Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The VERY Late Socks for Scott

I promised my patient (but now, quite understandably grumbly) son-in-law socks about three years ago. I showed him the beautiful yarns from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. They are Copper and Rooster Rock in Socks That Rock, medium weight. At the same time I showed him the booklet BMFA publishes with ideas for fair isle work with their yarns. All well and good until I actually began a swatch this spring. When I actually knit the two yarns I fell in love with them. The monochrome Copper is a perfect foil for Rooster Rock. Rooster Rock has all the tints you'd expect from a naturally-dyed tweed from the Shetland Islands. It is much too beautiful to use for stranded two-color knitting where the continuity of the color progressions would be lost. The colorway is elegant, actually, not one to play around with. It's a rare yarn that commands such respect.

It was a hard-going-summer with little time for knitting so I put this project aside -- again. At Rosh Hashanah my daughter reminded me that I was very, very late so I started again. Now she's upset that I've changed the pattern and may disappoint Scott. It would be foolish to spend all that time on something no one wants so I'm waiting for Scott's input.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Robert Polidori Disses Knitters

On the 9/28/09 New Yorker Outloud podcast "Interiors" staff photographer Robert Polidori is scathing about knitters -- and his fellow photographers. Contemptuously he compares his fellow students who liked to work in the darkroom developing photos to women who like to knit. He was quite scathing. Stupid man, doesn't he realize he's a craftsperson, too? He's using a tool to capture what is before his lens; knitters use their tools to make yarn into fabrics. Not that different!

Yellow Dress Socks

One of a series, knit on US 0 / 2.0 mm circular needles. The yarn is Lang Jawoll Superwash solid in light yellow #84.0114, ordered from Yarn forward. I used up almost all the 412 yds -- it was nip and tuck, actually. These were requested by the D.B. as "dress socks" to go with the black I knit last year. Her very favorite sock pattern is the basket weave rib, a 12-row pattern that becomes more rote the more you knit it. And, I've had plenty of practice. Finished August 2009.

I love Lang Jawoll -- it remains very soft and wears extremely well.

Cast on 96 sts (to fit generous calf) in k2p2 rib. Continue for about 1.25" to 1.5" then begin the basket weave rib. At 3" begin decreasing at each side of center back every four rows until there are 72 sts. 1" = c.12 rows but adjust if it doesn't because it's nicer if there's an inch or a bit over of 72 sts. Begin heel. Heel flap is about 2.25" or with c. 22 st loops to pick up for the gusset. I like to continue the pattern on the foot but it's a little tricky 'cause the pattern doesn't come out exactly even. On one side there are two extra sts, on the other, one (or so). Place a marker at the purl stitch at each side so you don't get confused. For the D.B. I work 6.5" from heel flap and begin a round toe, decreasing evenly on two sides of four points around the needles. Remember to knit one plain row after ending pattern before beginning decrease. Decrease until there are 16 sts. left, donkey ear the 4 end sts and use the kitchener to create a lovely ridgeless toe.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Green Cashmere Helmet and Mittens Set

I knit this a year ago but Ari was too little for it. Now I hope he's not too big! It's the Convertible Cloud Helmet by Elanor Lynn in Cozy Knits for Cuddly Babies (Country Living) . I used US 8 / 5.0 mm and US 10 / 6.0 mm needles instead of the instead of the #9 and #10.5 called for as I knit very loosely. The set took 2 skeins Filatura Di Crosa Aiko (20% polyamide & 80% cashmere)in #31 Bright Green. It's a fluffly, bulky yarn

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

North Warren Regional High School Scarf (NCS) #2

Here's the other scarf I made. The yarn was North Country Spinners' stash yarn from old projects and donations. It looks look Brown Sheep single ply. In dyeing it'd become rather brittle. The turquoise yarn turned my hands blue as I knitted with it, especially if I had hand lotion on. But, it is such a spectacular combination the anonymous guild dyers had created that it was well worth it. When finished, I washed it till most of the color stopped running and then rinsed it with creme rinse to soften the fiber. The Guild was knitting scarves to support the North Warren Regional High School Band.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fisherman's T Finally Finished

Hooray, I finally finished this and just in time for Rosh Hashanah. And with my right hand in a cast! The little yellow buttons were purchased at the button stand at the Garden State Sheep Breeders show the weekend before. Luckily washing it in hot water and putting it in a hot dryer until almost dry did full the sweater a little. I'm pleased that it turned out well enough to give my little grandson; however, I was not pleased by the fabric or hand which was uncharacteristically uneven for me. My daughter appreciates that it can be washed and dried -- she has enough to do without blocking baby sweaters. Ummhh, what shall I knit next?

I ended up using just over three balls of Filatura di Crosa Dolce Amore #5 (lime green). This is an awful yarn to work with on this kind of project -- it splits as you look at it. The photo below shows a join in the middle of the fabric -- which is unavoidable when knitting in the round. With this yarn.

For a winter sweater, I'd try in fingering weight in Baby Ull 7436 teal green and again make sleeves full length. Also DB Baby Cashmerino #340003 (light sage green).

The swatch was 4.5"(wide) x 5" (high) before washing was very loose. After washing and drying in hot water and dryer, a little more pulled together but only about 1/2" loss of height.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Problem Sweater for Ari

I have grown to loathe knitting with any cotton but thick kitchen cotton or tightly plied cotton in any grist. This summer I've been knitting away at a lovely pattern which I've adapted somewhat by lengthening the sleeves. It's Oat Couture's "Fisherman's T-shirt for Baby". For some reason, now unknown to me, probably because I had the yarn and liked it in the skein, I used Filatura Di Crosa Dolce Amor in colorway #5, lime green. I will have probably used almost four balls. But, it's a very splitty yarn and I'm knitting it on #0 and #2 needles. The knitting went quickly enough but it is the most unforgiving yarn I've ever used so my hand, which is usually very even on both sides, looks just awful. I'm praying that a ride through a hot washer followed by a tumble in a hot dryer will full it a little and even up the stitches.

The final blow was that I didn't cast off the neckline tightly enough so it sort of waffled. See the photo! But, I frogged it back to the neck cast off and both front and back are much more acceptable. I'm even beginning to like it. And, it's the perfect weight for a fall sweater.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Another Lovely Dyepot Day at NCS Guild

From left to right:
1. logwood
2. quebracho -- 2nd dyeing (it's a lighter pink)
3. onion skins -- it must have lain right on them 'cause there interesting watermarks all over the scarf. Most funky
4. quick dip in the onion skin then immersion in 2nd dyeing of logwood. Beige under the purple.
5. walnut -- deep rich golden bronze
6. quebracho -- 1st dyeing (darker, almost fuschia pink)
Last Friday was the annual natural dyepot day for North Country Spinners. I just love it. This year, tho', we only had the guild pots. Jean, who usually brings a big pot of golden rod was ill and unable to attend. Wishing Jean a speedy recovery! So, I only dyed silk scarves which are really pretty useless as I don't wear them and very few people I know do. However, I'm hoping they make little presents that will please 'cause the colors were just lovely.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Yet Another Bathmat

I've been just delighted with a stash of 30 balls of kitchen cotton I scored at North Country Spinners annual Swap & Sell Day last month. Actually, it's a wonderful opportunity to exchange stashes, for some of us and for others, to take advantage of others' need to destash! It takes just over 16 oz to make this bathmat on #7. That works out to 3.20 balls of solid 2.5oz balls plus 4.1 balls of 2oz variagated balls.

So, there I was, knitting on the way to visit our good friends in Wildwood when I realized that the colors of the bathmat would work perfectly in their downstairs / guest bathroom. What a charm it is to make this practical item. I started it Thursday evening and if I hadn't greated a great rat's nest of a tangle, I would have finished it Saturday evening. As it was, I finished it early (for me) Sunday morning. Et, voila (we'd seen Julie and Julia the previous evening!)