Wednesday, March 30, 2016


It's no secret I love turquoise and teal.  They remind me of warm Caribbean beaches.  Sigh.  So when I found this yarn in a clearance bin at The Wool Queen,  I had to have it.  Even though it wasn't on my shopping list.  And, I had to have every ball in this colour.  And a few balls in a different colourway.  What's not to love?  Gradual shading, an easy to use gauge, and a gentle machine wash 51% wool (49% acrylic).  Sirdar "Escape DK" .  This colour has the unfortunate name of "SH193".

My first stop was mittens.  Particularly the sideways mittens that my daughter had been knitting.  This would be an attempt to refine the pattern, perhaps for publication.  Well,  while sideways mittens are not common, there are a few patterns out there. And I'm not 100% satisfied with them.

 The original pattern had you pick up around the cuff and knit a garter stitch band, perpendicular.  Pbssst.  Why do that?  As a result, the thumb gusset shaping is now part of the cuff, and given the stretchiness of the garter stitch, while the mittens "fit", they slip off too easily.  Making the pattern (or just the thumb gusset) an inch shorter would change the gusset shaping a LOT and require much engineering. Or might not.  It might be worth it, it might not.
 The other thing I did was start with waste yarn so I could graft the first and last rows.  Or, I might have done a three needle bind off.  I don't remember now!  It's tricky to graft in garter stitch.  It seems while one side looks good, the inside has a ridge.  You can see below on the left mitten, there is a line on the hand just before the thumb.
I also cast on double the stitches, and did the shaping that should have been at the finger tip ends, in the middle, rather than having to sew up the tops.
The white line going up the center point was a marker to mark where the centre was for the shaping.  I like using a long piece of yarn as it doesn't go sproing off the needles, and I can see where the marker has been, not just the row it's on. 

The mittens are nice.  Warm, but not crazy warm because while the garter stitch adds a bit more thickness to the fabric, they are still just knitted and not felted, so they are not windproof.  The fit is decent but could be better.  And of course, they got stuck to the velcro on my safety vest at work a few times, so there is a lot of pilling.

Next up, a hat.  I thought a simple square hat, like in my profile picture here, but knit sideways like the mittens.  I'm not sure why I chose garter stitch though.  I was going to do one of those sideways knit garter stitch hats that I've done a few of but again, they always had a bit of a fit issue (a little stump at the top) and I was heading out and didn't have time to find the pattern.  So I went with square.  I knit and knit and knit until it would go around my head.  And realized that it was totally not the look I wanted.  Perhaps if  I added a ribbed cuff, but to get the negative ease to keep the hat on, the body was oddly misshaped on my head.  Sigh. 

I played with it, and thought, if I sew it closed anyway, but keep both edges open, it could be a super wide headband, or a neck warmer!  But it was too much as a headband. I folded it in thirds, and while that worked, it wouldn't stay tidy on my head.  So I knit a band to wrap around it (knit it a few times to get it right. Sigh.).  Was this the answer?

It was cute, it was trendy.  I thought being able to still open it up wider at the back would be great.  But, it was very thick and maybe too warm.  Eventually I cut off the band, and found a crochet headband pattern I liked.  Although I had to do two attempts to get the sizing right. 
 You don't see all that much change in the shading, it looks more like it was striped.  The kids say the narrow part needs a button or something, but I don't have anything I thought looked right.  It's working out pretty well.  I can pop it on over my hair and feel trendy, or under my hair.  Again, not windproof. And the girls also pointed out that the one edge of the headband pulls in more at that narrow section than the other edge.  I don't know why.
I had a bit of yarn left, in some small balls.  Even though the girls said I can not wear three pieces of matching yarn, I went ahead and made an infinity scarf with my new SK155 and ribber set up.  The SK155 is not new, but the ribber is!  I used the tuck ribbed lace in the ribber manual.  I could have used a few more stitches on the edges.  I didn't want to over steam because there is really nice texture, but the sides do roll.  Maybe I should pin it and steam.  It's quite narrow, but I figured long and narrow gets wrapped around the neck and becomes just as warm as a single wide loop.  Plus, what if I made it wide, and it turned into that awkward length of not short enough to be warm, but not long enough for two wraps?

Yarn In: 1586gr
Yarn Out: 155gr + 3628gr = 3783gr
Balance:  2197gr more USED than bought
Costs:   $74.87/90days = $0.83/day

No comments: