Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Yarn Shortage Sequel

In April, at the  Knitters Frolic,  I spotted a pattern for Judy’s Ruffled Shawlette at the Cabin Fever booth.

The Cabin Fever sisters had  knit  up the shawlette in a beautiful fingering weight yarn that glittered with  touches of sterling silver.  It was gorgeous.

I purchased the pattern and tucked it, along with some Wellington Fibres Mohair, into my trailer knitting bag.  Once I came to  the obvious realization that I had nowhere near enough  yarn to complete my  cotton  Mieka, I dug out the Mohair and  cast on for Judy’s Ruffled piece.  

The  shawlette, according to the pattern,  requires “330 m for any weight of yarn”.   The only fly in my ointment was the missing information on the  Mohair ball wrapper.  No yardage was given.  But what the heck!  Considering that most patterns over estimate yardage (right?)  as well as  the fact that shawls lend themselves much better to stopping ‘short’ than sweaters, I figured that knitting the shawlette with my one ball of Mohair was   do-able.

And, do-able it was.   I have a shawlette. 
 Incomplete if compared to pattern instructions, but a shawlette nonetheless.  The pattern calls for 3 sets of Garter Stripes and 2 sets of Eyelet Stripes.  My piece doesn’t have all those stripes.  And there was grief.  Caused  by my  optimistic unrealistic outlook on how far my remaining little blob of yarn  would go.  When  it wouldn’t go as far as the finishing row, I had to rip back.  Rip back mohair.  Twice.  Great grief.  Altogether I stopped short by a full repeat of one pattern  (yep, it’s official, I am a one-repeat-short kind of girl) and completed the shawl with my own version of a crocheted chain, no- new-yarn-required cast off. 

Despite the yarn shortage and the repeated rip-backs, unlike Mieka, my version of Judy’s Ruffled Shawlette is complete and as hoped for,   giftable.  
 It will go, at summer’s end,  to my trailer neighbour.  She is  my early morning walking partner here in the north.  Walking with a partner is critical in bear country.  We, the two walkers,  think  -   ‘with two of us, what  bear would dare?’  Her husband thinks  -    ‘with two of them, the bear will have a better meal.’  So far,  the walkers have it. 


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Yarn Shortage

 Dang!  I am definitely short of yarn for the little cardi to match my summer skirt.       

My favourite summer project this year is my Tinks Twirlyskirt.  I used a variety of yarns to knit it and I love it.  I wear it often.  I even managed to find a great little turquoise ‘tee’ that compliments it well.  A finishing touch, I thought, would be a little cardi to cover the ‘tee’.  Since the skirt is such a multi-coloured/yarn piece  it seemed, to my fashion sense,  that the cardi should be knit with one yarn.  One  plain, non tweedy, non variegated yarn.  

Both the plain colours used in the skirt– the cream and rust - were purchased at Spinrite in Listowel.   I purchased  6 balls of each colour at the deeply-discounted price of 6 balls for $1.     In each case I used only part of one ball in the skirt.  5 and a bit  balls of each the cream and the rust remain.  They are small balls – 70m each  - giving me about 370 m of leftover yarn.  Not much yarn, I admit. But, often I  finish a project with less than the stated, yarn required.  So I started my little cardi with an open mind and knit on in denial. 

The pattern I chose was Mieka, an in-house pattern from Linda’s Craftique
Store in Port Credit.  It calls for 750 m in my size.  But most patterns suggest way too much yarn  Right?  I thought I would knit half the sweater, take stock of the yardage used and take my course of action from there.  Now,  half-way though the yarn and nowhere near  half-way through the sweater  - several body rows and one sleeve short to be exact - I admit defeat.  

The open work pattern in Mieka is ‘cool’.  A three-row repeat with one row being a K2tog, YO row.  Quite simple.  The construction is  interesting.  Starting at the centre back with a provisional cast on, ( that is the turquoise you see in my photo)  two halves are knit, then the sleeves.   It is one of those designs that can be worn inside out or upside down for two different looks.  At this stage of completion though,  I would call it a ‘Surprise Sweater’.  
   I cannot for the life of me figure out how it should be worn. 

 How it is meant to be worn, is something I might never  figure  out.  It appears that the yardage stated in the pattern was more right  than I had hoped and certainly more right than my overly optimistic estimation.   My plan now is to search for some extra balls of  America’s Best 100% Cotton Cabled by Elmore Pisgah Inc, Colour 4 – Natural, Dye Lot 7493  - OK, OK, I will not be fussy about the dye lot.  If I  come across some, great.  If not, plan B.  Which I will develop soon.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Blogging From Hearst

 The lazy hazy days of summer at the trailer have not, so far, left me much knitting time. Swimming, boating, grandkids and some catch-up reading have all eaten away at my knitting time.

Leaving home with only one small sleeve left to knit on Ring Master  I thought I might even finish it during the drive up.  But that didn’t happen.  Six days later, finally, it is complete.  Without buttons so perhaps you might say – almost complete.

Pattern:  Ring Master From Baby ‘V’ by Cabin Fever
Size:  0 – 3 mos
Yarn: Cotton Tweed  by Cabin Fever with scarps of stash yarn for the Fair Isle section.
Needles:  4mm

Close up of the Fir Isle section:
What I Learned:  How to do the Rice Stitch.  With my initial glance at   the pattern picture,  I thought this little sweater was knit in  Seed Stitch.  But in fact, it is  Rice Stitch – a simple, two-row repeat pattern.  When  worked flat, it is  K1tbl, P1 on row one, then Knit across row 2.

This little garment  is for my niece  who is making me a Great Aunt in October.  It has been fun, preparing a  little,  hand-knit wardrobe   for this new baby. Two sweaters, booties, blanket.  What will be next?  Hope the baby likes hand knits. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Baby Blanket

Grand kids keep a person busy.  They arrived on June 22 - their French Northern Ontario school quits a week earlier in June, and goes back a week earlier at the end of the summer. 

Since then, we have taken in a Blue Jays  game, a trip to the Bass Pro store,  studied for and taken two boat license exams, a girls' shopping day for Abi and I, watched the Canada Day parade from a branch in a tree along main street, visited the Elmvale Zoo and had Chinese food for dinner at the Crystal Buffet.  Not to mention numerous swims in the neighbours pool.  Needless to say there hasn't been much knitting.

But I did manage to complete & control the baby blanket.  Marie's suggestion to crochet a chain over my much-too- holey holes worked wonders.  The trim went on easily and  the blanket is now gift  worthy.

Yarn:  Bernat Softee
Knit on the machine at tension dial 4.
What I learned:  I need to practise machine short rowing .

My only complaint now is that the blanket seems to stretch on the diagonal.  This means some fussing is required when laying it out to make it lie smoothly.  But since baby will destroy smooth in seconds, it is not an important  issue.  

The colour choices are great - excuse my modesty - bright and cheerful for a baby.  All in all a great baby blanket which I would remake in a minute should any more relatives present me with a baby.