Friday, 26 October 2007

Not Quite A Smidge

It's not really a Smidge, which is the nickname given to the home-made Pidge look-alike on Ravelry. It doesn't have that zig-zaggy stitch that I swatched in that nasty green cotton. I am working on a Smidge that does use that stitch; but I find the double-kmitting slow.

But this IS a short scarf, held closed with two buttons.

The pattern I used is the one for a Multi-directional Diagonal Scarf, but only a fraction of a usual scarf length.

The yarn is Cleckheaton Vintage Hues. The colourway is 1268 - they don't seem to name the colourways, but citrus-and-grape seems about right.

The ball band says to use 6.5mm needles, but I used 5.5mm, as I wanted the garter stitch to close up a bit. With the two-colour strands of this yarn seen on the diagonal, it almost looks like linen stitch.

The finished length is 76cm/30 inches; width 11.5cm/4.5 inches.

I modified the cast-off (bind-off) end of the scarf to have a point or triangle end - I thought that looked better than just flat across.

I like this one.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Fifty First Dates Starts

Fifty First Dates Starts

Here I am doing real-time full-scale prototype paradigm modelling.

Or, if you’re a knitter, swatching.

The rust coloured wool shows rows of experimentation, trying different ways to get the right stitch pattern for a Pidge. I had come across this through Ravelry, where the home-made version has been nicknamed the Smidge.

They had worked out a stitch pattern that looked right, but it involved double-knitting. I had never done double-knitting, so I was looking for another way.

I didn’t find a satisfactory one.

I then started experimenting with the stitch pattern which did involve double-knitting. I wanted a particular look for the yarn, so I tried a sage-green cotton.

This was a Really Bad Idea.

Firstly, the yarn feels quite un-soft and stringy, so it’s not all that nice to knit with. (un-soft is not the same as ‘hard’)

Second, the cotton has no give at all, which makes it hard to knit.

Third, the ply is very pronounced, which makes it too easy to accidentally hook just a part of the yarn.

And lastly, because the ply is so obvious, it did not have the smooth, silky luxury look I wanted. The ply became more obvious knitted up than it looked on the ball.

I made about fifty first starts on this scarf. Well, maybe about eight. I now wish I had taken photos before I ripped back, but I was not in the mood for taking photos, I was more in the mood for chucking the lot on the bin and going out and kicking the cat for a while.*

I knit as far as you see, and then stopped. I haven’t ripped it yet. It’s just sitting there, reminding me how to do those stitches.

* No cats were hurt in the making of this post.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Wedge-y Might

The sooner I fall behind, the more time I have to catch up.

I am now so far behind with blogging, that I don’t think I’ll ever catch up.

If I write posts for August, then I’m not writing posts for October. So I get further and further behind.

I am having so much fun on Ravelry, I don’t have time to blog.

There, I found Charisa’s gorgeous Wedge Hat and just had to try it. I started knitting it straight away!

I'm sure I didn't get it quite right. For example, I didn't know what size circumference I was aiming for at the welt. "plate" sizes vary so much! I think I may have been a bit timid on that.

I liked the way the colours knit up in this yarn - Cleckheaton Vintage Hues . It didn't seem to knit up as bulky as the one Charisa used. (Wouldn’t have any idea where to get Zitron Turmaline in Australia!) The recommended needles for this yarn are 6.5mm; I used 4mm to get the firm texture, It's such a dense fabric now, it feels almost like it's been felted. That's good - it hides all the holes!

The welt doesn't seem to have the same "presence" of Charisa’s welt; I wasn't sure if that was due to the difference in yarn thickness, or if it should have been more than just one row of purl. Or if I didn't go back far enough with the stitch pick-up.

I've blocked the top of the hat by putting a plastic picnic plate up in there, given it a light misting of spray water, and just left the brim unblocked. I rested it upside down on a towel for a while - now it's sitting on edge in front of the woodfire. The photos were taken before I blocked it. It should look more wedgey once the blocking is done.

I made the band longer so I could fold it over to give a chunkier brim.

The circumference of the welt at rest (unplated!) is 73cm (29 inches); and my head circumference (where I place hat-brims) is 56.5 cm (22 inches). I wonder if there's a magic ratio of welt:head which will make this work the best?

I learnt a lot doing this project.

I love the hat; but sad to say, I don't think it suits my head shape.


Update: I popped a bigger plate up into the hat last night, spritzed a bit more, left it to dry.

The photos are now the post-blocking ones. The top sits a little flatter with the stitches distributed better.

Then today I wore the hat out into town, and got two complimentary comments/questions about it!

I may well change my mind about this hat not suiting me!

PS: If you're an Aussie, you may get the pun in the message title ;-}

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Fallen Into A Time-Sponge

Here are a couple more links to posts I'm catching up with for August.
It's a bit of a scarf-fest; all you experienced knitters can look away now.

Moebius neck warmer scarf, started and completed 16 Aug

An attempt at a Two Stripe Scarf 19/8

And another start on a different Two Stripe Scarf 11 21/8

And the "time-sponge"? I received my invite to Ravelry!

I'm just having so much fun, checking out all the projects, patterns and people.

I've already been having trouble finding time to knit and blog - how on earth am I going to find time to do that and Ravelry as well? I've already given up sleeping - what's next? Give up eating? (set up an intravenous drip???) . Give up work? (then I can't afford yarn - that would never do!)

I WILL get round to catching up. Eventually.

PS: You can find me on Ravelry as SusieM.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Catching Up With August

Well, I'm finally catching up with postings, and here's a batch for August. I'm about half-way through August now.

I've put links here as well, because clicking on "August" doesn't give post titles.

Swatching For Seashore
Beanie Bonanza
Salsa Scarf
Footnote To Beanie Bonanza
It's An Ill Wind ...
The Naked Teapot

more to follow as soon as I can ...