Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!


We have been having the most gorgeous clear cold days.  I'm not quite finished posting the Days for my 2014 Advent Calendar Scarf, but maybe I will finish that up tomorrow.

I have been having such a wonderful 2 weeks of break.  All my kids were home.  Pookie left today to go back to school, but Moogie and Himes are still home for another week. 

Along with working like a crazy person on the 2014 Advent Calendar Scarf, I have started a double knit scarf.  Truespark and Jitteryknitter gifted me a pattern for the There and Back Again Story Scarf by Frivolite Handcrafts.  This is a double knit scarf in laceweight yarn that tells the story of the Hobbit.

Along with the 2014 Advent Calendar Scarf, I am knitting this story scarf for my NEWT in the HPKCHC.  A NEWT is an "Advanced Studies" project that should take 3 - 4 months to complete.  Although I finished the Advent Calendar Scarf in one month, there were enough hours of knitting to easily last 2 months.  I just worked non-stop on it. 

There and Back Again might take even more time.  There are over 800 rows in the charts.  I figure if I knit 10 rows a day, I will finish by the deadline.  I am trying really hard over break though, to get ahead, and knit more than just the required 10.  This will give me some breathing room.

The actual knitting in a double knit project isn't that tough.  Because I hold my yarn in the Continental method, in my left hand, I just hold both colors.
Then I pick the color I need.  Anything knit will show up on the front and all purled stitches will show up on the back.  Of course, when I am on the wrong side, everything is reversed.  That is definitely the biggest challenge.  Not only do I have to read the charts left to right, but I have to think of the colors reversed.  When I see a dark square, I have to use the light color, and vice versa for the light squares.  I try to tell myself "Main Color" and "Contrast" instead of dark and light so I don't go crazy.  I have had to tink a bit because I forgot whether I was on the right or wrong side of the scarf.

Another trick I am using to help make this easier is the different colored stitch markers.  Since I don't have very sophisticated software, I used my Paint program to take a screen shot of the pattern.  Then I drew lines in black and red every 5 squares/stitches.  The green stitch markers correspond with the black lines, and the pink markers correspond with the red lines.  This really helps me know where I am in a row.  There are 90 stitches/squares in each row, so it is easy to lose my place.  The stitch markers and lines help me find my place quickly.

I also have only one row of the chart showing at any time.  I put the pattern up on my screen, then close up the window so I can just see the row I am on.  I enlarge the pattern as much as possible so the row takes up one width of my screen.  This helps my old eyes.  But I still need help with seeing the tiny stitches, so I have been wearing my magnifying glasses.  They help a ton.

So far I have finished 1 full chart, and am about half way through the 2nd chart.  There are 11 charts.
The first chart includes Bilbo's hobbit hole, the path, and most of the tree.

O, I forgot to say that I am using Cascade Alpaca Lace for the yarn.  I bought this yarn from Cultured Purls in Issaquah during their Going Out of Business Sale.  I planned to use it for an Advent Calendar Scarf some day, but I have decided that I like that scarf knit in fingering weight better than in lace weight.  So I am ending the year and starting this new year by knitting from stash.

shaping the planet with a Hobbit's Journey

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