The Lad asked me to make him a scarf or a cowl or something to keep his neck warm. The idea of
knitting a scarf makes me want to poke knitting needles in my eye. But a cowl is at least do-able.
And since I have made approximately 1 skein’s worth of progress (out of 9) on the sweater, I’m not really in much of a position to argue or refuse. Lesson learned: no more gift knitting.
So anyway, the Lad asked if I had to order some yarn for it. I just looked at him and raised an
eyebrow. I have somewhere around 900 skeins in my Ravelry stash plus a bunch of Cascade 220 which is not in stash. I told him that I’d find something.
Originally he wanted something in emerald green.
I decided that I was looking at either a worsted or a DK weight. I have zero interest in anything
thinner than that for a cowl. So I dug through the bins and drawers and came up with a handful of choices.
I had a wound cake of a charcoal grey wool with alpaca which I had originally purchased to make felted clogs. I can’t even remember the name of it and the tag is long gone. I purchased it at the
Loop when I first started knitting in 2009. There was also a skein of a dark green in Cascade 220 (also in a cake) plus a couple of unwound skeins of Traveller (one from Sanguine Gryphon, and
one from Cephalopod).
Naturally his first choice was the unwound skein of Goodnight, KY from Cephalopod. So I scowled.
I “suggested” that he might want to think about the skein of charcoal wool and alpaca because the alpaca would make it super warm.
He told me it looked scratchy.
(Which is true – it has lots of little bitty hairs sticking out of it. It looks like I’m knitting with cat.)
I told him to feel it.
After stroking it briefly, he conceded that it was softer than it looked, and that charcoal would go with more of his outfits. (He’s very colour coordinated in his outfits – his caps match the colour of his hoodies or sweaters and his shoes. It’s a hipster thing.)
So that was the first problem solved.
The next problem was what pattern to use. I looked up some male and unisex cowl patterns. I ended up taking the stitch pattern from something and just doing a tube. The stitch pattern is some sort of wonky rib thing. It’s only 3 stitches. The rows alternate between K2, P1 and K1, P2. That’s it. Ad nauseam.
So I cast on 120 stitches on size 4.5 mm (US 7) needles and started with a garter stitch edging.
Then I knit. And knit. And knit.
I’m calling this the Yoga cowl.
Let me preface this by saying that I hate yoga. I loathe and detest yoga. Every time I do a yoga class I end up looking at my watch every five minutes thinking, “When is this over? How much longer do I have?” I can’t help it. It’s the type A in me. I find yoga excruciatingly tedious.
But that’s exactly how I felt knitting this stupid cowl. I kept looking at it thinking, “When is this over? How much longer do I have?”
I realized that I should probably use as much of the skein as possible, since it wasn’t going to be very tall. But how to estimate when to stop the pattern and start the garter edging at the other end of the tube?
In a flash of brilliant insight, I decided to haul out the little digital kitchen scale which I bought for the purpose of weighing yarn. So I very cleverly marked a spot in bright yarn at the beginning of a row, and weighed the ball I had left. It said 9 g. I checked it several times.
So I decided to knit another two or three rows and see where it left me.
So I knit another two rows and then weighed the ball again. 12 g.
How did a ball of yarn go from 9 grams to 12 grams when there was less of it?
So much for that genius idea.
I knit for another couple of rows and weighed it again. I noticed that there was in fact a decrease
of another gram or two, so I kept going.
When there was something less than a golf ball left (at which point the weighing was useless and I realized I had to go by eyeball and guesstimation), I decided to start the garter edging. I did 4 rows and was getting very nervous. The little golf ball was dwindling like a bar of soap on wash day. I bound off and have less than a yard left. I have 30.5” of yarn remaining.
Pretty good on the estimation front.
I shall get the Lad to pose for a photo tomorrow. Or so I hope. I think he has to work tomorrow, but I’m not sure what time. And we’re pretty short on daylight at this time of year.
But on the up side, perhaps the thought of a warm neck will be enough to get him to agree to walk the dogs.
Specs: it was started one night this week (maybe last Sunday?) and worked on a bit. When I
picked it up at 4:30 today, it was about 2” done. I finished it tonight and it’s about 10” tall. It’s about 18” around, but will stretch. So for my Rav stats, I guess it was January 20-25.
Update: the middle photo of the unblocked cowl was taken today (now February 4, 2013). The lad has worn it virtually every day, so it's creased and rumpled. But it's well-loved. So the Lad is possibly knitworthy after all.
But last night he came in and asked me if I knew how to make those cowls which are actually a long scarf joined in the middle which could be wrapped around the neck two or three times .... I pretended not to hear him.
On other fronts, I have also knit another dishcloth from Dishcloth Diva. This one is Stainless. Apparently I started it January 3 and finished it January 21. I had a case of dishcloth ennui.
I also knit a pair of socks for Princess. I started them last weekend and finished them this past weekend. The pattern is Holidazed by Anne Hansen. I think the yarn is too busy for the pattern.
The yarn is one of the Three Irish Girls Sock Yarnista sock club offerings from several years ago. The yarn is Finley Fingering, which is a 2-ply 100% merino, and the colourway is Larkspur. The colour repeats are quite short. Until today, I had the companion solid skein of Delphinium blue. But then the dogs got into the knitting room and I discovered this.
But I'm digressing again. I think the Holidazed pattern is good in terms of snugging up and maintaning its shape on the foot and leg. So that's a plus. It was fairly easy to work. I did the V heels from the Socks a la Carte book, and it's basically a regular heel flap and gusset but instead of the middle of the heel starting with 7 or 5 stitches, its down to 1 stitch. I'm not a huge fan; it looks a little pointy.
Anyway, the pattern is fine, but I just can't stand it with this particular yarn. The yarn is so busy that the pattern disappears. And I can't stand seeing socks knit in variegated yarn when the variegation completely overpowers the stitch pattern. This is a yarn which was born to be vanilla socks or used in colourwork.
Princess saw them and said they remind her of the Arctic, so they're the Arctic Holidaze socks. I can't abide them, and I'm happy to give them to her.
For me I've started the Chiendent (dog tooth ????!) sock by Rose Hiver. It was the SKA (Or some other group) mystery sock in May 2012. I'm using Hazel Knits Entice in something like Cabbage Rose. The tag of course is snugly tucked in the middle of the cake of yarn. I'm only about an inch into it.
In other ramblings, I saw this posted on one of the bulletin boards in the law school today. It's chuckalicious.
*These Aren't the Droids You're Looking For