Tuesday, September 30

Finished: Malabrigo Waffles Scarf

Malabrigo waffles scarf

I loooove this scarf. It is so incredibly soft and comfy, plus long enough to wrap around my neck and wide enough cover my nose to keep out the cold. The pattern is a simple waffle stitch which I've written up below for your enjoyment. But first, outtakes from the finished-object photo shoot:

Waffles Scarf with Tribbles 1

Oh look, a Tribble!

Waffles Scarf with Tribbles 2

Um, hmmm.

Waffles Scarf with Tribbles 3

I think I'm in trouble.

Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted or another worsted-weight yarn of your choice. I used approximately 1.5 skeins.
Needles: size 8US, or a size to obtain a gauge you like with your yarn
Gauge: not very important, as long as you like the fabric made with your yarn and needle choice
Finished Size: my scarf is approximately 7.5 inches wide and 65 inches long after a gentle steam blocking.

Cast on 30 stitches

Row 1: knit across
Row 2: purl across
Row 3: (k2,p2) across; end k2
Row 4: (p2, k2) across; end p2

Repeat until scarf is desired length and bind off.

Below, you can see that both sides of the scarf form a nice pattern. The front side is on the left, and the reverse on the left.

Malabrigo Waffles Scarf, both sides

I'd love to see a photo if you make one.

Updated Jan 2010:
I neglected to mention in the original pattern how to minimize the curling of this scarf after knitting.

Blocking is the key here. I’ll explain my favorite way of blocking below, but your preferred method should work just as well.

To block, I use the “steam shot” button on my iron. Find a long heat and water resistant surface, like your bathroom floor covered in towels. Lay the scarf out and flatten as much as possible by hand. If you like, pin the edges out flat. Pass the iron slowing over the surface, hitting the steam shot button repeatedly as you go. Do not touch the iron directly to the scarf. I typically don’t pin the scarf down, but use my hand to flatten and smooth as I go. Be careful not to pull it so straight that you lose the waffle texture.
Allow the scarf to dry and cool before moving.

While it is impossible to completely prevent curling, this tames the curl to a manageable (and for me, comfortable) level while wearing.

Tuesday, September 23

Citrus Yoke, continuted.

Two things I have been thinking about on my Citrus Yoke Pullover are the edges and the collar.

The pattern calls for the edges to be plain stockinette which will obviously roll. I like the look of the plain stockinette edge – but without the roll. I realize this is not usually possible.

I thought about trying a different edge technique on the bottom and sleeve cuffs, such as some type of ribbing or a hem. I just didn’t think ribbing will suit the style of the sweater as much as a plain border and I really don’t need the extra bulk on a hem around my hips on a bulky sweater. I knocked around the possibility of decreasing stitches or using a smaller gauge yarn for the inside of the hem, as EZ recommended, but I still think it will be a little more bulk than I need.

So I ended the bottom of the sweater in plain stockinette and yes, it is rolling up like crazy. As I was knitting a sleeve the body had rolled almost halfway up to the yoke. Since the yarn is 50% microfiber my plan is to steam block the heck out of it and hope that it “kills” the yarn enough to control the roll. (Fingers crossed)

As for the collar, it is currently too high for my tolerance. And this is without doing any of the collar rows before the yoke increases! However, when I tug the yoke down my shoulders a little more the collar is perfect. Since my swatch loosened up a little upon washing I am going to hold off on changing the collar until the whole sweater is completed, washed, and blocked. If it is still too high I am going to pick open the cast on edge to rip out however much I need and then bind off at the new neckline.

I am going to try to finish this sweater by the weekend. I am looking forward to crossing another thing off my to-do list.

(I just re-read my last sentence. When did my life become solely about getting things done? Why do I need to finish it this weekend? So many self imposed, irrelevant deadlines. I think I need to slow down and smell the roses...)

Thursday, September 18

A fast knit.

I have wanted to write this post all week, but either didn’t felt like turning my computer on after work or I’d turn it off before remembering to post. I feel like I have been stuck in a fog lately, where I can’t even get myself to do the things I want to get done. BUT. I digress.

I want a new sweater to wear this winter which usually means I should have started one in April. Instead, I am using a bulky yarn, GGH Aspen, and the Citrus Yoke Pullover from Interweave Knits Winter ’07. Amazingly this is the yarn called for in the pattern which is a first for me. It was an accident though, since I have had the yarn for years without knowing what do it with it. I purchased it on special at Knit Picks before Knit Picks only carried their private label. Does anyone remember when they had the “try it, you’ll like it” deals? The Aspen was one of them and I got it for about $1.80 a ball.

The sweater is going so quickly. I keep holding it up and saying “I can’t believe how big this is already!” This photo was taken after only two night progress; I am almost done with the body less than a week later.

Citrus Yoke Sweater
The jury’s still out on whether I will actually look good in a bulky-yarn sweater.

The Citrus Yoke is supposed to be a turtleneck but I can not wear even a thought of a collar on my neck or I feel claustrophobic. So I have completely eliminated the lace repeat on the collar and jumped right into the increases after casting on. And you know what? I think it is still too high. I am going to wait until after I wash and block it for the first time but I might pick apart the cast on edge and rip out a few of the beginning rows to make it wearable.

Wednesday, September 10

Finished: Dublin Bay Socks

Dublin Bay Socks

These are my mom’s new Dublin Bay socks (free pattern here; or on Ravelry), out of Trekking XXL #66. She picked out the yarn at Stitches Midwest ’07 and I finally got around to making the socks for her!

(Are you tired of that story yet? I feel like I have been repeating it for a while now. Oh well, it’s staying in!)

Also, my new cat-face sock blockers! Aren’t they cute? I was tired of trying to figure out the best way to photograph my socks and bought them for myself last month.

These were made quite differently than the pattern. I worked them toe up, at the same time from both ends of the ball. I used two separate sets of circular needles, since I just get a huge mess when I try to do two socks on one set. I did a star toe (increases evenly spaces around) and a short row heel.

After the heel, I worked a few rounds plain and then followed the lace pattern from Dublin Bay. I think it looks great, even though it is technically upside down since I was working from the bottom up instead of the top down as the pattern calls for.

I love how these turned out and might make a pair for myself some day.

Friday, September 5

Gratuitous Cat Photos

I am still learning how to take good photos with my new camera and was practicing low light shots on my parent's cat last weekend. These all have a yellowish cast to them; need to figure out how to fix that. I messed with the white balance and it didn't seem to do it. (They were edited on the computer to fix the color balance, but I'd rather not have to do that.)


Sleepy Cat

As a bonus cat experience, here's my first go with Flickr's video uploader:

Dublin Bay Socks

I am almost finish with Mom's Stitches Midwest 2007 Socks, Pair 2. (Yes, 2007 - that's not a typo.)

Sock in progress with Capt. Sisko

This is the second sock, shown here a few days ago hanging out with Capt. Ben Sisko. The yarn is Trekking XXL and I love the subtle color changes with the dark base color. It doesn't seem to be making wide stripes like some of the lighter Trekking merging-color yarns do, but it is still very pretty.