Monday, March 21, 2011

Creek Update, and... gasp.... some knitting!

To put this shot into perspective, when Turtle Creek is at its usual level, we can't see any water from the house.
I took this shot from our back deck this morning.
 The ice dam seems to have broken up and moved on, but the water level is still rising. By the way, I posted a short video of the ice moving in the swift current on Facebook yesterday. If you're in my friends, check it out (if you're not in my friends, shoot me a friend request. The file is too large to post here).
 And another shot- same creek, same vantage, slightly different angle. Contrast this with the current blog header- nary a drop of water visible during the summer, and not just because the hay is tall.

It has cooled down considerably, so the snowmelt has also slowed, which is A Good Thing. Not so good is the rain predicted for tonight, and the snow predicted for tomorrow. I have a feeling that this will be another interesting week in a very interesting year.
 But when I'm not creek gazing, I doing some actual knitting, and not with leftover yarn. The Spring '11 Spin-Off issue featured a very cool, ruffly scarf project and pattern, that looked perfect for some lightweight handspun that I had on hand. The Helix Scarf pattern is free, and available on the website (as well as in the magazine.). The scarf pattern is simple- all garter stitch and short rows.
The yarn was spun from the Ianto roving, that I bought and from Yummy Yarns in '08. It's Finn (very soft Finn, I might add). I'm using size 6 needles, and while the scarf is not knitting up quickly, it is knitting up beautifully. Part of the slowdown is that I am using this project to practice and perfect my purling back backwards technique.

When you knit back backwards, you achieve stockinette stitch without turning your straight needles. When you knit one direction and purl back backwards, you get garter stitch without the trouble of turning things around constantly (which would be a pain in this project since every row has 2 short row segments that form the ruffles).

I'm getting faster with the purling back backwards, and my tension is evening out (that takes practice, and I am getting a LOT of practice in with this scarf). I think I'll add it to the longer version of my Little Tips and Knitting Tricks Class. There isn't time enough to try this in the usual version of the class (which fills up a 2-hour slot nicely), but I'm teaching it in a 3 hour block at the Michigan Fiber Festival in August, and it'll make a good addition to the roster. And by then, I should have the technique down pat.


Mary Keenan said...

Oh wow, I love the idea of doing all the stuff backwards! Wish I could get near enough to take that class :^P

Kathleen Taylor said...

Some day, Maire...