I got a lot done on my moebius cowl waiting in the Detroit Metro airport for my flight back home after Christmas, but discovered a knot in the yarn just before the end. Since I hadn’t packed a tapestry needle, figuring that I’d just weave in the ends when I got home, I didn’t have a good way to join the yarn. I’ve recently discovered a method described in (I think) Wendy Johnson’s book Wendy Knits Lace. I checked it out from my local library a couple of weeks ago, and don’t have it in my apartment any longer, so I’m not suree. Further bulletins as events warrant.
Whatever the publication, the method is to thread a tapestry needle with the yarn tail, and then turn the needle back and weave it through the yarn, starting a couple of inches back from the cut end. When you pull the yarn through, you end up with a loop. Then, thread the new yarn through the tapestry needle, pass it through the loop in the yarn tail, and weave it back and forth through itself just like the first. You can then tighten up the loops and smooth out the woven ends. There will be a thicker portion in the yarn, but a small adjustment in tension evens out the gauge and the join is very strong.
I wove in the ends this afternoon, and finished the cowl. I love the shape. The middle row, which is actually the provisional cast on, has a bit of a strange look to it, but it’s actually less noticeable in real life than it is in this picture.
I just finished a third cowl from the GAP-tastic Cowl pattern. I’m liking the Wool-Ease yarn, and I hope it holds up well in the wash.
Now, I’m working on a moebius cowl in the same stitch, with the same number of stitches cast on initially, but using Cat Bordhi’s Intro to Moebius Knitting cast on from Youtube. I had a skein each of the reds that I used for the first two cowls left over, so this is what I’m going to do with them.
Last but not least, I picked up two coat patterns at JoAnn’s New Year’s sale, McCall’s 5759 and Vogue 8346. (I also picked up two dress/top patterns. More on that later.)
I have this delightful dilemma where my pattern size is a 12 at the bust, 10 at the waist, and 14 at the hips. I don’t know if you’re aware, but it is exceedingly rare to find those three sizes in one envelope. On top of this, my shoulders are wide and either my shoulder blades stick out or my shoulders slope slightly forward.
I’m going to be making view B from the Vogue pattern. I’ve gotten pretty good at altering things, but I’m definitely going to be spending some time on the muslin for this. It seems pretty tailored, so getting it right is pretty important.
Now I get to find my fabric. Current choices include camel wool, red and black wool, cranberry plaid wool, and grey and black wool, all from Denver Fabrics.
I knit up two last minute Christmas gifts in Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick using the very simple GAP-tastic Cowl Pattern from Ravelry. It’s not actually designed for this weight of Wool-Ease, but I cast on the recommended number of stitches and knit for the whole two skeins of yarn, and the cowls turned out huge and warm. Plus I was able to make both in two days, even with shopping and dance classes and family dinners and visits thrown in. I think working through the entire fifth season of the new Doctor Who with my parents helped.
(As a quick aside, that black and white table in the second photo is my great-grandmother’s enamel kitchen table where my grandmother and mother both learned how to make pie crust.)
I also made a good start on my fuzzy pants. The fisherman’s rib pattern is super thick and fluffy, and progress is slow, but they’re getting easier now that I’m several rows away from the cast on edge. The trick that I’ve found with the woolly nylon is that you have to pull out a good length of it with the yarn so the strands stick together and the tension doesn’t get uneven between the two strands that you’re knitting with.
I also pulled out the old sewing machine to stitch the elastics on a couple of pairs of ballet shoes (flats, not pointe shoes), picked up some purple felt for knitting needle cases, and made pie.
My next big project is to start thinking seriously about making a new wool coat to replace my L.L.Bean pea coat which is in its 11th winter right now. I love that wool coat. I’ve re-stitched the buttons several times, run it through the washing machine, shoved it in suitcases and dance bags, and worn it over both light layers and the hugest sweater known to man. I’d like to make something like it, since it’s such a flattering shape and fit, but I want something with a bit more neck coverage. I could just make a pattern from it, but McCall and Vogue patterns are both super on sale starting tomorrow at JoAnn, so I’ll probably pick up one or two new patterns and put something together using a combination of all the best attributes. I like McCall 5525 and Vogue 8346.
I should preface this by saying that my family observes/celebrates the Twelve Days of Christmas, so it’s still Christmas at my parents’ house.
Yesterday, my mom told me that for Christmas she wants a “gigantic” (three wraps at least) cowl, made with some of the “really skinny stuff.” (My mother is not a knitter. She was talking about the Lion Microspun we saw at JoAnn the other day.) And she wants an “interesting” stitch pattern, like the honeycomb cable stitch that requires every single two stitches to be cabled every other row. I told her that would take forever. She said that that’s why she’s telling me now, so I have time to make it for next Christmas.
I think I really ought to have cast on an extra repeat or two, because it’s a bit narrow, although my initial math was correct and it’s the intended 15″ around. I ended up with 3.5 repeats of the cable chart to bring it up to length, and it works well with my funnel neck black wool dress coat.
I loosened up my tension on the cast off ribbing, and cast off with a super stretchy bind off (k2tog tbl, slip to left needle, repeat). Now, I have a slightly wider edge that lies over my collarbone and fills in the neck of my coat, and a narrower edge that stays up when I pull it over my jaw. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. Really, I just noticed that the bind off was loose a quarter of the way through, and the yarn was just so split prone that I couldn’t stand the thought of ripping it back and doing it again.
The whole thing took 3/4 of my 90.5 g (labeled as 100 g) skein of Kertzer On Your Toes Bamboo, so I have about 115 g left. That should be enough for a nice pair of gloves or fingerless gloves.
Now to swatch the beautiful Knit Picks yarns that came in the mail yesterday…
I’ve made a bit more progress on my Cornflower Cowl, and I think it’s looking pretty good so far. I cast on 144 stitches instead of 112, since my yarn knits up at 28 sts per 4″ instead of the 22 sts per 4″ of the recommended yarn. I’ll also have to knit longer to make it proportional, but I think I’m nearly 2/3 of the way there.
I just love the planning process of a new knitting project. I get really excited at the prospect of researching on Ravelry and other sites to find the best yarn and pattern, and then tweaking the instructions to fit my measurements. Then I gather everything that I need, cast on, and leave it sitting out for months.
I have bins and bins worth of yarn sitting in my apartment. That’s not so unusual for a knitter, but the number of unfinished projects mixed in with the yarn is truly amazing. I have 1″ worth of a laptop case that I started 2 years ago when the laptop that I’m writing on was new. I have 2″ worth of gloves that I started for my mom last Christmas. I have swatches of lace patterns and leafy edgings. I have single mittens and foot-long proto-scarves. It’s appalling, and a real drain on the number of needles I have available for a new project.
So, when I bought two skeins of S.R.Kertzer On Your Toes Bamboo many months ago, I didn’t start a new project with it. I know it’s not the most expensive yarn in the world, but it was a splurge, and it’s delightfully soft, and I didn’t want to waste it on something that would sit on the needles for months before getting frogged when I’d finally forgotten what the original pattern was.
But on November 21, I found Karen Scott’s beautiful Cornflower Cowl on Ravelry and decided that those feminine cables were perfect for my yarn. I cast on, and now, a mere 2 weeks later, I’m halfway done.
Of course I’m already planning my next project(s). I need to come up with something to do with the ~1800 yds of 2-ply laceweight alpaca I have, and I ordered some KnitPicks Stroll Sock Yarn in black for a pair of warm up pants/knit tights for dance and Wool of the Andes Worsted in blackberry for some warm up socks to go over pointe shoes. Let’s hope I get the cowl done before those arrive in the mail!