Saturday, May 1, 2010

Zombies have eaten my brain

And I don't even like horror movies. But I've been playing a ridiculous quantity of Plants vs Zombies in a desperate attempt to finish it so I can stop playing. I love puzzle games, and it's a tower defense game with strong puzzle elements, so it totally hits all my buttons.

In an effort to wean myself off PvZ, I started a new knitting project last night. To whit, a scarf for my mother. Of course I would do this right as we head into a weekend of ridiculous heat. What is with the upper 80s and into the 90s in May? It's May 1, for heaven's sake!

Noro Kureyon Sock in color S180

But she borrowed the silk scarf I made for my father a couple weeks ago citing the fact that she has no light scarf for those cool days, and that everyone seems to be wearing scarves lately. So, a scarf. It's simple feather and fan/old shale, although I had to modify it because the asymmetry was annoying me.

So, the specs for anyone not interested in visiting my project page:
It's one skein of the sock yarn that yarn barfed the most annoying and unprovoked tangle ever. It took me a half hour to fix. But otherwise, I'm fine with this yarn for lace. The thick/thin aspects don't bother me, nor the occasional bit of vegetable matter, and the colors are luscious and it's soft enough and feels sturdy despite the thin parts. It's by no means buttery soft, but I want something that can knock about a bit, not be saved for special occasions. She does this with the things I knit her and it's annoying. I want stuff I make to be worn and enjoyed.

Cast on 324 and then realized that I needed one more to center the pattern, so I left out one decrease in the first pattern row. This works out to 18 pattern repeats plus 1st for selvedge for the last repeat. I used a US#4/3.5mm needle because I didn't want to struggle with the join on my bamboo circular 5s. But I'm a loose knitter so it's working out well. I probably could have gone down to a 3 for a slightly denser fabric.

Provisional cast-on with enough yarn saved to do a sewn bind-off when it's done. This is a lengthwise knit, because I wanted lengthwise stripes, and I don't want the edge to get stuck too narrow so a sewn bind-off is in order for both edges. I also like things to match, which this will. Then I did a row of k1p1 just to give the edge a little more body before I started the pattern.

The colors are working out at about 2r per, which makes for pleasing skinny stripes. I guestimated a gauge of 4st/in, and right now it's about 4in for one pattern repeat. Since I plan to block lightly (no pinning, just washing and smoothing out flat), I expect it to grow to at least 4st/in. This places it at almost 7ft in length, which is a good length for a scarf. Since the stresses will all be widthwise on this piece, I expect it will also grow with wear. But it shouldn't be that bad. It'll be long enough to wrap once and still hang past the waist, which is my general goal for long scarves. It makes it suitable for cold weather, too, since it's long enough to be bundled.

Stitch markers every repeat isn't really necessary, but it saves me from working an entire row one stitch off and then having to tink. It allows me to check my place in the pattern very quickly, so I'm never more than 18st from noticing a mistake and can fix it before it compounds. I'm also setting up my decreases on the previous row, which helps catch mistakes also.

I've got 75g of yarn left, so the scarf will be a nice width. I'm guessing 8-10in wide depending on if I block it wider or longer. Given how short my mother is, wider might be better.

The pattern repeat: 18st +1
r1) Knit
r2) Purl
r3) [k1, k2tog x3, (yo, k1) x5, yo, ssk x3] +k1
r4) Knit

Now, back to knitting and watching old movies instead of playing PvZ. I have a restaurant opening to go to tonight and a housewarming party tomorrow, and then it's back to the grindstone. I have loads of work that I've been slacking on since the zombies, you know, ate my brain.

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