Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Yarn Speaks

That yarn that jumped out of my stash and spoke to me the other day spoke well, very well indeed.















I might be madly in love with this scarf.  It's very loosely based on a scrap yarn shawl I found on Pinterest.  I really love the single red stripe.  The shawl on pinterest had a small gauge but several row deep crocheted edging on it which was fabulous and I had planned to add an edging like that to this scarf but I like it enough now that I'm afraid if I mess with it I won't like it so much later.  I sort of want to keep it and I sort of want to give it to a friend of mine who found out this week that she's getting laid off at the end of the school year and it's going to be really, really tough for her and her family.  My heart goes out to her.  Lots of us are getting laid off but her situation is worse than some of the rest of us.  When things go badly for my friends I can give them hugs and kind words but so often I find that I give them knitting.  It's what I know how to do and it gives me comfort and I can only hope that it gives them comfort too.  I hope they know that when they wear something I've knit for them they're wearing my good wishes and love, my respect for them and my caring.  A scarf is a small thing but the intentions knit into it are large.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Derailed by the Stash

With a rather large number of WIPs right now I made the mistake, head cold and all, of looking at my stash tonight just before going to bed and all of a sudden 3 oddball skeins of black/grey yarn looked right back out at me and asked their friend red and black to join them and be knit into a lengthwise striped scarf.

Who am I to deny a yarn its destiny?
Here's a crappy picture of the yarn that couldn't wait any longer to be knit even though I have a dumb number of projects started right now anyway.
Check out the beautiful quilt the yarn is laying on. My Mom made it for us. She's amazing.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Grandma Marg

I love this picture of my Grandma.  She was so cool!



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Warm and Cosy

This weekend I made Dolinar by Stephen West out of the very suvvy (that'll be soft and fuzzy mixed together by a toddler) and beautiful Malabrigo Worsted.



Never before a fan of the big sized cowls I had started out making a Honegart with this yarn but the gauge was off yet I liked the fabric I was getting so I didn't want to change needle sizes.  I tried messing with the pattern a little to see if I could get it to work but I was having a spell of many knitting projects gone bad so I ran out of steam.  Next I was on vacation and all I had with me was the Malabrigo and the Stephen West book so I started looking through it.  I decided the yarn might look good as a Dolinar and away I went.

It's an easy knit although I still managed to misread the pattern so my cables are only 2 stitches apart, not 4 stitches apart and I had to fudge a little but I didn't figure it out until I was on the batch of cables so I kept up with it.  It's beautiful anyway and although it is big and I don't see myself wearing it without a pin or button I'm quite sure I will wear it and probably often.

Thanks again Mr. West.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tutorial - Fix a Miss-Crossed Cable After the Fact

FAIL!  I was blocking a vest I had made for a friend when I saw it . . . a miscrossed cable at the very bottom of the bottom up vest.


If you have ever thought you were done with a project (that might have taken you 2 major false starts already anyway) and discovered a nasty error like this you know the sinking feeling you get in your stomach.  

But there was no putting this vest in time out because it's for a friend and I really want to give it to her so I had a sit down and thought about how to fix it.  I decided to wait until I had a time in the morning, when I was well rested and had good light and then I would cut it, pick it, twist it the right way, kitchener it back together and see what would come of it.  I had nothing to loose.

Here's how I did it.

First - supplies.  Tea or coffee or other comforting beverage of your choice; extra yarn; double pointed needles smaller than those you needed for your project; yarn needle; courage.







Turn your piece over and grab the bar of the miss-crossed cable with one of the double pointed needles.


Using the other double point I chose to find the strand of yarn further away from the cable rather than right next to the cable so I could make my cut away from the seed stitch that is next to the cable since I didn't fancy doing kitchener stitch in the seed stitch and I needed to leave enough of a tail to have room to sew in once my repair was complete.

Now for the scary part - cut the yarn.  There's nothing you can do but hold your breath, hope you've got the right strand of yarn and make the cut.  Remember, if this doesn't work you've got to re-knit or do something else anyway so really, how much do you have to loose? 
Unpick the yarn going back to your cable problem and for several stitches on the other side of your cut so you'll have a tail to weave in later.  Put the stitches on your double points as you go with the right side facing you.  
NOTE:  When you get to the cable cross, make sure to untwist them and the re-twist them in the correct direction before you put them on the double point.



Now use the kitchener stitch to repair the hole.  There are lots of great instructions on the internet on how to do the kitchener stitch so I won't go into detail on that here.  I got this.









Weave in the 4 ends you should have on the back of your piece and . . .










Voila!  A little knitting magic is born.


Good luck with your own knitting fixes.



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pinspiration

Because I've been seeing and pinning so many great bracelets on Pinterest lately I got inspired and thought maybe I could whip up a little something fun for valentine's day.  This one is very basic but it's a great stepping stone and it's giving me lots and lots of ideas.
Marathon Socks North Pole and a random bead

I like it and if I have time before dinner I'm planning to go string up some more beads and get making me another icord.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Even More Valentines and a Finished Knit Project

Upon decorating my Valentine Tree I decided to add to the festive mood with an origami valentine garland I saw I Pinterest. Honestly, either Pinterest is the best thing since sliced bread or the worst time suck since internet surfing began.




And I've even got a finished knitting project to share!  It kept me somewhat warm on this frigid, windy night while walking the dog but it's not the warmest set I've made.  However, the washable, angora/wool blend sock yarn is some of the softest yarn imaginable so I know I'll be getting a whole lot of use out of this set.  The hat has been done for a couple of weeks and it's so soft that I can wear it all day without getting the dreaded "itchy-head."  I added an attached i-cord to the edges of the cowl and I'm really happy with how that looks.  I was a little worried that it wouldn't be elastic enough but the angora is so smooth that when I steamed the cowl the edges loosened right up and it goes easily over my head and has a super finished look.
See details on my Ravelry project page: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/knitstress/swirl-hat.



Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

In more non-knitting crafting, here's my valentine's tree!


Here are a few of them close up.




Yarny goodness in a non-knitted package.