Saturday, March 31, 2007

A Second Helping of...

Last night while knitting up a new 'copy' of Mom's Broken Rib Dishcloth I realized that my knitting has changed since I wrote that pattern. This cloth felt loose to me. It was originally made with the smaller size Mom likes for washing her dishes. After I finished it I knit up a second one with smaller needles and a few more stitches. I like this newer version better. Can you see the difference in size?

Just a few extra stitches, a couple of more pattern repeats, and the drape feels much better. See the back?
I like the texture here, too. It's great for scrubbing dishes. Yep, I use my dishcloths and so does Mom.

Mom's Broken Rib Dishcloth, Take Two!
© Cathy Waldie, March 30, 2007

(US) 7 (4.5mm) needles
100 % cotton yarn
Finished size: 8” x 8 ¼ "

C/O 35 sts
K6 rows (slip the first stitch of all rows, then beg pattern)

1: Sl 1, K across
2: Sl 1, K3 (edge stitches), P 1, (K1, P1) 13 times, end K4 (edge stitches)

Repeat rows (1 and 2) 19 more times (total of 20 pattern repeats).
K7 rows, B/O in purl.

My daughter got her Second Sparkly Hat (SSS Hat) this week and was very pleased with it's fit. You can bet I'll be making her a few more very soon! In fact, I have both brown and camel colored Encore skeins waiting to hit the needles with her name written all over them. It's fun to think that I've made enough hats over the past several years and can now custom fit hats and beanies for the kids in just their preferred sizes. She likes the way the edges fit snugger (smaller needles for the cuff) than the main body of the hat and the way it comes down just below her ears. The older ones she had were 'just that much' too short. In my opinion it's easier to figure out how to make a hat fit when you have the daughter in town to try on hats and measure her head. I'm just sayin'....

Notes on the SSS Hat: I made the hat identical to the first one with the exception of making the cuff flat- not turned up, using the same wool-ease yarn. The pattern should look very familiar.
Steph's Second Sparkly Hat (SSS Hat)
© Cathy Waldie, March 19, 2007

size adult small
1 skein Lion Brand Wool-Ease worsted weight, white multi, label [2 1/2 ozs/70 g, 162 yds/146 m, 78% acrylic, 19% wool, 3% polyester, 18 sts/24rows on (us) 8 (5.0mm)]

(US)5 (3.75mm) and (US)6 (4.0mm) 16” / 40cm circular needles
(US) 6 (4.0mm) 24”/60 cm circular needle
Chibi needle
Stitch marker

Twisted rib stitch = Round one, *K2, P2* repeat aroundRound two=*K1 in the back of the loop, K1 in the back of the loop, P2* repeat around.Repeat rounds one and two for desired length.

Using size (US) 5 (3.75mm) needle, cast on 100 sts. Be careful not to twist the stitches. Join to knit in the round and place marker.

Knit in K2, P2 twisted rib for 12 rounds.On the last row...decrease 1 stitch (99 sts)

Switching to (US) 6 (4.0mm) needles st. st for 25 rounds.

Begin decrease rounds:

1: *K7, K2 tog* around (88 sts)
2: K around
3: *K6, K2 tog* around (77 sts)
4: K around
5: *K5, k2 tog* around (66 sts)
6: K around
7: *K4, K2 tog* around (55 sts)
8: Knit around
9: *K3, K2 tog* around (44 sts)
10: Knit around
11: *K2, K2tog* around (33 sts)
12: Knit around
13: *K1, K2 tog* around (22 sts)
14: Knit around
15: *K2 tog* around (11 sts)
16: *K2 tog* around (6 sts)

Cut yarn to approximately 18". Weave through stitches (twice), pull tight, and fasten off.Weave in tails.

In other news around the family, the KBB Blanket was made for my cousin's baby due in August. I was so sure that they would be having a boy. Guess what? She's not a boy! She's going to be a girl...and that's making her Grandpa very happy! He's always wanted a daughter. Now, after two sons, and a Grandson, he's getting a girl! I'm guessing this will be one very spoiled Granddaughter! Since none of my daughters (or my son) knit, (they were taught, but have learned to say, "Mom, I need this and this by this date, can you make it up for me?") I have offered to let them pick out something for me to knit for this little one yet to join the family. Middle daughter picked another Feather and Fan Rainbow Baby Blanket. I saw that coming! Waiting for the rest of the pickings to be, well, picked. That makes it a second helping of knitting a blanket for my cousin, and a third helping of F and F Rainbow blankets.

Dad is still in the hospital. Post surgery he was doing well enough that they gave him a round of chemo. A few hours later he started with a few issues that's kept him admitted rather than going home last Thursday. He's now looking at Monday for a possible release date.

The kids and I decided to send him this, even though it will arrive after the tournament has finished. The kids thought it was a perfect choice for the Grandpa of two UCLA graduates. Not to mention it was time to add to Grandpa's hat collection. Maybe we can convince him that his hat collection is a better hobby than surgeries and hospital stays? I keep suggesting knitting as a hobby to substitute, but he just laughs it off and declines the lessons. OY! Parents!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ribs: Dad's, Cloth and Scarf

A couple of years ago, my dad started on a series of surgeries by accident. Literally. He was up on his step stool putting books away in his study when he fell. He broke one rib and displaced another one and at the time we thought that was the extent of the damage. A few months later, thinking he had a tumor in his stomach, while undergoing exploratory surgery,the surgeon slipped beginning a 10 day stay in the heart unit and many weeks in surgical rehab. It was something that could/should have killed a weaker man. Or woman. The heart doc said had Dad not had a daily ritual of walking 5 miles at the mall, his heart wouldn't have been strong enough to pull him through.

The good part of the story? He didn't have a tumor in his stomach, rather it was a hiatal hernia which was fixable. It got fixed...the bad part of the story...while it got fixed, he ended up with peritonitis from the surgeon's slip. Today he's having another surgery. He has bladder cancer now. They are taking out his second tumor today while I'm writing this. This is the latest in the continuing 'effects' I believe stem from that 'incident'. Hang in there DAD!

(camera phone, good color, fuzzy picture-sorry)
Prior to the original fall and broken rib saga, I'd begun an afghan for my dad using his favorite maroon/burgundy/cranberry color. I used a Red Heart pattern from one of their little books you can pick up from any department type store that still has knitting/yarn stuff. I used Paton's Decor in their cranberry color. AND I LOVED IT! I loved the 75/25% wool blend, the sheen to it, and the way it felt in my hands. Like it would last a long time without pilling and fuzzing up and didn't break the bank. It was very warm as I worked away on nearly 300 stitches laying in my lap. It was a pattern that needed complete concentration. Needless to say, it wasn't a project that got worked on very steadily.
(35mm film, good picture, light colors)
Since I had also been 'sidelined' with injuries myself, after the surgery, I got to thinking I might want to finish it quickly and get it up to him, certainly I now had the time to finish it. I wanted him to be able to have it on his bed while he was in the hospital recovering as my way of sending him daily 'hugs' via the afghan. It got done, he went to surgical rehab, I fed-exed the afghan, and the nurses said..he can't keep it there. It was at risk of being stolen. ulg! He did get a lot of use out of it when he went home and had to sleep in the recliner. Even though I understood the reason, I was not a happy camper that they wouldn't let him keep it while he was there. I couldn't go back and I wanted him to know that I was wrapping him up in prayers, hugs, and love while he needed to get better.
(35mm camera, good long lens, not much detail)
Anyway. As I was packing up the afghan, I wanted to send something for Mom, too. She'd been driving back and forth every day, many days more than once between their apartment, the hospital and the surgical rehab the whole time. Sometimes she didn't get home until 3am, but she was always there in the am to give him his shave and his care, help with his meals, etc...Grandma would have been very proud of her, she had been a nurse. I think Mom would have been an excellent nurse, too.

Getting back to the story, I flipped through my 365 stitches calendar and found a pattern that by the name alone I knew I'd found what I was looking for. I decided to make a dishcloth for mom that she could keep in the kitchen. The title of the stitch? Broken rib. Perfect, no? I also decided to make Dad a scarf with the left over yarn from his afghan. With that, I attached notes telling them both that from this day forward, these are the only two things for the rest of their lives, that are allowed to have broken ribs in and around the two of them! Period. Forever!

Mom’s Broken Rib Dishcloth
(US) 8 (5.0mm) needles
100 % cotton yarn
Finished size: 7 ¼” x 7 ¾”

C/O 29 sts
k4 rows *slip the first stitch of all rows, then beg pattern:
1: sl 1, k across
2: sl 1, k2 (edge stitches), p 1, (k1, p1) 11 times, end k3 (edge stitches)
Repeat rows (1 and 2) 17 more times (total of 18 pattern repeats).
K5 rows, B/O in purl.

© Cathy Waldie, February 13, 2005

Dad’s Broken Rib Scarf

(US) 4 (3.5mm) needles
(US) 7 (4.5mm) needles
2 skeins Paton’s D├ęcor claret #1657 (or color of your choice)(add more if longer length is desired)
Gauge in patt: 20 sts/27 rows = 4"/10cm, unblocked
Finished size : 6” x 56 ½”

C/O=Cast On
B/O=Bind off
Kfb=knit into the front and the back of the same stitch
Sl 1=slip the first stitch as if to knit

Using smaller sized needles, C/O 29 sts and K 5 rows (slipping the first stitch of each row).
6: sl 1, k6, kfb in next stitch, k4, kfb in next st, k3, kfb in next st, k4, kfb in next st, k7 (33 sts)

Switch to larger needles
7: sl 1, k across
8: sl 1, k2(edge stitches), p 1, (k1, p1) 13 times, end k3 (edge stitches)

Repeat rows (7 and 8) 170 more times (171 pattern repeats total) or until desired length, switch back to smaller needles

Next row:
sl 1, k6, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k3, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k7.
K4 rows (slipping the first stitch of each row)
B/O in purl.

Weave in ends.
© Cathy Waldie, January 22, 2005

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Nothing but...

As a I have to say:

Nothing but net...
Nothing but threads left...
and Nothing left ...

Friday, March 23, 2007

Visit to Yarn-Snob Island for the Brown Sisters

The budget doesn’t always allow me to visit that vacation Island known as Yarn-Snob very often. When the rare frequent yarn miles allow me that coveted trip (generally when my parents have sent money for my birthday or Christmas with the strict direction of buying something for myself), it’s got to be for a very special occasion or person. A couple of years ago, it was for four special some ones.

There is an LYS not too far from the address of my yarn stash who holds bi-yearly ‘bag sales’. For knitters, I deem this akin to a yarn mosh-pit. They have wire bins and racks over flowing with discontinued brands and colors marked down to 50% or so. It’s as if you’ve died and gone to heaven if you can find the perfect flavors for your patterns and cravings. I decided to venture out after reading rave reviews over and over to see what the fuss was all about.

I have to say, they weren’t kidding. The amount available was something else to this long time knitter/newbie LYS attendee. Trying to get close to the bins made me happy I was not there at the crack of dawn. Two hours into the yarn frenzy was more than enough to convince me that this was an event worth investigating at least once in a lifetime. There were more than enough colors and textures to put a mild mannered knitter into sensory overload. I got to thinking that there must be something in the mountains of fiber there that would be calling my name. I just hoped it wasn’t going to be calling me something silly.

Digging around I was picking up this microfiber, picking up this wool, that merino, putting down that microfiber, looking at this, looking at that…thinking to myself...what in tarnation were they sniffing when they concocted that one? Determined that I would not leave without something to show for my little adventure, I continued digging. I was aware that the moment I sat something down it was to be snatched up in a nanosecond, but yet, nothing was singing in my ear yet. Having always lived on a budget, I guarantee I had never seen nor felt anything so soft or luxurious in my life. This was something I knew better than to chance putting down even long enough to tie a shoe, or pay attention to anything else. The next question was, what would I do with gray? I kept looking while keeping my treasure in a vice grip under my arm. And that’s when it hit me. I found the mint silk merino. And it dawned on me that I’d never knit a thing for my mom in all my 35+ years worth of knitting. All the charity things sent to persons unknown, (Ok the boyfriend sweater that I gave to her doesn’t count. He broke up with me, and I spent far too much time on it to throw it out. But I’ve also learned, the curse-is real.) I am a bad, bad daughter, I admit it.

Continuing with my new found talent of digging through the mountain to find the needle/or the silk merino, I found some lavender and navy. Now we were getting somewhere. I’d never knitted a thing for my Auntie “M” either who’d taught me to knit when I was 7 after I’d watched over her shoulder I’m sure pestering her the whole time. But hey, with more than two colors in my little treasure trove, why not make enough for each of my mom’s sisters as well?
With four colors to choose from, I now had a plan. Four colors + four Brown Sisters (Mom and her sisters) = four scarves. We were in business…until I tried to find the perfect patterns for the perfect scarves with the perfect colors for the perfect sisters. The decision process nearly killed me.
Mom’s was easy. Well, relatively easy. I was flipping through a Holiday issue of Vogue Knitting (I believe) and found this scarf but left off the beads. To me putting a bead in the center of each pattern meant if she needed to pull it tight in the winter weather, she’d get the beads digging into her neck. While it looked pretty in the pictures, to me it wasn’t so practical to wear.

My girls needed to fly home for a family funeral just as I was finishing the scarf. It also coincided with Mom’s birthday. After all the funeral events, the girls were able to hand deliver the scarf to mom while I was on the cell phone 3, 000 miles away as she opened it. It was the first time the kids had ever been with Mom on her birthday. Cell phones in this family have allowed us to bring Grandma and Grandpa ‘along’ on many of the kids’ events-UCLA band concerts, singing in church, ‘take me out to the ball game’ singing at Dodger stadium, etc...This was the first time they took me ‘along’ for the event.

After picking out the colors with advice from the cousins, picking the patterns for each aunt was another matter. Each of the four Brown Sisters have their own special talents. My mother’s is organizing with a small amount of crocheting on the side. My aunts have their own gifts, but also knit. They would know if something I made them was up to snuff, or just cheesy peasey.

Auntie “M” was the one who not only taught me to knit, but had introduced a lot of needlework extras into my life. Like the hand smocked dress for my first day of school, or the bunny shaped rice krispy treats at Easter, the ribbon jello at my bridal shower to match my bridesmaids’ dresses, and the dream catchers for each of the kids in addition to all her grandchildren at the family reunion. I made her the Misty Garden scarf from Pam Allen's Scarf Style with of the lavender for her.

Auntie “A along with Uncle “D” play Santa and Mrs. over the holidays for private parties and for a couple of special groups. I’ll have to talk about their efforts in another posting down the road. They also make beautiful Tiffany styled lamps, and someday when I grow up, I want one of my very own! (In blues, of course.) I just am too afraid after all of their work, that it might not survive the trip out to California. So, I am currently Auntie “A” lampless.

I picked a pattern from a small magazine that had cables in it. I love cables. I heart cables. I have been known to pick a sweater pattern and knit it full of cables. If I could knit cables all the time, that would be very ok with me. Then along came this Irish Hiking Scarf that so may other were talking about. Curiosity bit me and I went in search of this hot topic. I knew I’d seen this before! It was the same scarf I was working on for Auntie “A” with the exception of the ends on her scarf. The pattern I’d picked up had a ribbing in a smaller sized needle to keep the ends from flaring out. I have to say, I think I like that a lot. I hate it when the ends poof out, and that happens all the time, and not just to scarves.

Auntie “N” is the baby of their family. She’s the one who PROPERLY taught me to be a Wolverine fan, and all that it entails. She was the sister who moved to AA as a single gal, and has never left that town. The summer after my freshman year of high school I was lucky enough to spend a week at her house. It was my first trip to a French restaurant, my first strawberry crepes, first bagels, and it started a really great relationship with her. Today when the Wolverines are playing their famous rivalry game of the season you will most likely find the two of us calling or emailing each other….with YA! Or ..what was that? Or….did you see that? She’s also the one who has helped to fill my house with a lot of navy and maize items! From singing bottle openers and magnets, to ‘proper clothing’ for the kids and me, she’s had my family covered well. When my daughter was marching for UCLA in September, 2000, she even offered to send me some PROPERLY decorated underwear to hide my true allegiance while at the Rose Bowl game the day they played U of M. Daughter caught wind of the plot and threatened the next 3 years worth of free tickets to all things UCLA that she would march for, and we had to abandon the ship. After all…free tickets for the mom is nothing to be messed with. (darn it).

Knowing that I was down to the gray color left, I wasn’t completely sold on the idea for her scarf. Then one of the Yahoo groups that I’d joined gave me the ‘bestest’ of ideas! Using Regia sock yarn in their nations colors, you can make a 3 x 3 rib scarf! And guess what…they had a Navy-Yellow flavor in their selection! Bingo, we have a winner here. The moment I found that color it was a done deal. I’ve since asked her if she felt slighted about not getting the silk merino, and she told me I’d picked a very good color for her.

It’s too bad that Auntie “N” was ill the day of the family reunion when Mom passed them out. And ‘hats off’ to Auntie “M” and Auntie “A” for standing in 102*+ heat while they had their picture taken for my benefit! Now that’s a couple of Aunties worth loving! In my haste to get to the post office, I’d neglected to snap a few pictures. I know..shock of all shocks…me, not taking pictures. Who’d have believed such a thing? I sit here hanging my head in shame. Thank goodness for my parents coming to the rescue.

Ya know what? I love my Mom and my Aunties….I just wish my budget would allow me to love more folks (including me) more often. *sigh*….everyone’s gotta have a wish list, now don’t they?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

*sigh* glitches.....

Got to thinking while flipping through some old pictures....
Maybe this child did come by it honestly.
She's the new 26 year old around my house.
*sigh* had a really great tribute to my Mom and her sisters talking about these scarves
However, as I went to post it, AOL service had a 'glitch' in it's program, shut down and lost everything. It's going to take me awhile to rewrite it all. I was less than thrilled, I tell ya!
Therefore, I'll leave you with this update on the current baby blanket:

Monday, March 19, 2007

Steph's Sparkly Hat

Knitting for family is generally on or near the top of most knitters' lists. I am no exception. Having my daughter home for a few extra days because of the Northeast weather has given me the time to work on a hat to fit her. She wears an adult small size and nothing that I've made her in the past has fit well. (doesn't help to not have her around often to fit her) Last night I had her go through multiple hats to test which size, style, and fibers she wanted. I was hoping to make her one to match the "H" Mall Store Rib Knit Scarf I'd just finished. Apparently, the previous beanies I'd made for her were too short and she wasn't thrilled with the 'look' once on her head. When she demonstrated, I immediately understood.

What we came up with is a combination from a lot of hats. One was too long, one too loose, one just right around but way too short...on and on... She wanted a hat that would feel 'snug' but not too loose, come to the end of her ears, with a small cuff, but not too high. I think Houston, we may have lift off.

The Lion Brand Wool-Ease that I used for her scarf has the iridescent thread in it that I was looking for. After using the chunky weight for the scarf, the worsted weight is what we picked for her hat. The original scarf had a red iridescent thread running through it which is what lead me to this one.
Now, here's the inside of the cuff. You'll notice that it's done with a twisted rib. Why? it's my favorite ribbing. A 2 x 2 twisted rib. I learned it many years ago with a sweater pattern. Heaven knows I can't remember which sweater. But I really loved the way it kept my stitches from being too loose, and I learned that not all ribs had to be a 1 x 1. I was young. What can I say?

Today I don't need the twisted rib for tightening up, rather I like the design. I use this on nearly all of my beanies. and hats. It's rare that I don't. If you don't want to twist your stitches, go right ahead with a plain 2 x 2 rib or a 1 x's up to you and what you're going to prefer. This is just my preference. I know that when the cuff is folded up it won't show. That's ok with me. I am going to be making her a second hat with the same basic construction without a flip up cuff.

Looking on the top of the crown, you'll get an idea how the decrease section lays.

Steph’s Sparkly Hat
©Cathy Waldie, March 18, 2007

size adult small
1 skein Lion Brand Wool-Ease worsted weight, white multi, label [2 1/2 ozs/70 g, 162 yds/146 m, 78% acrylic, 19% wool, 3% polyester, 18 sts/24rows on (us) 8 (5.0mm)]
(US)5 (3.75mm) and (US)6 (4.0mm) 16” / 40cm needles
(US) 6 (4.0mm) 24”/60 cm needle
Chibi needle
Stitch marker
Twisted rib stitch = Round one, *K2, P2* repeat around
Round two=*K1 in the back of the loop, K1 in the back of the loop, P2* repeat around.
Repeat rounds one and two for desired length.

Using size (US) 5 (3.75mm) needle, cast on 100 sts. Be careful not to twist the stitches. Join to knit in the round and place marker.

Knit in K2, P2 twisted rib for 30 rounds.
On the last row...decrease 1 stitch (99 sts)

Switching to (US) 6 (4.0mm) needles st. st for 25 rounds

Begin decrease rounds:
1: *K7, K2 tog* around (88 sts)
2: K around
3: *K6, K2 tog* around (77 sts)
4: K around
5: *K5, k2 tog* around (66 sts)
6: K around
7: *K4, K2 tog* around (55 sts)
8: Knit around
9: *K3, K2 tog* around (44 sts)
10: Knit around
11: *K2, K2tog* around (33 sts)
12: Knit around
13: *K1, K2 tog* around (22 sts)
14: Knit around
15: *K2 tog* around (11 sts)
16: *K2 tog* around (6 sts)
Cut yarn to approximately 18". Weave through stitches (twice), pull tight, and fasten off.
Weave in tails.

The next project well under way is the first of the two Feather and Fan Rainbow Baby Blankets.

Did you know there is an easy, visual way to double check this pattern to make sure you are right on the money? Look in the center of the top of your arch. That center stitch should be straight up the middle. if you look at the last arch on the left side, you'll know for sure that you've done this well. If you are off a stitch or two, that center 'line' won't be straight. Trust me. Take a guess how I learned?

This is the second time I've used Caron Simply Soft yarn. Maybe it's just me, but the white just seems a little on the thin side. Maybe it's just that I'm used to the TLC Lustre. Or maybe it's just a skein that is a bit on the thin side.

In the last section for today...I bring you this picture to speak on it's own. (yes, I know this is the cheap stuff in town, but please already....) All I have to ask is,
What's Left in YOUR Wallet?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Red fini!

UPDATE 3/19/07: I guess I should have mentioned, and I apologize for not! That I used my NMCRS Basketweave Blanket V.2 pattern that you can find over on the left side of the page under the Wishing I was Knitting at the Lake Pattern section. If you click on the pattern name, hopefully the link will take you to the day where I'd posted the pattern in the past! Thanks for all the interest in this pattern! I hope you love this one as much as I do! The pattern is over there


I am happy to say, the red blanket is all finished! Once again, I love this pattern. I've made several blankets from this, and I will continue to make more. It's a fast pattern that I've used to teach beginning knitters how to knit and purl in the same row making a project that they could enjoy having and had requested. It's also perfect for taking along to work on while at sporting event your kids are in, or for tv/movie watching. One row knit, one row of simple counting up to eight. And if you're really good, you can knit this with your eyes closed!

The original pattern was written with 100% acrylic in mind. While making baby blankets for the NMCRS (Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society) with the yarn (Red Heart's TLC Lustre) they supplied, I wanted to try my hand at writing some of my own patterns. There are a few things I noticed with this different fiber content starting with the way it knitted up 'shorter' than my previous blankets. I'm assuming that is due to the cotton content. To combat that effect, I extended the pattern repeats once more for a total of nine, rather than the original pattern of eight.

Knitting Stats:

9 pattern repeats to allow for cotton shrinkage
5 skeins of yarn - Lion Brand Cotton-Ease, in Cherry Red, [ label: 17 sts/24 rows=4"/10 cm, with (US)8 (5.0 mm), 50% cotton, 50% acrylic, 3.5 oz (100 g), 207 yds, 188 m]
size (US) 8 (5.0 mm) Addi Turbo needles

Pre-dryer blocking:
36" x 38.5" slightly stretched...(smoothed out on the bed)
gauge preblock: 16 sts x 24 rows = 4"/10 cm in stockinette st.

Post-dryer blocking:
33 3/4" x 38 1/2"
15 sts x 23.5 rows = 4"/ 10 cm in st. st.

Noticed while knitting this project:
This reminded of the cotton blankets my grandmother used to have for 'summertime' use. I did end up with some red fuzz on my black dress pants while working on it. Not to all brushed off easily.

Noticed after I finished this project:
I spritzed the blanket with a mist bottle, and popped it into the dryer for roughly ten minutes. AND BOY am I sad that Lion Brand has decided NOT to keep their primary colors for this yarn! It's soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo soft! I would have loved some little white blankets for my kids way back when...or to have made along the way for baby gifts!

When I bought up the Cotton-Ease after Lion Brand decided to discontinue this 'flavor', I had only been thinking of Chemo Caps with it. How little did I know! I just love how soft this little blanket turned out! I hope that the little one who ends up all wrapped up in this blanket will agree with me, and spend many hours dreaming of only things babies can dream of. Oh, heck! I wish I had enough on hand to make myself an afghan out of this! Yes, I probably have enough orange to do so, or the yellow color, but since I'm not the Great Pumpkin or a bumble bee...I won't be making myself an afghan out of Cotton-Ease anytime soon! Drats.

Now, if I could just get them to make Blue and Maize colors!

And a big thank you for the Boston area weather girl gets 3 extra days at home with mommy before she heads back. Her flight was finally cancelled at 7pm tonight...she's happy...more beach days..I'm happy...more days to see my kid! I just might have to make her a sparkley hat to go with her sparkley scarf....

Thursday, March 15, 2007

that "H" Mall Store Rib Knit Scarf

A couple of years ago, the 'baby' of the family was working over the winter holidays in one of those trendy teenaged clothing stores at the mall. Rather than call it out by name...we'll refer to it as that 'H' Mall Store. The company hires a LOT of teenagers, but gives them each very few hours. I think they're waiting for them to spend their whole paychecks and their parents' paychecks on the clothes in the store. (Not too bad a marketing idea-eh? Lots of teenagers, few hours to pay each, no benefits, lots of teenagers handling the clothes, thus wearing their paychecks around the high school, free advertising to the rest of the teenaged population...)

They do have a rather great selection of scarves in the fall. Unfortunately, I didn't know early enough that she wanted a particular one until the last moments of that holiday 'rush/crunch/when do I pick it up while she's not working/so she won't know ahead of time/will I get the right one' shopping season? of those moments.

Taking her sister into the store on her night off (praying we wouldn't run into her shopping at the same time) helped me to figure out which scarf she wanted. Wouldn't you know it, they were out of the white color she wanted but did have a red one in stock. According to her co-workers there, who swore to secrecy, they would be getting in another shipment in the next few days post Christmas, and daughter would be able to exchange it at that time. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA...uh ahhhhhhhhhh......I think that group of kids would be able to sell ice cubes to Eskimos, too!

While they did keep the secret, the shipment never happened. Big surprise? The more I thought about the scarf the more I knew I could duplicate it in her preferred white color. Why? Because I've seen a comparable yarn from Lion Brand both in the chunky and worsted weights. The red one as I eyeballed it, appeared to have been on size 11-13/s with the chunky yarn. I also figured it would work with double stranding the worsted if the chunky didn't work out well. The chunky did work well...and I am now working up a second scarf with double strands of Plymouth Encore using 2 colors of green sage. Not at the same time. I'm using each color for 4 rows at a time and like the way that's turning out as well. That gives two different looks for the same pattern that knits up very quickly.
A few notes here. I slipped the first edge stitches both as if to knit and as if to purl on different sides of the scarf. I liked the way the edges laid using both, rather than my usual 'slipping as if to knit' for both sides. With the ribbing it looked better.
To slip as if to knit, use the first stitch on your left needle. Insert your right needle to the left of that first stitch, from the front of your left needle towards the back of your work. Now, rather than using your yarn to create a new stitch, just slide that stitch off of the left needle onto the right needle. Continue with your pattern as needed for your second stitch.
To slip as if to purl, insert your right needle from the right side of your stitch toward the left, in front of your work and slip that stitch off of your left needle onto your right needle. Again, proceeding with your pattern with the next stitch. Clear as mud?
The rib knit on this scarf works well with both weights of yarn. It 'springs' back toward itself making it a very warm scarf to wear. Use either size 11 or 13 needles, the larger ones giving you a wee bit bigger scarf and loser fabric. It's a scarf, so you don't need to have it 'fit' as if you were making a garment to wear. Your preference.

Daughter came home from the frozen country yesterday and when she saw the new white scarf, she was plenty happy with it. I'm sure she will give me an update next week after returning to the below zero temps. However, she quickly tossed it to the side as she dug out her bathing suit while her friends were in the driveway waiting for their trip to the beach. We've had between 88-92* temps while she had been walking between classes in -11*F back there. Happy she was, but not wanting to invest much time in the wool blended scarf. (I wonder why!)

She has some very definite ideas of the clothes she will wear, and what she won't wear. I wouldn't say picky, just knows what she's looking for. Why knit something she's not going to pull out from under the bed? (ya, like three red and white scarves when I wasn't paying attention to what I'd already finished? and she's not a big 'wear the school colors in college' kinda girl. She'd prefer to wear colors that go with her clothes that look nice. mmmm...go figure. ha ha ha)

Hopefully your computers can see the 'sparkles' in this yarn. The camera didn't pick it up nearly as well as your eyes can see it. It is there. I promise.

Steph’s Sparkle Scarf
That ‘H’ Mall Store Rib Knit Scarf
© Cathy Waldie, February 26, 2007
2 skeins, Lion Brand Chunky Wool-Ease [Label: 5ozs. 140 gms, 153 yards, 140 m, 14 sts/18 rows on (US) 10.5 (6.5mm) needles]
Gauge in pattern: 17 sts/14 rows
Finished size : 6” x 78” without fringe
(US) 11 (8.0mm ) needles

If the scarf is going to have fringe, cut your fringe first from both skeins of yarn and set them aside. This will give you almost an identical amount of yarn length from both skeins as you knit. That means at the time you have to add the second skein while you are knitting the scarf, your join will be somewhat in the center of the scarf. I cut 15“lengths for this. 26 x 2 = 52 strands. I used them double on each end, meaning, 13 x 2 strands for each end of the scarf.

Cast on 29 stitches
1: k1, (p1,K1) 14 times
2: sl 1 as if to knit, (k1, p1) 14 times
3: sl 1 as if to purl, (p1, k1) 14 times.
Repeat rows 2 and 3 until desired length. Bind off.
Add fringe if desired. 26 strands each end, 2 x 13 across each end.