Friday, February 29, 2008

Knitting from the shrine of precious yarn

That's the title of the March stash knitdown challenge. I've got lots of candidates of yarns I've bought that seem too good to knit. Possible candidates are:

  • Yak from Schoolhouse Products with the cabled jacket from Runway Knits

  • Curry variegated cotton bulky scarf

  • Blue Sky Alpacas red alpaca silk in a stole pattern

  • Noro silk garden cardigan

  • Laines due Nord and Noro scarf

  • Hipknits sari silk hat or bag

  • Teo's bamboo cabled jumper

  • Possum peplum cardigan

  • Debbie Bliss cashmerino in Fetching

  • Berroco Ultra Alpaca for the Brea bag

  • RYC wool silk cardigan

  • Knitwitches silk dk for the Vogue anniversary cover scarf

I think I'll aim to continue with the Vogue scarf I've already started, and tackle the variegated cotton scarf and either the Teo cabled jumper or the Possum peplum cardigan. I've also recently cast on for Jolien, which won't be a quick knit due to the fine gauge.

Frou frou

My frou frou crochet jacket is finished. This was an enjoyable knit that grew quickly. Overall, I'm pleased with it, although it's a bit longer than I expected.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Marsan watchcap

Whipped up in time for the cold snap - a marsan watchcap for my husband!

The pattern is quick and easy, but beware, it is designed for very small heads! I made the medium and ended up adding several inches of length to compensate for the small circumference. The yarn is leftover Peruvia from the tilted duster, and makes a perfect hat- very warm and fluffy.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Scourge of the scarf

I've probably made more scarves than anything else in my knitting career. However, I only have one I love, and several that don't work. Strangely, I have knit four scarves for others and they have all turned out well.

So what's going wrong? Let's analyse the successes and failures:

Colinette Prism keyhole scarves - success
Simple, short, soft, bulky
Debbie Bliss Maya keyhole scarf - qualified success
Same pattern as above, good colour, yarn is a bit itchy
Multidirectional Freedom Spirit scarf - success
Pretty colours, soft enough

Sublime dk scarf -success
Boring to knit, but gorgeously soft and great colour

2 eyelash scarves - failure
Yarn choice, just don't like the look of them
Fox scarf - failure
Too eyelashy, itches if I wear it for long

My so called scarf - failure
Itchy, tends to catch on my earrings, bulky in a rigid way

Koigu chevron scarf - success
Now this is the only for me that I love. Again it was insanely boring to knit, but great colour, soft, drapey and not too bulky.

I have a very sensitive neck and really need to use merino if I'm going to use wool. The wool should be multi ply and tightly spun to avoid catching my earings in bits of roving. To my chagrin, the scarves I like the best are the ones that were the most boring to knit, ie. fine gauge with a simple pattern. The only saving grace is that I like the fairly short scarves.
It definitely helps to do this analysis. It shows I should stay away from quick bulky knits, and need to be really selective on the yarn choice. I think I may try a cotton or bamboo scarf; less warm but soft - and machine washable!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Made the mile!

This week's yardage:
186 m on frou frou
135 m (3 balls) on the ribbed scarf

That's 321m added to the previous 1287m, giving 1608m. Oh that's only two metres short of the mile. Excuse me a minute....

Ok, I'm back.

Finished the ribbed scarf, using another 43m, a total of 1651m, and past the finish line!

Quick scarf

The frou frou jacket has taken shape once I seamed the sleeves and sides. I've done the pretty crochet edging on the cuffs, and am now working the same around the whole body. I really like the way the pattern shapes up, and it's been a great stashbuster for a 'difficult' mohair yarn.

I've also been whipping up a quick 2x2 ribbed scarf. I bought some Garnstudio Fox at the K&S show for this, and opted to start it now because I knew I would have some interrupted waiting time this week, where I could knit, but not on anything complicated. The yarn has turned out to have quite an eyelash effect, which I hadn't realised when I bought it, but it's very soft and has a good colour. It's a 3 ply yarn with a wool roving strand, a railroad strand and the dreaded eyelash chainette.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Mostly crochet

I've mostly been crocheting Frou Frou this week. As it is knitted in one piece, it is becoming rather cumbersome to stuff in a bag for my commute, but is working up fast. I'm just about to start the second front. Looks rather an odd shape at present - my DH thinks it looks like some kind of weird jellyfish.

Still crunching through the yardage - Frou frou contributed an impressive 414m this week, and I did also manage to finish the sleeves of the tilted duster, using another 96m. Added to the previous total of 777m, I'm now up to 1287m! First time I have been on track for the challenge.

Fran asked how I measure the yardage- nothing as clever as a yarn-o-meter I'm afraid! I just weigh the yarn used or remaining on the ball and multiply by the metres per gramme on the ballband. The red yarn I'm using doesn't have ballbands, so I weighed out 10g on the kitchen scales, and measured the number of metres it contained with my tape measure to get the metres per gramme.