b r o o k l y n t w e e d
  the current state of things
well, its clear i have a problem. i can't stop fair isling. but after i post these pictures, i'm taking a break. i have to force myself to do at least something else before this weekend is over. i didn't join the olympics, but the last three days have sort of felt like i had.....

Komi Progress 4Komi Progress 3

body is done, just finished kitchener-ing it to completion. now i just need to pump out the little thumb and pick up my provisional c.o. stitches and do some (non-corrugated!) ribbing............ and make another mitten.

can't wait!
  growing growing
what did i spend my exciting friday night doing?
Komi Progress 2
oh and look what happened!
did i use the word "addicting" before?
  fair-isling myself into oblivion
thought i'd give you a little taste of my most recent detour/knitting discoure. fair isle has been tempting me for some time, which is interesting, because i used to generally dislike (the look of) it. i've noticed that over time, my knitting tastes change, and this is a great example.

this is the start of a pair of komi (russian) mittens from mostly mittens by charlene schurch. a great book with a whole host of intricate patterns. i love the history aspect of fair-isle and stranded knitting. really, just can't get enough. its addicting.

Komi Progress 1
click image to see more detail

here's a taste of whats to come. i'm using knitpicks pallette in bark and yellow. keep your eyes out for more progress shots of these babies.

(sidenote: i love knitting at a guage of 10 stitches to the inch! this fine guage combined with stranding makes the densest, warmest, most intricate (and, to me, meaningful) material that has the detail-oriented-perfectionist in me going crazy with dorky glee!)
remind me never to ask you readers for any encouragement toward yarn-diet self control! no but seriously, upon considering your well-intended contributions, i have decided that yes, i will purchase the bea ellis kit and embark upon the Ufserud journey.

however, in an effort to postpone this course of action - i have purchased two skeins of (cheap cheap!) knit picks fingering weight peruvian wool to try my hand at a pair of traditional Komi (Russia) fair-isled mittens. its a pattern i already own and that i've had my eye on for a couple months here. so the plan is to get my first fair-isle fix this way... and if that isn't enough (and i hope it isn't) then its on to Ufserud.

also - thank you for all the great comments on the Beaverslide Scarf. They are greatly appreciated. its a great thing when a project turns out as well as (or better than?) you had planned it (even something as simple as a scarf).

* * *

you may have noticed a complete and utter silence has fallen over b.t. about all things Ene-related. you know, the shawl pattern i was all pumped up about and excited for. had started it about 5 or 6 weeks ago and was going strong, plowing through the charts.... and then POOF. nothing. no pictures. no comments. no sounds.

well, i'll tell you why. i tore it all out. hours of work, more than half of the project completed.... frogged like a mother. its just now that i'm ready to release that information, because i was just so frustrated by the situation. i had made some mistakes interpretting the pattern veery early on (thats the worst part of it), and despite all of my "it'll be fiiiiine" affirmations... i'm too much of a perfectionist to really be okay with any glaring mistakes. especially on such a major piece. so of course, i should have just done it right away. right when i had the first inkling of anything fishy. but i knit on, for hours and hours before i finally was able to convince myself that it'd be better to destroy and rebuild.

after a cool-down period, i picked it all up and started again this weekend. lucky for me, the whole experience of knitting lace is pretty meditative and most of the bitterness subsided upon contact. after some intense knitting over the last few days, i'm on my way back to breaking even. i dont have pictures, because for the most part, they would look the same as all the pictures i was posting a couple of weeks ago!

but if i must say so myself, this time..... it looks goooooooood.
  the beaverslide scarf comes to fruition
the time has come for the unveiling of the scarf. i finished this last weekend, but haven't gotten the time to put a post up about it until now.

this scarf was a great experience from beginning to end. I loved the materials - working with them made the whole project enjoyable (even despite the monotany of scarf-knitting). the stripes spiced it up a bit, and the colors were so good i never got sick of looking at them. i have had my 1x1 ribbing fill for a while, but i never got overly tired of it.

so here it is - the completed piece:

Beaverslide Scarf Complete 1

the scarf is pretty long. my general rule for length: make the scarf a few inches longer than the height of the recipient. in this case, the scarf measures about 6 feet 2 inches and is to me, the perfect length. please observe below:

Beaverslide Scarf Complete 2

i handwashed the piece in the sink with eucalan and then did a follow up wash with some mild hair conditioner (a great little trick) and it softened right up. wrapped multiple times, it is very warm and fits the new york winter very well, especially through the blizzard on sunday.

the specifics:

materials: beaverslide dry goods worsted wool/mohair blend (90% merino/10%mohair) in colors "mink" and "mallard"
needles: US 8 bamboo 10" straight needles
pattern: my "own." its a 1x1 reversible ribbing with a slip stitch border. i cast on 41 sts.

i kind of feel like knitting another scarf....

i really, really... REALLLy want to make this hat. in a chocolate brown and a deep yellow mustard color.

but there's a problem. i've literally sworn myself from spending money on yarn until i use up a considerable amount from my closetful/stash. or at least finish some of my larger projects. usually i wouldn't let this little condition stop me, but none of the fibers that i already own really fit the project.

should i stay strong? the norwegian fair-isle sirens have been coaxing me for a loong time and its getting hard to resist. the fact that bea ellis offers a very affordable and convenient kit doesnt help at all. what should i do?
  aurora bulky does niagara
thought i would post pictures of my most recent hat creation. i started this a while ago but ran out of (expensive) yarn mid-way through. i finally bought more aurora bulky and the hat pretty much finished itself. its a variation on my earlier aurora 8 version. kristen, who has an uber-sensitive head, requested a hat that would provide absolutely no itch factor. and aurora bulky was just the ticket.

she chose the colors (do they look familiar?) yeah... this project got me on a blue-and-brown-stripe kick, which i've translated into a (now-finished) beaverslide scarf. [in-depth post to come tomorrow].

and here it is - the completed aurora bulky striped cap:
K's Hat [Side View]

the hats first outing.... notice the ungodly large waterfall in the distance.
K's Hat does Niagara

Materials: Aurora Bulky by Karabella; 3 skeins (2 in color 25/chocolate, 1 in color 1583/blue)
Needles: US 9 bamboo circs (29") using M.L.
Pattern: My own
  recycle, re-wind, re-knit
*POOF* i'm back. well, i've been back for awhile... just not here. so, onto the good stuff....

one of my favorite things to do as a knitter is recylce old garments that have been discarded by the ages. while recyclable sweaters can be found in most clothing stores, the real treasures are those that lurk deep down in the sweater rack at your local salvation army or thrift shop. i usually go straight for the XXL's, because obviously, they store a ri-DICulous amount of yarn in their folds. but really, regardless of size, this is the best way to find unique and mysterious yarns for the lowest prices possible. granted, there is usually digging involved and lots of acrylic bullroar that one must endure, but i swear, almost every time i put my head down and perservere through the sweater isle, i end up finding something truly great. and even if i dont snag the find-of-the-year, its hard to argue with 1000+ yards for 3-4 dollars, regardless of the fiber content.

a few pro's of recycling:

Now that i've composed a persuasive essay, i'll talk about my most recent experience. we hit up a major thrift store in canada and spent an hour going through what seemed like miles of sweaters. if i had unlimited funds, i would have come out of there with 15+ garments... but i ended up narrowing it down to two. (an aside: someone in niagara falls was stupid and gave 6 or 7 amazing handknit sweaters - complete with bulky icelandic wool fair-isling and shawl collars - away... it was actually painful to see them sitting there, getting stretched out beyond repair on those horrible plastic hangers.)

this is the before picture of a bulky orange turtleneck that i picked up for 4.99 (candian!) - a wool/nylon blend knit in reverse stockinette.

Recylcled Orange Turtleneck [Intact]

the seaming on bulky knits is usually the easiest to destroy. i sat down for an hour with my seam ripper and ended up with this nice little stack:

Recycled Orange Turtleneck [Spoils]

are you sold yet? the colors are more accurate in the "after" photo. great orange, huh? the yarn turned out to be several thread-sized fibers plied together to make a bulky weight. Notice the guage-swatch needle that doubles as a victory flag at the top of my fiber mountain

i haven't recylced sweater #2 just yet, but am planning on tackling it this weekend. keep your eyes open for more recycled fibers. happy friday!

UPDATE: forgot to mention this before, but the Beaverslide Scarf is about 1/2 an inch away from completion and it looks great. I'll for sure finish tonight. I was determined last night but had to force myself to sleep and get up early.
  skipping town
not much to report over the last couple of days. work/life has been busy. i've been finding small chunks of time to knit here and there, but nothing substantial. k and i are leaving today on a 3 day roadtrip up to canada/niagra falls. staying at a great little b & b and trying to relax away some accumulated (ny)city-suffocation. i need a vacation, even if it is only an extended weekend!

the drive will be long and beautiful and should result in major headway on both Ene and the Beaverslide Scarf. i've thrown in a photo of the scarf in-progress. nothing two exciting: 1x1 ribbing so its thick and reversible, striping the two colors and carrying the excess yarn up one side. its supposed to be cold in canada so maybe i can start utilizing the warmth right away....

Beaverslide Scarf Progress

and heres a (semi-random) picture of a little project i felt like making. a miniature raglan. possible prototype. i have been cooking up a striped raglan (sized for an adult) in my mind. we'll see if that every materializes. so yes, this little thing will be a little valentine gift for my valentine.

why was making this fun? logically, it seems pointless.... but i enjoyed it nonetheless. see you next week! i'm off to canada!

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