Friday, September 23, 2005

Quick update

No posts from me for the next week, we are on holiday (yippee), staying at Portmeirion in North Wales.

Not much knitting progress to report, I have done a bit more on the Dulaan scarf and the Huffle scarf, but some virus or other has knocked me back a bit this week. Hopefully no such issues next week, where I am fully expecting to do quite a lot of knitting :-D

Hopefully have some pretty pictures to post when we return!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Home again home again jiggity-jig

(with thanks to "Blade Runner" :-)

Thanks indeed for your kind words Erin - I think whip-stitching, although it may seem a bit of a cop-out, is probably a practical solution to the untidiness of the edges. Interesting they had to do it even on the movie scarves - did I just imagine they were machine-knitted or is that fact? I'm actually a little concerned I may run out of MC yarn before I get to 14 repeats :-) Whoever though 1x1 rib took less yarn than a tube scarf, was wrong - at least in this case! :-D

The tassel jig was made using a thin sheet of MDF (medium density fibreboard - probably called something different in the US). We had hardboard but the MDF is smooth and shouldn't snag the yarn. It will have its inaugural use on either the Huffle scarf or the tube scarf for the Dulaan project (aka the charitable project I mentioned yesterday - I'm now officially signed up!).

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Huffle scarf and tassel-jig

Firstly, here is progress so far on the 1x1 rib Hufflepuff scarf (PoA/GoF style). I cast on 69 stitches which has translated to around 8.75 inches wide. The yarn is aran (worsted) weight, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, shade 505 egg yellow, and shade 300 black.

Apologies for the picture, the light went quite suddenly today and the yellow looks paler than it actually is:

I'm not a huge fan of the colour transitions in this style, compared to knitting in the round. It seems to easily become a wee bit untidy at the edges. I'm slipping the first stitch of every row, apart from colour change rows. It's probably also more noticeable with this weight of yarn compared to DK. I did toy with doing a Gryff scarf in this style, using DK, but will do one in the round in stockinette instead :-) Overall I think this is turning out reasonably well, the yarn itself is so lovely that you can forgive the misbehaviour at the edges :-D

After doing the tassels on the Gryff scarf, using a DVD case to wind the yarn, I figured I needed a tassel jig. If you've ever watched "The New Yorkie Workshop" you will have seen Norm make his own custom jigs for various woodworking tasks. My idea was, have a wooden jig that allows various lengths of tassel to be wound, and won't bend like cardboard. My lovely DH went out to the garage and came back in with this, based upon my sketch:

It supports 3 inch through to 9 inch tassels :-) He has also put a label on that says "from the New Yorkie Workshop" - he's from Yorkshire and likes woodworking :-)

Other progress - another wedge of stockinette on the secret baggie, and started a chunky-yarn scarf for charity (more on that soon).

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

House scarf piccies

As promised, photos of the PS/CoS style Gryffindor scarf.

Vital stats:

  • approx. 80 inches long by 7 inches wide (each stripe is approx. 4.25 inches)

  • the stripes are deeper than the pattern at calls for, but I like big scarves :-)

  • knit in 75/25 acrylic/wool mix DK - 84 stitches in the round

  • the mini patch came from Patch Palace

Quite a bad photo of me modelling the scarf - but it gives a sense of scale!

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Of scarves and fringing

Thank you all for your comments regarding the Potter scarves! I spent last night adding the tassels, and sewing on a small Gryffindor patch at one end (also sewed the ends of the scarf together to aid adding the tassels). It took a wee while but it was well worth the effort. I think it looks quite stunning!

Sadly, I am a buffoon and, after trimming the tassels when I got home from work (a job best performed in daylight), I forgot to take any photos. Of course, I remembered just as the light was failing, which wouldn't have given very good results picture-wise, so I'll do them tomorrow.

The good news is that the washing and flat-drying, with a bit of judicious stretching and tweaking, seems to have more-or-less fixed the slight wavy edge caused by the yellow yarn being thicker than the red. They are both DK, just different brands, and I had to do 34 rows of red per stripe, as opposed to 32 for the yellow. Lesson learnt there, future projects will use the same brand throughout!

Did I say flat-drying - yes, for 24 hours or so ... then out on the washing line in the sun for an hour - then in the tumble drier for a wee while! Seems the double thickness can take its time drying completely :-)

The other major advantage of washing the scarf has been to soften up the fabric. It drapes really nicely and is very comfortable to wear. I think a 75/25 acrylic/wool mix works quite well for an item like this.

Tracy said she suspects her son will want a scarf like this - and why not indeed :-) They do take a wee while to knit though! So far no-one is clamouring for me to make them a house scarf - but I think I will be starting a Tom Baker-style Doctor Who scarf for my sister in law! DH was telling her about the Gryff scarf and she apparently said she always wanted a Doctor Who scarf. Christmas present ahoy!

I cast on the Huffle scarf yesterday, and tonight completed the first yellow section and 2 rows of the first black stripe. I only stopped because I felt I ought to get some sleep, and check my mail as I didn't get a chance to yesterday (tassel takeover bid) :-) K1P1 rib does take longer than stockinette, but it is producing a very soft, springy fabric. The Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran is lovely to work with. I realise that making a scarf this size in K1P1 borders on the foolhardy, nay slightly bonkers, but it has to be done. Once. I've already sized up some yarn for a Gryffindor PoA scarf knit in the round - Sirdar Country style DK have two great-looking shades. I wasn't actually looking for it directly, as I was trying to find a suitabe brand that would have all the Who scarf colours in chunky yarn. That one needs a little more research.

I'll end this ramble with my eBay bargain this week. 980g of Debbie Bliss merino aran on a cone for 20 UKP. At current ball prices that would be 60 UKP! It's the same colour as the cashmerino, egg yellow shade 505, and I figured it would be good for, say, a Hufflepuff Quidditch sweater :-) At this rate I'm going to need to go part time at work to fit all the knitting in :-)


Sunday, September 11, 2005


I cast-off the HP scarf last night! It is currently lying flat on the dining room table, drying after handwashing this morning. Once it's dry, the fringing needs to be added, and one of the small Gryffindor patches. Pictures when finally completed - it doesn't look very interesting lying on the table:-)

Made a tension swatch for the secret bag project this afternoon, using Jean Moss's hint of adding a 4-stitch garter edging all the way round. Came out pretty much spot-on, so I may well cast-on for that later. Also hoping to cast-on for the Hufflepuff K1P1 rib scarf (in aran-weight Cashmerino).

My only slight concern with that is weaving in the ends neatly enough - hopefully the ribbing will be fairly forgiving! I can always use square knots and minimise the weaving though.

ITV3 were showing "2001 - A Space Odyssey" while I was swatching. For some reason, not in widescreen, which does rather diminish the visual impact. I always end up admiring the production design in 2001. The spaceship interiors (love the yellow, white and black space-station-to-moon shuttle) and those fabulous chairs in the Hilton lounge on the space station.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Almost 16 out of the 19 stripes now done on the scarf! I can generally do a stripe in an evening's knitting time, except I did half a stripe tonight. Blame the ironing and gerbil-tank cleaning!

Silly neck is almost back to normal, yey. I have been doing the exercises the physio showed me last time I had a problem a few months ago. I had no idea that was actually my neck, as the symptom was for all the world like tennis elbow. At least there has been no repeat of the seized thumb and forefinger incident from last year! Again that was probably, I am advised, due to something in the neck/shoulder area. Bizarrely it has left my right hand with slightly less grip than the left. Take care of your backs/necks etc. folks, they can play some nasty tricks!

I know it's nowhere near new year, but I'm resolved to do the preventive stretches for my back from now on, and also keep my neck more mobile. Sitting at a computer most of the day at work isn't terribly good for your posture and caused most of the problems above. I can be a complete slouch when it comes to exercise, as I get bored easily with repeating the same things day in day out ... but I also don't want to seize up completely one day!

Just finished reading Harry Potter and the order of the Phoenix this weekend. I enjoyed it, but not as thoroughly as the previous book. The second half seemed a lot better than the first. Just started Half Blood Prince, although I'm resolved not to read any tonight as I need some sleep, and HP books tend to keep me avidly reading for several hours :-)