Archive for February, 2013

Vortex Infinity Scarf

I love infinity loop scarves and, while I don’t like anything tight around my neck, I do adore something thick and soft and squishy to snuggle into.  I also have a tendency to wear scoop-neck and v-neck shirts, which leave my front a bit chilly in our New England winters.  I worked up this scarf loosely using some of the ideas from the Whirlwind cowl, but at a looser gauge and omitting the cables.  I love the bias the constant use of the k2tog gives the fabric in the previous pattern, and so used that as my main stitch.

Doesn’t it look cozy?  The first is a gift for my baby sister (colorway Crush), and the second, in Looking Up, is for me.  Mine, all mine!  (Until Rachel runs off with it anyway.)

To make one of your own, you need 2 skeins of Big Shot (I used all but 1.5 yards of both 97 yard, 115 gram bulky weight skeins), and size 13 36-inch circular needles.  Gauge is not hugely critical, but may affect yarn usage, so do be mindful.  Approx. 8 stitches and 18 rows over 4 inches in pattern stitch.

Cast-on 108 stitches and join being careful not to twist.  I used the cabled cast-on to be sure to keep the edge nice and stretchy.

Knit one row, then purl one row.

Pattern Stitch:

Row 1 – (Yo, k2tog) repeat to end.

Row 2 – Knit

Repeat rows 1 & 2 for approx 8 inches or 35 rows, ending with Row 1. (I managed to get 37 rows for the purple cowl, but your mileage may vary, and you need a fair amount of yarn for the bind off.)

Purl one row, then knit one row.

Bind off.  I used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy bind off, which is amazingly easy and really allows the scarf to wrap easily around the neck.

And that’s it!  Wear and enjoy!



Just call me Tenacious “B”

My NETA Spa experience this year could so beautifully be summed up by that classically over-borrowed quote from Dickens,

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

What a fantastic weekend!  I arrived ready and excited to be able to relax.  There was to be no yarn drying in the hotel room or braids to be braided or labels to be wrapped this trip.  Nosiree!  It was all done (and thank you KellyR for your help!) and I could finally have dinner and chat with friends, take a soak in the hot tub, and look forward to the hours ahead, both of “work” and play.  After a bit of a hitch at leaving part of my display set-up at home, the booth was set up on Friday in good time(again, with thanks to Diane, Kelly, Jessalu, Amy, and Karen), brisk business was had, friends were hugged, new friends made, laughs had, projects shared, and all was good.  Really, really good.  Come Sunday, I was so sad to say good-bye, but even breakdown was fun, if exhausting, with Amy and I inventing luggage cart derby (and yes, Amy, you did in fact kick my ass. lol).  Once the racks and bags and tubs and luggage were stowed in the car, I stepped into the hotel, handed out a few more hugs, and set out for a leisurely and uneventful trip home.  My kids — with the 13 year old girl leading the charge! — met me at the door with loud whoops and kisses and I was soon buried on the couch under a heap of dogs and cats.  And this — all of this — is what I am holding on to.

The next morning, intent on spending a lazy day on the couch recuperating, I wandered out to the car bring in a few bags so I could select a skein of sock yarn to begin a new project, only to discover that there was. no. sock. yarn.  In a panic, I emptied the vehicle of stock, opened each bag and perused each one three or four times, growing more and more frantic by the moment, realizing that 2 huge bags — at quick calculation containing roughly 200 skeins — were entirely completely 100% undoubtedly missing.  My mind flew back to breakdown, and the possibility that I had left them behind on the curb when I moved the truck a bit closer to the doors.  A call to the hotel yielded no hope, and so I began the cry over the Twitterverse, Facebook, e-mail, and anything else I could think of.  Maybe some kind soul had grabbed it for me, but just hadn’t gotten around to e-mailing me yet.  Surely, someone would have my yarn and let me know?  Right?  RIGHT?

No such luck.  It is GONE.

I have bounced between physical illness, stress-induced pain, tears, self-loathing, resignation, calm, anger (at myself mostly), gratitude to the HUGE number of friends and concerned others re-tweeting and re-posting in hopes that the yarn will be found, and calm at knowing that no matter how bad this is, I WILL be ok, and all those I love are safe and well.  And this is bad — the retail value of the yarn totals over $6k, and represents at the very least a month of work and wear and tear on a body that ain’t quite as young as it used to be, to put it mildly.

But you see, here’s the thing.  As much as I want my yarn back and as sad as this makes me, it won’t get me.  I know loss — REAL gut-wrenching true loss.  THIS is not it.  This is a bump…ok, a crater… in the road, but it is not insurmountable.  I am a tenacious bitch.  I don’t give up.  I don’t give in.  Today?  Business as usual, folks.  Maybe it is the British in me.  Time to Keep calm and Carry on and all that.

And I’ll be damned if this ruins my faith in people and the world around me.  In fact, if nothing else, it has strengthened it.  For all people want to bitch, social media can be a beautiful thing, and at a time when I would easily retreat into myself and shrink from a phone call, I turn on my computer to see e-mails and tweets and comments of love and support and good wishes.  I can’t thank you all enough (and some of you — you know who you are — I don’t know how I’ll ever show what you mean to me).  You make me feel so privileged to be a part of this wonderful community.

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