Sunday, March 04, 2007

My weekend entertainment

Anyone watch the lunar eclipse last night? Here's the obstructed view of the beginning of it, from my yard:

Clearly, I need:
  • a longer lens
  • a tripod
  • a tree-free viewing location.

Oh well.

I've developed some kind of dry, hacking cough, (which turns to a lovely whistling-wheeze when I'm lying in bed), so I've stayed in all weekend and have been playing with my knitting, to keep myself entertained. And I've been having a marvelous time.

If you recall, last weekend I purchased some sweet, one-of-a-kind Ellyn Cooper's yarn:

Ellyn Cooper's Yarn Sonnets - "Fantasia", in 'African Dance' colorway

After knitting and ripping out far too many "practice" swatches, I finally settled upon a needle size [U.S. 17 (12mm)], and number of stitches to cast on (20), in order to make my scant 144 yards go as far as possible.

Here's an extreme close-up of how it looks knitted up:

I am knitting what I'm calling a "cheater's moebius", in that it's just a garter-stitch rectangle which I'll later twist and graft the ends together for a seamless join. How will I accomplish this, you ask?

Well, first of all, I used a provisional, crochet cast-on, so that my first row of stitches can be held live for the future grafting process:

red "waste yarn" at bottom used for the provisional crochet cast-on

And then I did some googling research to find out just how exactly one performs a garter stitch graft, since the more common kitchener's graft is designed for stockinette stitch. The short answer is that, instead of the typical knit-purl, purl-knit rhythm of the kitchener's stitch, for a garter stitch graft the rhythm is knit-purl, knit-purl. Probably the best instructions I've found, (that I'll be following closely when the time comes), can be found here. (<- And, if you happen to click that link, how cute is that hat she's wearing?! I'm definitely going to buy that pattern sometime soon. Because I need another hat to knit -- there've been so few in my life lately...). ;-)

As fun as this little project has been, it's not the only knitting entertainment I've had this weekend.

But first, a little introductory tale, if you'll bear with me.

If you're a regular reader of WendyKnits, then you're aware of her current yarn diet, and some of her readers are following her lead. If you read her list of guidelines, you'll notice that one of her exemptions to the yarn diet is that sock yarn doesn't count, which makes perfect sense for Wendy, since she easily knits a pair a week.

Now, I, too, like just about every other knitter I know, have more yarn than I know what to do with currently. But, I'm not on any kind of yarn diet, because I don't like rules and limitations messin' with my knitting mojo. I do already have a sort of built-in, internal check-and-balance system in my head for yarn purchases. If I cannot realistically foresee a project that I'll knit this year with the yarn, I usually won't buy it, UNLESS it is at a ridiculously low price, OR it's a one-of-a-kind, hard-to-find yarn (see Ellyn Cooper's, above), or, I've just fallen in love with it because of the color or fiber, or whatever. This system seems to work for me, for the most part, but where I've fallen down is with sock yarn.

Until I reorganized my stash back in January, I didn't realize how much sock yarn I'd actually accumulated. I currently have a big shopping bag overflowing with sock yarn, which is all well and good if you're as prolific as Wendy, but makes no sense if you're like me and aren't knitting socks, currently. I do plan on knitting socks again someday soon, perhaps once summer heat is in full swing. But for now, my one and only yarn diet rule is that I won't buy any more sock yarn until I start knitting socks again.

And I tell you all of that to lead up to what I'm about to show you, which is that I bought more sock yarn.

I'm nothing, if not fickle.

Here's what I bought:

BMFA "Socks That Rock" in 'Fairgrounds' and 'Chapman Springs',
(both in heavyweight)

Now, in my defense, I bought that yarn for an immediate project, so it is in use, even as I type this.

And what, pray tell, is it being used for, you ask?

It's the Chevron Scarf, from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, except that instead of Koigu, I'm using Socks That Rock.

And how did this come about, you're wondering? (My, aren't you a curious one...!)

Well, I blame the internets for this latest obsession inspiration. I was over reading former Richmonder Courtney's blog one day and gasped when I saw this scarf she's working on. And then she linked to someone else who's knitting one. And that person linked to someone else, and so on, and so on. And then I discovered a Flickr group knit-along for this scarf, and I knew I had to have me some of that. So I made my purchase, and it came this past week, and I immediately wound the yarn and began knitting with it.

I've not gotten very far, but, so far it's pretty:

Only five more feet to knit. This could take awhile....

Extreme close-up

It's a very simple, four-row repeat, easily memorizeable, which is good, because I've been needing a mindless knitting project to take with me to places (TNK, family gatherings, etc.) where there are too many distractions to be able to concentrate on anything slightly complicated.

I will try not to bore you, dear reader, with daily or even weekly progress reports on it, because it's going to take me a long time to finish. It's sock yarn, after all, even if I am using the heavyweight and size 6 needles. That's still a far cry from size 17 needles (see cheater's moebius, above).

One final, random thought, before I end this post:

Is there something wrong with me, if I love this tv commercial, not for the cute mini-pooch, but for the purse he's sitting in?

Where can I get me one of these?
(the purse, not the dog)



Liz said...

Ohhh, I like your colors for the chevron scarf. I started one last week with g-rocks and love-in-idleness. I'm having some horrible pooling issues though so it's in time out for now.

I've never been much of a dog person. Give me the bag any day of the week :)

Sheddy said...

Absolutely love the chevron scarf. A great reason to buy sock yarn.

Courtney said...

Nice color choices. They look great together. Now I want to buy some Chapman Springs.

Suzanne said...

It is SOOO beautiful! The two versions of STR combine fantastically. Luv it! Always need a mindless knitting project. I have 2 things in the finishing shed.....seems to take ages to knit all those hems and tack them down.

I like that ad too--even though I am not a little dog fan (but a little dog is better than no dog at all!!!)

Your STR--online order? Certainly not bought local!

Gingersnaps with Tea... said...

Lovely colour choices for your chevron scarf. It's so nice to have a project like that that you can just pick up and it's not too demanding. They do seem to progress fairly quickley. Good luck with it.

Nikki said...

Both of your scarves are very lovely! I really like that chevron scarf.

Is that book, Last Minute Knitted Gifts, got lots of good things in it? I've been eyeing it but have been to lazy to go to the local bookstore to look.

Anonymous said...

GORGEOUS scarf!!!! Where did you order the Socks That Rock yarn?? I want some!!

Liz R

I'm at, BTW!!

Robin said...

Mary, that scarf is gorgeous!!! I love the colors, too. The pattern is just beautiful. Can't wait to see this finished. Your Ellyn Cooper is working up nicely, too.