Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hunter's neckwarmer, hand-knit

This may be the last fo I'll post in a while, so pay attention!

I've finished up the little neck-warmer for Hunter. I used Bollicine Lampedusa by Cascade Yarns. I think the colorway I used (#7) closely resembles camoflauge, specifically Mossy Oak.
I've included this photo of it blocking, mostly because it is the most color accurate. However, it does illustrate the construction fairly well.

I decided that a square shape was more masculine than the otagonal one I used originally. I also changed from 1x1 to 2x2 ribbing, since it is most elastic. The turtleneck is long enough to fold down, but short enough to be worn up.
I tried to get a modeled shot, but we humans have chins and hair and other clothing on, all of which got in the way. The desk lamp turned out to be the right shape. Size-wise, it is about 11" by 12" on the flaps and fits an 18" neck. I was going to lengthen the front a bit, but I've decided that it can be worn with the point over the chest if he wants it longer. I've got about half a skein of yarn in reserve if he wants adjustments.

I will be interested to see Hunter's reaction and hear his assessment of this project. I think I have seen the store-bought one he has in a photo he sent, and I am surprised that it is knitted. I'd include the photo, but the main feature in it is a rather gory deceased caribou. At least the hunt was successful, but...really, yuck.
I'll change the subject.
I have included a photo of the first half of the back of my Mitered Jacket, knit with Wooly Stripes Tweed. I'll try to match the pattern on the second half (which will continue to the left of this piece after I remove the provisional cast on and pick up the stitches.)

I'm going to put this away and probably bring it back out in the dead of winter. I have some fall projects I'd like to work on now.

I've been on a break from heavy knitting, due to some odd injury to the middle finger of my right hand (don't go there). I think it was from excessive knitting of ribbing (Emerald Seas and the Bubble did it in.) Also, the fact that I use it for the mouse wheel didn't help.

A brief rest (no rib knitting at all), wearing my braces, and five days of motrin (my doctor's recommended max for me, since I don't really need the stuff much), has done the trick. I'm glad, since I have a day-long knitting class this Saturday. Getting ready for the class (several swatches to knit) and the injury has delayed my knitting a bit. I have started Sienna, using the Alpaca with a Twist Highlander. (It is a bit scary how much I resemble that model when my hair is short. Maybe that's why I think the sweater will look good on me?)

I said I was going to do Mr. GreenJeans with the Highlander, but the gauge was wrong. I'm no good at forcing gauges. I still want to knit Mr. Greenjeans, but I just may have to buy some yarn for it. Oh, too bad, so sad. Actually, I'm excited that it will give me a chance to use that 20% off coupon I have at the lys this weekend.

Don't forget that Alpaca Farm/Ranch Day is this weekend. Get out there and pet an alpaca! I'll leave you with a couple of my latest photos. We drove up to Aspen Ridge (near Nathrop, Southeast of Buena Vista, Colorado) yesterday. The colors are not so good there, since there is a fungal growth on the aspen leaves this year, due to all the rain we got this summer. Nonetheless, they are nice.

I think there will be more color up on the Ridge in a few days. The photo above was taken at a lower elevation on the way up there. The aspen on the Ridge are still mostly green. The views are nice, though.

It is easy to get to Aspen Ridge from Highway 24, just turn off onto CR 185 at Trout Creek. We came up the other way, but I think the views are better driving south.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bubble Pullover

Gee, what I won't do for you guys. I just hiked up a mountain, literally, along the Colorado Trail. At one point K asked, "How far does this trail go, a couple of miles?" I said, no, it goes almost all the way to Denver. We gasped for air for a while, and I heard the reply (from behind me, faintly) "Well, we won't go that far."

I wanted to go into NATURE, to take photos of my new FO:

the Bubble Pullover, from Knitting Nature by Norah Gaughan

Tahki Lima yarn, all of 11 balls, sizes 6 and 8 needles, about three weeks of non-exclusive knitting

The Lima yarn is an acrylic and alpaca blend. However, it is mostly alpaca and thus worked well for the pattern. The recommended yarn is alpaca. I got gauge, so the knitting was according to pattern and was easy. I loved knitting the pentagons in the round. Switching to the dpns as I got to the centers was tricky, but it only lasted a few rows and then I was down to 8 stitches and done.

The drape is excellent, the yarn is super soft and not at all itchy after hand washing and blocking. It is a very light yarn, but expands well -- no see-through and no shedding. Oh, that drape! So this is what it is like to knit a good pattern with nice yarn. I've been buying cheap yarn for so long, I haven't had the experience much. Not that Lima is expensive, especially on sale at Elann.

Just as I overcame my fear of water by learning to swim, I overcame my fear of picking up stitches by knitting this sweater. I picked up, and picked up and picked up. I do admit, learning to swim was harder, or at least more life-threatening. None of it would have been as easy if Sherry, my knitting teacher, hadn't explained that 'pick up and knit' means what I thought 'pick up' meant. It makes a big difference when you don't put in an extra row.

Yes, it is a "killer" sweater, as Virginia, my old blogging buddy, put it. (Thanks, Virginia!) Even if I had to knit for weeks, then take a 'killer' hike to show it off, it was well worth it.

Well, enough of this gloating. I've got to get on and finish the laundry. But I'll be walking on air, even if it is uphill all the way.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hunting Knitting

Originally, the hunter asked me to make something to keep his neck warm when he was out hunting. *'Like a scarf?' I thought.* But no. The hunter wanted something that went around his neck and just the part of his chest left exposed by his open shirt collar. *'Like a short scarf?' thinks I.* The something should fit up neatly around his neck. "Oh," says I, "Like a gaiter?" Hunter looked at me blankly.

I thought about this request for a while. I was thinking dickey, maybe buttoned in back. Garter stitch flap, brioche stitch neck. Or a gaiter. I called Hunter, who was on his way to the wilds of Canada to hunt caribou. (Hunter is no slacker when it comes to hunting.) He nixed the button in back idea. He nixed the dickey. He wanted it to cover part of his back, too.

Now I need to find yarn to use. Most likely, acrylic. At least I could satisfy the latest suggestion Hunter has: "Get some string with different colors on it and maybe it would look like camoflauge." Yes.
I didn't tell him that they make camo yarn. Actually, I have some camo yarn. It is an alpaca/acrylic/wool blend. It might be ok for this gaiter/cowl/dickey thing. However, I'm afraid it is itchy.
Besides being given the vague instructions, I was informed that he bought just the thing, for the Canadian trip. I'm sure it is fleece. I'm sure if I can see it, I will get a better idea as to how to construct one like it. I'm also sure you are wondering why I am still pursuing this, since he HAS ONE. Why?
Hunter said, "You could make me a lighter weight one for hunting at home." Really, I'm having fun doing this.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Alpaca mom hums to baby

This alpaca gave birth to her baby the day before this was taken, so she is very protective. Her owner is holding her baby in his arms, and she is trying to make sure he is ok, and also trying to get him to put her baby down. Alpacas do make a noise, when alarmed or nervous. It sounds a bit like humming or perhaps whining. I thought you'd be interested in hearing it. I've not posted a video before, so if you have any problems with it, let me know in a comment or e-mail.

The photo is not that good--I was more concerned about picking up the sound, and just showing you how the mom was nuzzling her baby. I have posted good photos of the alpacas earlier, and will post more later.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Old knitting at the Gunnison Museum

**Flash** This post was edited a couple of hours later to reflect recent knitting activity!

The City of Gunnison has a Pioneer Museum. It is a large museum, with many old buildings moved into the site. There's a fascinating old school house that is designed to resemble a tugboat--it has a curved bay window in the library. It is amazing to see something like that built so long ago. There's also a train, complete with engine, cars, caboose and depot. It's a fun place. We hurried over to visit because they usually close on Labor Day. However, they're staying open until the end of September this year. Get on over there!

They had these, and I was surprised to see vintage knitting that I'd actually consider copying. The tag says the mittens and 'cuffs' were knit for a little boy by his grandmother in 1886. awwww.

I can't believe this is all I have for you. My only excuse is that I'm about to be hit with houseguests again. It's killing me, knitting-wise. So why am I blogging? I decided to post this, in case I don't get time this week, what with the guests. I think I can knit some while the guests are here. One of them is a knitter! Whee, knitting buddy. I can't wait to see her.

I spent some time yesterday afternoon (after more cleaning, ugh) listening to the Cast-on podcast and finishing the bottom ribbing. Brenda interviewed Norah Gaughan, the designer of the Bubble Pullover. I loved listening to the interview while knitting one of her designs. I also loved that she discussed the way it is being knitted.

She said a lot of the under-30 knitters are trying to size it down, to change the fit. It is supposed to fit loosely, but the younger set wants it to fit tightly. You see, this is a major beef of mine. People have confused "fit" with "tight". Clothing can fit without hugging every curve and bump. After this summer's knitting, which included several summer tops designed to be close-fitting, I was really looking forward to knitting something loose. I made the size small, which gives me 6" of ease. I won't know if it is right until it is done. I've bound off the bottom ribbing, but I still have the sleeves and 10" of collar--that's over 9,000 stitches of ribbing for the collar.

I don't like to knit ribbing. I dislike it so much, yesterday, on the urging of one of the bloggers I read, I tried combined knitting. It went ok, and totally solved my tension problem in the ribbing. I thought I might pursue this. Then I remembered the problem with combined--you can't knit combined in the round! Continental, English, Combined, now I've learned them all. I just wish I was adept enough at all of them to switch among them without adversely affecting my project.

After more thought, I believe I have envisioned a solution to my ribbing woes--I'll get a knitting machine! :D