Sunday, July 24, 2011

Moving on to Something New

I could not get myself motivated to knit much on the little blanket, so no photo of it. I spend a lot of my time this week thinking of knitting, reading about knitting and mostly not knitting.

But tonight I am going to start knitting a two-color shawl with these two yarns:
Two sock yarns, which won't rotate for me. Blogger keeps "helpfully" changing the orientation.
I think the two colors will go together fairly well, since they both have brown in common. We'll see. I am using some pattern "suggestions" I got from Ray at Knitivity. These are two of his blog special yarns, the top one from a year ago, and the bottom from March.

I'll get to work on it and let you know how it's coming along later in the week. I predict it will either look cool or awful. In any case, it will mostly go with brown stuff.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Crocheting Mitered Squares

I started on the knitted throw (baby blanket size) made with organic cotton over the weekend, but encountered a sudden lack of desire to knit. Instead, I read a lot and did a little crochet project.
Someone had asked me on Facebook, in the comments on the finished mitered square blanket project, whether it could be possible to get the same effect with crochet. I have crocheted a lot of squares in my day, but never mitered squares, so I messed around with my yarn and the lovely crochet hook I always carry in my knitting basket. The results do, I think convey the same effect.

Two squares of mitered crochet.
If you are interested in how I did the ones in the picture, building the squares from the outside in so that you can build each square on the next, and how I’d go on to complete a larger project in crochet, here are abbreviated instructions.

Crochet Mitered Squares

Use this technique to make mitered squares with self-striping yarn. You can change colors as you wish if you choose to make your own stripes.

First Square
Ch 42 (last two chains count as first sc in next row).
Sc in third chain and next 18 sts, skip 2 chains, sc 19. Ch 2, turn.
Sc 17, skip 2 sc, sc 18. Ch 2 (counts as first sc in next row), turn.
Sc 16, skip 2 sc, sc 17. Ch 2 (counts as first sc in next row), turn.
Sc 15, skip 2 sc, sc 16. Ch 2 (counts as first sc in next row), turn.
Repeat this pattern, with one fewer sc on each side of the skipped sts until the last row:
Skip 2 sc, sc, fasten off if changing colors.

Remaining Squares on First Row
From where you ended off with first square, ch2, pick up 19 sts across edge of previous square, ch 22.
Complete square as with first.

First Square, Second and Subsequent Rows
Chain 20, 20 sc in top of first sqare on previous row. Complete as with first row squares.

All Other Squares
Attach yarn where previous square ended. Chain 2, ch2, sc 18 sts across edge of previous square, skip two sc, sc 19 across top of next square in the row below.

Make a square or rectangle as large as you want, combining colors however you’d like. It’s easy to mimic quilt patterns, for example, using these squares.

More Resources for Your Perusal
There are plenty of ways to make mitered squares in crochet. I found some that you might want to use to make up your own blanket or other project. Just substitute a self-striping yarn to get the kind of effect in my sample. My taste would run to using thinner yarn and smaller hooks to get a more blended effect. Leftover sock yarn can be crocheted as wel as knitted, you know! It would make a nice sturdy vest fabric in crochet.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Marble Mitered Square Blanket, Finished

My posting bonanza continues! First, I am both happy and sad to report that I finished the mitered square blankie project last night, other than neatening up the ends on the back. I got some Fray Check stuff last weekend, so I will work on that this evening in the RV. Then I can leave it there as a blanket for guests and a throw for when it gets cold. Of course with over 30 days of temperatures over 100F I wonder if it will ever cool off again.
Finished blanket, resting.
I had a hard time getting a photo of the whole thing, and probably didn’t choose a very scenic spot, since you can see my huge stack of knitting magazines and my suitcase packed with stuff for the weekend. Well, whose house is perfect? Not mine, I assure you.

As you can see, it is as long as a king size bed is wide. I just looked it up, and that is 76 inches. Hooray, that is long enough to be a blanket, and is actually the length of a twin mattress! When I finished it, my friend Martha and I picked it up, and it was pretty heavy, too. A substantial product for nearly three months of work! It has been quite a healing project for me. I managed to finish something and it looks OK.

I took a few close-up pictures while I had the nice light last night. First, here are two good close-ups of the corners.
A corner!

Another corner!
The only little bit I dislike about the corner square feature is that two of them have the central decrease going the “wrong” way. I think that’s not a bad thing, especially since those are two dark corners. I guess I took photos of the “good” corners, subconsciously not wanting to focus on the others.

And just for fun, here’s a picture of some of the squares in the middle. I do find them cheerful!
Hoping this close-up gives you a good idea of what the stitches look like.
Just as a reminder, the yarn is James C. Brett Marble DK, though it would be fine in the chunky version, too. The pattern is this one that I put up on Ravelry and is also linked in the left column of this blog.

I am ready to cast on the small throw using interesting textured yarn that matches my home color scheme this evening. I may try to wind the hanks into balls if I have time before we leave for the campground tonight; otherwise, I will just do it by hand. I remember how!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Two Posts Because I Took a Picture

When I got home today, I looked at what I had knitted, and realized the light was good. So, I squished the ole blankie around and took a picture of the borders that are finished. I think they look pretty darned good. The purple border is set up to be far from all the purple squares, in some attempt at balancing all those 14 vaguely related colors.
Three borders and two little squares!
I have to say that I find it sorta cute. I now want to make a zillion blankies!

On the other hand, I wound up some yarn I really love this afternoon after work. I think it may be this really incredibly simple wrap thing I saw on a free website. It's just 3x3 ribbing, 18" long and 35" wide. I think I can do that without a printed pattern. I'll give it as a gift. Maybe to poor Carolyn, who is still waiting for a beautiful lace shawl I can't finish.

I have also made a plan to make a shawl as a gift using my friend Ray's idea for a two-skein shawl. Well, it's pretty much the same as that kerchief triangular shawl I made out of two Noro sock yarn skeins a few years ago, but with colors that blend. (Click that link, then click "kerchief" and you can find pictures of that project.) So, if I can find the pattern I got in the mail with my last order from him...I will make that as well. Yeah, that will keep me busy on my weekend of camping. It can be a gift, too. Maybe I will make both and see which one Carolyn likes. Gosh, hope she doesn't read this (HA, highly unlikely).

I must say I do appreciate all of you who are reading this, since I was such a dud blogger for a year or so. Thanks for all the Facebook likes. You can 1+ it on Google Plus as well. I do like comments here, as well. It's fun to have conversations!

Hey, Two Borders!

I have been meaning to share a photo of the mitered square blankie with two borders, and keep falling asleep at night instead. I know you have been waiting and waiting to see it, so here we go—I am quite satisfied that the blues coordinate so well. If you can’t tell, the second border has purples in it and the first one has green.

Look, there are two borders!
 I must sheepishly admit that I finished the first top border already, INCLUDING the little squares, and I cast on to the last one before I could get a photo. Silly me. I will have the last border done tonight, I hope. I’m going to knit like crazy, since I was so tired that I did not knit a stitch last night.

I guess I will have to investigate why the heck I have been so tired lately. I know the 500-page document I have just put together tires me out—lots of small print and details. That’s what I get for choosing technical writing as a career path—or letting it choose me.

Good news is that the next place we are going to visit with Ursula the RV has wireless Internet, so I should be able to blog from the Live Oak Ridge park.

I will take along with me the yarn I got not long ago to make a small lap blanket. Then I do not know what I want to work on. I have seen lots of sweaters and such that I like but none I am dying to make. I have a vision of a curtain for the kitchen door or window with beads in it that will shine in the light. I will think about that for a while. Maybe I can swatch something. I have some yarns I really want to knit with, but no project I am dying to make. I am still trying to avoid the pressure of making anything fancy, I am afraid.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Here Is the Border

OK, I did it. I finished the first border while there was still enough light to get a photo of it. Wow, what a difference a border makes! I think the edging really ties the whole thing together. I got a lot of nice comments on Facebook, too.

The next long border also has blue in it--it's the blue and purple colorway. The left short border will the all purples and the final one is the one with some greens in it.

What I am going to do is leave the ends open, which will result in an area in each corner where I can insert 4 more mitered squares. Those will be dark blue, maroon, pink and brown--the four most intense colors. I figure that will tie in the intense bits, and look pretty interesting. I just hope I can remember that and don't just go ahead and pick up across the edges of the long borders. Now that I have written it down, I have hope.

Must run off to work now, and I hope you all have good days.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Little Preview

I didn't manage to finish binding off the first border tonight. Wow have I been tired, plus lots of issues at home, just the normal stuff, doncha know. But here is what the first border looks like, sitting on the bed and rather rumpled. Doesn't that make you want to see more of it, less rumpled?

That's the border, at the top.
Oh of course it does. Perhaps I will be home and knitting more tomorrow and get that border done! It goes fast. It's not that I was dealing with a constantly crashing Words with Friends application or anything. No, not me.

I will go, since my sarcasm-0-meter is really going off.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Congratulations! It's a Rectangle!

We spent the Independence Day weekend at the Farm visiting ELAB's dad and his nephew, who was also there. I got to spend a good amount of time in the air conditioning, so the blanket got worked on quite a bit.

And yes, I finished the final square of the main part!
Mitered square blankie on an old trailer with a very old door behind it.
There it is, in its 9x14 glory. The bottom right pink square was the last one I did. I like the way it fades from subtle to bright and back to subtle.

Since that photo was taken yesterday, I have done one of the borders except for binding it off. I picked up stitches along the long edge closest to the front of the picture, in the colorway that is mostly blues with a little green. I did a long side first, since I want the borders the same height, and I didn't want to start with a short one and make it thicker than one skein of yarn would make on a longer side. I needn't have worried. I made 12 garter stitch ridges along the long side and still have a bit of yarn left. 12 just looked good to me.

I will tell you all about my plans for the borders tomorrow, when I take a picture of the first finished border. I have an idea that I think will look good for finishing the project.

And yes, I also worked on the socks. I got 3 inches into the leg of the first sock and can't decide how I want to finish it. I thought of a folded cuff, of a folded lacy border, and of a hemmed top. In the end, I may just do twisted ribbing, because twisted stitches look good in the Summer Sox yarn, judging from the heel flap. I will have to get a picture of that, too!