Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Short Row Heel

Completed short row heel
I've always made socks with a heel flap, but I need to know how to do this because I have a plan for some really nice sock yarn.  I get this, but it was a little aggravating.  

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hat Bath

It feels good to finish something, even if it is a hat.
Pattern is of my own creation. Yarn is Patons Classic Wool in Natural Mix.

Friday, February 25, 2011

How do you know you're done?

This is a WILNTBIPAM.  That stands for Work I'd Like Not To Be In Progress Any More.  

I seriously (at current plan) have two more rows to do on this.  I've had two more rows to do on this for three weeks.  Evidently wishing for it to be done is not the same as it actually being done.  The pattern, which is more like a guide on how to do a simple triangular shawl (with some nifty texture and some stripes) is great.  I decided to do the bigger version of this before starting because I was afraid of ending up with some pretty little kerchief that I wouldn't wear.  The bigger version requires about 800 yards of fingering weight yarn as opposed to 400 yards.  I don't regret the choice.  At the 400 yard mark, I had a nice little triangle.  I think that it might have made it around my neck.  Maybe.  This is an unscientific guess at it and it wasn't blocked.  Clearly, I could have been wrong.  

At the 800 yard mark (or so) when I was finishing up balls three and four of this yarn, I could not stop because I was in the middle of  on of the garter stitch sections.  I could not see stopping in the middle of it and then it would be narrower than the other garter stitch sections.  I had more yarn, so onward.  Now, I am trying to make the cast off edge look like the other two.  I did a little row of YO K2tog to make some holes and now I just need a little edge.  And a cast off.  

My fear is that after all of this knitting, large amounts of television-worthy knitting, I will end up with something I don't like.  Which is perhaps what is holding me up.  Is this thing going to block out to a size that will make me look like I'm wrapped in a blanket?  

It is tonight's TV knitting.

Simple Yet Effective Shawl.  Will it be?
Pattern:  Simple Yet Effective Version 2.0 by Laura Chau here or on Ravelry (great first shawl pattern)
Yarn:  Patons Kroy Sock FX in colorway 57242--Clover Colors (does not resemble any clover I've ever seen), approximately 900 yards (I guess I could weigh it)
Needles:  Knitpicks Options 36" circular with US size 6 Harmony wood tips.  (Awesome!)
Other aids:  Knit Minder App on iPhone (Love this!)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Blogging The Super Bowl

What you do if you are not a Packers fan or a Steelers fan. I'm in it for the food, the commercials and the knitting. Not necessarily in that order.

Basic sock in Patons Kroy Sock, colorway Paintbox.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Salute to the Ballband Dishcloth

The main color is Fiesta, one of my favorites.       

One of my regular, everyday knitting project is the humble dishcloth.  I haven’t devoted blog time and space to dishcloths because it seemed like a knitting cop our and that I should be working on something with a little more technical merit, Right?  (Do knitters need street cred?)  While this isn’t all that I knit, I do have one of these in progress most of the time.  You know, just for when you need to knit on a little something to take the edge off.  The beauty of these things is that I use them every day.  I can’t think of anything else I knit that gets as much use as a dishcloth.  And not just any dishcloth, either.  

My absolute favorite is the ballband dishcloth, created by Pisgah Yarn and Dyeing Co and made famous by the gals from Mason Dixon Knitting in this book.  They are my guilty knitting secret.  Here's why (in convenient list form):  
1.  They are easy.  I've done enough of them to memorize the pattern and work on them while watching TV.  
2.  Snack knitting!  There is no real commitment here.  Each one if finished in a few hours.  Lots of FOs.  
3.  Each one is a study in color.  They can be as bright as you want them to be. In fact, the more colorful, the better.  Lighter ones get dingy looking faster.  
4.  Low cost.  Two balls of yarn at $1.69 per ball makes two dishcloths.  The pattern is included on the ball band.  Most folks have a pair of size 7 needles too.  
5.  They are actually useful.  The construction makes them perfect for the task at hand. Very scrubby.   
6.  Gifts!  I've given several of these away, usually as hostess gifts.  

A faithful dishcloth ready for a trip into the sink.  

I've made a discovery along the way.  First, whenever possible, use the real McCoy--the Peaches and Creme yarn from Pisgah Yarn and Dyeing.  If you buy two balls (in nicely coordinating colors), they will make two complete dishcloths.  I tried doing this with Lily Sugar and Cream, which ran a few yards short on the second dishcloth.  Unfortunately, I might have to deal with this some time soon.  

Pisgah Yarn and Dyeing, Nirvana to a dishcloth knitter.  Photo taken on a detour on my way to the dentist.  

The absolute worst sign of the times is the loss of small, local businesses.  I've said goodbye to two nice yarn stores in the last year.  Now, it seems that Pisgah Yarn and Dyeing Plant is closing.  I stumbled across this article on Ravelry today, which confirmed my suspicions (which were sparked by a 50% off sale on their website). It is particularly sad since they make some of my favorite yarn and they are located right here in North Carolina. 

I wandered in and inquired about the outlet store.  

I took a notion to visit the factory about a year and a half ago.  I'd just bought and read the first Mason-Dixon Knitting book and begun knitting ballband dishcloths like crazy.  The address and the store hours were posted on their website and, hey, I was going to be passing by anyway.  I wandered into the office and asked about the outlet store.  An employee showed me to a room with shelves that had every single color and type of yarn.  You could fill out a little card with what you wanted and they would pull it for you. I made my selections and wandered into the office to check out.    

The room full of yarn.  You could hear factory noise, but tours were not possible due to safety and insurance reasons.  Plenty of yarn, though.  Colors I'd never see before.  
The bargain bin--hours of dishcloth knitting fun.  I did discover that a cone is not a very portable amount of yarn.  Unless you wear it as a hat.  
 About the time I wondered how many cones of double worsted I'd need for a bathmat, I saw this.  

I had a great talk with Flo, who offered me helpful advice, color cards and samples as she rang up my purchases.  I really would have enjoyed spending the entire afternoon if I didn't have an appointment to make with my dentist. I'm glad I had the chance to visit.  

I'm sad that they are closing.  They made great cotton yarn in beautiful colors.  I hope for the best possible outcome for the 81 people employed there.  

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Nice weather for a hat.

Knitting one, that is.

Hat of my own invention.
Patons Classic wool
Colorway: Natural Mix
Size 8 needles.

I hope everyone is enjoying the snow as much as I am.