11 January 2006

Wren's yarn, new design project, double knitting (the technique, not the gauge!)

First, a picture of my beautiful daughter and the lovely yarn she picked out for her first project:

More yarn, less girl:

We're going to wind both hanks this evening so that I can get started on her hat and she can get started on her scarf. I don't use patterns for hats, but I've always swatched, measured heads, and did the math to get the things to fit. This time, I'm going to start at the top, maybe with a long i-cord, and then increase madly to achieve a shallow watchcap style, stopping when it looks done. I'll finish off with a few rows of twisted rib. I have to wonder why I've never done hats this way before, since it seems easier and I crank out several a year.

I've never formally designed anything, but I have knitted, with some degree of success, 3 items that I made up 'as I went along'. The first, a kerchief (back when all the little girls were wearing them) was a no-brainer, but the other two were a little more complicated, and the neckline and armholes (both were tank-tops) looked amateurish. I'm going to revisit and revise these tops, using some mercerized cotton I got very cheap from elann last summer. If it turns out really well, I'll submit it to knitty. I'm not sure if I'm talented enough, and I know I'm not (yet) knowledgable enough, to be a good designer, but I'm looking on this project as a way to challenge myself. I've been a competent knitter for several years without learning or trying new things. Onward and upward -- let 'alps on alps arise'!

In addition to designing, I think I'll go ahead and try doubleknitting next month. By double knitting I don't mean the gauge, but the technique in which you slip every other stitch, then knit the slipped and slip the knit stitches on the following row, to achieve round knitting on straight needles. Now that we're keeping our house at a cool 58F (old, drafty house + rising gas prices + no money = arctic conditions!!!) I could use some blankets, and the idea of double knitting always intrigued me. Also, I've recently joined the almanac knitalong, based on EZ's Knitter's Almanac, which includes a double-knitted blanket for February (along with the sweater and longies that I'd already planned to knit for Finch.) I'm going to treat myself to some sheepsdown from Schoolhouse Press for the blanket, and imagine EZ herself smiling beatifically down on me as I knit.

Dinner tonight: Black beans and rice, banana empanadas


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