Tag Archives: scarf

One Hat and Scarf, Coming Right Up

17 Oct

I’m giving myself points on being a nice sister, since I’m knitting a new hat and scarf for one of my brothers (the other one didn’t have anything he needed knitted when I asked).

I’m so happy that he asked for these things because dude, what could make it clearer that he wants to wear things I’ve knitted? Apart from the fact that he’s worn the last hat and scarf I knitted for him for years. The same goes for my mom, although she seems to feel that some of the things I’ve knitted for her are too nice to be worn. Mostly I think that’s because I have knitted some things for her that she doesn’t really like wearing. She still seems to appreciate those – and definitely wears the heck out of everything that’s actually useful for her.

I’ve also gotten a couple of calls from her about things like a lace shawl that accidentally got felted in the washing machine or a pair of color work socks that got left in a hotel room, but here’s the thing: as  a knitter I cherish the fact that things get lost or worn out. That only means I get to knit more.

So the hat was an interesting knit. There are a lot of criteria that this hat has to fulfill in order to be acceptable. There has to be a lining because it’s windy here, but a lining that covers the whole head can get too hot and tends to pull up the hat. So the hat has to somehow conceal the line where the lining, mostly meant to cover the ears, ends. The horizontal rib stripes of the wurm hat pattern should serve for this purpose, and as an added bonus they make it easy to draw the hat further down if it’s colder, or wear it higher up.

However, my brother didn’t want a slouchy hat, which the wurm is, nor did he want the wrinkles on the top of the hat that are created when the stitches are pulled together. I was also using a thicker yarn – Cashmerino from Debbie Bliss – than the pattern calls for, so I had no idea how high the crown of the hat would be. It’s also always hard to estimate how high a hat should be when the recipient can’t try it on at every turn. All of this was solved by doing the hat top down.

The next problem were the increases: doing eight increases in groups of two in four places created deep creases in the purl rows of the stripe pattern. I tried several different ways of increasing but each had the same problem, some more than others. Finally, after I’d ripped back 5 times or so, my brother suggested doing the increases in a spiral. Changing the place where they are done each row would obscure the line, and what little of it could be seen would be more of a design element.

After that it was easy going, and the dk weight yarn also made it delightfully fast.

The scarf pattern I chose is anything but fast, though. It’s Cerus, a linen stitch scarf knitted length-wise. Or width-wise. Ermh. You cast on 355 stiches, ok? Or in my case you, using the long tail cast on, take a tail that seems long enough, but only turns out to be long enough for 170 stitches. You pull those out and take a tail that’s twice as long and then some, and cast on again. Then you count the stitches and have something like 380 stitches, say frack it, and start knitting.

I’m using Garnstudio Drops Merino, a 100 % merino yarn, and I would say that for this pattern  something with more stitch definition would be better. This is slow going because you slip every other stitch on both sides, so basically you end up knitting two rows to each row. The pattern is totally worth it, and would be even more so if you could make it out more clearly.

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Locale shawl

2 Apr

Everything went right with this project.

I went home to visit mom a week ago, and only packed along one knitting project, thinking I wouldn’t knit anyway and so wouldn’t finish it. Naturally, given that I was so poorly prepared, I finished my Nevermore cowl the first night there and faced a weekend of no knitting.

I was left with quite a lot of yarn, though, and Ravelry came to rescue. Doing a simple search for the amount of yarn I had and limiting it to free neckwear, I soon rediscovered a shawl I had previously favorited: locale.

I weighed my yarn and found that I had about 180 yards of Trekking Hand Art Flamé from Zitron (the black-purple variagated yarn) and 254 yards of Heritage Solids from Cascade Yarns – just perfect for the shawl that’s been designed to use up leftovers skeins. A happy coincidence! Honestly, if such things actually happened, which they don’t, this would’ve been “meant to be”. Mom loaned me a pair of circulars and I began knitting.

I discovered that I could download the pattern *.pdf on my phone and read it from there, which made it easier than ever before to keep the pattern handy. Not an original discovery, but I’ve only had my smrt phone for such a short time that I still probably don’t use it every way I could. I also found an app for counting rows and pattern repeats. Nice!

I’ve been really stressed and, at least in principle, very busy lately, so a simple stockinette shawl was just perfect for me right now. The square pattern done with slipped stitches and the short row shaping were just interesting enough to keep me going. I finished this quick knit in a few days of watching glimpses of (insane) daytime tv, and it was just the thing to offer moments of relaxation during a very long week.

The largish (4 mm) needles with fingering weight yarn produced a light-weight, airy fabric, that seems to be suitable for the warmer spring weather we’ve been enjoying lately. And since it’s spring and spring brings out the black clothes in my wardrobe (probably because my spring jacket is black), the colors suit me just fine as well.

39 cm x 198 cm

9 Oct

That’s how big my finished Clapotis turned out to be after I blocked it – even though I blocked it for width rather than length. It’s also the answer to the question of why it took me nearly three months to complete this thing.

Pattern: Clapotis

Yarn: Araucania Ranco Multy (100 g = 344 m), 2 skeins

Colorway: 335

Needles: 3,5 mm

*****

See how it stretches out to infinity. That’s 33 repeats of the straight rows before beginning the decrease rows.

And the funny thing? I was *this* close to finishing it, when I completely and utterly ran out of yarn.

At that point I just thought to myself – you know what, I don’t think I mind… at least, not enough to rip back.

Just let it be.

The yarn was a delight to work with, but I could’ve done without the bright turquoise bits. For some reason I didn’t realize there was any turquoise in the yarn when I saw it as a skein. That’s variegated yarns for you, always full of surprises.

Clapotis: it just keeps on going

2 Oct

I’ve been knitting my Clapotis for 2,5 months now. Not all the time, of course, but still. I’ve just kept slogging on, and it felt like there was no end in sight – until now.

After 27 repeats of the straight rows (instead of 12 repeats like the pattern instructed), I now only have 40 grams of the original 200 grams left. I’m using 2 skeins of Araucania Ranco Multy in colorway 335.

I’ve guesstimated 1 cm of the scarf weighs around 1 gram, and so I’m going to start the decrease rows when I have around 20 grams of the yarn left. The decrease part is 24 cm long (ie. weighs ~24 g), and since the decreases form a triangle that will complete the rectangle shape of the scarf/shawl, I figure dividing that 24 g by two should give me the weight of that triangle. I’ll save 20 grams for it to be on the safe side. It’s going to be a close call, but I really want to use up as much of this yarn as possible.

At some point I started feeling like I’d never want to knit stockinette stitch after finishing this scarf. But really it wasn’t the stockinette that made this project go on forever: it was the combination of stockinette stitch, which usually requires no concentration, and the need to actually concentrate so I remembered to drop and twist and decrease and increase and what have you.

But usually I don’t mind concentrating. And stockinette in itself is actually pretty enjoyable. A little bit of mindless knitting is nice every once in a while. In the end it had nothing to do with this pattern and everything to do with some sort of attitude problem on my part. So that’s ok now.

Well anyway. I think this scarf is totally going to be worth the trouble. We’ll see for sure after the last few centimeters 🙂

Bianca Wave

5 Nov

newwave

A while back I found a couple of knitting books on sale. This was one of them (it’s Knitting New Scarves by Lynne Barr). The book contains a lot of great looking classic scarves with a twist, and also a few I would never wear (a scarf that looks like an octopus tentacle, for one).

From the first time I leafed through the book, I was intrigued by a lot of the patterns, but still it ended up among the knitting books I’ve never used. (Those books are starting to pile up.) I always felt bad about it because this book is one of those books that deserves to be cherished and used until pages start falling off and the whole thing is covered in bread crumbs and coffee stains. Why? Because it’s so innovative. Every pattern uses a unique technique. This also happens to be the reason why I never got around to trying any of the patterns. They just seem so complicated… until you pick up the needles and *try*, it turns out.

This, of course, holds true for most of knitting patterns, at least for me. They often seem difficult when I read through them for the first couple of times, but when I start following the instructions needle and yarn in hand, everything works out easily.

So after such a long time of feeling guilty for never giving the book a proper chance, I finally decided it was time, and started knitting the first pattern I came across in the book that seemed both relatively easy and stylish to me: the Easy Wave. I like the pattern because, until you touch the scarf, it kind of looks like it’s wavy only because it’s been blocked to stay that way, somehow. In reality, the fabric forms the waves. The secret is in the rib: it’s divided on two needles, and a few rows are knitted on the other needle only. Then the stitches on both needles are joined again into one fabric.

It’s pretty slow going, but I really like the result. My only worry is the yarn: the colorway isn’t what I was hoping for. I’m using Bianca by Novita. It’s 100 % wool, and I plan to look into dying yarn. Maybe I can dye the scarf once it’s finished, and get rid of that combination of purples and turquoise that “more or less exactly fails to please the eye”. Well, my eye at least.

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