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Yarn Together December 15, 2009

The thing about having a lot of yarn lying about the place is that it’s very fun to play with.

In the early days of my knitting, I was a Ball Band, Single Strand kind of girl.

Whatever it said I believed and I went for the straight application of yarn to needle.

But it wasn’t too long after (when I became a dedicated swatcher after lots of FAIL) that I knew that there was more.

Every yarn has its own characteristics and the ball-band is only a reference. You’ve got to start somewhere and for the most part, the information given is pretty much acceptable ballpark, yadda, yadda.

camohatBut my blithe approach changed when something happened to really knock off my rather stepford approach to yarn.

I made a ton of Beanies, using this pattern, using worsted yarn held double to get a nice squooshy WARM thick hat. It just seemed like the thing to do!

Then, I made a ton of Scarves one Christmas using up all the odds and ends of my Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride (my total go-to yarn at the time), again using doubled yarns, and changing the color combos every few inches for duo-toned stripes.


All of these projects were two strands of worsted weight or aran yarn held together knit on size 10.5 needles.

Why? Because that’s what I had and I’d swatched to get the gauge for the combo.

But then things got interesting…

During some baseball playoff a few years ago, I started designing a poncho. I was just foolin’ around and grabbed some skinny yarns I had and tried to combine them — here’s my project notes:

poncho1“…I was totally enticed with bulky yarns – they’re a lot more light weight because most are now wool/acrylic blends.
…it dawned on me that many of the yarns looked like multi-stranded skinny weight yarns. I could combine some things I have in stash that might work – especially a brushed merino worsted gauge yarn I have from Crystal Palace called Merino Frappe. It is a warm Olive color and is as lightweight as mohair without the tickling, shedding, and heavy warmth. BUT, I never have found a use for it after knitting a swatch, which I found to be flabby beyond belief! AND, believe it or not, the color was just too cocktail olive green for me. I’m a Shrek green girl myself…
I am combining the flabby Frappe with a strand of smoky light aqua Rowan DK Soft, which is also flabby and a strand of Bernat Sesame sportweight yarn in the lightest soft beige, which is mildly flabby and very thin…
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .huggychiccollar
Yarn: I think I need 650 yds each of three different yarns – yarns must be *flabby* ie. drape well…
The poncho will be worked in two pieces, front and back, Starting from the bottom up, with #11 needles and switching to #13 after the first 2 rows.
Gauge: 3sts/ 4rows per inch or 12sts/16rows per 4″

And thus, another accidentally successful combo was born.

Speeding ahead to the present, we recently got bit by the combo bug once more.

But this time, science joined the party.

We found a formula (that’s been around forever!) that seems to work pretty darn good:

*** Add the two gauges of Yarn #1 + Yarn #2 together,
then divide by 3 to get the approximate New Gauge ****

Trying this out with our aran weight yarn above that has a gauge of 4.5 sts per inch, we get:
4.5 + 4.5 = 9
9 / 3 = 3 sts per inch

I just measured the gauge on one of ye olde combo hats, and VOILA: 3 sts per inch :)

But what about combining more than two?


We want to make a combo’d MAXIMUS for ourselves using some yarns about the house and are tri-curious! This is a perfect pattern for combed mixes because the end fabric is supposed to be a little firm and thus you can experiment a little more boldly…

off to swatch, my pretties…

Monday Morning Mirth December 14, 2009

  Monday Morning Mirth  

The Holidaze are smack dab upon us and it’s many a day that my plate’s been filled with yummy party food. I especially love the nosh of the wing in their multitude of flavorings, but friends, they can be disastrous to one’s mental health in the eating.

Follow the doctor’s orders up above and get going! (BTW, once you get the hang of this, its Really Fast!)

What’s your favorite flavored wing – recipes?

About the Scarf

Awhile back, around this time of the year, I was busy making scarves: big ones, little one, keyholes, wraps, and more.

Especially fun, for me, was a bunch of Super Bulky scarves I made for gifts and moi. At that time, there were all sorts of skinny, very long scarves on the fashionistas about town.

So using Pt. 5 type yarns and size 19 needles, I fashioned a bunch of these and spread them far and wide.

Two remain in rotation here at Chez Chic but this weekend they underwent a silly little transformation that was a new breath of life in their wear: they became cowls…


Simply sewing the narrow ends of the scarf together with a piece of worsted yarn now made a necklace, a super-long, skinny tube that was so long, it could be wrapped three-times around for a layered excellent look:


What was fun? Any of those layers could be grabbed and worn over the ears; or they could simply be arranged for maximum warmth (and, boyo, do we need it today: “Winter weather advisory for snow showers, high winds and falling temps. Very windy and sharply colder. Temperatures fall to 21 by evening. Late-day winds chill drop into the zero-to-15-degree range. West to southwest winds increase 20 to 30 mph with gusts as high as 50 mph developing. Cloudy with snow showers and 1-2″ totals. Powerful winds are likely to send snow airborne, which could affect visibilities in open areas.”).

SInce I can’t stay inside and hide (and, boyo, do I ever want to!) one must gird one’s loins, and Neck, and get out there! (No, no, no!)

Here’s the scarf up close in all its colorful glory:


It took about 84 yds of yarn and measures 70″ around.


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