Flying Solo

The Husband is visiting his parents, leaving me to my own devices until tomorrow night. While this does have the potential for disaster, I don’t socialize, and motivating myself to mastermind any shenanigans, since I’d have to be both the instigator and the willing accomplice, is simply too much effort.

Really, my day won’t be much different than usual, other than not breaking from whatever I’m doing to prepare dinner and greet the Husband when he gets home from work. It’s noon, and I’ve been working all morning, around doing household things like laundry.

I did just take a short break, though, to block Scarf #2, which I did finally finish yesterday!

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Last night, I started on a new project. I had planned to do something bigger, a smallish throw, maybe. But I have it in my head that I want to use the rainbow Mandala yarn next, and it’s a 3 weight, so small stitches that would take centuries for me to make any sort of throw. So, I’m doing one more scarf. (Pattern HERE)

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That’s the photo  from the pattern above. Below is the very-baby-beginning of my scarf and the yarn I’m using.

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For this pattern, I am using a lighter yarn than I have so far, and a smaller size needle (a 6). I had to learn a double decrease (slip 2 knitwise together, knit one, pass the two slipped stitches over), and purl 2 together through back loop.

I actually had about 15 rows done last night, then made a mistake. I wasn’t very far, and had not yet placed a lifeline, but I saw the error while I was still on the same row. I was picking back to the error…and I dropped it. Stitches dropped and slipped down several rows. Since I wasn’t far along, I just frogged the whole thing and started over.

Now, time to take the Direwolves out for a few minutes, then back to work. I need to edit at least 20 more pages today so I can finish the round tomorrow. Once I hit today’s page goal, I can work on Scarf #3 while watching the new episode of The Magicians and then continue my binge watch of Jessica Jones.

Slow and Steady Setbacks

I thought I was going to finish the zig-zag scarf, my second-ever knitting project, yesterday…but nope. I’ll explain why in a minute, but first, I did officially block my first-ever scarf yesterday.

I’m pretty pleased with it. There are definitely mistakes, but I’m not too worried. However, it’s spring in eastern NC, and I don’t usually wear scarves anyway, but we’re going downtown Saturday night, and it might be cool enough to wear this as an accessory with a garnet-colored top I have.

Scarf 2 is long enough, but I’m trying to end on a part of the colorway I like. I was sure I’d finish yesterday, worked on it a bit in the afternoon, then when I started again in the evening, disaster struck.

The pattern isn’t that hard, and I’ve been working on it so long it’s rather mindless, as long as I take a second as I start each row to remember where I am. But if I become too mindless, I sometimes lapse into knit stitches on the purl row, and I did it again. I noticed the ridge a couple of rows later, and was glad I had a lifeline.

Turned out it was good I had two lifelines, kind of like a back-up parachute. When leaping out of a perfectly good airplane, it’s fairly certain you’re going to need that first parachute, unless your goal is to see how deep a crater you’ll make when you hit the ground. It’s nearly as certain I’ll need at least one lifeline upon occasion, since I’m still so new to knitting.

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Lovely, lovely lifeline

But when I got to the first lifeline, something was wrong. It didn’t look…right. Sigh. Back-up parachute time. By then, I was sweating, because if the backup chute failed, I was just going to have to start flapping my arms and hope for the best.

I was very, very meticulous as I reached the lifeline and began putting each loop back on the needle. Then I figured out where I was in the pattern–I always put the lines in rows 10 and 20 of the 20-row repeat–and deduced I had the needle in from the wrong direction, and had to feed it (so carefully) onto another needle going the right way.

Heart attack averted, but the 15 or so rows I had to frog amounted to at least an hour and a half of work. Not a huge deal, as while working on a crochet lace tablecloth, in which each round took several hours once I reached a large diameter, I once took out multiple rounds, or about two days’ worth of work.

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But I really wanted to finish the scarf yesterday, block it today, and start something new.

I have a new circular needle, smaller size, arriving today, which I think I’ll use on a small blanket, but I really want to order THIS, a full set of ChiaoGoo stainless steel needles with interchangeable cords. Spendy, but I figure I’ll come out ahead in the end, rather than ordering each needle size and cable length individually as I need them. Yes, I can justify nearly anything once I decide I want it.

Do you have a favorite full set of knitting needles? If so, tell me fast, before I one-click the ChiaoGoo set!

New Project Time

I finally finished my first official knitted project, a fan and feather pattern scarf. It still needs to be blocked, which I’ll do in the next couple of days.

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Here it was as it was nearing completion. Definitely has mistakes in it, but I’m pretty happy with it.

And all you crafty types know what that means. A new project! I’m still a beginner, and while I want to do a lot of complex Celtic knot style cables, I’m not there yet.

I started work on a zigzag scarf, but it had a long repeat with complicated rows, nothing I couldn’t do, but we’re having company this weekend and I should try to be able to follow a conversation instead of laser-focusing on the pattern, so I chose the Rolling Meadows scarf, HERE.

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I’m using Chroma worsted yarn from Knit Picks, in “Drawing Room,” and I absolutely love the soft colors in this yarn.

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And here we go, the very beginning!

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In the past, I just did the easy, basic thumb cast-on, but yesterday I learned to do the long tail cast on, which I think will give me a nicer starting edge. It’s curling here, but that should smooth out when I eventually block it. I can’t wait to get to work on it today and get to where I can see the beautiful color blend begin to unfold.

I love to learn at least one new skill with each project, and in addition to the long tail cast on, for this one I also learned ssk (slip, slip, knit), which is a decrease stitch that leans the opposite way of k2tog. Guess you can teach an old dog new tricks. 🙂

What are you working on this weekend? You can share photos with me on the Furwood Forest Facebook page. I’d love to see your current projects!