Tuesday, August 28, 2007

FO: Boogie Time

I checked with the ladies at Stash and Burn said I could enter something in the one skein contest even if I started it before the contest began. (I finished it in the allotted time period.)

So I present, Boogie Time, a project I didn't get done in time for the Knitty Calendar Contest.

This used less than a skein. Waaaayy less than a skein. In fact, it took the leftovers from another one skein project.

I had a tiny bit of Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb in "Watercolor" leftover. This was very coveted yarn, and I wanted to make the most of it. I watch face was on sale at Joann.

I decided this was the time to finally learn Magic Loop.

Personally, I've used dpns from the beginning. In fact, I tend to use them when normal people use circulars. And my Mom agreed with me: all that extra cable? What's the point? But I wanted to challenge myself. So I got out some long circulars and some acrylic and tried it out.

I got the hang of it. I think I'll try it some more. It is good for hats, sleeves and other things that require changing to shorter needles.

(I think it would have been easier if I'd followed the directions and steamed the cables first.)

I was going to use magic loop for the whole thing, but I had trouble getting a good gauge....

So I switched back to dpns, because I didn't have the size I needed in circulars. (These are size 3 dpns. I know, my gauge is huge.)

So I completely changed the pattern because I was using a completely different gauge. And my wrists are so tiny. But I liked it, and I may make more for gifts.

And the best part....

There's still some leftover.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

One Skein Candidates

I'm really excited about the Stash and Burn One Skein Contest.

I started wondering if I had some good one skein candidate in my stash. Most of my single skeins are "dedicated" for something, or meant to be combined with something else.

As you can see, I had no reason to worry. And plenty of reasons to start logging stash on Ravelry.

Handmaiden Sea Silk - You saw this from Hill Country Weavers sale. Will I have time to make Lacewings before the September deadline?

Lorna's Laces Grace - What can you do with a single skein of loopy mohair? (For that matter, what do you do with any amount of loopy mohair?) I was originally going to combine with the tiny bit of Lion and Lamb left from my Moebius. What was I thinking? (I was thinking it was cheap.)

Lion Brand Color Waves - Originally intended for the Size 50 Throw but I ended up not using it.

Joann Sensations Splendor - Hmm..not online. I wonder if it's discontinued. I have one full and two partial skeins. The rules allow for the equivalent of one skein if you're mixing partials, or using really tiny skeins.

Katia Jamaica - Not quite a full skein, left over from my Cherry Bomb. There are some new knitters at Bluebonnet using it for dishcloths. I don't know if I can bring myself to do that with my precious Jamaica.

Dancing Fibers Serendipity - Speaking of partials, this is leftover from my Mardi Gras Scarf I was originally thinking hat, but it's kind of itchy. Maybe I'll felt something. Love the colors.

Robin Pascal's Superwash Merino - 300 yards of sockweight from the Lone Star State Knitters Christmas swap. Is this enough for one pair of socks?

RYC Wool Silk DK - Almost forgot this one. It's left over from my Knucks.

Claudia Handpainted Yarn (Sport Weight) - I swatched this a while back. A hat or something, maybe?

Feza Kid Mohair - This was purchased at the Knit n'Knibble at a sale ages ago. I have no idea what I was thinking. I think the lace weight scared me, so I bought it to challenge myself.

Joann Sensations Bellezza Collection Dolcetto - Sooooo soft! I may save these and combine them.

Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande - The lime was another Knit n' Knibble purchase. They asked me what I'd do with one skein. I said "probably a hat." The sad thing is, it's perfect for my next Knitty Submission, but that means I can't post it for the contest.

I also have a partial skein left from a Basketweave scarf I made for my uncle.

Caron Felt-It - I think the name says it all.

Berroco Ultra Alpaca - I bought these for Knucks, but ended up doing something else with it. However, when I saw them, it hit me - Center Square!

Plymouth Encore - I've saved this for ages for the Mike Nesmith hat I want to make.

Schaefer Anne - I bought this from Sandra Singh on the yarn crawl I went on. It's one of the one-of-a-kind "potluck" colors. I know Anne is sometimes considered a sock yarn, but with my loose gauge, I made need to knit some lace with it.

Yarn Bee Sweet Delight (Hobby Lobby's store brand) - I bought this on a whim because I loved the color. It's handwash though. But I'm thinking socks, maybe? Or mittens?

? - I bought it on eBay. Not sure why. It's 100% Wool.

Crystal Palace Party Ribbon - I know exactly what to make with this.

My yarn from the Hand Dyed Yarn Swap - I'm thinking Jaywalkers for me.

Schaefer Marjaana - I fell in love with it at Sandra Singh's just after it was discontinued. I didn't care much for the colorways she had, but I did snag one in Rosa Parks (right) and another on eBay in an unknown colorway. Still wish I could get it in something less neutral-ish. (Yes, I know it's back at Little Knits.)

BTW- Is it cheating to use worsted weight yarn in 550 yard skeins in a one skein contest?

Debbie Bliss Merino DK - Some more from the Knit n' Knibble sale. The 2 dark blue ones will be used together. Now the other three, I was originally going to use together. I don't know. We'll see.

Bernat Galaxy - There should be a waiting period before buying Walmart clearance yarn. It's ok, but what am I going to do with it?

Various "No Boundries" yarn from Walmart - See above.

These are leftovers from my (pathetic) No Sheep For You submission swatches. The top right is Mondial Splendid, the top left is Artful Yarns Fable and the bottom is the now discontinued Berroco Denim Silk I'm going to trade to Nicki.

Wool Ease ChunkyThis is a partial skein left over from a hat, I think.

Wow, that's a lot. And it's all on Ravelry now. I'm taking pattern suggestions. Please comment.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Blog Bits Saturday

Knitty is now a registered trademark.

Stash and Burn is holding a one skein project contest. See the blog for details.

The Sweet Sheep is starting a self-striping sock club.

I'm loving Grumperina's "Elegant Scarf."

Yarn Pr0n and Healthy Spine Socks are at Wendy Knits.

I've loved these socks since the beginning, even the colorway (which isn't normally the type of colorway I go for.) Now, Persistent Illusion has the finished product. (BTW - One summer, we learned all about the Bo Diddley beat in drum lessons. But that's another story.)

Speaking of Persistent Illusion, everyone is buzzing about Cat Bordhi's new book, but she saw her in person. (FYI - She also contributes her cast-on method to the book.)

Go see Spinal Cat's Knitty Calendar Contest entry. Her entry looks better than mine. Spinal Cat also spun some yarn from an interesting source.

I have to thank Needles for her shout out. And now I must try Zitron Loft.

Crocheted Crabs are awesome!

There's another contest at This Kitten Knits. Be sure to tell them Sally Comes Unraveled sent you.

Finally, Amy Singer and Knitgrrl are posting their Knitting Scout Badges. I'll have to put some up some soon.

Fitting and Happy Rejection

Before I do Saturday Blog Bits, I need to catch up on a couple of things.

For starters, is it just me, or does Cherry Bomb not fit as well as it used to?

Last Sunday was the first time I wore it since I washed it, and despite the careful blocking, it seemed...off. Were the short rows in the right place? Did it get stiffer with washing? Did I block it wrong?

I actually took it off, adjusted my bra, and put it back on. (I don't know if these pics were before or after I adjusted my bra.) I know, Big Girl Knits and everyone else is so big on finding a bra that fits. However, any bra that "fits" in the traditional sense is never very comfortable for me. I think I need to knit with my saggy boobs in mind.

Seriously, my breasts have always aged faster than I am. I got the bra in the fifth grade, stretch marks by the sixth grade and now they're drooping at age 27. And Mom will tell me if I didn't rip off my bra the second I got home, or if I had better fitting bras to start with, it wouldn't be happening. But I've accepted my grandma boobs a long time ago.

At any rate, I think adjusting the bra helped some, but maybe I just didn't notice the imperfections before.

And the way it gaps at the armholes seems new. Is it too big? Did I lose weight?...


At least the bottom doesn't curl as much.

In other news, I got a very nice rejection letter from Amy Singer at Knitty. And I'm not being sarcastic or sucking up. Maybe it's all in my mind, but I feel like my last design was really in the running. She said she really liked my style and that my pictures have improved. I'm getting closer.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Blog Bits Saturday

It's 1:18 p.m. - ish on Saturday. Do you know where your knitting is?

Time for blog bits:

Knit and Tonic has a cool lace scarf pattern up, and some very valid points on rolling scarves.

Grumperina finished her "underpants blanket."

Speaking of Grumperina, if you read about her bleeding yarn drama (and the follow up,) be sure to read the happy ending. The good people at Schaefer offered to replace her yarn, and assured her that they were well aware of the problem with that particular dye and fiber combo. They have discontinued Clara Barton in Andrea. Does anyone else thing it's ironic that the Clara Barton colorway bleeds bright red? (BTW - the problem seems to only be when Clara Barton is combined with Andrea, not the other yarns.)

f. pea talks about tags for handmade gifts. I tend to use giant slips of paper, but I may have to make some fancy ones like she does. Also, there's a pattern for a felted Elph case.

The Sweet Sheep is taking suggestions for incentives/discounts for its customers. Also, read about the "Knittin' Kitty.

Persistent Illusion tackles gauge and lace.

Speaking of lace, there's another masterpiece in the works at Knitspot.

There's bamboo, sock bags and enabling at Shut Up I'm Counting.

I'm horrified, but I can't look away from this bit of inspiration at Rosy Delights. I wish I knew where it came from and, why anyone would knit sweaters for dead sparrows.

Finally, get out your needles, it's a giant ball of twine!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Yarn Pr0n: I got my swap package!

I got my yarn for the Hand Dyed Yarn Swap yesterday (although I'm just now getting around to posting it.) It came in great shades of purple and white. I'm debating what pair of socks I'm going to knit with it. Is it time for Jaywalkers?

Sarah was my partner, and she was nice enough to include a mix CD with the yarn.

Meanwhile, I'm still untangling my yarn. Actually, that's kind of misleading. Entrelac was nice enough to invite me to her knitting group so she could work on untangling it for me. In fact, she actually took the skein home with her to continue working on it. So it might be a while, but I should be able send mine to Lady O before the deadline.

Cross-posted to The Hand Dyed Yarn Swap and Sally Comes Unraveled.

Monday, August 13, 2007

FO: My first Knitty submission - Purple Waves scarf

I was looking for more FOs to put on Ravelry when I cam across some early (circa 2005) Knitty submissions I made.

It's amazing how much I've grown as a knitter since then. I can clearly see why this was not "Knittyworthy." It's not all that interesting, the pictures aren't very good and borrowing from a Lion Brand pattern (credited or not) is not the same as borrowing from a Barbara Walker treasury. (BTW - I've noticed citing Barbara Walker stitch patterns in acceptable and somewhat common on Knitty.)

I decided to put this one out as a "freebie." Whether it's a "pattern" is debatable, but is still makes a nice little scarf.

I'm officially "citing" Lion Brand's "Catch the Wave" afghan as inspiration for this pattern. It's a free pattern, and I'm not getting any money off this (and it's a readily available free pattern) I'm going to go ahead and "publish" it.

So here it is, in original "Knitty" form:

Purple Waves
by Sally Villarreal

While I was home visiting my family in Texas, my friend and I visited a local yarn store. Since my home in Florida is a good hour and half away from a good yarn store, I wanted to buy something, but I didn't have a lot of money to spend. I settled for three hanks of Berroco Cotton Twist in varying shades of purple. Somewhere in between the yarn store and the time I arrived back home, I decided I wanted to make scarf with wavy stripes. After surfing the net I found a pattern for the “Catch the Wave” afghan on Lion Brand Yarn’s website. I converted the pattern to a scarf and Purple Waves was born.

Photos by Sally Villarreal

One Size Fits All

Length: 64 inches
Width: 2.75 inches


Berroco Cotton Twist [70% Mercerized Cotton, 30% Rayon ; 85yd/78m per 50g skein]
[A] 8342: Sweet Violet; 1 skein
[B] 8328: Amethyst; 1 skein
[C] 8327: Dowager; 1 skein

1 set US #7/4.5mm straight needles

Yarn Needle for weaving in ends, T-pins for blocking

16 sts/24 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch

For most of the scarf you will be repeating these two pattern rows over. and over again.
Row 1: k2, k2tog, k2, 2 kfb, k3,, sl1, k1, psso, k2
Row 2: k2, p11, k2

When complete, you will have 39 stripes. The A, B and C color pattern will repeat 13 times.


Cast on 15 sts in Color A.
Knit two rows
Then, repeat pattern rows 1 and 2 three times.
Change to Color B and work pattern rows 1 and 2 four times.
Change to Color C and work pattern rows 1 and 2 four times
Continue working pattern rows 1 and 2 four times and changing from Color A to Color B to Color C every 8 rows, until you have 39 stripes.
On the final stripe, in Color C, one work the two pattern rows 3 times, then knit the last two rows.
Bind Off.

Weave in the loose ends.
Block by using the T-pins to pin the scarf flat to a towel (You may need to put a couple of towels end to end to have enough length.) Spray with cool water and allow the scarf to dry overnight.

Sally Villarreal learned to knit and crochet from her mother in the third grade. She has been crocheting off and on since then, but recently picked up knitting for the first time in many years in January 2005.
Sally lives in Avon Park, Florida with her pet rabbit, Bunny Foo-Foo. She is a reporter for a local newspaper.

(FYI - I no longer live in Avon Park, but I thought it would be interesting to include my old "bio")

Sunday, August 12, 2007

It's supposed to look like that. (Yeah, that's the ticket.)

Ta Da!

Sort of.

I finished my first attempt at "handpainted" yarn with Kool Aid. (I have done a bit of dying with easter egg dye, but I used a different technique.)

At first I was relieved it wasn't a murky mess. Then I was disappointed that I had splatters and white spots instead of clean color repeats. But then it started to grow on me in a Jackson Pollock sort of way.

As I mentioned earlier, I had trouble finding the colors I wanted. I finally settled on Kool Aid in Lemon-Lime, Grape and Watermelon Cherry and Hawaiian Punch in Berry Blue Typhoon. this Knitty article was my guide. The yarn is Patons Merino Classic in "Aran."

Step One - Wash the yarn.

Step 0 - clean the sink.

Step 1 - Wash the yarn. I decided to use the baby shampoo because I didn't want the Lanolin in the Kookaburra to affect the dye.

While it soaked, I continued my other preparations.

I mixed four packs of each drink mix with about half a cup of water. It was really concentrated, but the directions said to only add a few tablespoons per package.

I went through a whole debate about covered the table and finally settled on trash bags and saran wrap. I was a little worried about fitting all four skeins on the table, but I decided it would be ok.

I used a turkey baster to apply the dye. The results were, well....

...splotchy with lots of white space. I was a little worried. Fortunately, I had bought 5 packets of each, but only (thought) I needed four. So I opened The others. Then I realized that the fifth Hawaiian Punch I bought was red, not blue. OK, so maybe just the blue would be splotchy.

So I mixed them, this time with more water. Then the dyes started to run. I did the best I could.

I pressed the yarn with my hands. Despite wrapping them in saran wrap, I still got my fingers all dark. But it made a big difference. It was time to cook it.

Funny story about the pot. I knew they used a steamer basket in the Knitty article. I thought a steamer basket rested at the top of the pot, not the bottom. Thinking I needed the extra room, I bought 4 pots and 4 baskets.

After trying to pull apart one of the baskets for 10 minutes, I realized that it had those little legs for a reason. I finally called my Mom and confirmed that, yes, they do sit at the bottom of the basket.

(And yes, I did get my money back at Walmart. Although the checker said "you want to return all this?" I had my receipt, and the tags and packaging were still in place. Needles to say, I didn't ring the bell for outstanding customer service.)

Anyway, when I put it all in the pot, I was worried because there seemed to be a lot of dribbling and mixing. At this point, I decided just to go for it. Maybe I was supposed to do just one skein at a time?

After "cooking" for about 45 minutes, I turned off the stove to let it cool. Despite the fact that it was Friday night, I decided I was tired and went to bed.

But first I had to clean up. Fortunately, I only had one "major" mishap. I don't know what possessed me to leave the towel under the plastic bags. Fortunately, it was (mostly) purple on purple, and I had plenty of Spray and Wash on hand. We'll see just how color fast this stuff really is.

The next morning, as I took the skeins out one by one, I was pleasantly surprised to see they hadn't blended into one murky shade of brownish-gray.

And it didn't run, as evidenced by my first rinse (it's pretty hard to see the water in the picture.)

However, I was concerned at the "milkiness" left behind. Did I use too much soap? Was this some strange residue from the pot? The drink mix? (The blue and pink seemed unusually milky."

Also, I noticed little crystals on the yarn (something I couldn't capture on my camera.) Did I not mix the dye enough?

After multiple rinsings, I gave up on the crystals. I've knit with recycled sari silk, so I can handle a bit of crystalization.

Finally, and hung it on hangers in my bathroom. It's now about a day and a half later, and they should be good to go tomorrow.

What have I learned?

- I need to tie the hanks tighter, and in more spots.

- I need to try to do less skeins at a time (particular squeezing them on the tab;e so then hang off the table, leaving white spots.)

- I have a lot to learn about handpainting yarn.

Finally, go see Stephanie's yarn. I think she did a much better job than I did.