Archive for the “scarf” Category

Back in December, inspired by this project and how much I enjoyed making the Rook for Grandma, I started a Rainbow Rook while on a train ride. I had two balls of Knitpicks Chroma Worsted, one in grey and one in “Prism”, the most rainbow of their colourways. (“Lollipop” and “Rollerskate” were close contenders for this one, but I went with the rainbow after much consideration.)

Rainbow Rook

I love the yarn (even if it doesn’t seem very durable – it’s a 70/30 wool/nylon blend, but a very soft single, and I think it will pill) and I love the spike stitch. I love that the pattern is completely reversible. I actually love this pattern enough that I could see making a third scarf, one with offset spikes. And, obviously, I love the long gradient stripes. That reminds me to work on my Stripey Striped Socks! Those need to be finished.

Rainbow Rook

Yesterday I had another train ride, another 4.5 hours to while away with yarn, and I was able to almost finish the scarf before I got to Washington. “You did that all on the train?” the conductor asked me. “You’re good, I’m impressed!”

This afternoon, after my first day on the new job, I came home and crocheted the last few stripes. And now, though it’s the middle of June and I’ve no need of it whatsoever, I have a new scarf! It needs to be blocked, still, and I’ll try to get a better picture after it’s come off the blocking wires. I would have arranged it artistically on the rocks, but it’s been raining and so that seemed like a bad idea.

Finished Rainbow Rook

P.S. Yes! New job! I’ll be doing web design sorts of things, which will severely cut into my knitting and spinning time. Obviously I’ll just have to be more dedicated to it (and blogging) in the evenings.

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Last week we had a spectacular snowstorm here in the mountainous DC suburbs. The whole city shut down, as it does at the mere mention of the word “snowflake,” but everyone east of here seems to agree that the storm itself was anticlimactic. After two days of being told “A foot or more of snow! It’s the snow we haven’t gotten for two years, all at once!” people were hyped up for it.

Well, perhaps closer to the city the storm was insignificant, but up here on the mountain we got a foot of snow in the low spots, and 18″ in the high spots… and we lost power for six hours or so when a snow-laden tree gave up and fell down across the lines.

Snowed In

What’s a yarn addict to do, snowed into the house with two cats and no power? That’s right, dose the cats up with catnip and crochet for a few hours.

Rainbow Rook

I’m really enjoying this project. It goes fast, the colours are simply beautiful, the spike stitch is showing up perfectly on the stripes, and for some reason the cats leave crochet alone more than knitting.

rainbow_rook2

This last picture is also available in giant 4000×3000 (3.8 MB) if anyone wants to use it as their desktop background. Enjoy!

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I enjoyed making the Rook Scarf for Grandma so much that I immediately wanted to make one for myself, but I wanted the spike stitch pattern to be a little more noticeable. In looking through the pattern’s other projects, I was drawn to this awesome rainbow version. I ordered two skeins of Knitpicks Chroma, one in Prism and one in Grey. I started the scarf on the train between Washington and Connecticut, and beg your forgiveness for the washed-out colours of the photo – between the phone’s camera and the poor lighting on the train, it was hard to get it accurate.

Rainbow Rook

The yarn itself is pretty nice. It’s a loosely spun worsted weight singles, and it’s very, very soft. Unfortunately I get the feeling that it’s going to want to catch on everything and will probably end up pilling after only one or two seasons, but I’ll enjoy it until then!

Meanwhile, in the colourful department, I found myself in need of new suitcases and could not resist the pink polka dots. There is something about having a matched set of suitcases that makes me a little bit giddy. I feel so coordinated!

Matched Luggage

Also in the colourful department, a new car! My little Mazda wasn’t really capable of handling the mountain roads in wintertime, so with some wistfulness but no regrets I traded her in for this orange beauty. We’ve already been on our first road trip together, and she’s a delight. Even if I’m still getting used to her clutch.

Subaru XV Crosstrek

Here at the tail end of winter things are seeming pretty grey, so it’s nice to have a few shots of colour to liven things up a little bit.

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Well! I am back, after a completely unplanned and unexpected hiatus. I haven’t been doing very much knitting (or spinning or crocheting) lately, to be honest… and I think that’s a rotten thing. So I’m getting back into it! There’s something finished to show off:

Rook Scarf

Way back in 2008 I bought three skeins of Noro Silk Garden at WEBS. For the longest time I didn’t know what to do with them. I thought of making an entrelac scarf, I thought of making something with stripes. I thought of lots of things, but none of them seemed right. And every time I looked at the yarn, I thought “These really are Grandma’s colours, aren’t they.”

So I went looking for a suitable pattern and found the Rook Scarf. Then I had to run out and get a set of larger crochet hooks, and there was no waiting – I was so excited that I made a special trip to the artsy-crafts store for them.

The scarf took under a week to crochet, and then it lived on my mantel (where no cats could shed on it) for a while, waiting for its ends to be woven in. Pirate-Ex came by the house for one reason or another and I showed him the scarf without any more comment than, “Look what I made!” His first response was, “That’s nice, but… those are really much more your grandma’s colours than they are yours.”

And so they are.

Grandma's Scarf

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This, my friends, is what is known as a Very Silly Picture. This is me, dancing like a fool, at Winterlude this past February. Friend Patrick, who is a very good photographer indeed, took the shot while I was being ridiculous in the park for the amusement of those around me. Fortunately, more people were looking at the ice sculptures than at me, or I might have been photographed whilst blushing bright red.

The great part about this picture, at least for the purposes of this blog, is that I am covered in handknits. The Winterlude Hat(tm), the Stripey Striped Scarf, the Fleeps… and, though you can’t see them, I believe I was wearing handknit socks at the time. And the picture wasn’t taken to show off any of those things. No, it’s just a candid shot of me, wearing lots of things I knit myself. And one thing I spun and then knit, which shows up surprisingly well in pictures even if the contrast is a little dim in person.

I’d like to have enough handknit (or crocheted) stuff that all my friends’ photo albums have pictures of me wearing stuff I made myself. It would also count if I learned to sew and was photographed wearing clothing I’d sewn. That’s next on the list – once the craft room is set up, I’ll have a place for the sewing machine and can re-familiarize myself with its ways. I have a simple skirt in my wardrobe that I’d love to be able to duplicate. After that, who knows where my skills might branch out?

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Not a single stitch. I was having too much fun visiting family, eating a ridiculous amount of food, joining good conversations, and, well, having no need to hide in a corner with yarn.

However, I did discover that my cousin Sara knits, and we had a good laugh over our matching Stripey Striped Scarves. Seems that we used at least two of the same colorways, which is pretty funny. I got to show off the Fleep-Tops, too, because it was cold enough to require gloves at night.

But now that I’m home, and I have the whole day ahead of me to spend as I wish, I think I will spend at least some of it with yarn.

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Although yesterday was Wednesday, and therefore not necessarily a Spinning Day, I couldn’t keep my hands off the new spindle. I’m starting to get the hang of getting it going at high speeds without introducing a wobble, and for the most part I’m drafting while the spindle is still spinning. If the yarn breaks, I have to do a park-and-rejoin sort of trick.

Today, however, I must get back to knitting. My plan is to first get through the heel of the second Toe-Up sock, so that the project becomes portable again. After that, I’ll put fingers onto the Fleep-Tops. I should be able to finish both the gloves and the socks before Winterlude. Not only does that mean I’ll have a new pair of warm wool socks to wear in the winter cold, it means that I’ll be casting on a new project with which to travel!

Actually, there’s a distinct probability that I’ll be casting on two new projects. Part of my travels are by air, which calls for a sock – small, portable, fits in my usual purse – and part will be a road trip, which calls for something bigger than a sock, because I can only knit on a sock for about an hour in the car before getting a headache.

Kureyon Sock 188It took an unsurprisingly long time to decide what socks I’d be working on. First I thought I would do another pair of toe-up stockinette socks. After all, I can practically knit those in my sleep! Then I thought no, I want to do something with a little more patterning to it. Nothing too complex, so I could still work on it and talk at the same time. Finally I settled on the Thermal Socks, which use the stitch pattern from the Thermal Sweater from Knitty. I’m going to use Noro Kureyon Sock yarn for them, but I still haven’t decided if I’ll work them top-down or toe-up. Given Kureyon’s propensity for knots, I will definitely be re-winding the yarn into two even portions before I begin.

Noro Silk Garden 226For the bigger project, I am considering this Wavy Razor Shell Scarf in Noro Silk Garden. I have three skeins of it in beautiful soft blues, grays and purples. The only change I plan to make is that I will knit the scarf with five points, not four, because I agree with Grumperina that four is just not a good number. I don’t know why odd numbers of points look better to me. Anyway, I will be re-winding this yarn into balls as well, not only to check for knots, but because the scarf is knit in two parts, from the middle out. Two of the balls I have are from one dye lot, and the third is from another. I’ll start the middle of the scarf in the middle of that third ball of yarn, and no one will ever know!

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The trip to WEBS yielded these additions to the stash, and I think my new camera did them justice. The rocks in my front yard are great to take pictures on when it’s sunny out.

One ball of Lang Jawoll Color Aktion should be more than enough to make fingerless flip-top mittens with nice long cuffs, which I’ve been wanting for a long time. Mittens will keep my hands warmer, but there are those moments when I’ll really need my fingers free. I doubt these will be done by Winterlude, even if that’s when I’ll really need them. There’s a stew competition I attend every year which is held outdoors, and the bulky winter gloves I was wearing last year made it impossible to hold my spoon! The fliptops will also be good for driving, although I do plan to buy a new pair of lined leather gloves this year. My old ones are worn out, and leather is one of those things that knitting just can’t replace.

I’ve wanted to try Silk Garden for a while, and when I saw Everyday Autumn’s Razor Shell Scarf I knew I’d found the right pattern. I have three balls of the Silk Garden and she only used two for a scarf that’s just about five feet. I might decide to make mine a five-pointed scarf instead of three, because I like scarves that are both long and wide. My general rule is that a scarf should be at least six inches taller than its wearer. I’m planning this one for next winter, as I’m not feeling any shortage of scarves; I’ve already knit three for myself! The Razor Shell scarf seems like it might be a little more dressy than the ones I made before. Sometimes I need to look a little more sharp – what’s better than a Razor scarf to accomplish that?

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Last night I went to SnB for the first time in six months. It was so good to see everyone again! I’d like to try to get back there more often, if possible. The timing and location aren’t so great for me, but I love being surrounded by two dozen awesome knitters. I got one pattern repeat done on the baby blanket while I was there, which is half of what I’d hoped to accomplish. The pattern row wasn’t too hard to do even with all the conversation and distraction, which pleased me.

I gave some thought to the sock design I’d like to make up, and I think the lace pattern I originally had in mind might not work. The pattern is a multiple of 24 stitches plus one, which would mean having it repeat three times around the sock. How would that work over the instep? I’ll swatch for it just in case, but it might not be the best of ideas, so I’ll go to the design class armed with a couple of different stitch patterns.

Pirate-Husband continues to be awesome. I took out the yarn that I’m going to use in the sock design class, and was fussing with the scale and ball-winder. “What are you doing?” he asked. When I told him that I was splitting the skein in two and winding it up, his first response was “But the class isn’t for three weeks! Should you be winding the yarn up now? It isn’t good to have it under tension.” I love that he knows these things about my hobby and that he’s so supportive, but I reassured him that three weeks of being wound up wouldn’t make much of a difference to the yarn.

The first Bloo Sock is almost complete. I hope to get it done tonight so that Michael can try it on this weekend. I am a little anxious for it to fit well, so I can knit the second sock without worrying that I’m just going to have to rip it all out and start over. Anyway, I’m meeting up with him in Philadelphia to do touristy things and drink beer. The women at SnB last night were recommending Philly yarn stores to me. I may try to resist, as I’m still supposedly on a yarn diet!

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I feel like such a dork saying it, but omg! people are making the armwarmers! I saw someone on the LJ knitting community recommending them, and someone on a UK knitting forum did the same, and someone on Ravelry has cast on for the pattern too! I should probably relax a little bit, but I can’t help squeeing just a little!

It’s still not cool enough to wear the Stripey Striped Scarf, but I’m sure it will be soon! I’ll try to get some pictures of its public debut, possibly under the trees which are just now starting to turn pretty colors.

My wrists have been hurting, so I’ve been trying to knit and type a little less. This is frustrating, but I’d rather take a few days off knitting than have to take a month off after I really overdo it.

And lastly, I know this isn’t exactly knitting-related, but in about ten minutes the realtor is going to pick us up and take us to see our first bunch of houses. I’m *so* excited!

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