Wavelet Scarf

The first alpaca scarf off the needles:

Pattern: Easy Wave Scarf from Knitting New Scarves
Yarn: Eki Riva Casual
Adjustments: because I was using thinner yarn than specified in the pattern, I increased the width to 30 stitches.
Comments: thought the pattern is fiddly at first, I got into a rhythm after a while and was able to sit and watch tv as I knit.
Verdict: it’s lovely!

The next alpaca scarf went straight on the needles. This time it’s the Celtic Cable neckwarmer:

And thanks to some knitting time at camera club, I finished the first of my final personal sock club socks:

After looking at the big pile of yarns I had for these, I decided the reddish toned ones didn’t fit and took them out. I want them to be mainly brown socks. Then, instead of randomly varied stripes I went for even ones, with a cream stripe between them. Which is still going to give me heaps of ends to sew in, but I like the look of them. I can’t help thinking, though, that I could have dyed up yarn with stripes like this, and had very few ends to sew in.

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I’ve decided to go ahead with the Socks For Others Club. I asked on my private Live Journal if any of my LJ friends wanted handknit socks, expecting to get no response, and was surprised to find I had more than enough interest within a few hours of posting. There’s even a waiting list.

I’m going to put the recipient’s measurements with yarn of their colour preference into bags so I get the same anticipation and surprise as I did with the personal sock club. Well, except for one cheat – I want to knit my Dad’s socks first as his birthday is in July. And I need time to buy or dye the other yarn.

Because, believe it or not, I don’t have enough sock yarn for this. I do have heaps of Patonyle, but I’ve noticed that it tends to go fuzzy with washing and I want to make sure the socks I give away are robust enough to survive a non-knitters laundry habits.

Meltwater Scarf & Hat

Back in New Zealand last year I got all inspired by the glaciers I’d seen to design a hat or scarf that had the rippley effect of the ice, with blue water in the crevices. I bought three balls of Shepherd 12ply Felted Lambswool, in white, blue and a deeper blue.

A few days ago I got the itch to try out my idea. Trouble was, none of the methods I tried, in knitting or crochet, gave me quite the look I was after, and for some reason I’d only bought one ball of white for an idea that was mostly white, and that wasn’t enough.

In the end I gave up on the idea for now, but I was really enjoying working with the yarn so I tried a wavy crochet effect:

Which was fun to do, and kinda looks a bit like the threaded rivers of New Zealand. With the leftovers I just managed to make a hat to match.

Toy

Why do I suddenly have a persistent nagging desire to buy one of these?

Lightweight, packs up small, limited lifetime warranty, no need to hunt down missing parts or replace old ones, or to become a mechanic in order to put it back together.

But really, I only want one so I can make up sock blanks.

Free Knitting Machine

A friend of the beau recently moved and sent this Empisal KH680L my way:

Ironically, I had recently given away another knitting machine I’d picked up, which was only missing clamps. This machine, all in pieces and missing the box, has oodles of clamps. (There’s also a manual for the ribber attachment which I didn’t discover until after I’d taken the photo.) You could try to put it together again, or use it for parts.

Let me know if you want it. If you happen to live nearby or near some of our usual haunts I’ll drop it off. Otherwise you’ll have to pick it up. I live in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne near where the Eastern Freeway changes to a tollway.

If nobody wants it by next Wednesday, it’s going to the op shop. And if they won’t take it it’ll go in the hard rubbish.

Yet More Scarves

But there’s a hitch with each of them. Firstly, I really like and want to keep this one:

This was woven out of the aarlan alpaca silk that gave me so much grief. I wove a plain scarf as I figured there was less room for it to play up on me. But somehow I managed to skip a few ends, right in the middle. I can a) ignore the flaw, b) try overstitching, c) try felting.

And this one was woven from three small balls of undyed handspun. Not sure what sort of fibre they were spun from, but they were much softer than wool. I wove in stripes to mix up the shades:

But I’m not real keen on the result. I’m thinking of dyeing it. Perhaps even trying a shibori effect.

I’ve also woven another scarf out of the Vintage Hues, and I suspect I’ll want to keep that one, too. But I find that I can fall out of love with a scarf once it’s off the loom. Sometimes straight away, and sometimes after some time. A good clue that it’s not a scarf for me is if I never actually wear it. In that case it’s better if I give it away. After all, I have waaaay too many scarves already.

So there are a couple of scarves I wove before I started the charity thing that I haven’t used and I’m going to include in the next batch: the Faux Noro Stripe Scarf, the Medallions Scarf and the Wavy Scarf.

This is bringing me pretty close to finishing another batch. Once I have, I’m going to take a break. There are some weaving methods I want to try. Mind you, they may result in more scarves for charity. But I’ll be learning something in the process, so that’s good all around.

Alex

Seaming is not my favourite part of knitting, but when I do it I try hard to do it well, consulting my books and weighing up what kind of seaming method is best for each seam. (The best book for this in my collection is The Knitter Companion by Interweave.)

I also spread it out over a couple of days, because it tends to make my back hurt. This was the first time I’ve tried spit splicing extra yarn onto the ends so they were long enough to do a whole seam. It means less ends to sew in – always a good thing!

The pieces for this have sat in a pile for a few weeks now. I decided that the best way to get Alex finished was to take advantage of my current scarf weaving obsession – by putting the loom aside and the pieces of knitting in its place, and telling myself I wasn’t allowed to warp the loom again until the seaming was done. A couple of days later I have this:

Pattern: Alex by Debbie Bliss
Yarn: Possum Merino by Millspun Yarns
Buttons: The Button Lady at Camberwell Market
Alterations: None, though I knit the fronts and sleeves two-at-a-time
Comments: There are schematics for the fronts, back and sleeves, but they are missing key measurements. And there is no schematic for the collar, and I really wished there was one as it was the a rather unintuitive piece to knit, and it feels as if it’s too ‘short’ when you finish it.
Conclusion: I’m happy with it, but not head over heels as I was with Sylvi. The collar takes a bit of fiddling and tugging before it sits right, and the edge tends to curl under. I can’t help remembering now that double breasted jackets don’t seem to suit me – I look at these photos and immediately I think it would look better with one row of buttons and a central band. The yarn has knit up well, though perhaps a bit too cuddly and fuzzy for a jacket, but it sure is going to be very warm.

Personal Sock Club Socks #5

A week after I started them, they’re done:

Which meant I could receive the last package.

It contained this:

Well, technically it contained a few balls less. It’s a large batch of yarn for a scrappy sock, and would barely fit into the bag. The bulging of the bag would have made it obvious which sock yarn was contained within, so I took a few balls of yarn out and put them aside.

I have a fancy to knit a different sort of scrappy sock this time. Maybe one with even stripes. Or bands of fair isle mixed in. Or purl ridges. Or maybe even make the main part of the sock reverse stocking stitch.

Hmm. I think I maybe over knitting plain socks.

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The ‘socks for others’ sock club idea has been swimming around in my head constantly since I thought of it. Who might I knit for? What sort of patterns should I knit? Do I have good enough yarn?

I’m not sure of the title. I’d stick with ‘Socks for Others Sock Club’ except I don’t like the repetition of ‘sock’. I’ve tossed around ‘Gift Sock Club’ and ‘Generosity Sock Club’. Any suggestions?

Scarf Mania

Here’s a pic I forgot to include in the last post. It’s of the scarves I delivered to the relief centre:

And here’s another scarf in progress. Yes, that’s knitting, not weaving.

The weaving of scarves seems to have grown into a more general scarf-making itch. I certainly don’t need more scarves. But I rather like this short, buttoned scarf idea. Cowls don’t appeal, because they don’t fit snugly. (Melbourne can be a tad windy and I hate having a cold neck.) But neckwarmers do. Trouble is, something that fits so snugly would have to be made of non-wool yarn.

Which got me thinking about how my sensitivity to wool seems to be stronger these days. Though wearing skivvies provides a barrior, scarves still make my chin itch. And hats make my ears burn. I decided that I may as well make charity scarves out of any small batches of yarn I have that contain wool.

Then I remembered the alpaca-silk yarn in my stash, that I meant to knit vests out of but never got around to because I suspect they’ll sag and go out of shape due to the lack of memory in the yarn. There are two balls each in teal blue, brown, red, dark purple, apple green, and mid purple – two batches that I’d meant to knit in combination, but not enough of each colour to…

And then I had that ‘duh’ moment. There was enough of each colour to make neckwarmers.

I also remembered that I’d bought the book Knitting New Scarves but had never made anything out of it. I brought it out, grabbed some Eli Riva Casual and got knitting. I figured if I got a short scarf then I’ll sew on a button and it will be a neckwarmer.

For the rest of the yarn I went pattern searching in Ravelry. I’m thinking the red will become the Celtic Cable Neckwarmer, the purple become the Cashmere Neckwarmer, and the apple green become one of those bow neckwarmers of which there seems to be many different versions.

Despite all this scarf obsession, I got a lot of sock knitting done this weekend and somehow ended up with one sock done in two days.

I have no idea how it can be that one plain pair of socks can take me over a month to knit, and then I can whip the first of the next pair out in two days.

Relief

On Saturday the beau and I checked out a cattery, and having noticed that it wasn’t too far from the Bushfire Relief Centre that wanted the winter woollies, I packed eleven of the charity scarves in a bag in case we had time to detour there.

As it turned out, we did have time. It wasn’t hard to find the place, and the volunteers were really happy to receive them. I was very glad I delivered them in person. After my experience with the possum pouches, I want to be sure that someone really does want what I make, and it actually gets to them. Now I can weave without worrying!

Last week I added a few more scarves to the pile:

A varigated pink, blue and green warp (from Live 2 Knit) with a white weft. Some leno twists at the beginning and end, and basketweave thrown in here and there to break up the plain weaving. This ones is for a girly girl.

Similar to the Faux Noro Stripe Scarf but with Vintage Hues alternating with a non-varigated yarn (dark aqua Patons Fireside). I warped up for two scarves thinking I’d get one scarf each from two balls of the Vintage Hues, but it turns out I can get two out of one ball. Very pleased with the result.

The latest scarf is an interesting challenge. I had some leftover sock yarn and laceweight in the same or very similar colourway. The laceweight was too fragile to use as warp, unfortunately. So I figured I’d double it up and add another yarn to it to use as weft. And use the sock yarn as warp.

When I started weaving two things became obvious. It was going to look fabulous – a bit like a rag rug. But the laceweight and ‘filler’ yarn, wound onto the shuttle together, had completely different levels of stretch, so pretty soon there were loops of excess laceweight getting in the way. It was fiddly and made it extra hard to get the selvedges even.

The solution was to unwind the shuttle, separating the lacewight and the filler, then put both onto separate shuttles. At the same time I took the opportunity to add two more threads of laceweight to the first two. This means two passes of a shuttle for each shot, but the result is better and there is no fiddling.

Personal Sock Club Socks #4

Finished last night because my right eye went all puffy and bleary, as yet another symptom of this flu/cold/thing, and I couldn’t see very well. Thankfully I can do plain knitting and ribbing without looking. Much.

The yarn is The Knittery Chubby Sock, in ‘passionfruit’. The pattern is my plain toe-up-with-a-heel-flap, except I put the gusset increases at the edges of the sole rather than angling up the ankles.

This meant, of course, that I could receive the next delivery from my personal sock club:

Another generous ball of leftover yarn (the red). The original socks have worn out, so I’m making replacements. This time with grey toes and heels.

Actually, these will probably go in my new Sock Stockpile. You see, my sock drawer was so full that I decided to take some pairs out and put them aside until I wear a few more old ones out. I chose newer ones, and ones I already had in the same colour. That way when I wear out a blue pair I have a blue replacement.

Even though I’ve lost interest in knitting fancy socks, I find plain socks such good mindless or travel knitting that I don’t think I’m going to stop making them. This seems a good solution. After all, I may one day decide I’ve had it with socks and stop making them. At least I’ll have some extras to keep me going.

I’m also intending to knit socks for other people. After the Personal Sock Club, which was all about knitting socks for me out of yarns I like, maybe I should have a Socks For Others Club. Perhaps grab six skeins of yarn and match them with six recipients, put them in bags, draw one out…