Heirloom acrylics

Green_blankie

I knit this green throw in the summer of 1978. Jimmy Carter was president. It’s alternating simple seed stitch and reverse stockinette panels. For reasons that are now obscure, I lined up leaves in long rows on the reverse stockinette. I was 26 years old, had already been knitting for 18 years, and was quite proud of my creation. Recalling my knitting budget, this would definitely have been discount department store acrylic. Thirty-five years ago I was a solo knitter, without the support of a local yarn shop or a “Knitlist.” And Ravelry was just a gleam in Jess and Casey’s parents’ eyes. But knit happened anyway.

This throw graced the back of a series of couches, used and new. The couches long ago moved on to parts unknown (or at least unrecalled). But the green throw lives on. It traveled to my son’s new home in the past few years. He, his wife, and their Chocolate Lab, Roxie, are still using it and it still looks basically OK. Even the fringe has held up well.

Here’s another look at the remarkable staying power of acrylics.

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This next blanket is an early full-sized Rambling Rows. It might even have been my first Rambling Rows, that wonderful Cottage Creations pattern by Carol Anderson that I come back to again and again for heavy doses of garter stitch.

Rambling_Rows

This Rambling Rows was knit around 1995, of a variegated acrylic that was LYS-purchased and more on the pricey side. I recall it as being a Spanish yarn, but don’t remember the producer. My son used this blanket on his bed for many years. It led a hard life in dorm rooms and in rental homes. When I visited him a few weeks ago, I slept under it. It’s still going strong, still keeping the family warm.

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Rambling Rows, again

It’s been a bit quiet lately in the knitting corner of the blog. That’s because I’ve been working on a large-sized Rambling Rows afghan. This wonderful pattern is from Cottage Creations’ Carol Anderson and Pat Penney. It satisfies all the garter stitch lovers among us. Garter stitch is the first stitch we learn as young knitters. Every time I return to it, it feels familiar and soothing.

This afghan has 55 mitered sections and is a major project for sure. This is my tenth Rambling Rows, the fifth full-sized one I’ve made. It is photographed above on a queen-sized bed. This one is knitted of Plymouth Encore. Easy care seems like a good idea with a project of this size.

I am a bit unsure of my color choice. But maybe cranberry, tan, brown, peach and green sort of work well, especially because this afghan will be living in a room with a cranberry accent wall.

Cottage Creations’ booklets are not available (yet) in downloadable form. But lots of on-line shops carry the Rambling Rows booklet as well as many local yarn shops.

Small fry Rambling Rows

This is another Rambling Rows, the brain child of Cottage Creations’ Carol Anderson and Pat Penney. It’s the smallest of the versions the pattern provides. On size 7 needles, knitted up in the worsted weight version of Berroco Comfort, it is 28 inches by 34 inches. To me, it seems like it would be an excellent size for a car seat cozy.

Comfort has great color selection: 66 solids, 13 heathers and 14 print shades. Color choice is not always my strong suit, but I am pleased with how these play together. Quite a 60’s sensibility, including avocado, burnt orange, dark brown. There are a lot of stitches to pick up as each of the individual 55 mitred blocks are connected together. Comfort was a bit splitty for that task. But with just a bit of extra care it worked out fairly well.

 

Good-bye to an old friend

The sweater is not the old friend. I’ve not worn the sweater much. It’s pretty but the boatneck neckline hasn’t been a favorite look. The “friend” isn’t the pattern either. A bit after completing it, in somewhat an overdose of de-cluttering, I recall throwing the pattern away. So I haven’t even been able to link to it on my Ravelry page and I can’t give attribution here. I just figured I wasn’t going to knit it again and I wouldn’t be recommending it to anyone, so why keep it. I recall it was from a magazine and possibly this was the cover sweater.

The friend is actually the yarn. Tahki’s Soho Bulky. The company seems to be called Tahki Stacy Charles now. I’m sure they are the purveyors of many fine yarns, but the company discontinued Soho Bulky quite a few years ago and knitters everywhere should mourn the loss. OK. That’s an exaggeration. But it was a great yarn. I knit this sweater and basically just keep it around to enjoy the look and feel of this wonderful rugged yarn.

I’ve knit gobs of bears out of Soho Bulky, including this long legged guy who was donated to a charity auction. His body is knit in Soho Bulky. His sweater is knit of a more “refined,” tame yarn.

This sweater, also knit from a pattern I can’t locate anymore, is pure Soho Bulky. It’s seen lots of wear and still looks and feels great.

I have a very high tolerance for wool-against-the-skin. When others are busy complaining about how “itchy” something woolen is, all I feel is nice and cozy. To me, that sense of scratchy yarn against the skin is a comfort. So I have no problem with hats of Soho Bulky.  This one is Jared Flood’s Quincy, with a wonderfully clever mobius strip construction.

And this was probably my Soho Bulky magnum opus. It’s Carol Andeson and Pat Penney’s Rambling Rows afghan knit using their pattern for its grid guide, but without regard for their instructions on color placement. This afghan is laid out on a queen sized bed. If gifted, which it won’t be until they crack open my will, it would come with a small child and cat warning. It could probably crush one under its weight. I lost count of how many skeins I knit to complete the project. When I used up my stash I had to scour the internet looking for extra skeins of the precious Soho Bulky.

I have no skeins left. I used the last of them, mixed in with Philospher’s Wool, to complete this log cabin throw.

So, old friend, it looks like we part company.

Rambling Rows

noreen_knit_9-27-09_3This is an afghan pattern I’ve knitted six or seven times, in sizes ranging from a baby blanket to a blanket large enough to cover a queen-sized bed.  It’s “Rambling Rows,” by Carol A. Anderson and Pat Penney. It is knitted of 55 mitered geometric shapes: squares of two sizes and a rectangle that is half the size of the largest square (double the size of the smaller square).  Most afghans turn out to be major tests of a knitter’s sewing or crochet skills because bazillions of pieces need to be joined to create the finished object.  But the Anderson/Penney team figured out how to knit together the entire afghan.  When you complete the last section, you are done, except for knitting whatever edge you decide to use.  Quoting Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky: “Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”  ‘Cuz this here knitter is seriously sewing and crochet impaired.

Here are a few more RRs, including a queen-sized version knitted of bulky weight Tahki Soho Bulky Tweed wool where I followed the pattern but randomized the colors:

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