Thursday, October 22, 2009

Let sleeping kitties lie

Two days off with rain and dark skies meant I didn't go work at the other house cause there's no electricity up there and it's hard to see what you're doing in the dark. So, I hung out with the boys and did some knitting and working at this house. I managed to fill a large garbage can sized recycle bin and half a garbage can. Maybe some year I'll get through all Mom & Dad's stuff. but - I won't hold my breath!

I see you down there big kitty! - Bert
ZZZZ zzzz- Chief

Mom, I don't think this thing is big enough to be a scarf or shawl yet. Guess you have to keep knitting and letting me sleep in your lap. - Chief

Yup, Chief has been very good at keeping me company while I knit billions and billions little sock yarn squares to make a scarf or shawl or ??? we'll see what this thing grows up to be one of these days.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I give that meal one sniff.

I got a call this afternoon from my cousin. He had heard about a concert tonight on NPR and thought I might be interested. Yup. A couple hours later I got to Coz's house and we headed over to a church by his house for a Celtic Harp and Wind concert. It was 2 ladies - one played Celtic harp and the other played multiple wind instruments (1/2 dozen different bagpipes, whistles and other flute like instruments). The wind player also sang. It turned out to be part of a concert series that this church puts on during the year - one a month. Unfortunately the crowd was somewhat small - about 100 people. But everyone seemed to enjoy the concert very much.

While we were waiting for it to start I was telling Coz about the gathering next April of some of my Net friends here in Minneapolis. I told him I call them Net friends because it's easier then trying to explain these are friends I've never met- they're all knitters- etc. Coz decided they should be called "Knit Nets". He thought this was a great idea then decided the place we met is the Knit Net and the people are Knit Netties. I should also mention this is the same cousin who couldn't decide if Knitting is a hobby or a cult. Whatever if is he supports my obsession and has even gone so far to hunt up a book about knitting culture for me after seeing a review in the paper - "I knew you'd like it." - What a guy!

After the concert we headed to a vegetarian Indian restaurant for more conversation. Food was okay but I like "our" Indian restaurant better. When I got home Chief gave me his official review of my supper.

You see, Chief has this bizarre habit of having to smell my breath after I eat. His review of my meals consists on how many times he has to smell my mouth, the more sniffs the better the meal. Tonight's Vegetable Korma got 1 sniff. I think he was excited because he could smell the korma but, at my restaurant I get Chicken Korma, tonight no chicken smell. It may be a bizarre habit of Chief's but at least he's never tried to get his nose in my mouth!

For the record - chicken korma at my favorite restaurant gets 3-4 sniffs easily. Chief has good taste.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Reversible Cable Scarf Pattern

A few years ago I saw a scarf in a yarn shop that was reversible cable. I took a quick glance and continued shopping. The theory of that scarf stuck with me and when I was home I decided to come up with a design. I grabbed some Woolease, cause it was hanging around the house and, well, if the scarf didn’t work out I didn’t lose much money in the process. One thing I decided in the process was I should have used a larger needle to make the scarf softer. Every once in a while I pull it out and add a few more rows on it. I’ve never finished the scarf but decided to post the pattern, as is, and let you play with it and decide if I’m crazy or it’s a good design.

The pattern isn’t my normal "completely written out" pattern. You will need to fill in a few blanks on your own. Read through – make a few decisions and make your own version of this scarf. I think you’ll like it if you try it. I made mine in grey planning on giving it to a guy as a present when finished – maybe someday….

Which Way is Up Cable Scarf
Jill Chatelain

Yarn: worsted weight. I used 2 skeins Woolease so far. I think that will be enough to make one long enough
Needles: size 7. Next time I would use a size 9 to make a softer (less stiff) fabric.

Basic design- moss stitch border at ends, garter stitch border with 1 added knit st at edges, background to set off cables in moss stitch, 2 cables worked with k1-p1 base.

Cast on 36 sts. Work moss st 10 rows.
Row 1: k4; p1; moss st 3; cable (k1-p1)x4; moss st 4; cable (k1-p1)x4; moss st 3; k1; p1; k3
Repeat row 1 every row except – every 10th row work a cable row.
Cable Row (10th row): k4; p1; moss st 3; work cable (place next 4 st on holder in front, k1-p1-k1-p1 next sts, work sts on holder k1-p1-k1-p1); moss st 4; work cable; moss st 3; k1; p1; k3

Repeat the 10 rows to desired length ending with 10 rows of moss st. Bind off.

Update 3/8/10: I've had a few questions about the pattern main row. So I'll try to answer them here. Row 1 is correct. There are 3 garter sts at each end and next to those are a k/p (1 rib)combination to divide the border from the body. The cables are 8 stitches - k-p 4 times. Between the cables are moss stitches - 3 sts on the outsides and 4 sts in between. So a very carefully written out row 1 is:
Update 11/21/10: There was a recent comment about moss stitch. For those who do not know what the moss stitch is - it is a very basic and easy stitch to create a reversible texture. It is also called seed stitch.
row 1 - k1-p1 across
row 2 - do the opposite stitch as the row below so instead of a k1-p1 rib you get little "seed" stitches.
Looking at a moss (seed) stitch panel would would see:
k p k p k p
p k p k p k
k p k p k p
p k p k p k
Hope this helps!
And to the thousands of people who have been stopping by to check out this pattern - Welcome!
The scarf was eventually finished and I posted it on Ravelry as Which Way is Up Cable Scarf.

Update 2/16/2013: This page has had just short of 63,000 hits. I find that totally amazing beyond belief! I've ignored this post other than to come here occasionally to see how many people have looked at it but now - I see the pattern just isn't going away. You really like it so, I will be working on writing this up as a more traditional pattern in the coming days and post a note at the top of this post when it is available. The new pattern will continue to be free.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

This is just TOO soon

I don't like the view from the front window this morning - enuf said.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Life in the Big Lane

If you’re a bigger person you’ll understand what I’m about to talk about. If you’re normal size or smaller this may be a totally foreign concept to you but maybe it will be an education.

Those of us that are bigger have a major handicap when it comes to handcrafts. We like to knit, sew, crochet – whatever the chosen craft but it becomes a more time consuming, more costly hobby. Take the example of making a sweater. Let’s just pretend that the sweater is made just like an afghan – one big square. Makes my example and the math about to happen a lot easier.

So – you’re a normal size and you need to make the sweater/afghan square 36” around and 24” long. Your gauge is 5 sts/in & 7rows/in. Your project is going to be 180 sts wide and 168 rows long. That makes a grand total of 30,240 stitches to make this project. WOW! That’s a lot of stitches.

But you’re a bigger person. You need your project to be 48” around and 24” long. Same gauge. This project will be 240 sts wide and 168 rows long. Grand total? 40,320 sts. That’s 25% more stitches. 25% more time. 25% more yarn. 25% more cost. One other problem with this project you want to make. Chances are real good the pattern doesn’t come up to your size so you can either forget about it or try to convert it to your size. Converting isn’t as easy as enlarging everything. If you did that the neck would be huge and armholes bag down way too far. Not everything on the body grows at the same percentage when someone goes from a size 8 to a size 18.

I know the “easy” answer is to lose weight and then the cost, time, pattern select all becomes better. But that’s not going to happen in the next few minutes and we big folk have to deal with life as it is. So here’s the deal. If I were a yarn shop or pattern maker I would look at the charts. (The charts say over 50% of women are size 14 or over.) I would think about making profit. If I as a yarn company had patterns available that were fashionable and flattering to the bigger folk of the world I would sell more patterns because there are a lot of bigger people. I would sell more yarn because it takes more to make sweaters for these people. The bigger folk would do happy dances about my company; my employees would have more work to do because we’re selling more yarn and patterns. I may be crazy but this sounds like a win-win situation to me.

Well, that would happen in my world. In this world I knit a lot of non-fitting things like shawls and hats and mittens because I don’t always have the ambition to create a sweater for myself. Maybe I’ll get the calculator out and design something for myself.