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My personal (but public) notes about my homebrewing, knitting and other random stuff

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A close shave

If you know me, don't worry - I haven't shaved my beard off :)

I had an afternoon off work today, trying to use up some of my annual leave before the end of March, and was able to get quite a lot of knitting done (as well as a spot of gardening - mostly tending my compost heap and mulching round the raspberry canes).

I've now finished my mobile phone caddy (picture to follow), which I did by alternating K2Tog (knit two together) and SSK (slip slip knit), interspersed by normal stitches, over the course of several rows until I had 3 stitches remaining on each of the 3 needles (leaving the fourth one empty), then trimming off the yarn, threading it through the stitches on the needles and pulling it nice and snug. I'm pretty pleased with it, especially as it's my first successful project knitted in the round. I think I'm more or less ready to tackle a pair of socks now.

The close shave I referred to in the title for this post came when I set about knitting a few more rows of my garter ridge scarf. I was fine for the first three rows but then was merrily knitting away at row 4 and got about three quarters of the way along it when I realised that I'd been knitting when it was supposed to be a purl row. I decided that a minute or two spent ripping out the row and doing it again in the correct stitch would be far preferable to carrying on and having a mistake that would haunt me for as long as I keep the scarf. I only did 8 rows total on that scarf today, but it's now reached 32" (unstretched) and I've nearly used up the first of my two balls of yarn for it. I'm planning to take it to about 5' (60").

I've also started a second scarf. This one is a 2x2 rib pattern (i.e. knit 2, purl 2 repeated along each row, always knitting the knits and purling the purls) taken from Debbie Stoller's Stitch 'n Bitch, where it delights in the glorious name of Ribbed for her pleasure (which inevitably makes me think of Wayne's World). I'm knitting this one in a chunky wool/cotton/mohair blend yarn (approx. 73/17/10% respectively), mostly a muted grey-blue but with a twist of white running through it, that I picked up from eBay the other day. It's the first time I've tried knitting non-acrylic yarn (apart from a brief test swatch with some wool/acrylic (or is it wool/nylon?) 4-ply stuff I'd got for darning my gloves) and I'm enjoying it so far. It keeps on shedding fine white hairs all over me, but it feels much nicer to work with and should make for a warmer scarf. I'll probably offer that one to my dad when it's done (or perhaps offer him the choice of this or the garter ridge one - I know which one I'd choose ;)). I started it last night and it's now almost one foot long. As with the other scarf, I'll probably take it to about 5 feet. It's roughly 5 inches wide, too, and is being knitted on 6mm needles (12 inches long - one of a set that I got cheap on eBay).

At the moment the scarves are the only serious projects I have on the needles, but I've also just started a test swatch with two strands of yarn (acrylic DK in red and blue) knitted together. So far I've only cast on (20 stitches) but I intend to knit about 4" of stocking stitch. It's really just to see how knitting two strands together works. I'm planning to have a go at another mobile phone caddy soon in a slighly modified design, particularly if my housemate wants the first one. I'd also like to knit a biggish bag to use as a knitting bag (there's a good basic tote bag design in Stitch 'n Bitch that I'll probably use, but I might need to get some worsted/aran weight wool first), and I want to try a hat before long, as well as some socks. I'll certainly use circular knitting (on double needles) for the latter, but I'm still trying to decide which hat pattern to try first (I've found several for both flat and circular knitting).
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