Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Jigsaw bounty

Today at work I spent the day cleaning out the back storage space, which clearly hasn't been touched since June and desperately needed it. vAmong the broken office supplies and student binders with outdated events calendars I found 4 boxes of jigsaw puzzles. My boss surmised that they are probably incomplete and they are too large to be effectively used in a single class period, so she suggested I toss them. But I couldn't see all those colourful spaes without thinking "mosaic tiles" and so I've comandeered them for my own uses. I'm not sure all of what I'll do with them, but picture frames and earings spring readily to mind. I'm sure I'll come up with more in due time. There's not really much I can do until I move into my new house (which is looking like it won't be until almost December) and get the rest of my materials out of storage.

In the mean time I'm 3/4 of the way finished Nyron's mother's scarf, wo it'll be ready for Eid with no problem. I took a pattern drafting course at Romni over the weekend and learned all the math required to custom designing a sweater. I'm going to use this newfound education for Nyron's Christmas sweater. I'm still making the argyle pattern from Knitting Magazine, but I'll use the math to make sure it fits Nyron, not just the guy in the picture. To do this well I'm going to wait until I'm in my townhouse where I'll have access to my steam iron (we learned the proper way to block a swatch) to make sure that the bases for all that math is accurate. Until then, I'll prabably do Knit for Kids through Lewiscraft or make preemie sets with some yarn I'm getting from a woman on Freecycle.


Sunday, October 16, 2005

The scarf that didn't seem to want to be; or A quest for the right pattern

A couple of weeks ago I decided to knit a scarf for Nyron's mom. Nyron's family doesn't celebrate Christmas but it's Ramadan this month and Eid, the end of Ramadan, is a good occation to give gifts. Nyron said that she doesn't really have a scarf so I went to Romni and found some merino wool in a gorgeous deep red colour that she likes. Everything was set for making a lovely scarf just in time for winter.

Some people talk about waiting until their yarn tells them what it wants to be. I don't know that I've ever had that happen, but this yarn definitely had some strong feelings about what it DIDN'T want to be! I started by trying the Feather and Fan pattern that I've seen some people use to make lovely scarves. That produced a scarf that buckled like a sheet of corregated metal which completely hid the pattern. So I used that as a excuse to buy a new book of stitch patterns and found three lovely flower motifs. One was done in reverse stocking stitch on a stocking stitch background, another used twisted stitches (which I've never done before) on a reverse stocking stitch background and the other had lots of eyelets. They were all beautiful, but proved to be far too complicated for what little brainpower I have left after work. At this point I learned that Extra 100% Australian Merino Wool doesn't withstand frogging very well. It started to literally fray and I would have to cut above the fray and start over again. Twice.

Now I've settled on a simple pattern of eyelets all the way across every row. It creates a neat effect of making the stitches on either side slant in opposite directions which curls the scarf into a coil. It's starting to look very cool and will be very warm for Nyron's mom.