knitting program called Stich 'n' Time, chaired by the lovely and most capable Charlene W. They are planning to give out hand-made scarves and hats to the people who come to The Sunday Lunch Program on February 24. Claire Brenner, President of the Big Apple Knitters Guild, created the patterns for Stich 'n' Time , who also provided the yarn to willing knitters.

I used 6.5 oz of a 7 oz / 187 g. skein of Bernat SuperValue Acrylic, 382 yds / 350 m. in worsted weight. The hat weighed 2.5 oz, the scarf 4 oz.

Because I knit loosely I used #7 needles instead of the recommended #8 and cast on 34 stitches instead of the recommended 32. The edge stitch is a chain edge. It's 14" of garter stitch, 14" of k2p2 rib and 14" of garter. I made the hat on a 16" #7 circular needle instead of the recommended 2 needles, ending, of course, with #7 dp's. Cast on 88 sts, k2p2 for 5"; stockingette st for an additional 5" then decrease every other row , evenly 11 times in the round. It works out to k6, k2tog in the first dec.row; k5, k2tog in 2 dec.row, etc. until there are 11 stitches, then pull these together tightly.

Thank you, Charlene and Claire, for the chance to participate in this project.