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2014_09_24-04You know them. Knitted dish cloths/wash cloths.  That perennial project of nacent knitters, done in garter stitch with cotton thread, with a yarn over border to make it fancy.

Cast on 3
Row 1: K2, yo, K1
Row 2: K2, yo, K to end of row
Repeat row 2 until there are 50 stitches on the needle.
Begin decrease:
K1, K2tog, yo K2tog K to the end.
Repeat decrease until there are 3 stitches on the needle. Bind off.

Well, way back in September, back when we were on the upslope of the great divide, when I went into Michael’s to get cloth flowers and a container to make something cheerful to brighten up a drab room in an assisted living facility (see above), I was unable to restrain myself and wandered back to their yarn area. Lo, and behold!, they had 1-pound skeins of knitting worsted!2014_10_06-03 That’s a lot of yarn in one continuous piece to grab you by the shirt collar and demand to be made into a blanket. (That was before I knew this neat nifty way to join yarn . . .)  There’s an appropriated great grand son that somehow managed to escape the Baby Booty Fairy.  He’s nine months old now and needs a blankie.  I found this baby blanket pattern that’s a very simple variation on the dish cloth pattern that I had been wanting to try, and this seemed like a perfect opportunity.  I had also found a way to make stripes and carry the different color yarns from stripe to stripe rather than cut the yarn, and I thought I’d try the baby blanket in stripes.  I chose a soft blue and a dark mint green.

2014_10_06-02Did I mention I hate pull skeins?  The first thing I did when I got those suckers home was roll them into balls.  Guess what?  A pound of yarn makes a big ball.  A really big ball.   Guess what?  I don’t have a bowl that big.  And guess what else? I’ve got two balls that big (don’t go there!) to keep up with.  Good thing I kept the Michael’s sack.   Here’s the pattern.  The whole pattern.

Cast on 5 sts.
Row 1: Knit.
Row 2: K3, yo, k2.
Row 3: K3, yo, k3.
Row 4: K3, yo, k to end of row.
Rep last row until you have 144 sts on needle.
Next (decrease) row: K2, k2tog, yo, k2tog, k to end of row.
Rep last row until 5 sts remain. Bind off.
Weave in ends.

2014_10_04-01That’s all there is to it.  Sweet, no?  Trouble is, I couldn’t get it to look right using 5 stitches.   I kept getting this big hole when I started the yarn overs.   I bet I made 15 starts trying to get it to look right.  I finally ended up trying it with a cast on of 6 stitches, and I knitted 6 rows before I started the yarn overs and finally got it going without that big hole I kept getting.  I’m using a US size 5/UK size 9/3.75 mm, so it’s got a nice dense “hand” to it, and I’m doing “out and back” stripes, i.e., two rows of each color.  I’m really liking the way it looks.  The shades of blue and green that I chose are of the same brightness and intensity and they “heather” nicely together.

2014_10_05-01It’s a pretty mindless pattern.  Once you get the first three stitches and yarn over that start each row done, the rest of the row is “don’t-need-to-pay-attention” straight knitting.  Great for watching TV or catching up on my blog reading.  That’s good, because on size 5 needles it’s going to take a while to knit it.  I’m ignoring the ” until you have 144 sts on needle” bit.  I’ll knit increase rows until it’s as big as I want it.  Then I’ll start the decrease.

In other knitting news, I have two more balls of yarn left to go on the big purple and pink garter tab triangular shawl I’m doing.  About halfway through the last ball, I’m going to see if I can use (K1, yo,) on a row, then just knit the stitches and drop the yarn overs and see what that looks like.  I’ll try twisting the stitches when I knit them to see if I can mimic the “yarn over divide” along the front edge of the shawl, so as to get that kind of “edging” look all the way around the shawl.  If that works, I’ll write it into the pattern.

2014_09_17-02Those little two at a time toe-up socks I made to test my pattern with that size yarn, I gave to the couple across the way, who have the three little boys.  They fit the toddler.  Now she wants two more pair, only bigger for the older boys.  I told her to trace the boys’ feet on paper, and she wants to buy the yarn.  If you use fingering yarn, the pattern makes baby booties.  If you use a two-ply yarn, this is what you get.  If you use sport weight bulky yarn,  you get thick socks for me to sew a leather sole to and wear around the house.

The lady across the way also told me that during cold weather these apartments really get cold because of the big window in the living room.  I think I’m going to have to invest in some heavier curtains for that window. I might get a small rod for the sheers I’ve got now, and hang them behind the heavier ones.  I can get the kind of rod I need from Walmart for $5 or so, including hardware.   However, here lately our highs have been in the 80’sF/25+C with lows around 60F/15C, so I’m not worrying about it right now.

There are 55 episodes of Welcome to Night Vale now.   I’ve got all but two of them edited for commercials, and on a playlist in Rhapsody so I can access them on my Squeezebox internet radio.  My reader’s table is ready.  I have knitting projects and lap robes.  I am ready for cold weather.