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Sweet Bike Guard

The Sweet Ananda dress guard from Simeli

Thanks to design sponge for this tip – pretty, oh-so-crochet dress guards from (yes, they know bikes) Dutch manufacturer Simeli. Debating if i can figure out the pattern on this one.

The Great Stash Purge

Resolutions, resolutions: this year started with a couple, namely, to get back on this blog, and to figure out what the f I have in my stash. It’s one of those embarrassing secrets of mine – too many yarns that I impulse bought over the years, saved for a moment when I’ve got the inspiration to do something with it. (Sound familiar, knitters?) Thing is, it actually has come in handy – usually around Christmas time when i crank out a few scarves, neck warmers and slippers for friends with what I have on hand.

But the other side of it is, like that sweater that’s been hanging in my closet for the last couple of years “just in case,” I’ve got bins full of Funny, Boa and Canadiana that there’s absolutely zero chance of my ever using again. And yes, it’s sickening to think of the cash I wasted, but is guilt really a good reason to hang on to crap? I think not.

So eight bags later, some Sally Ann attendee will soon be the proud owner of some wacky novelty yarns. And I’m free! Free of a stash that was threatening to engulf my wee little one bedroom in Vancouver. And free from the raging granny impression I no-doubt gave potential suitors. Phewf for that.

In television notes, I’m revisiting Angel. Enough said.

Stash Scarf

I spent a longer-than-usual amount of time in my hometown in the burbs of Ontario, which means a) a lot of fancy cable watching (I’m now fully caught-up on my Dollhouse. Which, it has to be said, has finally started to kick ass. Thank you, Joss.) and b) a lot of knitting. I’m trying to commit to carve away at my stash this year, so I grabbed a few balls before I headed east and decided to knit this scarf up for my gift closet.

It’s a fairly simple pattern I’ve done in various iterations over the years. Here’s the deets:

Materials

Approx 150 yards superbulky yarn

Approx 150 yards baby-weight yarn in accent colour, like Stampato Color Baby (50 g, 196 yards) in pink.

15 mm needles

Gauge: 5-6 stitches/4 inches

Instructions

Holding both yarns together, CO 11 sts.

Row 1-3: Knit

Row 4: *K1, YF, repeat from * to last stitch, K.

Row 5: Knit all of the K stitches, and drop the YFs off the needle. This will result in “long” stitches across this row.

Repeat rows 1-5 until scarf is desired length. Cast off. My new favourite cast-off method is Elizabeth Zimmerman’s sewn cast off for a non-flared edge on the scarf. There’s a great illustration of it here: http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer06/FEATsum06TT.html

**

One last hit on Dollhouse. I think even my seven-month old nephew Matthew was high-fiving me when Adele came out of the closet as a good guy. Seriously dudes. So. Good. This scarf is infused with its goodness.

Threading the worm

I’m in full in the single-woman-as-sweatshop season (known in some other circles as Christmas), and I’m about 2/3 through an afghan for my parents. It’s one colour, so normally I would do the felting end trick from Stitch ‘N Bitch (basically, rough up the two ends, wet one of them–well, suck on it really–and rub them together on your pant leg. Tada! Ends joined).

But I made a fatal error early on in this pattern, attempting the felting and forgetting I’m using superwash wool and they’re unwinding. Then I remembered this trick I learned a few years ago. I’m told it’s the same way you would thread a worm on a fish hook, though I’ve never had the pleasure of doing so.

Thread the needle with one end of the yarn, then wind it up and down through the new ball of yarn, like in the picture above. Next, pull the yarn through the woven part, so it looks like so:

Finally, pull the thread off the need, and you’ve got two yarns as one! Trim up any lose ends. I usually do so once it’s knitted into the garment – just trim off anything that’s sticking out.

And in television news – Friday Night Lights is back! While I’ll always remain loyally dedicated to Matty Saracen, I have to say Coach Taylor, my you’re lookin’ fine. ‘specially when you go all bad ass on them tough-as-nails eastsiders. Hoo-eee that’s some fine watchin’.

The beginning of the end

This is it. The start of countless hours extolling the virtues of the knit, the television, the Joss (Whedon, that is, but you knew that). I’m not one of those people who hold their nose and say, “Oh, I don’t even own a TV.” Far from it. I’m all over it. I knit to watch TV, I watch TV to knit. I become obsessively, unapologetically consumed with great television. And knitting. And we’re off!

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