Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Red Dirt Big Bad Baby Blanket

So, how's that knitting a mile thing coming?

More stash-busting. This is more from the "I'm stressed and I can relax if I just go to the Michael's around the corner from the church and stare at the yarn and oops! How did that yarn get in my basket?" stash.

But since I found out at the register the yarn was about $1.99 a ball on clearance, that makes this a $6 blanket.

Pattern: Big Bad Baby Blanket from Stitch 'n' Bitch
Yarn: Patons Classic Merino, color "Regency." Just under 3 skeins.
Needles: Size 7 Denises. I dropped down from the recommended 9 for the pattern to get a nice tight seed stitch.

Speaking of which. . .a border of seed-stitch (20 rows on each end) has whipped my seed stitch into tighter shape. Unfortunately, that means you can tell which end was the cast-on end.

And I gotta tell you, 40 rows of seed stitch for a border, and nothing but seed stitch and stockinette for that many inches is pretty mind-numbing. It's good TV knitting, though, so I highly recommend some TV show on DVD to get you through it (and if, say, it happens to have Sawyer from Lost on it, all the better). There are quite a few episodes of that show, Project Runway, my soap, and the hour of syndicated Two and a Half Men that went into this blanket. (What? I am the queen of guilty pleasure TV watching).

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Further Thoughts on Lady Eleanor

Thanks for all of the compliments on Lady E!

And now some technical notes:

8 and a smidge skeins of Natural Geranium, Patons SWS, knitted on size 9 needles (Denises). So it is all one colorway. The original pattern calls for 10.5. I am a bit of a loose knitter, but I tested a few different needle sizes and picked the fabric I liked best, which was the 9. As other people have noted, the first tier or so you're wondering WTH you're producing, but after about four or five tiers it really starts to look beautiful.

I put her in for a bath and she seems to have grown in length, not much in width. The stitch gauge seems to be about the same. Now my ends were draping off the lawn chair, but I don't think that would cause the overall stretching. I wish I had taken a measurement of the whole wrap before I put it in for its bath. However, I did measure at the halfway point, and there was no way, at that point, I was going to get to 70 inches with the 35+ tiers. And it's now about 80 inches long.

I liked working with the SWS. It's not super-soft, but I like the drape, and the wrap is nice and toasty. I did not teach myself to knit backwards, and it really only became a problem at the end, when I was turning a garment of that magnitude every 8 stitches.

The cats vote thumbs up, too.

Monday, January 21, 2008

She's a Lady

Originally uploaded by julianscat
A mostly-completed Lady E.

Lady Eleanor from Scarf Style.

It's been a tad stressful on the work front since, oh, Julyish. That's when the question of whether I was staying at St. C's not just as the Interim but as the Rector really clicked into high gear. I didn't realize how much I was stressed until I wasn't.

Right about the time that decision got made (what does this have to do with Lady E? Bear with me), pastoral care needs in the congregation kicked into high gear. Between the end of October and last week, the congregation experienced the untimely deaths of 3 people associated with the church, the house fire of one family, and the ice storm and all of its consequences for so many of our members who live in a part of the metro area that was termed "Ground Zero" for the storm.

Not to mention my little encounter with OKCFD #18.

I hate to admit that one of the ways I manage stress is yarn therapy. And since St. C's is just around the corner from Michael's. . .well, it doesn't take much to put two and two together and comes up with thousands of yards of yarn. And now that Michael's carries "nice" yarns likes SWS and Patons Classic Merino. . .


So I'm taking on the Stash Down 2008 challenge on Ravelry. Not a yarn diet. Just getting serious about actually doing something with my stash except using it as insulation for our apartment.

Hence, Lady Eleanor. That's 8+ skeins of SWS. I bought 8, ran out on the last triangle, had to buy one more. Don't tell the Stash Down people. I'll use up much of the rest of it making tassels, right?