MYOKB: “Lacy Scarf” Finished!

"Lacy Scarf" Finished!
“Lacy Scarf” Finished!

I don’t have any “in progress” photos this week, but I have (somehow) managed to finish this week’s project, “Lacy Scarf” (page 62 of Debbie Bliss’s The Knitter’s Year), from My Year of Knitting Blissfully (MYOKB).

Although it came out quite well, in my humble opinion, I must admit that this was not my favorite project to work. In part, this was due to the repetitive nature of the pattern (the same four rows over and over again), but this was mostly due to interference from my new kitten, Tuppence, who decided to make this scarf her personal plaything. She chewed the heck out of my nice size 5 bamboo circulars, causing the yarn to snag repeatedly until I could find time to replace them. She also attacked the two balls of Classic Elite Silky Alpaca Lace (colors 2416, off-white, and 2420, aqua blue) I was knitting with.

Since I was using two strands of the Silky Alpaca Lace, I was using the “trick” of pulling one strand from the center of the skein and one from the outer edge.  I also trailed the alternating colors of yarn up the side and intertwined the resting yarn with the working yarn to “hook” it into place. All of this twisting of multiple strands of yarn, combined with kitten shenanigans, led to a very frustrating knitting experience.

"Lacy Scarf" Close-up
“Lacy Scarf” Close-up

And just how long is Debbie Bliss’s week anyway? I mean, I know she runs a worldwide knitting empire, but seriously, this scarf took awhile to knit (even taking into account the problems I mentioned above).

The pattern calls for working half the scarf in one direction, placing it on a stitch holder, and then working another half of the scarf and grafting the two halves together. Instead, I worked the entire scarf in one piece and one direction. This caused the two ends to look slightly different from each other, but I’m OK with that. You can judge for yourself from the photo at the top of this post.

All that said, the resulting scarf is quite nice and the chevron effect is beautiful.

MYOKB: Clothespin Bag nears the finish line!

hespin Bag Almost Finished
Clothespin Bag with lining pinned to knitting

At last the knitting is finished, and the finishing begins!

The original pattern calls for the knitted part to be machine-sewn together when the lining is attached, but machine-sewing the lining to the knitted piece and then crocheting the knitted sides together seemed so much easier. Crocheting is so much easier and faster, and allows me to really control the seaming. The navy blue cotton tie you see at the top of the fold marks the center where the hook of the hanger will go through.

My friend Deborah, who is something of an expert seamstress, helped me with the lining and the machine sewing. I must admit, sewing machines still intimidate me a little bit. The fabric is some old calico-style print I bought on sale years ago — so long ago, in fact, that I can’t remember where or when. It matches well with the sage color of the yarn though.

Clothespin Bag Fabric Lining Close-up
Close-up of the fabric lining of the Clothespin Bag

Here’s the bag folded into the proper shape (note the fancy camera angle I learned in my recent “how to photograph knitting” class at Wildfiber in Santa Monica):

Clothspin Bag Almost Finished
Clothespin Bag, folded into proper shape, photographed at a rakish angle

And here’s the same bag photograph straight-on (as I would have done it before I took this class):

Clothspin Bag Almost Finished
Clothespin Bag, folded into proper shape, photographed straight-on

As soon as the lining is sewn on, I can begin using single crochet (size H hook) to bind the sides together. I have chosen a short, padded wooden hanger to hang the Clothespin Bag from. It should look quite sweet when done.

MYOKB: Clothespin bag in progress

Clothespin Bag in progress
Clothespin Bag in progress

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Here we have the “Clothespin Bag” in progress, from p. 48 of Debbie Bliss’s book The Knitter’s Year. The yarn I’ve chosen is Knit One Crochet Too Cotonade, color 832, “light moss.” It’s a sturdy, worsted-weight 100% cotton with a second, much thinner cotton thread intertwined with the main strand; this intertwining creates a kind of nubby “zig zag” effect that looks great with a simply textured stitch like this one.

By the way — just between you, me and the lamppost — Cotonade is exactly the same yarn as Cascade Luna and Suss Cotton. The latter is absolutely interchangeable with Cotonade; they even use some of the same color names. Off the record, on the QT, and very hush-hush…

The knitted pattern basically alternates between one row of seed stitch and one row of stockinette, so this is great, mindless zen knitting. There’s some minor shaping at the beginning and end of the piece to create the concave edges.

And here’s a close-up:

Clothespin Bag in progress, Close-up
Clothespin Bag in progress, Close-up

I’m making great progress and I expect to have this one done with time to spare.

MYOKB, Week One: “Booties Trio” Finished!

Booties Trio
My attempt at an “artistic” display of baby booties. I just love these little metal chairs from IKEA!

Again, at the very last minute, I have completed the “Booties Trio,” my first project in my series taken from Debbie Bliss’s A Knitter’s Year–“My Year of Knitting Blissfully” (from here on, referred to as MYOKB).

At first, I couldn’t decide if I was only “required” to do one pair of booties, or if I had to knit all three. Then I realized — duh! — I didn’t “have to” do anything. Like the line in Chariots of Fire says: “We are the committee.” In other words, I am in charge of deciding what counts, so I decided to go for it. And now that we’ve all got that theme song running through our heads…

Now to get these in the mail on the way to my sister-in-law who is expecting a little girl practically any day now. I’d personally like her to arrive on February 29th so she can be a leap-year baby, but my SIL is in the “dog days” of pregnancy and I think she’d like the baby to come as soon as possible. Either way, this will be one of the best-shod babies around town.

MYOKB: Booties Trio in Progress

The Knitter's Year Cover
Cover of Debbie Bliss’s The Knitter’s Year

Here’s my progress so far on the “Booties with Lacy Top” from the “Booties Trio” from Debbie Bliss’s The Knitter’s Year. This is my first project from my year-long project to knit all 52 projects in that book, a project otherwise known as “My Year of Knitting Blissfully” or “MYOKB” for short.

These are going to be a gift for my new niece who is expected to make her appearance at the end of this month. Personally, I’m hoping she’s born on February 29th so she will be a leap year baby. I’m just weird that way.

Basically, I’ve completed all the actual knitting (except for a small bit on the second “Bootie with Lacy Top”) and now I have to weave in all the ends and do the seaming and finishing:

Booties with Lacy Top
Booties with Lacy Top, in progress
Booties with Striped Instep
Booties with Striped Instep, in progress, cuff unfolded

And here are both of them, still unseamed, but with the cuffs folded down:

Booties with Striped Instep 002
Booties with Striped Instep, cuffs folded

And the final entry in the trio, “Booties with Striped Foot”:

Booties with Striped Foot
Booties with Striped Foot, in progress

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate seaming? Blurgh. And I have to make some “shoelaces” for the “Lacy Top” booties. Double blurgh.

The dark pink and light green are two different (discontinued) colors of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (340042 and 340018 respectively), and the white in the “Striped Inset” and “Striped Foot” versions is Karabella Aurora 4. The white in the “Lacy Top” version is Suss Love in ivory.