May 14, 2009

Circle of life

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:30 am by Pink

Cheesy title, I know, but it’s really where I am right now.

My grandpa died two days ago–maybe yesterday–to be honest, my sense of time is very off right now.

What I’ve found best, and most healing, right now, is knitting and working on projects like that. Creative things, with a definite end goal and definite steps. It’s very helpful. A good friend of mine had a baby a week and a half ago–healthy baby boy, Elijah–so I’ve been working on a hat for him. I’m about 90% of the way done; I’m just trying to figure out how to do the edging, if any.

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January 11, 2009

Yarn reclamation continues

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:42 am by Pink

The green sweater is now fully frogged and balled–I’m gradually skeining it and washing them gently in hot water to dekink them. I’m not really sure how well it’s working.

I made one mistake: I sort of forgot that, ah, cotton shrinks in heat. Oops. I took the green yarn, soaked it in hot water, wrung it out since it’s sturdy enough to withstand it and I’m not worried about felting, then tried to stretch it back over the rack I was using. SHOCKINGLY, it was now too small, so I settled for resting it on the diagonal to dry until I can figure out some way to stretch it so it unkinks itself.

What I really need is either a circle with a crank that expands/contracts its radius, or something built in the shape of a compass (the kind you use to draw circles), with flat arms at the end of the angle-lines so that as you increase/decrease the angle, the distance between the vertical arms increases/decreases respectively, so that I can put yarn on it then expand it until it’s gently stretched straight. I’m not sure if something like that even really exists.

I wonder if I can find two, like, heavily weighted paper towel holders to stretch it between.

I started trying to frog the orange sweater, but the seams are awful and the yarn is far more fragile than it appeared, so I think I’m going to end up sewing it onto a pillow or something and cutting the seams. It’s just not worth the effort, which is sad, because the color and texture is stunning.

Mystery beret shenanigans

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:40 am by Pink

My biggest projects of late have been making Merets (Ravelry link).

The first one I made was dark green with a light pink trim, and I seriously, SERIOUSLY overestimated how large my head was, so it’s kind of saggy and droopy. 😦 I’m pretty disappointed. I cast on for the large, which was obviously the mistake.

I started a second one which is going much, much better–this one is made out of a deep purple Irish wool cake that a friend’s mother gave me, knowing that I’d be able to use it, and use it happily. This time I cast on for the small since it’s a bulky yarn, and it’s going splendidly–I’m really looking forward to when it’s done. I’ll be working a few extra repeats of the pattern as well for the sake of slouchiness.

January 10, 2009

Recycling yarn

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:00 pm by Pink

I went to Goodwill today with my boyfriend to look for random stuff–it occurred to me, then, that this might be the time to try looking for sweaters in colors and textures I like to gank the yarn from.

I ended up buying 5 sweaters, $4 each: two to wear, three to unravel.

Sweater #1 is light green, a 40% cotton/60% acrylic blend, and about halfway frogged.

It’s all handknit so once I can undo the seams–the person who seamed this was AMAZINGLY thorough, to the buyer’s pleasure and my annoyance!–unraveling it is relatively simple. It’s (was?) an extra-large and full of cables, so there’s a lot of yarn to be harvested.

Sweater #2 is a burnt orange, 100% acrylic, and terribly, terribly soft. I tried to get a picture of it, but the color is really, really hard to capture, so all the pictures were crap. It’s kind of close to this color, however.

Sweater #3… sweater #3 was an incredibly lucky find. It is the most stunning pale robin’s egg blue, 58% silk, 29% nylon, 13% angora.

I’m not 100% sure whether the seams are handknit or not, so I’ll have to figure that out before I try ripping it apart, but we’ll see.

December 31, 2008

Pretzels and Popcorn Scarf

Posted in patterns, Uncategorized tagged , , , at 12:21 am by Pink

So this is a scarf I came up with after playing with patterns in the Vogue cables stitchionary.

Hey, read me first!

  • Stitch numbers may be broken up oddly–e.g., k5, k5 instead of k10–that’s for no other reason than for how my brain organizes patterns. If you see something like that, it’s (probably) not a typo and just part of my brain tumblings.
  • The entire pattern is written for use without a cable needle. I can’t use them, they confuse the hell out of me, so I don’t. Cables are, in my brain, nothing more than sliding stitches off the needle and rearranging them back on in a certain orientation. The way I do cables is this:
    1. Look at the cable you want to do. Let’s use this one (http://honeybearshaven.com/knit/cable_scarf1.jpg). Not a chart, not the pattern, literally an image, if you have one.
    2. Remember that cables are just rearranged stitches. Look at your image. You see that the left cord is crossed over the right cord.
    3. Think about where you want the stitches to end up. In our example, we want the left stitches crossing on top of the right stitches.
    4. Take the stitches to be cabled off the left needle. So, for a cable made up of 6 stitches, you’d remove all six.
    5. Put the 3 rightmost stitches–the ones that were closest to the tip of the needle–back onto the left needle.
    6. Put the 3 leftmost stitches onto the left needle now, so that they’re on top of the right stitches.
    7. Knit all 6 stitches. Voila! You’ve just done a “six-stitch right front-cross cable.”
    8. Show off all your fancy stitches.
  • The pattern is symmetrical, everything should be in sets of two or even numbers (which really are just sets of two anyways!), except the middle stitch, which will always be a purl OR a bobble.
  • All cables use cords/columns/whatevers of 2 stitches. Every cable is 4 stitches wide of 2 2-stitch pieces, either KK or PP. If it’s not, something’s wrong.

Funky stitches used
(Between you and me, I don’t use these, I just look at the picture and do what looks right. For the visual purposes, x’s are purls, k’s are knits, capitals are in front.)
RFP: Take the next four stitches off the needle, and put the 2 purls back on the needle first and the 2 knits on in front of them. K2P2. pp/KK [vertically-symmetric opposite of LFP]
LFP: Take the next four stitches off the needle, and put the 2 knits back on the needle first and the 2 purls on it behind them. P2K2. KK\pp [vertically-symmetric opposite of RFP]RK: Take the next four stitches off the needle, and arrange the stitches such that the 2 right knits are behind the 2 left stitches. K4. kk/KK [vertically-symmetric opposite of LK]
LK: Take the next four stitches off the needle, and arrange the stitches such that the 2 right knits are on top of the 2 left stitches. K4. KK\kk [vertically-symmetric opposite of RK]

MB: Knit into front, then back, then front of same stitch. You should now have 3 stitches on your right needle. Turn, p3. Turn, k3. Turn, p3. Turn, SSSK (slip all 3 stitches onto the right needle, insert left needle into front of loops, knit all together).

K#: Knit # stitches.
P#: Purl # stitches.

Pattern repeat
Cast-on: 45 stitches, long-tail cast-on (http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/cast-on) I did 3 rows straight knit after the cast-on, just for neatness sake, but they’re not necessary by any means.

0 (WS): k4, k5, p4, k2, p2, [k11], p2, k2, p4, k5, k4
A little overexplanation: The K4 at the beginning and end of this row sets up your border. Knit stitches set up your background, purls set up your cable cords. This made a big difference to me in understanding the pattern, so I figured I’d pass it on.
1 (RS–all odd rows are RS): k3, p2, p2, RFP, LFP, k2, [p11], k2, RFP, LFP, p2, p2, k3
2 and all WS rows after: k5, “make stockinette” across [anytime the stitch is a bump, purl; anytime it’s smooth and looks like stockinette, knit. (This means any stitch you purled on the RS you knit on the WS and vice versa)], k5.
3: k3, p2, RFP, p4, LK, [p11], RK, p4, LFP, p2, k3
5: k3, p2, k2, p4, RFP, LFP, [p7], RFP, LFP, p4, k2, p2, k3
7: k3, p2, LFP, RFP, p4, LFP, [p3], RFP, p4, LFP, RFP, p2, k3
9: k3, p2, p2, RK, p8, k2, [p3], k2, p8, LK, p2, p2, k
11: k3, p2, RFP, LFP, p4, RFP, [p3] , LFP, p4, RFP, LFP, p2, k3
13: k3, p2, k2, p4, LFP, RFP, [p7], LFP, RFP, p4, k2, p2, k3
15: k3, p2, LFP, p4, LK, [p5, MB in next stitch, p5], RK, p4, RFP, p2, k3
17: k3, p2, p2, LFP, RFP, k2, [p11], k2, LFP, RFP, p2, p2, k3
19: k3, p2, p4, RK, RFP, [p5, MB in next stitch, p5], LFP, LK, p4, p2, k3
21: k3, p2, p4, k2, LK, [p15], RK, k2, p4, p2, k3
23: k3, p2, p4, RK, LFP, [p5, MB in next stitch, p5], RFP, LK, p4, p2, k3