Archive for January, 2009

Out of Control!

I needed a dollar bill for bus fare and all I had was a 20 … but I was walking past Burlington Coat Factory, so I stopped in.  I thought I would ask for change but as I walked past their handbag department, my eye was caught by the pattern on this bag:

 

I am extremely picky about handbags.  I mean really, really picky.  Not so much about the decorative stuff, but the parts of the bag that make it useful … the number, size and location of pockets and so forth.   This bag is great!!  The outside zipper pocket is not deep, which makes it excellent for stashing keys (I like the zipper for security).  You can barely see it, but there’s also a flap-pocket.  Also not deep.  Perfect for the cell phone and glasses.  There are three roomy inner pockets and …

the center pocket is perfect for carrying a small project!  A sock, or perhaps a spontaneously-started fingerless glove project that wasn’t in the queue and really shouldn’t be taking up valuable knitting time?  There a zippered pocket in this section for notions and a couple of the standard open pockets for other stuff.  The two big side pockets will hold regular “purse stuff”.  All three of these big pockets zip closed.  This isn’t a huge bag (I’m already lugging one of those around for tutoring) but perfect for my needs!

I’ve finished one of the fingerless gloves and will post pics and info when the other one’s finished!  (“Out of Control” refers to this crazy wave of starting unplanned projects even though I have existing WIPs to get finished.)

A Scarf to be Named Later

I’m waiting for inspiration on the name, but not for knitting …

Being essentially ribbing, this scarf pulls in a lot but I stretched it out as best I could for the picture.  Two ribs are cables, the one with the holes isn’t technically a cable, but looks like one!  The pattern is effectively 4 rows … except for the crossover in the center, which alternates directions every 4 rows.  With the variety of techniques, it keeps ya busy though!  Only the first row is straight knit-purl.  More on the techniques later!

Here are a couple of pictures of the Scotch Pines scarf after blocking.  As is true of all the scarves in this series, it drapes sooo nicely now:

FO: Scotch Pines Scarf

Yay!  This scarf looks very traditional, I like it a lot.  The pattern was easy to memorize … not a complex cable but good-looking.  It took pretty much exactly 4 skeins, so I have two left for other purposes.  I haven’t blocked it yet, but here’s a pic taken only moments after the last loose end was woven in:

Now the needles are free for the final scarf!  I have a swatch on bamboo needles, but I prefer the metal.  Primary focus will be on the Seismic scarf (#3) though.  But FIRST … I am going to work on something else for a few days.  The Coin Cable Raglan deserves some attention, and if I can get it finished in the next week there will be plenty of winter left for wearing it!  My poor Vinnland socks are also starving for attention, so maybe the next TWO weeks for personal knitting …

Edit: Blocking probably reduced the length of the scarf by 3 inches, because I pulled it wide to show off the cables.  Here are a couple of pictures taken during blocking to show why it’s worth taking 3-4 minutes to shape your scarf after washing!

It’s nice to have a bed in a room with a door you can close (cats, you know) for blocking.  The scarf is damp, not wet, so if you spread it on towels (I used 3 hand towels end-to-end) the bedspread won’t get moist.  And in the winter, when the air in the house is low-humidity, the scarf will easily dry overnight … plus the added moisture in the air is good for your skin!

BSJ Nuts

Got a scheme for incorporating a mosaic decoration onto another Baby Surprise Jacket … the test swatch of little “century birds” came out so cute!  I think they look kinda Peruvian or something, should look nifty in black and white, adorning a bold red sweater. 

Let this be incentive to finish at least one of the ongoing scarves … “Scotch Pines” measures in at 50 inches, so 16 or so to go.  I will not start another BSJ until that scarf is off the needles!!

Surprise!

Have you ever gotten into a state where the knitting just isn’t flowing on your current projects?  I’m working on two scarves at the same time because I was hoping that switching back and forth would keep them “fresh”.  Well, that ain’t the case this month!  I love both scarves but I find myself making big mistakes and progress is slow.   So, over the weekend I dropped both scarves and batted out a BSJ.  Surprise!

The seams and buttons aren’t actually sewn in this picture, but everything else is finished.  This is my second Baby Surprise Jacket.  As an experiment, I decided to make a smaller one.  I used #6 needles did fewer rows in the “back-and-forth” section of the pattern.  The yarn is Lion Brand Wool (“Perfect for Felting”) in Dark Teal 178 and Flower Garden 202, the colors in this picture are close but a little washed out.  I like the way this pattern looks with the small stripes.  Next time I do stripes, I’ll leave out the multicolored strip.  That was an attempt to even out the yarn usage between the two colors.  Didn’t work, I still had a little of the multicolored yarn left and I had to break out the second skein of the teal yarn to finish up.  I’d say that, all in all, I used just a tad more than 6 oz.  It’s satisfying to get an FO in two days and nice to get a sweater out of one continuous piece of knitting.

Ahhh!

Now, back to the never-ending Christmas scarves!  Or … maybe just a little bit of sock-knitting first?

I ripped one of the Vinnlands back to before the heel and started a gusset in a tried-and-true configuration for this number of stitches.  I think I should have done something about the kinky yarn cuz the newly-knitted sock looks a little funky at first (maybe the kinks will settle out after the sock is washed?).  But I can tell the new heel will be excellent!  Only spent about an hour on this, but I really want to get going and finished these before the end of January!

UFO to WIP to FO?

The Thrifty Knitters Sock Club (at Ravelry) is gearing up for the new year … we’re all digging through our baskets and bags to find sock UFOs (unfinished objects) and January will be the month to get them off the needles!  This is a very timely plan, because I would love to be able to wear my Vinnland socks before winter is over.  When the Vinnlands and I were last on knitting terms, I was struggling with the heels.  The short row heel wasn’t working out.  After several tries, I was plain tired of working on them and I put them aside.  But the decorative stitch pattern is so much fun and the yarn is soooo beautiful, I’m now ready to give them another go.   They’ve been in this state for months, the poor dears:

And with all this talk about socks, I must be finished with the Six Christmas Scarves project, right?  Ummm, no?  Scarf #6 (which is currently named “Scotch Pines”) is at the halfway point as of this afternoon.  I started it a week ago today, so that’s excellent progress!  Here’s a pic at around the 25% mark:

Lest you think that means I have one week left to finish the project … let me advise you that Scarf #3 (“Seismic”) is at around the 60% mark and scarf #5 (not yet named) is still just a swatch twinkling at the bottom of the knitting bag!

Somehow, things got out of order, you see.  A few posts ago, I was wishing for better dexterity so that I could do all of these scarves without a cable needle and danged if it didn’t occur to me: what better way to gain dexterity than a project involving tons of cables??  I stopped using the cable needle as of that post!  After I got the hang of it, all scarves started to go much more quickly … and this one seemed to be going especially well, so I decided to try and get it finished asap.  At this rate, I ought to be showing some nice pictures of the golden scarf (#5) next week.  Unless the socks creep in and usurp my time and energy … !

Oh, by the way: H A P P N E Y E A R !!!


FREE PATTERNS!

Welcome! If you're on the hunt for Free Patterns, check my header. Happy knitting to you! Kathy

My Flicker Pictures