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FO: My So Called Scarf

Pattern: My So Called Scarf
For: Mom
Yarn: 1.59 skeins Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Pollen
Needles: US size 13 Knit Picks Options
Timeline: started 03.26.2008; finished 03.29.2008

Not sure what I should say about this one. I've wanted to make this scarf for quite a while and finally found the opportunity. The pattern was simple, so I was able to work on this while doing other things, but the effect is great. The only thing that surprised me was how flat the fabric ended up. This was my first time working with Malabrigo and it was like butter. If I ever fall in love with a color of Malabrigo, I'll probably grab 3 skeins to make a wider version.

Oh, I made this for my mom. Do you think she likes it?


Frog or Felt Contest!

I'm pretty much done with Dogwood Donna, but...I hate it. At least on me. The arms are too tight (even though I made the armholes bigger), the sleeves are too short, the ribbing is too loose, and it just doesn't look good on me at all. I don't want to "make it work" (Hey, Tim Gunn!), so I'm left with two options.

1 - Frog it!
If I frog it, I would have a billion little bits to deal with because of the intarsia. However, I'd be able to use the yarn for something else, which would be good, since it's pretty. If I decide to frog it, I might make Big Snugs (brown on the outside, green and yellow for the lining) for myself.

2 - Felt it!
Another option is to felt it as-is (after weaving in the ends, of course) and make a small pillow for the front room. I think it goes with our color scheme pretty well.

So...let me know! Leave me a comment by 6 PM CST on Monday, March 31st, for a chance to win a skein of the type of yarn I'm talking about frogging or felting: Araucania Nature Wool. The color is 51, a light lime-ish green.

Updated 04.01.2008
And the winner is...


Thanks for all of the suggestions. I really want to get this thing off of my needles, so I'll be reporting back as to what I decide to do with it. Stay tuned...


Random Thursday

Is it already Thursday again? That's just insane.

After the parade of FO posts earlier this month, I feel like I don't really have anything to talk about. Dogwood Donna should be done, but it isn't. No real reason. I thought I'd finish it up last weekend, but didn't. The second Laburnum Sock is almost done, so that will be nice to cross off of my list.

What's up next from the queue? I'll probably start working on my best friend's wedding shawl. I'll be making a "draft" version in some SWTC Bamboo I have in my stash, and making the final, approved version (I'm making up a pattern.) with this lovely yarn.

Artyarns Silk Rhapsody Glitter

I should also be working on my brother's incredibly belated (I haven't cast on yet.) birthday sweater and another pair of gift socks. I'm a busy knitter this year.

Update 6:30 PM
I think I may just end up frogging Dogwood Donna. I tried it on with one side all sewn up, and the armhole and cuff are too tight and it doesn't look all that great anywhere else. I think I should have used thicker yarn...


Random Thursday

I saw a few blogs doing Random Thursdays, and that's just perfect for me right now. I actually finished up a pair of Log Cabin Socks (a gift) today, but probably won't do an FO post until they've actually been gifted.

Speaking of socks, I'm also working on these as yet another gift. What do I think I am, some sort of sock knitter? I finished the first last week, but haven't cast on for the second yet. Maybe this weekend. I'm loving how it's knitting up.

This is a close-up of the intarsia flower on Dogwood Donna. I actually finished the front, but may have to rip back to make the armholes a bit bigger. I'm currently working on the back (just knitting it plain, no intarsia) and wouldn't be surprised if I managed to finish it by the end of this weekend.

Finally, I went ahead and changed the brim on my Foliage the other day. It was a bit too floppy, so I frogged the ribbing, reknit 10 rows of 1x1 ribbing on size 4s, and bound off in pattern.

So, yes...I'm definitely knitting a lot. I took a few days off earlier this week because my left shoulder, elbow, arm, and wrist were bothering me, but I think that had more to do with how I was sitting at work than knitting too much.


FO: Foliage

Pattern: Foliage (worsted version)
For: me
Yarn: 1 skein Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran in 415 (won from the Stash and Burn One Skein contest)
Needles: US size 5 and 7 Knit Picks Options
Timeline: started 03.03.2008; finished 03.03.2008

Well, you knew if I wanted a hat and the one I'd made for myself totally didn't work out, I'd have to cast on for another, right? It helped that I had an entire Sunday to do nothing but knit and didn't want to work on Dogwood Donna because I wasn't in the mood for looking up how to do intarsia. With no internet access, I had to rely on patterns that I had on hand and had to go through my stash by hand instead of the wonderful, amazing, fantabulousness that is the stash section on Ravelry.

I've wanted to make Foliage since the pattern came out, but just never got around to it. I knew I needed to make it slouchier (See: pretty much any post regarding hats on this blog), so it sort of got pushed back in the queue as far as hat patterns went. However, I saw that Cirilia had made a snood-y version, so I figured I should just block it bigger and see what happened. After the unsuccessful blocking that occurred with Estella, I decided to add some length to it to make it bigger and then block it.

After getting about halfway through the pattern, I knew that I'd definitely have way more yarn in one skein than I'd need, so I started weighing it as I went to make sure I used up as much of it as I could. The fact that the hat is knit from the top down helped a lot! I ended up using pretty much every last bit of yarn.

I did 5 pattern repeats instead of 3 and did a picot bind-off, just because. After soaking the hat, I squeezed out the excess water and just pulled at it to open up the lace pattern and make the body of the hat bigger. I didn't want to stretch the brim out too much, so I tried to be careful there.

I know I have a big head and Nadine has a small one, but this is ridiculous!
Did it work? Pretty much. Because of the way the top of the hat is constructed (4 increase points) and the way I laid it out to dry (folded in half), it does tend to kind of fold in half, but I don't mind. I probably could have gotten away with only one pattern repeat and had it be slouchy enough, but this is also pretty fabulous. I think the brim is a bit on the loose side, so I'm toying with the idea of either reknitting it (boo) or running a bit of elastic through it. Overall, a success and I finally have a hat for myself.

Updated 03.08.2008
Because the bottom of the hat blocked out to big, I ripped back the brim, reknit on size 4s, 10 rounds of 1x1 rib, and bound off in pattern. It's almost a bit tight, but not too bad.


FO: Estella

FO: Estella

Pattern: Estella
For: Nadine (originally for me)
Yarn: 1 skein Classic Elite Waterlily in Lily Pad (green); 0.9 skeins Classic Elite Waterlily in Goldenrod (yellow)
Needles: US size 5 and 7 Knit Picks Options
Timeline: started 02.28.2008; finished 03.01.2008

After finishing up Nadine's new Droplet Hat, I decided that I needed another hat for myself. I've been wanting to make this hat ever since I made Gretel (which I still adore, by the way), so I grabbed these two balls at The Fold.

I made a lot of changes to the pattern, but they were pretty much all because of mistakes I made. First off, I did the tubular cast-on back and forth because those were the directions I had on me and my brain was too clouded by cough medicine to remember to do it in the round. It left me with a small gap to stitch up at the end, but it wasn't a big deal and I don't think it's noticeable.

I also screwed up a bit after the ribbing. I need to remember that "inc 1" in Ysolda's patterns actually means "inc 1 in the next stitch" or "kfb" or something. I ended up going from 80 sts to 160, but I was only supposed to have 120. Boo! I didn't want to tink back, so I just k1, k2tog, k1 on the next row. Once again, not noticeable.

Due to the aforementioned big head, I really wanted to make sure I used every bit of this yarn, so I added 1 pattern repeat of the star stitch chart to the main part of the hat. I ended up running out of the green, so the last two green rows were done in the yellow. Oh, and I k2tog for an extra round at the end so that I tied off 5 sts at the end instead of 10.

Classic Elite Waterlily is a really nice, springy yarn. The springy-ness reminds me of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, so I think it would be a great substitute yarn for a pair of Fetching. What really drew me to it, though, was the slight change in the strength of the color in the ball. It's really subtle and gives the yarn depth. Lovely, lovely stuff.

On a sort of sad note, the thing that drew me to the yarn initially (the subtle changes in the strength of the color) pretty much completely disappears in this pattern. I can see it at the very top (all yellow) and the brim (all green), but the star stitch pattern just doesn't lend itself to appreciating such subtle gradations. It mostly just looks like sections of the hat are wet. Ha!

The springy nature of the yarn that I mentioned above made for fabulous knitting, but didn't get me the drape / flop that the recommended yarn would have. It also doesn't have a halo or any fuzziness to it, so it really does look like a different hat pattern. And finally...how did I not notice that I was buying yarn in total 60s kitchen colors? I mean, avocado green and mustard yellow? Sign me up! I don't have a problem with it, really, but it just isn't a combo I would normally pick and I'm surprised I was oblivious to it until I was a couple of repeats into the color pattern.

OK, so...I blocked this over a big plate to open up the fabric and make it bigger. And then I tried it on and, while it fit, it just didn't have enough slouch for me. How many times do I need to learn to check my gauge? The pattern calls for a gauge of 18 stitches to 4 inches in the 2 color star stitch pattern, but I ended up getting closer to 20 after a rather severe blocking. I know I'm a tight knitter, so I'm not sure why I just kept knitting this when I knew it was looking too small. Maybe because it was "just a hat" and I knew I'd have it done in a couple of days? Oh, well...if Nadine likes it, it's all hers.

Finally, this is another wonderful pattern from Ysolda. I'm tempted to buy the recommended yarn (Mirasol Miski) and make myself one that, you know, fits. Of course, I just noticed that she has another hat pattern (Verity) up on her site, so that may jump ahead. If next winter is anything like this one, I'll definitely be using it a lot.


FO: Droplet Hat 2

An unusually large amount of bus time and home knitting time resulted in my starting and finishing 3 hats in a week. Two were supposed to be for me, but...that didn't really work out. So, the FO posts should be coming fast and furious over the next few days. First up...

FO: Droplet Hat

Pattern: Droplet Hat
Source: Knitting Nature
For: Nadine
Yarn: 1 skein Classic Elite Lush in
Blueberry - 4456
Needles: US size 6 and 4 Knit Picks Options
Timeline: started 02.27.2008; finished 02.28.2008

Didn't I just make this? Yup! However, I discovered that I'm just not a regular hat sort of person. I need something a bit slouchy or beret-like because of my big head / round face combo. So...I ended up giving it to Nadine and she loved it.

And then she lost it.

So, when we ran up to The Fold, I told her to find some yarn for me to make her a replacement. I'd never used Lush before and it was a nice yarn. It didn't shed too much and felt really nice on my hands.

For obvious reasons, this hat is much softer and less structured than the original (which was made in 100% wool that was handspun and plied), so I didn't really feel like I was making the exact same hat over again. Oh, plus I sort of screwed up, so that helped, too.

As with the first one, I knit this in the round. Also, I wanted to use up as much of the yarn as possible (trying to avoid adding little bits to my stash), so after finishing up the hat (knit on 6s), I picked up stitches from the brim on size 4s, switched back to 6s, purled a row, and knit in 2x2 rib until I ran out of yarn. I bound off purlwise for no real reason aside from the fact that I think it helps me avoid binding off too tightly.

FO: Phiaro Scarf

Pattern: Phiaro Scarf
From: Knitscene, Winter 2007/Spring 2008
For: Me
Yarn: 1.88 skeins South West Trading Company Bamboo in 24 Karat
Needles: US size 7 Knit Picks Harmony interchangeables (I used this project to practice my continental knitting, since it was just stockinette in the round.)
Timeline: started 01.09.2008; finished 02.17.2008

I think I already stated my love for this pattern, so I won't go there again. I think the scarf came out really well, even though it isn't really what I was looking for. It's more of a decorative scarf, something silky to wrap around my neck with a dress.

Please excuse the old baggy jeans. I'm just hanging around the house today.

The biggest problem was with my yarn choice. It did result in a fabulously drapey and silky FO, but oh, the knots! Each skein had 5 knots. After writing to SWTC about the first skein, they assured me that 5 knots is way more than usual and that I should try the Russian join. I hadn't heard of it before, but it did seem to help a bit, until I got to the end. They also said my second skein should be fine. Wrong-o. They offered some free yarn after I wrote again, but I'll probably wind it (and any other SWTC yarns I buy in the future) into balls to check for knots once I get it.

Folded in half-ish.

The kinks in the yarn disappeared as soon as I soaked this and hung it up on a towel rack. However, I did have a nightmare of a time weaving in all the ends. I had to undo most (if not all) of the Russian joins, since they were in the dropped sections.

The other thing that was a bit of a pain was braiding all of the ends. Luckily, I was able to draft Nadine into the Braiding Corps, so that helped immensely. Thanks, Nadine! All in all, I think the braids definitely add a lot to the look of the scarf, so I'm glad I did it. I probably wouldn't make this again, just because it's really, really boring and a bit of a pain to finish, but I'm glad I have this one and I'm sure I'll be using it.