Tag Archives: stripes

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

Hitching dragons

I finished up my second Hitchhiker scarf out of my handspun “Dragon Days” mixed BFL from Pigeonroof Studios.

PRS-dragons-beach1

You might think it’s just like my other one.

Mimsyhiker & acquedotto

And they are close, but the new one is more green, more intensely hued, and I spun it a little too thin, so the gauge is half the size of the other – or is it twice the size?

PRS-Draghitch1

I made it for a gift, but I was reeeaaaaally tempted to swap it out for my old one.

PRS-dragons-beach2

The colors are iridescent and change depending on the light, though sunlight is my favorite because it is at its greenest best then.

PRS-Draghitch5

I love the striping from the spun singles.

PRS-Draghitch4

And the size is good too – bigger than my other one.

PRS-dragons-beach3

I’ve got a few more gift knits to complete in the next month or two, so I’m going to continue to be busy with unselfish knitting for a bit (I’m not counting the selfish spinning) but there just might be a startitis explosion soon after though…

2 Comments

Filed under knitting, spinning

Caaaaashmeeeeere…

I had a huge thrifting score a few weeks ago.

I hadn’t been shopping for months because I’m too broke now even for thrift stores, and I already have a decent stash of wearables, frogables, and feltables.  But I needed just a few more things to complete or begin a few more things.

Thriftscore-cashcardi-grey

While there I found my sweater Shangri-La.

I can’t understand why someone would get rid of this: 100% cashmere, a nice shade of grey, and no issues apart from a few easily removed pills on one side where someone probably carried her purse.

Yes, it’s baggy and shapeless, but holy hell, it is utter bliss to wear.  It’s perfect for sleepwear or just lounging about too, so why would someone get rid of it?  Even if you lost a ton of weight, it still feels nice to wear, so unless you gained a ton, like an actual ton, or died, I see no reason to be rid of this.

I’m not the sort of shameful woman who does happy dances and squeals and all those sorts of public behaviors that continue to set women back decades, but this was one of the few times I came close as I cracked a faint but noticeable half-smile when I found it and hurriedly shoved it securely down into my cart.

And for $5.99 on the half-off day – it was only $2.99!!!

Thriftscore-cashcardi-grey-det

This also solves my need for a new long thin sweater, though I’m still planning on knitting one eventually.

I picked up another one to wear too – merino & cashmere, in perfect condition, also quite cheap.  The tag said it was from Fall 2004, so perhaps someone thought 10 years of ownership was enough?   The tag also emphatically stated DRY CLEAN ONLY, but it survived and flourished in its sudsy watery bath.

Thriftscore-stripeyT

And even more cashmere!!!

Thriftscore-cashpile

Most of these have some sort of damage or kill-worthy preppyness, so they will be harvested for their yarn or turned into linings for hats and such.

And I found a few sweaters made with good sturdy wool or wool/nylon blends in colors I like which will be harvested for their yarn as well.  The one on top is another (misshapen and holey) Shetland – I think I have enough Shetland sweaters to harvest an interesting palette of yarn now.  I was intending to make a big Hap shawl out of them, but I love the vintage spencer dresses seen here and here and here and would love to make something similar at some point.

Thriftscore-woolypile

I’m looking forward to making something out of the stripey one on the left too, perhaps along the lines of the scarf I made last year from recycled stripey sweater yarn.

stripey 007 - Copy

And it has already been reduced to a pile of lovely squiggles.

stripey 023 - Copy

Then a tower (what were you thinking?) of yarn cakes.

Leave a comment

Filed under collecting, knitting, recycling, thrifting

Tin, tin, tins…

I love old tins.

I love finding them and I love storing things in them and I especially love finding them with things already in them.

Old tings-zippers

This one is from my childhood home – it looks old timey, but was from the 1970s or ’80s… which sadly, might in fact be old timey to some.

I don’t remember the marshmallows, but I like marshmallows.

It is perfect for the storage of zippers and various purse/bag hardware.

Old things-needles

This was a lucky thrift store find of a tin with something in it – mostly needles and a lovely bent-to-fit sterling thimble.  I use the needles from time to time but get pissed when I don’t realize I have a rusty one until it leaves a mark in my fabric.

Old things-needles close

Also inside are some nice bone tapestry needles – I think?  And a “Tyton” tool at the bottom.  Anybody know what that is?  All I get is a Polish football (soccer) player.

Old things-spools

This tin came from a thrift store and was probably $ .50 or less.  I think I bought it when I only had $ .50 in my pocket.  It previously held fruitcake from New Orleans.  I thought you got sh*tfaced in New Orleans, not hang around and eat hard cake.  But I guess you have to “feed” fruitcake with brandy or rum or something…. that could explain it.

Old things-spools-close

But the loveliness inside is my collection of vintage thread.  I got the thread way back when at my old favorite thrift store in a dusty old bag (perhaps once actually belonging to a dusty old bag of another sort).  One day I may frame some of these in a shadow box of some sort, but I do use a teensy bit of them from time to time since the colors are wonderful and often match my clothing in need of repair.  And good god, I love wooden spools.  I know it’s a waste of a tree but they serve so many purposes after their intended one and just look finely aged and patinated on their own.

Old things-floss

This is an estate sale find of a tin with something in it.  I was excited to find this small stash of embroidery floss until its horrid camphor odor assaulted my sniffer.  I got it anyway, cleaned and aired the tin, aired the floss, and thought it was good to go.  I added a few odds and ends of my own floss too.

Sadly, it still smells.

Tins - bon bons whole

And finally, the loveliest tin of them all, and the one I uncharacteristically paid the most for – I believe it was a whopping $12.

But $12 is no longer an insignificant amount of money to me, and I feel pressure to put something priceless and special inside of it instead of the tiny yarn balls and clippings currently in there.

Tins - bon bons

Maybe I should have a candy while I think about it.

2 Comments

Filed under home decor, recycling, sewing, thrifting

Of veggie weenies and small epiphanies

The growing season has ended for my mutant anthropomorphic vegetable friends.

carrotman

I think a mandrake got a bit randy in the carrot patch…

I’ve been struggling with that large quilt since the summer.

But no longer. 

Though I thankfully received some helpful suggestions on how to finish it in my limited workspace, I still didn’t want to deal with it.  But then I had a head-smacking moment when I realized it didn’t have to be a quilt.  I wanted it to be a functional bed covering to fully realize its concept, but it made no difference whether it was a quilt, or a coverlet, or a comforter, or a duvet cover.  I am loudly sighing with relief.  Though I also went to 13 stores (even thrifts) trying to find a cheap comforter that I could use as filler instead of spending an ungodly amount on 4 or 5 layers of high-loft batting and failed to find one in my budget.  So duvet cover it became out of thrift, necessity, and for the sake of my sanity.

Most of the other things I’ve been working on are finally coming together as well – it will be a welcome relief to stop thinking about the things I’ve been thinking about for the last few months.  So now I’m allowing myself to fall backwards into a bottomless [happy] pit of multiple projects.

My vacation knitting socks are further along, and might even conclude by the end of the year.

nostalgiasockmonster

I’ve gathered some acorns to use as dye (still no luck finding a tree infested with galls).

acorns

While I was in the woods, I saw several really cool vine yarns.

woods-vines

And I’ve started a couple of gifts for upcoming birthdays and holidays.

strelka-start

But thankfully I do not fully participate in most holidays apart from cooking and eating (mostly just the eating) so I have none of the pressure that others do to complete x projects in x time for people who might not want/like that hat, pair of socks, scarf, pillow, toy anyway.

As some may say, woot!

Or yippee!

Or hell yeah!

Or yee hah!

Or the excitement is so short-lived it will be over by the time I finish shouting.

Leave a comment

Filed under dyeing, hiking, knitting, quilts, sewing, thrifting