Friday, March 30, 2012

Fun With Flounce

 Because of a gift from my friend  Helen, I got my chance to play with one of those mesh knitting yarns that turns out ruffles.  This one happens to be Flounce by Knitting Fever. I'm mentioning their name, but I also want to say that I was very disappointed to find a knot in the skein of yarn. Working with the yarn is interesting, but there are some issues about fastening the ends of the yarn.  Most of the videos  I have watched  and patterns I have seen slide right over that little detail mentioning that the yarn ravels and must be secured, but say very little about how this is to be done.  The same thing is true when it comes to finishing the end of your scarf. I tried binding off and that makes the finished end of the scarf narrow. It did not flare like the beginning. I ended up stitching down the individual loops to give a more uniform appearance. I used sewing thread to fasten things down and to join the two ends, but I'm not totally happy with the results.

All of the knitting on this project is done  by stretching out the yarn and knitting on  the edge.  After trying it both ways I chose the dark purple for the inside of the scarf.  All of the knitting is done on that edge. Using size 11 needles and one skein, I had yarn left over to try making a flower.

I left about a 4 inch end of the yarn and cast on 12 stitches. I completed four rows. Then leaving about a 6 inch end,  I threaded the yarn through the stitches going a few stitches past the opening.  With a yarn needle I threaded the ends down through the center and tied the them in a knot. Now my flower is ready to be sewn to a hat or made into a pin with felt and a pin back.

The best part is that I have enough yarn left for Helen to try making a flower too!

Monday, March 5, 2012

A New, Short Term, Lease on Life

I can't  remember what year I made this sweater.  I do remember that the pattern was really fun to do. It changed every few rows and made the knitting exciting and compelling. I finished this sweater quickly and discovered that it was too small for me when I finished it.  So this sweater went to my daughter and I made a second one to fit me. These loved, cozy, comfortable sweaters are like old friends. This old friend needed mending. My sweater was even worse.


The biggest immediate problem with this sweater was the cuffs. One had really raveled up from the edge. I found the leftover yarn which made a repair possible. I carefully used a contrasting yarn to weave through  the  row of stitching that was still intact on the first sleeve.  Then I found the corresponding  row on the other sleeve and did the same. Now it was time to cut. I took Elizabeth Zimmerman's advice to lie down for 15 minutes in a darkened room. Then, feeling like a nervous brain surgeon , I cut the cuff below the basted line. Once I had the stitches picked up it was easy to knit new ribbing onto the sleeve. I never actually made this kind of repair before so I was pretty pleased with myself. The second sleeve went even better. The patient survived!

This sweater has a new lease on life, but the wool is old so the repair may be very short term. I will save the yarn for the next needed repair.  As for my sweater, I think it is too far gone to rescue.