Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I am a simple woman

As the Yarn Harlot said last night at Border's, knitters are an inconsistent lot. Some like cashmere, some like acrylic--but all are knitters. I find the same inconsistencies in myself. Earlier this year I was totally distraught when I learned that production of Tiur had ended. I scoured the country to accumulate enough Tiur in the correct colors to make about 7 or 8 Dale of Norway sweaters. One would think that by now I would have completed at least two of them.
But no, it turns out that I am a simple woman--not a stupid woman, not an "easy" woman, mind you, but a plain woman. I have been bewitched by short rows and garter stitch.

It all began with a visit to my favorite LYS where a beautiful functional shawl was on display, casually but every so elegantly draped around a manikin. Made out of 8 skeins of Koigu KPPM. Made from a simple short row garter stitch pattern from the ball band of Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace. I had to have it. That manikin looked so very elegant. Wouldn't I look equally elegant?? But, Koigu is a little "spendy" as my father would say. So, I purchased three skeins of Rio de la Plata sock yarn from Uruguay. Less than half the cost of the display model.

And, I made it in about a week. And, I wear it all the time. And, I get compliments on it every time I wear it, even from non-knitters.
Don't you love those cute little serrated edges?? Knit into every row. None of this pick up stitches and knit on later. When you cast off the last stitch you are DONE!

The lighting was bad, but you can get the idea of the swirls of the short rows.
More short row swirls.

Two weeks ago our Guild went to Lorna's Laces Yarns for a tour. Oh my. We all wanted to steal everything in sight. Of course, knitters are an honorable bunch and we only looked, and salivated.
We managed to score some "seconds" which were definitely "firsts" in our opinion.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Not Spring!

It is definitely not yet spring here in Wisconsin. I don't have any dreadful photos to post about rain, cold temperatures and the snow that is falling as I write this in the northern part of the state. My daffodils have bravely sent up some green shoots, but with tonights low temperatures, they are wishing they could reduce themselves right back into the ground.

My knitting progress is not much to brag about. While on our spring break tour of colleges for daughter #2, I tried some stash reduction. I had two large skeins of some of Sirdar's wool/acrylic bulky yarn, and I thought I would have a flash of genius for what to do with it.

Something simple, I needed, that I could do in the car while still navigating and that I could do while paying attention at the college introductory presentations. I decided to make a small Linus blanket that would be used as a security item, rather than something used for warmth. For a pattern, I thought I would do a variation on the garter stitch diagonally knit washcloth (k2, yo at the beginning of each row until half the size you want; then, k2, yo, k2tog at the beginning of each row.)

For my variation, I thought I would do sections of reverse stockinette and stockinette stacked on each other--dividing the little blanket into quarters. Can you guess what I forgot? I forgot that garter stitch is square and stockinette stitch is rectangular--taller than it is wide. Thus, the garter stitch wash cloth is square because the rows and stitches are square. Stockinette on the bias using the same k2, yo, etc., at the beginning of each row makes a diamond. NO amount of blocking will turn that kite into a square. It looked a little bizarre, to say the least. I couldn't give that thing to a sick child in the hospital.

So, I purchased some pretty ribbon in different colors, and threaded it through the yo holes.

It's still a diamond, and the ribbon kind of makes it look more like a kite, but I think it's OK. I hope that some sick child will enjoy holding this blankie close, playing with the ribbons and maybe thinking of spring!