Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A quickie

Last week I discovered that someone 'borrowed' my favorite knit earwarmer, and that someone else 'borrowed' my favorite half-mitts. I was not pleased.

I grumbled. I growled. I visited the yarn stash.

Ooooo! Pretty! Soft! (I'm such a yarn slut!) At the bottom of a big rubbermaid tub I found a small skein of perfectly imperfect yarn. Two-ply bulky handspun. The brown strand was spun from naturally colored Manx Loghton wool roving. The white strand is pure angora, combed from a rabbit I used to own. Her name, if I remember correctly, was Sabrina. She and her sister, a nestmate from the same litter, lived in a very large wire run in the barn and raised their babies together in the same nest. Once, on an icy January morning, I checked the fur-lined nest and found four tiny day-old kits in the center, another four 8-day-old kits in a ring around them. The two Angora does took turns tending the nest, and all eight kits grew up fat, fuzzy, and gorgeous.

But I digress...back to the earband. First I measured the wraps per inch -- that is, I wrapped the yarn around a ruler. It took 8.5 strands of yarn, side-by-side and touching, to cover an inch. I got 3.5 stitches per inch in stockingette on US 10 needles. So for the headband, the cast-on was 44. I knit in stockingette for 8 inches in the round on US 10 double-points. I folded the tube over and joined the top and bottom edge while binding off -- and done!

It's soft, incredibly warm, and the fit is snug enough to stay put while I'm working. I'm not so happy about the bind-off - it left a bumpy ridge, and it's not as stretchy as I'd like. Next time I'll take the time to do a good kitchener's stitch. Despite its flaws, I'm delighted with this earband. The quick, easy knitting was just what I needed to restore my knitting mojo.


Blogger Dallas Schulze said...

Laura - How did you know I had just been pondering a recipe for an ear warmer? Yours looks warm and cozy and now I don't have to figure anything out for myself. Thanks!

8:02 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

I'm with Dallas. This is fabulous, Laura. I think we're going to end up with a spontaneous Laura's Ear Warmer-A-Long!

But I have a question. You mentioned that the bind off (top edge to bottom edge included) was bulkyand that you would consider grafting next time around. Wouldn't you need to start with a provisional cast-on so you'd have "live" stitches or would you pick up stitches at the cast on edge and use them for the grafting?

10:43 PM  
Blogger LauraP said...

Barbara - For the next earband I'll probably cheat and try picking up stitches at the cast on edge. The provisional cast-on can be such a useful technique, and no doubt I'd be more comfortable with it if I were more proficient. Right now, grafting from the provisional cast-on seems like an opportunity for Bad Things to happen.

2:47 PM  

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