Tag Archives: poncho

A poncho in a weekend, no week, no week and a half…

I was itching to finish something (something knitted something), but my unfinished somethings all need a good amount of time yet, and the effects of the Rosa’s Caponcho kool-aid I drank last fall (and decided to rip) hadn’t worn off yet.

The long Easter weekend had no holiday and associated obligations for me, and the weather’s been shitty, so I cast on the poncho the Thursday night before thinking I might just be able to finish it by the end of the weekend. And I could have if I knit for more hours than just the evenings and one afternoon for a bit, but instead, I sort of finished it in a week. Not finished, exactly – started the bind-off the following Thursday and then found it was too stretchy, and I would have liked another row in garter, and I was going to run out of yarn for the bind-off anyway, and I should have gone down to smaller needles for the garter portion, then bigger needles for the bind-off but not too stretchy of a bind-off, the regular kind whose name I don’t know and that can be too tight but sometimes you need a little less stretch, and I’m really not sure if the thing is long enough as it is because I never stopped to take off the needles or on to another set to try it on and I didn’t love that the gauge was so loose, at least in partsssss……….

So I almost finished it in a week, then unknit the cast-off I began on Thursday, ignored it on Friday, tried it on on Saturday, deemed it a very good cozy thing, finished un-knitting it – took it up another row or two (I didn’t keep track, damn me) so I’d have another row of garter, and started a few stitches of garter to remind myself it should be smooth sailing from here on out and maybe I could finish by the end of the weekend?

But that was Saturday night.

But it was finished (though still needs to be blocked) courtesy of the plumber opening up some knitting time on Monday.

As a practical wearable woolly thing, it is perfect – cozy as all get-out – perfect for shoulder seasons, perfect for sitting around indoors and out.

But again I’ve made something that looks like a souvenir from a 1990s gap year in Central/South America. Not that that is a bad thing by any means, it just doesn’t look handmade by me, or a not-quite-handmade where did you buy that because a lot of commercial knits have a handmade aesthetic now? On the one hand it is utterly boring stripes, easy mindless chunks dark to light, or light to dark if you’re flat on your back, and I should have done something more creative, inventive, unique, and…. hip? It is utterly not hip. But I don’t like hip. But I’m feeling a bit frumpy. But is it frumpy? But I don’t care.

And there’s always the option to wear it sideways.

I like options.

The sheep geek (not geeking sheep) in me likes that this is all Jacob wool, and I’d like to think that most of it came off of one sheep, but of course, it didn’t. The bulk of it was roving from Jenny Jump farm and it is gorgeous – soft but structured – the rest was an ounce or two of not very nice stuff (more about the spin here). And oddly, my spinning varied much more than I’d thought between the colors. My favorites where the darkest and second darkest, and by far they were the best spins. The white sucks – I hadn’t gotten chain plying down by then yet and it is overspun. The spinning on second lightest is much better, but for whatever reason, this was much thinner than all of the other colors… no specific reason for that…?

Also there was more white than dark, but the dark part is vast – and that’s obvious because the rows were short for most of it, but I still thought the white would have a tiny bit more than it did, but not an issue, just a mild huh…

So the details:

Quad-colored Jacob roving, separated by color, chain plied to a bulkyish weight, roughly 528 yards.

Dark ~166 yards, medium dark ~82 yards, medium light ~110 yards, light ~170 yards.

Stretchy cast on 70 (might have miscounted and it was 69) stitches

4 plain knitting rows on US 10 needles, then 3 repeats of the 2 row pattern, 2 repeats on US 10.5, 7 repeats on US 11, then roughly 30 repeats on US 13 – this is the part I lost track of since I ripped back a bit, then three ribs of garter on US 11 needles, bind-off in traditional one over the other way with a US 13 in my right hand.

Then done.

I’ll bother blocking it when it needs its first wash – I’m slightly concerned about it stretching out since the gauge is a bit too loose, but a couple more inches is fine – more than that and I might have to felt slightly or take it up a few rows – or knit another…?

I might just have to knit another anyway…

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under knitting, spinning

Second things sometime need a little attention too…

…a sequel to In praise of first things.

Years and years ago, after I made a few more garter stitch scarves for friends and family, and falling just as hard for knitting with wool as I did for alpaca, not to mention all of the other fibrous beasts, came what seemed at the time, a very massive project.

firsthingsshawlfront

Yet I did not stray from my comfortable garter stitch.  I may have started this as a poncho, or at least a shawl, but I don’t remember now, except that I didn’t have a pattern and I was afraid of them then.  But ponchos were popular then, and then weren’t, and maybe they came back, I don’t know?  Originally it was just going to be solid charcoal, though I ran out of yarn before it was a good length to wrap.  Then something happened at the Brown Sheep/Lamb’s Pride mill?  A fire?  I can’t remember that either, but for a year, or years, worsted weight yarn in deep charcoal wasn’t available.  When a new LYS opened in my old neighborhood, I bought four skeins (including a deep charcoal) in bulky weight.  I got the only four colors available that weren’t some ghastly shade of pink or pastel blue (but I kind of liked the pastel sage).  I didn’t really think about (or know?) the difference in yarn weights either, but ploughed through to the end, or enough of an end when I ran out of yarn again.

firstthingsshawlbackIt too has a beautiful drape.

The bulky striped end is thick and especially warm.  We use this most as a throw blanket lengthwise, with the bulky end wrapping shroud-like whichever is the colder end of the body.

I’m tempted to frog this once in awhile to get to the sweater’s worth of yarn, but it is the best way to stay warm when supine and corpse-like in the dead of winter.

2 Comments

Filed under home decor, knitting