Wednesday, March 26, 2014

For the Birds: Getting Ready

In celebration of the beginning of Spring, as promised, I pulled together my scrap yarn and put it out for the birds to use to build nests.

I had planned to buy a suet cage like Susan uses for her scrap yarn, but then I remembered that the previous owners of our house had left an old deer corn feeder behind.  I thought it might work for my scrap yarn too!

I had been holding on to bits and pieces of yarn in a little pouch to use to tie on tags, etc.  I tried to pick the most colorful yarn to put out for the birds, so I could see it if they used it in their nests.  Any long pieces of yarn, I cut down to 5 to 8 inches in length.

My scrap yarn has been out in our yard since last Friday.  So far, there's been little activity around it.  I'm not sure that our feeder is going to work well for the birds, since it doesn't really have anywhere for them to land on to access the feeder.  I also might have packed the yarn too tight for the birds to pull and get out of the holder.

I'm going to keep it out for a couple more weeks, then I might upgrade to a suet cage :)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

New Project: Great Spring Idea for Scrap Yarn

Photo from Susan at Juniper Moon Farm at
If you read this blog, you know I'm a HUGE fan of projects that use scrap yarn.  We knitters all have a tone of it, and are always looking for ways to use it.  Well, Susan at Juniper Moon Farm has a great Spring idea for scrap yarn.

She filled a suet feeder with her scraps and put it out for birds to use for building their nests!  I really love this idea!  Get all the info on her site here.  

I'm definitely going to do this.  We might be a little late, because I've seen some birds busy in our trees building their nests.  But I'm going to put out a collection of scraps and see what happens.  I'm going to be semi-scientific about this and document the process to see whether I find any scraps of yarn incorporated in nests nearby.  Stay tuned :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Drops Yoked Sweater: Update 1 & An Unveiling

I'm hard a work on a couple of knitting projects, but wanted to post an update on my Drops cardigan with the textured yoke.

I'm almost up to the armpits and will be starting the sleeves soon(ish).  I changed the bottom hem of the sweater from seed stitch to k2, p2 ribbing by following the directions for a different Drops sweater.  

To do this, I cast on 204 sts for the second size (The rib pattern calls for casting on 210 sts, but that's with a 7 stitch button band on each side - I'm knitting a 5 st band.  So I subtracted 4 sts to delete the extra sts from the button band, then subtracted another 2 sts so I could begin and end my k2, p2 ribbing with knit stitches).

I knit my ribbing to the length I wanted (about 2 1/2 inches), then decreases 31 sts across to get me to the stitch count I needed for the first yoked sweater (173 stitches).  From there I plan to follow the pattern as written.  But I am going to make the sleeves full length (again by following the ribbed Drops pattern).  I'll post more info on that when I get to the sleeves.

In the meantime, I wanted to give you a sneak peek at the BEAUTIFUL variegated yarn I plan to use for the yoke.  I bought this yarn at SAFF this past fall.  I had no plans for it, but fell in love with the gorgeous colors.  I hope the textured stitches in this cardigan's yoke will make the most of showing off all the various colors :)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Long Term Knitting Project - Drops Yoked Sweater

With the doldrums of winter, I had started feeling kind of blah.  But there's nothing that perks a knitter up like a new knitting project :)


I've had this Drops sweater pattern sitting in my queue on Ravelry for quite a while.  I love sweaters with circular yokes and this particular pattern has such a lovely textured stitch pattern around the neck.


I've made Drops patterns before - I made a similar sweater for my mother-in-law a few years ago, also with a very pretty yoked neckline.  I like elements of both patterns, so I'm going to incorporate a little bit of each in my sweater.  I'm mainly going to follow the first pattern, but I'm changing the bottom band to ribbing as in the bottom (pink) sweater.  I'm also going to make the sleeves full length, as in the bottom pattern.

I have some lovely hand-dyed variegated yarn that I'm going to add in for the textured stitches of the yoke, but I'm keeping that as a surprise for now :)

I'm excited about this new sweater, but it's going to be a long-term project for me, since I have other projects (and new patterns!) that I'm working on.  I plan to post updates to this sweater as I go along.