A Yarn Weight Key for Holding Two Strands Together

Holding two strands of yarn together can make some beautiful projects. I came across several blogs and lovely patterns on Ravelry which show some spectacular outcomes of holding two yarns of the same weight together.

I’ve got it in my head to do a gradient sweater with a set of Miss Babs Fingering Weight yarn and I’m not too keen on knitting it at a fingering weight. I once knit a sport weight and it took me over a year to complete it (of course not knitting monogamously).  And yet, patterns like the Happily Sweater by Katy Banks, the Progressive Pullover by Faina Goberstein and the Gradient Pullover by Amy Miller are calling my name!

     

I’ve been looking for a key to holding two strands together and couldn’t find a definitive source. This won’t be one either, as this is not an exact science. But after researching and testing I came up with what you could use as a good rule of thumb. After that, swatching should get you the rest of the way.

First to the Craft Yarn Council to get the “standard weight” categories, including a “new” knitted yarn weight called Jumbo—which I often get by hold three worsted weight strands together. The table below is a modified version of what you’ll find at their site. I encourage you to look there for the full table.

Category
Fingering 10-count thread
Sock, Fingering, Baby
Sport, Baby
DK, Light Worsted
Worsted, Afghan, Aran
Chunky, Craft, Rug
Super Bulky, Roving
Jumbo, Roving
Gauge Range Over 4”
33–40 stitches
27–32 stitches
23–26 stitches
21–24 stitches
16–20 stitches
12–15 stitches
7–11 stitches
6 stitches or less

In general, from standard yarn sources (e.g., Quince and Co, Lion Brand or Cascade Yarns, in general I find the following is true:

  • 2 strands of thread weight = Lace weight to fingering
  • 2 strands of lace weight = fingering to sock to sport weight
  • 2 strands of sock = sport weight to DK
  • 2 strands of sport = DK or light worsted
  • 2 strands of DK = Worsted or Aran
  • 2 strands of Worsted = Chunky
  • 2 strands of Aran = Chunky to Super Bulky
  • 2 strands of Chunky = Super bulky to Jumbo

Always check your gauge, since your mileage may vary. I’m selfishly sharing so I could put the list in a place I could find it. 😊

Maybe next time I’ll do some tests with mixed weights, since I do an awful lot of those combinations too. And after that maybe three strands.

Like so much with knitting, the possibilities are endless!

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Titillating Toe-up Socks

This weekend I looking for a way to make sock knitting a bit more bearable. My husband has gone crazy for them! I did I test run with some worsted acrylic I had lying around in a bright variegated yarn called “Lava”.

The "hole" truth
The “hole” truth

As I’ve mentioned before, they were just a prototype. I never thought he’d wear them, but on completion–he HAD to have them. In a few short months he’d loved them to death and demanded a replacement pair–in the same “lurid” color. It wasn’t worth knitting them in that same bad yarn which will only wear out quickly again, so I hunted up a similar color scheme in wool. Cost a pretty penny too!

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Since this is expensive yarn I want to use it wisely–making them as long as possible. That requires then to be toe-up. So I’m at it again—looking for an easy way out—so frustrated by the toe-up patterns that cause me nothing but heartache.

Enter Staci and VeryPink.com.

  • Want to learn how to knit two socks at once on two circular needles? Here’s how: https://youtu.be/i4iD77aJCAw
  • Want to do a provision cast on for magic loop socks (because I can’t seem to get other method to work)? She’s got you covered: https://youtu.be/eQgxMypJlXA
  • Want to make sure the socks don’t get holes? Reinforce them! https://youtu.be/OJPZVswnVxQ. And this will come in handy so that I don’t have to knit another pair so soon.

 

It’s still in the early hours of knitting these little follows, but I’ve come a lot further in a much shorter time with a little help from Staci.

Too Proud by a Half!

For once a timely sweater!

Just in time for Fall, I finished a Fuchsia Lillian to go over my Fabulous Fitted Fuchsia Funnelneck. And yes, it is a bit matchy matchy, but I love it; one, because I can wear the shell a bit longer, and two, because it is another of my funky modified sweaters—I made it my own.

It hardly resembles the Lillian cardi that it is based on, yet other than changing the stitch pattern it is the same sweater. So it just goes to show how little you have to do in order to create a completely different look.

I did 3×3 rib instead of the garter starting at an empire waistline for the same number of rows as the shell. In the body I only did a little “needle size” shaping. The collar/band is 3×3 ribbing as well, not the 2×2 in the pattern. I also ribbed the sleeves at the same point as the body.  If I were to do it again, I would not use a ribbed band—but have gone with garter or some other stitch because I notice that even the original (as you can see in the photo above) the bottom of the band tends to scrunch up because it is so broad. Maybe after a good blocking it won’t be so bad. Fingers crossed!

The yarn is a vintage cotton/linen blend—Bernat Panama, so it will breathe when the weather is fine and it considerable warmer than wearing the shell alone. In fact, it’s so snuggly, after I finished it I put it on and nodded off to sleep.

A Logo — Finally!

Being more technical than artful—an odd thing to say about a crafter, but I’ve always felt it to be the case—I was trying to work with various graphic artists on a logo. Since these folks were also friends, it just never seemed to rise to the top of their “to do” list, even though I was a paying customer.

Well, I finally took it upon myself to create my own. I’d love any feedback you might have!

OrcasIslandKnitsLogo

The Replacement

I love the pattern for the 16 Sixteen Cable Hat by Circé Belles Boucles. And I mean LOVE at first sight atop a colleague’s head at work. What makes it so nice is the cabling is poofy and adds a bit of bulk to my otherwise child-sized, fine-haired head. I knew it would be a great hat for because the person wearing it has similar head issues.

Enter my husband’s youngest, but not smallest daughter. I may be just a little taller and wider than her, but with size 11 shoes and her father’s brain box, at 15 I doubt she’s done growing. She’s slender, but very muscular as well. And the hat? It looked perfect on her.

Nick_n_Nikita

Coming from Florida, she didn’t bring warm clothes and was constantly saying in the Puget Sound summer, “I’m cold!”, before she and my husband took off for a hike I placed the hat on her head and it looked great. Bye-bye hat. ☹

I had another skein of Malabrigo Yarn Rios in Azul Profundo, so I told myself I could make it again in a matter of hours and it is true I could, but it didn’t fit right. And I really missed that hat—which on chilly nights I would don before bed (though never have it in the AM).

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Malabrigo in Azul Profundo. I had the lighter colored one left after knitting the other hat

I followed the directions and finished in four hours flat. The only thing was when I was done it was a bit snug. That’s when I opened up the project on Ravelry and discovered I’d gone up one needle size from the pattern After a month of fighting it, trying to block it I tore it out and took the last few miles of my Eclipse Viewing trip to Oregon to make it a new. And now?

I have MY hat back.

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Fabulous, Fully-Fashioned, Fitted, Fuchsia Funnelneck

Let’s face it, the original is hard to improve on. Stefanie Japel’s Perfect Periwinkle Turtleneck Tube Vest is an awesome pattern. And I’ve made it before and received compliments. So why mess with perfection? Because I’m not perfect and neither is my shape!

I’m a bit crane-necked, small breasted and a bit hippy (or as the lady at the Eddie Bauer store selling jeans says, “Your style is ‘Curvy’”). I also feel that while the Bernat Panama yarn is true to gauge in the stockinette, the ribbing always felt a bit looser than I’d hoped in some places on the previous garment.

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I cast on 96 stitches (extra small is 108 sts) to narrow the neck and only bound off 3 sts each side for the start of the armholes. They I increased following the directions until I was following the pattern for a medium size in the bust (I just kept doing increases until I hit 192 sts). From there I followed the direction (excepting some reductions I hid in the back shaping as I narrowed towards the waist (12 sts) to get it back to size small for the waist (180 sts).

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Pre-blocked, but still looking great!

From there the shaping was done more subtlety—with needle decreases and increases. I knit as directed with the “smaller” needles and then dropped a needle size in the garment just above my natural waist and knit for 1 inch. I switched to the needle requested for 2 inches then increased needle size every two inches after to widen the bottom of the garment it.

And voila! Pleased with self.

The Commute from Heaven?

I have my challenges working a more than fulltime job in the city and living on an island. I don’t commute every day (which would be about 3-4 hours each way), I mainly just go home for three days and stay in the city for four days. If the internet was decent (a gripe for a different day) I would probably only go to the mainland for 24-to-48 hours at most and probably not every week. But it’s terrible—and that’s being generous.

This summer one of the Washington State Ferries, our newest, the Samish, had one of the two engines fail (they have for each direction). As a result, more than once, I got left high and dry with my reservation cancelled making everyone a standby passenger. 2560px-mv_samish_arriving_in_anacortes

And after watching my favorite airline, Kenmore Air, ferry the rich and famous off the island while I roasted in the standby lane at the ferry terminal for the second unexpected time in a month, this week I opted in for a treat—that’s right—to fly rather than drive. It’s about a 45-minute flight from South Lake Union in Seattle, though I used to travel via their headquarters in Kenmore. But since Kenmore Air always flies to Seattle to pick up passengers, there just isn’t a reason to drive 30 miles before getting on the plane. Besides, this week the hubby was already implanted, so he could pick me up at West Sound.

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Kenmore Air landing at West Sound on Orcas Island

It was a foggy day, and unlike usual, I didn’t get to ride shotgun (a benefit of starting in Kenmore) so I didn’t get much of a view, but I did get some knitting done on my latest lurid pink version of Stefanie Japel’s Perfect Periwinkle Turtleneck Tube Vest

More on that to come…

A Day Without a Night – A Night Without a Day

Most people will not get the reference the title makes to the movie Ladyhawke where a solar eclipse breaks the curse of two lovers, played by Rutger Hauer and Michelle Pfeiffer, locked apart from one another unless they see each other during this celestial event.

My husband and I, like so many others seeking the path of totality for the eclipse, converged on various, mostly remote places to view the sun overtake the moon in the day and enter twilight. And while total eclipses happen every single year, I’ve been anticipating this one because it was so close and would be my first viewing of a total eclipse.

It was an amazing couple of hours—starting just after 9:05AM and lasting until after 11:15AM. Totality lasting ~1:38 minutes and in that short time birds cried, newts surfaced on the pond, and there was a general sense of trepidation.

I’ll admit that before this week I did not know there was a Willamina, Oregon or a Huddleston Pond Park, but I must say I’ll never be able to forget the place. Such nice people, mostly locals. “Park over here.” “Get ready everyone!” Cheering at the totality. They were half the fun! Luckily, we had extra ISO certified glasses so we handed them out to those without so we felt like we gave back a bit of their generosity.

But rather than talk, let me show you, …

Eclipse1
Total eclipse with 6X Filter
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The corona with a 2X filter
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Shadows cast by the leaves after the sun emerged from the other side of the moon

 

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A newt!

 

Braids on the Brains

Guilty as charged. I have once again exceeded one page on my Ravelry knitting queue. And yes, I’ve got not one, not two, but three projects all scoped, yarn balled, ready to go. I’m sure you know the feeling—the wanderlust of planning a new project. I personally think that this interferes more with my knitting than anything else since it takes up the same cordoned off time.

And here I was, minding my own business, reading others’ blogs and pursuing Ravelry and the Purl Soho site that I hit on a great combination of projects I’m dying to knit as a set.

The first is a shaped braided cable capelet by Erica Patberg in Interweave  and the second is a 2015 pattern from Purl Soho for a braided cowl.

Too matchy matchy?

Naming Your Photo Folders to Find Things

I take lots and lots of photographs. Let’s face it, in the digital world, “film” is cheap, so I convince myself to take multiples to make certain I get the best possible shot. However, I’m only moderately good about going back and sorting through them and I’m jealous of my husband who somehow manages to get this done (it takes me hours because I fixate on fixing them and deleting the bad ones).

We recently (April 2015) moved to Orcas Island and I have loads of pictures from when we were house hunting as well as just kayaking with our friends from Body Boat Blade who were some of the first folks to tell us (you should live here!).

I was looking for a specific visit—after we moved, but fairly early. I opened my folder for 2015 to find the shot in question. Instead I found a folder naming structure which used to serve me well when I traveled the world for work and hardly ever visited the same place more than once a year.

Year Day Month Location or for longer visits Year Month Location so for a visit to the Isle of Skye it would be 2015 05 Skye and that would be perfectly identifiable.

Living in a picturesque place has rendered the system less than ideal. When I went photo hunting I found in since 2015 I have more than 20 folders all named “Date – Orcas” and even that I have them as subfolders under year, was not as helpful as I’d hoped.

Oddly this does not happen with knitting projects that go into named, rather than dated folders—like “Watson Shrug” or “Fabulous Fuchsia Funnelneck”. In those cases, I rely on the date of the photo to remind me when it was taken because knitting takes time. One folder for several dates of photos make sense—especially if you pick it a project and put it down again as I often do because of my busy working schedule which no longer includes much travel.

So today I spent the morning going through those photos and adding little descriptors like “Funny Nick” and “Lovers Cove”.

What a great way to spend a Sunday morning.

Lover'sCove
Kayaking in Lover’s Cove, Orcas Island