Thursday, February 4, 2010

Frogging on the high seas.

Most of my friends thought I was nuts to bring wool knitting on a Caribbean cruise. Mark and I do a fair number of cruises on Holland America as the guest chefs. We come on board and do a cooking shows and hold private cooking classes on days at sea. Right now, we’re on route south from the Bahamas to Barbados. Which means tomorrow we’re at sea and are going to present three spectacular cookie recipes from THE ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE COOKIE BOOK in the morning in the ship's Culinary Arts Center.. After that, the day is mine to knit on deck.

I grabbed 5 skeins of Classic Elite Water Lilly on the way out of the house 2 days ago to make a reversible cable scarf for my friend Rich R. What I didn’t know was that the yarn was in 2 different dye lots. Ugh. Pay attention folks. No one at your LYS is going to point that out to you, lest you decide not to make the purchase.

As you can see, I sat on the deck this morning working my way through skein one. And 2 inches into skein 2, I noticed the difference. Maybe if I had nixed that mid-m

orning pina colada I would have caught it sooner. But as you can see, there’s a lot to rip.

So what’s the best way to deal with crossed dye lots? Alternate rows. It’s easy to do with circular needles. Luckily I always travel with circular needles instead of straights. I ripped out the scarf and started again casting on with both versions of yarn at the same time using two needles. Then I worked my way across the first row splitting each stitch into the individual yarns. So my cast on and my very first row had a nice combination of both dye lots. Now here’s where circular needles save the day. I worked my way across the next row using the yarn from ball A. The instead of turning my work, I slid it back to the other side of the circular needles and worked my way across it again using the yarn from ball B. Then I repeated the process alternating yarn from each dye lot in each row.

It’s actually making for a much more interesting colorway. But as I said, I have 5 skeins of yarn and 3 are from one dye lot and 2 are from another. So I’ll work 4 skeins this way and see if the scarf’s long enough. I’m making it an inch narrower to make the yarn go that much farther. I’ll post the finished piece when we get to Barbados in a few days.

Monday, February 1, 2010