Archives from September 12, 2012

Fourth Quarter Challenge!

Photo: Sheri Berger
Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 in Loopy Challenges

Now that Camp Loopy is over (except for the bonus yarn – hopefully ready by the end of next week!), it’s time to turn our attention to the Fourth Quarter Challenge.

The nice thing about Camp – you have a quick month to get it done and it teaches you how fast you really CAN get things one when you focus on one thing. (Talking to myself here …..)

The nice thing about Quarterly Challenges - you have 3 months to get it done, which allows you plenty of time to insert other projects in there for variety, as you knit along.

I think there are advantages to both, but I’m ready for a little longer amount of time on this next project! The Challenge is to knit a project using yarn held double. Have you done that before?

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Here are the details and then I’ll talk about a couple of ideas.

- Your project must use two yarns, held and knit together. (Two strands of lace, or two strands of fingering, or two strands of DK/Sport, or two strands of worsted, or two strands of bulky, or a combination of any of those weights.)

- It must be a 400 yard (or more) project. This means you’ll be using 800 yards of yarn: 400 + 400 knit together. You can begin any time after today.

- The project must be done (with pictures uploaded to the Fourth Quarter Challenge Gallery) by December 31st. That gives you three months!

- If you want to purchase yarn for your project, you can get a 20% discount on one project’s worth of yarn for this challenge if you order between now and next Thursday, September 20th. You will need to leave us an order note, telling us which yarn you will be using for the challenge. We will apply the discount after we receive your order. If you are going for free shipping in the U.S., please do a bit of math ahead of time to be sure that your discount won’t take you under the $75 amount, or the website will add the shipping back in. We can only apply the discount to one project in one order during this shopping week, so choose carefully and calculate yardage wisely!

- If you do purchase yarn during the Challenge Week (Sept. 12-20) and if you finish your project and upload the photo by 12/31, we will double your project’s Frequent Shopper Benefits when we approve your photo. That means if your yarn is $30, you’ll get FSB points for $30 when your order ships, and another $30 in FSB points when your project is finished and photo uploaded by the deadline.

- You can also use stash yarn and upload your photo to the gallery to be included in the random drawings, as long as it’s a yarn base/brand that we carry here at The Loopy Ewe.

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So what are you going to make? I’m planning to use two skeins of laceweight held together to (finally) make the Charleston Tea cardigan. I don’t have a lot of success in sweater completion. I’ve knit two sweaters (a Mr. Greenjeans and a Zoe Cardigan), and I have 3 sweaters currently in time-out (for no reason except that sweaters take so long and there is always something else that comes along that I want to knit instead). This time, I found a friend to knit along with me, and SHE has a great track record in sweater completion, so I have hope! I’m using this Wollmeise Laceweight  in Spice Market that I bought when I visited Claudia’s shop in Germany, so it’s a little heavier laceweight than the wispy stuff.

Besides doubling up for a sweater, another thing you can do is something felted. Felting frequently has you knitting two skeins of worsted yarn together (so that it knits up big and fast), so you might want to make yourself a new bag. How about a Sara Purse, or a Go Green Shopping Bag? (Or hey – design yourself a bag!)

I’ve been working on another project with two yarns held together. It’s the Cabled Rib Wrap, which is knit holding Silk Cloud and Baby Alpaca DK together. It’s awesome and I love working on it. One of our Knit Nighters is working on a beautiful lacey scarve with a skein of fingering weight and a skein of that Silk Cloud held together and each time she brings it we all admire it. I think there are probably many open-lace scarf patterns that would lend themselves to that (adding a laceweight in either a different texture or color, to make it more interesting.) Check out Moiraine, or Pergola Lace Wrap, or the Summer Wind Cowl. Adding two different textured yarns together is fun. (Shown here in Silk Cloud Suit and Zitron Filigran Denim. With the two slightly different shades, you’d also be adding a bit of dimension as well as texture to your piece.) You could alter any of those patterns by adding in a second skein of something soft/warm/shimmery (alpaca, cashmere, silk) or something in a little different color, alongside your regular fingering weight skein.

If you’re adding a yarn to an existing pattern that was written for one yarn, keep in mind that it will turn out larger when you add more yarn to it, and you will probably have to go up a needle size or two. That’s why scarves/wraps/cowls are great, because in most cases, it doesn’t matter if they get bigger. They’re not fitted, and that just means more to wrap up in. In my case (with the sweater I’m doing), the pattern calls for a sportweight, and I’m using two strands of laceweight to equal a sportweight, so it should not come out bigger or require a different size of needles. (Yes, of course I’m swatching to make sure.)

Remember, the purpose of our Quarterly Challenges is to encourage you to do something you might not have tried before (or to complete something that pushes you a little further in your knitting in some way). I hope you’re up for the challenge! Who’s in?

Sheri whoneedstowindmyyarnandgetgoing

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