November 18, 2008

Branching Out

No, not the pattern... I mean when it comes to my skills and the stuff I want to do.

First, I've been meaning to do my I Like Switchfoot scarf for ages. I just keep changing my mind about how to do it. I know some people line the back of their scarves with felt to hide their colourwork uglies, and I've been thinking about that, but I'm not sure how exactly you line something that's knit. Do you sew it on the sewing machine and hope it catches your knitting enough to hold firmly? Do you stab the felt with a yarn needle and do it all big and chunky like?
Hmm. Still needs more thinking and figuring out before I can do this one.

There's another scarf I really want to do (surprise, surprise!) but again, I'm still thinking about how to do it. The easiest way would be to double-knit it, but I'm not sure that's really what I want to do. If I do, I'll probably go get myself some yarn in a smaller weight.
I might also do it in something that felts, but I'm not totally sold on this idea at all. I'm also thinking about working it in the round, but wonder if I'm experienced enough to make that work.

Speaking of colourwork and working in the round - and this is where we really get to the branching out part of the post!
I started working on this very cute pattern on Sunday. I wanted them to be armwarmers instead of just wristbands, so I'm improvising here. I had to add a new row to the chart See, I'm going to Chicago on Thursday until Sunday and want to take something with me, because I'm going up by train and will have about two hours to hang out on the train knitting. So I thought, "Hey, this might be a cool project to take!" I figured I'd work one glove and write out the improvised pattern, then take the second with me to work on this weekend.
It's going really well, actually. I'm very proud of myself, because I've never done any kind of fair isle or stranding before and have pretty much no direction on how to do it outside of the video on KnittingHelp. I finished the first round of the chart and was super proud of myself. YAY ME!!!
Check it out:

Also, I did a darn fine job of managing to avoid a ladder until a few rows before the pattern, and then only in one spot. (I should note that when I did Auggie's Halloween costume, the sleeves were worked on my DPNs and came out BEAUTIFULLY. No ladders anywhere. Gorgeous. On a shirt for my dog. Whatever.)

Regardless of how much I love them and can't wait until they're done, I'm not certain these are good travel knitting. I got my yarns all tangled up while working the chart - and that was after I cut long strands of the white instead of using it from the skein, so I even took 1 skein out of the equation. I may take them to work on in the hotel during my downtime, but I don't think this will be my train project.
Therefore, I need to figure something else out to take on the train.

There's a lovely cabled scarf in my queue - Besotted - which would probably make for good mindless travel knitting, but it's not really catching my interest the way it did when I was all excited about cables and added it to the queue in the first place.
There are a few knit toys that I have my eye on, however, that I might be willing to go for. As a matter of fact, there is a Draft Dodger Dog pattern that I would like to knit. Furthermore, I am planning on converting the pattern from being knit flat to being knit in the round. GO FIGURE. This is me, choosing to knit something in the round. Who knew?!

It's true. At last, I have made peace with my DPNs. Perhaps it was the success of knitting Auggie's little sleeves. Perhaps it was just because knitting stockinette stitch is really obnoxious and if you knit in the round you don't have to keep remembering to knit one row, purl one row, knit one row, so on and so forth. Perhaps it's every time I try on a pair of armwarmers that are still on the DPNs and it's about like sticking my hand inside of a porcupine, which makes me snicker. I don't know. All I know is that I finally can tolerate it in a way that doesn't fill me with rage. (That's a good thing.)
Also, I found a thread on a website about transforming sock patterns into armwarmers/wristbands. How genius is that?! Then I can still go barefoot, yet still knit some of those lovely patterns!!

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