Friday, August 31, 2007

Fiber Friday - Johannisbeer und Brennessel

I'll be casting on this weekend for my socks to take to SAFF with a skein of Wollmeise, so I've decided to show another skein of Wollmeise hiding in the stash. This is a seasonal color called Johannisbeer und Brennessel.

Yarn Details
Brand: Wollmeise
Yarn Name: sockenwolle
Color: Johannisbeer und Brennessel
(currents and stinging nettles)
Fiber Content: 100% superwash wool
Skein Weight: 150 grams
Yardage: 574 yards
Online: Website / Blog

Thursday, August 30, 2007

What to Knit Next?

Well I'm about to find out what I'll be knitting next with a simply draw from a hat. Zonda and I will be travelling to the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair together at the end of October and have been joking around about challenging each other to either finish our Weekend Getaway Satchels or to knit some fabulous socks with the skein of Wollmeise Rhabarber we each have in time to have the project finished for the festival.

We decided on knitting the socks. The problem came when we had to pick a pattern. We were able to decide that a pattern with ribbing would be the way to go and Zonda came up with several great choices.

The problem was we couldn't decide which ribbing pattern to knit. We were both kinds of wishy washy about the whole thing. So we have decided to leave the choice up to chance and draw out of a hat.

In order to be as fair and unbiased as possible - I found a totally impartial person to draw - my husband. Ready Z? And the pattern will be knitting is, drum roll please ......

Looks like we will be knititng socks with the garter rib stitch pattern from either of the Sensation Knitted Socks book. Now I just need to get busy and cast on. And, if you see two ladies wondering around SAFF with matching pink and green will probably be Zonda and me so come up and say hi.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Nina Shawl

I finished the shawl on Saturday afternoon, just before the in-laws arrived for a two night visit. This is the first thing I've knit from cotton besides a few dishcloths and I have to say I love the feeling of the cotton. It is a little heavy, but it has a nice drape to it. I love the way cotton feels against my skin. It is not scratchy at all. It's too warm to use it here - but cool weather will come soon hopefully.

This was my first project that I've finished that has a Fair Isle section too (the white and blue checkerboard pattern on each end). I can't say it's my favorite technique, but it wasn't too hard. I am now encouraged to pick up the two projects I put down long ago when I got to the Fair Isle section in each of them. Hopefully I can finish those this year too.

I liked the pattern overall because it was easy. I didn't really check my gauge, but I came out about the same for the width of the shawl that the pattern specified. But the length was a whole different story. I could tell after knitting a couple of the stripe sections that my shawl was not going to end up being the 60 inches that the pattern promised.

So I added at least 72 rows into the stripes at various points along the way and ended up with a shawl that is 68 inches from ruffle to ruffle. Overall I am please with the length I ended up with; I can easily wrap up in it. I ended up doing the ruffle in the bright green color. The ruffle should have been blue according to the pattern layout, but I ran out of blue since I made the shawl longer.

I was able to get a few rows of the blue in at the beginning of the ruffle though. The ruffle on one end was knit by picking up stitches from the cast on edge. You can see (on the right side - where the blue meets the light green) how I ended up with twisted stitches when I picked up stitches for the ruffle. The left side shows the other ruffle that didn't require picking up stitches. It may be strange but I like the "detail" of the twisted stitches - I should have done it on both sides .

Project Info
Pattern: Nina Shawl by Phyllis Howe
from Mason Dixon Knitting
Yarn: King Tut Cotton
color: #500 blue (2 skeins), #2750 ivory (1 skein),
1042 light green (3 skeins), #2560 bright green (3 skeins)
each skein: 100 grams / 182 yards
Needles: addi TURBO - US# 7 (4.5 mm)
Notes: added more than 72 rows to the original pattern in various points of the striping pattern and the finished shawl is only 8 inches longer than the finished length stated in the pattern
Finished Length: 68 inches
Finished Width: 23 inches
Date Started: July 19, 2007
Date Finished: August 25, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fiber Friday - Raku-Regenbogen

Yarn Details
Yarn Name: sockenwolle
Color: Raku-Regenbogen (raku - rainbow glaze; a type of pottery glaze)
Fiber Content: 100% superwash wool
Skein Weight: 150 gramsYardage: 574 yards
Online: Website / Blog

I love raku pottery so the name of this color drew me in from the start. The colors made it a definite purchase, now I'm just trying to decide to what to cast on with this yarn. Socks are a posibility, but there is Elemmaciltor's Monte Carlo Scarf that is getting my attention too.

I should be back to more regular blogging next week. I had oral surgery this week and just haven't felt up to doing any posting.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Fiber Friday - Fat Sock

Yarn Details

Brand: Hello Yarn
Name: Fat Sock
Color: Hidden
Fiber Content: 100% superwash merino wool
Skein Weight: 70 grams
Yardage: 170 yards
Online: Website / Blog / Shop

Notes: I have two skeins of this yarn and am looking foward to using it. It is so soft and squishy. The little sheep came in the box with the yarn.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Leftovers, Snippets, and Scraps

Every knitting project I complete leaves me with some amount of leftover yarn. In some cases dealing with the leftover yarn is easy. When I knit my Clapotis, I ended up with only a couple of inches of yarn left over and it was easy just to toss away the remaining scraps.

But in some cases I just don’t know what to do with the leftover yarn. There seems to be this inner pack rat in me that won’t let the scraps go. Instead theses scraps are getting wound up into balls and placed in baskets, bowls, and vases all around my craft room. I know some of it will never be used, but how much yarn needs to be leftover to be worth saving?

Lizard Ridge left me with a bucket full of leftovers balls of yarn in various sizes and colors. I did save all of these and hope to some day knit a crazy colored felted bag or cushion cover with the project remnants – perhaps even using the pattern from the Lizard Ridge afghan.

I have found a use for my Sock knitting leftovers. I always end up with varying amounts of yarn left after knitting a pair of socks. It all depends on the yarn I start out with, the pattern I’m using, and the size socks I’m knitting. It does seem though, that I am always left with a good amount of yarn, too much really to just casually toss into the trash. So I came up with a plan for my leftover sock yarn. I’ll be knitting squares with the leftovers for an afghan. Knitting baby booties and hats would also be a nice thing to do with the sock yarn leftovers.

But larger projects I find are leaving me with anywhere from a few yards to a couple of extra skeins. When I knit Wicked earlier this year I bought a few extra skeins of yarn because it was my first sweater and I had heard it was a good idea. It was a good idea too. I ended up needing some of that extra yarn but ended up with two full skeins and a partial left over.

Now, I’m not going to throw out two untouched skeins of yarn, but I don’t want a matching scarf or hat. Maybe I can knit a scarf or hat as a gift. Possibly I can give away or trade any full skeins and they can become someone else's delima. But what about the partial skein? Is it okay to throw away a half a skein of yarn? I don’t really imagine using it for anything, but I feel bad just tossing out 50 yards of yarn. How much is too much to simply toss out?

What got me thinking about all this is I’m currently knitting a shawl in four different colors of mercerized cotton and realized I will end up with a full skein of one color and partial skeins of the other colors when I’m finished. I don’t really want to save any of it. I just want to toss it out. But I decide to see what you do with your scraps before I do the whole baby and bath water thing. So, what do you do with the leftover yarn after a project is complete?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Fiber Friday - Rittersporn

Yarn Details
Brand: Wollmeise
Yarn Name: sockenwolle
Color: Rittersporn (delphinium - knight spur)
Fiber Content: 100% superwash wool
Skein Weight: 150 grams
Yardage: 574 yards
Online: Website / Blog

Friday, August 03, 2007

Fiber Friday - Worry Doll

When I bought this yarn I realized that one of the reasons that I am drawn to hand-dyed yarn from small production dyers is the color names they come up with. I like seeing that their creativity continues past the dye pot. I like reading a color name and being able to see where the inspiration for certain color combinations come from. It kind of lets you see into more of the whole process than just looking at a finished skein of pretty yarn.

This color is called Worry Doll - and isn't that a perfect name? The colors seem to move through the skein in short vibrant bursts. The colors are totally reminiscent of those little dolls from Guatemala that are made and decorated with bright colorful bits of thread and cloth.

The worry dolls often come as a set in a little box. You are supposed to tell each little doll a worry and place in in the box and the worry will disappear. I've decided that this will apply to my skein of namesake yarn too. I can tell my yarn a worry with each stitch I knit and the worries will disappear.

I mean would you rather knit with a color called Worry Doll or 2763?

Yarn Details
Brand: Hello Yarn
Yarn Name: Hand-dyed sock
Color: Worry Doll
Fiber Content: superwash merino wool
Skein Weight: 4 oz.
Yardage: 295 yards
Care: wash cold / air dry