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Archive for November, 2008

Well, I don’t really have a whole lot of knitting projects to blog about at the moment, which I think is a problem common to more than a few knitters with blogs this time of year. I’m not making a ton of knitted gifts, but the couple of them that I’m working on right now are consuming most of my knitting time, leaving me with very little knitting to blog.

So how about a little crochet?

crochethotpad1_xl

It’s not much to look at, but yes, I crocheted a hotpad. And I did it the day before Thanksgiving. I thought I needed one so I wouldn’t have to use the crappy ugly ones that were left on our doorstep by the local fuel oil company when we first bought the house… the ones that I still keep around even though they are crappy ugly looking, just in case. I forgot that I had two brand new pretty hotpads from a Christmas gift last year, so I really wouldn’t have needed it. But I used it anyway. So, here are the details:

It seems to be one of those patterns like the classic knitted dishcloth that gets passed down through the generations. I chose this particular version of the pattern because it was very easy for me to understand, and best of all, it included pictures with the instructions. I also opted for a crochet pattern instead of knitting because 1) crocheting goes faster (see time bullet above) and 2) crocheting normally produces a thicker fabric than knitting, and the double-thick fabric made using this pattern (in such a short amount of time, I must add!) functions well as a hotpad/potholder.

Other than that and the couple of knitted gifts I’m working on, I’ve also been working on knitting up some scarves for charity using stash yarn. I have three done and I’m working on the fourth. But I’ll wait to post photos and details until I have them all done.

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OK, this lovely FO has a slightly sordid backstory involving a flagrant disregard for swatching.

My neck in front of the fish tank -- you can see Angel in the background. Click photo to embiggen.

My neck in front of the fish tank -- you can see Angel in the background. Click photo to embiggen.

I started off Sunday evening (Oct. 26) by looking at the gauge on my just-finished mitts (knitted on size 6 needles) and guessed at what the gauge might be on size 8 needles for the neckwarmer, deciding to cast on 125 stitches. Fortunately, it was a fast knit. In just a few hours, I was at least halfway through, maybe a little more. I further impressed myself Monday night (Oct. 27) when, while knitting the LAST row, I realized that halfway through the thing I missed one of the cable crossovers. My first thought was to just put that part to the back where it could hide under my hair (or coat collar). But then I thought, “Nah, I can drop those stitches right down to where I need to fix it and reknit one column of cables.” And I did. And man, was I ever impressed with myself!

I wasn’t so impressed on Tuesday (Oct. 28) when I realized I had knit the thing waaaaay too big. Sorry, no photographic evidence of that exists. But I think you can get an idea of how much too big when I tell you that I re-cast on with only 95 stitches, removing 6 cable columns from the circumference. Each cable column is around an inch wide. (Yeah, that’s 6 inches, in case you’re feeling mathematically challenged today. 6 inches removed from a thing that goes around one’s neck. Just a bit big, no?) I decided it was more important that it fit around my neck rather than fit loosely over my head so as not to screw up my hair (as if my hair wouldn’t screw itself up on its own anyway).

So after starting over on Oct. 28, knitting up a new neckwarmer while unraveling the old one (that’s the second time I’ve done that sort of thing — first time was the Baby Fern Rib Anklets), and finishing the new one off on Oct. 31 in our hotel room in Wellsboro on our way to visit Craig’s aunt and uncle in Potter County, I had a brand new neckwarmer that more or less fit (I really could have taken out one or two more cable columns, but this is close enough) and came in handy while going for a walk along the Pine Creek with Craig’s aunt on Nov. 1.

Of course, right after I finished it we had a brief warm spell again, but now it’s starting to get cold enough again for me to put it to good use.

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