Sunday, June 05, 2011

Watch Cap

This is probably looking less and less like a quilting blog these days. I want you to know I *am* quilting but I'm working on gifts and will show them later. In the meantime I find knitting to be so calming. Have you heard the saying, "Knitting calms the troubled soul, and it doesn't hurt the un-troubled soul either"?

So after those earlier failed projects, I decided to make a Watch Cap using remnant yarn. Since the yarn was bought at the Senior Center Thrift store, I only knew it's a wool/mohair blend, no other product information. But I loved the color! Electric blue. I searched knitting sites for information on what needle size would be best for this yarn. I found a site that talked about wraps per inch and suggested needle sizes based on wpi. Cool, this is what I need! .

Like the purple scarf, I got part way along and found I didn't have enough yarn. But this project could be 'pieced' together, so I knit with another color to make up the difference. I also made an effort to custom fit the cap, rather than following the pattern exactly. I frogged a couple of times but love how it turned out. And it feels great, snug and cozy.

I finally realized that I've been trying to learn without spending a lot on yarn or materials, because I'm afraid to invest in a project that might not turn out. But I definitely want to knit with natural fibers. It would really reduce my frustration if I would just decide my time is worth the price of yarn from the LYS and stop this piecemeal approach. More successes will boast my confidence.

Yarn Lessons

Back in March I was so jazzed about knitting a sweater from yarn I reclaimed from a thrift store sweater. Once I frogged it back I had a pile of yarn to work from! But the more I knitted, the more I found thin spots in the yarn that needed to be removed and then spliced back together. I'd been excited to find out I was working with home spun yarn, but now I had my doubts! I couldn't knit a single row without having to stop and splice, slow going. And truth be told, it was scratchy; did I want this against my skin?

I had a long conversation with a knitting friend and she agreed it wasn't worth the effort. I 86'ed it.

Undaunted, I bought other remnant wool from a thrift store and cast on for a Feather and Fan lace scarf.

Loved the color! Loved the pattern! But it quickly became clear I didn't have enough yarn. I frogged the scarf and searched the online knitting sites for help. I found a chart that gives suggested yardage by project. What a great tool!

I just keep trying. I've been a quilter for over 28 years and an active knitter for three. I know how to adapt a quilt pattern to my fabric stash or draft an original design. But I don't know how to adapt knitting patterns. It's becoming clear to me that I need to get a good book of knitting patterns and *follow the instructions* as written. I shouldn't branch out until I understand the basics better. But it's hard, I'm so used to adapting something to make it my own.

Vintage Afghan

I found this at the annual church yard sale in among half a dozen other afghans made from Wintuk acrylic. This one is wool in a beautiful natural color. It's so charming, it caught my eye.

I was pleased to find a note attached that said it had been made in 1915. (!) It was in near perfect condition. Such a bargin for 50 cents. I took it home, gently soaked it in the bathtub and once dry, mended a few spots with tapestry wool.

I have a half a dozen quilts on a rack next to my recliner, but this has become my new favorite for pulling across my knees when I'm cold. The note also said it was one of four made. I think about the woman who made them and what became of the others.