Sunday, February 26, 2006

Gold medal for me!

Finished the Knitting Olympics scarf, wore it to work and received many positive comments. I may need to come up with a new outfit to do it justice, but pairing it with a beige sweater works for now.

Completed KO Scarf Posted by Picasa

Now what do I do? I have a couple of potentials from my Lamb's Yarn Shop haul, but nothing is quite right yet.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Lamb's Yarn Shop Closes!

One of my lasting memories from visiting, first grandparents, then parents and now mom, in Rutland, VT were our occasional visits to Lamb's Yarn Shop. It occupied a couple of rooms in the owner's house with yarn occupying every square inch, leaving little room to walk around. We tended to visit in the winter, because the radiator was always blasting away. Notice my use of the past tense - this past Saturday was the last day it was open. Jackie and I went to get yarn for her projects, and it was her first trip to a true "LYS". We were excited to see the 30% off of everything Sale sign, until we found out why. It didn't stop us from stocking up, and Jackie turning into the bad influence. "Mom, buy this. Mom, buy that one." So the pinkish-red mohair, chinchilla and blue cotton/linen are mine, and the green variegated, pink and blue variegated, and obnoxious rainbow parrot are Jackie's. The green variegated has already been knit and frogged, as we didn't buy enough for the width of the scarf, and don't know where to get more. So it will become a narrower scarf, hopefully by Friday.

Progress Report - Day 10 of the Knitting Olympics

The Chain Link Scarf is now 60% complete - with knitting time tonight while we watch the Ice Dancing finals. There may not be enough yarn, so the total length may not be achieved. Hopefully that will only affect the degree of difficulty, not completion - I do want a gold medal for the Knitting Olympics. Given that general opinion is that the scarf is plenty long now, it'll be done when the yarn runs out. I hope that's not half way through a link.

12 links done, 8 to go. Posted by Picasa

The Rogers Park School Spirit Scarf is complete - with one happy owner. We'll see what kind of reception it gets at school tomorrow. I'm trying to come up with something for DHS, but orange and blue are hard to work with.

Completed Rogers Park school spirit scarf. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 16, 2006


I'm just about on schedule for the chain-link scarf... It's day 7 of the Olympics, and I have 7 out of 20 sections complete. Another one tonight, then more than one a day for the 4-day weekend. If only Kiffy wouldn't insist on sleeping in my lap on car trips, I could get a lot done on the car trip to Vermont tomorrow. Here's hoping that history doesn't repeat. Being uber-cute while asleep only gets her so far.

Then, in between the KO project, I'm working on a "school spirit" scarf for DS, in Rogers Park blue and green.

I even remembered to bring it with me this morning, so I could knit as we wait for the bus. Unfortunately, the unoccupied needle has been serving double-duty with the chain link scarf, for the casting on of each section. Casting onto the 16" circular needles is a bear. So, the needle was with the other knitting. The bus was late, too, so I could have done several rows.

Last but not least, I bought the yarn for DD to knit belts as birthday presents, pattern courtesy of the 365 Knitting Patterns a day calendar.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Summer Camp!

I'm going to weaving camp! Well, as soon as I call tomorrow and register, then wait 4 1/5 months for the end of June. I'm taking all of the advice, from the Yahoo! Weaving group, that taking a class is the best way to learn to weave on a floor loom. The alternative being to teach myself. And since I have been less than successful in convincing DH that I need a floor loom, having never even been in the same room as one, finding a class is much easier.

But not that easy. There aren't any convenient classes that I can take locally, so the next step is to search a little further afield. After much web surfing, I called Harrisville Designs today, and found that they still have openings in the June class, as well as room in the boardinghouse on the third floor. That fits in nicely with our potential 4th of July holiday on Bear Island in Meredith, NH. We rarely think about these things far enough ahead of time to find open spots, so I'm thrilled.

While at Harrisville Designs, my plan is to check out the looms, with the ultimate goal of buying a kit and putting it together. That's the long term plan - Christmas 2006?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Day 2 of the Olympics, and we have almost 2 feet of snow - hard to tell with the drifting. The knitting is on track, though I'm going to have to pace myself. The circular needles are short (16"), and I may be holding on too tightly. Twinges in my left elbow and right hand. Based on my splits - 1 row of 32 stitches takes less than 3 minutes, which multiplies out to 13 hours of knitting. Quite doable in 16 days. So I'll do a little at a time, and try to relax as I knit. At first I thought I'd greatly overestimated the time required, but with the need to take it slow I should be right on schedule of one ring a day, with 2 on weekends, as there are 20 total.

I had to get out the calculator and figure out the diameter of the rings, as the circumference is 10.5". That equates to a diameter of 3.34", so I'm okay there. The rings of the scarf on the cover of the book appear to be bigger than that. We'll see. So far the rest of my family thinks the scarf is "interesting". Not the highest of praise. Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 10, 2006

1 hour and 37 minutes to the Opening Ceremonies, and all is ready. The yarn has been wound and rewound to make sure it's loose enough. Though, since it's not a center-pull ball, yarn burps should not be a problem.

The carbos are ready to be loaded, the chair is facing the TV screen, and we'll do some gentle stretching right before the clock strikes 8 PM. I might have to march around the room a couple of times, just to get in the spirit of things. Or I could just continue to knit.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

It just occurred to me that I am now a "real" weaver, as the towels I wove look like towels, and dry like towels, as opposed to the rectangular things that came off from my practice run.

Some thoughts (disclaimer - I will apologize ahead of time if I get the terminology wrong):
Equipment: 30" Kromski RH with 10 dent heddle.
Yarn: Peaches n Creme 100% cotton - both solid white on a cone, and the varigated in a ball.

I thought they were the same, so only did the wrap test on the white. It came out to 16 wraps per inch, so a sett of 8 would have been ideal for a balanced weave. I used each slot and hole on the heddle(does that mean sleyed?) when I put on the warp, for a sett of 10, thinking it would be close enough. My warp consisted of 150 ends - 10 white, 20 colored, 90 white, 20 colored, 10 white. I warped it directly on the loom, as I only wanted 2 15"x20" towels.

Got everything on correctly, and started weaving. After weaving with some scrap yarn to get things started, I started with the white. The first problem was the colored yarn got stuck in the slots, so the shed was tiny in those areas. The second problem was all of the gaps between the warp and weft yarns, yielding about 5 picks per inch. The tension on the warp didn't seem to affect how closely it got packed in. The situation improved after washing and drying, and the towels work fine, but the fabric isn't as dense as planned. I did keep track of how many picks, and how long the section was, when I changed colors. It made it much easier to have the ends ofthe towels mirror each other. Didn't do this on the practice run, so learned the hard way.

Most importantly, I loved the weaving process, and am pleased withthe outcome. So, once I have complete my Knitting Olympics event, we'll try again. Yes, we - my kids think it might be fun to weave, or loom, as they call it. "Mom, are you looming AGAIN?"

This is the plan for the next set of towels:
1. Use the white (thinner) yarn for the warp.
2. Skip a hole and a slot every inch for 8 epi.
3. Alternate white and varigated yarn for the weft. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Go Team Wales!

Why Team Wales? Is it the red dragon on the button, or my Scottish/English/who knows what ancestry? Or is it Kiffy, the mighty Welsh Terrier that keeps us safe from squirrels?

Must be that. One of the challenges of the Knitting Olympics is keeping the project safe from Kiffy. No lap is sacred. And the fuzzy mohair might be attacking me, and thus needs to be killed.

Only three more days before the Opening Ceremonies! I've done my swatch, but should test the number of stitches that are needed for the circular needles.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

I first read about the Knitting Olympics several weeks ago, (it's the brainchild of the Yarn Harlot, if you didn't already know). The idea was intriguing, but I didn't know what to knit. I'd had the Chain Link Scarf from Teva Durham's book, Loop-d-Loop, on my mental to-do list,

and it finally occurred to me that it would be perfect for the Knitting Olympics. It consists of interlocking rings (like the Olympic logo), would be challenging both technique-wise and time-wise, and I had some birthday money burning a hole in my pocket.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Ready for Valentine's Day Posted by Picasa


As my compulsion to create scarves and other knitted and woven objects grows, it seems like a good idea to keep track of what I'm doing. In the past year and a few months, I've knit over a dozen scarves, most for me, some for other people. If I ever want to remember what I did, it has to get documented somewhere.