Saturday, November 21, 2009

My Anti-addiction

I am binding off my unfinished Zetor Scarf (which is a misnomer because it is really a shawl). I made it with Malabrigo lace. If you have ever knit with Malabrigo yarn, you probably know that, as heavenly it is to knit with, ripping it out is a major PITA.

I am in the midst of my holiday knitting and cannot find any more needles. I realized that the reason for this is because I have been hibernating many of the projects that I got tired of. The Zetor is one of them. I started it this past summer. I think I was on the 4th repeat and when recounted my stitches, I was off. I put it away, thinking that I must have miscounted, or I was missing a yarnover, or something like that. Looking at it this afternoon, I decided that it was time to let it go...I need the cable and needles for a project and I just don't think that I want to pick up where I left off (which, incidentally is not something that I look forward to anyway).

Which leaves me hating the amount of stitches that need to be bound off. I started with 6 stitches. 3 and a half repeats later, I easily have 200. I suppose this option is better than frogging the Malabrigo lace and having a knotted mess. Ugh. So there you go, my anti-addiction is the type of lace project that just grows...and grows...and grows. No thank you.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I have too many WPIs`

My FLYS just got in a huge shipment of Malabrigo. She told me so, the first thing when I stepped into her shop for Knitting Night. She has most of the colors that I love (although this morning, I didn't know that I loved many of them...such is the life of a yarn addict) and I claimed 3 of the bags. I told all of my friends that they were soon as I won the lotto. I spent most of the night trying to justify buying some. Eventually, one of my friends helped me decide that I only needed one.

So I bought my one skein of the Malabrigo with the intention of making Star Crossed Beret by Nancy Larson. I have been wanting to make this beret for myself for some time, since I have been making hats for my niece. They are so easy and quick, hats have become my favorite things to make for presents. The best thing about this particular pattern is that the designer used Malabrigo for it. Oh heaven. The best excuse to buy yarn is to find a pattern that uses it!

The pattern calls for size 10 and 11 needles, casting on with the former. I thought, surely I have this. I looked in my binder of circular needles (I loathe using DPNs for this type of project) and no luck. Okay, I figured since I will be switching needles anyway, I might as well use my interchangeables.

I bought the whole set from Knitpicks last year...the whole shebang...and I like using them so much, I also bought another (almost complete) set of needles from someone on Ravelry. Needless to say, I felt pretty confident that I would be able to start this project tonight. Dude, I have a lust to knit this pattern with my newly acquired Malabrigo. I needed to knit it tonight.

I found the needles...but did not have a single cable available. Not a one. I couldn't believe it. Surely, my eyes were deceiving me. But no, They weren't anywhere in my knitting bag, needle binder, or Knitpicks bag. Unbelievable, truly.

I looked through my project bags...I will admit that I have more than I should, and there they were. I had no idea I had so many WPIs. I found:
1) The Candlelight Stole that I charted out
2) a sweater for Pippin that I started in May (what was I thinking?)
3) a frogged Prism Saki project (here, I was just plain lazy)
4) a project with a Cashmere/Silk blend that I love...I just don't know what the project is...
5) the Top Down T-shirt that I have been meaning to frog, but is going to be painful because I am 98% done with it (Gah! It pains me now, just typing about it!)

I also found 2 cables with needles just lying around. And this list is only from looking in the front of my closet. Looking through the rest of my closet for the rest of my needles and cables will be like looking for treasure. Ooh, I can't wait.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Foray into Double Knitting

I've wanted to learn how to double knit for about a year now. I first discovered this technique when I went to a Japanese book store to buy a stitch book (what can I say, I love all things related to knitting and all of the patterns are charted - universal language!). I picked up a book that showed 6 different ways to knit a heel and had a double knitted scarf pattern. Oh, how I wanted to know how to read Japanese then!

I read about the technique...somewhere...and it seemed really difficult. I mean, really, knitting two sides at once?! Are you nuts? And forget about knitting 2 socks at once, one inside the other. As far as I was concerned, that's extreme knitting, no doubt about it.

After a very long hiatus from my knitting group (summer, kids, dogs, etc.), I finally was able to get away. One of my friends there started a double knitting project and I overheard her chatting about it with another knitter in our group. I couldn't help myself...I asked her about it, and God bless her, she offered her project to me and told me to try it. Wow, easy as pie. Cool, I thought, I could make a purse like this, and not have to seam it! One hitch though, it was only one color, slip one, purl one. What if I wanted to use more than one color? She said that I would knit it the same way, only with two colors...Hmmm, that's too easy an explanation....

So I went home that night and with my obsessed little fingers, I went onto Ravelry and typed in double knitting. I found the hat that was mentioned by one of my friends in the group, the 35 mm hat. Interesting, but not interesting enough. None of the hats really held my interest. I limited the patterns to scarves and bingo. There it was, Honka, by Eeva Saviranta. I loved the way the organic pattern undulated in the variegated yarn in one side and in a solid color in the other. It looked like an exciting, albeit challenging, project to knit.

I looked up Double knitting on YouTube and found a really good tutorial by LiatMGat. She posted 3 parts, starting from casting on to reading a chart, using 2 colors:

So, I decided to make the scarf using a rainbow colorway from Plymouth Encore Colorspun, contrasted with white (same yarn). Luckily, I bought 5 skeins of the rainbow colorway to make a sweater for my daughter. I changed my mind to use it for this purpose, and instead am making a sweater for my 4 year old niece. The other 2 skeins, I will use to make the scarf for her mother.

I casted on yesterday and it took getting used to. I am used to knitting from charts, as I enjoy knitting lace. However, using a chart in double knitting is more difficult, as I had to remind myself that I had to read it left on all odd rows and right on even rows. The pattern in Honka makes it that much more difficult, as each row is different from the previous. Several times, I forgot to read in the correct direction and had to frog back. However, several rows in, it's taking shape and I am really enjoying the process. I am looking forward to knitting again...Now, if I can just finish the darn scarf that is supposed to match the Jacques Cousteau hat that I knit for Trent. Aargh.