Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Rub-a-dub-dub, three loads in a tub!

Rejoice! The washing machine arrived this morning and the third load of the day is already going (DS's hockey jersey's - whew - did they stink!). And knitting progresses apace, with the hat portion of my last knitted gift finished and the scarf nearing completion.

On a sadder note, I didn't reach my goal of finishing all my gifts with stash yarn. After a long and fruitless search for one more skein of black Encore, I had to go buy one skein to finish the scarf. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with myself, though. It was a valiant attempt and $5.80 spent in December for all the knitted gifts is acceptable - I guess.

A few details about the hat - I used a two-color, German Twisted cast-on, which resulted in the braided effect on the bottom edged. I prefer the German Twisted cast-on because it has more stretch than the traditional long-tail cast-on. Since the hat is double knit, casting on both colors at once made sense. The other option I thought about would have been to use a provisional cast-on in one color and knit a few rows. Then pick up the stitches from the provisional cast-on in the other color and re-distribute the stitches on the needles for double-knitting. This would have resulted in a seamless edge but would have been quite fussy and time consuming. Having done the two-color cast-on before, I was comfortable using it and I like the braided effect it gives. I toyed with the idea of experimenting with Judy's Magic Cast-On but was too impatient to get to work. Perhaps on my next double-knit hat pattern. . .

The rest of the hat was worked in double knit fashion in a 2x2 rib until the crown decreases, then the decreases were worked first in the alternating purl wales, then the alternating knit wales until it was a 1x1 rib. The yarn was cut and pulled through the remaining stitches and knotted off. The hat is reversible and the color in the photo with the hat and scarf together is truer than the color in cast-on detail photo. The scarf is a plain 2x2 rib, over 32 stitches, with 12 rows of each color, worked on the same size 8 bamboo circulars used for the hat.

When the scarf is finished, I'll be moving onto the quilting on a small wallhanging for my Dad and Step-mom. It will be a challenge to get it hand-quilted in less than two weeks but it's another portable project, so it can go with me wherever I go. Then I have one gift left to make for family, another quilted project, if I have time.

By way of inspiration, after the Christmas rush, this has been requested by DS, these will be finished for DD#1, thrummed mittens are on tap for DD#2 and DD#3, there are two pair of socks still on the needles and Samus is waiting to be finished so I can move onto something with my new Shimmer yarn from Knit Picks. But all knitting will be for pleasure and there will be NO DEADLINES! Oh yeah, uh-huh, woohoo! (insert mental picture of happy dance here).


Anonymous said...

Yay for the new washing machine! Must be nice to have that taken care of...

I'd say that spending such a small amount on yarn for the holidays is pretty admirable. Particularly when you consider all you managed to complete!

Guinifer said...

Did you ever think the day would come when you would be anxiously awaiting the moment that you could...do laundry?