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

Thursday, February 23, 2006

New balls, please

I've been working on my garter ridge scarf this evening while watching a DVD (the interesting, if somewhat gruesome, film The Hollow Man). I've finally reached the end of my first skein of yarn, and the scarf is now at a length of 40". It's just under 7" wide, for a total area so far of 280 square inches. The gauge is 15 stitches to 4" or 3.75 stitches per inch. A single row takes approximately 26" of yarn - not quite as much (compared to overall width) as the ribbed scarf, but not far off. (that was measured on a knit row - I suspect the figure might be a bit different for a purl row - indeed, you'd really need to take the average over several rows to get a useful figure, but it's much easier to measure the amount of yarn when you're nearing the end of a skein). This is using chunky acrylic yarn on 6mm needles. I have just joined in the second, and final, skein and knitted the final row needed to make up a pattern unit (I always prefer to knit 16 rows at a time where possible).

While I'm on the subject of this scarf, I'll just mention that I started out by keeping track of my rows on the back of an envelope and then I got round to getting a row counter, and I'm finding that to be much more convenient. I have it on the end of one needle (the one that was free at the start of a pattern repeat), and I increment the counter by 2 every time that needle becomes free again, resetting it to 01 when I start the pattern block for the next time. That way if the counter is on the right hand needle it has the relevant line number, n, and if it's on the left hand needle it has n-1. Either way, I then know whether to knit or purl, having memorised the simple pattern. To be honest, by this stage I could probably figure out what to do just by looking at the knitting itself, but it's good to have the row counter to confirm it.

For most of the things I've knitted, I've not bothered with counting the rows as I've been more interested in absolute lengths (mostly in inches) if at all, but I'm sure my row counters will come in handy when I knit other things having a multi-row repeating pattern.

On the needles at the moment I have two scarves (garter ridge and ribbed), a test swatch for continental (left-hand yarn) knitting in stocking stitch (it started off in garter stitch and may yet evolve into some form of ribbing or perhaps moss stitch in the next few rows), and a tryout sock heel (based on Elizabeth Zimmermann's instructions from Knitting Without Tears so that I know what I'm doing when I come to make my actual socks (since it will take several hours to knit the 6" or so of 2x2 ribbing before I reach the heel, I don't particularly need to wait to finish my test heel before I start on the real sock, but I haven't yet got round to casting on for it).

Projects I'm hoping to start soon include my socks, a tote bag (based on a pattern from Stitch 'n Bitch) to keep my knitting in (rather than the plastic carrier bags I currently use) and a tam o'shanter hat (from Zimmermann). I've got a few other ideas too, but those are the main ones I want to get done. I've decided not to start on another scarf until I've got at least one of the current ones finished. I'm also considering knitting a set of coasters (or if I'm feeling ambitious, maybe even table mats) for a wedding present for some friends, using a similar idea to the last wok holder I knitted up - I've just realised I didn't blog that one, but it was a simple stocking stitch rectangle using two strands of (DK acrylic) yarn simultaneously (red and blue, in that case) on 5mm needles, making for a nice thickish fabric - but probably incorporating a garter stitch or moss stitch border (more likely the latter) for decorative effect and to stop them curling too much.
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