Friday, August 19, 2005

On Knitting

I've been on a knitting roll recently. I finished my SS/CoS Harry Potter scarf last weekend. I am amazed at it's finished length! I can't believe that I sat down and knitted something over six feet long and it only took me a few months on and off! If any of you had a look at my pile of half-finished projects, you would realize just how big of a miracle this scarf is. My sister is going to go mad over it at Christmas!

On Monday, I made a lovely wool moebius scarf (If anyone one is looking for a quick fun project that makes a lovely and soft gift, this scarf is great! Even I finished it in one day!) for my Freecycle yarn angel. This wonderful woman has, on several occasions, given me dozens of skeins of different Lion Brand Yarns. Her brother has crafting connections and brings her piles of yarn when they discontinue a color or style. She insists that she can't work with anything but "plain old yarn" and so gives away the excess (usually 40 to 50 skeins at a time!) through Freecycle. So, not only do I get to take a crack at some large projects that normally my budget wouldn't allow for but, I also get the pleasure of spreading around some really great yarn to my family and friends!

I've been in dishcloth high gear for the last few days though. My Grandma always complains that she can't find knitted dishcloths like she had when she was a girl, so now that I can knit, I'm giving her a whole bag of them for Christmas, to use or hand out to the neighbors as she pleases. They whip up so quick and I like working with cotton. I love anything that gives me such gratifyingly quick results!

While doing all of this knitting, I've been re-reading the Harry Potter books, on audio book. I got hooked on audio books back in my pre-Mommy days,when I worked for the country's second largest jewelry firm. My job was to look through our jewelry orders and check for quality and accuracy, and then call the suppliers when there was a problem. As most of the jewels sold in this country are imported from elsewhere, I had to do most of my calling in the late evening hours to compensate for time differences. This meant that I and the other girls in my department, spent many nighttime hours in a huge, empty office building, listening to our own voices echo around the place. Our solution was Walkman's and Audio books. Back then you couldn't get them on CD and most libraries in our area had a small selection. We would check out four or five at a time and then trade around with each other when we had finished our own. On average, I finished four or five books a week this way!

My love for audio books has never waned. Now there are so many more titles available and so many formats too. I always have one book going in the car and I've been begging for a Mp3 player for Christmas so that I can take them on the go. And now that I have discovered knitting, I can happily while away many an hour, making wonderful presents and listening to great stories! If you have never given audio books a try, make a trip to the library to pick up a copy of an old favorite. Pop it in while you do the dishes or work on some handiwork. You'll find that it will replace the TV or the radio quite often!

But back to knitting. (I swear, it takes very little distraction to get me off on a wild tangent!) My next sizable project is going to be a PoA/GoF Hufflepuff scarf for myself, to wear to the next HP movie premiere in November.(yes, I AM a Hufflepuff badger!) I'm trying to decide whether to make it in Red Heart acrylic, like my sister's or some beautiful Knitpicks Merino Style. Both are so affordable, but I worry about ordering enough from Knitpicks to finish atypically.knit's lovely pattern. I stink at figuring out the amount of yarn that I need for a given project. Unless it's spelled out for me in the pattern, I always buy too little or too much. Anyone have any advice?


Erin said...

My, you've been busy! Which house did you make for your sister?

The Freecycle sounds like a wonderful way for you to make up your stash! I'm still rather upset with LB for discontinuing Cotton-Ease. It was perfect for springtime sweaters and cardis.

I assume you want to make your scarf in the round, not 1x1 rib, right? Well, the Merino Style is a DK yarn, so the gauge would be different. You'd need about 10 skeins of your main color and probably 2 skeins of contrasting. If you want to knit with a worsted, Knit Picks' Wool of the Andes is very nice. I'm making a couple of scarves out of it- including a PS/CoS Ravenclaw book for a friend. You would need 8 skeins of the main color (looks like Daffodil) and 2 skeins of the contrasting color (Coal). You might want to get an extra of the Daffodil, depending on how loose or tight you knit, just to be safe.

The Merino Style is wonderful, but because it's a DK, the gauge is different and you'd need a lot more to get the right proportions. It's do-able, but if you just want to follow the pattern, I'd go with the worsted.

impromptu-mom said...

Thank you so much for your help!

I was going to go with the DK weight because I wanted to try for a finer gauge (the scarves in PoA and GoF look a lot less chunky, almost machine knit!)but,honestly, I'm not sure if my figuring skills are up to the challenge of changing the pattern. I thought about just ordering a huge pile of yarn, and winging it, but I don't know. Is the worsted weight, Wool of the Andes very soft? I'm not crazy about a beautiful scarf that is too itchy to wear, lol!

Erin said...

I'm using the DK stuff for my as-yet-unfinished Dumbledore scarf. I'm figuring 10 skeins of main, but it's also going to be a bit longer to incorporate all the house repeats.

I'd say 9-10 skeins of main color and 3-4 skeins of contrasting (probably 3, but depends on how nervous you get).

My gauge was on size 6 needles and I did 30 rounds MC, 4 rounds CC, 6 rounds MC, 4 rounds CC for the bars. That gave me the same length as Lauren's original.

The Wool of the Andes is soft, but not as soft as the Merino Style. It seems like it will soften a bit more once it's washed, but still not quite as soft.

Hope that helps a bit. I'm planning on breaking out my knitting machine and figuring out how to do the rib. Definitely not doing that by hand!

impromptu-mom said...

You are so helpful, Erin!
I think I'm just going to jump in with both feet and order the Merino. We'll see how it comes out.

I wonder if I can get a rush on the shipping and get it here before next weekend? I'm following my hubby to Pennsylvainia for four days this weekend, to sit and do nothing while he goes off-roading. I'll need a new project!