Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Three handy FOs

Kristin's Jazzy Coffee Cup Cozy

Yarn: Dark Horse Yarns-Fantasy (50% nylon, 50% acrylic; worsted weight)
Color: 05 (green)
Needles: US 7s
Stitches: 49

Today's been a pretty good day, and I have FOs to show!

Kristin adapted her Jazzy Coffee Cup Cozy design for two needles, although as we discovered, I needed to add two stitches, not one, to the pattern she wrote for knitting on circular needles. My cozy doesn't have ribs--it's sort of in seed stitch--but it functions well enough. (Since she was trying to guide me through the conversion to two needles via e-mail, she also had me k2tog rather than ssk.) I have plenty of scrap yarn in my stash, so I'll up the stitches to 50 next time and see what I get.

This was the first time I used US 7s and metal needles. Yesterday afternoon I went to Joann's to take advantage of their 50% off coupon. Rather than buy some plastic US 7s, which are too long for my messenger bag, I chose a value pack that had shorter metal 5s, 6s, and 7s. In the end, it cost me about what the plastic 7s would have been without the coupon. The last few stitches slipped off the needle a couple times, but other than that, knitting with metal needles wasn't any different. Plus, they make a pleasant clicking sound.

It took me about two hours to knit the cozy, and that's with breaks to check e-mail and shake off some early evening drowsiness. How satisfying to be able to knit something quickly.

Rather than return to the scarf, I decided the time was right to face the dishcloth. I've worked on it in fits and starts since December 26. It's been frogged at least twice, and I ran the risk of accidentally ripping out a lot of it last night. I knit best when my mind is clear. It's probably why I'm faster while listening to music than having the TV on.

Unfortunately, a clear mind isn't ideal for keeping track of rows. I knew I needed to undo two rows of k1p1, but I wasn't feeling patient enough for that. I removed the needle, carefully frogged two rows, and tried to reinsert the needle. I ripped out a stitch that I didn't intend to frog, so there went another row. Fortunately, I figured out how to keep from losing any more.


Yarn: Lion Cotton (100% cotton; worsted weight)
Color: Natural
Needles: US 8s
Stitches: 32

The pattern says that this is a simple seed stitch, but Kristin confirmed for me that that isn't what's going on here. It's more like a check pattern. This dishcloth has its share of mistakes. There are times where I lost track of what row I was on, holes that I assume are from knitting too loosely, and what looks to be some unevenness in width. I usually count stitches on every row, but I didn't for this. I dropped a stitch in reinserting the needle but recognized it when I approached it. Come to think of it, I think I decreased in that row when I should have increased. I found the dropped stitch and knitted it, so I decreased on the next row too. Maybe that's the explanation.

The nice thing is that it doesn't really matter. It's just a dishcloth, and it was good practice. After this and the coffee cup cozy, I feel better about my purling.

It's been a week since I finished my last scarf, so here it is at last.

FO #1 (2007)

Yarn: Knit Picks Sierra (70% wool, 30% superfine alpaca; bulky)
Color: Leaf
Needles: US 10 1/2s
Stitches: 14

Ugh. I was due to have a picture of me I'm not thrilled with. Call it vanity or insecurity or some confused mixture of both. Anyway, I'm very happy with the scarf. It turned a lot colder today, so it was very handy to have. A student complimented it and asked if someone made it for me. Why yes, someone did, as I cagily answered and dodged the question, allowing me to remain the secret knitter at work.

Kristin's been quiet of late on her blog and in the comments here, but I can report that she is very much alive. Like me, she's trying to get back to a semi-normal routine after the last couple months. Hopefully she'll post some photos of her recent work soon. At today's screening she wore a great sweater she designed and knitted herself. It's along the lines of something that would probably be good for my first attempt at a sweater, but if this cold keeps up, I better worry about a hat first.


At 10:52 PM, Blogger donnadb said...

That is one beautiful scarf! I love it!

I was thinking about how nice it would be to have a hat today (it's freezing outside). Time to cautiously approach the circular needles ... and the concept of decreasing ... eeurgh ...

At 7:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh wow - the fo's all look great!! your scarf is fantastic, mark - good job!

and i have always (up until recently) preferred metal needles to anything else. now, it depends on the yarn and my mood, but i still tend to grab those before others on a regular basis. the clicking sound is so soothing to me (kind of like typing for you).

At 8:51 AM, Blogger Karen said...

Great scarf! :-)

Cheers to you on finishing the dishcloth. Keep on practicing!

At 3:39 PM, Blogger Jenn said...

Great projects! Congrats on finishing the dishcloth--I know how hard it can be to finish something when it's boring (see my not quite finished knitting needle holder. Too much stockinette stitch...)

You know, I'm hopelessly hooked on bamboo needles. They don't get cold, they feel good to hold, and they don't annoy the significant others (or companions) with incessant clicking. But to each her (his) own...

At 4:58 PM, Blogger the secret knitter said...

Thanks. That scarf has been very necessary. Winter decided to show up after all.


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