Saturday, October 26, 2013

Varied Emotions on Variegated Yarn

I have developed a love/hate relationship with variegated yarn.  When I see it in hank or skein form, wound or not, it thrills my heart.  I marvel at the lovely color combinations.  Visions of lovely knitted goodies from said yarns pass through my mind.  It really is a wonderful emotional experience.

And then I try to knit with the stuff.

On my trip to Indianapolis this past summer, you know I picked up several skeins of wooly loveliness, including a skein of Rowan Fine Art light fingering.  It’s one of those gorgeous variegated yarns with black, grey, and dark browns running through it.  I envisioned a lovely, sophisticated pair of socks. 

  • Take 1:  I cast on a pair of socks and alas, by the time I’d done 10 rows of ribbing, the color pooling was awful. 
  • Take 2:  I cast on again and tried knitting from both ends of the skein (I’ve read about this on some blog or other…or maybe it was on Ravelry) and switching which end I used every other row.  Somehow I managed to create icky pooling in an alarmingly similar pattern. 
  • Take 3:  I tinked back to where I started the second end and tried to switch up the color patch where I began.  I managed to complete the ribbing in this mode, and then realized that although I’d tried to twist the yarns when I switched every two rows, there was a distinct ladder-gap-type thing running up the length of the rows where I switched ends.
  • Take 3.5:  For the sake of the time I had into it, I continued into the main pattern of the sock just for kicks (read:  in complete denial about the ladder/gap), and I produced something akin to clown socks.  Well, with the neutral colors involved, I suppose clown socks for a very depressed clown.  The stripes that resulted were definitely not what I would describe as sophisticated.  

This was a really horrific emotional experience.

There’s your varied emotions right there.

I gave up on the socks and decided to make a shawlette instead.  Thankfully, the yarn makes a much better shawlette than a pair of socks. 

I’m using the pattern Holden Shawlette by Mindy Wilkes and I’m making it for myself.  Unfortunately, I was supposed to have used this yarn for a Christmas gift.  Now I’m short a gift, so back to the drawing board.  I’ve got some other sock yarn, but guess what.  It’s variegated.  Yay.

Also on my trip to Indy, I picked up a sweater quantity of Malabrigo Merino Worsted.  It’s variegated.  Since I seem to be disabled at switching the yarn up every two rows, I’m not sure how this is gonna play out.  I have a sweater picked out, but I’m not hopeful.  Yet, it’s Malabrigo.  Something has to work.

Love it.  Hate it.  But if you offered me a truckload of it, I’d still take it…



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What Day Is It?

It’s HUMP DAY!  Okay, that little skit is getting old, but I couldn’t think of a better intro to my post today so…

I want to thank all of you who supported my first pattern release and have encouraged me so much!  I’m sending a whole lot of love your way.

I still have two designs in the wings (waiting for me to finish the pattern writing – if this were as much fun as knitting, they’d be done) and another design started, although I have to say that after I began this last design, I realized part-way in that I hated the yarn I was using.  Well, not hated the yarn, per se, but it’s variegated and while it looked absolutely amazing before knitting, it looks pooled-stripy-weird knitted up, so I will have to wait on some acceptable yarn before I can proceed with this one.  In the meantime, I’ve been working on my Christmas knitting.  I have one gift completed and another nearly done except for blocking and seaming (same principle applies here as to pattern writing – not so much fun).  Due to the mandatory Christmas secrecy, all I can show you of what I currently have in the works is this:

It has been strange, this not knitting 7 sweaters for Christmas this year.  In fact, the night before last I did not knit one stitch all day.  Not one.  I was at that awkward moment when I realized that the variegated yarn referenced above was not going to work, yet I had nothing in my queue that was ready to be cast on.  I was in serious withdrawals by the time last night rolled around, so I cast on another sweater for charity since they are easy to do, I still have plenty of yarn to use for them, and it feeds my knitting habit (plus, it's for a good cause - duh, I almost left that part out). 

On a very exciting note, we did our first walk-through of our house build last night.  Things are progressing very rapidly and it just gets more and more exciting as we see things completed.  Well, until I remember that at one point, we have to move all our stuff.  That thought kind of throws a wet blanket on the fire.  Meh…

Happy Hump Day!



Saturday, October 12, 2013


Finally, another blog post, right?  You all know I’ve been adjusting to working my new job and trying to get in knitting time and tackling Christmas knitting, so the posts have been random but I’m back today and I get to share some exciting (for me) news!  After weeks months of innuendo, I have finally released my first pattern on Ravelry!  And it’s FREE!  Yep, I got my act together this afternoon and I uploaded my first pattern, Stadium Upgrade.  And please, it’s my first design, so be gentle…

I designed this back in the summer but am happy to be able to release it for fall.  The scarf will go to my son as part of his Christmas (no surprise on this gift).  This design was initiated when I saw some lovely skeins of Lost City Knits Twin Canyon Merino/Silk Fingering hanging at the LCK booth at the Magnolia State Fiber Festival.  My son and I are both huge Ohio State Buckeye fans (he actually has a “Buckeye Room” in his house) and the colorway, Whirlwind, screamed “Go Bucks!” to me.  After looking for what seemed like forEVer to find a scarf pattern that wasn’t girlie and wasn’t all “foofie” (my word for fancy-ish) and not finding what I wanted, I decided to design a scarf myself.  I found a lovely Harris tweed stitch pattern (courtesy of Barbara Walker’s Volume 1) and off I went.

It is a simple knit, but the yarn really makes it more than just a wool scarf.  It works just as well on the ladies as it does the men and it can definitely go from the big game to a nice dinner out.  It’s a great accessory for those of you who live in a climate which requires such things.  As I wrote before, I do not, so I shall knit for those who do and will live vicariously through their wearing of wintery goodness.

So…I would greatly appreciate it if you all would take a moment and favorite my pattern on Ravelry and spread the news to your knitty friends about it.  Even if you hate it, please pretend you don’t and help a sister out, okay?  I promise, I’ll return the favor.  Really, I will.

A very special thanks to my sister-in-law, Angie Owens of Angela Owens Photography (here or here or here), who took these lovely pictures and to her son, my nephew Brevin, who I’m sure was not in the least thrilled to be a model for the scarf but graciously did so anyway and also to the other gorgeous model, Miranda Monk who really should get paid for being so beautiful, even when she’s not in front of a camera.  You are all awesome and I owe you one (or more) in favors, money, and/or wooly hand-knits.

*happy dance*