Oh, I'm Sooo Glad This Courthouse Steps Denim Blanket Is Done

You can see the color difference in the final few light blue stripes, even after a second wash.

It's done! My arms hurt :( This is the Courthouse Steps Blanket from Mason-Dixon Knitting. I'm a bit confused about the yarn requirements. As you'll see from the pictures, assuming Blogger will up-load them, I've got 4 full skeins of yarn left. In the sketch for the blanket as many stripes as I knitted are illustrated, but in the photograph of the same blanket, one extra round appears. I must admit, I'm a lazy knitter, and I didn't check the pattern often after I began. In any event, the dark blue yarn would have been the limiting reagent; there is really no way I could have knitted a final two stripes of dark blue and had enough to knit the border they suggested. Alas, I did a single crochet border instead of their knitted border.

Dang. There is a little nubbin of the ecru left too.

The perils of taking dreadful photos; my hair got caught in the cow.


nalbinding in progress

While it violates the mandate of Mostly Knitting to post work in progress, I'm not sure I'll ever finish this, so this may be the only time this scarflet sees fame.
This is most of one skein of cashmere from A. L. de Sauveterre. The colorway is Cornish Pixie. I requested a pastel version, and I'm really pleased with her colors.


pile of lace

I crocheted this in 2000. I remember working on it while sitting in the Volkswagen dealership waiting for my new car. It had a strange clutch problem, and since it was under warranty, I brought it in and told the dude right there not to ask me stupid questions about how I drive. Thought I am female, I know how to drive! Still, he insisted on asking me if I push the clutch all the way in when I put the car in gear. Oh, I'm supposed to do that!?! Stupid boys.



Check this out! It's a crochetted wrap that looks like a massive piece of bacon!


Mermaid Jacket

Just in time for fires, and record hot temperatures:

Back with just a little Coral:

One-day sleeve:

I can't say I enjoyed wearing this for pictures today. It's hot! Definitely not the time for a wool jacket.
Finishing this was hard, once I realized I messed up the colors, I really lost steam. Now that it's done, though, I'm thrilled. I even mostly enjoyed making this. I knitted the second sleeve in just over one day. I wanted it done!

Things I learned in this project:
1. I-cord should be knitted with size 7 or 8 needles.
2. Begin knitting the body several ridges into the stripes, and when the body is finished and sewed up, knit the remaining 6 stripes and main color on as the collar to avoid a seam at the back of the neck.
3. No matter how badly you mess this up, you can recover.
4. Skip the slip stitches at the top of the garment (i.e. sleeve caps, collar). I ran this thing through my sewing machine, and was better able to match the ridges along the shoulder than when I tried hand sewing it. Because the slipped stitches were there, I had to have a larger seam allowance. This means I knitted two or three stitches per row for nothing. Ditto for the sleeves. Machine sewing with tiny seam allowances would have been fine with me.
5. I took the advice of others and shortened the sleeves by knitting-on 10 fewer stitches than the directions called for for the small. I'm happy with the length. Just be sure to make note of that on your pattern so that when you do short rows on the second half of the sleeve, you start at the right stitch.


Courthouse Steps Denim Blanket So Far



I'm more than halfway done with the courthouse steps blanket from Mason-Dixon Knitting. It is really heavy and now a bit too big to pretend it's still a good portable knitting project. I decided to throw it in the wash today because I know that this yarn shrinks 20% (!) upon washing. I thought if I shrunk what I've got now, it will be more portable. It still weighs several pounds, and it's becoming a tiring project to knit since I have to lift the thing so often to knit back and forth. I've also read that the color fades most after the first wash, and I'm tired of having blue hands, and clothes, and knitting needles. I'm really pleased with the results. The blues did fade just a bit.
I don't see any difference with the gauge checker, but when I hold the blanket up I can see that it's smaller. Go figure.


Cross-Stitch Scarf

I made this in December 2004. We were on break from school, and I wanted to go to Solvang to purchase an upgrade kit for my loom. I did that, and found a million other things I needed. Village Spin and Weave has lots of hand dyed yarns that I guess they make. Fibers range from cotton to cashmere. This particular yarn is a cashmere/merino blend. The trip was fun. I picked up lots of books and several back issues of Hand-Woven. We drove up the coast and visited SF. During the evening we stayed in cheap and icky hotels and watched bad TV while I knitted. I finished this project in a few days. I recommend using a J-shaped cabling needle to hold the dropped stitches while knitting the previous 4.

Mobius II

I made this a few years ago for my mom. It's made from one skein of cashmere in the Japanese Maple colorway. I added a cross-stitch border. The cool thing about the Mobius is that I only knitted one row of the border and it looks like two since the scarf folds around. It's really soft.



Doubled over. It's fluffy at the end thanks to the single crocheted edges.

Stretched out. This scarf can be several feet long but very skinny, or really dang wide, and short.

Up close. You can see how neat this stitches look.

A few years ago I ordered one of those Charlotte kits that has 5 coordinated colors of Koigu. I had already made a Charlotte, and I wanted to try some Nalbinding. In 2003 I was lucky enough to attend Interweave's SOAR in Michigan, and I had a class on Nalbinding. I really like the way the fabric looks, but it is tedious to make. The fellow who taught the class had us use thick and user-friendly wool while we learned. He passed around some of his finished pieces one of which was a scarf made of Koigu in shades of blue. It was lacey and beautiful in a different way from knitting, and I fell in love. When the kit showed up I decided to give it a try. I made most of this on a road trip from SoCal to Santa Fe for a conference in 2004. I wasn't driving, I should say.
Having moved 87 times or so since SOAR, I searched the web for nalbinding directions since I could no longer find my hand out. If you're interested, look here, here, and here for pretty good directions and pictures. Per my class at SOAR, I nalbinded in a circle, and then when it was the width I liked, I cut the circle as to end up with a strip. The ends will unravel a few stitches, but you can just find the end and tug it tight to prevent your work from undoing itself. I thought the ends looked a bit sloppy, so I single crocheted along both edges to hide the 5 ends. I nalbinded two rounds per each color. It took a lot of time. You can only nalbind about a foot or two of yarn at a time before you have to add more yarn, and this is done by felting ends together. Koigu is perfect for this since the colors are always wonderful, and it's pure wool, not superwash (despite what vendors STILL have on their sites about Koigu). You need a large blunt wooden nalbinding needle, or one of those large plastic needles we use to sew in ends of yarn upon the completion of a knitting project. You need patients, and you need to know how to join yarn by felting ends together.
I ordered two wonderful skeins of cashmere and started another scarf not long after this one was finished. I have to say that cashmere felts so much easier, but this project has languished because I don't like nalbinding, I just like the finished product. Alas, I've been slowly working toward finsishing it for years now. I'm almost done with one skein, but I've still got another to go! Keep your fingers crossed.