Thursday, March 21, 2013

Viola is Done!!

 She's done! All knitted, all blocked, all sewn together, and all edged in attached Garnet Heather i-cord.

She's enormous--a blanket and not an afghan for sure. Suitable for wrapping up in when sitting in cold winter sunshine on a sunny deck.

And her abstract glories don't come together in the eye as a flower until you're quite a distance away. To get this full shot I had to spread her out on a tarp on the driveway and lean over the deck rail with the camera, about 15 feet above. But isn't she a beauty?

She will be, I fear, a rather tender flower for all her size and weight. I shudder to think of having to wash and re-block her if something should spill. And she's made of garter stitch, which can stretch too much and get saggy easily. The multi directions of the squares and all the seams add some stability, but still... Should I be seized with a similar madness again, or for the benefit of anyone contemplating such a project, I would knit in a tighter gauge than the one prescribed. Goodness knows, a smaller overall size would be ok, and more density would make it even warmer.

Meanwhile, I think it's time for a well-earned cup of tea on a sunny winter deck.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Tale of Many Tails

Still diligently sewing away, block by block, joining the parts to the whole. And while the stitching continues, a small diversion. What happens when you make a giant project out of 13 different colors in 206 individual little pieces that then are put together? Tails, that's what. Bajillions of ends that have to be woven in and trimmed. Take a look:

Very early in the sewing process, I was impressed by the pile of clipped-off ends that mounted as the tails were woven in. So I decided to save them all and see how big a pile I would have by the time I finished--a monument to an inglorious but necessary task.

What to do with the pile? I have no idea. A bizarre fringe on something? Stuffing for a cushion? Put it out for the birds and squirrels when they start nesting? If you've got an idea, plunk it in the comments down there and I'll consider it, the wilder the better!

Meanwhile, it occurred to me that perhaps the reason I ran out of a few colors of yarn was that I left tails that were too long, so I weighed the pile to see how much wastage this actually was. 85 grams, nearly 2  50g balls of yarn. It may seem like a lot, but percentage-wise, it's only 5.5% of the original 37 prescribed balls. So, maybe not so much.

And then there's this. Page 2 of the pattern actually says, "Leave short tails. Besides the tails around the outer edge of the blanket, the tails can be tied together [tied? No way! I am not in favor of knots!] and cut short. This pattern uses up nearly every scrap of yarn, so be sparing and take time to check your gauge!" Well, I did check my gauge at the beginning, and it was fine. And I thought that it would be useful and conserving of yarn if I left some long ends, especially at corners, to use for sewing up later. So I think I'll be content with the fact that it was not expensive yarn and that it was very easy to run out, easy to resupply, and leave it at that.

To be sure, there are leftovers, and here they are:

 Ideas for using up these? A wild scarf? (maybe a bit itchy). Something felted? Your comments will be carefully considered by a panel of experts.