Thursday, December 29, 2005

Holidays are for knitting

My long weekend in Pittsburgh was a great opportunity to get some knitting done. First I worked on the Griffindor scarf until I ran out of yarn. I've still got a few more stripes to go, especially now that I've found out that Andrew wants to wear it doubled up and looped through. (Is there a name for that method of scarf wearing?) We're talking about a guy who's never even had a scarf before. But apparently law students spend a lot of time discussing things such as how scarves ought to be worn.

Then I finished up John's double-knit ski cap. My purls must be looser than my knits, as the yellow side came out significantly bigger than the gray side. I'm hoping blocking will fix it. The stripes also didn't land where I wanted them. I had envisioned the hat being long enough to fold the edge up, so I started the stripes later, made them thicker, and added some extra rows before beginning the decreases. It still ended up being just long enough to cover John's ears without folding up the edge. And the stripes are very close to the top of the hat. Oh well -- live and learn. John says he's happy with it. Still, I know he'd prefer to wear it with the gray side out, but as it is right now, the extra fabric on the yellow side gets all wadded up inside so it isn't comfortable. The good news is, the reason I haven't had a chance to block it is that John has been wearing it every day!

While in Pittsburgh I got to see Courtney wearing her Kittyville hat. It fits her perfectly, and her parents like it because it covers her ears. One potential danger is that the pom-poms are just the right size to fit in her mouth. I probably should have made them bigger. During our stay I learned that she needs a pair of mittens, so the night I got back to Brooklyn, I found a pattern and made a pair from the same yarn I used for the kitty hat (Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted). The thumbs came out very long even though I made them shorter than the pattern suggested. I don't think it's something I can fix with blocking, so I'm planning to try and redo them. It's going to be tricky since I already seamed up the thumbs and weaved in the ends. Once I get a measurement from her mom, I will also make an I-cord to connect the mittens.

I also started trying to make gauge for Grandma's vest. It calls for size 8 needles, but I know my stitches tend to be tight, plus the yarn I bought (Lion's Brand Wool-Ease) is on the lighter side of worsted, so I started with US size 9. My stitches came out way too tiny. I didn't have any larger needles, so when I got home I bought some cheap 10's and 10.5's. (I was hoping to come across a Denise interchangeable set, but couldn't find it in stores so I bought it on eBay.) Last night I started a new gauge swatch, following the method outlined in Stitch 'N Bitch Nation, which I have out from the library. With US size 10's I was still way off. With 10.5's I'm getting closer, but I'm wondering if 11's might be better. At this point I'm not going to purchase any more needles, but will wait for the Denise set to arrive. (I'm so excited!)

The Christmas scarves seemed to go over well. Turns out Amy had her eye on a cashmere cable-knit scarf from L.L. Bean, so the Irish hiking scarf worked out nicely. Though now I wish I had used cashmere instead of acrylic! Derek seemed pleased with the Broncos scarf. Apparently the blue I used is their "old" blue, and one of the patches is their old logo, which seemed to be plusses.

Last night I tried to attend the local Stitch 'n Bitch group for the first time, but when I got to the designated coffee shop, I couldn't find any other knitters. I bought some tea, settled down on a couch and started knitting, waiting to see if anyone else would show up, but nobody did! I guess a lot of people are out of town the week between Christmas and New Year's.

John's double-knit ski cap
Started: Nov. 30
Finished: Dec. 26
Yarn: Tolegno Lana Gatto Luxor, 1 skein yellow, 1 skein dark gray
Needles: metal circular size 6, bamboo dpns size 6

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