Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mostly Knitting Updates

It's been a busy weekend, so I guess I shouldn't be so surprised that it's Sunday evening already.

I made it in to work on Friday, the headache being more mild than it had been on Thursday. My boss had e-mailed that she would be working from home on Friday, so I wasn't expecting her, but somewhat to my surprise, no one else was in the office either. We don't generally get full turn-out on Fridays, but at least a few people are usually there. It was kind of funny, but nice to be able to talk to myself aloud, hum or whistle, etc.

Meanwhile, it's time for a knitting update, and specifically, knitting for my grandmother's upcoming 100th birthday. It's being productive, which is a good thing with a week left, eh? I have finished four small projects and am working on the fifth and (presumably) last.

First was the doily I made:

Second, I made her a cupcake cloth and embellished it with "100":
I tried adding her initials, too, but it didn't look good, so I decided to leave well enough alone.

Next, I made two versions of the same thing, a double-knit soap sack (and then I decided to re-do one, since it was slightly wonky). Double knitting is a cool technique where you knit both sides of an item at once, by knitting half the stitches as you go across a row, just slipping the others, then doing the opposite on the way back. It's pretty much magic, if you ask me.

It looks kind of normal.
But then, when it's big enough to hold your selected soap, you slip the stitches onto two needles, and voila, it opens!
Slide in the soap, put the stitches back as they were, and bind them off.
One cotton, one wool. I'm doing the wool one over, since it was slightly too big for the soap.
But aren't they cute? I hope she likes using them, too.

The last item took the longest, because although it's pretty simple, it's fingering yarn and thus takes more time (so, a week instead of a day). It also encountered an early setback, but it went well after that. The pattern is called Ditty Bag, as I thought she might be able to use a small bag for something or other. I'm using the yarn left from the shawl I made for her in January.
The setback happened after the row with the eyelets, which is for the drawstring. The pattern says that after that row, you just straight knit it all until it's as long as you want it to be, so that's what I started to do, but the eyelets are double yarn overs, and I was dubious about how they were looking in the following rows. They seemed to be laddering a little, and I wasn't happy with how they looked.
This was at stitch and bitch on Monday, and I put it aside. When I got home, I looked at some of the projects on Ravelry, and found a lifesaver of a note: "Figured out that although the pattern says to knit the round under the eyelet row, the second yarn over actually has to be purled." Ah-ha! I, too, think I learned that at one point, but I'd forgotten. I ripped back to that point, picked the stitches up again (ugh, fiddly little things) and did it that way. Perfect! I do know what I'm doing, some of the time! It's a nice little pattern, other than that oversight, and would make good purse knitting as, like a sock, it doesn't get big but does take time. The soap sacks I did in a total of three evenings, not many hours, but this is slower. Which is good, sometimes. I also love the way the picot hem looks, and it was surprisingly easy to do; fiddly, but not difficult. Things like this help my confidence when other projects (ahem, duck feet) have dented it.

The pattern does give instruction to make a cord, but I simply could not get that to work. The woman who came up with the pattern is a spinner, and perhaps she was transferring skills from that, skills I lack. Fortunately, I had this bit of ribbon that goes nicely; problem solved.

One thing I have to decide on, soon, is what project to bring with me to work on during the visit. Of course, I want something that's fairly "social knitting," that doesn't require close pattern-following. I also want it to be for me; I checked my projects on Ravelry to confirm, and other than socks, I haven't actually made much of anything for myself in a while, like a year, which is very un-me of me. [I do have two probably-for-me shawls that have been started and put aside for other things, so I may bring one of them, but I'll have to check how well they fit the social knitting criteria (I'm thinking not so much).] And I have so much fabulous yarn I'm dying to use! I really want to start something with the Briar Rose I got at Rhinebeck last year, but I'm having trouble deciding what to use it for. Unless inspiration strikes, I may go with the Maple Creek Farm Richmond yarn that I got with a pattern in mind; one of my friends bought some more because she had used it to make a little Kiri shawl, and she loved it; the pattern is pretty and she said the yarn was wearing like iron. So, that's a distinct possibility. I even wound the yarn and printed the pattern, in case.
Isn't it pretty? We'll see if that ends up being next. I wouldn't be surprised if I end up winding something else before we leave...


Blogger Mary Ellen said...

Lovely little knitted things! They all turned out so nice! And I am kicking myself for not getting some of the Maple Creek Farm yarn at Rhinebeck. I think I was on yarn overload by the time we got there, though.

8:12 PM, April 13, 2014  

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