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Monday, April 28, 2008

Lacy Yoke Top

Ta Da!


Drops 95-9

Materials used:
382 yards (size XS) reclaimed cotton, #5 circular needle

Gauge: 15 st =4 inches

Description:
Worked in the round from the bottom up, virtually no finishing, only seaming is an 8 st seam under the arms.

Modification:
I used different double decreases than the pattern called for, everything else follows the pattern as written.

Pros and Cons:
I love it. Very simple, quick and easy. The "lace" pattern is very easy to "see" what to do next and if everything is lining up correctly. I strongly suggest using a double decrease that has no lean to it. I actually used 3 different DD's cuz DD's are a PITA to work in the best of circumstances and when using 100% cotton that has no give they are a bitch. The DD's I'd suggest are: slip 2 knitwise, k1, p2sso (I think this works best in the lacy pattern it makes a nice center mid-line DD) and the other DD I used in the round near the neck edge that says *yo, k3tog* I used a ---k2tog, return stitch to left needle, pass next stitch over--- (I think it makes a nice centered decrease with two equally sloping sides) I think I should have gone a size up cuz of the cotton/non-stretch issue, but I'm OK with this, it's a top not a sweater.

A couple friends are planning to work this as a cardigan with 3/4 sleeves. We just got done talking about over the phone. After I hung up I had a nagging thought in the back of brain and I went hunting. Yup, sure enough, the wonderful people at Garnstudio have also worked this pattern up as a cardigan with 3/4 sleeves! Drops #95-8.

Absurd

That about sums it up.

It is April 29th and it's been blizzard like almost all day. Great big fluffy clumps sometimes and itty bitty ice balls at other times. It's snowing hard. If the ground was frozen we'd be in BIG trouble.

And to think that I'm just getting pass the sunburn the I got a few days ago.

Absurd.

Photos are near impossible cuz the thermometer reads 39 every flake instantly melts, but I tried.

This is the best I could do and I was very wet when I returned to the house, so was the camera I was little worried about that. When I and the camera dry out, I'll consider going back out and taking a video. Please ignore the snags and holes on my sleeve. Yes, I'm a knitter and pretty good at repairs, but this is my comfort sweater. It carries the same mojo, and mystical powers as, say, a sport fanatic's lucky shirt/hat/socks. You don't mess with that kind of magic.

On the knitting front, the Lacy Yoke Top (Drops 95-9) is almost done. It will prob'ly be done later today. I'm loving it.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Difference Gauge Makes

I've started another WIP.

I'm pretending I don't have anything else to do.

Although I think I have figured out why I can't force myself to do those other things. They don't fit. I don't mean they don't fit my body they do or will (except the Taos bi-directional the jury is still out on that one) What I mean is they don't fit into my routine. Which frankly is a hilarious thing say cuz if you lived here at the Hermitage you'd know that routine is not the norm. I don't have kids underfoot that have wants/needs/demands like school, soccer, food and such things. I don't have a job thus no weekly schedule to adhere to, and Joe's job is no help in establishing a routine. It is a 12 hour swing shift that repeats itself on a monthly rotation, throw in overtime and vacation and the cycle is never the same. After all these years we've been together I still can only guess what he'll be working the following week....sigh

The are no constants here save one, my bedtime knitting. If I'm able, I knit every night before I go to sleep. It is my one and only routine. Starting at 10PM I watch a couple of shows and then usually a movie. Some nights I start earlier, some I knit longer, but I am knitting every night between 10PM and 1AM. Sewing seams, blocking, weaving ends, and the many finishing chores every project/garment has don't fit into my routine. Those activities aren't as stress free as plain old knitting and some can't even be done in bed. I can see it now, 'no honey you have to sleep in the fetal position tonight I have a sweater blocking at the foot of the bed' or 'stop ruffling the blankets you knocked over the steam iron again.' or 'Oh sorry I just singed your butt.' lol Thus the need for a new WIP. A girl has to have something routine, something she can depend on, in her life. Right?

So yesterday afternoon after basking in the glow of the still buttonless/zipless Petal Cardi II I panicked. I didn't have any bedtime worthy knitting on the needles! O.M.G. I went through my Ravelry queue about a 1014 times, through my document files of scarffed patterns from the web a 1006 times, dove into stash coming up with some keepers, and now have three bedtime worthy projects at the ready. Life is good. Life is routine. Last night I started Drops 95-9 You know I loves my Drops patterns!

Now the gauge thing for which this post was titled. We had some storms roll through yesterday so my head wasn't in the best of shape. It's never a good idea to start something when I feel that way, but I really needed some bedtime knitting to get through it. I chose the simplest of the three patterns I had found, the 95-9. The clincher was the fact that it is worked at the same/similar/close enough gauge as the Petal Cardi II, and I have gobs of that yarn leftover. I didn't swatch. Ooops.

I knew that a person's gauge changes when working in the round as opposed the working in rows. It's one of the first things E.Z. ever taught me, but I didn't know it. I had never experienced it so blatantly before, behold:



Just look at that mamby, pamby, loosey, goosey, limp dishrag, of a fabric!! OK maybe it doesn't look that bad, but believe me it feels yucky and behaves poorly. And check out those sloppy double decreases!!! ICK!!


Now look at two needle sizes smaller. Ahhhhhhhh that's more like it! And don't those double decreases look spiffy?

I have to admit, I didn't use the same double decrease though. The pattern calls for a slip, k2tog, psso double decrease, a nice stitch when paired with a slip, ssk, psso on either side of a diagonal but to use it as the center mid-line decrease???? Both of those stitches will lean in one direction or the other to some degree when stacked on top of each other and I wanted mine to look nice and straight. the thing was though, they were the only double decreases I was familiar with. I suppose I could have gotten my big butt out of bed and looked up double decreases in one of the few 100 stitch dictionaries or how-to books I have, or I could have gotten on line and did some research, but I didn't do either of those. I just faked it morphing the good points of both of those together balancing the lean. I began the double decrease by transposing the first and middle stitches so the slipped stitched is actually the center stitch of the three. Then on subsequent rounds I alternated either a k2tog or a ssk with the other two stitches (the original 1st and 3rd stitches) and then psso (which was the original center stitch) Does that make sense?? Anyway I think it looks good, and it told me something.....I need to learn more about double decreases!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Am I Insane?

Yes, I am. I am seriously insane.

The Petal sweater is done, almost. Seams sewn, ends hidden, steam blocked, done, except for the buttons.....sigh.

After spending waaaay too much time contemplating buttons this morning I ended up with these 3 choices.
As seen above, we have your traditional pewter buttons, some wannabe wooden buttons with an nifty spiral of "carved' circles on the surface, and some typical but tiny jewel colored pearl-ish plastic shanks.

The "wooden" buttons:
Not bad, I kinda like it just laying there, but I think they are tad bit too heavy for such a fitted sweater. This sweater fits so well that it's more of a top than a sweater, so I think the buttons are a bit much. (Yes, the colors do alternate between a blond "wood" and a red oak. Srsly, how many lots of 8 identical buttons do you have in your buttons jars???)

Next up the pewter buttons:
OK, not bad, they are a good size for this sweater, but the whole pewter thing is a little bit too traditional for my tastes. Which is the main reason I'm not even considering any of the bazillion gold buttons in the jars!

The tiny jewel colored buttons:
I'm liking these, unobtrusive, not traditional, but will require some creative button sewing cuz they really are too small in depth for a sweater. Frankly I'm afraid they will have a tendency to pop open and if I'm wearing this as a top.....lets just say wardrobe malfunctions aren't my thing. But oh they looks so nice, wish I could get the colors right for you. The top itself is nearly black it is such a dark navy, the buttons have deep jewel colors of red, purple, olive, and purple....they is purty.

So there I sat pondering the situation, when the insanity crept in. I had a brainstorm. Of course there are multiple never ending cyclones in my brain, but this thought fought its way to the top and sounds reasonable. It has replaced the wooden and pewter buttons on the likability scale, and is slowly edging out the olympic-button-sewing needy tiny jewel colored buttons. I'm considering dropping all the stitched of the front garter stitch button bands, working them back up in stockinette stitch and putting in a zipper. There, I said it out loud. It sounded better in my head.......sigh.

Any encouragement from the peanut gallery??? It wouldn't take much to entice me to take that plunge. If one person says it's not a totally insane, or just a little bit crazy, then I'm all in.

FYI
This top took 591 yards of worsted wt. at 15 st = 4 inches. I have another 916 yards of this yarn left.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

ADD much?

Oy! The pilot that navigates my flights of fancy has been putting in overtime.

Have I finished any of the vowed completion knitting since the last post? NO.

Have I made any of my dresses? NO.

Have I patched any more of Bart's pants? NO.

Have I worked one tiny bit on my planned freeform foundation piece? NO.

Have I begun a new sweater? Why yes, yes, I have.

I really need someone to be my personal task master cuz just a tiny glimpse into my workroom will confirm beyond any doubt I can NOT manage my own urges.

I started this sweater the night before last. It is my second Petal Sweater, a pattern from the early 60's.


I made this sweater a while back in wool, this one is in reclaimed cotton. If you recall, or followed the link, you'll know I had some size issues with the first rendition of this sweater. It's one of those sweaters that has multiple sizes to it (in two different booklets) but the sizing is merely changes in gauge and the pattern is a tad skimpy with finished measurements (they don't exist). The first time I made the adult size touted to fit sizes 10-18. (the first clue I ignored) This time I'm making it in a gauge that is ever so slightly larger than the child's size 8/10! I love the big sloppiness of the wool one I made, it is the perfect wintertime, slob around the house sweater, but I think I'm going love this fitted summertime cotton version just as much.

Oh, btw I made the exact same error on this one as I did on the first. I put the first buttonhole in the wrong place....sigh I assumed the first time around I misread the pattern, this time, either I misread the pattern in exactly the same manner or, the pattern/designer really does think the top buttonhole should be that close to the edge! I don't agree, I've made HUGE notes-to-self on the pattern now.

I've been holding on to this cotton since last summer with plans for something else I've been working on for quite some time. I completely forgot about those plans when I grabbed the yarn and cast on the night before last. In fact, I just remembered about that previously planned project as I began writing this post. Oh well, there's plenty of other stuff where this came from!

This week was Joe's "long weekend" which translates from his work-speak as the entire week off, so we've been hanging out together. :o) In addition to Joe-time, the weather has been great, lots of time spent outside, lots of grilling, and a few trips into town, makes a week of few fibery pursuits. Although I did manage to get a couple more rug squares done.

I also followed through on my thoughts of the other day regarding keeping the loom warped on the chance of a stolen moment row woven from time to time. It's been working out fairly well.

Today I'll work on the body of the new Petal, and think about what other summer tops to make with the remainder of this cotton. Oh brother, I really do need personal task master to keep me focused.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Another week has flown

This week has been hit and miss as far as getting things done.

I did get two more squares for the patio rug made, one yesterday the second finished this morning. None last week, and I obviously missed my Weaving Wednesday thing but....oh well. I'm really going to have to step it up though. I've only got 15 squares done, I'm shooting for 35. YIKES! Right now I have enough for a rug approximately 5 x 8 depending how I choose to put them together. I'm waffling on that...go figure. I'm going to make a concerted effort to have the loom always warped, doing a row or two during stolen moments I think will help.


As for the vow regarding completion of UFO's before I can begin sewing.......I haven't broken it yet, but I think I prob'ly will.....sigh. Last week I did get the grey sloper sweater and the Zetor done. Here's Zetor unblocked.

No pic of the sweater cuz I haven't quiet decided if I'm going to put clasps on it or a zipper, but hey the knitting is done so that's close enough vow-wise considering it is winter wooly type sweater and Spring is finally here. I'll decide what closure I want when I want to wear it so into the box for next winter it will go. Maybe a shot of Vivian wearing it as is when I go upstairs, but if I go up stairs I'm sooooo close to my sewing machine.....sigh.

The Scribble Lace cardigan hit a snag. I thought I was done. I put it on and I didn't like the way the solid plain knitting at the body/sleeve transition on this raglan cardi behaved. I slashed and ripped and now have to graft the sleeves back on. I'm not looking forward to that. Ugh. That's the kind of thing that just might dump it into the frog pond.

I haven't touched the spiral bag. The Taos bi-directional has only seaming to go. I'm really doubtful about the fit, but we'll see.

The search for the perfect sun hat has ceased, at least for little while. I found this at the Mouse on Wednesday.
Liz Claibourne, has an elastic band inside the crown so I fits me perfectly, stays on in a breeze, looks like it was never worn and it was 50 cents. Um yeah, I could go for that. I generally find the thought of buying a hat a thrift store repugnant but I'm ok with this one.

Bart's b-day was Sunday and he brought a present for me. Have I told you lately how wonderful my son is???? Yup, he brought me 6 pairs of pants repair/patch! LOL I had planned on going into town on Wednesday so I went through the pile on Tuesday and stacked them in order of fewest repairs/patches needed. I wanted to get as many done before Wednesday as I could so I could give them back. It sounded like a good plan, too bad it didn't work out that way. I patched the first pair that I had deemed the quickest fix. Ooops, as I folded them up I notice a spot at the pocket that could use some reinforcement. I fixed it. Looked for more thin spots and ended up fixing 8 different ouchies (thin spots, rips, and holes) on that one pair of pants!!! I'm kind of afraid to look too closely at the other pairs in the stack!
And can I tell you how much this little bit of hand sewing has done to my screaming desire to make a few dresses!!!!! It almost hurts I want to start them so much.

I'm also pinning to begin the new sewing project born of my lunch date with my Aunt on Wednesday. I've had my eye on a couple thing recently. The 8x8 blog March projects (make sure you look at both Blair's and Daria's squares two different methods) just blew me away, plus another strip pieced quilt I saw on Whipup eons ago (freeformish strip piecing with texture). I want to give these techniques a go, and I intend on using the neck ties my Aunt gave me to do it. Well over a year ago she gave 100 or so ties that had been my Uncles (he passed a few years back) she wanted some sort of keepsake made out of them. I worked on it off and on for months planning more traditional type things but I wasn't ever pleased with it. Another stumbling block was the condition of some of the ties, thus available material. When I put the thought of these techniques at 8x8 and Whipup, together with the ties, plus the fact that my Aunt has some extremely modern artwork in her new home it just all came together. She's excited and so am I. I'm not sure what the end product will be, a pillow, wall hanging, whatever, but I know these are examples of how I want to do it (sort of) and I can't wait to get started!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Book Quiz

Just for fun take the book quiz.

Here's me:




You're Watership Down!

by Richard Adams

Though many think of you as a bit young, even childish, you're
actually incredibly deep and complex. You show people the need to rethink their
assumptions, and confront them on everything from how they think to where they
build their houses. You might be one of the greatest people of all time. You'd
be recognized as such if you weren't always talking about talking rabbits.



Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Happy Life

I usually don't do this kind of thing, but for no other reason than to say I know this man is right, I give you this:



This video is his entire lecture. There are other snippet videos if you don't want to invest 76 minutes, and here is the latest article about Dr. Randy Pausch in the Times.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I'm working!!!!

Seriously, I crack myself up sometimes. Sounds as if I have job or something. LOLOLOL

No, I'm feverishly working on the completion vowed WIP's. The new dress patterns came in yesterdays mail. YIKES!!!!

No weaving today, just knitting, knitting, knitting, with a little seaming thrown in.

BTW Thanx to Monika who caught the error in yesterdays post (I'm laughing again, seriously, I'm sure there are plenty of others she didn't mention) The gauge for the summer hat is 4sts = 1 inch.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

A Summer Hat

Alrighty then, the quest for a summer hat is somewhat satisfied.

Somewhat?

Yes, somewhat, cuz I've got a hat now that I can make do with. It's still not my ideal, but it will work.

Somewhat?

Yes, somewhat, cuz I still want to try some other brim shapes.

Somewhat?

Yes, somewhat, cuz I've stumbled upon something that I really want try with some other hats. Specifically with the brims of other hats.

Here's what I've got.







I know, it's nothing special, basically your typical bucket style but it does have a little something special to it. The brim. It's firm, but pliable. It is not floppy, and it does not have any wires in it (which are nothing but annoying not to mention a PITA) nor is it knitted with finger aching stiffness. I have very few doubts that I could even double or triple the width of the brim (think iconic picture hat of the 50's) I'll give it a try soon.

So how did I achieve this wonder of the millinery arts? (snicker) I stiffened the brim merely with rounds of stitches on my sewing machine. Doh! Like you see on every commercially made hat. :o) Easy peasy.

I urge any of you if you're looking for a summer hat, just get out your tried and true bucket hat pattern or even your fav stocking hat, work it in cotton, add or lengthen a brim and then just take it to your sewing machine and run it through.

The "pattern" I used here is the result of my mods to the Stick a Lure In It hat I made not too long ago. Oh btw, I stitched the brim of that hat today also and I'm waaaaay more pleased with it. I had lamented about the bulk of the double thickness of the brim, it works now. :o)


I know, you can't really see the change, but the feel and drape (??? can you use the word "drape" when referring to the behavior of a brim?) makes all the difference in the world.

Project specs of the sun hat.
2 balls of Sugar and Cream 100% cotton (really only used about 1.5 balls) held together with 2 strands of size 10 crochet cotton (Coats and Clark I think) Total yardage in length, not considering multiple strands approximately 300 yards (I'm guessing)
#5 needle
Gauge: 4 sts = 1 inch

Short and Pithy EZ directions with some numbers for my tiny noggin.

Using a provisional cast on, cast on 72 sts. (or a multiple of 8)
Knit one round then begin increase rnds.
Increase round K2, YO, *k9,YO* rep. around end with k7
Next rnd knit even (knit the YO's in the back)
Next increase round k3, YO *k10, YO* rep around end with k7
Knit next around
Next increase round k4, YO, *k11, YO* rep around end with k7
Knit next round
---notice the pattern being established, in the increase round the initial number of stitches before the repeat increases by one and you always end with K7. The number of knit stitches in the repeat is equal to beginning and ending stitch counts. An increase round is always followed by a plain knit round.------
Stop increases after k7, YO, *k14, YO*, end with k7
Knit next round.
Next rnd: *k2tog, YO*------this makes the picot turn if picot is not desired, purl this row.
Next rnd: knit
Begin decrease rnds. Work the decreases using the same pattern established for the increase rounds but in reverse order and working a k2tog instead of YO.
First decrease round would be, k6, k2tog, *k13, k2tog* end with k7
Next round knit
Once there is only 72 sts remaining (or whatever your cast on number was) work one more knit round. Fold the brim, put the stitches from the provisional cast on, on a second needle and knit a round with stitches from both needles. Brim is complete. Knit rounds of desired depth of hat. (I worked 18 rounds about 3.75 inches)
Next work 4 purl rounds. (this makes the rolled edge at the flat top crown, next time I'll only do 3 rounds though)
Flat top crown decrease pattern is typical spiral decrease. A decrease round followed by a plain round beginning with *k7, k2tog*
Next rnd knit.
*k6, k2tog*
Knit
*k5, k2tog*
Knit
Continue decreasing in this manner until 8 stitches remain, cut yarn and draw through stitches.
Finishing, turn hat inside out and whip stitch the purl bumps that boarder the 4 rows of visible knit stitches together. (creating the roll edge at the crown on the outside)
Now take the hat to the sewing machine place sewing foot along the base of the picots and stitch. Continue to spiral around the brim using the edge of the foot and previously made stitches as your guide for the depth of the brim.

I also ran a spiral of stitches on the flat top crown. (this is optional)

If the hand stitched whip stitches are a problem for you, you could work the roll edge right after the purl rows by picking up the purl bump on the inside of the hat and knitting them together with the working stitches as you continue in the hat pattern but believe me when I tell you, it's not an easy thing to do when you are working with unyielding cotton! Horrendously slow going and finger fatiguing! But to each his own.

Earlier in this post I mentioned a large brimmed picture hat. It's been zipping around in my brain ever since I typed those words. I'm thinking a hat like that might be something that I should make to go with one of the new dresses. Dang that vow of not choosing fabric until those 5 projects are complete. I have in my minds eye a couple fabrics up there (I'm being true to the vow and not physically looking i promise) One has a dark green in it and another has a navy in it. I do have some cottons in both dark green and navy, I wonder which one would match....or maybe in white with lovely ribbon. hmmmmmm

Oh speaking of the 5 projects. The scribble is done except for a weaving together seam. I had a boo boo in one of the sleeves so I had to cut out the offense and now have to weave the two pieces back together. Ick, maybe tomorrow.

edit to change gauge

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Incentive

I'd say the imminent arrival of these would be enough incentive.



Oh my! (pitter patter pitter patter) Just look at the detail and tailoring of those midriffs!! Check out the neckline of that floral pink!!! O.M.G.

With these and a couple other summer worthy patterns I picked up over the winter, and some vintage fabrics from the Mouse I've been hording, not to mention the sprouting of the pussy willow, buds on the lilac and 3 grilled dinners this pass week, I hear the sewing machine beckoning.

Yes, these will certainly lure me to the machine, but the underlying, and perhaps more noteworthy cause/effect of the aforementioned acquisitions is that I have made a vow. I have vowed to complete these before I can even chose fabrics.*

Yikes!

The first 5 works in process I could put my hands on. Shameful? I guess, but merely a drop in the bucket of what there is around here as far of UFO's are concerned, so, eh, I'm use to it and feeling rather smug and without shame cuz it's a very doable task. They are all sitting here close at hand because they are nearly completed already.

A quick rundown on just what these UFO's are cuz I've only mentioned 2 out of the 5 before.

First up is the yarn barf, aka knitted lace, aka Zetor. Silly to take another pic of it cuz yarn barf looks like yarn barf until it is blocked and you won't be able to discern the addition of the last 3 rows in a new pic from the pic I posted the other day. Suffice to say, last pic of the lace had 6 rows of the edge chart left. Today I have 3 rows of that chart to go. Doable!

Second on the agenda, the other UFO I've mentioned before, the Taos Bi-Directional.



Front done, back 85% done. Doable. Although I haven't figured how, or if, I can add to sleeves to this, and I'm a bit concerned with the depth of the armholes at this point, but I can get the thing done per pattern without added mods, no problem.

The third UFO I haven't mentioned before. It's a no brainer chunky cardi from a vintage VK. (50's) I really started this one by accident. Thumbing through the magazine this sweater caught my eye as a nice "sloper" pattern for chunky wt. A good pattern to file away for further modifications and play. Another had caught my eye as well cuz it was a top down raglan but had short row shaping along the back of the neck (ala EZ) and a couple other interesting tailoring details. That is the one I wanted to make but I got the patterns mixed up and started the sloper one instead. Ooops.


I've got the yoke, and one sleeve done, the second sleeve is about a fourth done. Definitely a candidate for completion. It's chunky and plain ol' stockinette for cryin' out loud!

The fourth UFO is a wanna be swirl bag (ala Debbie New).
I intend to felt it when I'm done. I'm making it in three pieces, mirror image pieces for the front and back and a gusset. I have about 8 short rows of this first piece to complete. I'm kind of fudging on this one. I'm counting just getting this first side done as being "completed". I've got cut myself some slack, those patterns are going to be here any day! Plus I have to scrounge around and find some more wool in those colors or at least another color scheme that will play nice. And of course, there's always the possibility that my calculations were incorrect so when all the stitches that are crammed so tightly on the needle are released it may or may not be shaped as I intended. :o)

And finally the fifth UFO. Um yeah, I started it yesterday. Here is the swatch I made yesterday taped to my patio door.



The Unexpected Knitting group on Ravelry is having a monthly KAL. This month is scribble lace. I'm lots farther along than this. In fact I'm nearly done, scribbling goes sooooo fast, but I didn't bother with a pic...you know....that yarn barf thing again. :o)

I suspect tomorrow there will be a post with details of this project. I'm nearly to the point that I want to take it off the needles and see how it all shakes out, but I want to finish the hank I'm using first so those pic will have to wait until at least late this afternoon.

Of course, by no means, does all this constitute the abandonment Weaving Wednesdays, they will of course continue, I want a rug for the patio and summer is coming! And I promise, promise, promise that I will post the pattern for Boogin' with Beelzebub very soon. The occasional sock and whatnot will still be on the needles, and my continuing search for a summer hat will not be abandoned. I think I have figured out a pattern for that, but I haven't cast on yet. Hmmm I could really use a hat to wear while I sit outside and finish all these UFO's. See? What can I say? It's never ending!!! :o)

I love my life.

*thinking about fabric but not actually rifling through the stash is allowed.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Weaving and Dyeing

OK first things first, pic of the impetus for my posting today.


Yes, I'm into the blues and greens. Yea!

Next up, yarn barf.a.k.a knitted lace.

It's going pretty well. Yes I've had a few oops. Primarily forgotten YO's, but I caught them soon enough. 6 more rows of the edge chart and I'm done. Wonder how many oops there will be that I didn't notice! :o) Oh, and can I tell ya how much I despise working on these pole vault worthy length needles?!? UGH! I went merrily along on my convert vintage dpn needles clear up to the middle of the last repeat of the chart for the body. Then I couldn't cram anymore stitches on the needle....sigh Couldn't find my vintage circs in this size and didn't dare switch to use metal ones. My gauge is out the window when I use metal needles, so out came the needles whose length is akin to the proverbial 10 ft. pole. Again I say UGH, but I must give them their due, cuz if I didn't have them the yarn barf would stagnate until who knows when.

I loath metal needles. We just can't see eye to eye. Pity that, I have 100's of them. :-/ If anyone out there is looking for some metal needles any length or type, circs, straights, dpns, any size email me. I'd love to see them go to an appreciative home. Conversely so I'd be thrilled to give a warm and loving abode to any of those vintage needles that were made of nylon, casein, (sp?), or that plastic like stuff from way back when. Any length and type would be loved and cherished, even those of the pole vaulting variety. Anyone? Anyone? BTW if you have any made from Bakelite do yourself a favor and sell them on ebay they get a pretty penny.

Let's see what else is there today, oh yeah, I tried a new-to-me KA dye technique. (I've never seen anyone else talk about this, but I'm positive someone out there has done it before) IMHO I think this has great potential.


Yes these are the same skein. I'm thrilled that I can now take pix in a decent size and they aren't bleary, correct coloration will have to wait. The true color is somewhere between the two of these. A new friend of mine, who seems to be a long lost sister, posed the question about how to get a pink/orange mottled/heather/tweedy yarn with KA. This skein is the result of experiment #1.

I used my standard sure fire mottling method with pink lemonade first. Big pot on the stove, 6 pkg of pink lemonade KA, with a dash of vinegar (I don't like to wait) and quickly throw in a hank of DRY yarn. I let the air bubbles in the fiber itself do the work for me. The only cautionary tales regarding this method is that you must act quickly to get all the yarn submerged or run the risk of a graduated skein or large splotches. I've never had any problem with felting the yarn as I manipulate it in the pot to make sure it stays submerged, the water isn't that hot yet, and I don't really agitate it, I just keep pushing it below water level so it's not floating. With particularly lofty yarns this can take a while. To remedy that problem, (I do things quickly, and I don't like to babysit yarn) I purchased a round cooling rack. You know the kind of wire racks you'd cool a cake or cookies on after baking. I snipped one outer ring of the rack which gives me enough play in the ring to be able to wedge the rack into my pot below water level, thus holding the more lofty fiber submerged.

After the dye was exhausted I removed my nicely mottled pink skein and let it cool enough to handle easily. I'm using "pink" here rather flippantly, I would have called the color pink salmon or perhaps peachy melon, not really a true pink. I know/have heard to add a bit of grape or some other blue based KA to make it more pink, but I wanted to see exactly what color I'd get with just the pink lemonade.

Now comes the new part. I took a small 2 oz fine spray mist bottle, put about two tablespoons of vinegar in it, with 2 pkg of orange KA and then filled the bottle with water. I laid the skein out in the bottom of my sink spread out as much as the ties would allow and spritzed the orange on it. I continually turned , twisted and fluffy the skein, sometimes even shaking and fluffing it in the air while spritzing. (No, I did not wear gloves, and yes my hand was completely orange.) After the entire contents of the bottle was used, I placed the skein in a steam bath over my big pot and let the color set. As for the orange hand? No problem, a sprinkle of baking soda and all was well,

All in all I'm pleased with the outcome, there is great potential here. I would rather have had a truer pink, but up against the orange it did "pinken" up a bit. Experiment #2 will use the same procedure but with colors not so similar. I'm thinking yellow and green, maybe blue and yellow that could produce some nice greens within the skein too. hmmmm.....