Sunday, June 27, 2010

If I Had a Million + Dollars

This is a question that comes up amongst friends sometimes.  What would you do if you won a huge amount of money?  I mean, what would you do, aside from sharing with family and giving to charity?  Would you buy enough yarn to fit a warehouse?  Have your fingernails painted a different color each day of the week?  Buy a Bentley?  

For me, I would travel a lot.  I'd probably have a second house in Southern Germany, a place that I miss more than I can express.  I'd buy Australian yarn in Australia, Peruvian yarn in Peru.  I'd go everywhere from north to south, from east to west.  I go where the music is, catching all my favorite bands and singers.  I'd have a massage every week.  I'd take classes in all the things that interest me, from making pysanka to cooking Italian food to photography to playing slide guitar. 

If I had a number one wish, I'd learn to play like Derek Trucks.  If I could achieve even 10% of his abilities, I'd be a happy person.  Check out this video from 3 years ago.  If you fast forward to 10:24, you'll see what I mean (even better if you enlarge to full screen mode).  I find it difficult to take my eyes off his hands and fingers on the strings.

I'd love to hear what you would do.  If you blog about it, let me know.  Pass it on.....!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My Prerogative

Okay, now that I've typed that title, I'm going to have the Bobby Brown song stuck in my head!

There are a lot of reasons for knitting a sweater instead of buying one - everything from entertainment to making things that suit only you, to having options to make changes.  Today I'm making changes.

Right from the beginning, I was hesitant about working the purl stitches on my Bohus sweater.  I liked the texture it gave the sweater, but I had a picture in my mind of a finished sweater with a smooth yoke.  However, I went ahead and worked the pattern as it was written.  I didn't mind for most of the chart, but as I got near the end, I was less and less content.  It just wasn't what I had in mind.  Maybe for the next Bohus (I'm betting that there will be another in my future) but not this time.

So, I ripped back to Row 1, slowly and carefully.  That was earlier today.  Tonight, I've just finished back up to row 17 and I'm much happier as it's the sweater that I had in mind. 

I guess the moral of the story is to listen to the little voice in your head.  If I had, I would be knitting long rows of the solid black body.  I'll get there, and hopefully will be pleased with the sweater

As Bobby Brown sings ♫ "it's my prerogative...." ♪

Update, Sunday morning:  I just completed Row 30 and I'm feeling the love for this project now.  It's not fun to rip and reknit, but I'm very glad that I did.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tropical Yarn

I'm destashing.  Really, I am.  But a yarn showed up in my mailbox yesterday and I won't apologize for buying it as it's just so darned pretty.

It's from Wolle's Yarn Creations, 100% cotton, 105 grams, 480 yards, approximately a light fingering weight.

This colorway is called "Tropical".  The beauty of this yarn, well one of the beauties, is that it gradually changes colors with only one repeat.  There are 4 unplied strands and if you enlarge the picture you can see them clearly. 

I expect that I'll make a shawl with this yarn, but I won't decide on a pattern for a while.  Until I finish up a few projects it will be sitting in plain view and admired.  Sometimes you just have to give in to temptation!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


My new project is underway.  It won't take more than a week or so and then I'll go back to working on my Bohus.  You might have guessed that it's a little sweater for my grandson, Braydon. 

The hard part about making something for a baby is deciding on size.  He is about 4-1/2 months old now and this will be a late fall/winter pullover.  Since he is a big boy, I've decided to make it about a 2-year-old size, approximately a 22" chest.  I'd much rather that it be too big so that he can grow into it.

One of my favorite stitches is the Shaker Rib, a variation on the fisherman rib or brioche stitch.  I remember buying a sweater with this stitch when I was a teen and I've never tired of this design, so that's what this one is going to be.  The sweater will be just one color, navy, and the shaker stitch will give the sweater a texture without needing to show a stitch pattern, as you would want to see with an aran, for example.

I started by casting on 62 stitches with 3.0 mm needles and doing 8 rows in 2x2 rib (K2, P2).  The yarn is Sirdar Snuggly DK. I wanted the ribbing at the bottom, cuffs and neck to be different than the ribbing of the sweater, to show separation between them.  Then, I switched to 3.5 mm needles and started the shaker rib:  every row is K1, P1, *K1b (knit one into the stitch below), P1 and repeating from the * to the end of the row.

I stretched my knitting a bit to open up the stitches so that you can see the stitch below.  Do you see that hole under the first stitch on the left-hand needle?  That's your destination.

Insert the right-hand needle into that hole and knit as you normally would, slipping the stitch off the needle.

That's all there is to it.  It makes a nice elongated, over-sized, squishy stitch which I find very satisfying.

The weather here in Denver has certainly changed.  We've got from high 90s to mid-50s and rain for this weekend.  I have no temptation to go the Estes Park Wool Market this year, which wraps up today.  I'm hoping to go next year and take along my friend, Ana.  Instead, I've got my knitting and will start watching the John Adams mini-series.  I hear that it's quite good.  It's an afternoon to relax.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New Project

I was shopping my stash recently and came across 4 balls of some navy blue yarn.  As you can see, this color doesn't photograph well.  Since I've decided to give the Bohus a bit of break, this will be the perfect baby project.

More details later.

It's going to be a short break as I'm going to get back to my Bohus in a few days now that I've decided what I want to do.  Thanks to everyone who sent me messages with their opinions.  I weighed all the options.

I've now ripped out the section that I didn't like.  I'm going to keep the rest that you saw in Tuesday's photo.  I'll stay with the 1x1 ribbing as it is more traditional. Hopefully it will look better, to my eye, when I reknit.  The colorwork will be finished soon and then it's onto miles (approximately) of plain black knitting.

Last time I mentioned that my Knit Picks circular needles were separating.  I want to clarify something.  It's not one of the interchangeable needles.  It's only size 2.5 mm/US #1 and it's supposed to be fixed.  It wasn't.  I tried to glue the metal casing and the cord back together, but it didn't work out.  As soon as I put glue on the metal part, it drizzled inside and then the cord wouldn't fit back in.  I trashed the needles.  Another set bites the dust.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

One Step Forward, Two + Steps Back

I've made a few false starts with my Large Lace Collar Bohus:
   (1) Cast on the required number of stitches and worked about 3/4 of the neck ribbing.  
   (2) Thought that the neckband would be too small, ripped it out and started again with 184 stitches.
   (3) Worked about half the ribbing and decided that I had been correct with the first attempt and started over, as in (1).

Then, onto the body:
   (A) Worked 30 rows of the colorwork and thought that my stranding was too tight and that the sweater was puckering.
   (B) Ripped it out and started again, being very, very careful to keep the stranding loose.
   (C) Found that the colorwork looked the same, so my stranding had been fine all along.  Continued to work and saw that the stranding was not puckering.  Any parts that I thought were too tight were actually the result of the knit and purl stitches which were resulting in a loose ribbed design.  The more rows I did, the better it looked.

Other obstacles along the way:
   (i) Doing the colorwork with 24" Addi lace circulars.  When I got to more than 300 stitches I wanted to move to the 32" circulars.  Couldn't find them.
   (ii) Got out my Knit Picks wooden needles which can't compare to the Addis, but they were the right length.  Moved the stitches to the wooden ne,edles, worked 30 to 40 stitches and the cord separated from the needle.  Had to pick up some teeny tiny stitches.  Succeeded.  This isn't my first problem with the Knit Picks needles separating.  The company has always been very good about replacing the faulty needles, but I feel that I've asked too many times.  I'm temped to part with them all, once and for all to avoid future irritation.  Since then I bought new 32" Addis.

Then the colorwork was almost finished.  Rows 60 out of 69 were done, but I didn't like one of the sections, so tonight I ripped back.  Matilda is being my spokesmodel so you can see how much is now on the needles.

Now I'm having a bit of a dilemma.  I checked out Ravelry to see other's versions of this sweater.  I saw a beautiful neck ribbing here, on surly's projects (sorry, you have to be a member of Ravelry to see this's free to join).  While I don't want to copy the neckband, I'm thinking of ripping back and doing something other than 1x1 ribbing.  I'll set the sweater aside for a day or two and think about it.  I don't mind reknitting if it means that I'm happy with the finished sweater.

Now, no laughing at how funny Matilda looks wearing just a yoke, even though she does look comical !!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cat Bordhi

About a month ago A Knitted Peace brought Cat Bordhi to town to teach a series of three workshops.  I was lucky enough to take the Saturday class, "Engineering New Stitch Patterns". 

I'd heard a lot about Cat and how much fun her classes are and she didn't disappoint.  She had small cards, about the size of playing cards, and handed out three to each knitter.  From these cards we were to come up with an idea of new stitch design.  My three were interesting in that one was an increase stitch but there was no matching decrease.  I worked on a triangular shawl pattern, starting at the point at the bottom.  My mind was challenged.  The idea was to think of "new stitch patterns by recombining the basic structural elements of knitting", according to the class description.

A friend that I haven't seen in a couple years came from Utah to take classes.  It was so nice to see Jan again, share some laughs, have lunch and get caught up.

It was a Saturday well-spent.