Thursday, February 01, 2018

January was for Hats

January is all about goals, but this year I'm feeling overwhelmed and confused. We continue to work towards a contract to rebuild our home. I think about working through boxes in the upstairs to figure out what was salvaged. I've reorganized some kitchen boxes and found the baking dish I use for lasagna and king ranch casserole. I did do some cleaning but it will be stomped on by workers once the repairs start.

So, let's talk knitting. I considered taking a break on the worsted projects. I pulled some fingering/lace weight yarns to make that reversible hat for my husband. Then, I kept going. Here is what happened in January:

First, a top-down brioche beanie. If I had been perfect it would be reversible, but let's just enjoy the turned-up section of the contrast side.

Second, a fair-isle reversible beanie in squash-blossom yellow and grey.

Third, a brioche rib in Woolease and some weird polyester novelty yarn that my daughter picked out about twelve years ago. This one is reversible. The choice is which color is on the knit side. Most of the time I like the black knit on top but the red is nice too.

The cast off is a I-cord cable if you are curious.

Fourth, a black rib beanie just to finish the Woolease.

But, about the worsted. I've made great progress. I have some lovely projects in some nicer yarns waiting. I also have two worsted projects planned, and have some solid ideas about two or three more. I also joined a Ravelry stash down challenge that goes to October.

I'm down to two large bins of worsted weight. I can do this.

So, next project will be Henry VII with my eight skeins of  vintage Dawn Knitting Worsted in red.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Reversable Hat!!

What's next?

My husband asked for a hat. A hat with a lice pattern and a pop of color like the sweater I just finished. He really liked that sweater. I would have made it a lot larger for him if I had known. 

I have some lovely merino/cashmere that I bought on a cone from WEBS many years ago. I made several sweaters and shawls from the stuff and it is quite soft against the skin. Perfect choice I figured.

I started the hat and then he asked for it to be double thick. Sure. I can do that. 

Then he wanted a fold-up band so that his ears would be really warm. Sure, I can do that too. So here is what resulted:

The center row is purl, so one side can be stuffed into the other making a double thick hat.

These are the two choices for the grey side:

And here are the choices on the white side. 

My husband could barely wait for it to dry before wearing it.And here are the choices on the white side. 

My husband could barely wait for it to dry before wearing it.

Next, maybe more hats. My daughter told me their heater repair guy won't have the repair parts for several weeks. She's cold now too.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Complete in Record Time

I'm not sure I've made a sweater this quickly. Just a day over two weeks. Not sure what's up with that. I've been binge watching Netflix series and not wanting to do much more. I blame it on the cough I've had since Harvey. I've been to the doctor twice, had a round of antibiotics and then a round of Prednisone and I'm taking three antihistamines.  I'm still coughing.

I learned that my husband admires these nordic style sweaters with the lice. He was disappointed that the finished sweater was too small for him.

The picture is from before the bath and block. I'll update when it drys.

Not sure what to pick for the next project. The choices are a Henry 7 in red or another Drops pattern in three colors.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Off Color

In my quest to use up my worsted, I run into challenges with certain skeins. Sometimes the color seems too bright or not quite right with anything else that I have.

I have two four-ounce skeins a creamy orange that has been eating my brain recently. It is a bit heavy so I don't want to use it in a fair-isle. I'm thinking some kind of slip stitch tweedy fabric.While digging around I found some off-white that I thought would work with some brown and tan yarns I've also been thinking about. Well, this off-white seemed to love the orange.

I tried some green and I tried the blue and ended up liking the blue quite a lot. This is a Barbara Walker Vol 1 stitch called basket check. It is written so that the contrast colors use the garter stitch, but she suggests trying stocking stitch as well.

The next try was striped check. With the similar shades, I'm not sure that it works well. What the picture does not show is that the slipped stitches line up and provide a bit if a ribbed effect. It's nice, but I think one of the colors should be darker.

The last one is a linen stitch variation named three color tweed.. It was looking flat with the three colors so I tried working in a second blue in the place of the off-white and ended up a subtle strip. I like the color gradation that resulted.

I have 8 ounces each of the orange and the off-white and 12 ounces of the light blue. I can use the blue for the welts and have plenty for the body.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Sleeve Tricks

Drops patterns are a great inspiration. Recently, I have been following patterns pretty closely, but with some standard modifications. This one is no different.

The project will generally follow Drops 52-18. I substitute stash yarn, in this case vintage worsted that seems to work much like the Drops Karisma. I like a fully fashioned shoulder so I will drop the top sleeve detail and work the lice pattern up the sleeve cap.

I have a trick for the back and forth sections of this type of pattern. Every other lice row finds the grey yarn on the wrong side of the work. So, I work the main color, slipping the stitch that should be grey. Then, I work the grey back, slipping the white stitches. One of the joys that come with using circular needles for everything.

I was unsure about having enough of the medium grey in my stash to complete the pattern elements, so I will use some charcoal in the smaller pattern bands and the welts.

The first sleeve is complete and I used just over on skein of the oyster Sesame4. I'm pretty sure the white will last as the body has considerably more dark stitches than the sleeves.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Milo Finished

Another finished project. This pattern is one of those wonderful knitting cheats where the effect is much more elaborate than the effort. 

I was a bit anxious that the bright colors would yield a sweater that was too bright, but I'm pleased with the way it come out. I used my 'go-to' sweater pattern by Ann Budd for the shaping.

This sweater had quite an adventure over Thanksgiving. We flew to Atlanta to pick up a vintage car that my husband purchased. He is quite the optimistic guy, and figured that a thirty year old car would be perfect to drive back home. Turns out it refused to start that morning so he and the seller spend the afternoon trouble shooting and eventually it started up.  We drove to Tennessee to visit friends, leaving just as the sun set. When it was dark we discovered that the dash lights did not work an the heater vents did not open.

Thanksgiving was swell, except that I am experiencing nuclear allergies. The going theory is that this is due to all the dust, mold and gunk from the hurricane salvage work that I encountered. So lots of coughing and fatigue. The doctor put me on three antihistamines but they were not doing the trick. 
Friday we left for home in good weather. When we stopped for gas in Clarksdale, MS, the little car refused to start. Four hours later after more troubleshooting and lots of help from the local guy at Autozone and a nice man who we met in the parking lot it was determined that the car needed an alternator. The best solution for us at the time was to rent a car carrier from U Haul and continue the drive. 

When we got to Houston, I was about finished with the back and very tired. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Milo Sleeves

Milo is coming along nicely. One sleeve done and one on the way. 
For the fair isle sweaters, I usually keep a purl stitch 'seam' as suggested by Elizabeth Zimmerman. For this pattern, the practice does not work so well. Instead, I'm marking the seam with a slip stitch every other row. I like it, but it is tough to keep the tension right. I think the first sleeve is a bit tight. I expect it to relax a bit after blocking.