I kept Henri home from school again today…his fever isn’t as high but the poor kid can’t stop coughing his lungs out, and I wanted to make sure it wasn’t more than just a virus. Turns out it’s now developed into bronchitis and an ear infection. 😦
Because we were home for the day I got quite a bit of knitting done and am still running ahead of where I should be (11 rows ahead of schedule), though I look forwards to getting more done when we’re home tomorrow (since I need to keep him home until he’s on antibiotics at least 24 hours).
Here’s a pic of me that my cousin Amy took last night at guild. We show off our recent finished objects then Amy takes pics for our guild photo album.
Remember I said I’d figured out how to fix/finish the too-small, too-“not me” Vegas scarf? It was simple- I’ve got an engagement party this weekend for an old friend- my grad date, actually- who’s getting remarried. He’s got a daughter from his first marriage who’s 2 months older than Jakob, and we’ve been having playdates with them for years. Back “in the day” both he and I used to play Vampire: the Masquerade (though not together, except for one truly epic HUGE game at UofM) and he went through a bit of a goth phase, and his daughter definitely has some of that in her too. Her winter coat is black, and I decided to put the hastily-ripped-from-the-needles scarf back on, and finish it to give to her as a gift. Her dad (and his fiance) will be getting a gift from their registry, but the daughter is a part of this new family being created and I wanted her to have a gift to open too.
Last night after finishing MY scarf I slowly ripped back the last row of live sts- a fun fur row…making this not much fun at all. Still, eventually I had all 264 sts back on my needle.
OH! Guess what?!? Part of the reason the scarf wasn’t doing it for me, is that I could sense it was kinda small. Well, no wonder- turns out I wasn’t using a 5mm after all- I’d been using a 3.5mm!! BIG difference! I’d had both loose with their Addi bags in a project bag, saw the 5mm bag and nearby a needle and grabbed it, never stopping to see that it wasn’t the needle from that bag.
Anyways, I got it back on the 3.5mm, and did about 4 more rows just so it would feel “finished” to me. I confess I didn’t roll or flip, I just used the yarns I wanted to use, and made the scarf look slightly asymmetrical, yet balanced. I got through about 1.5 of those rows yesterday, but it got late and I put it off ’til today.
This is both halves of the same scarf, showing the two different sides. You can see the split down the middle, though it’s hard to see through the fuzz.
This morning I went solo to the non-zoned French school’s open house. It turns out it’s not an option for us. The problem is that you have to apply every year for permission to transfer to your non-zoned school…even once your child is registered there. So even if Jakob gets in for kindergarten, we’d have to reapply for grade 1, 2, etc before each new school year. To begin with, they refuse over 85% of transfer requests because they need to keep a minimum of kids in their zoned schools, and what really is the clincher for me, is that even if he gets in for kindergarten, if any random year later our zoned school doesn’t have enough kids, they can refuse us and we’d have to transfer to the zoned school. There’s no way I can have Jakob in a school and making friends and have to worry every single year if he’ll have to transfer away. And then in a few years go through the same thing with Henri. Uh uh.
Once I got home I had some lunch, then sat down to start catching up on the last 2 weeks of Once Upon a Time and Desperate Housewives. While watching I did the last few rows (everything from the white section to the end from the pic above), and then I bound off with the same yarn combo I’d cast-on with, and twisted the fringe with Maaike’s handy-dandy fringe twister. Man that thing is awesome! Gonna have to get Yannick to build me one of those.
Now both scarves are done and I get to head over to my original surgeon’s office to see if he can find my hernia(s) yet, and to let him know that I’ve seen another surgeon, and have got the diagnostic laprascopy scheduled. Not sure which is going to be more uncomfortable…the examination or the confession.
I don’t know what’s going on with my eyes or cheeks here, but Yannick’s not home and it’s the best self-portrait I managed to take.
These colors suck ‘cus it’s late and there’s no natural light, and the flash completely washed them out. But still, I just finished twisting the fringe-
(See- fringe! It’s colorful!)
-and I couldn’t wait to take pics. Look- it’s a sequin! I love how the thinner mohair yarn around the thicker yarn makes that “scribble” effect. I need a whole shawl like that.
Sorry for the flash, but this was the best I could get, color-accuracy-wise.
So in the end this scarf was 63 rows (61 if you count first and last as co/bo), all designated by rolling a die/flipping a coin, as per my Vegas Scarf AKA The Knitting Game pattern. I cast-on Jan 21st and finished Jan 25th, but really didn’t knit at all on Sunday or Tuesday, and not very much on Monday, so if you’ve got a bit of time here and there, you’ve got a scarf. You could also use this same technique for a larger shawl, or tuck the fringe in and make a pillow cover, or a blanket…there’s a lot you can do, and every one will be different. You can find more pics of mine, and those others have made, oven in Ravelry.
Completely unrelated, but I’ve got Much Music on in the background as I type this and there’s a song that has the guy from Marianas Trench doing a guest vocal. I love his voice-oh and that scream at the end…amazing! I’ve been too busy with podcasts to buy any music in the last few years, but I keep meaning to get a MT album, I love their sound and the wit behind their lyrics/videos. Them, and Pink. I think she’s my favorite female singer but I’m at least 2 albums behind.
Work was very swamped so I couldn’t post this earlier. We had a guild exec meeting at my place tonight, so I couldn’t post this evening, so I’m posting now, even though I’m very tired. I only got a row or two done but at least we accomplished a lot, guild-wise.
Very good outcome of tonight- I discovered a new brand of wasabi peas. Mmmmm….wasabi-y. Not only are these yummy, but they’re also salted, so they’re twice as good. And every now and then you get one that makes you dance up and down and pound your foot on the floor because it’s so hot and you’re trying to distract your brain and your nose from the power of the green goodness.
I normally don’t like spicy foods, but there’s something about wasabi peas that’s got me hooked. And my sinuses have never been clearer.
Oh- and I came up with an idea on how to save the original KAL Vegas scarf! Stay tuned…
Oh my gosh. I didn’t know I could fall so hard, so fast.
I love this scarf so much. I cast on while the boys were playing after breakfast and I made it through 20 rows before calling it a night.
Totally gratuitous shot of my sparkly nails.
I love these yarns so much. Each row is so delicious to knit I can practically taste it in my mouth. I love seeing the colors line up, and seeing the mix of garter, stockinette and reverse stockinette.
I will confess that this is going to be called my “Organized Chaos” Vegas scarf for a reason. I wanted to stay true to my original plan, and my original rolls of the die, and flips of the coin. Luckily I’d prerolled 63 rows for the original scarf, and I decided to use them all, exactly as is. I only did one teensy bit of pre-planning. Two of the yarns (Bonsai and Tiara) had pretty short yardages, under 100y each. I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t run short, so I quickly tallied up how many rows of each color I had prerolled, and assigned the rarest number to the Bonsai, which had the shortest yardage, and the 2nd least common number to the Tiara. The rest were nearly the same, so I plugged them in randomly.
I did find it interesting to note that although the rolls didn’t seem “random” in the sense that threw people off on FB and in Rav (some numbers occurring repeatedly, or too close together), in my case it turned out that my non-appearing random numbers actually had a pretty even split of the rolls.
Wait, did that come out clear? Let me rephrase- some people rolled the same number in succession, and chose to re-roll the “non random” number, or swap it for something else. While the rolls really were random, it was bugging some people that they weren’t turning out “even”. So what I found entertaining was that even though in some sections of the 63 rows the same colors kept coming up, so that area didn’t feel “even”, overall I got a pretty good split. See:
Yarn 1: Polaris (gray with sequins)- 11 rows
Yarn 2: Bonsai (green tape)- 8 rows
Yarn 3: Marble (jewel tones)- 13 rows
Yarn 4: Campus (darker green/purple)- 12 rows
Yarn 5: Tiara (mauve with sparkle)- 9 rows
Yarn 6: Party Angel (fuchsia with sparkle)- 10 rows
Which means that yes, out of 63 rows (of which I counted row 1 as my cast on and row 63 as my bind off) I had each of the 6 yarns coming out with 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 repeats.
I was originally planning on just hitting up Walmart or Zellers and grabbing some random chunky yarn in colors I liked, or assorted random yarns in 1 color I liked, but Maaike convinced me to check out my LYS first. I’d been hesitant ‘cus I didn’t want to end up with an $80 scarf, but I went. And I fell. Hard.
I’d been thinking something with blue in it, something bright, something to make my eyes stand out, since I’ve got a black winter coat. I was looking at first at the chunky yarns, trying to find one yarn in 6 shades that I liked, but Diana who works there counseled me to just pull out anything that made me happy, and pile it on the table, and we’d go through it together.
These are what I decided upon. The huge (almost 400y!) Marble Chunky was the first one I was drawn to, and we kept with the jewel tones and played with texture. The Marble is 100% acrylic but I don’t care. I’ve worked with the DK weight before (Jakob’s blue cardigan and my burgundy Clapotis) and I always enjoyed it. I knew this ball would leave me a ton of leftovers and I plan on making at least a pair of slippers for myself from them.
Going clockwise we’ve got Kertzer’s Tiara, which is a 72% Wool, 27% Nylon, 1% Polyester aran weight. It’s the mauve one and it’s got a sparkly strand wrapped around it. Next we’ve got the fuchsia ball of Debbie Bliss Party Angel, which is 72% Mohair, 24% Silk, 4% Metallic. I don’t find it sheds at all, and I love the sparkly core it has. The gray/white ball might be my fave of the bunch, and I hope to make another project with it one day. It’s Rozetti Yarns’ Polaris, 65% Acrylic, 31% Wool, 4% Other. That “other” is sequins! It’s got sequins! They’re prestrung about every 18″, and I. Am. In. Love. It’s super soft, cushy, amazing. Next up is Berroco’s Bonsai which is 97% Bamboo, 3% Nylon and a lovely tape-type yarn with wonderful drape and shine. The dark-looking one is another I fell for, Berroco’s Campus. It’s 50% Wool, 40% Acrylic, 10% Alpaca. Cushy, lovely, and I think my first time that I can remember knitting with an alpaca content. Another amazing yarn I hope to use again.
I’m even more excited to re-start than I was to start!
However you wanna put it, I’m breaking up with you, Vegas Scarf. I knew it wasn’t going to work out between us, but rather than change the rules I decided to keep going. Every row made my feelings obvious…I didn’t like where this was going.
I know you didn’t expect me to end things tonight- I didn’t either, honestly. That’s why I was right in the middle of a row when I pulled you off the needles.
I know I made you think we’d work it out. I’m sorry if I teased you by holding you up to my neck to be sure, even though I secretly knew that we didn’t “click”.
You’re good enough, long enough, but not wide enough though I take full responsibility for that, having ended it where I did.
Somewhere out there is someone who would have loved you. Loved your Fun Furry kitch, your insane amount of black, and your combination of colors that I really had thought I’d grow to love. That someone, unfortunately, isn’t me.
I’m moving on. Tomorrow I’m going to go out and pick up someone else. I hope you’ll be happy for me.
I’m having so much fun seeing what color comes next that I don’t want to work on other projects until this scarf is done!
Because of the random knit or purl rows, there’s no “front” or “back” to the scarf.
Here’s a (lousy nighttime) pic of one side of mine:
And the other side:
At first I was annoyed that there was so much burgundy and not enough black, and now every second row seems to be black! Oh well- I’m going to follow my rules, and I’m going to like it!
There’s been some questions about how many stitches to cast on. It depends on your personal preference of how long you want your scarf, and also how thick your yarn is. Six feet long in sock-weight will require many more stitches than six feet long in worsted weight.
I’m using all my yarns on a 5mm needle, and tried to measure out my cast-on row against a scarf I wear and like the length of. I counted a row for fun and it turns out I have 264 sts. It should be long enough once it’s off the needles, but at 15 or so rows in, I’m not starting over so it will have to be!
Oh, a small note about beginning: I wanted my scarf to be random right from the beginning, so first I rolled the die to see which yarn I’d be using to cast on. I got a 6, which meant my sock yarn/shiny yarn combo. I didn’t flip the coin yet, I used my preferred method (long tail) to cast on the amount I felt was right. (I cast on about 15, figured out that the width of those 15 stitches about 17 more times was the same length as my current scarf, undid the 15 sts and multiplied the length of yarn it took to cast on the 15 sts by 17, made my slip knot at that point down the yarn, and cast on until I had a 6″-ish tail left over.)
I just did the math on that, and it turns out that 17 x 15 is 255, and I cast on 264, so that’s pretty good!
When I use long tail, I count the first row as a knit row, ‘cus you’re basically casting-on and knitting the row in one step. For stockinette I’d turn, then purl back. Once the cast on was complete I flipped the coin, and it gave me “tails”, telling me that my first row was a purl row. I then turned my wip around so it was as if I’d purled the cast on row, and immediately rolled and flipped for row 2. That way I didn’t have to actually purl to cast on, but it’s as if I did.
Also, for the sake of symmetry, I did a little fiddling to the end. Long tail leaves both end tails at the same side of the work- the starting end, and the ball end, which for this project is cut after every row. That meant I had fringe started at one side, but none on the other. Once I had a few rows complete I went back and cut a 12″ length of my sock/shiny yarn combo and knotted it at the end that didn’t have it, so both sides of my cast-on row now had 2 6″ lengths of alike fringe.
The KAL for my scarf pattern started today! I didn’t get a chance yet to post pics on Ravelry or Facebook, but I can post here from my phone quickly.
I pulled my 6 yarns last night:
Patons’ Decor is my yarn #1. Remnants from who-knows-what, colorway Black. Decor’s a worsted-weight, 75% acrylic and 25% wool yarn.
This Pompelmo from Tricot Studio Filpucci is my #2. I’ve got 2 balls of this colorway (#1/1750?) from an assorted bag of different colors of the same yarn. It’s 55% Viscose, 29% cotton, 8% silk and 8% polyamide. The core is kind of a burnt burgundy, with a strand of something shiny, surrounded by a thin chain of plain white which I’m guessing is the cotton.
#3 is an old Patons Cotton Club from my Bubbie’s old stash. It is56% acrylic, 33% cotton and 11% viscose, very soft, white, and with the shiny wraparound it reminds me of Bernat Baby Coordinates.
I feel like I want to say #4, Katia Ingenua is left over from the original Vegas Scarf, but I think that one was a different color. This one is black, and is 78% mohair, 13% polyamide and 9% wool.
#5 is my fun fur contribution, Shimmer by Estelle. I used to collect fun fur for trims on the dog sweaters I used to sell, and I think I’d bought this from my lys for that purpose before I realized how unprofitable it was. Color 738 (deep wine color), and 100% polyester.
My last yarn is actually 2 held together. I’m using a 5mm needle but really wanted to use this roll of unknown gunmetal stuff. It’s really shiny, slick like rayon and more of a chain or braid than plied yarn. I decided to pair it with a hank of Free Verse Sock by Perfect Day Yarns that I got in a club kit from my cousin’s old yarn store (now defunct). The colorway of the 75% Superwash wool/25% nylon sock yarn is “Vintage Rose”. Holding both together works better with the needle I’m using and still lets the pops of color and/or shine come through.
So these are my 6(7) yarns. I was home for the day after a very painful doctor’s appointment and managed to get about 8 rows done, but I’ll save those pics for tomorrow. In the meantime here’s a photo of a special guest we had at our Knitting Guild meeting tonight. Hint: it’s not my cousin. 😉
We had a visit/lecture tonight from the Quinns of our local Quinn Farm and Rare Breeds Canada and Baa Baa Black Sheep (actually her name!) won everybody over with her charm. There were also a lovely husband and wife team who make items with merino wool, but I left their business card in my purse so I’ll link to them tomorrow.
Update: see end of post for information about a downloadable pattern pdf
A knitting game, you ask? Is such a thing possible?
“Yes!” I say.
This game evolved from a challenge I was given in my knitting class to knit a “random” scarf- we had to select a bunch of varying yarns in colors we liked and work them in knit and purl rows to form a scarf. It was to be an exercise in the textures you can achieve with those two little stitches.
Ahem. I can’t do “random”. I needed to come up with a way to be random with as much control as possible…and the Knitting Game was born.
It’s so easy to play along! All you need is 6 balls of yarn, 1 die, 1 coin, and a long circular knitting needle that is a bit larger than the average thickness of your chosen yarns. I used a 9 US/5.5mm but if you are using mostly aran weight and thicker, you might want to choose something bigger.
On a piece of paper, assign each of the 6 skeins to a number 1 through 6.
Also assign the “heads” and “tails” of the coin to knit and purl (not necessarily in that order).
You also need to decide how long to make the scarf. I wanted mine about 6′ long including a 4″ fringe at each end, so I cast on enough sts to be about 5′ long.
Now the fun part!
Step 1: Roll the die to get a number. Cast on with the yarn that matches that number. Cut yarn, leaving a 4″ tail.
Step 2: Roll the die to get a number. Toss the coin to get “heads” or “tails”, and depending on what you designated “heads” or “tails” to be, it tells you to knit or purl that row.
Follow the directions of fate across the row using the yarn that matched the number you rolled on the die. Make sure to start with a 4″ tail left loose, and cut the yarn at the end of the row, leaving a 4″ tail.
The 4” of loose yarn at the beginning and end of the row will become your fringe.
Step 3: Repeat step 2 until the scarf reaches your desired width.
Step 4: Once the scarf is the width you would like, roll the die to get a number and bind off with the yarn matching the number you rolled. Don’t forget to leave a 4″ tail when you cut the yarn.
Knot the yarn ends together in groups of 2-5 strands to secure, and trim if necessary.
Voila! A completely random scarf that fulfills any need for control while leaving things totally up to chance! The coolest part is that no two scarves will ever be alike! 😀
This pattern is provided free above, but if you’d prefer an easy-to-print PDF version, I have made it available here for a very small fee. The PDF includes the full instructions in an easy to read layout with full color images.
This pattern was also published in the 2006 Knitting Pattern-A-Day calendar and has been featured in an assortment of guild newsletters as well as been used to run knitting classes/workshops. Future newsletter/class/workshop permissions are granted provided the pattern copies are purchased through me and all credit is given to me as the creator/designer.