Wednesday, September 28, 2016

That Little Voice In My Head

Wednesday can only mean one thing, well actually here it means two because it is also the night we put the garbage can out but that isn't what you want to hear about!

Wednesday's are for Works In Progress, or WIPS.

I have a few on my needles this week.  Two of which I am sharing.  :)

First up we have the completion of the dyeing from TDQ's trial run of dyeing a gradient yarn.

If you remember first she got a knitting machine.

(It is a Quick Knit from Michael's and we give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars, look for a 40 or 50% coupon either in their ad or by signing up for their text messages!)  Then she borrowed 2 skeins of Knit Picks Highland Wool Special Reserve, put some food colors and vinegar in a pot and dip dyed two blanks.

20 minutes of machine knitting
After they dried I cast on for a test knit for a cowl that a friend of mine wrote up when she wanted to knit her very first homespun yarn.
That little voice in my head asked :What made you think those markers would work here?
Knitting straight from the blank has certainly added to the rustic look of the wool, (I did have to cake the second blank as I wanted to start with the yellow, but it is still pretty kinky yarn*) it will be interesting to see what happens when I wash and block it.

I am nearly done with the knitting now, so this will probably show up as a Finished Object on Friday and I will need one because.....

This one certainly won't be!

The Colourmart Lover's Group Fall Contest/KAL is in full swing.  I cast on a couple of days late, having done my "pre-work" of swatching, washing, drying, measuring and calculating to come up with a pattern for a light weight yet very cozy, merino-cashmere piece.  As it is entered in the Large Neck category (go ahead and laugh, we all did at one point...who decides if you have a large neck or not?) I have a minimum number of square inches, and this will far exceed that. 

With Colourmart Yarns you have to be careful.  You cannot just knit straight from the cone and see if you got gauge, because the yarn changes in magical and wonderful ways when you do what to the average hand knitter would be the unthinkable!  Put it in the hottest water you can bear, loaded up with dish-washing soap.  (For those worried about felting, in order to felt you have to have a couple of things, hot water is one, in many cases soap is another but the third thing that you have to have in order to felt an object is agitation.  You have to rub those fibers together to get them to bind and when washing Colourmart Yarns that is one thing you do not do!  No agitation, no felting.)  For my swatch it took 3 soapy water baths and a couple of rinses to get the oils off the yarn so that it could bloom, and with the bloom comes a change in gauge.  In this case, a decent amount of change, so my swatch has a gauge of 24 stitches to 3.5 inches (that is my pattern repeat so those are the numbers I worked with)  My unwashed piece has a gauge of 24 stitches to 4 inches.
LVIMH: Looks Big

I told you the piece is going to be in the Large Neck category, and in this case, large is pretty big, to get the width I want I needed to cast on close to 300 stitches. (I'll tell you a trick for doing that right the first time another day.)  All those extra half inches are making the piece look very big right now, but contrary to what the little voice in my head says each time I spread my knitting out, I have to Trust the Swatch.  And anyhow, if it ends up a little bigger, no problem...who is going to complain at a slightly oversized merino/cashmere piece?

Until Friday, when I should have that Cowl all knitted, washed and blocked...keep knitting!

* I wonder how many new visitors I will get for using the word "kinky" in this post.  It cracks me up sometimes seeing what key words bring people here!

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