Friday, 14 March 2008

A bit of knitting

I took one pair of size 10 (6mm) knitting needles and one skein of Lion Brand Homespun with me on my road trip this week. I didn't cast on right away - I wanted to pace myself over the three days so I didn't run out of knitting! After the first couple of hours of driving, I started this - a scarf for my dad's birthday.

It's a stitch from a stitch dictionary - can't remember which one - called Cartridge Belt Rib. It's not really ribbing, but it has some good texture and doesn't curl. You need a multiple of 4 stitches plus 3 - I'm using 31 stitches. It's a two-row pattern. The first row is (K3, slip 1 with yarn in front) across to the last 3 stitches, K3. The second row is K1 (slip 1 wyif, K3) to the last 2 stitches, slip 1, K1. So the slip stitches are staggered on the back and front and it looks very clever even though you're only knitting, no purling.

I completed 23 inches of the scarf by the time I arrived home. I think it really needs to be at least 36 inches but I'm not sure whether the skein will last that long. I may have to buy another.

We sidetracked to a yarn shop in the Vancouver area. It was Wool and Wicker in Stevestown, a lovely place of small stores and nice housing, right on the ocean. The shop was divided into two parts - in one, the yarns were sorted by manufacturer, and in the other the yarns were sorted by colour. If I wasn't picky about my fibres (avoiding wool/silk) it would be a great adventure choosing lots of different yarns in similar colours and making a scarf with multiple strands.

I decided on three skeins of Berroco Comfort Sock yarn, which is 50% nylon, 50% acrylic, so should make for some hardwearing socks. It's a typical sock weight, recommended needle size 3.25mm, and whilst the label indicates 7.5 stitches to the inch, my little gauge swatch gave me 8! I'm used to making socks with elann esprit on 4mm needles, casting on 48 stitches for a sock for myself. I have already cast on for a sock with the yarn in the middle, and I'm using 64 stitches.

It was so nice to sleep in my own bed last night and I was sufficiently sleep-deprived from my night on the floor at the aquarium to sleep in until 10.40 this morning! And the kids weren't up yet either.

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