This week I’ll start by asking a question. How long did it take you to complete your longest project ever? Your epic project.
I think I just finished mine!
Actually, it’s not blocked and I haven’t added the fringe, but the knitting is finished. I checked Ravelry: my official start date was January 28. It took me eight months.
It’s the Yarn Quest 2017 Heroes of Yarnia Scarf. It was supposed to be a knit along project finished in March. Some of the participants actually did finish on time (and have the pictures to prove it), which I think is absolutely amazing.
Anyway, I am mostly happy with the results. I still don’t like the white colorway that I chose and think a bright white would’ve been better. I’m hoping I’ll like it more when it’s blocked. It almost had an epic ending…I finished the bind off and was about to wind in my ends when I noticed that six sets of stitches were NOT bound off and had run down the scarf! ARGH!
Bad me for getting in a hurry on the last row.
I had to tear out the bind off, go back and pick up the stitches, and bind it off again. A silly rookie mistake!
The Epic Story
The scarf is double knitted in a pattern that is a seven chapter story devised by Tania Richter. It starts with a set of decisions regarding the type of feline companion you want and the things you carry (such as yarn and needles). Then you roll dice to determine certain stats that come into play throughout the story. Chapter one takes you to Yarnia, where you roll the dice at periodic intervals to determine which dragon sign you were born under (then knit that pattern) or encounter a beast (roll again to choose which beast pattern you knit), and so on. Each succeeding chapter continues the story, interspersed with patterns for stonework, architecture, creatures that you battle, and symbols along the path. Each time you finish a pattern, you pick up and read a couple of paragraphs to take you to the next part of the journey, then roll a die to determine which pattern you knit. Thus, every scarf pattern is unique to the knitter. Eventually you come to a final battle and the Royal Capital of Yarnia (knitted as the last pattern).
This was a fun project and a bit challenging. It was my first double knitting project but it won’t be the last. I enjoyed the technique and have seen some exquisite double knitting patterns that I’d love to try.
The materials that I used are listed on my Ravelry project page.
The Sweater Sampler
I started the sweater sampler last week and have been knitting it rather blindly while watching tv in the evening. I can’t do double knitting and watch tv at the same time (which is one reason why the scarf took so long) but I have no problem with distractions if a pattern isn’t involved.
It started with a garter stitch band and simple stockinette, including one practice session of cutting and reattaching the yarn.
Then it moved into ribbing, starting with K1P1. According to the book, K2P2 and beyond (K3P3, K4P4, etc) should produce the tightest ribbing. Mine ended up being the twisted rib. I think this may have been because there were only 10 rows of it; if I carried the K2P2 longer, say for 20 or 30 rows, it might have had more elasticity.
I seriously doubt if I’ll ever have a need for a long length of ribbing, so I think I’ll continue to use twisted rib on my sweaters. I felt like it was worth doing, though, since I didn’t know this before I tried the lesson.
It was time to move on to striped ribbing and learned how to do that properly. Then I proceeded to short rows and a discussion on chain selvedge. I have been completely sold on chain selvedge for years and will not do flat knitting any other way. In fact, I used it in the Yarnia scarf to bind each side together instead of twisting the end stitches, just because I like the way the edges stay straight and even.
The next lesson will be to knit a cardigan border and buttonholes.
The Unexpected Treasure
I had a wonderful surprise over the weekend. I was searching for a kitchen hook in some storage boxes when I came across my old knitting basket.
I thought it was gone forever, but it has actually been packed away since 2008 in an unmarked cardboard box. That was the year we moved to the East Bay and sold or donated a lot of stuff, including my old sewing machine and its cabinet as well as a huge stash of yarn and embroidery supplies.
We’ve moved a couple of times since then and, although I thought I unpacked everything, I never found my knitting needles. So a long time ago I accepted that they accidentally got mixed into the stash boxes that were donated, and I’ve slowly replaced them as needed for projects.
I was so happy to see my old basket with all my needles, including the first set I ever used (a Christmas gift from my husband circa 1990) and a plethora of forgotten notions! Stitch markers, stitch holders, two pairs of scissors, darning and cable needles, counters (I never seem to have enough of those) and multiple sets of straight, circular, and DP needles.
And I can’t forget the crochet hooks! Tucked way down inside were two notes written by my youngest son when he was first learning how to write, and a Mother’s Day card hand drawn by my oldest son when he was 6. It was like Christmas. I almost cried with joy.
This Week’s Books
Last week I finished the first Mrs. Murphy story. It was cute; not as good as my favorite LJB “The Cat Who…” books, but I’ve picked up #2 to read. I’m swapping every other book with the Agatha Raisin series from MC Beaton.
They are both good choices for a few minutes read at bed time because I have no problem putting them down after a chapter or two.
In the non-fiction category, I was working at our annual Friends of the Library Book Sale last week, searching fruitlessly for knitting books amongst the thousands we put on tables, when I came across this book by Jill Nordfors. It was soon mine for 50 cents! It’s a beginner’s introduction to both needle lace and needle weaving, something I’ve always wanted to try. Perhaps after Christmas?
Ready for more? Head over to Kat’s and check out more Unraveled Wednesday posts!