Sunday, October 14, 2012

Two Lessons about Your Own Patterns

Lesson One: Test That Pattern

You know what? You really should test-knit or test-crochet your pattern BEFORE putting it on the dang Internet. Luckily as far as I can tell, no one made the snood pattern I wrote a couple of weeks ago, so no harm was done...but I wrote the instructions by "reading" the first snood I made, and I mis-read a round. Following the original instructions would get you a snood, but the increases would not lie flat. I fixed it, so what is currently on the Snood-Tastic page is right. I know this, because today I fixed the pattern and followed it, and the finished item came out just fine, thanks.

Back of Gray Snood
Side view of gray snood
I made this one out of Patons Grace 100% mercerized cotton thread, which has the same gauge as the yarn on the brown bamboo snood. It also took just over one skein of yarn. I'd make the snoods smaller, but the drape would not be as nice.

I found really nice thin headbands at the grocery store, and used one of them for the elastic. It worked just great. This snood is VERY comfortable (I am still wearing it) and will be perfect for doing outdoor activities on windy days. And it goes just fine with my graying hair.

Lesson Two: Look at Your Own Pattern

I made another snood earlier this week, out of Classic Elite Cotton Bam Boo left over from another project. I was very confident, and just started crocheting away assuming I had memorized the pattern. By about round 4 I knew something was off. it was very wavy, as if it were ruffled. That is because I had been increasing too quickly and did way too many rows of doubling the number of spaces. I kept going anyway, hoping the snood would even out. Sure enough, I ran out of yarn on the last row, again. The finished product, though, was not quite right.

Not my best picture
In addition to making my ear look really weird, you can see how lumpy it ended up being. And it is not long enough, so the bottom doesn't drape nicely. Well, if I ever need a hair net...or I may frog it and re-use that nice, white hairband that's in there. This is pretty ugly.

I really need to read the instructions, even for my own things. Duh.

Good thing I have the instructions all fixed up, since I ordered some nice bamboo-blend yarn to make another one for one of the people who asked for one. I need to figure out who else wanted one...and maybe someone else will make one! But, no, kids, I am not making them and putting them on Etsy. Not cost effective.

I also have an exciting commission for some hand warmers for a neighbor. Maybe after that I can get back to my nice, gray cardigan. With my spouse gone to his dad's for much of next week, I should be able to get a lot done this week.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Cashmere Love

This weekend I finished the red cashmere scarf I had been working on. As I mentioned before, it's a Jade Sapphire pattern that has 7 different patterns to knit with their lovely worsted weight cashmere. I chose one with a pattern of multiple wraps.
Same Picture as Last Entry

I reposted this so you can see the pattern. Here's what it looks like with me wearing it:

Finished scarf with fringe on it.
I decided to add fringe. I am going to separate each strand into the plies the yarn comes in, since each of those three plies is two-ply, if that makes sense. I also used fabric glue to tack down the ends I wove in, since the yarn frays into the three plies so easily.

The project ended up 80" long, which is longer than the instructions said to make it but will allow me to loosely wrap it and drape it nicely. Now my only issue is that it is a blue red and my trench coat is more of a cherry red. I will pretend it's on purpose.
Clash between coat and scarf

Back to Snoods

I started a white snood yesterday, and did not read my own instructions. Because of that, it looks different, rather ruffly due to extra increases. So, I may keep this one for myself and make another one for my friend Ann in North Carolina. I wanted hers to be a light tan anyway, to match blonde hair. I just have to find the right yarn. The white I found in my own stash is nice but perhaps too white. I did find, at the grocery store, some of the thin hairbands I wanted to try to use for the elastic bit of the snoods. Of course, they came in a set with some weird thicker ones, but at least I have a couple I can use for the next snoods. I am enjoying the experimentation.

There is a new yarn store in the town where I live. I sure hope they do well. I will not be volunteering to help out, though. I couldn't even bring myself to do the yarn crawl this year. I sure got burned last time, sigh. But, the two people I taught to knit at work are really enjoying their projects, and I have local folks to help. That's just enough for me. It will be nice to visit a shop, but I think I will wait a while before formally teaching or anything. I don't need to be made fun of or talked about behind my back anymore. Things are good now! They will stay that way!

Back to making my fringe. Enjoy your own knitting, crocheting, and whatever.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Other knitting fun

The reason I didn't blog anything all month until yesterday was that I spent most of the month on a work trip to Toronto, Canada. September is a great time of year to go there! Of course my luggage contained a lot of yarn!

I got to the halfway point on my Unleaving scarf, but then I set it aside, because carrying the pattern around and marking every row made it not as portable as I'd like. I'll finish it off soon, though--it's pretty.
Unleaving, halfway finished

Naturally, on a trip to a new place one visits yarn shops. Not having a car meant I couldn't go as many places as I normally would, but it turned out my hotel (the venerable Delta Chelsea) was not too far from Kensington Market, where Lettuce Knit, made "famous" by the Yarn Harlot, is located. So, I took a taxi there and spent my first Saturday afternoon in Toronto happily ensconced at their table, knitting away. Here's a shot of one of the new owners and the shop interior, which is brimming with Canadian yarn.

Lettuce Knit--very scenic! (and that is my cool Canadian cardigan on the chair)
One of the things I'd vowed to do during my time in Canada was try to buy things made there. That was no problem in this yarn shop, since the new owners are trying really hard to have mostly Canadian products there. Other than a few "standards," the store was brimming with Canadian fiber products, including some really cool stuff.

My Canadian yarn stash
Here's what I ended up with. The sock yarn, which is mostly brown, is Indigo Dragonfly (where artistry and attitude collide, according to the label), and a cashmere wool blend. The colorway is "Captain Tightpants" because all the colors in the collection have a Serenity/Firefly theme. Mmmm. Captain Mal. Oops, that gets me all daydreamy about romance on his current show...oh never mind.

As for that orange yarn, it is less intense than the photo indicates. And it is totally SPECIAL. It is InfiKnit One of a Kind 100% silk laceweight. It's all thick and thin and really amazing in texture. The label says "yarn softens dramatically with handling." I can't figure out what to make from it. The young woman (my kids' age!) working at the shop was making a very lightweight cardigan out of it, but that takes two skeins. Maybe a shrug? I still like those even if they are not in fashion. I will think on it.

When I decided to change projects, I tried to start my Latvian mittens. However, the 00 needles I brought still didn't give me the gauge I wanted. So, I put that away and will try again on 000s now that I am home. I next broke out the cashmere. The Jade Sapphire 7 Gorgeous Scarf Patterns kit I recently bought. I am making the Anya option in the most beautiful shade of red, which is not as bright as the photo below.

The scarf went everywhere with me. Here it's on the GO train to Pickering.
I got well into the second skein of the scarf on the trip, and today I just finished the third skein. It's 60" now, but the instructions said to make it 74" so I will. This photo shows the color more accurately:

Current state of Anya scarf.
I am enjoying that it's an easy to remember pattern but looks interesting. The yarn is fascinating in its construction. It is made from three strands of two-ply that are twisted around each other. It unravels into the three strands very easily, which makes me think a fringe would be really pretty. It looks like I will have a skein left over. I doubt it, but it would be cool if that was enough for a small, warm hat. I saw this pattern on Ravelry, the Almond Hat, that I would love to try. It has a short version.

I had a great time in Canada. My only regret is not getting to see all my friends there--I only ended up seeing one of my friends (we went to Niagara Falls and saw a LOT of vineyards and grapes). I did have a beautiful view out my hotel window.
Non-knitting content. I could also see the CN tower, to the right of the giant Charlie Sheen and buildings.
I guess that sums up my September knitting. I am sitting here wearing the snood I made yesterday. I think I will have trouble giving it away. I definitely want one of my own, and judging from my friends' reactions, a lot of them want one, too!

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Don't I look snood-tastic?
I whipped up a snood today--my coworker has very curly hair and wanted me to make her a "hair net" to scrunch it all up so it will dry even curlier. We went out and got some bamboo crochet thread on Thursday, and since I did not see a snood pattern I really liked anywhere else, I made this one up. This is a draft, so let me know if you see any problems with it.


by Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall, ©2012
This snood was made to act as a hair net to hold curly hair in a scrunched-up position while drying, but also works as a traditional snood to contain long hair when it’s driving you nuts.
Materials: 2 skeins Aunt Lydia’s Iced Bamboo crochet thread in Chocolate Ice.
Hook: Size E 3.5mm
Elastic: 19-22” of black elastic cord (or a thin elastic hairband)


Increase section
Back View
Chain 6 and form into a loop.
Round 1: ch7, (tr1, ch3) 7 times, join with a slip stitch into the 4th chain of ch7.
Round 2: ch7, (tr1 into next space, ch3, tr1 into tr from previous round, ch3) to end of round. Join last ch3 to 4th chain of ch7.
Round 3: Repeat round 2.
Round 4: ch7, (tr1 into tr from previous round, ch3) to end of round, Join last ch3 to 4th chain of ch7.
Round 5: ch7, (tr1 into tr from previous round, ch3, tr1 into next space, ch3, tr1 into tr from previous round) to end of round. Join last ch3 to 4th chain of ch7. (The idea of this round is to tr into each tr from the previous round and every other space.)
This completes the increases.

Round 6: From now on, repeat round 4 until the snood is the diameter you want. Mine was 10 inches, to hold a lot of hair. (Note: in the original I did a couple of rows with dc instead of tr, for variety—that’s optional.)

Edge: dc in each tr and chain across, except in every other chain space, just do 2 dc. That snugs it up a bit.

Make elastic band: Cut a piece of elastic cord that’s about the same size as your head. Overlap for an inch or so and use sturdy thread to sew the elastic into a circle. You want it to fit like a headband—not too lose and not too snug—enough to stay on.

Add elastic to snood: sc into each sc of the previous row, over the elastic band, which will encase it and make it fairly invisible. You will have to squish the snood up a bit, by sliding the stitches along the elastic, to get all the way around. When you are finished, distribute the stitches evenly across the elastic. It will stick where the doubled part is, but the rest should move freely. End off and enjoy your snood!

If you don’t like how tight the elastic is, it’s easy to get to the seam and make it a bit more loose or tight.
Looks sorta sad with no hair in it

Tr=treble crochet
Dc=double crochet
Sc=single crochet

If you want a PDF of the instructions, post your email address in a comment, and I will send it to you and NOT publish your email address.

Updated October 14, 2012