Monday, September 23, 2013

Good behaviour

Man, time is just flying.

I still have another finished thing to talk about, but it has no pictures yet, so I'm going to postpone that a bit longer.

I've been chugging along diligently on a pair of socks for my sister - the rescued Lorna's Laces yarn from a few posts ago, and it's going pretty well. The pattern is straightforward and uncomplicated, but fun - it's Lius, by Rachel Coopey - and the yarn is pretty and works up like a dream, and I like the way they're working up. I've got one sock done, ends woven in and everything, and I'm about halfway down the leg of sock #2.

And, really, I should just finish them up and hand them over to my sister. She's been waiting for a while now. Plus, if I can get them done before the end of Sock Sniper, I'll have an entry for a random prize drawing. To be perfectly honest, I was hoping I'd be able to get two pair done, and have two entries, but life has reduced my knitting time somewhat.

Oh, and there's that other thing. The fact that I've knit rather a lot of socks in recent memory, and they say that variety is the spice of life, you know? I've sat down with the intent of knitting on my sister's socks, and instead I find myself browsing sweater patterns. Or sifting through my not-fingering weight mini-stash.

Or, winding up some Dream in Color Classy. For a sweater.

A sweater worked up at a gauge that requires needles that resemble pencils more than they resemble skewers.

I've been here before. I just need a little gauge whiplash, shake things up a bit. Restore some balance to my knitting equation, as it were.

Don't worry. My sister's socks are my current video game project. They will be finished, and relatively soon.

I'm just, you know, casting on for a new sweater as well.

Say it with me. Balance.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

K'done: Ziggy Cowl

Whoa. My last post was 30 August. Can you tell a new semester has started up?

Pattern: My own! I'm calling it Ziggy. If you want to make one, see the notes below.
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh DK, in a one-of-a-kind colourway I got in a mixed bag from Little Knits
Needles: 5 mm / US 8

Back at the beginning of July, my video game player started playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. One of my personal peculiarities is that I really enjoy watching people play video games - I like playing them too, but if I can't play, I'm quite content to watch, and I'll 'help' by hollering what I think are useful and helpful tidbits of information along the way. The thing is, since I've gotten into this whole knitting thing, I also like to be cranking away on something while I watch - the knitting is slower, because I'm mostly watching the screen with quick glances down at my hands, and sometimes when the action really ramps up the knitting just stops because I can't tear my eyes away from the epic battle going on in the game. Still, it does make me feel like I have a bit of something to show for my time spent - all those hours of entertainment, plus I have some garment or accessory to show for the passage of time.

Related to my knitting-for-video-game-time quirk is my desire to actually start a new project when a new game is started. For some games, the knitting takes longer than the gameplay, because some games are a little on the quick side to finish. (Uncharted 3 and Bayonetta, I'm looking at you!) Others have the knitting finish up before the gameplay is done, at which point I sort of transition over to things that are in progress to try and get them finished as well. The latter scenario is the case for Skyrim. The game is flipping epic. We're still going, with tons and tons of the game to go through, and I'm now onto my 3rd project with the gameplay.

But more on that later.

For now, let's focus on my Ziggy cowl.

For some time now, the idea of a cowl that had visually interesting things going on thanks to the use of short rows has been bouncing around in my head. Since I needed a Skyrim knit, I thought it might be a good opportunity to try this out. This particular skein of Tosh DK reminded me of the sorts of colours you find in the summer sky at sunset - you know, when the sun is just at the rim of the sky? So I wound it up and off I went.

I like somewhat drapey cowls, so I went for a biggish gauge for the yarn - 20 sts to 10 cm / 4"; or 5 sts per inch. I used bands of eyelets to highlight the short row work, and I sort of went until I'd used up the whole skein. Well, truthfully? I worked two sections, weighed my remaining yarn, worked a third smaller section, weighed again, and then worked the final edging that I wanted. I have a little bit remaining, but nowhere near enough to do anything but maybe another two rounds. So I'd say this project uses up an entire skein of Tosh DK.

Pattern: Ziggy Cowl


1 skein Tosh DK
1 24" 5 mm / US 8 circular needle
two stitch markers, in different colours/styles
tapestry needle (for weaving in ends)

Gauge: 20 sts to 10 cm / 4" (5 sts per inch)

Note: this 'pattern' is really just a set of notes detailing what I did to make this cowl happen. It has not been tested or tech edited. If you run into problems, please feel free to contact me, either by email (celadon (at) gmail (dot) com) or by PM on Ravelry, where I'm Pikafan.


CO 140 sts - I used the Chinese Waitress (aka Double Chain) CO, but a long-tail CO or Twisted German CO would work too, I think. If you're not worried about stretch (as in, you don't intend to try to pull the cowl down over your shoulders), a cable CO could even work. Join to knit in the round, taking care not to twist; place marker to mark beginning of round.

Round 1: k70 sts; place other marker to mark halfway point. k to end of round.

Round 2: p to end.

Round 3: k to end.

Work Eyelet Band (Rounds 4 - 8)

Round 4: p to end.

Round 5: k to end.

Round 6: *yo, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.

Round 7: k to end.

Round 8: p to end.

Work Larger Short Row section (SR):

SR 1: k to halfway marker, k5, wrap and turn. I used the Shadow Wrap technique, but the standard wrap-and-turn would work too.

SR 2: p back to halfway marker, p 5, wrap and turn.

SR 3: k back to wrapped stitch, work stitch with wrap, k5, wrap and turn.

SR 4: p back to wrapped stitch, work stitch with wrap, p5, wrap and turn.

Repeat SR 3 - 4 10 times, ending with a SR 4 - the last two short rows will be nearly the entire circumference of the round. After last SR 4, k to end, working wrapped stitch with wrap, then k one more round, working last wrapped stitch with wrap as you pass it by.

Work Eyelet Band.

Work Larger Short Row section (SR), this time using the end-of-round marker as your landmark for the first short row. (That is, simply k5, wrap and turn.)

Work Eyelet Band.

Work Smaller Short Row section (sr):

sr 1: k to halfway marker, k10, wrap and turn.

sr 2: p back to halfway marker, p10, wrap and turn.

sr 3: k to wrapped stitch, work stitch with wrap, k10, wrap and turn.

sr 4: p to wrapped stitch, work stitch with wrap, p10, wrap and turn.

Repeat sr 3 - 4 5 times, ending with a sr 4 - the last two short rows will be nearly the entire circumference of the round. After last sr 4, k to end, working wrapped stitch with wrap, then k one more round, working last wrapped stitch with wrap as you pass it by.

Work Eyelet Band.

Round 9: k to end.

Round 10: p to end.

Round 11: k to end.

Bind off. I used the Double Chain BO, but Jeny's SSBO would also work; if stretch isn't a concern, a standard BO worked loosely will do the trick too.

Weave in ends, block lightly.

Wear. ^_^