Monthly Archives: April 2007

Oh, look, a chicken!

I do NOT have knitter’s ADD!

Just because I have 5 10 a few projects on the needles at any given time!

There is usually (HAS to be!) a small portable project; an easy (i.e. probably boring) project that I can do without paying attention; and a more meaty, challenging project. Right now there are also several LARGE projects that I can only do at home; but when I’m home, there’s so many other competing demands that the big’uns get pushed to the back of the line. [If I can’t knit in little snippets of otherwise wasted time, I get very little knitting time at all.] And then there are things I cast on to try out an idea, but put aside after the initial working out. Then there are things that just got lost in the chaos, and emerge from time to time. Then there are the projects that simply weren’t as enjoyable — due to the yarn or the pattern. Then there are the objects where I was freely modifying the pattern, as is my habit, and — oops — maybe there was a reason the designer did it the way they did it, after all!

Well, I’m not promising full disclosure, but for entertainment & edification (at least mine), I will be regularly posting various & sundry current WIPs — all having been worked on this year, any way. Hopefully it will inspire me to convert them to FOs.

I posted one yesterday, as it happens: the Magic 28 sock (unfinished, of course, because it needs a sibling; and actually needs the toe grafted also).

Today’s UFO feels like cheating a bit, because it’s almost a FO.


pre-felted-bag-vertical.jpg

(Fixed the sideways photo thing!)

This is a to-be-felted bag, my own design, from vibrant handpainted wool yarn hand-dyed for me by a talented crafter who sells on eBay and etsy (see Finished Objects 2007 for source information–she also makes beautiful sewn fabric tote bags!). It’s your basic felted bag design, with a garter stitch base then stitches picked up and knit circularly — but the twists I added (ha! I amuse myself! guess what, I just decided it should be called the Tropical Twist bag!) were as follows:

1) I figured out how many stitches it took me to knit one color repeat of the yarn, then knit the garter stitch rectangle so as to have that number of stitches to be picked up. That gave the spiraling colors. I found that if my tension changed even a titch, the spiral changed or even reversed, so I had to be very consistent — and loose, of course.

2) Dyed-to-match ladder lace and slightly finer wool yarn were used for the last couple inches at the top. (The main part was in chunky yarn, and the top was worsted weight with the ladder lace.)

3) I-cord bind off — I’m recently liking this for felted things to stabilize the edge and may add it to my next felted bowl (there’s one on the needles…I suppose you’ll see it later…)

3) Criss-cross I-cord straps. You’ll see them better in the FO picture.

The worsted weight yarn is alongside so you can see the original colorway as it was in the skeins (harking back to yesterday’s post — though I had a fairly good idea how I thought this would work — or hoped it would work if I did my math right and the knitting gods smiled). The little pile of yarn at the top right of the bag is what was left of the main yarn after the I-cord. Whew!

It’s almost an FO because it’s drying as we speak — I felted it tonight and it turned out RAWther well, if I do say so myself! (You know how felting is — don’t do it if you want a sure thing — I have a Paton’s SWS scarf I just wanted to full a teeny bit to give it body, and it felted in, I swear, 5 minutes. I have never had any other yarn felt in 5 minutes… The scarf is now unwearable by any sane person. Maybe a very small rhinoceros.)

Next to be cast on should probably be — Magic 28 sock sibling. (Once I graft the toe of the elder sibling.)

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What lies within

It is always a wonder and mystery to me, how a skein of handpainted yarn will knit up. I’ve figured out a little by trial and error, but like a baby, you just don’t know exactly how it will turn out.

Here’s an example:

supersock-dk-skein.jpg

This is an eBay acquisition, a mill end of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock DK, a washable merino. When I got it, I was unenthused. It was, to my eyes, a blend of murky brown and olive with steel blue and a few spots where the brown didn’t take. I like earth tones, but . . .

But wool in dark colors is exactly what was requested for the current Afghans for Afghans project, so I decided to start a little sock using Norma’s Magic 28 sock pattern.

First I wound the yarn into a center pull ball.

supersock-dk-ball.jpg

Hmm. Looks significantly nicer — warm and earthy, like fall in the woods with a glimpse of blue lake in the distance.

Then I knit the first sock:

magic-28-sock.jpg

Hey! I like it a lot!

I guess that’s why I’m not working at Cherry Tree Hill as a master handpainter, eh?

On a greener note, it’s spring in Wisconsin! I planted more bulbs last fall and am delighted with my daffodils:

garden-april-29.jpg

daffodils-1.jpgdaffodils-2.jpg

Not only are they lovely, but the resident Naughty Bunny leaves them alone (unlike the crocuses and tulip buds).