The yarn club in my stash

Posted on by MK Carroll

So back in January, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee blogged about her self-imposed sock club, bundling together yarn from her stash with patterns and setting up 12 grab-and-go bags. I thought it was a nifty idea, and then I forgot about it. After my frog-or-finish decisions, though, I started thinking about it again, because it was time for me to look at my stash and start thinking about what to keep and what to donate/gift/sell. I have a bin for yarnstorming supplies (mostly odds and ends of various yarns, vintage acrylic) and I set up a box of yarns for Mom (kitchen cotton, she likes making dishcloths), and then I stalled.

Malabrigo Sock, Solis
Well. Would you want to give this up?

At that point, I went through my Ravelry stash (that helped me figure out how long some yarns had been in my stash) and my favorites, and did some pattern suggestion searches. With that, I started a Ravelry queue and have been bagging yarns together with notecards that have the pattern name and hook/needle size written on them. No printed patterns, because 1) I don't own a printer, and 2) I have been using my Kindle for patterns and really liking it.

Creating my own "yarn club" from my stash
This is the first bag, which I now have in my portable project bag. I've started the Wham Bam Thank You Lamb cowl by Susan Chang, and it's at just the right speed for winding down from the holidays - garter stitch and quick progress, resulting in a cowl that is very gift-able (that is to say, Muggles will like it). I'm over halfway through after one car ride, and if I knit during the drive back home tonight (I'm not going to be the one driving!), I'll be done and ready to cast on for the Cabled Button Toque by Amy Swenson, which I think could coordinate well with the cowl without being too matchy-matchy.

For yarns that I don't have a project in mind for, it's time for my trade/sell list on Ravelry. I don't need any more yarn right now, so it's all sell (unless you have some marvelous handspun yarn to trade). Because I need to move these yarns out of my stash, I'm asking for 10 - 20% below average retail price for untouched skeins that have been sealed in plastic bags away from light and odors, in a pet-free home. As I continue to sort through my stash, more yarns are likely to be added.

Holiday Hot Water Bottle Cozy

Posted on by MK Carroll

Hot Water Bottle Cozy

It's not perfect, but it's done. I'm reminding myself that I can knit another one, and having this gift checked off my list is more important right now! Weaving in all the ends and washing this tonight, then getting it wrapped up for Mom.

Ravelry Project: Holiday Hot Water Bottle

Pattern: Rachael's ISBN Hot Water Bottle Cozy by Rachael Herron, modified to use stranded colorwork instead of the cable panel and with a shorter neck. The heart band at the bottom is from the chart in the Hearty-stripy sock pattern by Patty McEldowney.

Yarn: Plymouth Yarn, Galway, color 16 (red) and color 127 (light green)

More Rock Doilies

Posted on by MK Carroll

More crochet lace rock doilies:

Crochet lace rock doilies

...and what the undersides look like:

Crochet lace rock doilies, undersides

These are fun and a good, healthy way for me to relieve stress. These are all freehanded - I don't work from a pattern, just improvise motifs and then close the doily around the rocks with crocheted loops and decreases, using triple crochet, double crochet, and single crochet stitches. Margaret Oomen's crochet covered sea stones have been a huge inspiration for these; you can find a free pattern for Little Urchin Crochet Covered Sea Stones on the Purl Bee blog and photos of Margaret's work on her blog, Resurrection Fern



Minor knit fail (happy holidays?)

Posted on by MK Carroll

Years of experience have taught me to get started on holiday gift making early. The year Mom got a pair of felted slippers that were still soaking wet, for example. This year I'm knitting a hot water bottle cozy for her, and so far, I have managed one band of colorwork that made my right hand hurt for two days, and I'm going to rip it out. (The colorwork, not my hand.)

Stranded colorwork

My hand hurt because I usually knit Combined, with the yarn in my left hand, and it suits me just fine. For working more than one color per row/round, though, it can be slow going. I've tried carrying two colors in my left, with wonky results. I've knit with one color at a time, and that works for some colorwork. Figuring it's a skill I want to acquire anyway, I've been knitting this cozy with one color in my left hand and one color in my right. It feels awkward and my tension is still a little uneven, but nothing that wouldn't even out a bit with a good blocking and which really doesn't matter too much (it's a hot water bottle cozy, after all, it just needs to keep the bottle insulated and keep it from burning Mom). The lack of contrast in the colors is just not working for me, though. Can you tell that the colorwork strip is a band of hearts? I can't, and I knit it. I wound off half the skein of the darker pink and put it in dyebath of red and pink food coloring last night, and I'm also going by YarnStory this afternoon, where I may just go ahead and buy more yarn. Hopefully this will get done on time!

Ravelry project: Hot Water Bottle Cozy
Pattern: ISBN Hot Water Bottle Cozy by Rachael Herron, modified to use the colorwork chart for Hearty-Stripy Socks by Polly McEldowney.

Beatnik Pullover Sweater: twisted rib comparison

Posted on by MK Carroll

The Stockinette blog has a post on how she knit her Beatnik in the round, with seamless set-in sleeves. It looks fabulous on her! It also looks like this sweater doesn't really need seams for structure. So I decided to start a sleeve in the round to see how it compared.

Comparing twisted ribbing

No contest. On top: twisted rib knit in the round on dpns. On the bottom: twisted rib knit flat. I'm glad I'd only just finished the back hem; less for me to frog and re-do.

Knitting a sleeve early on in this process should help me get an idea of the true gauge (the best swatch is a finished project, after all), plus a sleeve is a good on-the-go piece to have in my project bag. I don't think I could successfully work on the cabled body of this sweater at an SNB or in the car.