Thursday, March 6, 2014

Up To My Neck in Knitting

The first few months of 2014 was all about keeping necks warm.  We have had crazy cold weather in Northern Illinois this year.  Record breaking cold weather.  School-has-been-cancelled-due-to-the-cold-weather weather.  On one school cancellation day, I dug out some stash yarn and did an advanced Ravelry search (I LOVE that feature, do you?) to find this gem:  Incognito by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark.  The first one was for me.  While my husband rebuilt a carburetor in the (heated) garage, I made myself a mustache in the well-heated house.  

 Dad's birthday was coming up (seems like all of us have January birthdays), so I fashioned one for him.  He is outside daily despite the weather.  He has to feed his birds and roam his property.  A little something to keep him a bit warmer.  He is always a willing recipient of knitted goods as his mother kept him in them from childhood.  Of course, when I first saw him in it via facetime, he was wearing it upside down.  A bow-tie maybe?  I explained the mustache to him and he righted it promptly.
 Then the young man was in need of a little knit attention (he gets very little of that), so the stash revealed some hunter-type colors and soon Incognito was adorning his neck.
My co-worker has two young girls who are deep into the mustache craze, so I made plans to fashion a few for them as well.
One in stash Vanna's Choice blue, which knits up reminiscent of denim.  The other in double stranded Caron Simply Soft (went down a needle size for a nice, tight fabric).  They were thrilled and the immediate envy of their classmates.
My lovely and hard-working classroom assistant was facing bus duty every afternoon in these arctic temps, so I knit her up a Marshmallow Fluff (fun and amazingly quick knit) in Lion Brand Thick and Quick (again, stash).  I did cast on 20 stitches and followed the pattern from there.  I believe I did not knit entire length (Provisional cast-on and it is knit long and seamed with a 3 needle bind off).  She loved it so much that she requested one for her mother who navigates a school bus and must sit next to the door which opens and closes for each batch of kids.  Made an identical one for her, but no picture to show. 
Isn't she beautiful?
 So, those around me have warm necks and I have a warm heart knowing I have a part in that.  All of the above neck-warmers/cowls were knit before the Olympic Bare Trees Jacket, but deserved a post of their own on this little blog.

And now on to my "test knit".  Standardized tests are underway, and I have begun to knit another queue item:  Owls by Kate Davies.  I downloaded the patterns years ago when it was a free pattern.  This is not stash yarn.  Last year, my LYS closed, and I was heartbroken.  That yarn store was in my "shopping town" which is about 10 miles away.  I was recently informed that my "working town" which is 5 miles away was now host to a quilting/yarn store.  Oooo!  An immediate cold weekend trip was in order, and I found this beautiful blue Cascade 128 Superwash.  As I knit up, I find dye transfer on my hands and uneven dying throughout the fabric, but we'll see how it turns out after washing.  I've heard review that this yarn pills horribly, but Cascade says to wash and dry in the dryer and pilling should not be bad. I'll follow their advice and keep you posted.  Right now I'm loving the yarn.  Soft through the fingers; a delight to knit up with.  

 Tonight I finished up to the armpit and am ready to begin short rows.  

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