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Sunday, December 04, 2005

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My own private block party

I finished the Lopi Lace Scarf this morning, and then I went crazy blocking all the knitted Christmas gifts that have been sitting around - 2 hats, 1 bag, 2 scarves. Should have some good pics tomorrow. I ran out of blocking pins so I couldn't block the Backyard Leaves scarf. I've been putting that one off because after I block it I will have to seam it together, and it looks like that will be very UN-fun due to the lumpy edge.

I looked for blocking pins at the LYS yesterday, but they only had some ridiculously expensive ones (10 pins for like $8.50 -- geez, those must be nice pins). Anyway, I asked if they had any others and the two older women behind the counter looked at me like I was insane. They said they had "never HEARD of using pins to block your knitting." What??!!?? Then they were all in my face asking me what I was making, etc. I told them I was going to use the pins to block lace -- to open it out more. They just did NOT get that. They insisted that was unnecessary, that it would probably HARM my knitting (how???), blah, blah, blah. Why do I bother talking to these people -- it's just not worth it.

Anyway, I bought a bunch of Cascade 220 to continue my Christmas knitting extravaganza. Enough to make another alien scarf (1st one is currently blocking), another knitted bag (1st one also blocking), and then some to enhance the stash (you know, cuz it was getting low... ;)

This is kind of cute: Make an avatar of yourself!

Oh, and I fixed the problem with the comments. So, feel free to comment away.

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Saturday, December 03, 2005

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Persnickety about Xmas Trees

Well, we spent the morning looking for a Frasier Fir Christmas tree that is over 8 ft but costs less than $200. Apparently such a thing does not exist around here, at least not that we found. Tomorrow we will have to look at the cut-your-own places, but in previous years we have not found great looking trees at these places. I guess I may have to be less finicky and get a Balsam (hate those needles that fall off instantly) or disappoint my daughters and get a 7-8 ft tree (which is what my daughters would call a "small" tree). As the years go by I am starting to understand why people buy fake trees...

Well, I'm still messing around finishing up the Ritratto scarf and the Lopi Lace Scarf, so in the meantime I will leave you with another scarf I finished a few months ago. Here are the specs:

Pattern: Thandi Scarf from Jo Sharp Gathering (Book 5)

Yarn: Jo Sharp Rare Comfort Kid Mohair in Romany (brown), Millet (tan), Swamp (green), and Velvet (purple) -- about 1.5 balls of each

Needles: US8

Modifications: Did an extra repeat of the pattern in each color band to make the stripes wider.

Comments: I think this would have been nicer if I used the Kid Mohair Infusion called for in the pattern, but I got this yarn on sale at elann.com. At about the halfway point I decided I hated the color combination and was going to desert the project, but my daughter said she really liked it and convinced me to finish it for her. However, after blocking it and having it hanging around for a while, it's really growing on me. In fact, I think I'll borrow it to wear out tonight.

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Friday, December 02, 2005

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Molly Bolero

I'm soooo close to being done with my Mom's scarf. Can't wait to have another Christmas gift done. Planning on finishing it tonight -- will post a finished pic tomorrow.

In the meantime, to give you something to look at, here is a picture of something I finished a couple of months ago.

Pattern: Molly Bolero from Debbie Bliss Junior Knits

Size: biggest size (ages 9-10)

Yarn: Laines Du Nord Dolly Maxi in Dusty Rose, used 9 balls (from Elann.com)

Needles: US 9 (and US 8 for edging)

Modifications: The body and sleeves of this bolero are knit as one piece (see diagram below) and then the edging is picked up and knit. I used short rows to shape the sleeves rather than using the stair-step cast-on and bind-off specified in the pattern. I used a provisional cast for the sleeves and kitchenered them together to avoid seams. I then knit the ribbed edging on the sleeves in the round (instead of flat, as per pattern). I sewed the short side seams before working on the body edging so I could knit that in the round too (yes, I'm an "in the round" freak, apparently). The edging around the neck uses short rows and the pattern did not say anything about wrapping the turns, but I did it anyway (and I found that it is not easy to hide the wrap in ribbing -- which is probably why the pattern ignored the wraps).

Comments: This bolero came out rather large, but it seems that Debbie Bliss sizes many of her children's patterns to be oversized, and I guess I forgot that. My daughter is 9 and it is pretty big on her (in fact, it fits me, although it did have a tendency to split.

except that the sleeves are a little too short). I probably should have made the ages 8-9 size. The Dolly Maxi yarn was soooo soft. I enjoyed working with it,

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