Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Where does the time go?

I have been really remiss in not posting. I think I just got excited about some projects, and then a visit from a friend, and then a short holiday, and forgot about this blog. Happily, I am back now. My most recently completed project was done over a three week period in the middle of July. What did I make? Legwarmers. Because, of course, you make legwarmers in the middle of summer. But this gives me a jump start on winter, and the cold weather that is likely to come with it.

I made them with leftover yarn from the Gentle Rose cardigan. Someone once said that you never need as much yarn as the pattern makes out, and that really proved true in this case: I had two whole skeins (240 yards of the stuff) left over. These legwarmers wanted 200 yards, and I think I used a little more than that, but they did turn out well and are lovely to wear. There are three increases, and the top was too wide, so I did a decrease in the last two rows to make sure they wouldn't just slide right back down my legs again. They match my cardigan as well, since they're from the same yarn and have cable and ribbing very similar to that of the cardigan. I was just finishing the last bit on the second one of these when a friend came to visit from Denmark. I had decided I wanted to make her something, kind of as a keepsake of our visit, but I had no idea of what she might like. So when she got here, I asked her. We thought of a few things, but she when she saw my legwarmers, she decided she wanted a pair for herself. I picked the yarn, she picked the colour: a neutral beige. The yarn is RYC Cashsoft Aran by Rowan, and is absolutely wonderful. It's very soft - microfibre, cashmere, and merino wool, making it just as yummy to work with as the Malabingo.  This yarn is plied, unlike the Malabingo, and I'm beginning to think that all plied yarns a little bit splitty, simply because there is more than one strand and they tend to come unwound from themselves. It's making doing the cables a bit of a challenge, since I have to be sure to get all the strands off the needle and back on it again, but going a little slower makes sure I do it right.

It seems all yarns really have a good side and a bad side: the Malabingo and other yarns like it are liable to pill, while novelty yarns have their own challenges, mohair is impossible to rip back, and plied are splitty. I can't actually say much bad about the Debbie Bliss Pure Silk I'm making some gloves with though. It was a little, well, fuzzy at the beginning, but that's where the yarn had been exposed to everything after I put it in balls. It's a DK weight, and so not too light, and I find it really smooth and easy to work with. If you're too sloppy with the needle, you can catch it and getting a little fat slub, but it's not a big deal. Probably the worst yarn I've found for splitting is actually cotton. I used cotton on the dream scarf, and that was tricky, and now I've got some Sublime organic cotton that I'm using to make a handbag. It's not as bad as the other cotton, but it does separate at a glance and splicing ends together when the ball runs out has proven to be a bit challenging. Part of my problem is that I'm making the handbag by double stranding the yarn, so I have two strands of cotton, both of which want to split. Otherwise, it would be a lot easier to work with.

I haven't put many pictures in this one, since I've only finished one thing since my last post, but I'll leave you with a photo of a half finished glove.

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