Sunday, November 17, 2013

Knitting, Gas Bills, and Green Tea

I woke up early this morning because I figured I had a story that had to publish today.  I don't.  So I started cleaning out my inbox, looking at videos of Tori Amos on YouTube, tried to remember where my size US3 double-points were because I broke up with the Magic Loop yesterday (I think it's just a temporary breakup, but I don't know...I WAS pretty angry)...

To be fair, I did try to be productive.  I tried paying the People's Gas bill but the system was down due to maintenance.  I tried getting my paperwork together for my LLC because the taxes are due at the end of the month, but everything is pretty close to in order and I can't call an accountant at 8:30am on Sunday.  I looked for other stories to write, but don't have enough info on any of them to write at this moment.  So now, I am here to tell you about a scarf I altered for a friend, since the green tea has finished brewing and is sitting next to me in my ridiculously hot metal thermos.

By the way, I use the metal thermos because I had this fantastic BPA-free plastic bottle that I used for tea and dropped it so much that it finally shattered.  Read:  I didn't drop it once...I dropped it on several occasions.  Getting out of my car, twisting in the kitchen, walking down the stairs in my back yard.  So I bought a thermos that can't break.  What's awesome is there are about six dents in the bottom of it from times where know...dropped it.

Anyway, my friend Monica has a little boy, and her mother made him a scarf.  She came to me and said, "I knew if anyone would know how to fix it, it would be you."  Well, sure...the only other person I know who knits at work is Jeannine, and she is gone before Monica gets there.  Anyway, it wasn't actually broken.  It was just too thin for the boy's taste.

The grandmother made a simple, cute, ribbed scarf for her grandson.  Apparently, he wasn't happy because he did not want to wrap it around twice, and if he folded it and put the ends into the keyhole, it was not wide enough to cover the itchy zipper on his chin.  The grandmother is a new knitter, so she kept telling Monica, "Just have him stretch it out," and that was to solve the narrowness issue.  With some yarns and some water, that WILL work, but not this one.  Got it.  So here is the original scarf, in all of its cute-little-boy glory:

I felt the yarn and determined it was probably Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick.  Smart woman, by the way...the grandmother went to Michael's and bought something washable, as opposed to making something out of 100% wool.  Let's face it...the kid is a little boy.  There would have been frog pee and hot wing sauce on this sucker within five minutes if it wasn't washable...that's how little boys ARE.

Anyway, I had Monica buy one ball of the yarn and I busted out the Clover needle set that I received from Wool and Company to determine what size needle I should use.  With my death grip, I needed to use size US15s to make my stitches close to the same size.  Not a problem.  Of course there was a 40" size US15 circular needles just lying around, so...

My thought was to pick up and knit stitches along the side, but this can be tricky because the last thing you want is for the sides to either pull together, or worse, ruffle, because you picked up the wrong number of stitches.  I tried three for every four.  Too tight.  I tried four for every five, and was on the fence about it.  Fine.  I went with picking up four stitches for every five rows, and then thought if I purled every row, I would have a bit more give.  I did it on each side.  This is how the scarf ended up:

I did in fact weave in the ends, even though I don't do that very often (the Zauerball socks still have four ends hanging off of them...I just tuck in the cuff end when I wear them instead know...taking the five seconds it would take out of my day to fix that).  But I think it's still boy-like, the stitches look pretty even, and now it should cover his face when he wraps it around his neck.  Good in the 'hood.

For more on how to fix things without unraveling, just ask...I live in a world where I think there is ALWAYS more yarn, so quite often, I will try to "fashion" something instead of ripping it out, and then I'll just get more yarn and do what I was originally supposed to do with a project.  And I'm a lefty, so I'm naturally clever.  A bit odd, also.  And silly.

I have some stories which are scheduled for next week already...some of your favorite Chicago local yarn shops have Black Friday deals going, so stay tuned!

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