Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Valentine Tie for My Honey---Rummage Sale Yarn

I bought some yarn a few weeks ago at a Lutheran Charities sale. Three small bags of vintage sock yarns for a quarter a bag! I think I went a little over $20 for the year with this purchase, but only by a few cents.
The yarn used in this tie was wadded together and tied with string. It was a skein and a half skein of "Bucilla 3-ply fingering yarn", 100% wool, loden green heather.
Ricardo has been mourning the loss of his favorite tie, which he bought years ago during a long stay in Portugal, and recently ruined in a greasy food mishap. As I am less than eager to hand wash socks, it seemed like a better idea to use this yarn to knit him a tie for Valentine's Day. It was quite a success---he loves the tie. (I got flowers, which are sitting in splendor on the dresser right in front of me, still looking fresh and beautiful!)
Some tips on tie-making, if any of you are interested: 1) don't be taken in by patterns that are knitted flat. I've tried many different tie techniques, and the only successful knitted ties I've made are knit in a tube, then steamed flat. 2) The only yarn that seems to work is sock weight (fingering), wool or wool and silk. I use #1 dpns, knit the bottom part in a texture pattern (here, in moss stitch), then change to stockinette for the neck and back, reducing the stitch count in half at the neck. Yes, there are lots and lots of stitches, but most of the tie is only about 20 stitches around and goes quickly. Also, You really can't use synthetics and get a nice flat blocking job. 3) leave the bottom open until the tie is blocked. The tie will often stretch quite a bit, and you will want to shorten it by a few inches. 4) keep another tie nearby as you knit, and measure them often against each other. Ties are picky. 5) unfortunately, I've never successfully crocheted a tie. Even with thin yarn, it's too bulky and doesn't drape well.
If anyone wants me to write down the pattern, just let me know.
Hope you all had love in your heart, this week and always!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Project: Newborn Booties--Worsted Scraps

I'll bet you went, "Awwwww." These are so tiny and sweet. They were the featured pattern on "Knit and Crochet Today" on PBS a few days ago and I couldn't resist making them immediately. The pattern isn't up yet on their site, but I watched Kristin Nicholas make them, and she just knit two four-inch garter squares and folded and stitched them up. They can be made from a very small amount of any lovely yarn (or, in my case, some plain old pink worsted). The ones on the show were striped, but I liked the "Tiny Dancer" look of the plain pink.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

This Week OTN: Blankets!!

I've been making blankies. This one is almost done. It's an overlapping scallop pattern, made with doubled baby yarns. With the complex pattern, the color changes, and holding the yarn double, it's a bit taxing, but I've been trying to do two bands a day. Nice and big, though, and cheerful looking.

The second one is done. It's a round pattern I found on ravelry, crocheted out of TLC baby yarn. Not as big as I'd like, though, but fine for a newborn and fun and easy to make.

The last one is something I've been adding to all year. I call it the "neutrals afghan". It's just a large granny square. I'm 41 rounds into it, and need about 60 rounds to have a decent sized throw. Now that it's getting larger, I need larger amounts of each yarn to make the circuit. I think I've used about 11-12 different yarns so far. The last five or six rounds will be off-white, so that will take the pressure off somewhat. It's going into hibernation until I can find some additional neutral-colored yarns (beige, ecru, cream, gray, silver, etc.) It's actually much paler than in the photo.