Sunday, March 11, 2018

Blue sky baby cables

My old pair of baby cable socks is wearing thin in toe and sole. I knit them in 2011 and they got a lot of wear, so I am not surprised. Also, maybe the wool-bamboo-nylon combo is not quite as tough as wool-nylon. Anyway, it was time for a replacement pair.

Pattern: Short row toe and heel toe-up (Wendy Johnson) and four-stitch pattern baby cable (Charlene Schurch)
Yarn: Simply Sock Yarn Co Simply Sock, in 'Blue Skies' and 'Silver Lining'
Needles: US1
Modifications: Just the usual but with the baby cable stitch pattern

One reason I chose to go with a solid yarn color is to have something that I can wear with patterned leggings. Some people can pull off "interesting" mix 'n match outfits, but not me. A solid color yarn, though, calls for something other than stockinette.

I have tons of sock yarn, but mostly in self-striping or self-patterning colorways which I tend to knit in plain stockinette - fast and easy. The baby cables are not difficult but take some concentration to stick with the four-row repeat error-free. They also took longer because I am such an awkward knitter.

I've been listening to Ron Chernow's Grant on CD while I knit. Up to disk 20 out of 36 (or is it 38?) I'm not really into the Civil War, so it has been a bit tedious, but also eye-opening.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Big Twist throw rug

My original plan was to weave a bath mat using the black/gray/white 'Cobblestone' colorway for both the warp and weft. Early on, I rejected the combo and unwove the few inches I had worked up. Instead, I knitted Absorba in its place. Still, I didn't want to waste the warp.

I purchased more of the same yarn in 'Redwood' and used that for the weft. I still wasn't quite satisfied, but doubling the yarn created a fabric I was quite pleased with.

The washing instructions for the yarn said to handwash even though it is 80% acrylic and 20% wool. I worked up a quick swatch and threw it in with a load of colors to see if it would shrink. I didn't detect any shrinkage but the yarn did fuzz up a bit.

I fulled the final product by putting it through the "gentle" cycle of my washing machine. Again, the yarn fuzzed up a bit. I would not put this in a high traffic area or where it will pick up a lot of dirt because I doubt it would withstand excessive abrasion or cleaning.

The final dimensions of the rug are 48" long and 19" wide, a perfect size for my master bath. Unfortunately, the 'Redwood' does not go with my decor. What was I thinking?

I played around with the idea of turning this into a big project bag, even purchasing 8/4 carpet warp in black, gray, and white to weave a matching strap on my inkle loom. But the fabric seemed too floppy for a bag.

I asked my SO if he would like it as a rug, and he glommed onto it right away. He has lovely hardwood floors whereas I don't. I trimmed back the fringe using my trusty self-healing cutting pad and circular cutters. (I love useful tools!)

Just when I thought I was done, and after I had taken photos, I noticed the ends of the fringe were coming undone, so I knotted the tips.

Yarn: Big Twist Yarns Natural Blend, ombre in 'Cobblestone' for the warp, solid in 'Redwood' for the weft (doubled)
Loom: Ashford rigid heddle 24", using a 2.5 dent heddle