Monday, November 2, 2015

Green Deep Stash

Deep Stash Departure Yardage
Since last tally: 2,756 1.57 miles
Current Total: 3,182 1.81 miles

It started with yoga socks.

Actually, it started with decrepitude in my knees, officially diagnosed as oseoarthritis.  To strengthen the joints, I took up yoga this summer, and THAT prompted me to knit yoga socks.  For which, I dove into the deep stash and whipped up this unispiring yet serviceable pair.


Yarn:  Unlabeled green acrylic
Yards:  103.2

Yoga Socks

Tubes with holes for ankles, toes, and heels.  So, stirrup pants without the pants part.  Remember stirrup pants, Gen Xers?  A '90s nod to a more equestrian era, no doubt.

I made a few modifications from Diana McKay's Mindful Yoga Socks instructions (free, through, such as working from the toe up, keeping an inch of the ribbing all the way around the toes but working stockinette stitch for the bottom of the foot.  I cast on with the stretchy Old Norwegian Cast On and bound off with my favorite Miraculous Elastic method.

Weeks passed, and I knit on various and sundry things I'll write about at a later date.  My blog remained silent because I had nothing cohesive to add to it.

And then the temperatures began to fall, finally.  In mid-October, for crying out loud.  So, I pulled out the fat needles and bulky yarns which also happened to be green.  (A feeble common denominator, thematically, for a blog post, but my life is what it is.)

I purchased both of the following yarns at the same time with the intention of creating a matchy-matchy winter wear set.  And so I have.


Yarn:  Mirasol Sulka in Pear
Yards:  72.6

Green Owl Mitts

My grandma Mc was an owl fan, and I thought of her while I made these Owl Study Gloves, pattern by Meghan Bosanko.  Of course, I changed them a bit since I can't leave well enough alone.  I added more stitches to the cast on since my wrists are of the stocky variety, and I repeated the ribbing at the fingers.  Again, I used the cast on and bind off I mentioned earlier, except for the thumb which was the standard-issue bind off.

The buttons came from the collection handed down to me from my mom.  I believe they're mother-of-pearl, the tiny kind that could once be found on the cuffs of ladies' dresses.  So, my owls have beady, untrustworthy little eyes.  They don't need to see anything, anyway.


Yarn: same as above
Yards:  37.4

The rest of the Sulka I put into the Moura Headband, pattern by Clara Beauty.

Moura headband

I followed the example of a fellow knitter on Ravelry and tapered the beginning and ending of the headband.  I had enough yarn to work only six pattern repeats, but I had enough left over to extend the tapered ending by three or four rows of seed stitching.  I blocked it to about 23 inches before I seams the ends together.

Moura headband seam

I think that's the first yarn I have completely eliminated from stash.


Yarn:  Cascade Magnum
Yards:  almost 212.8

Finally, I had a super chunky yarn that looks like pencil roving, so I put it into this cowl of fat, undulating cables designed by Patrizia Momigliano.  It's called Arctic Blanc on Ravelry.

Arctic Vert Cowl

The husband told me I looked like a shady Star Wars character when I tried it on.  Fine.  A shady, WARM Star Wars character, thankyouverymuch.

I didn't modify the pattern in any way except for all the mistakes I made.  I've never cabled on the edges of a project before, and twice I held the cable needle to the back instead of the front like I was supposed to.  Also, my grafting stitches are loosey-goosey because I held the parallel needles too far apart.

Arctic Vert Cowl graft

For every mistake, I just was too unmotivated to fix it.  If they can't be discerned by someone on the back of a galloping horse (equestrian nod, again), and I can tolerate them, then they get to settle in.  There.  Proof of tolerance on my part.  Don't I feel morally wholesome now.

A grand total of 426 yards have taken their leave of Deep Stash with all this.  A bit shy of a quarter of a mile.  Not bad.

Acrtic Vert Cowl cable

Friday, July 10, 2015

Crispy-first Sky Scarf

Some of my closest friends are those I've known since college, so we're all somewhere in our forties now.  One of them--maybe even me--received one of those Hallmark audio cards in which cartoon puppies/bunnies/unspecified, cutsey-snark mammals with the chipmunk voices congratulated its recipient for reaching over-the-hill status.  For being more than well-done.  For being crispy.

This was three or four years ago.  When I turned forty-one around that time, another friend gave me one of the most decadent creations on the face of the earth:  CHEESECAKE.

Crispy-First Birthday Cheesecake

And, I decided to begin a sky scarf...which I apparently didn't share anything about here on the blog.  My project notes on Ravelry are pretty sparse, too, but I'm going to share about it now, years later.  You're welcome.

Sky scarves have been around for awhile, originating with Lea Redmond of Leafcutter Designs.  The idea is to knit, every day, two rows that resemble the color of the sky for that day:  one row to the opposite side of the scarf, one row back to the starting point.

I loved the idea, and figured my forty-first birthday was as good an occasion as any to begin one.  So, I cast on 41 stitches.   I decided to knit in a seed stitch pattern and to separate each month's set of rows with two black rows.

Sky Scarf beginning

I used fingering weight yarn and held two strands together that were not always the same color (say, if there was a partly cloudy day, I held a blue and a white yarn together).  In the end, I used a light blue, a dark blue, a light gray, a dark gray, white, a grungy tan for that season when the pastures in the Flint Hills are burning and the smoke drifts southward, and, of course, black.  (I was fully prepared to include a pale green for those skies that look nauseous before tornados descend.  I never had to, thankfully.)

I was pretty faithful to knit my two rows every day, for awhile.  Each day around noon, I looked up, took note of the sky's color, wrote it in a pocket calendar I carried with me, and knit its likeness later in the day.  And then, less than six months in, I got tired of it.

Sky Scarf halfway

At which point, I would record a few days' colors before I knit them.  And then in the ninth or tenth month, all I was doing was writing in my calendar.  By my forty-second birthday, I had filled the calendar but not completed the scarf.  That didn't happen until over a year later.  There's only so long I can stand having a knitting UFO around before I rip it all out, and there was no way in all of God's Great Glory I was going to do that.  So I buckled down and finished it.

All the time I worked on it, I carried the yarn colors I used most often up the side of the scarf.  The yarns that I snipped off and then cast on again several days or weeks later were strands flopping out up and down the scarf.  The snaking yarns and floppy yarns together made that side of the scarf look like Zeus' straggly monobrow.  And then there was the fact the scarf had grown long enough to throttle Zeus, so I decided to connect the ends with a three-needle bind off, and I encased the ghastly side of the scarf with an applied i-cord.

Sky Scarf applied i-cord

I have worn this scarf two or three times since finishing it.  On those days when the wind chill might have sandblasted my tender, aging skin, I piled a year's worth of days in loops over my face.  I drove that way.  People saw me with it on, a mountain of skies on my shoulders, but I didn't care.  I didn't get freeze-dried crispy.

Sky Scarf done

Sky Scarf & demure pumpkin

Deep Stash Marathon Ticker


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