Thursday, August 31, 2017

Things Are Just Falling off my Needles/Hook!

   This is the cowl I was talking about.  I know I had meant for it to be a scarf, but like I said before, I don't think I would have been able to make that happen.  I hope someone doesn't mind the ends and knots.

   I've tried looking all over, but I still haven't been able to find the name of this pattern!  It is driving me crazy.  I've found some that are similar, but then there is a difference that lets me know they aren't the same.  It is a two row pattern with five stitch clusters with a chain and single crochet between.  The second row has two double crochets in the same stitch on either side of three regular double crochets, all of this being worked in the tops of the clusters.
  If anyone has any ideas, let me know.  It is most likely by either Lion Brand Yarn or Red Heart Yarns.

  This is the Impulse Scallop Shawl.  Tank is helping me to show off how soft it is.  I think it is interesting how the pooling and the striping turned out.  I was expecting it to look similar across the sides where the stitch counts were the same.

  Tank is making sure I wove all my ends in securely.  I love how big it turned out.  It is just so nice to wrap around you.  I also didn't use as much yarn as I thought I was going to.  I said I was worried that I would be cutting it close, but it turns out I have a few skeins left over.

  I had so much fun making the mobius wrap that when I still had some yarn left over, I wanted to try something.  For a few rows of this cowl I worked the stitches as I saw them.  Normally when you work your first complete mobius round in the knit stitch, it will look like you are working knit stitches over purl stitches.  This means that I knit half the round and purled the second half.  Then after I felt it was big enough, I switch it and purled the first half and knitted the second half.

  As I promised before, here is the video of the Solar Eclipse pictures I took.  Some of them might look a bit odd because I had to move where I took the pictures from because the sun moved behind some trees.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Knit One, Twisted Purl Two

  This is a project from way back in the day.  I'm pretty sure most people have heard the Knit One, Purl Two saying before.  I used to think it was just funny, but then I tried it as a stitch pattern.  I then used it a whole lot.
  However, this was started so long ago I didn't know some of the awesome stuff I do now.  Like how to weave in the ends nicely, this has them cut short and knotted together.  I also didn't seem to remember how to wrap the yarn when purling correctly.  All the purl stitches were twisted and I know I definitely didn't know that you could purl through the back of the loop.
  It still had the yellow, since I had been starting a yellow section, and I may have given the blue away with my last yarn donation.  I also knew that purling by wrapping the yarn in the wrong direction would drive me crazy if I had to do it for too long.  Luckily with the last yellow section, it would be long enough for a cowl.

  This is a funny story.  My mom saw an ad for Tuesday Morning for these gradient yarn kits.  They were only $4.99 (before tax) for each one.  Yes, they are small skeins, but all the work of having to pick out all the colors is already done, and unlike stash diving, they are also guaranteed to all be the same weight of yarn.  Since they were small skeins and so inexpensive, I may have gone overboard a bit.  In my defence, you would probably need more than one skein if you were to try and make a shawl or sweater.  I made quite a dent in their display, but I was nice enough to leave some on the shelf.
  The lady in line in front of me seemed impressed by the price but said she would have no idea what to do with it.  The lady behind me, who had been looking at one of the brown kits, said that she would know what to do with it, but didn't have the time.  I don't know her or how much yarn she has, but I know I always find time.  Time in the car when you aren't driving, riding the bus, waiting on hold with customer service, while waiting for your inbox to refresh, when waiting for something to finish baking in the oven for dinner, the list just goes on.

  Since I knew that I wasn't going to be using those kits any time soon, I put them in bins and put them into the craft organizing room.  The room is slowly coming together.  The guest room is still a huge mess, but I am starting to chip away at that as well.
  While going through a bag of what looked like a bunch of small balls of yarn, I found this guy.  No needles or life-line in sight.  There never is with things that get donated.

  From how crinkled the yarn is, I can imagine that they made a mistake and were trying to go back and fix it.  I'm not sure what happened but something made them give up on this pretty shawl.
  Some things you may not be able to easily see in the pictures are that every other row is made up of twisted stitches.  I'll have to figure out if those are from the knit row or the purl row.  I'm hoping for the knit row because I find it a lot easier to knit through the back loop than to either purl through the back loop or to wrap the yarn in the wrong direction.
  The middle of the shawl and one side are on a more previous row than the other side.  This won't be too hard to fix because I will just take the farther side back until everyone is on the same row.  I might also take it back one more row since some of the stitches that I picked up were also not on the same row, but I will decide that once I get there.
  In my knitting classes I have had people ask how to pick up dropped stitches.  I always tell them the things I do when I have to do it.  Just grab those loops and put them on a needle, any needle, though a smaller needle means you are less likely to tug too much and pull its neighbor out and down a row.  It also doesn't matter if you are picking them all up in the same direction or if they are twisted.  All those things can by fixed later when you go back to them, either to work the next row, or just to make sure you got them all.  I also try to make sure I get all the yarn from each stitch, but if I happen to split the yarn, I figure that as long as I got most of it, it is good enough for now and that I can also fix that when I go back and get to it.
  Once I think I have most of them on there I will take more time and follow along the row and see if I missed any.  Once I have them on then it is a lot easier to assess what needs to be done.  Take out a row, re-knit a few stitches so everyone is on the same row, untwist some stitches, or pick up the last fibers of a stitch you split.  There are probably some other things that may need to be done, but those are the usual.
  I also tell people to not panic, the stitches can smell your fear.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Partial Eclipse of The Heart

  Today was the solar eclipse.  Some people in the US got to see a total eclipse, but I was one of the many who only got to see a partial eclipse.  It didn't help that it decided to be a semi-cloudy day, so the sun was popping in and out while it was happening.  Being in a total eclipse is interesting because one minute it is daylight out, then two minutes later it becomes night only to have it become day again in another two minutes.
  In my area it only became as dark as late evening, but it was still really cool.  It felt weird to have to turn on lights inside at 2:30pm.  I only saw one of my neighbors coming out to check it out.  Now the others could be at work checking it out, or popped out when I was back inside.
  People said that animals might start to act strangely.  Tank was acting normal, but that might not be saying much.  The funny thing was that when it was time for the peak of the eclipse, the tree frogs were going crazy.  They were so loud.
  Now that all the fun is over, I'm off to knitting.  Pictures/video coming soon!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Bits of Fabric All Over

  I was trying to remember where I got them, and I've had these three bags of quilting cotton "scraps" for so long that I don't totally remember.  I want to say they came off a free listing on Craig's List, but it could have easily been someone who brought them to a knit-night.
  Since I have obviously looked at them so much, I knew a lot of it would be going to the Donate pile.  My problem was that I didn't know where to take them.  Yarn?  Finished items?  Cross-stitch kits?  Kid's kits?  Those are all easy.
  I knew that a few of my friends sewed and decided to post about it online.  One of my sewing friends said that she had talked to someone at the Eastern Market in Washington DC who makes art with fabric.  I sent an e-mail to Jaime from Seeing in Fabric to see what all she was looking for.  She said cottons and that she was not looking for any reds at this point. 

  These are the ones I pulled out for her from the first bag I had.  The reason I called them "scraps" before was because they were labeled as scraps, but some of these pieces are probably over a yard.

  This is what I found in the second bag that I felt no need to keep.  I know some of them have some red in the fabric, but I figure it wouldn't be too hard to work around it if need be.

  The two bags are what I packed up for her and the bin is what I decided to keep for now.  Not pictured is the denim and flannel my mom brought to her.  Not sure if I have enough of each to do what I want, if it turns out that I don't have enough, I know where to take them.
  She let me pick out two prints in exchange for the bags.  It was so sweet of her!  I also told her that I wasn't done going through everything, so there will most likey be more fabric.
  My mom had also never been to the Eastern Market before and was overwhelmed by the whole thing.  We also had lunch in the area after going to Second Rising to get some amazing bread.  Ever since we got some Himalayan Spice Rolls last fall I have been in love.  I try and buy something from her every time I am in the area.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Would it be called 'Tehcorc'ing?

  Going through my craft room has brought out more yarn that I don't feel the need to keep for myself.  If no one else grabs them, I'm sure Tammy will to make cat beds out of.

  I had a reluctant model for my shrug.  Autumn looked adorable in it, but didn't want to stand up and show it off.  The sleeves were a tiny bit too long for her, but since the body had a bit of extra width, I think I made it a good size.

  Some stitch holders were being given away.  My mom took them to take to Cathy so she can use them for her knitting students.  One interesting thing is that the holders are facing two ways.  I always just thought they were all made the same, just different lengths.  I never noticed different directions before.  I wonder why they do that.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

A Shrug and a Shawl so Fast You Didn't Even See it.

  I made my mind up and finished the shrug.  I continued with the one side being one stich smaller than the other.  I used the cable pattern I found on Aran Muster and even found a mistake in the chart.  The cable on stitches 35-40 on row 33 should cross the other way.  The chart key is in German, but if you've done some cabling from charts before, you can just look at the rows and figure out what they want you to do.

  I've also finished my Impulse Scallop Shawl, but ran into some problems.  It is a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be.  Normally I would just do a soaking wash and let it dry on the guest bedroom.  However, since I am working on getting my craft storage room organized, the guest room is packed full.
  I got my first shelving unit and got things on it, but it didn't go as far as I was hoping.  I didn't get anything from the hall, guest room, or other rooms onto those shelves.  I mostly moved things that were still in the room over onto the shelves.  This does help to uncover things that can be moved out of plastic bags into proper containers or put into a donate/sell/give away pile.  It also frees up more floor space.  Once enough has been cleared I will be able to get more units in there.
  I'm also aware that doing it this way might mean that I will have too many shelving units in the end.  That if I had taken the time to go through each thing that are already in bins, that I might have been able to fit more into that one unit.  To me, that feels like I would get overwhelmed quickly and I wouldn't make enough progress.  My goal right now is to also try and get as much as I can into one room, then I will be able to tackle the individual bins a lot easier.  I can always use any extra shelves or bins for something else, or pass them on.

  I was scanning through the blog because I remember complaining about this shawl when I taught the class.  I must have done that elsewhere because I can't find any word of it on here.  I was hoping that I had linked to the pattern.  I know that they have used both Red Heart and Lion Brand patterns in classes before.  They change the name of the pattern sometimes as well.
  I usually will try and find it based on the name on the pattern and link it here.  It seems that this shawl happened so fast that I didn't even mention it.  I knew when I finished this one that I wanted to try one out of a thicker yarn.  The pattern called for a rather large hook and worsted weight yarn.  We gave it a try but it was coming out way too loosely.  We switched to some smaller hooks and checked the pattern again.
  When we looked at the picture for the class, it showed the shawl being nice and big and plush.  It was hard to tell scale in the picture on the pattern because it was just laid flat, like the picture I took above.  We then came to realise that they meant for us to use the bulk version of the yarn.
  Well, before starting my second one of these, I had some other projects to finish, so it was a bit before I got to this one.  Since then, I seem to have misplaced the written pattern.  Writing this means that the moment I finish the second one I will find it and it will have been in some very obvious place.

  I worked the two rows enough on the first one that I mostly remember how to do it.  I had to do some back thinking to try and remember how it started.  I know I did the center section of the first few rows incorrectly, but it isn't such a big deal that I felt the need to start over.  We shall see if I like the fabric or if I should move to a bigger hook.