Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mason Dixon Dishcloth

Mason Dixon Washcloth 1
Originally uploaded by shishyb

This is the Mason Dixon Washcloth as part of my review of Mason Dixon Knitting. This book has a wide variety of patterns at many different skill levels. Even more valuable is that the authors try to help you make the projects your own, by offering multiple yarn selections and multiple versions of the same project, and encouraging readers to experiment.

I had a lot of choices for what to make form this book. I probably chose the Washcloth because I was drawn to the hexagonal shape. It is very suitable for gifts because of the low cost, and short time to completion factor, as well as the presentation shown in the book. The washrag is shown with ribbon run the eyelets, which transforms it into a small bag, just big enough for a nice bar of soap.

It is knit in the round, from the outside in. I used the knitted cast on, just to give the edge a different look. Bobbles are made near the edge, which creates the corners. The eyelets and decorative decreases add interest. Here's a closer look:

There is one errata in the pattern, and it's listed on the Mason Dixon Knitting blog.

I made it in Sugar n Cream, which made it 100% cotton, machine washable and dirt cheap. Since I am a loose woman, I used a size 5 to get gauge, and, more importantly for this piece, to get a fabric that looks and feels right.

I had two minor issues with the finished product that are worth noting, but wouldn't prevent me from making this again.

First of all, my washcloth just won't lie flat. It can be coaxed into a temporary flat state, but it seems that the decreases just aren't fast enough at some point in the first 10 rounds, because there is an ever so slight ruffle. I blocked it in hopes of fixing this, it reverted right back to its original noncompliant state once I picked it up. Here it is during blocking (for scale, these are 12 inch tiles):

After blocking, I tried machine washing and drying it. This only made it curlier, as you can tell here:

The second issue is the center isn't shown in the book. It's made in the same way that many hats are: decrease to a certain number of stitches and draw the yarn through the remaining loops and close up the hole. In hats, this isn't prominent, and it doesn't look bad. But in this application, it is the focal point, and it looks odd to me.

These aren't fatal flaws, I would still use this pattern again. For our new condo, I might make a set of guest towels using this washcloth and the hand towels in this book. The hand towels are beautiful in muted colors of linen, and the MD washcloth would too, especially if the center is embellished with a small flower. However, I don't think I'll be attempting full-sized bath towel to complete the set.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Geeky Knitting - The Super Mario Video Game Cozy

Here is a joint effort from my husband and I: the Double Sided- Mario Mushroom Game Cozy:

I say it is a joint effort because while I did all of the knitting, hubby designed it, down to the mushroom chart. It holds his DS and PSP.

The yarn is Lionbrand Microfiber, which should be electronics friendly. However, it isn't knitter friendly. It splits like nobody's business. On size U.S. 3 needles, it also knit to a very small gauge. Also electronics friendly.

It begins with a black tube, sewn shut on one end. It is made in 2x2 ribbing to be super stretchy. Then, a pocket is made with the mushroom chart and a seed stitch border. It is then crocheted onto the tube, to make 2 pockets. Run some icord around the top of the tube to make it close, and it's done.

With the seamless sides and the ribbing, it has very little structure. I may machine sew some piping along the sides and bottom to fix this.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Grandma's Afghan Post #2

Here is Grandma's Afghan in the process of being washed. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of it between being balled yarn and it's soak in the bathtub.

This is the light end of Grandma's Afghan being washed:

and this is the dark end:

As you can see, it was much larger than the bathtub. It was about six feet long and four feet wide. Here the darks appear much darker than they are.

I used three strands held together, and a size 35 needle. The blending was done by using several different yarns, of different textures, weights, and shades of pink.

Here is the completed afghan while it is being blocked.

The color changes look a little dramatic here, but I think that is because it is wet. When it dried (after about 6 days) they were less obvious, and looked like this:

In the end I loved the result. The fabric was so springy and comfy I wanted to make myself one. This would be a good way to get rid of those half balls of yarn you have, if you went from color to color, like from pink to white to yellow, or blue to green to yellow.

I'll post the final pictures of this afghan later, once I find them, along with everything else that disappeared mysteriously during the move...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Story of my Grandmother's Afghan

Well, to start out, heres part of the yarn for my grandmother's afghan. It's about $100 worth of decent yarn, from a lys here in Jacksonville.

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I only used pink and white yarn for this blanket. What's here was supplemented with filler from Micheals. I used blending, so that it fades from dark to light. I used three to four strands held together, depending on the thickness of the yarn, and size 35 circulars. It is in a fan and feather lace pattern. It measured about three feet wide and six feet long. With blocking and time, it should stretch. No matter what she'll appreciate it.

Part of the reason for doing this is because every year, she makes quilts for every one of her 10 grandkids. When I gave her the blanket, she said "No one ever makes anything for me". So I think next year, we'll do something where everyone in the family makes something for her.

Anyways, when I gave it to her, my grandma actually cried. She thought I had forgotten about it, since I just moved. Usually, when I'm making something for someone, they know it, becuase I keep them updated and ask them a million questions throughout the process. But, I guess I hadn't mentioned it to my grandma.

Pictures of the afghan are coming soon.