Thursday, July 27, 2017


When helping to clean out my mom's house, I found a scarf in her cedar chest that she knit from yarn I gave her. Okay, I thought vaguely, I bought her the yarn, she knit it into a scarf, now I'll wear it. Circle of Life. Sure. I wondered why I had never seen her wear it, but didn't give it a lot of thought. The next week, I wore it into work one morning - and tore it off as soon as I got to my desk. I do not know the fiber content of this yarn, I just love the colors, which I dubbed Field of Violets. But I can't wear it touching my skin. So I looked for a pattern while I unraveled the scarf.

The piece had to be large enough not to be worn wrapped around the neck. The pattern could not depend on the beauty of the lace pattern, which would get lost in the yarn's amazing colors. At the same time, not straight garter or stockinette, which would be too boring to make. And finally, I have an aversion to triangle scarves.

That led me to this pattern. Long enough to wear loosely, just a little bit of lace for interest at the edge, which mostly provides edge shaping, still visible in the forest of colors. And what an interesting pattern for the knitter! I knit the first two pattern repeats blind, trusting that it was making what it was supposed to. Heading into the third pattern repeat, I finally understood what was happening.

I suppose here is where I admit that I prefer written lace instructions over charts, but then re-write the instructions into columns that divide up what's happening. I divided this one into four columns that say row, body, border, edging. And it's not "true" lace - the even-numbered rows are rest rows. So at this point I could see that the border pattern was always the same (and paradoxically where I kept making mistakes, forgetting the last yarn-over in my haste to get to the edging.

Finally, frogging the scarf the scarf revealed that the original yarn had been two 50-gram skeins, and this pattern calls for using half your yarn increasing, then half your yarn decreasing. Since my yarn was already divided in half, I was perfectly set up for this.

Yarn: fingering weight, 100 grams
Pattern: Madi Milimani's Cloudy Day
Mods: none whatsoever

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Pine trees make your hands dirty

Not pitch this time, and not that pitch ever stopped me from climbing a pine tree, but some less-than-colorfast yarn. I acquired some mercerized cotton fingering weight, in someone else's de-stashing that just cried out to belong to my green-loving sister.

I wound it into a ball and my hands turned green. I started the project on bamboo needles and they turned green. And yet I told myself - even knowing it was cotton, and wise to the ways of cotton and dye - that it was just over-dyed, this was extra color that would wash off in the blocking soak. Wrong. What I should have done, of course, was give it a good vinegar soak. But I didn't realize that until after it was pinned out and blocking, and I was reluctant to re-do all that pinning.

The color loss has given the finished object a kettle-dyed look, which I'm fine with. But I will have to remember to tell my sister not to trust it until it's had a vinegar bath.

Yarn: Araucania Lonco Solid in Jade Green (discontinued)
Pattern: Ysolda Teague's Ishbel
Mods: Despite other knitters who manged to work the entire pattern in one skein of this yarn, I had to drop a couple of rows at the end and do a sewn bind-off. But it's a lovely pattern. I was surprised that cotton blocked so well!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Join, Being Careful...

Experienced knitters know where this is going. Nobody quotes that common knitting instruction unless they have somehow failed to follow it. I was careful. I was SO careful. I checked before I joined, and several times thereafter. But somehow, because of the number of stitches on the needle, I didn't notice until I had an inch of knitting, that I had failed miserably at "Join, Being Careful Not to Twist."

This is mystery yarn that I recently found and wound. The label tells me the yarn company, fiber content, yardage, and weight. But confusingly, the company does not sell any yarn that is that fiber content and weight, and never at that yardage. After some research, I discovered that the yardage was a clue - the company has put up single, high-yardage skeins for various knitting clubs. Since I won this yarn as a door prize at a knitting retreat, it makes sense that it was one of these one-off skeins.

In the meantime, I had picked out a pattern to show off the yarn's beautiful color changes, based on my initial, and totally unsupported, belief that it was DK weight. When I decided it was Sport, I decided I could still use the pattern, just downsizing the needle. It turns out, however, that this yarn is actually fingering weight, and so I had been dithering about continuing.

Now that I have to frog it and start over, I have taken a moment to decide if it would rather be something else. But I think, despite the weight, that this is what it wants to be.

Friday, July 21, 2017


This one doesn't really count as the finishing of an UnFinished Object, since I started and finished it yesterday. I'm pretty sure that "getting the house ready for selling" means knitting up all the little bits of leftover yarn so that they don't get tangled in the move. Right?

Koala Baby Bonnet

Yarn: the last of the Northwoods Mittens leftovers

Pattern: Elyse Heise's Simple Lace Baby Bonnet

This was a delightful pattern, simple as claimed, and taking very little yarn. The alpaca I was using up was worsted, not DK, but it knit up nicely on the needles called for. It's probably more 6-12 months than 3-6 months, size-wise, but there’s no baby I would inflict this warm, soft bonnet on in this 90° heat, so we’ll have to wait and see.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

It could be bunnies

Finished item number two, a Baby Bunny. This poor fellow has been languishing for years, waiting for ears, eyes, feet, and stuffing. Leftover yarn from Cindy's Northwood Mittens

Baby Bunny

He clocks in at just under 5" from nose to tail-tip.

Yarn: Cascade Yarns Eco Duo

Pattern: Sara Elizabeth Kellner's Henry's Bunny

I love toy patterns without a lot of fiddly sewing, and this was pretty near perfect - only the feet had to be attached, everything else happens naturally as you knit. I suspect I will be making more of these.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Retirement = Startitis

KD has challenged me to finish some of the unfinished objects that have begun accruing since I retired. So many are This Close to being finished that I ought to be able to polish off one a day for a while. Today's finished object: comprising leftover cotton worsted from this Summer of Dishcloths, and polyester fiberfill, carefully under-stuffed to enable small fingers to grasp, I give you:

Knit Ball for Infant, 4" in diameter

I have the pattern somewhere... worsted weight cotton in garter stitch with no shaping, just gather the top, and bottom after stuffing. It's been languishing for lack of stuffing for years.