yarn

Swatching some ruffles

It really pays to swatch.  I’ve known this forever,  but am now really trying to remember it before I go headlong into a big project.  This swatch is about several things.

First is linen stitch.  How well does it work with fingering weight yarn and how does it look in a pattern dyed yarn?  So I knit some up.


Actually I knit an 18 inch strip using size 1 needles. It takes 10-12 rows to get one inch of linen st in this size yarn. But I like it a lot, so would be willing to knit a long time to get a nice cardigan band or a cuff for a sleeve.

Thinking about bands and trims reminded me of ruffles. What pattern do I like best for ruffles? I don ‘t really know. Time to swatch some more. Might as well use the band.


But wait!  Will just knitting it onto the band have an effect of some kind on the ruffle?  Better cast on some to the end of this row and ruffle with and without the band.

So I cast on 20 extra stitches and used the first 20 stitches of the band and did the following:

Row 1:  (K1, yo) in each st to the end, end k1.

Row 2-4:  Work in stockinette st.

Row 5:  (K1, Kfront and back) repeat across

Row 6: P all.  Row 7–9: Knit all.  Row 10:  Bind off in Knit.

Discovered:  1:  Band restricts curling of piece just a bit; 2.  yo increase drapes more than Kf&b; 3:  I like a little garter at the end of the ruffle with a RS bind off.  Need to remember #3.  4:  Don’t like wobbly edges.

Therefore must knit another ruffle.

Ruffle #2 starts with Binding Off 16-18 stitches of the linen band.  I’m trying to make the edge more stable by using the bind off and then pickup method to eliminate stretching.

  1. Pickup one st in each of the bound off stitches.
  2. K5, Purl to last 5 sts, k5.  (Keep 1st and last 5 sts in garter st.)
  3. K row
  4. P row
  5. (K1, yo) across for increases
  6. P
  7. K
  8. P
  9. (K2, yo) across for increases
  10. P
  11. K
  12. P1, yo, (P2, yo) across
  13. K
  14. K
  15. K
  16. Bind off in K.

I like that it’s not so kinky, curly.  I like the openness of the yo increase.  Increasing every four rows is nice.  Garter edges are good too.  But what is the easiest and fastest increase to use?  Can I use a rib stitch for a ruffle?

I really like the lifted increases.  Cat Bordhi has brought this technique back into popularity, but it’s been around a long time.  It’s fast and it’s invisible.  Try it.

Ruffle #3

  1. Knit up the next 18-20 strips from the strip.
  2. K row
  3. K row
  4. (K1, M1) across using the Lifted increase for the M1
  5. K1, P1 across–a 1×1 rib
  6. rib
  7. rib
  8. rep. row 4
  9. rib
  10. rib
  11. rib
  12. bind off in knit using the fingering wt yarn doubled.

Rib makes it stand up more and curl less.  Love the doubled yarn bind off, both the enlarged size and the blending of the colors.

    Look at the bind off from the top. 

    Now I lose my mind.  How do I do a double ruffle?  (Why would I want one?)

    This way lies madness, but this is really what I did.

  1. K 8 sts from the linen strip.
  2. K
  3. K1, Inc 1, K to last st, inc 1, k1
  4. K
  5. K
  6. P
  7. (k1, yo) across, end K1
  8. K
  9. Grab a double pointed needle or a toothpick and slip the yo’d sts to that separate needle.  It’s every other st; don’t twist them.  Hold this needle to the back of the work.The row goes( K1, slip 1 to dpn) end k1.
  10. Ignore the dpn and those sts.  Working on your regular needle, (k1, yo) to the end.
  11. k
  12. k
  13. k
  14. k
  15. Bind off in knit.  Part one is now finished.

Part 2:  Attach yarn to the sts on the dpn and k2–3 rows.  Bind off in knit.

Part 3:  With the RS facing you, pick up one st in each of the bumps created by knitting row 2.  (8 sts)  Begin picking up on the left hand side.  Attach the yarn on the right hand side and begin knitting.

  1. K f&b
  2. p
  3. (k, k f&b) across
  4. p
  5. repeat row 3
  6. bind off in purl

What I learned?  Too much is too much. But I kind of like picking up across some RS bumps and adding a bit of ruffle.  Nice embellishment.

However–

    This bit across the back is just plain ugly.
    Am I finished?  Nonsense. 

    Ruffle 5

    Work in the next 15 sts of the linen strip.

    Row 1:  (K3, P3) 2x, k3

    Row 2:  (P3, K3) 2x, p3.

    Repeat once or twice more.

    Then ?????????

    Just for fun, here’s the whole thing.

    Could be the end of a shawl?!?

    About the yarn.  This is a sock yarn from Coats and Clark, Red Heart Heart and Sole Color 3960,  that was sent to me to do some design with.  At first I didn’t like it, but that changed.

    The dye for pattern effect is never a favorite for me, but the uneven stitch count skipped the pattern and just blended the stitches in a really nice way.

    It’s not Malabrigo, CTH, or Tosh, so it doesn’t have that softness or clarity of st pattern; but it also doesn’t cost as much so you can afford to buy it just to play and discover.

    True Confession—The longest wearing, best-looking-after-being-washed-forever socks in my extensive collection are two pair of Lion Brand sock yarn designs.  The yarn in this appears to be the same blend and spin.  And they are sock enough.

    I will use this yarn again and I will nag Cat to get them to create some solids.

    More later–

Categories: swatches, yarn | Tags: | Leave a comment

American Yarns

One shop wasn’t enough for Liz and I.  We left Kaalund and headed for American Yarns.  I couldn’t wait to find out what American yarns meant.  Liz had been there before, but we used her Tomtom just in case.

A long time later—-

Tomtom, iPad, and, finally, the iPhone.  It took all three to get us there.  Much laughing as we found out that we were stymied because the council had changed the name of the area where the shop is located.  With directions from Gabrielle, the owner, who agreed to stay open for us, we arrived.

Totally different kind of shop than the others I’ve been to here.  She carries a wide range of yarns, from Bernat and other acrylics to Sweet Georgia handpainted silks.

The Bernat is very popular with her crochet customers who meet to do charity knitting in the large sit and knit area.

I saw Abuelita yarns from S. America which were very similar to Malabrigo.  There were two skeins in the sale bin for only $5.00.  Note the use of the past tense in that sentence.

She is the only person I’ve seen catering to machine knitters or selling wheels—Ashford’s of course.

She had lots of Namaste bags, several I had not seen.  Bags are important here.

No one goes anywhere without bags dripping from their bodies to carry their shopping and stuff.  Witness the picture with the sign.  The bag isn’t flattering draped across me that way, but it’s the only way to carry it and bags of yarn, or sometimes groceries.  Thank you again, Vicki.

I fell in love with this sweater.  It’s the dog thing.

One other comment about this shop owner.   She looks for deals and then passes them on to her customers.  She had found some German yarn had an error on the label.  It only said 75 m when clearly there was more on the ball.  She bought it cheap and sold it cheap to her customers.  I don’t dare tell you how much I paid for some balls of luscious silk/cashmere lace weight from China.  I’m going back to get some more.

She could have so easily just priced these yarns at market value and taken her big profit, but that isn’t her way.

We contributed well to her profits and called it a day.  Rode home listening to music from an Aussie named John Williamson.  A folk and country mix with remarkable wordsmithing skills.

More later–

Categories: Australia, yarn | 5 Comments

Tangled Yarns

The first yarn shop I visited here was Tangled Yarns.  I rode the bus solo for the first time  the day I went up.  A delightful older woman (I forget I am an older woman) helped me figure out my stop and took me under her wing.   She also told me to wrap my summer clothes in calico to keep the silverfish off them.  ????? Haven’t seen any silverfish.

Kelly, Lauren, Kiley

I walked in to the shop in the middle of a dyeing class.  Kelly, the owner, was teaching it so we didn’t ever really have time to talk, but I spend a lot of time with Lauren who works there.  She is the one in the center and she’s very funny.  Kelly’s employees and her customers seem to love her as much as we love Remi and Debbie.

Turns out Kiley, the student on the right had read my blog and even commented a time or two.  She, like Liz, found me on the shop’s Ravelry group when I introduced myself.  Hm-m-m-m-m—does that tell you what to do next time you are going to a new place.  Join the Ravelry groups.  Boy, it has paid off for me.

(For you non-knitters, Ravelry is a magnificent online database of over one million knitters worldwide.  We post our projects and comment on patterns and yarns we like—or don’t like.  It is a treasure of information and it is free!!!!)

I watched the class a bit and shopped around.  I took time to look at all the Jo Sharp books because I never get to see them in the states.  I liked the Jo Sharp wool and thought of Beth S., who has knit some Jo Sharp cotton before.

Kelly’s stock of her hand dye is low; there was some pretty yarn, but not enough in my colorway to make anything substantial, so I passed on it.

All the other yarn in the show is easily available at home except this.  Biggan Yarn is an Australian brand.  This is superwash wool in a DK weight.  It was very soft and the way this fiber takes dye is amazing.   Every color is vibrant, even the darks and the pastels.  Most of the lines of wool in the states, like Cascade 220 or Reynolds Galway, have a greyed quality to their colors which doesn’t work on me.  I’d love to have access to this and will continue to check the web.

I loved the use of the drying rack to display things in the window.

This is Liz.  She is a saint, and I’ve only said that about one other person—Linda Murray Betadishoo.  I hope I spelled that right.

Thursday night Liz drove me to Tangled Yarns for a sit and knit.  On the way she pointed out every bakery and patisserie we passed and recommended stuff—she’s evil.  Then she took me to the James Street Market, even nicer than The Fresh Market.  We looked at fruits and veggies, some of which I’d never seen and she clued me in.  Then she took me to the fish section and showed me Moreton Island Bugs.  $54.99 a kilo!  They are very similar to lobster, but even better.  She told the clerk I was a Yank and had never even heard of them and that he should let me taste one.  Darn if he didn’t.  He cracked one and pulled out a bunch of the meat and we ate away.  I told you Liz was evil—and she has powers.

At knit night I met Derrin who had just finished a new shawl.  It was her birthday and she was loving the little gifts everyone was bringing her.

We knit and talked and talked and knit.  On my left is Kim who also works there and Julia who has picked up a UFO and is determined to finish it.  Everyone was so nice.

On the way home Liz took me on an after dark ride around the city.  This was the first time I’d seen the city lights from afar.  Steve and I will have to take a ferry ride after dark and I’ll get some pictures to share with you.

Every day brings something new.  How many people do you know who can say they ate a Moreton Bay Bug?

Oh, and wait until you find out where Liz and I went the next day.

More later–

Categories: Australia, Personal thoughts, yarn | 1 Comment

Back from Boston

First, the non-knitting stuff.   Went to Boston to visit Kate, dear friend who has undertaken the adventure of creating a new, exciting life which involved moving to Boston.  After four days there, who wouldn’t.  This is an amazing place and I’m in love.  I may even watch the Red Sox–while knitting them, of course.

First was the Duck tour.  That’s the boat/car above.  You can read all about the WWII vehicles they use and where they go here. The tour is great fun because you ride a car into the water, but more so because your conducktor is insane—but very knowledgeable.  Our Conducktor was Hardly Davidson and we could have asked for no one better.

He knew the city, the history, and how to entertain.  If you go to Boston, if you even live in Boston, you must take this tour.

The other tour that is required is the Samuel Adams Brewery Tour.  It isn’t a long tour, but is entertaining and smart.  Most of your time is spent in the tasting room which is why you went in the first place, and they give you plenty to taste.  All you have to do is cheer on cue.  Hop on the T and head south.  When we got off the T and looked a bit confused, two different people asked, “Looking for Sam’s?”  They know their tourists.

That ended the first day and we went back to Kate’s very charming apartment perched upon a really steep hill and spent the evening with wine and beer and heirloom tomatoes and other good stuff that Steve fixed.  Joy.

Day 2–the Classic Elite Mill Store, Vicky, Jack, Ann, artists, and a meatball sub.

In Lowell, MA, about 20 miles from Kate’s apartment is the Hub Mill Store which is attached to the Classic Elite Warehouse, etc., and a huge artist’s complex similar, but larger, to the McCall Center in Charlotte.

You know you are there when you park in front of this.  Wire and yarn, both good things.

We went in and I could barely breathe.  The store is a yarn store and carries yarn not made by Classic Elite.

Kate bought Claudia Handpaints Silk and Artyarns stuff with little sequins.

I bought mostly cotton blends that I haven’t seen before and immediately started swatching.

Best of all–this is where Classic Elite sells their overruns and discontinued yarns at a discount.

Vicki, a local school teacher who works here the odd Saturday, was so patient and kind to us.  She just laughed as we worked our way through the stock over and over.

When it came time to pay, I was nervous.

She let me sign my receipt while she covered the amount.

We had planned to go to the National Quilt Museum and the home of the artist James Whistler, but stayed on at Western Avenue Studios to meet various artists and do a bit more shopping in the Gallery.  Western Avenue Studios is really a large former textile mill which houses over 200 artists.  They receive studio space at a nominal fee as well as a community of creativity and a place to sell their work.

The sponsors of this space also have a tremendous public outreach.  Check out their site.

I bought a great photo from Jack Holmes to give to Steve.  It is being shipped.  Jack was there and I got to spend time talking to him about his work.  He travels everywhere to take pictures and then returns to his homebase in Andover and Lowell to tweak his work.  Site with gallery. Look for El Claustro in Grenada in the Landscapes gallery.

Ann Lee took us to her Fabric art studio and let us play and ask questions.  Kate bought a marvelous jacket from her which is truly an art garment.  Ann shares a studio with friends and they call the place Friends Fabric Art.  I also subscribed to her blog which has many more pictures of her work.

If you mention Lowell to folks around Boston, you will get a sad look.  It is considered a working class town gone downhill.  That’s why we were so shocked to find this huge artist community and a bustling downtown with lots of restaurants and nice people.  Just one warning–parallel parking is required in downtown Lowell.  And you may have to drive many blocks from your restaurant in order to find several empty spaces in a row to park your rental car.  So embarassing.

I’ll show you my yarn purchases later–

Categories: Personal thoughts, yarn | Tags: , | 5 Comments

Yarn from Colorado

Since I teach at Charlotte Yarn, I get a discount on my personal yarn buys.  So why would I buy something in Colorado that we sell at the shop???  COLOR!

No shop can carry every color of every yarn.  And these hand dyers will slip new colorways in without your even knowing it.  Besides, as Oscar Wilde said, the only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.

I’m proud to say I only bought 4 skeins.

First–

Blue Heron Rayon Metallic--Deep Water/Silver

Remi has lots of this at Charlotte Yarn, but I’ve never seen this color.  Rayon is a favorite fiber of mine and I have held many skeins of this;  I’m glad I waited for this one.I have 550 yards of this and I think it needs to be a shoulder hugging shawl.  For me.   Edie, the owner of Woolly Works Farm is a fellow camper and I need to support her.  Truly.

Next–Ella Rae Lace Merino

Speaking of color—I bought this for two reasons:  1.  the colorway is just a bit outside my comfort zone.  There is some brown tucked into this colorway and I don’t do brown, but I don’t want to be in a rut.  2.  I told Remi I would do something to highlight this yarn and then she would have to buy more.  Must keep my word.

Why would this gorgeous yarn need help?  It is extra fine Merino, superwash, 460 luscious yarns for only $24.  The problem is, and the yarn rep agrees with me, the yarn is MISnamed.  It is named Lace Merino.  It is not lace weight yarn.  It is fingering weight, sock weight, which is why Charlotte Yarn has it shelved in the sock yarn section.

I picked it up several times and was confused by the name.  Surely others were too.So–Socks?  Shawl? Scarf?  I don’t know yet.  But it is teal, turquoise, red, lt. navy—and it feels so great—soft, yet crisply spun.  You can see why I had to have it, right?

Last is two skeins of a yarn I’d only seen online.  Remi introduced me to Mirasol yarns.  I have a bunch of their fingering handpaint.  At a new shop in Ft.Collins, Your Daily Fiber, I found Mirasol Tupa on the wall in dazzling jewel tone colors.It’s a bit darker than this.  It is a plied yarn, 50-50 merino and silk, drapes beautifully, 137 yards per 50 grams, only $10.  I can’t believe I only bought 2 skeins.  It isn’t important what this will be.  It will mix with some other yarn probably.  The main reason I HAD to buy this is to show Remi so she will order lots of it.  Then we can all have some.  The colors and the silk—you will swoon.

Camp is more than just buying yarn.  The other side effect of camp is seeing what everyone has been knitting all year and making notes of what you have to have in the pattern category.  I’m still gathering some pictures of some of these projects and will share them soon.

More later–

Categories: Uncategorized, yarn | Tags: | 1 Comment

Catching Up; Free class

I’ve been busy enjoying my friends.  I’ve also been indulging myself in mindless knitting–well, sort of.

Recently a very good friend has been bringing me flowers from her yard–her husband is a master gardener.  Over the past month I’ve had lilies, daisies, gerber daisies and now gladiola and the best ever, Stargazer Lily.

I’d never heard of a Stargazer Lily before but I want one.  It has the sweetest, most delicate aroma.  (If you have an old dog, “aroma” is an important issue in your life.)  It’s beautiful in a million ways; it looks modern, vintage, unearthly, Art Deco.  The buds have been opening on the branch for over a week, so the cutting lasts.  Must call Andrew about adding one to my yard.

The Seduce yarn has entered is 5th transformation.  The top down yoke sweater proved to be a bad ideas for such a squirrelly yarn.  This time it actually seems to be working.  It’s simply a top down, half-raglan shaped cardigan.  It’s all stockinette and will have some kind of border–a slightly flaired ruffle, I think.  The yarn seems to like this project, at least it is knitting effortlessly.  Well–there was the part where I twisted the left shoulder when joining everything under the arm.

I know to be meticulous when joining to knit in the round, but don’t think it even occurred to me I could twist parts of a sweater.  Fortunately I caught it when I had only knit an inch—thanks to my habit of trying things on a million times while in process.  Quick frog and a start again.  Added short rows and the rest is just straight knitting—I think.

My July socks are going great.  I love the Plymouth Sockotta and the long repeats.  I’m using an easy twisted st rib for the cuff and have developed a slightly different way (for me) of doing the Left Twist.  I’m also working on simplifying the directions for the arched foot that I have grown to love.  The arch clasps the foot nicely and it is fun to knit; makes the foot knitting more interesting so it seems to go faster.  I’ll share when it is worked out to my liking.

Speaking of sharing—I’m teaching a free class this coming Sunday at Charlotte Yarn.  It is part of Remi’s Customer Appreciation Weekend.  I’m sharing some pattern reading tips and tricks and will, of course, be available to answer questions and play with yarn.  Call the shop and reserve a place–Think of it as a play date.  It will be way too hot to do anything else that day.

More later–

Categories: classes, otn, Personal thoughts, yarn | Leave a comment

Thank you, Charlotte Yarn Customers

I don’t really work for Charlotte Yarn—unless lots of staff goes out of town at the same time. Well, Harriet and Sandy were both off to vacation and play last week and I spent two days on staff. I had so much fun.

At the end of the day, when I sat down with a Boston Ale, I noticed that my feet hurt and my brain was fuzzy (before I drank the beer); but I never even thought of that during the day. I met a bunch of new people. Patsy was in Charlotte to visit her brand new granddaughter and I helped her assemble a sweater she had knit home in Minn. Pam arrived from Florida to visit her daughter; I greatly assisted her in spending large amounts of money on Blue Heron Yarns. One of Sandy’s neighbors dropped by and learned how to make fringe.

I never make it to the Wednesday morning knit-in for some reason–Can you say lazy? Working that day I got to catch up with Chris , Chris, and Renate. Renate is always a fount of knitting wisdom, especially about socks. That day she was knitting a shopping bag out ot some kinda fancy yarn from her stash. We teased her about knitting a bag for evening or cocktail shopping.

Thursday, my day off, I dropped in to knit some with Vicki and Linda, two of my intrepid test knitters. Stayed four hours! It was important to be there Thurs. because our faithful UPS man brought Remi’s order of Jaggerspun Zephyr–the Mother of All Lace Yarn. I grabbed two skeins of charcoal for the Sowerby shawl on display and one of Marine Blue for something. We called Chris to let her know the yarn had arrived and she drove over at record time and bought the rest of the Marine Blue. She’s worried about having enough for the Sowerby shawl, so I promosed to share if she needs it. I’ll start on the grey.

My knitting camp next month will feature Nancy Bush of Estonian Lace fame, among other things, so I ‘m sure I’ll come home with lots of ideas.

Friday also brought Gina in to work on a new shawl. I told her how I cheat on nupps. Maybe I’ll even learn to do those at camp. Purl 7 together still just seems plain wrong to me.

Anyway, thanks to all of you who came by and shared the time with us. I had a blast and am inspired to try several new things you suggested. Since it is Saturday, guess where I’m off to? Yep, I
have a class at 1:00 at Charlotte Yarn. Fun never ends if you knit!

When you go to the shop to see the Zephry, and of course you will at least look and touch, ask to see the color card. This 50-50 silk merino blend takes dye beautifully. B.J. was there Friday knitting
Jared Flood’s Juneberry shawl with Zephyr in the DK weight. This was my first time to touch it and it is very nice.

More later–

Categories: Personal thoughts, yarn | Tags: | Leave a comment

Yarn Review: Rowan Revive

I discovered this yarn while shelf scanning at Charlotte Yarn.  My first look didn’t excite me.  Then I realized that this was part of the “Green  Yarn” explosion currently underway.  You know, the label includes things like “organic,” “recycled,” “all natural.”   Steve loves food ads that say the product is made from all natural ingredients.  The scientist in him points out that everything on this planet is natural, from nature, even the man made products which will outlive the cockroaches.  Oops, back to the topic.

Anyway, I picked it up and read the label.  Oh, my favorite fibers.  Revive is made from 36% recycled silk, 36% recycled cotton, and 28% recycled viscose (Rayon, my favorite man-made fiber).  It isn’t that I don’t care about the planet, I do.  It’s that I care more that the yarn I knit and wear feels great.  Bingo.  This one does.

The only negatives I can find are that it isn’t machine washable and dryable—-and what great yarn is?  It also doesn’t have memory;  when stretched, it doesn’t fully recover like wool does.  Well, Jane, you say, it isn’t wool, so get over it.  And I did.

It feels luscious in my hands as I knit.  Like raw silk.  A bit of texture, but never rough.  The plies, all 5 of them, are solidly twisted for a drapeable, yet sturdy yarn.  This yarn wants to go outside on a cool fall day.  It does.  It told me so.  The colors are all tweedy.  I can even see an occasional dot of bright silk.  There are so many natural colors in the plies, that it makes it very versatile for using with neutral solids.

I have made a hat out of it using some eyelet (yarn0ver) stitches.  It seemed to need to be a slouch hat because it wanted to show off its drape.  I used some textured stitch patterns to enhance the look inherent in the yarn. (Pattern available soon.)

This yarn sells for $10.98 a 50 gr. skein which has 137 yds.  Rowan recommends a gauge of 5.5 sts per inch on a US 6, which is what I got when I designed the hat.  They say to hand wash it in cool water.  This is Pink Granite, color number 00463.  This and other colors are available at Charlotte Yarn.

I need to go back and get some of the purple.

More later–

Categories: original pattern, Uncategorized, yarn | 1 Comment

Yes, swatching AGAIN

It’s not a nag this time.  It’s a how swatches teach you something.  I’m playing with some yarns to make some cardigans I have sketched.  I need to know if the yarn will work before I cast on.  Yes, before.  So sad to start a project and the yarn be wrong for the pattern and you ignore that even though you suspect it but you keep knitting hoping the yarn will magically change and be perfect even though you know that didn’t happen last time and surely won’t happen this time.  Do you think I’ve had some experience with this?

This is a Hempathy swatch.  I bought the yarn at Charlotte Yarn.  The pattern is as k5, sl 1 row followed by a purl row.  I want to make a cardigan that is unstructured and will roll under at the front edge.  It would have 3/4 sleeves and some kicky little detail on the sleeves.  The yarn needs enough body to hold some simple shape, but be nice as the edge rolls.  It’s a transitional season kind of garment, so I am not interested in wool.  My transitional seasons aren’t that cold.

The swatch shows the pattern with a size 6 needle, then I knit a row on the wrong side to make a row of purls and tried a size 5 needle which was better.  Still uncertain. I washed it and it is a wonderful feel, but may be too light weight for what I want.  This will go up on the bulletin board to await further thinking.

This purple cotton from Jaegar came from the stash.  I bought this off ebay during the Stone Age of internet knitting.   The yarn is named Pure Cotton DK which is no longer made.  Jaegar Aqua would be close to it.  It is a multi-plied mercerized cotton with a slight sheen and it feels so good in your hand as you knit.  Neither yarn is new so you might find a great bargain if you Googled either.

After knitting a few inches in stockinette stitch, I switched to garter and then to a pattern with a purl thrown in every few sts, every few rows.  I was looking for an Aha!

I really like the occasional purl st pattern.  It felt good in my hand and made the yarn drape just a bit.  I knit the entire swatch with a US# 7.  How can I remember?  Like this.I count the knots in the cast on string.  I know folks who will do (yo, k2tog) along an early row to show the needle size, but I always forget.  I’m too anxious to get some stitches on the needle.  Most times I can remember near the end to tie off the same number of knots as the needle size.  Two things I can assure you: a sticky note won’t stay stuck to a swatch, and without something, you won’t remember what needle you used.

Here’s both strands from the Hempathy.

Swatch to see what the fabric feels like.  You won’t be sorry.

More later–

Categories: designing, yarn | 2 Comments

Sad sock story; otn

I am trying to have my own Sock of the Month club this year as suggested by Yarn Harlot.  I cheated and bought yarn—six balls of Sockotta from Discontinued Brand Name Yarns for only about $5 each, but one just makes a new resolution and moves on.  My grandmother always said God would get me for my sins, so check out above.  Steve’s new sock doesn’t fit.

Remember that I knit both on different needles at the same time.  The second one doesn’t fit either.

By now you would expect I could fit him.  I’ve only knitted him a bezillion socks.  The third one I cast on didn’t work either, so I decided to rethink.

I love the Sockotta yarn.  It’s the only Plymouth yarn besides their Galway that I have ever liked.   It’s 45% cotton, 40% wool, and 15% nylon.  The cotton is cooler for summer; the wool is long wearing; and the nylon is strong and softens things.  It comes in 100 gram balls (414 yds) and Webs has it for only $10.99.  It washes in the machine and wears very well.  I knit my first pair of lace socks out of it 100 years ago.

I finally decided that the problem was using my Like Jazz pattern with the cotton blend needed more stitches so the twisted stitch pattern could be accommodated.  Cotton doesn’t stretch the same way all wool yarn does.  I added stitches and cast on again.  Still too small.   I can hear Cristi saying, but didn’t you swatch it to check the size?  No, I thought I was so perfect that I didn’t need to.

Tore out the third one and he is getting a k2,p2 cuff with the occasional twist st.  I may burn this yarn before May is out.  And it’s all my own stubborn fault.  I still like the yarn.

One other error—same socks— dealt with the needle size.  In the US, we fudge a bit on needle sizes.  A size one needle may be a 2.25 mm needle or a 2.5 mm.  I like that Knitpicks sells both in my favorite needle.  I am a loose knitter, so I always buy the 2.25.  But—-the first sock I cast on for Steve was on my lovely Addi lace needle, size 1.  The initial try-on fit Steve quite well.  Just the first few inches of the cuff.  The second sock was knit on the Knitpicks needle.  Yeah!  The Addi is a 2.5.  Another opportunity to screw up was taken.  It’s like these socks aren’t meant to be.  Or maybe it’s the “Keep the Knit Queen humble” work of God.  Anyway, watch out for needle size US1.

I am still knitting on my green skirt.  But only a bit and only when I remember.  It is on track for an August finish when I plan to teach a class is designing and knitting a custom fit A-line skirt.

More later–

Categories: designing, original pattern, otn, yarn | 1 Comment

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