Revenge of the dingleberries

Almost immediately after complaining about yarn with little fussy things in it that make it hard to knit with, I picked up two skeins of Stylecraft Amoré (colorway “Atlantis”) and tried to cast on for a hat.

Keep in mind that I meant well. Since I don’t have any fun fur on hand, I was attempting to start a chemo cap.

Well, this particular yarn is very thin, with tiny little bits of fluff woven into it every three inches or so. I can almost imagine a spinner working her wheel, and holding the fluffy bits over the single, chuckling with evil glee as they get sucked in and become part of a yarn no one could ever knit with.

Then things went from bad to worse as I decided to unroll the skein and rewind it from the other end. My memories of why I did this are hazy now. Perhaps it was because I had tried unsuccessfully to find the center end in the first place and only succeeded in pulling several loops away from the skein that didn’t lead me anywhere. Then I decided to roll it up from the outside end, only to meet with a tight snarl.

I think you can guess what happened next, so I’ll spare you the details. I can tell you that three days later, I have it down to a small ball of the inside end, a larger ball of the outside end, a huge ball of a part of the middle, a couple of two-foot-long loops, and only one major snarl.

At this point I decided that larger needles were the way to go, so I picked up Skein Two, started with the outside end this time (having partially learned my lesson) and cast on some stitches with the Quick Stix that my mother-in-law found for me last summer.

So far it’s hard to tell what’s happening, but I’m guessing that if I were using some sort of lightweight craft wire, I would be producing something that looked like a chain link fence. If you’ve ever seen chain-link fencing installed, you know it is sort of compressed until it’s stretched to the right tension on the post. Then, ta-dah!, it takes on its familiar structure. After about four rows in garter stitch, I have something that’s still unrecognizable.

Quick Stix 1

As if that weren’t enough, I started a couple of other knitting experiments this week: mosaic knitting and slip-stitch pattern.

I started a mosaic knitting sample (Monday?) in white and grey yarns following the instructions in the Mosaic Knitting book by Barbara G. Walker. I lost a stitch somewhere, and held the yarn on the wrong side on my first trip across the purl side, but overall I enjoy the technique. It requires some concentration to get started, but it’s helping me learn to read simple charts. That can’t be bad.

Mosaic knitting 1

Yesterday I picked up my World’s Scratchiest Socks and resumed knitting in the 3×3 rib section, and found that my dpn work with all those hats has paid off, even though these needles are size 3s, not 8s or 10s. I started figuring out where to put the other needles, and even started holding the yarn a bit and moving it forward and back from the left instead of the right, which made things much easier. Unfortunately this meant that my stitches were neater and tighter with better transitions between knit and purl sections. If I finish the socks I think it will be pretty easy to tell where I took my six-month break.

Last night, even though I had hauled out the Quick Stix project and the WSS, what I decided to do instead was swatch a slip-stitch pattern with some frogged yarn. I was looking through Knit Scarves! by Candi Jensen, and decided this pattern might be the one for the Wonder Skein, my pet yarn that Mr. Beth brought back from L.A. a few months ago.

Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to knit a stitch, bring the yarn forward, and NOT purl the next stitch? Had to frog the swatch once and start again carefully, but after a few rows I saw I had it going, and could tell my knit side from my purl side. I’m convinced it will be a good pattern for the Wonder Skein, but I will need larger needles and I can’t justify that right now. So I think I’ll keep going and do a whole skein of the frogged yarn (more Plymouth Encore that used to be Kelly’s Blankie) and get super good at it.

Chocolate of the day: a classic.

Hershey’s Special Dark

And guess what came in the mail yesterday?

Mailer

Here’s a clue….

Bumper Sticker

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Published in: on January 20, 2007 at 12:28 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. The dingleberry yarn looks awful to knit with! If it were me, I might carry it together with a more normal knittable yarn ; somehow that seems to tame yarn that is otherwise hard to handle.


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