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Archive for October 11th, 2005


Tuesday, October 11th, 2005

knittingIt is quiet in the house. I have no immediate deadlines. I thought I’d be sitting all day waiting for the UPS man but now it appears he’ll come tomorrow (of course, when I’ll be gone most of the day).

I spent the morning drinking oolong tea and knitting in the silence. I wake up slowly so this was great. What a lovely way to wake up!

I finally cast on last night for my 2nd grass skirt (the first one did not work out at all and was never completed). The knitting is not too bad, I enjoy knitting stockinette tubes while I read, but this one is two strands, one of them loopy boucle’, and it requires more looking than standard yarns. I’m still making decent progress on both the skirt and the reading.

The yarn is a bugaboo, though. It’s ONline Linie 43 Punta. Two very different yarns have been loosely plied together into one yarn, which does make the right texture/thickness for this skirt. One is a synthetic boucle with loops in grass green. The other is a sort of synthetic mohair-substitute in a celery green with fur about 3/4″ long. Very very soft. The ball band says the yarn is 45% rayon, 45% nylon, and 10% acrylic. I’m betting the furry stuff is all nylon and the rest is the boucle, or something close to that.

I think this will knit up fast. I hope so, anyway! I’m on size 9 needles with only 144 stitches per round. Assuming I figured out the right amount of ease (crossing fingers, this is a total crapshoot on my part) I think I can finish the skirt in time for Midwest Ukefest. If I figured wrong, it will take a long time to know. If it’s too big I’m OK with sewing a seam up the back to adjust, but if it’s too small I start over. I hope not!

What took forever on this was winding the yarn. It came in those little 50 gram pretty decorator balls, sort of squished pincushion shape. Well, they were in a bag together too long and they tried to merge into one big ball of furry spaghetti-like mess. I re-wound each ball on my center-pull ballwinder and then tied a band around each ball before taking it off the winder. Rae does this with yarns of this type, and says she has good luck (she uses a rubber band around the ball but I somehow had none when I needed them).

So now I just found out the UPS guy is coming tomorrow instead of today. Decisions, decisions! I don’t work till 6pm when I teach toe-up socks at Little Red Schoolhouse. Should I stay home anyway and keep knitting? Should I run a few errands? Should I work making buttons or dyeing yarn or writing patterns (even though it’s officially my day off)???

The skirt is calling pretty loudly, and I don’t feel too guilty knitting it on a day I’ve designated as my day off (especially since I’m teaching a class tonight already). Maybe I’ll just keep enjoying the silence and my “new” project.

Gorgeous, Extra-Warm Jacket?

Tuesday, October 11th, 2005

Some of you already know that I really love knitting magazines. Well, Saturday when I was at Threadbear, I bought the Knitscene mini-magazine put out by Interweave and several yarn manufacturers. As always, I mostly got it for inspiration more than any real intent to knit something within the pages.

A beautiful, somewhat formal, double-breasted short jacket with lapels and 3/4 sleeves is on pages 14 & 15. You can see a “bonus photo” online. You can also get the pattern online as a .PDF file from their projects page.

But in the magazine it does indicate the yarn requirements. OK, are you ready? Two strands of alpaca plus one strand of mohair, knit together at one time! Oh, my! No wonder it has a v-neck and 3/4 sleeves! That would make *me* bake, and I’m legendary for being cold when nobody else is. And most brushed mohair makes me itch, though I love it with a turtleneck underneath. This one just won’t work with a turtleneck, or long sleeves for that matter.

And we won’t even talk about how much it would cost to buy 10 balls (50gm) of alpaca and 6 balls of mohair, for the smallest size (36.5″ finished bust circumference). It really is beautiful, but it makes no sense. Unless you are a yarn manufacturer, perhaps.

I guess I’ll just enjoy looking at the lovely pictures of this one! It’s very pretty, but neither wearable nor affordable to this grrl. What a shame. Well, I do have a few other projects in the wings to keep me busy…