How A Sweater Becomes A Distraction

I started watching the US version of Being Human on the SyFy network about the same time I took crocheting back up.

My enjoyment of this show about three roommates in Boston, one a vampire, one a werewolf and the third, Sally, a ghost, took on a whole new level (let’s quietly call it an obsession) when I decided I would figure out how to crochet Sally’s sweater.

It’s a very casual sweater and looks very comfy and cozy. However, it, thus far in my searches, appears to be one-of-a-kind. I have searched high and low for another like it, even asking various boards (Ravelry is a wonderful thing!) if anyone knew of a pattern. There are several *close* look alikes, but none are the real deal.

So, it has become my latest moral imperative to recreate this sweater. I end up having to watch each new episode of Being Human several times because I will go through an entire scene and realize I’ve not heard a single word of dialogue focusing on the stitches in Sally’s sweater.

Sandy simply says, “You’re hooked.” (pun intended?) or “Yeah, you’ve got it bad.” but, this is a case of exactly why we started this blog.

Combining our love of both fan/geekdoms and yarn.

Stay tuned for updates on Sally’s Sweater.

Oh no, not gauge!

It’s How-Tuesday, or as I like to call it, How-To’s Day. (Yes, I know it’s like The Oneders. Go with it.) My topic is…gasp…getting gauge.

I  know what you’re thinking. You either gauge nothing or everything. You have this wonderful yarn that your hands are itching to work into that amazing pattern. How could you be expected to wait while you check gauge? That is, of course, if you’re not one of those asking what is gauge anyway?

Gauge is simply how many stitches per inch in your project. The pattern will generally tell you how many stitches per inch you should have. Simply grab the yarn, grab your needles or hook, and cast on. Gauge is usually measured on a 4 inch square. I usually aim to make a 6 inch square, and, when knitting, I take it off my needle when I measure it since the needle can stretch your swatch. If the swatch is the wrong size, try the next size up or down in your hook or needle.

If you’re one of those who gauge everything, you probably learned the hard way that being off gauge one stitch (or even one quarter of a stitch) either way can mean your sweater doesn’t fit. Unless you use the same pattern, yarn, and needles every time, you need to check your gauge if fit is important. This is because the pattern, the yarn, and the needles all affect gauge. So does your mental attitude, distractions such as TV and kids, and even how much coffee (or wine) you’ve had.

So, what do you do if you can’t wait to start your project? Usually when I’m finishing up on one project and dreaming of the next, I’ll start a swatch when I can do some brainless knitting. I’ve swatched at ballgames, during TV shows (like NCIS) that put my regular knitting at risk of frogging, even at church. Making my gauge swatch before I’m ready to start the project usually prevents the temptation of starting without making a gauge swatch.

One reward of a swatch, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the yarn in your project, it gives you a chance to see how the yarn works up. Sometimes a yarn looks yummy in the skein, but when you knit it the drape is wrong, the colors pool oddly, or you just don’t like how it works out. Working a swatch gives you a chance to see a new yarn in action. It’s well worth the time you put in if it saves you from frogging a project later.

Magical Knitting

I’m usually someone who is ahead of the trend. I liked bluegrassy-folksy music before Mumford & Sons was a household word. My go-to wedding gift for many years was a hand-crocheted granny square afghan. So why am out of step with Harry Potter books? Because I had an attitude. I’d read the first one and wasn’t impressed, even though I’ve seen the movies. By about the time I’d seen third movie, I knew would eventually read them. Now that I have an e-reader, I’m playing catch up.

Of course, as a yarnie, there is a fascination with Harry Potter movies. Molly Weasley is my heroine. I envy her needles that knit themselves. I love the sweaters, hats, scarves, mitts, even those that are a little cheesy.That’s why when I saw this, I realized this might be the closest that I come.

Knitting Clock

Molly Weasley would be so proud

The coolness of this amazing clock is that over the course of a year it will knit a scarf. It’s like magic. Unfortunately, I’m not Molly. I’m going to have to knit things like Hermione’s sweater or a Sorting Hat under my own power. Meanwhile, Harry Potter and my day job have merged in my dreams. Last night I dreamed of the Quidditch World Cup in Goblet of Fire, but I was coding it with Javascript. Now if I could just knit in my sleep. I bet Molly Weasley can.

How Tuesday – Starting Your Chain

When picking up the crochet hooks again, after many years, one of the hardest thing for me to relearn was how to start the initial loop to start my chain. I attempted intricate knots, multiple wrapping of the yarn around the hook, etc. I knew it just had to be easier.

One day the end of the string was just laying on the table in such a way that a new way to start the chain struck me. (I have since learned that this is a common way).

Hopefully my sharing this little trick will save you some time and frustration –

Step 1 – Make a loop in the end of your yarn –

Step 2 – Bring the end of the yarn back under the loop you just created –

Step 3 – Put your crochet hook through the loop, yet under the center string

Step 4 – Grab both the end of the yarn and the main string of the yarn and pull the loop tight around your hook. (Note – this will create a slip knot. If you take the hook out and pull, the knot will come out)

Now you know!

National Crafting Month On Wired Yarn

It is March and that means it’s National Crafting Month!

That gets us going here at Wired Yarn! LOL

To celebrate this wonderful month, (an additional Christmas for all us crafters, right?) we will be adding a new line of posts to the blog.

How-Tuesdays

Every Tuesday this month, Wired Yarn will take  time to show you how to do a little something crafty and fun!

Also, Sandy and I are very excited to be hosting our first event this month! On March 15th, you just MUST come to Camelot Cellars Winery in Columbus’ Short North for Yarn Swap.

Whether you knit or crochet, we all have that skein or ball of yarn that we’ve had forever and just can’t
ever seem to find the right project for. It’s time to swap it!

The swap will happen like this:
– You bring that skein/ball of yarn you’ve had laying around forever and just can’t find the right project for to Camelot Cellars on March 15th.
– When you arrive, you place your ball in a bag and write the name of the color on the outside.
– On your way out, you can pick a new (to you) ball of yarn based on the color’s name. (& some new found inspiration for a next project)

The Yarn Swap will benefit Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Bring in an already completed knitted or crocheted item to distribute to those in need.

There will be 3 raffle prizes. Bringing in your ball of yarn will get you one raffle ticket. A donation to Nationwide Children’s Hospital will get you another. The winners will be announced at 8PM. You must be present to win!

Let us know you’re coming by RSVPing on Facebook.

Invite your friends! Hope to see you there.

Knitting My Own Scarf of Doom

Williamette2.21.12.jpgWhen Deadly Knitshade blogged “Knitting the Scarf of Doom.” I thought she was writing about my current project. After thinking about doing a KAL for years, I signed up for StarAthena’s Stumptown Knits KAL and was excited to download the first project, January’s project, the Willamette Scarf. I loved the look of the herringbone knit and, after being bested by the linen stitch last Christmas, I was determined to learn it.

Did I mention that this is January’s KAL project? *looks at the calendar*

I have frogged this scarf more than any other project that I didn’t ultimately abandon. The first couple of times it was the linen stitch. Once I finally got it, it was time to switch to herringbone. I frogged that after realizing all the stitches angled the same way. After that, I set it aside to work on my January Granddaughter Project and promptly forgot how the increase worked. That one alone was an 8 inch rip. I’m past the halfway point. I think I may have it done in time for… the March KAL.

Oh, and if you’ve missed the real Scarfgate or Scarf of Doom story, check it out on Whodunnknit. If you’d like to knit your own scarf of doom, there is a great thread Scarf of Doom KAL thread on Ravelry.

Geeking On Firefly (& important lessons learned)

Very excited to write this first Wired Yarn post. When thinking of which project to share as my first one, it was simple.

Jayne’s Hat

For any Firefly fan, you automatically know what I’m talking about.

I originally started this as a Christmas ’11 project for my brother-in-law. (Many thanks to Kim Werker for posting her crochet pattern on Crochet Me. I couldn’t have done this without you. I know you didn’t know I saw your post til now.)

Due to the nature of me wanting to reproduce the hat as close to the real thing as possible, I decided to actually follow the pattern (a first for me) and not just do my own thing. This was the first time I experienced using stitch markers.

I used old wine glass charms as markers.
They pull double duty quite well.

The most important lesson learned from this project is “gauge“. As you see in the photo below

there’s quite a bit of give in the hat. This is me wearing Jayne’s hat before finishing touches.

I learned to ensure my gauge is good before proceeding with a project. Especially when it has to fit well.

Unfortunately, I do not yet have a finished photo of this project since, when finishing it, I ripped out an ear flap. I have promised my BIL that he’ll still get his Jayne’s Hat, but it has currently gone on the back burner of projects.

Such is the life of someone with ADD having more than one project going at the same time. LOL

Eyecatching Knitting

When I was in the throes of Christmas knitting, my youngest son, who I refer to online as DS3 (I’m sure you’ll figure out the pattern as we move along), asked me if I could make this hat for him.

These hats are a hit. Picture from www.thelifeaquatic.org/

Team Zissou in action

Like a good mom I said, yes. I mean it’s a hat, right? How long could it take?

He wanted six. Six hats from The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

His brother, DS2 (you picking up on the pattern yet?), wanted one too. Make that seven, but now I was committed. I set aside my Christmas knitting for 7 hats for poor college boys.

Stack of hats

Stack of hats

Since then, I keep running into this hat. First it was this Allstate Commercial:

and then it was this video of Murray Gold playing his theme, “I am the Doctor.”

Okay, so Murray’s has a pom-pom, but it’s basically the same look. Life Aquatic might be an 8 year old film, but the look is catching on.

What Is Wired Yarn?

If you’ve found yourself here, reading this, then you are most likely wondering what the heck Sandy and Rick are doing now?
You’re thinking, “those two crazies plug my Twitter feed with their geekdom all the time. Now they want to fill the blogosphere with their mayhem?”
Um…Yeah! That’s it exactly.

We have had so much fun sharing coffee on random weekday mornings, talking about such things as NCIS, Doctor Who, Torchwood, Trek,  (this list really goes on and on). Often you’ll see Sandy pull out her latest knitting project (Rick has on occasion as well). There’s always a cell phone or two involved (for tweeting, of course). Usually, the Nooks come out.

Yes, we’ve decided to share this fun with all of you. There’s just too much of it to keep to ourselves. We want to take our love (read – obsession) with our geekdoms and show you how our minds warp… er… translate, that into yarn and craft projects.

Did you see that scarf in the latest Sherlock Holmes movie? So did we, and we are on the hunt to create it ourselves.  Do you love the sweater that Sally wears in Being Human? Yeah, that’s our newest search to find how to do it as well! You get the idea.

As you see, there’s more to our morning coffee mayhem than just Tweets. Stay tuned for the mayhem to ensue.