Thursday, 31 January 2013

Chicago cowl with picture

I haven't written for a while because of troubles adding pictures.  But here is a new way that worked remarkably well for a first attempt.  The Chicago cowl wound around my neck.  It is warm and quite comfortable if I ignore how it looks.

On the last day of January I can report on my yarn diet.  It is going surprising well.  There is yarn on my list that I can buy without further thought.  The rest I leave.  It helps that my list is flexible according to what I see and how I feel on the day.  There is no need for soul searching, no need for regrets.  In January I bought three balls of wool, all on my list - a total of 150 gr.  That is until yesterday when I found a Susan Duckworth cardigan.  I like her patterns - intarsia with a lot of flowers.  I have got her two books but I know I'm unlikely ever to knit anything from them, so I enjoy this cardigan.  This is the second of her patterns that I own - last year I bought a sweater.

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Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Chicago cowl and account for 2012

Last summer I bought a cowl from Gap and I wore it all the time because it was so comfortable.  It was very simple in a thin stocking stitch polyester linen blend jersey fabric.  For my Chicago knitting project in October I decided to replicate it for winter use.  I bought Rowan Creative Focus Worsted in a burgundy colour and some Kidsilk Haze stripe in a darkish shade to go with it.  I wasn't too happy with the colour as it was too purple for my liking, but I couldn't see one that I liked better.

So I did one of my two inch long tension squares and cast on for knitting in the round.  Like the Gap cowl I wanted it long enough to go round my neck three times, about 180 cms.  And I got it right - the length is perfect.  I bought two balls of the thicker yarn (I have such problems with that name, why not something simple along the lines of Lima or Tumble) and knit it with a strand of the Kidsilk Haze with the intention of making it as wide as the yarn allowed.

It is not really wide enough, but that would not be noticeable if you wind it three times.  The problem is the stocking stitch.  It curls of course.   I don't know why I didn't think it would curl.  The Gap cowl only curled very little.  I think it does not work because the knitted fabric is too thick.  In a thin yarn it would work a lot better.  Now it looks like having six sausages curled around your neck.  Because I wear it anyway.  It is warm and cosy.  The Kidsilk Haze makes it soft although you can hardly see it.  And I did knit it in the three days.  The reserve sock knitting that I brought along remains with one sock half done.  One of my few UFOs.

And onto the state of the yarn store.  I knew that I had bought a lot of yarn in 2012.  Every now and again I sort through a box or two of my yarns and I decide that I have too much yarn and I must not buy any more.  This usually lasts about two or three days.

Last November I had another of my sort throughs and I decided again to go on a yarn diet, as the phrase goes.  This time it has worked.  It is a diet for me, because there is a list of exceptions, of yarn that I can buy.  During the last two months I have bought 300 gr of wool on the list, and 50 gr that wasn't.  The last ball served to emphasize to me that I am not happy to buy something not on the list, so it was worth it from that point of view.

Then, a few days ago I sat down to work out precisely how much I did buy during 2012.  It was so much it surprised even me, and I dare not say it here.  So it was a good thing that I had already started on the yarn diet.  I wonder how I have managed to store so much yarn.  Surely it should be much more evident than it is?  I have realised that I have become more ingenious finding places for yarn.  The space for clothes in my wardrobe has got smaller.

On the other hand the records show that I knitted 15.2 kg.  My average has been 13.0 - 13.5 kg annually so it is good.  I did not expect it because I am sure I have slowed down.  Even the standard blankets take longer that usual and I knit few other things.  It is going to be interesting anyway to find ways of using the yarn in the store.  I still go to wool shops to look at yarn and I have managed the January sales without greater problems.  Yesterday I just glanced at a bag of 10 balls of Sublime Soya Cotton in a charity shop.  The cone of brown 4 ply tweed wool was more difficult to ignore, but I did.