Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Two quick things ....

Thing the first:

The amazing Abigail has another new dish cloth pattern -- the Pinwheel! Yet more fun with short rows. It's a quick and easy knit, and the pattern is clear and well written. And quick. Did I say that?

Thing the second:

I closed my eyes and reached into the stash to pull out some yarn for my June socks. This is what my hands touched first.

Recalling my last not-completely-satisfactory experience with Spunky sport in the same dye lot but two separate hanks, I quickly wound it into balls to get a better look at it.

Any quick thoughts?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

SAM3 - May done!

Regia 4-ply Tweed in Colour No. 52.

It's totally smokin' in the Smokin' Socks pattern, designed by the amazingly creative Anne.

Knit as writ, in the 72-stitch version, except I put in a flap heel instead of a short-row, 'cause I wanted more of the pattern to show on the foot and when I do a short-row heel I have to use two-thirds of the stitches in order to make then fit. And also 'cause I'm sometimes ornery that way. The pattern could easily be adjusted to have the smoke rising in different directions on each foot, but I left them the same.

If I were the type to wax poetic, I'd go on and on about how the little tweedy bits float through the rising wafts ... I'll spare you that, though.

Except they are pretty darn cool.

Unstretched, on the right, the pattern just about looks like cables. On the blocker, on the left, it's a curling, spiralling rib that hugs the leg.

An easy-peasey pattern that I'm sure I'll do again. Thanks, Anne, for another great pattern!

In the Other News Department: From some of the comments in my last past, you'd think none of you had ever received a nail in the mail before.

Of course this was a special nail. Here's the flip side.

I'm just wondering what they replaced all the nails with ... Crazy Glue?

Friday, May 25, 2007

ISE4 - Scarf received!

Q: What's brown and blue and green all over?

Q: What's full of gorgeous little squares that go on forever?

Q: What's soft and warm and cushy-cuddley?

A: The fantastic garterlac Kureyon scarf that Kim sent me for the International Scarf Exchange!

In my semi-caffeinated state, I forgot to take a picture of the other goodies Kim sent. They included an extra skein of yarn so I can make a matching hat !!!, some yummy taffys, a mug and some coffee (which I should have drank so I wouldn't have forgotten - LOL!), some postcards and a fridge magnet ... and a nail and a yo-yo!! All very cool, and I am muchly pleased. Thanks so much, Kim! I hope the scarf you receive is as wonderful as the one you sent me.

Monday, May 21, 2007

ISE4 - Done!

It's been knit and purled, cat hair picked out of it, Eucalanized and blocked, and finally, after 510 cable crossings, the red cabled scarf is done!

What's that you say? You only see 205 255 (Ooops!) cable crossings? That would be because --

-- the other 205 255 are on the reverse side.

It's the Reversible Scarf from Melissa Leapman's Cables Untangled, 5 balls of Luxury Alpaca. My partner wanted a scarf that was at least five feet long, and after the first ball I had ... 11 inches. A quick trip the yarn store revealed that, since this was a gift and there was a deadline, no more of this yarn in this dye lot was to be had. Much gnashing of teeth ensued. In the end, it turned out to be just over six feet long. Thank you, stretchy alpaca and the magic of blocking!

Mods I made: The pattern calls for worsted weight alpaca, which I could not find, so I used DK weight. To make up the extra width, I added one pattern repeat.

Mods I wish I made: I should have added half a repeat. As it is, it's truly reversible; each side starts with a knit section and ends with a purl section. I think I would prefer to have either a knit section or a purl section on each side. You know, so each side is either framed with an inny or an outy. :-)

I enjoyed this project very much, and if I do say so myself, the alapaca feels absolutely wonderful. I'd love to make one for myself ... but not in red. That colour has been close to impossible to capture with my crappy camera. It's not scarlet, not pink, but red.

In the Other News Department, I've been tagged several times for the random things meme that has overtaken blog-land recently. Thanks for thinking of me, but I respectfully decline. I have one of these:

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Continueing to continue

So, the red cables ... they continue.

About comments: That Lavendersheep, she's a smart one. It turns out that the new Blogger did NOT mess about with the ability to reply to comments and it actually works exactly the same as it did before. It also turns out that the new Blogger DID mess about with your settings. If your email address was public before, you've been reset to private. If you edit your profile and check off "show my email address," your email address will show up with the comment and restore reply-ability. Pass the word around, eh. I shall now return to my previous position: If there is no return address with the reply, that means you don't want one. If there is a return address, I'll use it. Thank you, Lavendersheep!

The red cables .... they continue to continue.

About the contest: About time I announced a winner, eh? Many of you correctly guessed that the knitted tube was a dying blank. Many of you suggested that it could be a neck or leg warmer for a giraffe, or a snake warmer, or a willy warmer. All cute ideas, but the one that made me laugh out loud was:

I’m rather certain “it” is a trunk warmer for a recently-widowed elephant. Such a comfort in trying times. Especially when one’s ankles tend not show off one’s socks to advantage.

Congratulations, blogless(?) Mike!

The red cables ... they continue to continue to continue.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

You Can't Get There from Here: A Rant

I sat down the other night to start knitting my scarf for the ISE -- the one on which I had already spent four and a half hours stringing 1,680 beads onto a skinny little piece of string. It's from a kit purchased at my LYS. The yarn and the beads were packaged together with a pattern pamphlet entitled "6 Scarves and a Shawl." It's put out by a Canadian company, so I was quite happy to find something with local flavour.

Before I bought it, I opened up the package to see what the patterns were like, etc. Most of them had fringe on the ends, which I thought looked kind of ratty, but one of them, the Charlotte, had beaded tassels instead. I thought that was a nice touch and would be something a little different, so that's the one that I planned on making.

According to the pattern, you first make a tassel for each end, and then you just knit away on the scarf until you run out of beads or yarn, attach the tassels to the ends and you're done. Very cool. After a bit of futzing around to figure out how to get the beads to lay nicely in the knitting, I was well on my way.

For each tassel, you knit a small band 10 stitches wide, with beads. You then make two loops in each stitch, with 70 beads in each loop. These loops then dangle and jangle and are generally very snazzy.

Knitting, beading, tasselling, looping -- much fun ensued. Until I finished stitch number 8, at which point I casually remarked to myself, "Hmm, this tassel feels kind of, well, heavy." I looked over at my remaining beads and, not so casually, commenced to curse. Let's see: 8 stitches with two loops each is 16 loops, each with 70 beads, means I've used 1120 beads, plus the ones in the band. Two more loops to go just on this tassel, which is another 280 beads, so over 1,400 beads in this one tassel. That leaves less than ... 280 ... beads for the other tassel and the entire scarf.

I must have done something wrong. I re-read the directions. Nope, I did it right. I look again at the remaining beads. Nope, they didn't magically reproduce while I was doing the math. I curse some more. I flip through the pamphlet looking for clues. And I found one. Page 6 of the pamphlet has a materials list. Most of the patterns call for 100 grams of #6 beads. My friend Charlotte? She needs 50 grams of #6 beads and 50 grams of #10 beads. Nowhere in the pattern directions does it mention different sizes of beads.


and also


Memo to Swallow Hill Creations Ltd.: If you package up a kit entitled "6 Scarves and a Shawl," you should include in the kit a note such as, "This kit contains the material required to make pattern A, B or C. If you wish to make patterns D, E, F or G, you will have to buy additional materials; please refer to materials list." If you were to do so, a gullible knitter would not purchase your kit and blithely attempt to make Pattern D. Also, upon a further and more careful perusal of your patterns, the second pattern in the booklet is Exactly the Same as the first pattern, but six stitches narrower. I don't think you can legitimately call that a separate pattern.

I do not have for you a picture of one humongous and heavy -- and rather expensive -- tassel. I ripped it so fast even my head spun. I again poured over the information I had for my swap partner. Even though she is in what I would consider to be a warmer climate, she has a lot of Very Nice wooly-type yarns. No evidence of lace or froufrou. Perhaps my first inclination of cuddly cables was in order after all. Enter Plan B.

In the Other News Department: The Knitters Tea Swap 3 -- go sign up!!

A Question: I've been hoping that Blogger would remedy the lack of return address on comments. It was there before, but in the new Blogger it isn't. It takes way too long to click around trying to find an address to reply, so I kind of gave up, but I like replying to comments. Are those of you who use Haloscan able to easily respond?