Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Wednesday WIP

In Peg Bracken's I Hate to Cook, she makes the point that if you have a favorite recipe, but you get lazy about making it over time, substituting this and that, pretty soon you find yourself wondering why you ever liked it. My sister and I discussed this years ago when we noticed that a popular recipe exchange site was full of comments that changed everything. For example, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich might have the comment: "Loved this! Swapped a fried egg for the peanut butter and cheese for the jelly, and oh, I didn't have any sandwich bread so I used an English muffin. Will make again!" I'm sure your breakfast sandwich was delicious, but what does that have to do with a recipe for pb&j?

That said, I still managed to do the same thing. I saw a delightful little girl's dress at a knitting shop, bought the yarn and pattern, started in quite happily, and then had the not-quite-scathingly brilliant idea to pick out the flowers by purling them whenever the pink came along in the yarn.

Not at all the look I was going for. Purling is more complex than I give it credit for. I did learn that yarn travels away from me as I knit. That is, if a stitch was half pink on the far side of the stitch, it would become all white when purled. If it was half pink on the side of the stitch closer to me, it would become all pink when purled. Academically interesting, and no doubt related to the improved way I just learned to execute an SSK, but of no help to the dress. Back to the recipe as written:

Ah, much better.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wednesday WIP: Recycling

I knit these socks four years ago, and I just recently noticed how little I wear them. There's just something about the fit. They're always the last out of the drawer, worn when I have no other choice. BUT, they are knit from Patons Kroy Socks FX, my favorite yarn to knit Hermione's Everyday Socks from, and I have been looking for other colors to add to my Hermione collection.

So, a no-brainer, right? Unravel socks that have been worn and washed for four years, and re-knit them. Surprisingly - and perhaps because I DID wear them so little - they unraveled with no problems, and re-knit with yarn to spare (it looks like the Nutkins were a little longer in the leg).

I'm halfway there! Meanwhile, there's nothing prettier than crocus poking through the dirt, or a new project cast-on:

That's Twisted German/Old Norwegian cast-on (which I had to re-teach myself), because I wanted more stability at the base of the skirt than my usual cast-on (Jeny's) gives me.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Warm Wool Socks

Of course, it's going to be in the mid-70s locally this week, now that I have finished my friend's wool socks. But we can depend on winter to return. And, assuming that he likes them (which he won't, if he wears them when it's in the 70s!), I now have the numbers to make him socks-that-fit as often as he likes.

Pattern: mine, toe-up, with several fittings along the way to ensure a good fit (toe width, foot length, heel, leg height)
Yarn: Regia Allround Color (discontinued), taking some care to start both socks at the same point in the color changes so that they would match

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wednesday WIP

I bought a gradient mini-skein set on my trip to Maine last fall. After entering it into my Ravelry stash, I looked to see what other people had done with it, since this was my first gradient mini-skein purchase. Someone else had used the exact same set to make a shawl that I had been admiring for some time, and which was designed by a friend of mine!

This turned out to be excellent road-trip knitting. Before we left, I prepared the yarn (weighing and measuring) and popped it into labeled ziplock bags with a corner cut off for the yarn to feed through. Each pattern segment was easily memorized and worked until the next stop, when I could learn the next segment. Aside from a tragic incident with a bottle of ginger ale in sub-zero weather, which will make washing it before blocking more than usually necessary, it is going really well.

It's very near the end, but I am doing some test-knitting with a deadline, so that comes first (and is going fast). Then I will finish this. Then I will decide which to keep and which to give to NKD, since they are very similar colorways.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Is it weakness of intellect?

I matched some great yarn with the perfect pattern, and achieved a small blanket suitable for covering a baby in a carrier or carseat (since we do not cover babies in their cribs any more). The yarn was part of my retirement present from the office (they know what floats my boat). It was really nice yarn, and I was very happy to discover this pattern. It is in no way the pattern's fault that I kept messing it up and going back to fix things.

Pattern: Melissa Schaschwary's Willow Blanket
Yarn: Swans Island Organic Washable Sport (merino), 2 skeins of a lovely autumnal orange - pastels are for chalk, not babies

One more for the box, although I did just learn that a friend is expecting in May...

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Wednesday WIP

I have knit up two oversized pairs of wool clogs and a pair of mittens. They look like clown accoutrements, and are not considered finished objects, because they need to be felted down to proper size!

The very best washing machine for this is one I will not see again until August, so if I want warm fingers and toes (and I do!) I'm going to have to attempt this in my washing machine of considerably less power and magnificence.


Meanwhile, an addendum from last time:

That worked out well, I think.