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Friday, November 16, 2007


Here are two balls of Zara, one is color 1722 and the other is color 1669. I swear that these two balls of yarn look like the identical shade of purple. And if you look carefully at the photo, you will notice that the yarn labels look different too. I'm not sure why that is. Somebody tell me that I'm not smoking crack in thinking that these two are identical purples.... and if that's the case, can I mix & match color 1722 and color 1669 in the same knitted work?

I played around with a ball of Zara, OMG this stuff is so soft in the hands!

I decided to start the Osiris Scarf using Zara, it's one of the two balls above (can't recall which). This one shows the color of the yarn a bit better than the balls above.

The original scarf was knitted in fingerling weight yarn. When I started it using DK weight Zara, my scarf would have ended up 12 inches wide. That was much wider than I wanted it, so I tweaked it a bit.

The swatch above showed my attempt at reducing the width by 12 stitches. I used a 2-stitch seed stitch side border instead of the 4-stitch original. (I also reduced the bottom edge border by 3 rows) And instead of using the 8-stitch wide Chain Cable, I changed it into a 4-stitch wide cable. Yes, there is a boo-boo in the photo. I zigged where I should have zagged 2 rows down in the chain cable on the left side. I also knit a little tighter than usual.

After knitting this for a while, I decided that I really did not like the results of using a 4-stitch wide cable in place of the 8-stitch wide cable. I dunno, maybe I'll try it again in the future. I frogged this one.

I started again, this time keeping the original 8-stitch wide cable, and just reducing the total width by 4 stitches by using a 2-stitch wide seed stitch border. I also reduced the bottom border by 4 rows. Still knitting a bit on the tight side. I think the overall fabric is softer when knit in my usual loose fashion.

I love the stitch definition I get with Zara. Cables and Zara, a good combination. Cables and Baby Cashmere, not. I wonder if it's the alpaca content in the Baby Cashmere which makes it less desirable for cable applications. It's just a guess. Since I have tons of Baby Cashmere in my stash, I am going to play around with it some more and see how it works out for plain knit/purl applications. I even have a pattern in mind from BW2! And I know I want to do this in fingerling weight Baby Cashmere, but part of me also wants to do it in DK weight yarn. What will probably happen is I'll pick out some DK weight yarn and turn it into a cable scarf.

I was thinking of making this scarf for myself, however I am having second thoughts because Miss M was playing around with the last scarf I made and she clearly wanted to wear it. Miss M is 2 and I think she's still a little young to wear something long and dangling around her neck, strangulation hazard you know (somehow elevators and escalators come into mind). Way back in Sept on the Elann chat site, CatBookMom pointed me to a bow-knot scarf, so I've started knitting something like this. It's not exactly like the one pictured in that link, but it is a short little strip of knitting where one end feeds into an opening on the other end to keep it secure. It's just something to keep Miss M's neck warm this winter with a reduced strangulation risk.

I'm hoping that there'll be enough yarn in that ball to finish. I'm on the second ball, and it wasn't even a full ball to begin with. I'm close to the end, I need to make it another 36 rows or so. If it looks like the scarf is too short, then I'll have to dig out another ball of yarn. I'm guesstimating that the scarf will be 28 inches unblocked. This was my second attempt at the opening. I made it too wide the first time around. The scarf is purple, the nighttime lighting has screwed up the coloring in the photo.

This doesn't answer the question of what will keep my neck warm this winter. I've got ideas flowing through my head. I'm thinking of one of those tubes you wear around your neck. A cowl. In a lace pattern. Nothing long and dangling for Miss M to want to get her hands on and wear herself. I've got plenty of Baby Cashmere to use for this. I'm getting the feeling that Baby Cashmere yarn is only good for lace applications, and I really do not want to knit so much lace right now. Yes, I'm still in a cable phase...

Oh and besides all this, I have finally cast on for Mom's vest. I've been thinking about this since last April or May. This is my very first truly "shaped" knitting project, cuz scarves, dishcloths, & hats don't really count in the shaping dept. So I'm a bit anxious to see whether I can pull off a vest. I'm using the Lion Brand Patchwork Textured Vest pattern. It was one of the simpler looking patterns that met Mom's criteria for her vest. I'm a little worried about whether the vest will come out the right size for my Mom. I think Lion Cotton yarn is slightly heavier/thicker than the yarn I am using.

I've started the back section. There are only 3 patterns and you work the first section: Pat I, Pat II, Pat III. I goofed at first when knitting the WS rows by knitting the patterns in the same sequence, I, II, III. It took several rows of knitting before I realized that it just wasn't looking quite right. That's when I figured out that I should have worked the WS rows in this sequence, III, II, I. This wasn't clearly stated in the pattern or it wasn't obvious to me. Of course now it seems so obvious...

Anyhow, I am going to frog this thing cuz I don't like where I stopped in the bottom row of squares. The pattern said to knit until 3.5 inches, ending on WS, which I did. It turned out to be after working Row 2 of the 4-row repeat patterns. As you can see, the boxes are not very well defined because of this. I should have ended on Row 4 before moving on to the next section of squares. It's very obvious when you look at the 1st and 4th squares (from left, on bottom row of squares). Those top 2 rows look like it's part of the stockinette square above, but it's really part of the bottom row of squares. I will add notes to my pattern about ending on Row 4, so I don't make this mistake again. I hope that stopping slightly short of the 3.5 inches won't screw up the rest of the vest. We'll see...

I'm knitting this vest in Elann Highland Wool, Allspice color. I showed Mom the shade cards and that is the one she chose. The funny thing is before she chose this color, we were talking about making her vest some sort of lavender color. She later decided that Allspice would be a more versatile color to wear. I'm not sure what she's thinking there...


Let's see.... another thing I have been entertaining in my mind is knitting a hat to go with the Persephone Scarf. It would be similarly constructed as the Ariel Hat, however I think I could change the way I pick up stitches from the band so that the cable band does not turn up. The double layer you get with the cable band turned up results in a hat that is way too warm for the moderate San Francisco Bay Area climate.

And I've got two cable scarves coming down the pike, something simple along the lines of Miranda (in fact, one has similar FC & BC cables). I just need to decide which yarn to use and this is largely determined by the recipients. I like knitting with the hand wash yarns, but most people I know are machine wash people. So I absolutely love it when I can get my hands on superwash wool in the right colors.

It's not that I don't like lace. I'm just finding it difficult to concentrate on lace right now. Cables make for good TV knitting. Lace, not so much.


I am really enjoying this journey of creating a Jayne Cobb hat for T. If you haven't been following, and are interested in the process , you can read the series of posts:

Yarn for the Jayne Cobb Hat:
Jayne Hat started:
Jayne Hat earflaps:
Jayne Hat earflaps continued:
Pom-Pom minor update (scroll down):
Pom-Pom completed:
Jayne Cobb Hat completed:

Here's a minor update on my Jayne Cobb Hat. I'm struggling with the hardest part of this hat, the pom-pom. I've managed to find a pom-pom how-to (PDF file link). So far I have cut out a pom-pom template that is about 3.5 inches in diameter. I didn't have cardboard handy, so I just used a manilla file folder. I used a mug to draw the circle cuz I don't have one of those doohickeys we used to use in school to make circles. Then I sat on these circles for a week because I didn't know how to trace out an inner circle that would be centered (because I don't have one of those doohickeys). I eventually dug out a coin (nickel?) to trace a circle in what I thought was the center. After cutting it out I'm pretty sure it's slightly off center.

Then I started pulling out three strands of yarn, one of each color, and started winding it around the template. I didn't get very far before I thought this template would give me a pompom of about 1.5 inches, way smaller than what I was aiming for. I think I was aiming for something around 3 to 4 inches.

Ok, what did I do wrong here???

I guess I need to make a MUCH larger template, and then trace the inner circle at about 3.5 inches from the outer edge?

I think it will take me longer to make one pom-pom than it took for me to knit the main body of this hat...

Sigh... back to the drawing board...


Not too long ago when I was catching up with blog reading, which happens in spurts :-( , I came across Connie's Vortex dishcloth. It is really neato mosquito looking, especially the one she made in Christmas colors. But wait, check this out! You can see what people have done with a similar pattern ... afghans with way more squares in it! You can see a gallery at the Wooly Thoughts site; that tan, rose, beige colored one in the bottom middle photo looks really cool. The afghan is called Curve of Pursuit, and you will find the pattern here. Check out the other afghan designs they have! I think their Penrose afghan is pretty neat looking. The Vortex dishcloth pattern can be found here (5 squares), here (6 squares), and here (7 squares).

I'd love to knit an afghan like this, but I will definitely not start one because I know I would never finish it. I mean, I am still trying to finish a baby blanket which I started in Dec 2005! So what's the likelihood of finishing something larger than a baby blanket? Perhaps I'll try the dishcloth someday. Not anytime soon. Dishcloths are leaving a bad taste in my mouth due to a lot of negativity.


I leave you with a photo of some bears we saw at our last visit to the zoo. Sorry, I haven't yet figured out how to take photos through glass while avoiding that glare and reflection.

Have a wonderful weekend folks...


5 stitch(es):

Allison said...

I love Zara - it's great stuff! I think those two are the same. My guess is that they were made after a label change and maybe that's why they have different color numbers? Or maybe one is mislabeled! You could always carry the yarn up the side and knit 2 rows from 1 then two rows from the other . . .

Grace Yaskovic said...

what's up with negativity about washcloths, are they pass now or something? I just love the idea of doing something quick and usually easy!! Made just a simple diagonal one tonight just sitting at my sister's waiting to have dinner, but its for swaps there are lots of swaps Love the bears, have a great night!

hakucho said...

I agree with Allison. Even though the two skeins look exactly the same I would just alternate them just in case. There is nothing worse than to knit something and then notice later the lot difference. The scarf is beautiful and it looks so soft :)

I love dishcloths and I LOVE finding new pattern to try. Thanks for the vortex links. They look very interesting :)

happy knitting :)

Silvia de Castillo said...

About the pom poms, I saw this somewhere: just wrap the yarn around four fingers (40 wraps makes a nice size), then remove and tie tightly in the center. Cut the loops and voilá. Trim if necessary. I figure that if you want a smaller size, you wrap the yarn just around 2 or 3 fingers. It works!

Judith said...

thanks so much for sharing your Osiris pattern! Not only is it a beautiful scarf, but I think it would make a great center panel for a sweater.