About Me

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Four years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My Big Fat Geek Stealth Project -- Happy Birthday, Sister Mine!

[Spoiler alert: Hey Sis, if you haven’t already opened your package, do that first!]

29 September 2008
Since this was a stealth project for my sister’s birthday, I thought it best to just create a draft and save all my pictures here, then publish on or after her birthday. This is, of course, my take on brooklyntweed’s Noro Striped Scarf.

And this is the second incarnation of the beginning. I had worked about 3.5” [8.9 cm] when I realized that there was not enough contrast in values. Now: I am a quilter from way back, and Log Cabin quilts are my favorite. The secret to a successful Log Cabin quilt is that your darkest lights and your lightest darks should be similar in value. That way you get a smooth flow of light across your quilt.

Due to the roll of the Noro dice, I had begun with two lights. So I frogged the scarf back to the end of the first stripe, rewound the second ball of Noro Silk Garden, and knitted what you see above. Much better! [I wish that I had snapped a picture before I frogged it.] I think maybe the secret to working with this yarn is to wind it into a cake to see how the color changes and value changes play out, and then start knitting.

30 September 2008
This is a day’s worth of knitting. About 7” wide and 10” long [cm by cm]. I am getting the hang of stranding the color changes at the beginning of every other row. Not too much yarn, and not too little. I weighed the balls of yarn: 34 g of one and 30 g of the other. I weighed the other two balls: 55 g each. [Which makes me curious about how much the first two balls weighed before I started knitting.]

When I weighed them, I did a little mental arithmetic based on 50 g balls and calculated that at the current width, the finished scarf would be somewhere between 50 and 60 inches long [127 to 152 cm]. But if they originally weighed 55 g, the finished length would be something like 40 to 50 inches long [102 to 127 cm].

And a scarf which is 7” wide by 40” long [17.75 cm by 102 cm] would be much shorter and stubbier than brooklyntweed’s scarf, which is 5.5” wide by 72” long [14 cm by 183 cm]. I don’t think that I would be happy with it, at all.

Which means two things:
(1) I need to frog this, two rows at a time, and cast on with fewer stitches. 39 is to 7 as X is to 5.5. Good thing that algebra is one of my favorite languages! and
(2) I need to weigh these balls of yarn before casting on, so that I know what I have to work with.

So it is a very good thing that Silk Garden is only 10% mohair, n’est-ce pas?

1 October 2008
This is the scarf, worked over 31 stitches instead of brooklyntweed’s 39. It is now 5.5” wide by 5.5” long [14 cm by 14 cm]. As you can see, I have recouped about half of the progress that I lost when I frogged it. Yesterday was not a big day for knitting, Knit Night notwithstanding [say that, three times, fast!]

I also swapped needles with Middlest; she is now knitting her scarf on my Addi Turbos, and I am knitting on my Addi Naturas, and I think we are both happier. But I wanted her first knitting experience not to be with an ultra-slick needle, when there are so many other considerations for a newbie yarn-wrangler.

After I frogged Monday’s knitting and weighed the two balls of yarn, they weighed 47.8 g and 44.3 g; that explains why it appeared that I had used 10% more of one yarn than the other when knitting them up on Monday. I started with 10% less yarn. And all my careful calculations from yesterday are off, because there is about a 20% difference in weight between the lighter balls and the heavier ones. I have no idea how long this scarf will end up, and I find this width more pleasing to the eye.

I guess this means that if I knit anything with Noro in the future, it would be a good idea to purchase several extra balls. It also explains why the ball band says +/- 50 g. Seems like there is a 10% leeway, and I got lucky with the second balls?

2 October 2008
I’ve re-knit all the yarn that I frogged. Onward, onward, to new and fascinating color combinations!

3 October 2008
New knitting here.

And here. I am almost to the ends of the first two balls and will rewind both of them before leaving for work.

4 October 2008
Lots of progress since yesterday morning. I was going to display these photos in the order in which I knitted them, but then I thought it might be fun to string them together so you could get a feel for what the scarf looks like.

And the next.

And another.

And the last, for today.

OK, that’s an experiment I’m not sure I want to repeat again. At least not until I have better photography skills and can keep the individual shots more or less the same size. This reminds me way too much of the herky-jerky video style that was so popular a few years ago.

5 October 2008
Ten inches of pure knitting bliss yesterday. The scarf is now 56” [142 cm] long; I stopped at 60” [152 cm] and have decided to use the rest of it for a bulky smoke ring scarf for Lark’s birthday. I want to try that multicolored spiral knitting technique that Wendy blogged about.

And this, just below it.

6 October 2008
I finished with 43.7 g of the 247H [second] dark and 38.5 g of the 264A [teals]. Which means that I used 60.8 g of the teals, all 47.8 g of the 245A [first] dark and 11.3 g of the 247H, or 59.1 g total darks; I bound off using the 264A teals.

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