Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fair Needlework

And by fair, I mean county fair, as in the Great Geauga County Fair, held in Geauga County, Ohio, every fall. I saw quite a bit of needlework of various kinds, including knitting. Unfortunately, all the exhibits were behind chicken wire fences (really. I guess people can't keep their hands to themselves), so I couldn't get a close look at a lot of it. And, as much as I enjoyed the fair, they didn't do the best job of displaying all the fine work people did. But I took some photos (through the holes in the chicken wire) and thought I'd share them.

You can see what else we did at the fair here (and don't miss the fair food here!).

Meanwhile, on with the show.

And mostly because they're just too cute, here's a sample of where some of your fibers come from.

The angora...

...and the alpaca.

Love the modified Afro.

I didn't get as much inspiration as I'd hoped for, mostly because we were always at least 4' from the exhibits and I couldn't see details, but there were many hours of love, enjoyment, and talent put into all the work there. Visit your own county fair -- hey, why not enter your own county fair! And happy knitting!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Multi-directional Diagonal Scarf

Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf

pattern by Karen Baumer; find it here
yarn: Noro Kureyon, color #188
100% wool
amount: 3 skeins (108 yds., 50 gr. each)
finished measurements: apx. 6" x 72"
needles: size 5mm (US 8) *

This is hardly my first completed knit project but in some ways it sure feels like it, although I'm not sure why. It feels like a major accomplishment and a huge monkey off my back. The pattern involved a new technique (short rows) -- that part I enjoyed -- but I got sick to death of it before I got done and it's a gift so I felt like I had to finish it. I've decided I don't care for the pattern that much although maybe it's just the yarn choice; I think if worked in something that has texture/variegation but isn't self-striping it might appeal to me more. I also got tired of the colorway, which is odd because I like purples and greens. Maybe getting tired of something is normal for knitting. I did love doing short rows and I'm pleased with the overall result. It feels, to me, warm and snugly, and I like the drape. I sure hope my friend likes it because come the holidays, it's going to be hers!

A couple of notes: Although I've heard that short row knitting can leave holes where the rows join, I didn't have that problem. All I can figure is that I picked the right technique for joining (the pattern gives a choice of two; I chose to SKP). Also, I really like the way the selvages formed -- a nice flat edge with a neat look to it that goes well with the pattern and the yarn. I used the alternate ending mentioned at the bottom of the pattern so both ends would look alike.

This is also the first time I've blocked something
so I wasn't really sure what I was doing. I wouldn't normally bother with a scarf, and the baby blankets I've done didn't need it. On this scarf, my stitches at one end were slightly tighter than the other end so I wanted to see if I could even out the width. It's a gift, after all, and I want it to look really nice. I was afraid of somehow damaging the scarf so I barely dampened it, carefully and gently squeezed it, and took to my blocking pad (a camping pad with a beach towel on top). I started pinning and smoothing the fabric from the center out across the width (it didn't take me long to realize I didn't want to pull on the edges), then let it dry. The entire scarf is the same width. For now.

*for the same look, others might want to go up a needle size or two -- I knit loosely and always go down a couple of sizes from any pattern recommendation. Initially I did try this with a larger size needle and the more open look was nice but I decided I wanted the look of a tighter weave for this fabric/pattern/yarn/friend.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Red Scarf Project

I know this has been well publicized but I thought I'd mention it just in case someone is unaware. The Red Scarf Project sends a Valentine's package to foster children (really they're young adults) that are in college or trade schools, and it's time to mail those scarves in now through Oct. 15.

I got inspired yesterday and found some yarn and have started knitting like crazy. I may be unemployed but I can still find enough money for yarn for a scarf for someone who's been through a lot more than I have.

I chose earthy brown (mainly because I couldn't find a red yarn I liked and didn't have time to shop around), Patons Shetland Chunky Tweeds, and am making a mistake rib scarf.

Keep on knitting...


Finally, a finished object! More about this in a later post but for now, I just had to post a photo.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

You might be an obsessed knitter...

...if you find yourself ignoring the plot of an action movie because you're trying to get a handle on the knit scarf worn by an extra in a street scene.