Why this journey?

I've been retired now for over a year. Husband has been sick but is now doing quite well with new pacemaker. I continue to knit and knit and crochet. Recently I became friends again with my sewing machine so you will see some of those projects, too. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

One is Done -- Mohair Lace Scarf

I am, proudly, a knitter.  I choose yarn and pattern, I cast on stitches, I knit and knit and knit and sometimes I take it apart and start over.  And now and then I get to celebrate:  One is Done.

Finished one of the four scarves from yesterday's post.  It's on the blocking board, sprayed gently with water and then steamed.  Being careful with the mohair.  I love the fuzzy, soft feel and look and don't want to ruin it by letting the water tie it in knots or -- horror -- having the steam melt the bits of nylon.

Here's a bit of the color wave as it appears on the blocking board.
Wonderful wine then teal and moving off to the left
it morphs into olive.
Olive, gold, dark mustard.  Choose your own word for
this collection of colors.  You could say this was
the color of a swamp -- doesn't matter.  Tis gorgeous.

The pattern is from One Skein Wonders.  This is a great book for gift knitting.  The items are for babies, adults (both men and women).  The suggested yarns run the gamut from bulky to fine lace.  There's whimsical and practical, and yet none of the items is taxing.  Yarn shop owners from all over the US submitted their designs for hats, gloves, mittens, shawls, scarves, bags, sox, and more.  If you really feel the need to provide warmth for a cell phone, see page 66.

This pattern is called Gossamer Lace Scarf, from Clickity Sticks in Minneapolis.  From the picture below you can see the instructions plus a drawing of the finished item.  Color pictures are in a folio in the center of the book.
Pencil markings indicate the date of my knitting and
the recipient.  The yellow stickies mark other patterns
on my wish-to-knit list.

After casting on the suggested 40 stitches and knitting till the scarf was 5 inches, at least, I was at DP (decision point.)  Clearly not enough yarn from the one skein I found in the yarn stash.  And it really was too too wide for a scarf.  More like a sort-of shawl, but not.  So, off come the stitches and winding, winding I go, wrapping the long end around the ball of yarn from whence it came.

Now, how many stitches will make it come right?  The answer lies in some doodling and thinking and a bit of adding and subtracting.  It's a great way to begin the process of understanding lace while adjusting it to fit the size you want the item to be.  Here's my notebook and pen, showing the quick chart (vertical hash marks and "O's" for yarn-overs, with slash marks representing Knit 2 Together.)
When I'm done with this doodling, I have discovered
a) how many stitches repeat themselves across (12 in this case)
and b) how many extra stitches are at each end to finish off the design
(16 in this case.)
And finally I discover that if I use any multiple of 12 stitches (like 12, or 24, or 36, etc.) PLUS the 16 edge stitches, I will have exactly what i need to make the pattern work out properly.  I already know that 24+16 = 40 is tooooo many stitches -- that's the number called for in the original directions.  So I 'jump down' to 12 + 16 = 28 and that's what I used.

Worked out perfectly.  Scarf is on the blocking board.  Design is wonderful with the yarn I selected (which sometimes doesn't happen -- an example later.)  I'm moving on to the next scarf.

BTW:  I added another one to the list.  This is like the game with team hands slapping one on top of the other in the center of the huddle.  It can go on forever unless, and until, someone older and wiser calls a halt to the silliness.

Just had a birthday, so I reckon I'm 'older' now, but can't seem to get with the 'wise' part.  I just keep buying yarn, choosing patterns, adding a new book to the shelf, dreaming about another pattern, . . . 

and . . . casting on more stitches to yet another set of needles.  According to her comment, Ludmilla does the same thing.  Projects, projects and more projects.  

I am, proudly, a knitter.  Join me in the obsession

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