Thursday, March 29

Knitting clutter

I have a lot of knitting clutter. This picture is a good illustration

A second sock in progress, a sweater on the needles, a unique design that caught my eye but failed to grab my imagination.

Not just projects taking up space on the table or hanging out in the bathroom. I have projects that are tucked away in dresser drawers, bags in the closet, the basket in the hallway. And then there are the projects I haven't started yet but think about as I drift off to sleep.

I started a new shawl with yarn I bought in 2006. Here is the yarn as I blogged back then

I was shocked that people could knit with thread.

And here is when I thought the yarn would become Icarus:

Phew - that was a project over my head. I had a lot to learn about stitch markers.

Now I want to make the yarn into Bridgewater.

I thought I would spend a little time at night knitting a row or two, just like reading a chapter before turning out the light. But it became compelling. Knit on the diagonal, the first half of the middle square is an increase at the beginning of each row. I zipped to 75 stitches and then had to concentrate on increasing on up to 204 stitches. Golf season has helped.

Now I am in the decrease half and it seems to be taking forever to decrease the last 95 stitches. This has given me some time to think about the project. I took advise from my knitting group, KKP. We all agreed I don't have enough yarn for 5 repeats of the horseshoe lace trim over 450+ stitches and then the perpendicular final trim over 450+ rows. I bought some more on Ravelry.

It's hermetically sealed merino laceweight!

So my stashbusting project has grown my clutter but cleared my mind. Now I dream of blocking a finished shawl and feeling it around my neck.

P.S. This is not clutter but a work of art by blueroompottery on I got my Christmas present from DD#1 on St. Patrick's Day.

Saturday, March 10

Useful knitting

More of my family than my just husband is uninterested in handknits. DD#2 has always looked at what I knit with suspicion, wondering how the object would embarrass her. She's now an adult and in charge of what she wears and since every knitter's frustration is that a handknit gift would go unappreciated and stored in the closet, I don't knit for her.

So once again, surprised by the nonimpressionable, I cast-on for a special request.



Started and finished during our visit in Pittsburgh so this is DD#2's stove.

Started in Pittsburgh, knitted across PA, OH, and IN but finished in Chicago.

After about 9 washes:

Picture taken on our home stove but I would bet all grates are very similar in size. This potholder shrunk a little width but not much in length.

This one didn't shrink so much as condense into a nice square. Once it hit it's critical point of felting, the knitting felted to a very dense potholder.

Both together.

Universal Yarn, bought on our visit at Natural Stitches, a LYS I accidentally found when we took DD#2 shopping for a broom. Size 10 needle, double-stranded. I've read that felting projects should be made on even larger needles so there is space across the stitches for the yarn to agitate against itself at the structure level so if I make more potholders, I'll move up.

Natural Stitches has a really nice, wide range of wool but I went for the $6, made in Turkey stuff. I wonder if a more expensive yarn (Cascade 220, Brown Sheep) would have felted more easily. That seems counter intuitive. Pay a lot for yarn that turns out to have little tolerance for washing mistakes; spend less on yarn and have to keep beating it up to felt. Perpetuates the good fortune of the uninitiated.

As I am duty bound to contribute to the economic health of every LYS I visit, I also bought Addi Lace needles in size 4 and 6. Though I don't seem to have won the monthly drawing, boo.

I felt my projects in a load with regular laundry. Some loads might allow more churning than others; I haven't examined this detail, since there is always laundry to be done and my projects don't usually have a firm deadline. DD#2 has her current supply of dish towels to protect her hands from the hot pans until I get these in the mail.

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