Spinning, Knitting, Crocheting, Organic Gardening, Living off-grid, and chasing sheep - because- I'm, like, NOT SANE!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bulky is not a bad word!

I have to admit that I tend to think of merino in terms of lace and fingering spinning. Okay, sometimes I go really wild and spin a dk wgt for the softness. But, it hasn't always been that way. I used to love spinning a softie, bulky single with my merino. Truly, there is nothing like it for that squishy soft knit project. The urchin I made last week was well received but also, Thing 1 really loved it. So, that got my brain to thinking. I don't have the approximately 26 knitting hours left to finish her rogue but, I did have 6 hours this week to do the following.

Firstly, I spun up three skeins of bulky merino - none of which I have a picture of....just in case you thought I'd gone and become reliable on you! It took about an hour to spin each skein a 2 ply bulky except for one skein that I left a single. You'll see them, soon, though, because they are last minute 'quickie' gifts. For this project, I took one jester batt (approximately 2 ozs) and spun it in a medium wgt single. Then, I spun the 2 ozs. of 'sari' roving that I had into a bulky strand. I plied the two together, all except for 40 yds. of singles in the merino roving that I plied together, leaving me with a 20 yd. skein of super soft 2 ply. Note that, to this moment, we're talking about a mere hour's worth of spinning, here.

biggie merino 006I used the 2 ply to make another urchin, which is a quick knit but took me a little over 4 hours due to the hacking, sneezing, and periodic bouts of flinging my arms in the air and begging for mercy or merely to be put out of my misery for good. Gawd, I love the flu, don't you? By the time I finished the urchin, my hands were shaky, the fever was boiling, and I was doomed to bed for a few hours. But, when I woke up, I started right in on that whopping 20 yds. of bulky wgt. yarn. I know, you were probably skeptical when I said only 20 yards. Truth be told, I was a little skeptical, too. But, I just dug in and improvised this little 'I'm not a scarf' collar to match Thing 1's hat. It has to pretend not to be a scarf, you see, because I have recently been informed by said recipient that she loathes scarves and doesn't like things wrapped around her neck. Like or not, we live in central Maine so the neck does require some warmth and attention. So, I decided to go for something REALLY, REALLY SOFT and also kind of 'cool'.

The best part? Just a little yarn, just a little time (about 40 minutes), and just two buttons and all finished. I took about 3 yards of the yarn I'd used for the urchin and made two i-cord loops for buttons. Then, I cast onto the edge of one with 3 sts. I added three stitches or so every other row until I had 10 sts. On the 4th row, I cast off two sts. in the middle of the row, which I replaced by casting them on the next row, again - resulting in a loose button hole for the other i-cord button loop to slide into. So, at 10 sts, I just started knitting garter stitch until I was at a right length for the next width. Decrease in the same pace you did the increases with (3 sts every other row until you have only one stitch left) and attach the other i-cord button loop. Viola! Pick out some cool buttons to accent your yarn and sew them on and you have a 'I'm not a scarf' present.

All totaled, we're talking about 6ish hours, here of spinning and knitting time. Of course, if you're a fast knitter or not afflicted with the flu, you might go even faster. See, I told you, there's still time. Of course, I couldn't pass up passing on a too cute and quick gift idea that Lisa pointed out on the ravelry thread. These would be cute little gifties, too.