Friday, March 9, 2007

Blackberry Cozy Design -- Part I

Ugh--so unpleasantly busy. Well, I shouldn't say that, there are a lot of things I've been busy with that are quite pleasant and truth be told, I enjoy being busy. I guess I'd just rather be busy doing things I enjoy all the time, as opposed to having to cram them in next to the mandatory things I have to do everyday. Like go to work. And sleep. Don't get me wrong, I'm a HUGE fan of sleep, but that's only because working and crafting and gyming leave me so tired at the end of the day that sometimes thinking about sleep is the only thing that gets me out of bed. AND I've emailed Marymount for information on their design program, so there might be school in the future as well. I am a sucker for punishment. Aaaaanyway...

I've finished one of the Monkey Socks and am wending my way towards the heel on the second. I won't post a picture, because it would look fairly identical to the one that's already been posted, and we are all about fresh material here. Last week at work, I was contemplating how my Blackberry really is sort of shaped like a blackberry, and how cute it would be if I had a little case for it that also looked like a blackberry, with bobbles to give it some texture, and maybe a green leaf and a little brown stem at the top? Adorable, right? So Friday afternoon I plopped myself down on the couch when I got home, and started swatching.

There were two yarn contenders in this brawlathon. From the left side of the basket, weighing in at 225 pounds, the Thunda from the Tundra, The Quebec Fury...Eggplant Gems Opal!

And, from the right corner of the basket, weighing in at 636 kilos, Mr. Fisticuffs Jones, The Chimminee Sweep's Delight...Chiffon Rowan Calmer!

Each of these yarns had favorable and not so favorable traits. The Rowan yarn is bigger, and would knit up more quickly than the Opal, which is a very lightweight yarn intended for socks. On the other hand, Rowan Calmer is a cotton blend which means it's kind of heavy and the stitches get a bit droopy, while the Opal is 100% wool. The color of the Opal is darker, which means the bobbles won't stand out as much, but it's a color that's closer to that of an actual blackberry, so it's got that going for it. I think I need to experiment with a few different types of bobbles, to see what looks better. In my initial swatchings, I tried a few different types of 1-row bobbles, which break down like so:

Single-Row Bobbles
Knit into the front and back of next stitch on the needle, n-amount of times. Place stitch back on left needle and knit all of the newly created stitches together.

There is another method to making bobbles which involves multiple short-rows, and I think these will give me the look I'm going for. These break down thusly:

Multiple-Row Bobbles
Knit into the front and back of next stitch n-amount of time. Turn work and work back across newly created stitches x-amount of times. Slipping the first stitch of every short row will create a nicely spherical bobble. Finish on wrong side and turn. Knit n stitches together.

Once I have swatched up a few more samples with this new type of bobble, I will be able to make a more informed decision on which yarn would make a more bitchin' cozy. To be continued...

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