Aqualime Cowl

Posted in FO, handspun, knitting, made with handspun, spinning by tchemgrrl on February 22, 2013

I spun up this yarn last fall:

aqualime batt

I did some new-to-me things with the color so that one ply of the two-ply yarn would shift slowly from blue to lime, while the other ply would be more random. I really wanted to see how it would come out! (Plus, I’m running a spinning class soon for which this would be a good sample.) So I knit up a quick little cowl, and finally I can see what it did!


Pattern made up on the fly, just a razorshell pattern with a 10-stitch-wide repeat, knit over 150 stitches. I had less than a yard of yarn left at the end, so I really used every bit of the skein.

The center section is a little more green in person, more of a true halfway point between the two colors. It does have the overall effect I was hoping for, that of an obvious unidirectional trend while still maintaining some visual interest. I’d highly recommend the technique as being a way of controlling the colors in a spun yarn while still leaving some room for spontaneity.

If I were to do it again, I’d probably use fibers that weren’t quite so high-contrast to make the shift more subtle. I’d also put more of an effort into getting some of the intermediate batt layers that went into the slowly-shifting ply to have a better mixture of lime and green so that the transition between the two was slower.



Posted in Uncategorized by tchemgrrl on February 12, 2013

Let this be a lesson to all you fine crafters out there.

This morning, I was running for the bus in A Lot, as one always does. I stepped the wrong way and found myself horizontal, with an instant, very impressive, swelling about the ankle. I then got the opportunity to chat with the university EMS squad about all the interesting things you chat about to prove you didn’t bonk your head on the way down. (The EMS kids, by the way. They are very helpful but VERY ADORABLY YOUNG and insufficiently concerned with their own health. “Young man, you are wearing a short sleeved polo shirt and it is below freezing out here. You’ll catch your death,” I might have been heard to say if I were not paying so much attention to all those pain-management techniques I learned during childbirth.)

Blah blah urgent care blah x-ray blah. *Very* sprained ankle. Possible chipped bone, but no real break. Through most of this I was too busy managing pain or texting work and J to have any interest in crafty pursuits. Crutches, Ace bandage, taxi home, a brief foray around the house for essential supplies (laptop, ibuprofen, water, snacks, purse), and I found myself very comfortably ensconced. I’m not in any pain, as long as I don’t do a damn thing.

And guess what? I do not have a single project on the needles right now. None.

This is the sort of thing all those TKGA-funded 80’s after-school specials warned you about. “Don’t be caught without knitting. Ever.”

(I said this to a friend who linked to this and asked me if I would be moving on to caffeine pills in my continuing downward spiral.)

Matchin’ Mittin’

Posted in FO, knitting by tchemgrrl on February 6, 2013

I knit some mittens to go with the hat from the previous entry:


These are a standard mitten layout with an ungusseted afterthought thumb. J really liked the hat pattern and asked that I designed the mittens so as to look as similar to the hat as possible.

I started by playing around with the bottom border. The X’s around the hat were wide enough that I could have fit 3 around the mitten with minor tweaks. However, the idea of 3 pattern repeats going around a hand didn’t seem right to me. I thought that the difference between the front and back would look unintentional and odd, and I also thought that the X pattern might look more similar if it was scaled down in size relative to the hat, because the mittens are so much narrower. So I did several doodles until I came up with something that allowed 4 pattern repeats to fit around the mitten. I then centered an X across the back of the hand to more clearly display the common genes of the two items.

Symmetry! Huzzah!

jan 27 2013 053

(The X’s on the mittens are squarer because the fabric hasn’t spent as much time stretched by an enormous head.)

As you can see the final result is thematically but not precisely matching. If I’d done the mittens first I probably could have adjusted the hat more easily so that they were an exact match. But, I also think that this set tells a nice little story to someone who is looking carefully and knows handknits. Sometimes, I like having little “tells” of provenance, and these mostly-matching items have just that.

J’s review of the mittens is that they are soft, warm, match his already-beloved hat, and fit in his coat pocket, though they’re not as windproof as his thick snow-shoveling gloves. They are excellent for posing.

He's taken, ladies.

(I love this man so much.)