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Join me as I share my crafty journey with you. I continue to expand my repertoire of hobbies. I knit, sew, crochet, bead and probably most importantly am a lover of science fiction. Occasionally I even pick up a book. I play Nerd Wars for Team Stargate Command which consumes most of my time.

Friday, February 1, 2013

January Thaw.... Well Not So Much...

     Tournament 7 of Nerd Wars is now underway!  So, lets look back at what I finished in January.  I've already shared the dishcloth, on to prettier things.  It took me the whole month but I've finished one pair of Elf Clobbers.  (I still have one pair to go.)
I called these Floridian Cuff as that's their ultimate destination.  The crochet part of these turned out very large.  I went up one needle size since the Ella Rae Extrafine Heathers is more of an aran than a worsted and my gauge is always so tight.  I used almost the entire skein for just this one pair.  (The Extrafine Heathers are only 85 yard to begin with, which is a bit short for worsted weights.)  That being said though, the Extrafine Heathers is one of the softest, springiest and pretty yarns I've worked with.  When I bought it, Beth told me its a really under-rated yarn and she is so right.  It is glorious to work with.  I picked up another skein back when I thought I may run out, so I have another one.  I'm hoping to figure out some kind of balance in the crochet area.  Perhaps I just need to crochet looser with the called for hook...  I just don't have enough practice yet to keep and even gauge.  The mohair portion is Louet KidLin.  I got this from Webs at a really great discount.  (I don't usually but yarn online since I have so many great LYS here.)  I ended up with two skeins in this purple and one in a beautiful bright blue.  It is lace weight but can be knit at a really wide range of gauges.  It is a two ply yarn, one ply is the mohair, the other is linen.  They tension at two different rates, which is common for a yarn that is constructed like this.  Luckily I've encountered such a thing before.  (See one of my really old blog posts.)  Every row in a couple places I had to "pick up the slack" of the mohair strand, so I made a backwards loop of just the mohair and put it on the right needle.  In the next row I just knit the backwards loop right with the stitch next to it.  I learned this trick from TECHknitters blog.  She has some truly amazing info there.  In fact I need to check out the button hole tips for my dissertation...
     The next project I finished was a scarf for me.  I'll give you some back story.  We got a cold snap here the week before last.  On the coldest night, it was -3F when I got home.  That was the night the heater in the Grand Prix didn't turn on.  (The Grand Prix has an electrical poltergeist named Betty Sue, its a long story.)  So, after I unfroze in my nice warm apartment I decided to start this scarf.  Before, I had a tiny bit of startitis.  I was working on the cuff, I had two other hats to do, the scarf for my mom, the list goes on.  Well let me tell you, -3 degrees is a terrific motivator!  So in honor of freezing my buns off, I named said scarf Three Below Scarf.
I used the pattern 2 Row Reversible Scarf again with the Malabrigo Twist I picked up for Christmas.  There was a decent amount of variation between the two skeins so I alternated every other row.  I also added two extra stitches so that I could do a slipped stitch salvage.  I used US10 and 1/2, I originally thought Twist was a chunky, its actually an aran.  I really love how this turned out.  By the time I finished this and was able to wear it the weather had turned warm again.  It was 38 degrees and raining.  But its gotten cold here again, so there is lots of scarf love going on right now.  I also need to admit that I am now totally addicted to Malabrigo.  Its so amazingly soft.  Its drapey and warm.  The colors dance off each other, love love love.
     The last project I completed was Whitecaps Hat

This was a request from a co-worker of mine.  Its for her daughter who didn't want animal fibres, so I broke out the Caron Simply Soft.  I got the pattern free as a promotion right around Christmas.  This pattern is excellent.  There are instructions for three different weights of yarn.  There are both charted and written instructions.  I may need to pay more attention to purchased patterns in the future.  The picture doesn't do justice to the lace pattern.  Its stretchy, so it can be worn more as a slouch.  There are sections that look almost like cables.  I want to do this one again at some point, the designer suggested an alpaca blend for drape.
     Thats it for newly finished projects.  I've already started my first Nerd Wars challenge.  Its another hat for another co-worker.  I also need to start on my dissertation.  One of my team mates has already been approved!  I'll be doing quite a bit modifications to the pattern I've chosen.  I may be getting in over my head, we'll see.
Happy Crafting!
-Q   

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