Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Waste Not, Want Not

Tonight as I was perusing the new yarn catalog that had arrived today, Gram came in and said, "When you're tired of working on your sweater, perhaps you'd work on this for me."
"This" was a 100% acrylic commercially made sweater, one that used three threads to make up a fine fingering weight yarn. Unlike the yarns we usually use for handknitting, this yarn wasn't plied, but instead three separate threads that didn't act at all like a single strand of yarn. A deadly combo: fine denier acrylic yarn and dry air. They were waving around like hair rubbed with a birthday party balloon, dancing around a gaping hole in the seam attaching the collar to the sweater. But wait, it get's better! The collar had been knit double the width needed, then folded over the sweater neck edge and secured with a chain stitch, so there wasn't one but two raw edges. About three inches of tiny live stitches just itchin' to ravel leered up at me, laughing like the gingerbread man, "catch me if you can." I'm always up for a good challenge and this was definitely about as good as they get.
My weapons of choice: two size one dp's to catch the live stitches on either edge of the collar and a latch hook from my machine knitting days to pick up a collar stitch, the sweater neck edge, the opposing collar stitch and then to pull the raveled chain threads thru all three layers. It was going along pretty well until I ran out of chain thread. What to do now?
I remembered seeing a skein--that's right folks, a skein, not a wimpy little spool--of 100% nylon yarn in amongst my stash. Well not really in my stash, more living on the edge. Yes, a yarn outcast. How it got there, I'm not sure, but being the pack rat that I am, I couldn't bring myself to ever throw it out. It was still in the original plastic package with a Woolworths price sticker of 69 cents. I think it had been passed along to me by my mother, my mother-in-law or possibly my husband's nana. I hadn't any idea what I would ever use it for .... until tonight! That nylon yarn was perfect. It even matched the sweater color.
I finished closing the seam, lasooing every one of those wiggly little stitches and all invisibly. A half hour later Gram was happy to see her favorite sweater back and I was happy it had turned out so well.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Warmer days ahead

Now that the days are getting longer and the thermometer is trying its best to get up into the fifties more and more, I'm thinking summer garments. I usually wear jeans and T-shirts at work but I'd like to have something more stylish. Thumbing thru the pattern books at Halcyon Yarn in Bath a couple of weekends ago I came across Knitting Pure & Simple's Henley T Shirt for Women. I'm using two strands 100% cotton with slubs. At the moment there are around 260 stitches on the needles so it takes awhile to make much progress but the picture shows the progress made in one evening plus about six hours over this weekend. I'm determined not to let this languish on the needles and become an unfinished project like every other sweater I've ever started for myself.

When I bought the yarn, there were also five Addi circular needles in my basket. The helpful employee asked if I'd considered getting a set of Addi clicks. I was skeptical having had a set of interchangeable needles in the past but the liberal return policy convinced me to give them a try. Well I'm a believer now and they'll have paid for themselves if I do just three projects that call for different circulars.

Back to my knitting. The clock's ticking and Spring's fast approaching.