Thursday, August 25, 2011

FOs: Craft Show Scarf Quartet

My shoulder and back have been bothering me more than usual recently, and it's interfering with my knitting and my blogging. I started an awesome cowl, but something about the way I have to hold my arms makes it hard for me to work on it for any extended length of time.

To make up for this, I've knit several simple scarves in the last couple of weeks. I've been using yarns that I've run into while dealing with the moths in my stash.

One of these days there will be another craft show, and I'm putting these in my inventory so I will be prepared. That is why I'm calling these the Craft Show Scarf Quartet.

1. Drop Stitch Scarf

FO: Drop Stitch Scarf

Ribbon yarn is ideal for drop stitch scarves. I didn't use a pattern, but there are lots of designs that utilize the same concept. On the drop stitch row, you wrap the yarn around the needle several times (I think I did it four times) and then drop all the wraps on the next row.

I think drop stitch scarves need fringe. I made a point of cutting the fringe ahead of time. I also put a little Fray Check on the ends to keep them from unraveling.

FO: Drop Stitch Scarf

I used US Size 9 needles and one skein of a discontinued Online yarn called Linie 118 Vision that I got in a swap.

2. Light and Lofty Garter Stitch Scarf

FO: Light and Lofty Garter Stitch Scarf

This one is a pretty straight forward garter stitch scarf with fringe. I actually worked on this a couple of times while I was lying in bed trying to sleep.

I used about one and two-thirds skeins of Red Heart Light and Lofty in "Cape Cod Multi." I think it came from a yarn swap somewhere along the way. I also used US Size 13 needles.

3. Drop Stitch Chenille Scarf

FO: Drop Stitch Chenille Scarf

For this scarf, I used a different type of drop stitch than I did on the first scarf. I knit the whole thing lengthwise, then dropped every third stitch so it created a ladder all the way down.

Drop Stitch Chenille Scarf

I had some issues after dropping the stitches. The bind off (the top row in this picture) made one edge of the scarf nice and neat. However, every third stitch of the cast on row came undone, which made the other edge loose and messy. And for some reason the second rung of each ladder was looser than the first. So I crocheted along the cast on edge to neaten it up.

It's hard to explain what what I did on the cast on edge, but I'm going to try.

First, I slip stitched over the two intact stitches, leaving one loop on the hook when I was done.

Then I took the hook and twisted the first rung of the ladder around it to created another loop, so there was two on the hook.

After that I pulled the second rung of the ladder through the loop I made (the first one on the hook), leaving two loops on the hook.

At this point I think I pulled the yarn through both loops on the hook. (I might have pulled the first loop on the hook through the second, but I doubt it.)

Then I'd start over from the slip stitches.

If anyone really wants to to try to recreate what I did, e-mail me or comment, and I'll see if I can explain it better. This is one of those things that most people don't care about, but I want documented for myself.*

I have mixed feelings about the end result. If I do something like this again, I need to plan ahead more. And I need a yarn that's thinner and easier to deal with.

I used one skein of Lion Brand Chenille Thick and Quick in Royal Blue and US Size 11 needles. Once again, I used Fray Check on the fringe. Then I twisted the ends to keep the yarn from coming undone.

4. Color Waves Scarf

FO: Color Waves Scarf

Finally, I made one more garter stitch scarf. This was made with one skein of Lion Brand Color Waves that was leftover from this ancient project, and US Size 8 needles. Like the Drop Stitch Chenille Scarf, I used a little Fray Check on the fringe and twisted the ends to keep the yarn from coming apart.

* - You could say that about my entire blog, but that would be mean.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

FO: Diagonal Magic Ball Scarf

Magic Ball

Last week while I was sorting my yarn for freezing and microwaving, I stumbled upon the Bluebonnet Magic Ball that I got a yarn swap way back in 2008. Since the Epic Adult Surprise Jacket has been in the finishing phase, I've been craving a quick and easy knit. So I decided it was time to use the Magic Ball.

FO: Diagonal Magic Ball Scarf

The label on the magic ball came with two patterns. The first one was for a "Basic Garter Stitch Scarf." I chose the second pattern, which was for a "Diagonal Garter Stitch Scarf." I considered just making a lengthwise scarf. But that would have required calculating the gauge to make sure it wasn't too short, and I just wanted to start knitting.

The pattern says to cast on 13 stitches, but I decided to only cast on 12 stitches because I wanted the scarf to be nice and long.

Both patterns call for US Size 13 needles. Because my gauge is so loose, I used US Size 9 needles.

FO: Diagonal Magic Ball Scarf

In knitting and crochet, the term "magic ball" can mean two different things. It can be a ball of yarn that is wound with little gifts and toys in it. These are usually given away in swaps. There's a Flickr pool with pictures of Magic Balls here.

Then there are magic balls like the Bluebonnet Magic Ball I used for this scarf. They are made by tying together lengths of different yarns into one ball. Be Sweet sells its own Magic Ball. Jimmy Bean's Wool has a tutorial showing how to make your own magic ball. There are other magic ball tutorials here and here.

Since I received this yarn in a swap, I don't know much about its origins. I know it came from Bluebonnet Yarn Shoppe, which closed more than a year ago, but I don't remember them actually being sold at Bluebonnet.

According to her blog, Amy made her own magic ball scarf back in 2006. She won the yarn from Bluebonnet. However, her scarf looks much different than mine. The stripes are longer, the yarns in the ball are very different and the whole thing is bigger. Her scarf is the only evidence I've seen that another Bluebonnet Magic Ball ever existed.

Aaron models the Diagonal Magic Ball Scarf

Aaron was nice enough to model the scarf for me. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it. I don't think the color scheme suits me. I may donate it or give it as a gift.

The gauge stayed somewhat steady between the different yarns. The overall width of the scarf varies somewhat. One yarn in particular doesn't want to line up with the other stripes. It's almost like the diagonal line is at a different angle than the rest, and it makes it hard to get the scarf to lie flat.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with this quick knit. It makes me want to make my own Magic Ball. And it makes me miss Bluebonnet Yarn Shoppe.