February 23, 2015

Handspun Skinny Tube Scarf


So first thing this morning I decided to hold a personal photo shoot. Only one picture of myself turned out, as I had little helpers bumping the tripod and climbing on chairs trying to see the pictures on the camera's screen as I snapped them with my remote. They are enthusiastic assistants, I'll give them that. I did finally get Lucy settled with some Cheerios (hard work, those little O's) and plopped Charlie in front of Monkey Pumpkin, or, in layman's terms, Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest.

I wanted to take some pictures because I finished my long, skinny scarf last night. You guys, it is, no lie, the first item I've ever made for myself. I've been knitting for 15 years. That's insane, right? I had a skein of handspun from Paradigm Farms, an alpaca farm owned by a local fiber artist, and decided that it would knit up best into a simple tube scarf, so the yarn would be the focal point instead of a design. The alpaca is so soft, and I like the other scrap fibers spun in with it. The pops of color are interesting, but the total palette is cohesive. I like it!

We've had such warm weather lately (think high 70s, low 80s), I was sure I'd missed my window to enjoy the scarf this winter. But, obviously, I still have an opportunity to bundle up with this Winter Storm Quantum or whatever we're calling it.

I've written the "pattern" below, but honestly, it's pretty straight forward. You might have guessed the pattern by looking at the scarf. My yarn was marked as a light worsted yarn, but it's a pretty rustic handspun with lots of thick and thin details. I knit the scarf on large dpns, so it's is a little open in places, and very stretchy.

Skinny Tube Scarf
See it on Ravelry!

150-175 yds of light worsted or DK weight yarn (I used handspun alpaca)
US size 9 double pointed needles
yarn or tapestry needle

1. Cast on 18 stitches.
2. Rearrange the stitches on three dpns. Join for working in the round.
3. Knit. Knit some more. Knit for days. Knit knit knit.
4. When you have about 1/2 yd of yarn left, or have reached your desired scarf length, bind off all stitches.
5. Weave in ends. Blocking optional, but I like the unblocked look.
6. Go look fabulous in your new scarf.

January 16, 2015

Charlie's Pullover

I ran out of yarn for Charlie's pullover (barely, just barely ran out) a couple of days before Christmas. I picked up the yarn out of state, so there was no chance of running out and grabbing another skein (especially without any LYS here in Lubbock). We went back to Utah right after Christmas, so I got to swing by Harmony for more Manos.

I finally finished it. I have to say I'm not happy with the collar/neck bit. Admittedly, I think the mistake is mine, not the pattern's. I should have stitched the end of the neck in one more row to create the tube for the drawstring. Instead, that tube is a little shorter on the front that the back, and the whole thing is rolling out. I haven't blocked it yet (wasn't planning on it, truth be told) so maybe I'll give the pullover a little dip and block the daylights out of the neck and see if it can be saved. If not, I'm wondering if I care enough to rip out the neck and start again.

Thanfully, Charlie is still such a tiny little guy (2.5 years old and 23.5 lbs fully dressed) he'll definitely get another winter's use out of the sweater. It's pretty huge on him this year, but still wearable with the sleeves rolled up.

Charlie really wasn't in the mood for a fashion shoot, but acquiesced when I agreed to take some pictures of the dinosaur I gave him for Christmas.

Pattern: Abate
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Maxima
Rav notes here.

Pattern: Dinosaur Jr.
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Sport

January 7, 2015

Cables for Days

I technically have three works-in-progress at present: the scarf you see above, which I intended to knit for my mister for Christmas, but because of some serious miscalculation/procrastination on my part, he graciously agreed to receive it for his birthday in February; Lucy's sweater, which needs only buttons, which I had ready to attach until one shattered unexpectedly in my hands; and Charlie's pullover, which needs its collar still, but I had to make an emergency run to a yarn store in Utah before that could happen. Thank goodness Harmony had one skein left in the dye lot I needed. Phew.

I really enjoy this scarf pattern by Jared Flood, who is one of my favorite designers right now. The cables are a nice challenge. After one repeat of the 28ish rows that make up the main body of the scarf, I had a pretty good sense for the pattern and can now do the repeats without a sweat. I'm using a yarn my mom bought in California a while back. It's listed as worsted weight, but to me it looks and feels like a true sport weight, which is much, much lighter. My mom got me two skeins, and at over 1000 yds, I had hoped to make something larger for Mike, but I knew this yarn and yardage wouldn't work up into an entire sweater. He had asked for a scarf a while back, so I doubled up the yarn and got to it.

My favorite component of the scarf is the i-cord edge. Genius. The edges look so clean, and I'm betting they'll look even better blocked. I'm sure the tubular cast-on is another nice feature but it was impossible to see what I was doing with the varigation of the yarn, so I just cast on normally. I don't think the extra work would have made any special difference in the final product.

It takes me about an hour to do one pattern repeat, so I anticipate finishing the scarf in a week or two.

Happy new year!

Pattern: Quay
Yarn: Galler Yarns Peruvian Tweed in Charcoal Black
Rav notes here.