Bad Blood Cowl

Bad Blood Cowl

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Cast On: June 26, 2015
Cast Off: July 9, 2015
Pattern: Improvised by Hooker Leo
Yarn A: Patons Brilliant (Fiber Content: 69% Acrylic, 19% Nylon, 12% Polyester; Yarn Color: 3425 Sparkling Rose, Yarn Weight: 3, DK)
Yarn B: Patons Brilliant (Fiber Content: 69% Acrylic, 19% Nylon, 12% Polyester; Yarn Color: 3143 Blue Shimmer, Yarn Weight: 3, DK)
Yarn C: Patons Brilliant (Fiber Content: 69% Acrylic, 19% Nylon, 12% Polyester; Yarn Color: 3005 White Twinkle, Yarn Weight: 3, DK)
Needle: US 6 – 4 mm
Dimensions: 8 (w) x 57 (c)

This project was inspired by a cowl I saw on Judge Judy or People’s Court and started the day I was admitted to the hospital for a deep vein thrombosis in my right leg. I could have sworn, I did not have a twist when I connected the cast on for knitting in the round, and did not notice it until I was into the White Twinkle. Aiyaa! I really like the colors of this cowl; they remind me of ice cream. Additionally, I like the metallic sparkle in the yarn – barely noticeable in the shadows of the above images. I had calculated a circumference of six feet, based on the yarn label gauge information; apparently I was off. The yarn is very light weight and the cowl has an extreme drape. As such, it doubles well and might even triple for a more cozy fit.

The project name – Bad Blood by Neil Sedaka – was inspired by my health condition and is coincidentally appropriate considering the accidental twist. The cowl was constructed with a cast on of 432 stitches and knitted in a 2 x 2 rib. I used one skein for each stripe, which is approximately 13 rows.

I’ve decided to donate this cowl to charity, as I am not 100% happy with the resulting project.

The Last Procrastination

I queued a new project today – Wild Wild West Kerchief – in a last ditch attempt to procrastinate frogging about eleven rows of Dead Man’s Party Antimacassars: Rib Cage due to a dropped stitch. I will be using the yarn I purchased during the ISIS Group field trip to downtown Los Angeles, last September: Lucky Lamb Hand Painted Luxury Yarns Superwash Wool DK (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Wool; Yarn Color: Felix; Yarn Weight: 3, DK). The kerchief will be knitted on US 7, which are currently in use on The Octopus’s Garden Cowl. I need more needles! 😀

Lucky Lamb Hand Painted Superwash Wool
©A Hooker’s World

Now back to the rib cage.

Lava Cowl

Lava Cowl
Lava Cowl
©A Hooker’s World

Cast On: January 12, 2015
Cast Off: April 24, 2015
Pattern: Lava Cowl by Dixie
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Merino (Fiber Content: 100% Merino Wool; Yarn Color: 325700, Yarn Weight: 4, Aran)
Needle: US 8

When I saw this pattern, I was immediately drawn to it. Figuring it was a pretty quick and easy knit, I set forth. The only reason it took so long is because other projects took precedence. It was nice to refresh my memory of working cables, and improving my ability to count rows from the cable row. The hardest part of this project was keeping track of my row counts.

The name of this project – Lava by The B-52’s – was a no brainer.

Price: USD $72.00

It’s My Life Shawl: Complete

It's My Life Shawl

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Cast On: October 31, 2014
Cast Off: April, 14, 2015
Pattern: Exploration Station by Stephen West
Yarn A: MadelineTosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: Vintage Sari; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn B: MadelineTosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: Jade; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn C: MadelineTosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: Leaf; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn D: MadelineTosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: Filigree; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Needle: US 6
Dimensions: 70 W x 35 H inches (approximate, after blocking)

Five months! A friend of mine asked me to participate in Stephen West 2014 Mystery Knit-A-Long. Being a fan of some of West’s designs and having access to some yarn, I decided to participate.

I was so excited when I discovered the beginning of this shawl was similar to Merging Ripples by Kyoko Nakayoshi, which I had been planning to knit up in lime green and cobalt blue. And then it turned into brioche. I had never done brioche and it looked simple enough to learn, so I started immediately without practicing. I got about six rows in and discovered a mistake I could not fix. I frogged back to the end of section one – fortunately having the correct number of stitches – ran a life line and started My Funny Valentine Cowl to practice.

After I finished the cowl, I resumed It’s My life and felt like a professional and seasoned knitter. From that point forward, I encountered no problems and enjoyed the knitting of this shawl. Knitting of this shawl taught me new knitting stitches/techniques, and for that, I am grateful. The i-cord border is really interesting and I may use that again in the future. I also really liked the stripes before the chevrons and will definitely incorporate that into the shawl I will make with the leftovers.

This shawl derived it’s name – It’s My Life by Talk, Talk – because at the time I cast on, I had just been fired from my job at the yarn store and I was feeling defiant. There are a couple of mistakes that will stand out to a professional and smaller errors that could be considered imperceptible, but overall I am very proud of this project.

Price: USD $344.80

Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)

Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)
Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)
©A Hooker’s World

This is my current at-home project. Ever since a previous yarn stash organization, I thought this Trendsetter Joy (Fiber Content: Polyester, Nylon, Yarn Color: F1194; Yarn Weight: 3, DK) would go will with this white fiber fill stuff that I acquired from someone/somewhere – hence, the name Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) by the Eurythmics. I am pretty sure this will be a cowl and not a scarf, unless I am unable to get to my desired length of six feet.

The white yarn (Fiber Content: Unknown, Yarn Color: Unknown, Yarn Weight: Unknown) – truthfully, I don’t even know if this is yarn – is actually three balls of similar composition, but slightly darkening in color every so gradually. If you look closely at the picture you will see the second color on the left and the white on the right. This yarn(?) is a challenge to work with as the fibers are pretty wild and catch on the needles a lot. Combine that challenge with trying to set the little ribbons free and you can imagine how slow the progress is. I keep trying to focus on knitting, figuring I can go back afterwards and pull the little ribbons out, but I am so anal retentive, I can’t stop myself from trying to do this while I knit.

This project also reminds me very much of Easter and I am hoping to finish by that date, whenever it is.

My Funny Valentine Cowl

My Funny Valentine Cowl

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Cast On: January 2015
Cast Off: March 12, 2015
Pattern: Improvised by Hooker Leo of A Hooker’s World
Yarn A: Red Heart Super Saver (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 0722 Pretty ‘n Pink; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Yarn B: Red Heart Super Saver (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic: Yarn Color: 0319 Cherry Red; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Needle Size: US 8
Finished Size: approximately 72-inch circumference x 6.5-inch width

I can’t believe I finished in time for the Basic Two-Color Brioche Workshop I am teaching this Saturday at the Sand and Sea Knitting Guild. This project started out of It’s My Life Shawl (Stephen West Mystery Knit-A-Long: Exploration Station), which called for two-color brioche knitting; a skill I had never attempted. It seemed easy enough when I began, but then I dropped a stitch and went into a complete panic, as I had not inserted a life line. Fortunately, I was able to frog it back to the previous section and maintain the correct stitch count.

After that traumatic experience, I figured I better practice two-color brioche knitting, so I grabbed some acrylic from my stash and set out to learn by repetition. I’ll admit that I had to restart this project at least five times, but one I became focused I discovered that I had about a foot. I decided to continue practicing until it was long enough (my preferred length: 6 feet) for a scarf or a cowl; obviously deciding on a cowl. It wasn’t until it came to the seaming that I decided against giving it a twist. Actually, I am quite impressed with the neatness of the seam, as I was worried about how to bind off the brioche knitting.

Red Heart can sometimes be scratchy, but as I continued to work with these two skeins the scratchiness dissipated and I began to experience more softness. When I launder this cowl, I will use extra fabric softener for increased softness. The name of this project – My Funny Valentine by Sarah Vaughan – hints to the fact that I was hoping to finish by Valentine’s Day, but after a while of knitting, I began to get bored, quickly crocheting Circle In The Sand Mobius Cowl as a diversion.

With this project I finally learned how beneficial repetition is when it comes to learning a new technique. I can put the project down, pick it up and know exactly where I am in the pattern repeat; I began to notice how little mistakes were created by knitting the wrong strands; and most importantly, I could identify and fix mistakes before I got to far along.

Price: USD $50.00

What Does The Fox Say Scarf

What Does The Fox Say Scarf

Cast On: December 22, 2014
Cast Off: January 10, 2015
Finished: February 13, 2015
Pattern: Improvised by Hooker Leo of A Hooker’s World
Yarn A: Berroco Optik (Fiber Content: 48% Cotton, 21% Acrylic; 20% Mohair, 8% Metallic, 3% Polyester; Yarn Color: 4937; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Yarn B: Mutine Bo Bouton d’Or (Fiber Content: 40% Cotton, 32% Viscose, 24% Polyamide, 4% Polyester; Yarn Color: Poivre 464; Yarn Weight: 3, DK)
Yarn C: ONline Linie 103 Allegro (Fiber Content: 45% Virgin Wool, 45% Polyamide, 10 Polyester; Yarn Color: 0004; Yarn Weight: 5, Chunky)
Yarn D: Unknown

A previous customer/friend of mine from the yarn store gifted me with a bunch of brown novelty yarn approximately in November 2014. My idea was to just knit it into a warp, not even considering the different weights, which I finally nailed down today in preparation of this post. Of course the sides of my fabric bowed and pulled, which was unattractive. Then a lightbulb went off one night in a dream, when I finally found a use for some fox heads a previous guild member had gifted me with.

Today, having a car, I ventured out to F & S Fabrics to buy a needle that would pierce the hide, a thimble and some heavy duty thread. I then went to Michaels to purchase some Xacto replacement blades for trimming the hides. I sewed the heads onto either end, seamed up the fabric sides to create a tube, and voila!

The project name – What Does The Fox Say? by Ylvis – should be obvious. The scarf if available for purchase: Price: USD $288.00. This price reflects only knitting time, as the yarn was gifted to me, as well as the fox heads.

Brioche Knitting

Brioche Knitting

It seamed easy enough when Ania explained it to me, after completing section two of the Stephen West Exploration Station Mystery Knit Along. However, watching the video did not provide enough information for me to create a swatch. In most of the other videos, not one person indicated the correct stitch cast on number. In Stephen’s video, he says to cast on an odd number, but I think generally, you need an even number. I created my swatch with his I-cord border but kept getting stuck on row 3. Also, that yarn over/slip was tricky. West kept performing in one motion, which confused me. I started by doing each step and after I caught on, I changed to the one-motion method. Two days later, I finally figured it out. So now, it’s on to section two.

The key features of Brioche knitting are a dense, ribbed fabric, which highlights one of two colors on either side. In my swatch below, the front is red and the back is a plum.

Red Rain

Red Rain Wrap

I had knitted this previously under project name Let It Go. My godmother had gifted me with a skull ring for Halloween, so I wanted to make her something for her birthday (November) and xmas. When she came for a visit, I got her color and already had the Debbie Bliss Merino Aran (Fiber Content: 100% Merino Wool; Yarn Color: 325700; Yarn Weight: 4, Aran), which had been gifted to me by a dear friend, Irma. This project was knitted up with size US 10 needles. The slight difference in look is attributable to aggressive blocking, which was required because two skeins did not reach the desired width: 72 inches. The blocking increased the length by 4 inches; this one measures 13 inches.

When I tried to nail down the right yarn for her project, I knew she liked bling and was considering something at the store I used to work at, but now that I have been banned from the store, that was no longer an option. She liked the color of this yarn and specifically stated that she did want bling. After one skein I showed it to her and the first thing she asked was “Where’s the bling?” Aiyaa! So on a recent visit to the Sugarplum Festival in Buena Park, I found the light pin and bought that for her, serving as bling and a shawl pin.

I am quite impressed with the blocking and my incremental skill level. As previously posted, this project is based on the beginning border of the Bridger Cowl by Kris Basta. The name of this project – Red Rain by Peter Gabriel – comes from my music library.

Orange Crush Shawl

Orange Crush Shawl

Cast On: September 29, 2013
Cast Off: November 18, 2014
Pattern: Orange Crush Shawl by Allison Harding
Needle: US 7
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Silk (Fiber Content: 85% Merino, 15% Silk; Yarn Color: 5641 Mango; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Finished Size: 61 x 11 inches (aggressively blocked)

Named after the song by the same name – Orange Crush by R.E.M. – it seems like a lifetime ago when I started this. I had received a prize at The Knitting Tree, L A Cascade Yarn Tasting even in September 2013. I set to work on the shawl immediately, but after a while, the lace and fine yarn weight got old, and I put it in hibernation. I was not happy that the pattern did not indicate how much yarn should be left to knit the border. My boss, at the time, suggested leaving one ounce. Looking at the yarn specifications now, that can’t be right, and I don’t remember the specified weight on the digital scale I used.

When I picked up the project again, I was still trying to get to one ounce. When I finally reached that amount, I began the ending border. Well, after about three tries, I kept ending up with an extra stitch after row two, and more importantly: the knitting direction was counter-intuitive to the border/body attachment instructions. I even had at least three more knowledgeable knitters try it with the same results.

I finally decided to contact the designer via Ravelry. She did not reply. Bad form!

Subsequently, I wrote Cascade Yarns and received a fix withing 48 hours. Now that’s a yarn company I can support. Unfortunately, I cannot speak favorably regarding the yarn. Even before I finished the project, haloing had begun on the beginning border. I find the halo unattractive, more like lint or pilling.

Overall, I am glad to have finished another UFO.

Price: USD $61.00