Tag Archives: turn a square

March madness…

The last of the recent short series of hats is now off the needles and on a head.

turn a square on n

You can see the “seam” created by the jogless stripe technique outlined in the Turn a Square pattern – it’s barely noticeable when making more than three rows per color, but at two, it looks like one fat stitch, which is basically what it is…

Still, I think I mind it less than a jog, though I want N to wear it in the back of the hat or it will drive me bats…

turn a square in basket

His basket of handknits is also looking a bit drab – perhaps a more colorful scarf is needed…

And I’ll beat that dead horse about crazy weather – I’m sweating in the first week of March with temps in the low 80s and the yard is breaking out in blossoms nearly a month too soon…

But the weather feels like July when I first started spinning this superwash merino from Pigeonroof Studios for the 2015 Tour de Fleece…

PRS tree scum 3-ply

And it turned into a massive wipe-out, or rather detour, and I was in the wrong country, or another continent when I reached the finish line.

I’ve been wanting to spin for a specific purpose – start with a puff of wool and say I want it to become socks, and then I spin, and knit, and have a pair of socks.

I’ve sort of done that in the sense that I’ve managed to spin enough yarn at approximately the same weight to make something of it in the end, but I’ve failed on the last few sock attempts –  the last one was a bit too thick and not enough yards and this one is waaaaaay too thin and overspun.

I started spinning it slowly and somewhat gingerly, nursing some self-diagnosed tendonitis, and playing with my hand placement so I could switch it up if need be (that part I got down fairly well). Then the last few months of summer were too hot and humid to spin and I didn’t start back up again until a month or two ago, again only spinning for about 30 minutes per session to keep my meat and bones and sinew happy. And I spun, and I spun, and I spun faster, and faster, and harder and harder… And finally four ounces became nearly 600 yards of 3 ply near laceweight… It’s so smooth and tight it feels like silk, but it isn’t even remotely what I wanted for socks.

The last bit left on one of the bobbins – the last one spun most likely since it was nearly 100 more yards than the others, became a 2 ply from a center-pull ball. Since one of the plys is unspun a bit from the ball as it plys, the resulting yarn has a softer, fluffier hand and is thicker than the 3 ply.

PRS tree scum 2ply

Lesson learned.

In theory.

Since I’ve already “learned” this lesson too many times…

Since I don’t want to knit socks on tiny needles, this won’t be socks unless held doubled on the leg parts with commercial yarn feet. Instead it might be yet another neck thing – perhaps joined with that mossy green mohair

Next spinning project is going back to the basics and bulky, maybe super bulky…

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Hats n’at

fragile

The mood around here is still fragile as is the bulb for our UV water filter that thankfully arrived unscathed despite the mail carrier’s disregard of descriptions…

(Tick one more learned home routine maintenance task off the list and have an extra cookie for not paying a ridiculously inflated service fee… And pray to the water company that one day soon they’ll put in lines up here…)

early spring

Despite over two feet of snow and ice and more snow and gallons of rain within the last month, Spring has been determined and strong…

turnsquare-thickstripe

The hats are nearly all done – and all done with Cascade 220 superwash scraps, a yarn which I’ll no longer buy now that it is manufactured in China, but I’ve yet to find a suitable replacement – something soft, comes in a array of colors, washable, and reasonably priced…

redbubble-bag

And lest you forget my Redbubble shop (I did) but after over a year, I finally sold one floor sander sticker and was reminded of it. But I won’t get paid for said sticker until I earn at least $20. Curious about the quality of their products, I finally ordered my own tote in the veggie weenie series (it’s the medium size 16″ x 16″).

redbubble-bag detail

And it’s a good thing – not great, but useful and much better quality than those 99 cent weird fabric-ish grocery bags, though not as sturdy as canvas, but very lightweight. It’s a woven poly lined in a poly that at first glance I thought was cotton… The photo is somewhat soft and abstracted this large, but perhaps less titillating for it which could be good if easily embarrassed, but then again, it’s just a carrot for chrissakes. They’re made in USA, but I don’t know the fabric origin, nor much of anything about the company, so I’m not going to crow about it too much. But I like it for carrying packages to the post office and it’s held up well so far.

I’ll probably shut this shop down in a bit though – kinda pointless to keep it up since it was mostly a gag to begin with…

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Clicking and sticking

I’m in a particularly stressful period that began in November and should end in a few more weeks. Then an even more stressful time might follow. Or it might not. Or it might be something else entirely in some other maddening form.

Who knows.

But I’ve been foggy, as has been the weather, bringing the end of snow and more snow and too cold to snow and rain and icy crusted over snow…

clickstick-fog

I was planning on continuing to knit more socks, my most recent scarfy thing, and some long suffering sweaters – easy, comfortable, brainless knitting things, but some gift needs popped up and I relaxed into a spell of more hat knitting.

I only needed one, but I’m on the third, and am going to throw in a fourth for N.

One is my old standby, and three are variations on Jared Flood’s Turn a Square, wherein instructions are given for a tubular cast on which is new to me.

I didn’t want to try something new – I didn’t want to think, just knit. But a lazy Sunday afternoon found me curious, then skeptical for six rows (feeling annoyed that it was six rows instead of one before the actual knitting started) but when it was over, I was looking at the perfect hat edge that has been missing in my life.

clickstick-brim

It’s the kind of edge you might find on commercial, but well-made hats, or done by the knitterly grand dames of the last century. Not that I want anything I make to look like it was made by anything other than a pair of hands, but I need to step up my edging and finishing game and this seems more durable and stretchy – possibly without the danger of getting stretched-out – and oh so perfectly reversible…

However, I prefer to knit hats top-down, so I am going to have to change my comfortable ways, or think harder about alternative engineering and grafting…

Speaking of which, even with my mind in a semi-shutdown state, I realized I finally memorized how to graft/kitchener my toes closed on my second to last pair of socks.

clickstick-toe

For years I had to watch the same video over and over to remember where to start in the sequence. Often I’d finish a pair of socks while traveling and either sew them shut in some unsightly but functional way or pack them home with open toes. Or at home, I’d finish everything in the evening but have to wait for daylight – usually during my lunch hour (and one of the rare times I’ve got my knitting anywhere near the computer) to close it up. The video I used was fine, and watching for the first few seconds got me back on track and soon I finished, but it just never stuck in my head.

Then I watched a new video, this video,* and bam, something in my brain clicked and it’s in there – no more unfinished toes until I get to a computer (I still don’t have a smartphone). Sure, I might need it again if I don’t need to graft for some time, but I’m confident that I don’t need a crutch for the next few pairs.

(I still use a cheat sheet for turning heels, but I think I’ve got that one down now too finally.)

I wish I could pick up and retain things in a few minutes or after a few times rather than in many years and after many projects…

*Maybe this one worked somehow subconsciously because I have the same sofa?

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