Cowboy Cobblestone

                                           

                                                      Cobblestone by Jared Flood

Start Date: Feb 26th 2008

Finish Date: March 15th 2008

Yarn: Queensland Kathmandu Aran in Chocolate

Needles: US 7

So I’m a little slack on getting my finished pics up. Heck never mind up I just took them yesterday :) Cobblestone was a joy to knit. Its the first sweater i’ve done in the round, first yoke, knitting on sleeves first construction of this kind. I loved it. If all sweater patterns should we written this way I’d have a few more finished sweaters let me tell ya. The only thing I’m not crazy about it the seam up the back of the yoke but I can live with it.

I must say I was a little scared when I realized *well into the yoke* that I was knitting the smallest size when I should have been knitting the second size up. I briefly thought of frogging and starting again but they I thought “Well I’ve knit an entire sweater already I may as well finish it off and someone else can wear it if its too small.” I’d had Moose try it on while I was knitting and it was rather snug. After casting off I immediately soaked it and blocked. The soaking was what it needed, talk about stretchy yarn!! It blocked beautifully and it just the right size for Moose.

                                                           

                              

Hooking 101

This post if for Monika and anyone else interested in the whole rug hooking how to’s. Its a very simple concept really and I will try to portray it in pictures. Keep in mind these pictures were taken by me with the timer on so if I didn’t get a good enough shot and you aren’t understanding it all please let me know and I’ll try my best to capture it all again.

                                                                 First off we have the hook

                                                   

  Traditionally a nail was inserted into a piece of wood, then filed into a hook shape. Then a crochet hook inserted into wood. The ones used today are very similar to crochet hooks but come in many different thicknesses, the hook and the holder. Some holders are wider at the ends while some are very thin all the way through much like a pencil.

                                                                       Next you need the strips

                                                        

Some people use one wool yarn for their pieces while others prefer the wool strips. Wool strips is the more traditional method, in the olden days they used rags and whatever bits of material they had, cut them into strips and hooked. Today there is a fabulous machine the cuts the strips perfectly all the same size for you so you do not have to cut them by hand. The wool fabric itself can be purchased from a fabric or specialty shop or you could also go to a second hand store. There are always tons of old blazers, shirts, pants and blankets that you can cut up and dye if need be that only cost a dollar or two.

Now that you have the two main components all you need in a piece of burlap and your off to the races. Some people prefer to design their own mat, usually drawn on the burlap with a sharpie. Others buy pre stamped or pre drawn mats ready to be hooked. This is were my pictures become…. not so great.

                                 

You always start from the underside of your burlap. Put your hook through the front of your burlap and pick up one end of your strip and pull straight through to the front again. Pretty straight forward huh??? So you will have a little tail hanging around on the top of your piece. It will stay a tail until you have enough rows packed in around it so that its secured tightly. Then you can snip off the top. The picture above shows me holding the strip with one hand, the other is used to push the hook through the front of the burlap, catch the strip and pull it up through to the front. Its a little fiddley at first, you need to make sure your strip lays flat the whole time and doesn’t get twisted in the back.

                                  

So here is the loop being pulled up through the front. It is also important to try and make sure your loops are the same height all along. At first this was, and still is sometimes, annoying. When you pull the loop up, you also need to pull the loop back towards the loops you have already made. If you pull the other way, it will pull your previous loops out and is annoying as old heck!! When I watch the ladies at hooking do this it takes them less than a second. The hook goes in and out in and out. Me….. well it takes me long, I don’t have my height etc down pat yet so I have to really focus on making them all match. In time though it will come i’m sure. So that is basically it.

                                         

 You repeat the last step until you get to the end of the strip, then pull your end tail up to the front like you did at the beginning and wait until it is packed in before cutting the top off it. Then you begin all over again. A simple task creates a beautiful rug!!

Hopefully that helped you Monika, and anyone else. Feel free to ask any other questions you might have. If I don’t know the answer I can surely find out!

I’ll leave you with a picture of my progress on Cobblestone…..enjoy!

                                     

 

C is for……..

In an effort to catch up on the ABC along here is my C post.

                                                      C is for Casting on Cobblestone!

                                             

Finally I have a few knits out of the way so I could Cast on for this sweater. I’ve only had the yarn for a little over a month…… every day it would stare at me, BEG me to Cast on. I’d tell it well, maybe tomorrow once I get that duffle coat of my needles. Then it was well, I really should finish the sleeves of that sweater I’ve been working on since 2007…. FINALLY it is all done, FINALLY I can Cast on. I’m using Queensland Kathmandu Aran which I bought at Webs last month. I’d wanted to use the Skye tweed that the pattern calls for because there is such a great defination with the stitches but everyone knows its now discontinued and I sooooooo missed out on the big sale at Webs last summer *sigh* So the lovely site that is Ravelry had some great finished Cobblestone’s made with the Kathmandu. I checked on Webs and at 4 dollars a ball how could I go wrong. I cast on for this on the 26th and let me just tell you how fabulous this yarn is. I was expecting it to be rough and arany but it is soooooo soft and just scrumptious to work with. Finally after working about 5 inches with the stuff I looked at the label…. 85% merino, 10% silk, 5% cashmere…. Holy crap that would explain it! Now I’m wishing I would have got more of this stuff for a sweater for myself. I’m having the greatest time knitting this pattern, I don’t know what it is exactly that is captivating me, its just knit and purl after all but there is something about the two side sections of purl that has me in a trance. I can’t stop knitting!! I say to myself ok I’ll knit till the next purl section then go do something, but when I get to that purl section I have to knit it, and when I’ve done the purl section I have to knit the next section and when I knit the knit section I have to knit the purl……… ahhhhh the cycle is endless but it sure is making the body go quickly. I’m alot farther on than this picture now, I may have the body finished up today or tomorrow as there’s only 5 more inches or so. Moose just might be able to wear it this year yet :)

Enough about Cobblestone, are you all wondering how the clogs turned out and what Moose thought???? If your not then why the heck aren’t you!!! *grins* Ok really though the clogs are felted. Moose loves them, and can be seen prancing about in them during the evening’s. That makes me one happy Donkey!

                                   

and it just hit me….. C is for Clogs!

       Pattern: Fiber Trends Felted Clogs Men’s Medium

       Yarn: Lion Brand Felting in Chocolate, Patons Classic Merino Wool in Old Gold

       Needles: 9mm circs

       Start Date: Feb 20th 2008

       Finish Date: Feb 22nd 2008

So as you all know I ran out of brown, 6 rows too short and had to use the gold for those extra six rows because of this I had to felt that slipper a little bit more to catch up with the other. They turned out wearable in the end and thats all that matters I guess. I will be knitting this pattern again, in the near future, as I plan on making a pair for my mum and dad for when they come to visit.

Next post will be all about Hooking, for Monika, you will be able to see just how its done. Maybe not ALL about hooking, you’ll have to wait and see :)