September 5th, 2006

lost vikings

Vintage Boye Circulars

Recently my parents purchased me a vintage Boye circulars set from an Ebay seller who said that all of the pieces were there, minus the 3s and the 6s. Clearly something is missing, because the screws on the cables are far too small to thread into the needles. The set is virtually unusable, and considering the seller perpetuated a crap-load of drama --mistyped the address when she shipped it, even though my parents emailed her immediately to let her know that her invoice was incorrect, insisted that they pay for the reshipping, then didn't send for another three weeks because she "missed" the payment in her paypal-- my parents are pretty unhappy that they paid this much for a set that only has usable 2s, 4s, and 5s.

Does anyone have a set of the vintage Boye circular set (mustard gold case, furry backing), so they can clue me into what I'm missing? I've heard tell that the new cables are a different size from the old ones -- am I lucky enough that they would be a larger screw?

I really don't have time for the 40-minute trip to the local privately-owned yarn store, and Boye has since been bought by a different company. The seller is definitely getting negative feedback though.

FO: Fetching

I finished these a couple weeks ago and I'm really pleased with how they came out. I'm a pretty novice knitter, and this was my first time doing cables or picking out stitches to do a thumb. Anyway, on to the pictures.
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Picot rows?

I'm working on Gatsby Girl, and for the top and bottom, it instructs you to do a picot. I've never done one before, but I was under the impression that they are supposed to look "frilly," but mine does not. Did I do something wrong?

By the way, someone was interested in seeing a picture of the GG in Rowan Felted Tweed. I've finished the back of mine, and posted a couple of pictures here:

Baby care package, part 2 (3 FOs); blocking question

I spent most of the weekend knitting. Thankfully, I was in a car for 12 hours and had the time, because the deadline for sending out the Baby Care Package quickly approacheth.

Last week, I had socks, baby Mary Janes, and a duckling to share. Over the weekend, I completed mittens and a baby hat to match the socks, and pair of socks for the momma. Overall, I completed 6 projects in a week, 5 of which were started that week. Granted, the projects were all baby-sized :)

I also included my experiences with Knitpicks' Swish yarn, in case anyone is interested.

But first, my blocking question. As you'll see behind the cut, I haven't blocked these yet. It's not TOO bad, but there is a definite row of loose stitches in the mittens, and my knit-to-purl transitions on the baby hat is crappy. So I really need to block these. The problem is, blocking is my nemesis.

I understand blocking lace. I totally understand how to do it -- you wet the item, you stretch the crap out of it, you leave it to dry. I've done it before, and it works great. But what about blocking items that do NOT need to be stretched? I've tried steam-blocking and wet-blocking a few pieces that could not be stretched anymore (or else they'd be too big), but it didn't seem to do anything for the neatness of the stitches. I understand the HOW of blocking (pin, wet, etc.), but I don't know how to make it work for me unless I really stretch the item. Any suggestions or advice? Any good online articles on the subject? I haven't been able to find anything besides "wet and block and wait till it's dry."

With that, I apologize for the unblocked appearances of my FOs, but here they are:

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Pattern: Mesilla, by Stefanie Japel
Yarn: Mission Falls, 1824 cotton, ordered from Webs
Needles: Addi Turbos, size #6, and Addi DPN's in size #6
Notes and Comments: This sweater fits like a dream and was a real pleasure to knit. Stefanie's patterns are always easy to read and understand and are so versitile because they are knit top-down. I really liked the scooping neck on this, but as I wanted to wear it to work, I made it slightly more modest. The picot edging is lovely and was so fun to seam (I think it's the only seaming I like!) I used the exact colors that were recommended and everyone always comments on how bright and cheerful this sweater is. I have had several requests to knit one for other people (I won't, of course, I have too many other things to knit!)
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Striping pattern ratios

Does anyone know where I can find information on eye-pleasing striping ratios?

I've just put a post on my blog ( about a cardigan I am trying to make, with a little picture of the kind of striping I want to do. Unfortunately I cannot figure out how else to display the photo here, but I'll summarise for those who can't/don't care to click off LJ:

raglan cardigan - 7" from hem to underarm, 4" from underarm to neckline. striping, from bottom hem: 4" blue, 1" blue/red variegated (this is purple on the picture in my blog), 2" red, 1" blue/red variegated, 3" blue. Stripes will be consistent across the sleeves. This looked fine on paper (the picture in my blog isn't to scale but I have a sketch that is) but in practice I am thinking it is WAY TOO MUCH red.. the red is just too intense.

Unfortunately, I don't have enough blue yarn to make the blue sections bigger and the vari/red stripes smaller so I'm thinking instead to set a red/vari stripe pattern inside the 4" space (6 rows to the inch, so 24 rows total). Any thoughts on what might look good? I have knit and ripped this thing so many times already I am not relishing the thought of ripping out 12 rows (the vari row and half the red row).. so I'm hoping others will have input/thoughts on proportions/ratios to save me the pain of trial-and-errorig for much longer.

I've tried Googling and looking on various baby clothes companies' websites (Carter's, Gap, Hana Anderssen, Mothercare, etc) to see what stripe patterns they have but I'm finding lots of entirely striped things - not really what I'm looking for. I suppose I could rip totally and re-work in a pattern similar to the two striped cardis in Knitting for Baby but I'd really rather not :-x


Finding yarn yardage

I was gifted some yarn that appears to be about a dk weight. Sadly, it has no label. Is there any way I can find out the total yardage other than the "measure out x yards and weigh on postal scale, then weight whole ball on postal scale?"
I have neither a postal scale nor a food scale (nor any other digital scale).
Yes, I know I can just measure out the whole yardage by hand, but that will take quite a while, as there is at least about 4 oz or so and I'm just wondering if there is another way.

Fingering weight angora/silk blend yarn?

I'm sorry that I didn't include this in my earlier post, but I'd forgotten that I was going to ask about it. I have this wonderful machine knit sweater, made of a angora/silk blend (I can't remember the percentages, I think it was 70/30 or 80/20, or vice versa). It's the softest, most comfortable thing ever, and subsequently, my favorite cool weather sweater, but it somehow made its way through the washer and dryer, and isn't exactly looking its best anymore. I've tried searching for an angora/silk blend yarn online, but I haven't really seen anything. I did find a cotton/angora blend that might work, but it's heavier than I had in mind. I'd LOVE to find an angora/silk blend that is around a fingering weight, although I'll take suggestions for heavier yarns, too. My plan is to knit just a simple, light cardigan. Thanks!
yarn whore

Yarn opinions

This time, I have a question about Knit Picks yarns. I've heard some good things about them, and a few not so good. I wanted to ask for opinions here.

I'm looking at their Essentials solid fingering weight yarn. I like that its machine washable, as I think it will make the gifts I'm making easier to care for by the intended recipients. They have colors that look like they'll work for what I have planned. I'm just wondering how they knit up, are they pretty soft?

I'm in Texas, so they don't have to be REAL warm, but some warmth is good, and I think the fingering weight will be a good weight for the projects I have planned for them. I'm planning a dragon scale scarf and a mobius scarf, and I'm hoping this will work for both.

I'm looking at some of the other yarns as well, so ANY opinions about their yarn in general would be really helpful, especially the ones that are supposed to be machine washable, because I want the people I make them for to not have to worry about taking special care of them.

Oh and by the way, Thanks for all the help everyone gave me about my previous question about Pearl cotton. I found it easily once I knew what to look for, and I appreciate everyone helping me with that. Thanks in advance for your help here too.

Edit to add: Thank you all SO much for the input! I appreciate it more than I can say!
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