Scarf Distration 1.0

My current WIP list looks a little something like this:

  • Cabled Sweater
  • Woman’s XL Cardigan in fingering weight yarn
  • Baby Blanket x 3
  • Queen Sized Log Cabin Blanket
  • Men’s L Sweater

All range from 50-90% finished, all of due dates rapidly approaching, and I’m completely unmotivated to keep clicking along on any of them. I needed to start and finish something in order to remind me of what it is like to be able to enjoy a piece, rather than just feeling like you’re in perpetual in-progress/starting mode.

I decided to take the stitch pattern from Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders‘ cashmere cowl, and expand it into a full-length scarf. Here is the fabulous end result, done in Malabrigo Stonechat:

IMG_2619 IMG_2613 IMG_2625I’m absolutely obsessed! The stitch pattern created a very dense fabric, but it still moves and feels light – I guess the technical term I’m looking for is spongy. Yes, that’s it – S.P.O.N.G.Y.

It is slightly on the long side for someone of average height, but being 6’3″ and despising a cold neck, the 84″ length is pretty perfect for me.

This is one of those stitch patterns that gives you a lot of visual bang for your buck. It’s a super easy, two row repeat that creates a wonderful texture, especially for variegated yarns (as a rule, to capitalize on color changes without looking like a melted box of crayola crayons, I utilize slipped stitches and yarn overs as much as I can with these types of yarns).

If you’re going to make your own version, keep in mind the passed over stitches and yarn overs take a lot more yarn – I utilized three skeins of Malabrigo, and generally only require two for a scarf of this length, so make sure to buy 50% more yarn than usual, or be prepared to attach both ends to create a circle shape, which will give you needed functionality.

Le sigh. I guess it’s back to cables and sweater quantities of yarn. The good news? These projects are putting quite the dent in my stash, and I’ll be driving right past WEBS on the way home for Thanksgiving, so, I guess I’ll have the perfect excuse to replenish my inventory with a shopping trip to one of my all-time favorite stores.

 

About Hunter Liam

Hunter's grandmother had him making buttons and threading her sewing machine at the age of three. Ever since then, he's been obsessed with making things with his hands as a form of creative expression.Knitter, spinner, designer, writer, photographer, dancer . . . or just a creative soul with ADD.

They Knit In LA?

I have a lot of traveling to do during the next few months for work, bouncing around from one coast of the United States to the other in great succession, with only a few days in between most trips to catch up at work in the office.

Since my holiday knitting is about to get into full swing, I’m actually looking forward to the constant downtime one encounters on plane rides, public transit, the airport, and holed up in hotel rooms.

I pictured a constant stream of traveling socks, mittens, and hats flying off my needles as I touchdown in fabulous cities such as New York, Portland, Seattle, Boston, and Denver. There is an almost even exchange of what Fall means in each of these cities, and I have at least a couple of favorite yarn stores to visit (Purl SoHo, anyone?).

The only city that made my soul slightly twitch due to my perceived lack of congruency was Los Angeles. As a rule, I love the change of seasons far too much to travel very far south once the bite of cool air hits Chicago, and when I do try to escape my current climate, I prefer it to be somewhere out of the country. 70 degrees is not completely right for the fall, nor is it warm enough to bask in the glow of the sun by the pool. This is a faux travel south. If I can’t sip frozen margaritas while working on my tan or comfortably work on my Christmas knitting, I’d rather just opt out.

The solution: I’m going to rent for a day and scope out some local yarn stores in the area. At the very least, I’d like to pick up some supplies for my Christmas knitting – this way, I’ll avoid the embarrassment cranking the AC in my room in an effort to create an Arctic environment so I have an excuse to knit like a mad man.

I mean, not that there would be anything wrong with it if I did, right?

Prepare for some really fun travel entries! (I promise I have a FO to share . . . promise!).

 

 

About Hunter Liam

Hunter's grandmother had him making buttons and threading her sewing machine at the age of three. Ever since then, he's been obsessed with making things with his hands as a form of creative expression.Knitter, spinner, designer, writer, photographer, dancer . . . or just a creative soul with ADD.

Spinning Wheel Dreams

Ah, Fall.

Even though it’s only the middle of September, I can feel the blazing heat of the summer slowly starting to release the city of Chicago of its grip, and for those of us on the west side of town who don’t have the opportunity to have the thick air regulated by Lake Michigan, it’s an extremely refreshing feeling.

That, and the fall starts to bring me knitting dreams: little socks dancing in my head, blankets I can envision curling up in during holiday movie marathons, and the mad dash to finish gifts for the laundry list of recipients who appreciate them every year (this is both a blessing and a curse – I started an all out war two years ago between a recipient and someone I had written off as not capable of enjoying a handknit gift. Don’t mess with knitters, we’re capable of starting wars, particularly when yak down is involved).

The one dream I’m destined to repeat over and over until it is brought to fruition is regarding a particular spinning wheel.

I started spinning in December of 2012, want to start having control over both my yarn content and color (I’m also somewhat of a miser, and it’s cheaper to spin your own luxury fibers than it is to purchase them). I purchased this lovely beauty, a Louet S15 wheel, secondhand and purchased buckets of wool:

my-louet-s15-e1266353313469

It was a nice little wheel to learn on. I bought it because the investment was minimal, and it took up a very small amount of space considering we were living in a solid 420 square foot studio apartment with two cats. I spun January through February, cursing my way through the inevitable learning curve, and got to a place where I was pretty happy with some very even singles.

Unfortunately, the wheel only came with two bobbins, one broke, and I didn’t have the benefit of a lazy kate to ply. I quickly grew tired of the ratio limitations too, and while an excellent beginner wheel, it felt like a piece of Ikea furniture after a while – it did the job, but I knew it wasn’t a long term wheel for my home.

After deciding I did in fact enjoy spinning, I decided to upgrade my spinning wheel, but first wanted to sell the Louet. I placed it on Ebay, it sold within a week, and I shipped it off to a new owner who I hope is absolutely loving it.

It’s now three whole months later, and while I never thought about my wool pile during the summer, the fall is making me itch to start working on a wheel again. After weeks of research, I’ve decided to buy myself a Christmas present later this year, settling on a Kromski Polonaise (we have the space, and I can’t resist the beauty of this wheel):

I can completely see this in my home studio, tucked in against the newly painted walls. Once this baby gets here, this will pretty much be me every time I sit down at the wheel:

And I’m pretty much okay with that.

 

About Hunter Liam

Hunter's grandmother had him making buttons and threading her sewing machine at the age of three. Ever since then, he's been obsessed with making things with his hands as a form of creative expression.Knitter, spinner, designer, writer, photographer, dancer . . . or just a creative soul with ADD.