I’m still chugging my way through my blocking pile. Here’s my Jang Print ‘o Wave piece, finished and blocked. I admit I could have done a better job blocking the thing, but it’s not horrible.
Due to the yarn and needle size I used, it ended up being stole sized rather than conforming to typical scarf dimensions. As I noted in my earlier posts, the endorsed rate of attachment is a bit ruffly. I prefer a flatter piece. The corners however turned out better than expected. The ease factor I used was (for the most part) enough to flare nicely around the corner in my non-stretchy linen, but “going round” rather than mitering does make the ends of the stole flare out a bit. If I were to knit this again, I’d work out a complementary mitered or fixed piece corner instead of just easing the edging around.
And on presents – a great pal of mine, co-conspirator, sometimes employer/sometimes co-worker/sometimes employee, fellow Kim, leader of the pack, and all around kindred spirit deserves a pair of fingerless mittens:
These were adapted from my previously shared Fingerless Whatevers pattern. Although they’ve missed the worst of winter’s weather, they’re on their way.
The blocking joy never stops. (Perhaps that’s why I put it of forever). Here’s the most current piece, pinned out and drying:
This is the Black Lace Doodle scarf I was working on a month or so ago. To be fair, it’s not entirely black, it’s more of a deep gray/tobacco color, knit from leftovers from my big Woven Diamonds shawl. Better pix away from the checky blocking sheet in the next post (promise!)
Finally – a private note to friend-from-elder-days, Wendy. I tried leaving a comment on your blog about your offer of the ancient photo, to no avail. I’d love to see the thing. I might even have one of you (of similar vintage) in trade. All my best to the family, two and four-footed, alike.
UPDATE: REVISED PATTERN FOR FINGERLESS WHATEVERS IS NOW AVAILABLE AS AN EASY TO DOWNLOAD PDF AT THE KNITTING PATTERNS LINK, ABOVE.
On this 43rd day of the Great Monitor Dearth, and second day of post-blizzard digging out, I share these mitts:
Approximately 200 yards of sock weight yarn – roughly one 50 gram skein. This pair looks to be using half a skein each of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock and Dale Baby Ull. (I can’t guarantee that this is a spot on perfect quantity estimate as I am not yet done with the second mitt.) This would be a good project to use up odds and ends of several self-stripers, pairing them with one solid color common to them all. Five US #1 double pointed needles?(2.5mm). May be knit using the two circ method by considering each two-needle unit = 1 circ
Gauge in stockinette:? 9 st = 1 inch
Twisted cable ribbing:
Round 1: (K2, p2), repeat
Round 2: (K2, p2), repeat
Round 3: (Right twist using this method: [K2tog, leaving unit on left hand needle. Re-insert right hand needle tip into stitch closest to end of left hand needle. Knit this stitch. Slip entire now-twisted two-stitch unit to right hand needle], p2), repeat
Round 4 and 5: Repeat Rounds 1 and 2
Wristlet/Pulse Warmer or wrist part of Whatevers:
Cast on 64 stitches and knit one round, using the method described in yesterday’s post. You should have 4 dpns, each with 16 stitches (or two circs with 32 if using that method.) Work twisted stitch ribbing for 9 repeats (45 rounds). I alternated my two color yarns, switching colors after Row 5 and stranding up rather than breaking the yarn at every stripe. Note that you can end off right here and have a perfectly nifty pair of pulse warmers, instead of continuing on to make the thumb hole and palm part of these mitts.
Left Thumb Gusset and Palm (Mitt #1 only):
Knit 9 rounds in stockinette.
10th Round: Knit all the stitches from Needle #1. Knit 12 stitches from Needle #2. Place a marker. M1, K2, M1, place another marker. Knit remaining 2 stitches on Needle #2. Knit all stitches on Needles #3 and 4.
11th Round: Knit all stitches
12th Round: Knit to marker. Transfer marker to right hand needle. M1, Knit to marker, M1. Transfer marker to right hand needle. K2. ?Knit all remaining stitches on Needles #3 and 4.
13th Round: Knit all stitches.
Repeat rounds 12 and 13 until there are 24 stitches between the two markers.
Knit 2 tog at the beginning of Needle #1.Knit remaining stitches on Needle #1. You should have 15 stitches on Needle #1. Knit to marker. Slip the 24 thumb stitches onto a stitch holder or piece of string. Stranding very tightly to avoid gapping, knit the remaining two stitches of Needle #2 together. You should have 14 stitches on Needle #2. K2tog, knit remaining stitches on Needle #3. You should have 15 stitches on Needle #3. Knit all stitches on Needle #4. There will now be 60 stitches total.
Knit 10 rows. On 11th row begin working rounds 1-5 of Twisted Cable Ribbing (I chose to switch back to my solid color for this). You will find this easier to work if you slip the first stitch of Needle #2 to Needle #1 and the last stitch of Needle #2 to Needle #3 just prior to commencing this round. Bind off in pattern.
Right Thumb Gusset and Palm?(Mitt #2 only):
In theory you could just make two lefts, since there are no fingers in this piece to skew the fit one way or the other. But I think it’s more satisfying (and marginally better fitting) to do a mirror image. Plus it’s good practice for anyone planning on graduating from fingerless whatevers to real gloves.
Knit?9 rounds in stockinette.
10th Round: Knit 2. Place a marker. M1, K2, M1, place another marker. Knit remaining 12 stitches on Needle #1. Knit all stitches on Needles #2, 3 and 4.
12th Round:? Knit all stitches
13th Round:? Knit to marker. Transfer marker to right hand needle. M1, Knit to marker, M1. Transfer marker to right hand needle. K2. Knit all remaining stitches on Needles #2, 3 and 4.
14th Round: Knit all stitches.
Repeat rounds 13 and 14 until there are 24 stitches between the two markers.
Knit 2 tog at the beginning of Needle #1. Slip the 24 thumb stitches onto a stitch holder or piece of string. Stranding very tightly to avoid gapping, knit the remaining 12 stitches of Needle #1. You should have 14 stitches on Needle #1. Knit 14 stitches on Needle #2, K2tog, knit You should have 15 stitches on Needle #2. Knit all stitches on Needle #3, and 4. There will now be 60 stitches total.
Knit 12 rows. On 13th row begin working rounds 1-5 of Twisted Cable Ribbing (I chose to switch back to my solid color for this). You will find this easier to work if you slip the last stitch of Needle #1 to Needle #2 just prior to commencing this round. Bind off in pattern.
Evenly divide the 24 stitches of the thumb onto three DPNs. With a fourth work the following rounds of Twisted Cable Ribbing:
I chose to work these in my solid color. Bind off in pattern. Darn in all ends, taking care to snick up the hole that has formed at the base of the thumb where the ribbing began.
Please note that this pattern is copyright 2005, by Kim Salazar, and may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without her permission. It is intended for private end-consumer use only. Please contact the author for permission if you intend to make up this item in quantity for sale or charitable donation.
Michelene asks how I keep half hitch cast on stitches from loosening and turning into big loops. The answer is knitting them very slowly, firmly, and carefully. They will distend somewhat, but if your second row is neat and even, the cast-on row will snick itself back into reasonable shape. The long string gap between needles will also resolve itself; and the beginning/end round gap is addressed by the trading stitches trick also described.
Important note on this – If you try to work a normal purl on a half hitch cast on stitch, the cast on stitch will disintegrate because the motion of the purl undoes the twist that formed the stitch. That’s why the first round of the sock method described two days ago is all knits. If you MUST purl, do a twisted purl through the back of the loop. Awkward, yes – but it shouldn’t disintegrate.
On finding teeny size needles, I get most of mine at my LYS – Wild & Woolly, in Lexington, MA. They get them every now and again as part of their DPN order. When I see a set in a size I haven’t got yet, I buy it. I’ve also found some in yard sales and other yarn shops. If your local shop stocks Inox accessories they should be able to special order them for you. There are also lots of on-line sources for specialty needles. I’ve never dealt with either, but both Lacis and JKL Needles! both have quite extensive offerings.
UPDATE: REVISED PATTERN FOR FINGERLESS WHATEVERS IS NOW AVAILABLE AS AN EASY TO DOWNLOAD PDF AT THE KNITTING PATTERNS LINK, ABOVE.
Day 41 of the monitor hostage crisis. Will the unholy alliance of Samsung and UPS actually deliver?? Odds are not in my favor…
Seriously, thank you to eveyone who has offered up a monitor or pointed me at low-cost sources. This is a highly computer-enabled household, my not wanting to use one of the kids’ machines, The Resident Male’s deck or even the house server is more a matter of territoriality. This is MY set-up, and I want it to work. Right now I’m using MY laptop – older, slower, but enough for when I need to tote a machine with me on a consulting assignment. I can access my stuff on my base machine via VPN, and drive it remotely. It’s slow, a pain, but it works. So my whining is mostly about lousy service, not deathless need.
If you do have a spare monitor, please consider donating it to a local school, library, literacy program, shelter, or other worthy cause. They need it far more than I do.
Fingerless Gloves/Mittens/Wristlets (Whatever)
I still don’t quite know what this project is. I’m torn bamong doing?the fiddling to make gloves with abbreviated fingers, settling for truncated mittens, or something shorter like a pulse-warmer or cuff. In any case progress is being made. I have settled on an eye-popping combo of the Lorna’s Laces Socknitters Rainbow, and bleeding scarlet Dale Baby Ull. Interestingly enough, the red Baby Ull is perceptibly thicker than the charcoal black. I’ve used the black in combo with the Lorna’s on a sock, and found them much closer in weight. This isn’t unsual, many yarns sport thicknesses affected by the specifics of dyeing one color or another. Blacks, whites and natural undyed hues are sometimes different from other colors.
Here we see the proto-wristlet. After much experimentation, I’ve arrived at something that’s working:
In a counter-intuitive leap, I ended up having to use LARGER needles to make something that stretches enough. I moved up to US #1s, and used the stretchiest ribbing I know. It’s a K2, P2 variant with the two Ks twisted every 6 rows, making them into 1×1 mini-cables. To avoid looseness, I work the crossing as a twist stitch rather than as a true cable by knitting two together, but NOT slipping the result from the left hand needle, then re-inserting the needle tip into the end-most of the two just knit together. That stitch is knit, then the entire two-stitch unit is slipped onto the right needle. I picked up this trick from the stitch glossary in Walker III.
The pattern so far:? Cast on 64 stitches, work in the cabled rib described above, alternating colors every 6 rows. Exact length of how far to go or what to do next has not yet been decided. (It must be pretty evident by know that I leap long before I look, knitting-wise.
Big Box Stores and Yarn Stocking Patterns
Yesterday’s comments and letters brought several speculations on why big box stores stock a different mix of yarns than do specialty yarn shops, and observations of a convergence.
I think the posters were right. It’s got to be an “economics of scale” phenomenon. Big box crafts and discount department stores buy in huge lots. They use the size of their purchase to negotiate price concessions from the manufacturers. Lion, Caron, and a couple of others can supply yarn in ISO shipping container sized lots (the huge boxes that stack the decks of freighters, that are lifted off to become truck bodies). That’s the quantity larger stores typically purchase.
Even medium-sized big box stores can buy in larger quantities than LYSs. Here in Eastern Massachusetts we’ve got? small sewing specialty chain called “Fabric Place.”? They’ve always stocked yarn, but over the past five years have greatly expanded their department. They’ve also cornered the local market for Reynolds Lopi because they were able to offer it at a far lower price than smaller shops. Although Lopi had been a good seller at most local yarn shops, sales fell to zero in the face of competition – especially from FP’s special sales, in which it was marked down to $1.50 per ball. All the smaller shops dropped the line, and the only source of Lopi around here is now FP (which hasn’t offered the ultra-low price in a long time.)
Right now in this area the big box crafts store/distributor combo?that is evoking the most ire is A.C. Moore. They appear to have cut a deal with the distributor Knitting Fever. Now that doesn’t mean you’re going to find Noro yarns at Moore. It does mean that many of the other lines that Knitting Fever handles – Sirdar, Schachenmayer, their catch-all Euro category, and even On Line products are showing up there, at prices below what LYS can meet. I predict that as a result, LYS will be decreasing their stocks of Knitting Fever yarns – they just can’t afford to fight a store with Moore’s retail clout.
Is this good for knitters?? Yes and no. Yes in the short term. It means yarns for less. No in the long term. It kneecaps a major source of support for knitting and knitters. Big box stores are notoriously fickle, and known for limited at best customer service. I dread what will happen if they suck up too many yarn lines. LYS, already under attack from?web-based competition?will have additional pressures in their fight to stay open. Some will die. ?And when the knitting trend crests and the big box stores move on to scrapbooking or whatever fad is next, we’ll have even fewer sources for both yarn and advice.
What can we do about it?? Support your local yarn store. If you’ve got one nearby and?can afford it, buy there. Think of that extra 25 cents per ball as an investment in having hands-on help, and a source of other yarns?available. Please, no whining about lousy and or snooty?LYSs, how you live on a fixed or student income, or that the closest one is 100 miles away. We’ll save those complaints for another day.
Japanese-import or derived comic books. More like?graphic?novels, actually. There’s a big cross-over between manga and anime (Japanese animation) in stories, artists, and look/feel. ?If you know the TV cartoons Sailor Moon, Ruroni Kenshin,?and Yu Yu Hakusho you’re familiar with the aesthetic. Subject matter is all over the map – everything from romance novels to mysteries, the supernatural, history, and hard science fiction. Many are quite adult in theme and depictions, but others are aimed at a more teenage audience. They’re all the rage in the junior high and high school sets. The Older Daughter loves them.
Don’t tell her but I like them too. Maybe someday I’ll confess about the eight collectors’ boxes of ’80s vintage comics we’ve got squirreled away. I think she’d like Lone Wolf and Cub, and the not-Japanese?Stinz.