Knit Meter

Saturday, November 21, 2009

There's More to Life Than Dishcloths

So I've brought you up to date with dishcloths but surely I must have made something else?

Checking my blog and Ravelry, there's a hat, two scarves and a pair of socks that you don't know about.

One scarf is really lacey and started before the baby blanket, otherwise the others are easy projects that act as a peon to the holes. I don't have a decent picture of the lacey scarf so I'll post later.

Knitted from this pattern although as I was using totally different yarn I had to make changes to stitches and row count. The yarn is Sirdar Snuggly 4-ply that I had bought in a closing down sale. I started a baby jacket that I really didn't like and unpicked when I had almost finished. Not wanting to put it back in the stash where I knew it would lie for a very long time, I immediately cast on the scarf. I like the scarf but I think it would look really nice in a thick yarn as suggested in the pattern.

I needed something easy to make but with a bit of interest and this fit the bill. And I used yarn from the stash. I used two colours of Brown Sheep Worsted that I had left over from a bag I made a while ago. I just kept knitting until the hat fit. I wore it when we had our first snow and it is going to be really warm when the cold weather sets in.

And finally a pair of socks knitted while on holiday this summer. I don't knit socks very often these days as I like my socks to have patterns so they are no longer a mindless project. I used this pattern and the yarn is Patons Stretch Socks. The yarn is really comfortable to wear, unfortunately the pattern doesn't show very well with this yarn.

And that's it until I find the urge to link "this" again.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Too Much Choice

Or if I tell you what I want will you get it for me?

I need a new stove. Some may argue that as I already have a functioning stove I don't actually need a new one. So I desperately want a new stove. (For my truly English speaking public a stove is a cooker.)

When we moved into this house we needed a new stove because the one with the house was pretty disgusting. We saw one on sale at Home Depot and bought it. It wasn't self-cleaning and in my naivete I decided that was not a problem. Nearly 4 years later I am sick and tired, literally, of sticking my head in an oven with loads of chemicals.

The first port of call was the website for the store where I bought a fridge. (We really needed a new fridge as the old one was leaking and choosing a new one was easy as they don't make many small fridges with freezers on the bottom so I had the grand choice of 2.)

A few must haves - electric (no gas in the kitchen), smooth top and the all important self-cleaning oven and a decent manufacturer. I did find one I liked and as it wasn't on sale I looked at another store to check their price which turned out to be quite a bit cheaper but I didn't know delivery fees or fee for taking away old stove also I hadn't bought anything from this store before.

I asked a colleague and she said the store had a bad reputation and suggested another place so I looked at their website and it is a much bigger store so has much more choice which is way too confusing for me because what is the difference between stove a and stove b apart from the price. It is hard to tell the difference between products from the same manufacturer. I should just go back to my original choice as it is a small store with limited options and less confusing.

At this point I need to comment on spousal harmony. I do really like my husband apart from one thing - he's an engineer. In other words he just doesn't think the way most normal people do. Dear husband, you are not going to live a long and happy life by asking what makes the oven dirty.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Don't Call them Rags

One thing in life that annoys me is when people call things by the wrong name or mispronounce the name.

Dish cloths are a good example. They are not rags (unless, of course, you really have torn up old clothes to make them). Most people have their favourite type which they buy. How can something you pay money for be a rag?

It's a cloth, give it the respect it deserves for the job it does. OK that's a bit of hyperbole. But I have never called my dish cloth a rag and now I make them they are a revered part of my kitchen.

Since joining a mystery KAL, I have been making 2 dishcloths a month (apart from a couple missed in the summer) and it is a while since I've posted pictures so here they are. Some of the pictures are scans as that is the best way to show the knit/purl patterns.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ever Increasing Circles

Looking back through my knitting notebook it would seem that all I have been making are dishcloths. That is because I have been making a baby blanket.

So I got to thinking about the different ways to make a blanket and the disadvantages of each.

The blanket I am making is circular. I started off with very few stitches, the first rounds go quickly so you think the blanket will be finished quickly but, of course, as you add more stitches each round takes longer so the blanket is no longer such a quick knit. (Even though when you start a circular blanket you know the later rounds will go much slower than the earlier rounds, your brain ignores this each time.)

Another way to make a blanket is to make lots of squares (or rectangles or hexagons) and sew them together to make a blanket. The advantage is the sense of achievement when finishing a square and seeing them pile up but the thought of sewing them all together puts me off such a project.

You could always start with the required number of stitches for the width and work until the blanket is long enough. This way you're not going to be fooled with the speed of early rounds but you do have to cast on a large number of stitches which I am not too keen to do even though with a circular blanket you end up with many more stitches.

My initial thoughts came up with just these three ways to make blankets but then I thought of a couple more which don't seem to have the same disadvantages of these methods.

Corner-to-corner. Starting with 1 or 3 stitches you increase at the beginning of every row until the blanket is half the size and then you decrease at the beginning of every row until no stitches. The advantages are that you can work until half the yarn has been used and then start decreasing; just as you are fed up with each row taking longer they start getting shorter. The immediate disadvantage is making sure that the increases and decreases look similar.

The other method, which I am not sure I have seen used, is starting off with the final circumference and then decreasing to a few stitches. Two disadvantages I can immediately think of are the large number of stitches you'd have to cast on and if you run out of yarn you can't stop as you'd be left with a hole so if you couldn't get more of the same yarn, you'd have to add complimentary yarn or start all over. But at least each round would go quicker as the stitches reduce in number.

The blanket is actually finished, just when I thought it was going on for ever, but I have to cast off. Another problem when making blankets - and another argument for using a method where you end up with few stitches - is making sure the cast off is not tight but also neat. I have a month to achieve this.