Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Oh the weather outside is frightful

It's snowing!

Good thing I finished the gloves before the first snowfall. But I should save them as a just-in-case Christmas present. Oh well.

The colors in this 2nd photo taken outside in natural light are more accurate.

I'm not knitting for everyone in my family this Christmas, doing that for four years in a row is enough. My family is always very appreciative so it's not a thankless burden but I just didn't feel up to challenge this year. I might make some stationery/card sets, grandma and mom and my sister-in-law would love those and it'd only take a weekend of mad crafting to accomplish. I still want to knit mom a Fair Isle cardigan but I have yet to find or design a pattern that is worth the effort and time. Bleh. That and I'm feeling unreasonably lethargic lately so I'm pretty much useless for anything requiring actual brain power.

I'm currently making socks (are you surprised? ha-HA) with this pretty Trekking sock yarn. I can't decide which photo is better so you get to see both.

Next up are lined mittens for Dad's birthday present, using this soft and springy worsted dark blue wool and white angora yarn for the liner.

I found 2 skeins at a thrift shop, score

There won't be a patterned exterior, my Dad isn't a fancy kinda guy, but he'll appreciate the warmth and softness of the lining. I'll start with a provisional cast-on in the blue wool and do a couple rounds of K1P1 then do a purl turning round and continue the ribbed cuff. When the mitten is done I'll rescue the cast-on sts from the scrap yarn and knit a mitten inside with the angora yarn. Sounds like a plan! Gotta start swatching tonight.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Up for trade: Rowan Book 4

I might as well post this here too. I'm offering up for trade a Rowan pattern book, it's the #4 issue of their magazine from 1988. I live in the United States and will ship it anywhere.

Here's a page with all the details, including what I'm looking for and photos of some of the sweaters and jackets in the book:


You can comment here or email me directly: andrade (at) az (dot) com

I finished up the second Trekking glove last night and soaked both gloves in water and hair conditioner. They're still damp so I'll take photos when they're dry. I had this crazy idea to make blocking hands (like a cross between my sock blocking faux foot and flat wooden blocking hands) out of Fimo clay. Maybe someday I'll get around to using the old Fimo sitting in a drawer and give it a shot.

I had a dream last night that David Letterman co-wrote a knitting book (it evolved into a general crafting book as the dream went on) which is strange because this happened Saturday night, so it's not like I watched his show right before going to bed.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A glove and swatches and LYS reviews

Here's a glove made with Trekking sock yarn on size 0 needles (I switch to 000 after the top finger joint to help shape the top of the fingers without extra decrease rounds):

1993 called, it wants its plaid shirt back

It'd be a good idea to knit the mate before I forget what all the numbers scribbled down on paper mean. That's an asymmetric thumb gusset. It's my favorite because the increases are done on just one side (every other round) and the increase line is hidden under the thumb. Use M1R for the right hand increases and M1L for the left hand. Instructions for this gusset, and a few others, are in the Winter 2003 Interweave Knits.

detail of gusset on right glove palm

The IK Winter 2003 article on basic gloves is pretty good but the math formulas don't work for small gauges and they don't tell you to start the pinky finger a few rounds before the other fingers. Gloves fit better if the pinky has a head start. I work the pinky finger and then knit 1/2" more on the hand before starting the ring finger.

Swatchin' Time

(L to R): Nature Spun Sport, Dale Baby Ull, Nature Spun Sport

I swatched for the Ullared hat from Hats On! using Dale Baby Ull and Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport from the stash. I love working with the Baby Ull (which is fingering weight) but I prefer the high contrast between the Nature Spun pale blue and black. Also, the Baby Ull is so soft it should be used for a pair of gloves. The Baby Ull blue is not at all true in the photo, it's darker and prettier than it appears here.

New Yarn Shops

There are a couple new yarn shops in Bellingham. Marilyn's Yarn is on Northwest Ave (across the street from Yaeger's Sporting Goods). Northwest Handspun Yarns is on Commercial, three blocks from the downtown bus station.

Yesterday I stopped by Marilyn's Yarn for the first time and the workers left me alone for an entire hour. Some people are offended if they're ignored in shops but I prefer to browse in peace. Surely they would have helped me had I asked for help. (One employee was on the floor sorting through 100+ skeins of some type of Noro, looking for the last two skeins of a specific self-striping colorway for a customer.) Personally I can't stand it when people hover and ask what I want to make, what I'm looking for, etc. They have a pretty good selection of yarns, including several I haven't seen before, but no Dale Baby Ull or Brown Sheep Nature Spun fingering/sport and those were the only yarns I was looking for. There seemed to be a lot of novelty yarns but plenty of good staples too so it's not like the fluffy stuff was taking over. Prices seemed normal for a LYS.

Afterwards I walked to Hank & Bolt, a few blocks away, and was disappointed to see their selection of Baby Ull has shrunk to just a few colors. They probably weren't exactly thrilled about Marilyn's Yarn opening up down the street. That had to hurt.

Northwest Handspun Yarns opened a couple weeks ago so I stopped by on Saturday to check out their yarn. I was pleased to see their selection of Brown Sheep Superwash. I don't see the LP Superwash very often in yarn shops so I was happy to find it right here in Bellingham. The prices are inflated above the norm, no doubt to help cover the cost of renting downtown. This shop actually used to be located in another building downtown but it was hidden in a converted basement closet (really!) and they had very odd hours (open only one night a week) so it didn't exactly count as a LYS. Their new location has room for a lot more yarn and there's a second floor where people can sit and knit or spin. I'm not sure if college students will respond to the prices but the convenient location and hours (open 7 days a week) might win thrifty students over. Maybe they don't need college students to survive anyway.

Wow, I went to three yarn shops in the last week and didn't spend a dime! No, that's not true, I also went to Wool Station on Saturday and bought an Inox size 2 16" circular for the Ullared hat. I already have 16" circulars in every size from 3 to 10.5 so of course the hat needs a size 2.