Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Texas bluebonnet eye-candy


One of my favorite things about living in Texas.

Every year, during springtime, we take a day-trip out of the city and through an area where there are always a lot of wildflowers. Some years we're just passing through on our way somewhere, some years flower-viewing is the point of the trip. Some years there are only a few flowers, other years they bloom in abundance. To me, it's officially Spring when the wildflowers start to bloom.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Pom-pom yarn scarf completed! And I will get a chance to actually wear it this week.

So, I finished the scarf tonight. It ended up taking 2.25 skeins to get the length I wanted. I'm not sure what I'll do with the remaining bit of yarn, it's too little to make anything. I might go back to that Michael's store and see if they have any more in the same dye lot. If so, I'll buy another skein and make a cowl or neckwarmer that I can just pull over my head when I don't want to have scarf tails hanging down. I might even be able to get one out of the little bit of yarn I have left. Once the fabric is knitted up, it's insanely stretchy.
And if the predicted cool front actually makes it down here towards the end of the week, I can wear it before I have to pack it away 'till Fall. It goes great with this coral top and denim jacket. I've got jeans very close to the same shade of denim as the jacket I can wear with it. The top is actually a tunic, so just above the knees in length. The jacket is waist length. So, it'll look kind of funky with the bottom of the top hanging out from under the jacket. But funky in a good way. I just don't know about shoes yet, but since it'll be cool, maybe one last wearing of some boots before the long stretch of sandal weather?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Current knitting project. I'm late to the pom-pom party!

I know pom-pom yarn has been a thing for a while now, but I had put off buying any because it seemed a little bit expensive for a novelty yarn I'd never worked with before. I didn't want to buy some and have it end up stuffed away in my yarn stash, never to see the light of day again.

But, I had stopped at Michael's yesterday to pick up an item for a gift swap I'm participating in, and saw that they had the Loops & Threads brand "Pom-Pom" yarn clearanced out to $1.99 a skein. The skein band had instructions for a basic rectangular knitted scarf, which called for two skeins. I wanted to make my scarf a little bit wider and longer than the one pictured on the band, so I bought a third skein. I also had to buy needles because I didn't have any 3.5mm on hand. Turns out, that I could have used slightly bigger needles and it wouldn't have mattered. Oh well, I've got them for future projects now. The colorway I picked is called "Outdoors" and I love the bright pops of turquoise and coral. (Two of my favorite colors!)

I probably won't have an occasion to wear it anytime soon, unless I finish it fast and we get one more really cool night this season. But, it'll keep until the end of Fall when it cools off again. With all the different colors in the yarn, it will look nice either in late Fall or early Spring. I've already decided that it'd go great with faded jeans, a longer tan colored top made from a heavier weight knit fabric, and my tan Birkenstock clogs.

Casting on was easier than I thought it'd be (the Michael's website has a little video showing how) and knitting with it is surprisingly easy too, once you get into the rhythm of the stitches. The scarf is made of garter stitch, so just rows of the knit stitch over and over again. The trick is to knit on the strand of yarn between the pom poms, and let them fall between stitches. Other brands of pom pom yarn have the pom poms spaced farther apart, and you make two stitches between each pom pom. And it gives a tighter, heavier, and thicker fabric. With this brand, you do one stitch between pom poms and you get a looser, slinkier fabric. Which I like better anyway since it doesn't get very cold where I live, and it was only meant to be a fashion scarf and not necessarily for warmth. I suppose you could do two stitches between each pom pom with this brand, if you used even smaller needles. But I like the way it's turning out, so I'm sticking with how I started it. Casting off is supposed to be pretty tricky, but the video shows a method that works well for that too.

I don't think this one is going to be sitting in my UFO pile until Fall. I think I'll probably finish it up soon and just pack it away. The only other yarn projects I have going right now are a couple of  simple crochet purses in cotton yarn. I like to switch between knit and crochet projects because they use my hands in different ways, and I can work longer that way without hand fatigue. Knit a while, crochet a while, knit a while, etc...