Monday, November 29, 2010

How many ways can we combine these colors?

Here are mittens and socks. A last minute hat is going in the package too, although it missed the photo shoot. Can we say: "Fall Color Sale"? The hat is a ragg-color combo of all the above.

The socks look skinny but they are very stretchy, thanks to the ribbing. They are double stranded sport weight yarn, very thick result.

My favorite item is the pair of striped mittens. The fair-isled worsted weight turned out to be very warm and cushy. The crocheted mittens sure went fast, but they are not so comfy. Oh well, live and learn. At least they are warm.

I really like working on a campaign where the only measurement I have to remember is what fits me!

Still have almost two balls of the orange left . . . ohhh . . . Need. Break. From. Orange.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mittens - Little Ones Too Small????

I'm doing mittens (again). I'm concerned that the smallest pair may be too small for this campaign. They're 5 inches from wrist to fingertip, 7.75 inches including the cuff, and 5.25 inches around the fingers, not including the thumb. I don't have any handy 7-year-olds to try them on. Any opinions?

Blue mohair vest

My latest project for the current drive just came off the needles. It isn't blocked yet but I am too antsy to wait to post about it.
I like to knit vests for a4A when I am not certain to have the time to invest in a full sweater. With each vest, I have tried to teach myself something new, or to practice a technique learned in class or on my own. I had tried steeking before, on a rectangle shawl and on a blanket knitted in the round then cut. This time I steeked a v-neck. Talk about feeling empowered! I am just about ready to steek anything in sight right now.

The project started as a stash-busting vest. I had two skeins of a variegated, mostly light blue mohair; I combined them with two skeins of fingering-weight wool, one medium-blue, one a very light blue-ish green. I alternated these two shades every twelve rounds, which yielded the wide stripes on the vest. Double-stranding had two advantages: it "stretched" the yardage so that I could knit at a larger gauge and make a whole vest out of the mohair, and, more important, since mohair almost always contains a small percentage of acrylic, it enabled me to boost the wool content considerably to ensure warmth and stick to the a4A guidelines. A third bonus: the wool softened the mohair significantly.

Blanket mania

No pictures yet, but I'm almost halfway done my blanket. I'm knitting 4 big blocks, and if you saw just the first two, you'd shake your collective head and think "Oh, she's really lost it this time." The part that's going to pull it together and make it look good comes next. Pictures will come once it no longer looks like a great big mistake.

It's a good time of year for garter stitch, that's for sure. Very meditative and soothing after days that are getting progressively crazier. I'm making mine 48 by 48 inches (slightly inside the maximum dimensions of 50 by 50 inches) so it can keep a bigger kid warm.

Refresher: the dimensions requested for blankets for this campaign are as follows:

minimum: 40 by 45 inches (102 by 114 cm)
maximum: 50 by 50 inches (127 by 127 cm)

It would be wonderful to send everyone a full-sized blanket, but they're just too big. This way, more kids get a blanket.

What's everybody working on?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Little Nothing Special

I finished this very bulky, small Steppe Vest (about a size 8, I think) a couple of days ago and now am ready to pack it, the mitered square blanket, and a pair of green wool socks into a box and ship them off.

The pattern I used can be found here . (Scroll down for the vest option.)

I used 3 colors of Brown Sheep chunky and some Valley Yarns ditto, held together with a strand of Lion sock yarn (I'm not sure they still make it).

Quick to knit and should be nice and warm.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Favorite afghan square

I'm making afghan squares right now, and I want to share my favorite because it is easily adaptable to group projects. I'm digitally handicapped, so you'll have to use your imagination to picture this, but its pretty easy. This is good way to use up all those little balls of yarn, and still have a coherant whole blanket, and it works well for groups where not everyone is exactly on the same page with gauge.

For the current size requirements, you'll need about 500 grams of worsted weight yarn in a main color, and a basket full of odds and ends. I use up the little odd balls of sock yarn by doubling them, paying no attention to how I match them up...for this part, variety is a good thing. Size 7 or 8 needles.

Cast on 30-4o stitches with your "odd ball yarn", and knit in garter stitch until the number of garter ridges equals the number of cast on stitches; this will produce a square. (As one ball of yarn is exhausted, add in another) Break the yarn and change to your main color yarn, continuing on in garter stitch until the strip is the length you would like your square to be. Bind off, and without breaking the yarn, pick up stitches along the long side of the strip. If you pick up one stitch in each "garter ditch", the number of picked up stitches on the needle should equal the total number of ridges in the part just worked. Knit in garter stitch until the number of main color ridges along the long side of the strip is equal to the number of main color ridges along the top. Bind off.

This works well for a group project because the initial squares can vary in size and color, but the main color pulls them together. I love projects that will use all those little walnut sized ball of sock yarn. When I'm all done, I usually use more sock yarn to knit or crochet a one or two row border along the edges.

This is my first post to this blog, but I've been at this project for 5 years and I'm happy to be a part of the blog!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Blankie Finished!

I finished a 39"x50" blanket last night, using up some stash (I think I have enough for at least one more of these). I'll ship it off with a pair of plain vanilla crew socks (the same green wool that I used as the MC on the blankie) and a striped vest that is a current WIP.

It's quite toasty.