Saturday, October 6, 2012

Progress and a new obsession

I started the poncho. I am almost 2 skeins into it. It's going well. It's easy but each row takes longer because I am increasing 6 stiches in the increase row and then having to knit the extra stitches in the knit rows. My only regret? Using bulky yarn. I don't think it will drape well. It's very thick which I want for warmth. I'm not going to quit since I have already invested in 3 skeins of this. 1 whole skein goes to the fringe. I think I need around 14 skeins for this project. It's going relatively fast but it is kind of boring. I plan to have it done by spring.

The hat is coming along well to. It is also taking forever but I am slowly seeing the yarn ball get smaller. I really hope this fits a baby. I hope by the end the hat part is longer than the brim.

Now to my new obsession....

I saw this yesterday on Ravelry and I just melted. Isn't this the most delicious cuddly thing you just want to crawl into? It's a cowl. The yarn used in this is bulky and it has 68% Alpaca 22% Silk 10% Wool. I'm not so sure I want that much bulk. I had two thoughts on modifing this. I could use worsted. Since there are two colors, you knit them together to get that bi-color look and it will give me bulky yarn in thickness and it will be half as thick as using only bulky. Another option is to use worsted for the outside color and bulky for the inside color. That way I get some bulk but just in the upper neck area not everywhere. It also does something I have never tried. It uses darts. I have heard of bust darts. Here is an explanation:

What exactly are Darts?Darts are ways of adding (or subtracting) fabric in a small area in order to create more (or less) room in a very small, very specific area. The darts are placed so that they give more room for your curves--belly, bust, and booty all can be helped with the judicious addition of dartage.

In knitting, as in sewing, if you work a decreasing dart, you are taking away fabric: decreasing the number of stitches takes away fabric. To illustrate this with ordinary fabric: take a fold of your shirt between your fingers and pinch it closed. This makes the area around the dart smaller.

In knitting, again as in sewing, if you work an increasing dart, you are adding fabric: increasing the number of stitches adds more fabric. To illustrate this with ordinary fabric: Imagine if you were to cut up along the seam line of your pants legs, and then sew in fabric triangles between the seams of each leg. You'd end up with roomier pants legs (bell-bottoms, actually).

How do you work a dart?
There are as many different ways to work darts in knitting as there are clever knitters to invent them. But basically, more or less, you can break them up into Short-Row Darts and Vertical Darts. (Now that I have said that, you folks will come up with sixteen other kinds of darts that I don't know about.)

I think the darts in this cowl are decreasing but I'm not sure. Anyway, I'm trying to decide what yarn to use this for. I do have that 1 skein of green Lima alpaca yarn. But if I change from bulky to worsted, I don't know how my yardage will change. I have that question up on one of the ravelry forum boards. Hopefully someone will answer and I will understand. Here are some more pictures of this interesting design:


It looks like there are equal amounts of both colors. I am wondering if using worsted all the way is my best bet. I am frustrated that I just can't run over to my local yarn store like I did in Hartland and ask questions. I have to drive a bit to get to one. Besides it takes time to learn to trust the women so you know who knows the most. Just because they work at a yarn store doesn't mean they are experts in knitting. In any case I can't even start thinking of casting on till after Christmas when I will have some money to make this. One person who used this yarn says it grows like crazy. But that is the nature of alpaca.  People who make sweaters out of mostly alpaca complain bitterly about it. Not sure I want that for this project. I am looking into alternative, holds it's shape but just as yummy soft yarns as well.


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