knitting

I have revamped the website! It looks super cool, like a blog from 2008.

MEANWHILE, I’ve also been working on some sweater ideas. Sweater design feels like a bit of a luxury compared to cowls or hats, even though it’s often what I’d like to be doing—it takes so much more time, and so much more yarn, and that’s just to knit a sample to get the idea down. And you have to know how arms work. Like. How they usually attach to the body. Where they come out. Etc.

Starling Sweater. The photo shows a half-view of a half-finished cardigan. The yarn is grey wool, a little rustic. Bamboo double-pointed knitting needles stick out of the fabric of a sleeve in progress.

It’s about as slow as fashion can be, short of owning the sheep and starting from there.

ANYWAY, in the meantime, while I hope to have 2+ larger designs ready to finish out the year, there will be a few new smaller projects during the holidays! I’ll be wrapping up a cowl and a possible hat in the next few days. (I have finished the cowl, and you can knit your own (link goes to Ravelry design page). The hat is under review. I am not certain about it.)

knitting · pattern · photo posts · The Summer Kitchen.

Planispiral Shawl & the Summer Kitchen Project.

I feel like I’ve been getting nothing done lately, but wait! Behold!

The thing on the left is done. It’s off the needles. It’s even been finished, completely—in this case, felted/fulled.* I’m pretty excited about the result. As I come back to this post in drafts, not only is the first sample finished—but there’s also a second sample done, and the pattern is available.

There’s also a new shawl pattern out! It’s a circle, and it ended up being pretty interesting. The stitches are simple, and showcase yarns with long color transitions. Good as a fairly big shawl; I think it would also work as a baby blanket. (I may end up sending off my latest shawl and blanket samples to babies in the extended family; I am not sure.)

PLANISPIRAL SHAWL.

knitting · wool

Wool Market in a Box: Pandemic Edition (Year II).

So, I have two entire wether fleeces from my favorite Shetland farm, the year I completely overbought fleeces.* They were packed up in a box and the bags and tissue they shipped in. They are pristine. Despite my neglect, I’ve got pounds and pounds of usable wool to process this summer.

They are also disgusting. I cannot believe that I opened this up and felt huge relief there was no evident damage (we’re supposed to be out of range for moths, but there are carpet-beetles who eat stuff at the local museum to make a point about not storing animal fiber museum pieces properly I guess), and thought, “How beautiful,” because it’s gross and dirty and smells (although not as badly as I remembered).

*At the time, I really did buy slightly too many fleeces. Even so, I used all of it but these. Weirdly, happily, they’ll probably end up being what I had originally planned. I’ve been pretty lazy about spinning (it’s not really my thing, or rather it’s sometimes my thing but not really my thing reliably for more than a couple of months at a time), so I am not super looking forward to the washing/processing/spinning this time, but I am pretty excited about not having to spend $80 on eco-friendly low-processing-impact yarn. I like one-sheep sweaters.

knitting · photo posts · yarn

a few things.

  • remain terrible at blogging/this whole thing
  • working on some shawls
  • also hats
  • also some others things
  • plus kids’ clothing so
  • I feel deeply unproductive, but 2/4 yarns in the photo have been knit up, and projects have been started with the others.
knitting · photo posts

Window Greens.

Finally!

I finally finished the .PDF pattern for the design that preceded the 14-square scarf! It’s called Window Greens, because the original used green yarn and I was thinking about arugula. But the final version had some substantial changes—it calls for soft DK yarn instead of fingering-weight, and the button configuration is less straightforward (but not too convoluted) and a lot more functional.

Window Greens Cowl.

(It’s free for a bit, too—through 10:00AM Mountain Time on April 29th. After that, it’ll be available for a small fee.)

Uncategorized

Stay-at-Home Auxiliary Scarf, Day 14 (and counting): Two Approaches to Finishing.

There are two* ways to finish the Stay-at-Home Auxiliary Scarf: with a knitted border, which was the original idea but will definitely take some stitch management, or with i-cord, which might be easier, given the length of the edges of the 14-square scarf.

For the knitted border, you’ll need the longest circular needle available (I used a 48”/120cm needle, and it was tough going); for the i-cord, two DPNs are recommended.

*Or two ways I am going into, I guess.

I-Cord.

I-cord worked over 5 sts.

The I-cord border can be worked over 3 or 5 sts, depending on your preference. Two double pointed needles (in size used for overall gauge) will make it easier, but this can also be done with a circular, if you can’t find your DPNs and are only doing a few rounds to show how the technique should work. This is a weird, unlikely scenario, though, in no way related to the photos. (The sentence preceding this one is not sincere. I could not find my DPNs. I did the thing I am talking about.)

When finishing the 14th square, do not bind off.
This will leave you with 3 live sts.

Switch to DPNs.

(For the 5 st version only: flip to the WS, and, using the cable cast-on method, add 2 sts.)

Work attached I-cord border:
k3(5)
*slide sts to working end of the needle.
k2(4), slip last st as if to knit, pick up 1 st from next selvedge.
k last st tog with picked-up st, as if working a ssk.*

Repeat ** until i-cord edging has been applied all the way around. On the corners, you can pick up 2 sts in the same selvedge or cast-on bump, but other than that, pick up 1 st per selvedge.

Finish i-cord by weaving the live sts together with the first sts, as if working Kitchener st.

Weave in ends, block, and you’re done!

Knit Border.
(This version was the original, but it can be genuinely tricky to keep >902 sts on a long circular needle. Putting the project down can result in mild heartbreak and dozens of stitches popping off; there is a palpable risk of breaking a wooden needle. Mine held up, but it was a close thing for a while.)

Finish the 14th square according to the line instructions. You’ll be left with 1 live stitch on the needle.

Pick Up Sts.
With the RS facing up, working right to left, pick up 30 sts per each mitered square, for a total of about 420 sts. (See Note, below.)
Turn work 90 degrees. Pick up ~31 sts along this side. Place a removable marker on the first and 31st sts.
Turn work 90 degrees. Pick up ~420 sts along the side.
Turn work 90 degrees. Pick up ~30 sts along this side. Place a removable marker on the first st, and on the live stitch from the bindoff.

There will be about 902 sts.

Note: the exact number of stitches, especially on the long edges, isn’t too important; the instructions that follow will still be functional if the stitch counts are slightly off.

Work continues from here in the round.

Begin Work.
Round 1. [k1, p to next marked st] around.
Round 2. [k1, m1l, k to next marked st, m1r] around (8 sts inc) 910 sts total.

Repeat Rounds 1 & 2 two more times. (926 sts total)
End with a repeat of Round 2.
Bind off using the basic method. Break yarn, weave in ends, and block!

Mine isn’t blocked yet. It turned out way better than I’d hoped, though, and I hate to admit it, but 14 squares looks about ideal for a scarf.
knitting · photo posts · stay-at-home auxiliary

Definitely too many stitches.

There are going to two ways to work the finishing/border on the Stay-at-Home Auxiliary Scarf, because if you do all 14 squares and pick up stitches to knit the border the way I had planned it, you are going to have something like 902 sts crammed on a 48”-60” needle, and that is not the most fun knitting I have ever done. (I’m doing it, because it is wrong to tell people it could be done without trying it and finding out how potentially frustrating it really is, but I think the alternate method also looks nice, and you probably don’t have to be painstakingly careful about how you set the knitting down to keep 20+ sts from coming off the needle just because there is No Room.)

The first step for this project went out on April 2, so the official end date, if you’ve been doing a square a day, would be April 15th or 16th, depending on how you approach it (is the border part of Day 14, or something you do the day after?). The finishing step should be live within the next couple of days, so please watch this space. Take care!

knitting · photo posts · tutorial

Stay-at-Home Auxiliary Scarf: Day Two

Work continues where it left off on Day 1.

This entry is photo-heavy! Essentially, the steps are simple: with the WS facing you (and the tail from the cast-on edge on the lower righthand corner), pick up 31 sts from the RS along the selvedge sts. Once that’s done, flip the work again so it’s RS up, and add 30 sts using the cable cast-on, for a total of 61 sts. Work continues from there with a repeat of the mitered square instructions from Day 1. But this may not be intuitive at first, so we’re going the photo tutorial route.

Work Continues: Attached Mitered Squares (Make 13).

The previous step ended with a bound-off mitered square. One st is live on the needle, with the working yarn attached. The RS (right side) should look similar to the sample in the photo below.

Now turn the work so that the WS is facing up. Leave the live st on the needle, and continue not breaking the working yarn. (Note the angle of the decrease spine. For the first square, the cast-on tail will also be in the lower right corner; for the rest of the attached squares, the scarf will trail out from the lower edge, so it will be a little more obvious how to orient each new square.)

Using the working yarn, pick up 30 sts at the rate of 1 st per selvedge. Sts are picked up from the RS, with the WS facing you. With the loop left on the needle from the bind-off, you’ll have 31 sts total.

For the sample shown, I picked up sts from only the back leg of each selvedge st, to create a pronounced faux seam. You can pick sts up from both loops/legs or just one.

After picking up sts until you have 31 sts, turn work RS up again. It should look similar to the photo below.

Starting between the last two sts, CO 30 sts using the cable cast-on method, for a new total of 61 sts.

(I am working a few days ahead, so there’s more scarf in the photo than there should be at this point, but other than that, work should look similar to the photo below.)

Once all 61 sts are established, repeat Rows 1-5 from Day 1. (They’re reproduced below, so you don’t have to click back.)

Row 1 (RS). sl1, k remaining. 
Row 2. sl1, k29, p1, k to end of row. 
Placing a removable stitch marker on the purled middle stitch is optional. The purled stitch is referred to later as the middle stitch. 
Row 3. sl1, k to 1 before middle st, s2kpo, k to end of row (2 sts dec) 59 sts remain. 
Row 4. sl1, k to middle st, p middle st, k to end of row. 

Repeat Rows 3 & 4 until 5 sts remain, ending with a Row 4 repeat. 

Row 5 (Bind Off). sl1, s2kpo, slip previous st over, k1, slip previous st over. 
Do not break yarn. 
Leave last st on needle.

For squares 2-14, go back to the beginning and repeat this section.