> To Knit is Divine: Winter at last

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Winter at last

It finally feels like winter here in the nation's capital. It snowed through the night, the sun is shining, it's not too cold (-7C), all in all the perfect winter day. I mean really now, if we're going to live in a country with winter, then we should at least have something that resembles winter, right? Not the mild, grey, rainy stuff we've had so far this year. I like my winters between 0C and -10C, with snow on the ground and no ice. That's not too much to ask now, is it?

Now the problem with creating a list of things to blog about, but not actually blogging about them, is that by the time I get around to blogging, some of the things will have changed. Like the weather. One of the things on my list is the lack of a real winter so far this year. So, I could just scratch that off the list and move on, or I could show you some now out
of date pictures. Like this:

I took this picture on Christmas Day. Not only was there no snow on the ground, but the grass was actually green. Not a dark, dead green either - a bright vibrant grassy green. And, although I didn't get a picture, there were some trees that were budding. The earth was confused. Very confused. There were even some geese still hanging around:

Now, we're used to seeing geese on Dow's Lake every spring and fall, but it seems awfully late for them to still be hanging around Canada. Shouldn't they be on a beach in Mexico or something by December 25?. I hope they made it somewhere warm in time.

The remaining things on my list can be broken down to three main categories: FOs (finished objects), WIPs (Works in Progress) and my knitting to-do list. I had also planned (and it's on my list) to prepare a list of the knitting books that I have, so that if any of my work knitting club want to borrow any books, they know what I have. But unless I get through all the rest of the stuff and have a burning desire to keep going, that will have to wait until the new year.

So, let's start with FOs so that my gallery is complete before I move on to 2007.

First off, weeks ago I finished the Brioche Stitch scarf I made to go with my hat.

I started it when I was at my Mother's in November and finished it a few days later. I started off using a double strand of Paton's Classic Wool, like in the hat, but thought it was too thick for a scarf. So I frogged it and started over with a single strand. I like it much better - I've been wearing this scarf and hat pretty much every day.

And yes, it's sitting on this book. And no, I don't own it. I borrowed it from the guild library. It certainly is a wonderful book. But this is not a post about books. This is a post about knitting (all right, and winter). Books have to wait.

Next up, is a bag I just finished yesterday. BAck in October I received a great package from my SP9 Secret Pal, which included 3 balls of Eco-fil:

I decided then that this yarn wanted to become a Kitchen Sink Bag. I cast on for this bag within a couple of days of receiving the yarn, and worked on it obsessively until I got about this far:

And then it sat in my basket, neglected, for almost 2 months. I had used a double-strand of the yarn, and a 5.5mm needle. The basketweave parts (bottom, corners, top and strap) were pretty tight wit this size needle, but I didn't want it holey, so I stuck with it, even though it was kind of hard on the hands and slow-going. I loved doing the mesh part though.

It turned out a bit wider than the pattern (about 16 in instead of 14 in), which I figured was okay - I wanted a big bag. I did the same number of rows that the pattern called for. But when I was almost finished the top, and about to start the straps, I found it seemed to disproportional. The pattern specs are 10 in x 14 in. Mine was 10 in x 16 in. It seemed too shallow for the width. That's when I abandoned it.

A few days ago, I picked it up again and decided to finish it. I ripped back to the top of the mesh part, and added in a couple of inches. Then I did the top, and the straps, and it's done. It's now 12 in x 16 in, and I'm quite happy with it.

The strap may be a bit too long, but I'll wait until I'm using it to see if I want to shorten the strap. It's going to be a great market bag in the summer.

And finally, Travelling Roses, the Sequel. As you may recall, I first made this scarf for my International Scarf Exchange pal. I loved this pattern so much, that I used the second skein of Misti Alpaca laceweight that I had, and cast on for a second scarf back in mid-October, the beginning of which I showed here. I only worked on it off and on, since I had a lot of other things on the go at the same time, and since I had already made it once. I took it to Halifax with me in November and finished knitting it at my mother's. Here it is, pre-blocked:

I didn't block it right away, because I decided that I wanted to using blocking wires instead of the string method I had used previously. I planned to purchase some inexpensive welding wire to use as blocking wires, but had trouble finding some. Finally, I was putting in a Knit Picks order for the Classic Circulars and Options tips in the sizes I didn't have, and more cables, and I added in their blocking wires. When my order arrived, I started blocking the scarf:

What a difference blocking wires makes! So much easier to block lace with wires. (unfortunately, I can't get an accurate shot of the colour - it truly is a lovely shade of red)

Finally, I could wear the scarf that I had loved since I first started working on the first one in September. When I finished that one, I blocked it, folded it up and mailed it off - so I didn't discover the problem

It curls:

I little while after I started wearing it, the whole thing turned into a little tube. Waaahhhhh. This can't be. I love this pattern. Now, I know that a stockinette-based pattern will do that, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but it breaks my heart.

Anyone have any suggestions? Is there something I can do to stop it from rolling into a tube as soon as I wear it? And here I've made the pattern available - should I put a warning on it? Should I pull the pattern? I'd hate to have people make it and then curse my name when they find it rolls. Help!

Whew, that was a long post. But I've scratched a bunch of stuff off the list. I'll save the WIP and to-do stuff for later today or tomorrow.


Anonymous Paula said...

Ouch! That sucks. What to do, what to do. I know! Make a third one and join them together back to back! (runs and hides quickly)

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Lissa said...

Apparently, alpaca does this. I read somewhere recently that it just doesn't hold its shape as well as wool. I believe whoever's post it was mentioned blocking it out more severely and more often.

You could try weighing it down, maybe, embroidering the edges with beads?

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Your Secret Pal said...

ohhh you made the bag, how GREAT!!! i actually bought some of the eco fil for myself as well in another colour and after you posted the link the pattern I thought what a perfect way to use this yarn! Now that i see yours, i will have to start mine.

7:11 PM  
Blogger dephal said...

You know, I haven't had too much curling wit mine. Well, it does curl around my neck, but that's kind of desirable, actually. I can get the ends to fan out nicely. And I still love it. :-) I get a lot of compliments on it, too!

2:34 PM  

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