Not Calorimetry

Finished Objects, Hats, Scarves


  • Pattern: none, I just cast on 86 sts and went for it.
  • Yarn: mystery leftovers from stash, high wool content, aran/worsted weight.
  • Needles: 1 x 80cm 4mm metal circular.
  • Finished measurements: 21in long or thereabouts.

I had a load of leftover bits of yarn, about 20g worth, from different projects that I just couldn’t bear to part with. Calorimetry was a pattern that I’d looked at in the past and never got round to trying. Guess what? I still haven’t tried it 🙂

I cast on 86 st (I think), worked 6 to 8 rows of 2×2 rib, then did several short rows til I had maybe 46 ‘live’ stitches. Rather than than working the short rows on the way back out again, I just knit straight across the lot and worked the rib across all 86 sts for another 6 to 8 rows – until I ran out of yarn. 

The piece ended up with an assymetric shape, which works well. The tighter cast on edge holds the band in place when it’s used as an earwarmer and the looser edge allows it to ‘flare’ up under the chin when it’s worn as a neck warmer.  It fits perfectly just inside the collar of the fleece I wear to work  most of the time.

IMGP2955 IMGP2958 IMGP2954


Finally – a shawl decision!


Bird’s Eye Shawl © kuen2shui
Flickr, all rights reserved

I’m going to try the ‘Birds Eye Shawl’ pattern from heirloom knitting.   I thought I’d keep this first shawl simple, never having made one before and only having done 3 or 4 lace projects –  two of which were facecloths.  Last year, my sp10 pal sent me a lovely hank of wine-coloured laceweight wool, about 600m in length. I’ve looked through tonnes of patterns trying to find one I like and that would do the yarn justice. I’m hoping that this one will.

If the idea works, there’ll be a nice wrap to go with my strappy black dress 🙂

Tallinn Scarf

Finished Objects, Scarves


  • Pattern: Tallinn Scarf, by Ziina plus my mistakes/alterations – see below.
  • Yarn: 200g (1 ball) Marble chunky by James C Brett, shade MC8 lot 790.
  • Needles: 1 x 80cm 6.5mm metal circular.
  • Finished measurements: 159cm length, 44cm width (widest point just before split).
  • Gauge attained: 13st and 14 rows to 4in/10cm in pattern

This was a fun project and quick to make up. I’ll freely admit that I messed up somewhere along the line. This is what I did or if you want to hop straight to what I think of the yarn I used, go for it 🙂

What I did for the scarf

I would stress – use Ziina’s pattern, not my meanderings. Her version will work. I just jumped in with both feet (well, needles anyway) and this is just me trying to figure out everywhere where I goofed.

  1. I cast on 3 st and knit a row as per the original pattern, but placing a st marker immediately before and after the centre st.
  2. I then followed this repeat which incorporates the increases and pattern instructions, until the scarf measured roughly 41cm wide (55 st). The scarf later turned out to be nearer 44cm wide, but hey – this is a stretchy pattern! The other thing is, I think that there should have been 3 increase rows per pattern repeat, but I only included two. oops.

    row 1: K to 1st st marker, sm, m1 (twisted as per pattern), k1, m1, sm, k to end.
    row 2: k
    row 3 + 4: rep rows 1 and 2 again.
    row 5 (yo row): (k, yo twice) to last st, k1.
    row 6: knit knitted st from previous row, dropping yo as you go.

  3. Next came splitting the scarf into two legs, so I knitted to 1st st marker, remove marker, bind off centre st, remove 2nd st marker, k to end. Slip 1st half of stitches before bound off centre st to waste yarn.
  4. Straight section (first leg):
    *Completing 1st straight pattern repeat: Working on remaining half of st only, knit another 3 rows, followed by yo row, finishing with another knit row.
    Rest of straight section: I repeated the following another 19 times – knit 4 rows, yo row, knit another row.
  5. Decreases (first leg): Ziina’s pattern calls for a double decrease in the centre of a row, which only works if there’s a central stitch. Luckily, I had 27 stitches on each leg. If I hadn’t, I’d have worked the 1st decrease row as ‘k to centre 2 stitches, k2tog, k to end’ – basically as per “1. decrease:” from the pattern.
    As it was, I went straight into the double decreases, and because I didn’t have a lot of yarn left, I incorporated 3 decreases into each pattern repeat. It took 3 pattern repeats to decrease to 9 st. This produced quite a sharp angle, so maybe there should have only been two decrease rows per repeat. Some of the decreases ended up on the yo rows, which isn’t what the pattern called for. I can see why – you end up with long ‘floats’ depending on how the scarf stretches, which don’t look so great.
  6. I then departed from the pattern even more – I knit 4 rows, a yo row, 2 more decrease rows, another knit row, and a final two decrease rows. These rows gave me a slightly sharper point
  7. For the second leg, I slipped the stitches from the waste yarn back onto the needles and repeated from (4)*.  There was only 4m of yarn left after I finished.  It would have been perfectly possible to work both legs of the scarf at the same time, using both ends of the ball of yarn. In fact I did try, but I got in such a tangle that I reverted to working one at a time.

Once I’d woven in the ends, I stretched the yarnovers into place by pulling the scarf taut. I couldn’t block it because the yarn was acrylic.

What I think of the yarn

The yarn was actually a pleasant surprise. I bought it because of the vibrant colours. I walked away from the stand several times, but kept finding myself going back. In the end, I gave in and ended up with 2 balls. One went to a friend for christmas, and the other became this scarf.

Ok, James C Brett Marble Chunky is acrylic, but it is soft, springy and very touchable – none of that horrid synthetic feel I normally associate with cheap stuff. The price was good too, at £2.99 to £3.50 a ball, and the colour stripes are fairly long, so it could be used in a lizard ridge blanket square or for the hat… I know, I know – suggesting something other than Noro for lizard ridge is heresy to some folk. I certainly think of Noro yarns before any other when considering a new project. But seriously, give this yarn go.


Finished Objects, Hats, Scarves

Chameleon - hat Chameleon - scarf Chameleon - balaclava Chameleon - head band Chameleon - Sahariane

Is it a… hat? scarf? balaclava? headband? sahariane? It’s all of em 🙂

  • Pattern: Chameleon – mine
  • Yarn: 100g pure linen, 18 wpi, charcoal.
  • Needles: 1 x 3.25mm and 1 x 4mm 80cm circulars (magic/lazy loop).
  • Circumference=20″/51cm and length= 20″/51cm

This turned out well considering it’s a first attempt at ‘proper’ lace knitting, and I made the design up. I’ve tried it on and it fits! Being rather camera-shy though, I’ve let ‘Sev’ do the modelling. Of all the permutations, my favourites are the hat and scarf.

There is one niggle – I couldn’t figure out how to hide the start of each round in the net section, so the holes look slightly mis-shaped at that point. This also means there’s a noticeable join when the scarf is laid out flat, but this gets lost when it’s being worn so that’s ok. I’d like to figure out knitting ‘seamless’ net for a future lace idea.

Yes, there will be a next time for lace! I enjoyed making this. I’ll freely admit that the k2tog every other st in the net was a little hard on the fingertips, but the end result justified it. I think at some point I’d like to make an ‘openwork’ shrug or cardi; first, I need to practice techniques a bit !

Many thanks to my SP for the yarn and encouragement 🙂

Linen and Lace

Hats, Scarves

My sp sent me a skein of charcoal linen yarn in her second parcel. She also asked at one point what my thoughts were on knitting lace. I think I said at the time that I hadn’t really met a lace pattern that I’d considered working on (then promptly found the shoalwater shawl pattern). The linen yarn and thoughts about lace in general sparked an interesting little journey…

Have you ever seen the olive drab ‘scrim net‘ stocked by army surplus stores? It can be used as a scarf or as a hat cover for sticking foliage in (sort of camoflage), and you can see through it easily. Ok, I have no intention of wearing twigs in a hat or staring through netting pulled over my face! But I’ve always liked the idea of a lightweight scarf that could be other things too… Inspired more than a little by this and the ‘Buff’ headgear, I went off to look at lace designs.

Erm, perhaps it’s at this point I should mention I’ve never charted, knit or designed lace before…

I decided on a tubular construction, because the finished piece can then turn into a hat more easily if I choose. I wanted a simple net design, and I thought a border on at least one end would add a bit of interest and a firmer edge. I liked the tiger-eye pattern from Barbara Walker’s 2nd Treasury, so started playing with that. Having worked on a chart, I realised the basic repeat was perhaps too wide to fit a whole number of repeats into the number of stitches I needed. I split the chart in half to create a ‘tear-drop’ instead, and cast on for the first attempt.

linen lace linen lace

The picture on the left shows my first attempt at the border and the random netting that I made up as I went along, using 4mm needles. The border pattern turned out far too wide – at least 3 inches unstretched and I could stick two fingers through the large hole in the teardrop. So I frogged, tweaked the chart for the border, and started again with 3.25mm needles, stepping back up to 4mm after the border was finished. The picture on the right is the second attempt, with a netting pattern that is pretty close to what I had in mind. The tear-drop is smaller at about 2.25 inches unstretched.

I’m currently working my way up the netting section, and really looking forward to trying on the finished ‘garment’.

Moebius Scarf

Finished Objects, Scarves

Moebius scarf

Here’s one I finished earlier, in December 2006.
I’m sending it off to the 2007 Made by Hand project.

  • Pattern: none really. I was experimenting.
  • Yarn: 100g ball turquoise dk, scraps of teal dk, both acrylic; not my favourite yarn, but practical depending on where the scarf ends up.
  • Finished measurements: 34″/85cm circumference, 8-10″ wide, both approx.
  • Needles: 80cm, 4mm circular.
  • New technique attempted: Moebius cast on.

I’ve always been fascinated by moebius strips, and love the Escher drawings which incorporate them, e.g “Swans” or “Moebius Strip II”. (I have a book of Escher prints somewhere…) When I came across various websites which contain instructions for knitting moebius scarfs I just had to give it a try.

I used steps 1-3 of Linda’s Instructions for casting on, then winged it. The first 3 rounds were garter stitch, followed by 15 rounds of 5×5 basket weave (k5p5 to end of round). I finished up the straight knitting with 12 rounds of seed stitch. At this point, I was getting bored and the scarf was getting quite wide, so I did 3 rows where I increased in every 3rd stitch to produce a ruffle. I’d been reading about knitted hyperbolic space, you see. Finally, to add a bit of contrast, I cast off using scraps of teal boucle.

I hope the person who ends up with the scarf likes it! 🙂

Wavy Scarf finished

Finished Objects, Scarves


I’m really happy with it. 🙂

  • Pattern: ‘Wavy Scarf‘ by Sarah Smith
  • Yarn: Noro Sumile Multi, shade 106 lot B, 275 grams (5 and a half skeins)
  • Needles: Pair of 4.5mm straights.
  • Finished measurements: 8.5 in wide and 68 in long after blocking.
  • New technique attempted: Cable cast on – produced a thicker result than long tail cast on, which went well with the ridge pattern.

I wanted a slightly wider scarf so I cast on an extra 12 stitches across, which turned out well. Knitting the leftover yarn from the hat into it allowed me to do the number of repeats the pattern called for, making it long enough. If I don’t block it after washing, it easily stretches to 7 feet long or more!

I would have taken photos of it outside for once, but there’s a torrential downpour this morning. Not really fancying a soaking, esp since my voice is still in hiding…

Washing Noro Sumile


wavyscarf-blockedWhen I was knitting the hat and scarf, I was struck by how rough the chenille yarn felt and how ‘flat’ it was. The yarn was more like a flat furry ribbon than a pipe cleaner in the way the fibres were attached to the central core. It didn’t really feel the way I expect chenille to feel – soft and fluffy.

Once they were cast off and the ends woven in, I threw caution to the winds and the hat and scarf into the washing machine on a gentle 30 degree C cycle with a little fabric softener. I know you shouldn’t really machine wash chenille, but I was a little at a loss at this point.

The pleasant surprise is two fold. The chenille yarn appears to survive gentle machine washes and it has fluffed out so the hat and scarf feel a lot softer than they were.

I think I’ve ended up blocking the scarf like I said I might. When I took it out of the machine the pattern was much less distinct than before. I laid it out on a table, stretched sections out to even up the width, tweaked the ribs back into place, then scrunched things up slightly to emphasize the shape. I’ve left it to dry like that in the hope the pattern will be obvious when I move it. It takes up the full length of the table, even squished into shape. I’m currently resisting the urge to keep checking how dry it is!