Something for me: Morningside Neckwarmer

I wanted to take a break from mitten knitting and make myself something. A friend recently kidded me for wearing a “store bought” woven scarf. She said something along the lines of “why aren’t you wearing something you made?”

Truth: the scarves I’ve made were boring, or seemingly took forever to make. Or both. A possible solution? Make a neckwarmer instead!

I’ve had Jared Flood’s Morningside Neckwarmer in my queue for a long while, and aside from looking good, it has the added attraction of being in a stitch pattern of which I know nothing. Learning new knitting skills = not being bored with a project!

I cast on a few nights ago and by the second round had run into a brick wall. Naturally I kept going until the end of the third round (stubborn, or merely thick-headed? You decide!), and finally broke down and frogged it. I think that what had happened was that I dropped a stitch or made one too many yarnovers; at any rate, my stitch count was off and I couldn’t follow the stitch pattern, which depends on a slipped-stitch-and-YO combo being in the right place for a K2Tog on the next row.

After a second cast on (and I’m a fan of this double-strand cast on, it makes for a nice, even, comfy-looking edge) I started knitting again the next night. This time most of the stitches where where they should have been, and I was able to see what was going on with the fabric. Where I missed several YO in random places I was able to make a “save” by picking up the ladder and putting it where it should be. I’m about 12 rows in now, and if you ignore the bottom inch of the tube where I had some lingering problems, you can start to make out the ribbing from the brioche stitch.

My first attempt to knit brioche stitch
My first attempt to knit a brioche stitch pattern

I’ve never knitted in-the-round on a 16″ circular except when doing Magic Loop, which by now is my standard knitting method for most of my projects. I started wondering if this little 5″ circle would expand to fit over my head, so I transferred the work to a long cable from my Denise set. Uh, yeah. It’s very big. Much larger than I expected from the pattern photos. I’m going to knit until it’s the recommended five inches in length, then transfer to a longer cable and try the thing on, but I suspect that I’ll end up making this a lot taller than the pattern calls for, to give it a better chance to give me good coverage and warmth under my coat’s collar and at the top of the zipper.

Jared Flood's Morningside Neckwarmer

a simple brioche circular scarf, cowl, or neckwarmer

Jared Flood's Morningside Neckwarmer

One lone ornament

Myr decided to make a half dozen knitted ornaments… or possibly knitted covers for ornaments, to be precise. After casting on for three different ornaments from online patterns, none of which were working, she broke out the pencil and paper and designed her own. She enlisted my help since I knit in the round a lot and she rarely or never does. I did the top half of the item and she finished it on the back-and-forth part and sewed the seam.

Ornament and pattern

Life intervened, and we only got this one ornament done… and not until after Christmas. I’ll rate this as a “great first effort.”

ornament

Here’s a closer view in a bit better focus.

Detail of the knitted ornament cover

Nearly derailed but still limping along…

…meaning my plans to write a post or two over breakfast this morning. I didn’t get that done, but here I am writing anyway, so it seems I’ll write a short post today after all. Naturally, it will be about what distracted me!

I read an email from the WordPress “Challenge for 2011” folks, and when I followed one of the link-chains from there I ended up at the “innate index” personality test.  I’m a sucker for standardized tests, and I wanted to see if the results correlated at all with the Clifton StrengthsFinder profile I took at work last week. And of course I had to send an email off to my wife with a link to the test, too.

Then I realized that I couldn’t very well type (or at least… not type very well) while eating a bowl-full of raisin bran, muesli, and FiberOne (good mix of stuff, really…!), so I checked the rav boards for the mitten challenge. So many people have posted excellent mittens. It took me a while to read through the 6 or 8 threads with new posts.

Two of us agreed that it’s okay to make a pair of Bella’s Mittens even if we didn’t like the movie or book.

An old friend from the Insanity forum wandered in and joined the challenge, and she requested patterns for stranded mittens that weren’t too feminine; I resisted adding any of them to my queue.

The drier buzzed at me, so I hung up a bunch of my shirts for work, then put a bunch of cardboard boxes out for recycling. One of them—the shipping crate for the very computer I’m using to write this post—will be great for hauling books to the Goodwill center once I start cleaning out the library, so it went back down into the basement.

That visit led me to start thinking again about my project to move my workbench to the back room and get back to fixing Myr’s spinning wheel. One big class of stuff occupying space on and under the bench comprises my reloading gear. I haven’t reloaded anything in 2+ years (and that was just a batch of a hundred shotshells that I still haven’t used), and several more years before that since I did any serious reloading. I invested a LOT of cash and time into building that setup, along with the reference books and associated lead melting gear, etc. But… I am beginning to think I’d feel better if I had that space back (the ‘psychic space’ as much as the physical).

Question being… do I set everything back up and try to use up a bunch of the consumables on hand… primers, brass, bullets, and powder… or do I just do a clean break? The dedicated .45 acp setup along with the shotshell rig could probably sell for enough to get me a spinning wheel of my own. And I could keep the RockChucker press in case I ever want to make a few custom loads. This way I can convince my inner hoarder that I’m not really giving up an older and once-beloved hobby.

Okay, time for work. Hope you have a great day.

Some of you I’ll see at Guild tonight. Jane’s short-row presentation! Woot!