Sunday, February 14, 2016

Temperature scarf Crochet A Long

Hiya!  SciFi Chris posting again after a long, long time. 

Three Rivers Crochet is participating in a crochet a long (or knit along if that's your thing).  Darn Yarn, Needle and Thread yarn shop posted the idea of a daily temperature scarf.  The idea is that the color of each row is based on the daily temperature.  You could use the daily high, low, or average.   Doug did a variation on this idea by using the change in temperature rather than assigning a specific color. 

The link to DYTN's temperature scarf directions is here:   I'll also put the directions at the end of this post.

But SciFi, you may be saying, its mid-Febuary (or even later, depending on when you read this post).  How can I start a year long daily temperature scarf when we are well past the beginning of the year?  The answer to that is in the magic of the internet.  There are many sites which give you access to the weather for a particular day.  Here's a link to the weather history in Pittsburgh for January 2016.

If you go to that website's main page, you can put in your zip code.
 I'm using the daily temperature for where my Mom lives.  That's because I'm making the afghan for her, for Christmas 2016.  (shhh, no one tell her.  Its going to be a surprise.)  

This is my afghan, as of February 14, 2016.  I'm doing a single crochet for each row and a standard ROY B GIV approach to the colors assigned to each set of temperatures.  I decided to go with an average temperature for each day.  The math done by the folks in 3RC estimates that 365 rows of single crochet will turn out to be about 6 feet.  The 45 days I've done so far has produced 9.5 inches worth of afghan.  Which if my calculations are correct, I'll actually end up with an afghan about 6 feet, 3 inches.  That's a little long for an afghan, but it will certainly allow my Mom to wrap up snug in it. 

Doug is using a wave pattern from Robyn Chachula's book Crochet Stitches Visual Encyclopedia   He has not assigned specific colors to specific temperatures.  Instead, he decided to assign colors to changes in temperature.  He went so far as to research how much temperatures change, on average, each day and used that information to divide up his color changes.  The single crochet dividing row is the low temperature for the day and the wave portion is the high temperature of the day.  He used his neutral color for the first row, and the temperature change from December 31 to January 1 for his first temperature colors.  His project will be around 14 feet long and is intended to be a garland for display.  Although fans of the Fourth Doctor would realize it would make a lovely scarf to wear.

2016 DYNT Temperature Scarf CAL/KAL
Over the course of 2016, record the daily temperature ( your choice - high, low, median, average, or set time of day) and crochet (single) or knit 1 (or 2) rows of scarf in color coordinating to the temperature based on your color chart.  
You may work your daily rows as you choose.  Some people work the previous day’s each morning at breakfast; some will work them at night before going to bed; recording each day on a calendar or notebook and then working a number of days at a time is also common.  Any method is acceptable.  The hard part is recording each day’s temp somewhere.  There are websites that track it, should you forget a day or two.
Because the chart goes in increments of 10 degrees or more, you may not need to change your yarn color daily.  How you handle this is up to you.  Weave in the ends at your discretion - as you go, all at once, or weeks at a time.  If you stitch 2 rows per day, your scarf will be noticeably longer, but all your color changes will be on the same edge.  You could start and end the yarn each day and leave a short, but consistent (5” or 6 “), tail when you start and finish.  This will create a “fringe” running the length of you scarf.
If you are of the mindset to work a number of days at a time, there will be  monthly group meeting on the last Friday AND Saturday of each month to give you the opportunity to work on your scarf with others.
Choosing Yarn:
  • You will need 10 or 11 distinct colors of yarn.
  • Make sure all yarns of the same or close enough in weight to not affect your gauge when changing colors.
  • This is a great way to use up scrap or stash yarn you no longer have a use for.  It’s also a great way to use some handspun.
  • You will use larger quantities of yarn for the middle range temperatures, so plan accordingly.
  • Finished scarf size will be determined by the yarn and needles or hooks with which you choose to work.  Plan accordingly.
  • Remember to check your yarn’s label (if you still have them) too.  For example, if you use Kraemer’s Perfection worsted, based on it’s recommended gauge ( US#8 = 5 stitches per 1”) using a US 8 knitting needles, a 5 in wide scarf would need 25 stitches cast on, and would be around 6’ long! (365 rows/5 rows per inch) = 73” = 6.08’.  
  • You might want to make a wider scarf to make the length more proportional to the width, use thinner yarn or smaller needles, depending on your preferences.
  • Choosing to use a neutral/ optional divider color will also add some length to your scarf.
Color Chart:
  • This chart was based on the hopes of a mild winter in the greater Pittsburgh region - feel free to adjust or change.
  • Fill in the color cells for your reference throughout the year.  Feel free to tape or staple actual snippets of the yarn so that you can visualize the color progressions.
  • The Neutral/ Optional Divider color is just that, optional.  Some versions use a neutral color to divide the months by working 2 rows in that chosen color between the last day of one month and the first of the next.  It may also be used as an edging and start/finish color.  
Below 0 F

0 F to 14 F

15 F to 32 F (Freezing)

33 F to 45 F

46 F to 55 F

56 F to 65 F

66 F to 75 F

76 F to 85 F

86 F to 95 F

Over 95 F

Neutral/ Optional Divider

The Crochet Scarf:
The scarf itself is pretty basic - Single crochet 1 or 2 rows each day, using the color (based on the chart) for that day.  To start your scarf on the first day, chain and SC 1 row in color matching the temperature on the grid.  
.If you are using Color N, use it to chain and SC your first row.  Switch to the color needed for Day 1.  At the end of the first month, SC 1 or 2 rows in N before moving onto the first day of the next month.  Repeat this each month.  At the end of the year, finish with N to match the beginning - SC 2 rows of N.  If desired, SC or Slip around the scarf edges.

The Knit Scarf:
The scarf is pretty basic, according to your desired gauge, CO appropriate number of stitches using the first day’s color and then knit 1 row.  You may want to note the cast on number somewhere, should you have the habit of gaining or losing stitches.  
Each day, knit 1 or 2 rows using the color that matches that day’s temperature.  Remember, single daily row scarves will be shorter in length than double row day scarves; and you won’t necessarily need to change your yarn each day.
Scarves of this type often look best when done in the Garter Stitch, so you will simply knit each day’s row(s).  Feel free to make it in Stockinette, if you prefer.  
If you are using Color N, use N to cast on and knit 1 row.  Then use the daily colors in the following rows.  Between the last day of a month and the first of the next, use N to knit 1 or 2 rows (if using 1 row daily, knit just 1 row of N; if knitting 2 rows daily, knit 2 rows of N).  To bind off, knit 1 row with N and bind off.  If you crochet, you could use N as an edging when scarf is complete.  You could also use N as fringe, if desired.

Darn Yarn Needles and Thread
253 Mercer Street, Unit D ~ Harmony PA 16037
724-473-0983 ~

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Big Apple Lemons

The final count for lemons was 130 and 1 lime. The lemons are for a media blitz by Craft Yarn Council and CGOA to help people in New York City destress on April 15, 2016.
 While squeezing the lemons people will learn how knitting and crocheting can improve their health by helping them to relax.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

2015 Yarn Crawl Part II

2015 Yarn Crawl Part II

The second day of yarn crawling I did with 3RC member Doug and his friend Kim.  We went to four shops on the official yarn crawl and one ‘bonus’ shop not on the crawl:
Yarns By Design
Dyed in the Wool
Natural Stitches
Knit One

First stop was Yarns By Design in Oakmont.  It’s a nice midsized shop, with a good selection of yarns.  It is mostly knit, with very few crochet patterns offered.  I didn’t get a crochet unfriendly vibe, however.  One of the items I got at Yarns By Design were kid’s hat kits, Top This.  It’s a skein of mixed texture yarns and includes a stuffed hat topper.  They were mostly animal heads along with a flower and soccer ball.  I picked up the soccer ball kit and unicorn head.  It only comes with knit instructions, not crochet.  I haven’t made them yet, but they are next on my project list. 

 Felted flower pots, hanging on clear nylon cording.  There are normal plastic flower pots inside each one, to contain the dirt and plant.

Top This kid hat kits.

Yarn By Design had a goodie bag that included coupons for neighboring businesses and chocolate made at another local business.

If there was a prize for most improved, it would go to Dyed in the Wool.  Those of you who read last year’s Yarn Crawl blog will know that I didn’t have a very positive experience there.  Chatting with others, I wasn’t the only one.  However, this year they seemed to be making a real effort to be welcoming of new folks into their shop.  We were greeted when we came in the door and asked if we needed any help finding anything.  The women working there seemed to be paying attention to what we were doing, ready to help if asked.  Even the shop seemed cleaner and more organized.  Its still very much a knit shop, with some spinning items.  I did pick up some pretty hand dyed yarn.  When one of the people working there noticed what I had chosen, she made sure to show me a sample of the yarn that had been made into a baby outfit.  Nice job improving on the customer service, keep it up!

After Dyed in the Wool, we stopped for lunch at Mediterrano, a Mediterranean restaurant on Babcock Bulevard.   Where I totally failed to take any photos.  Lunch was very tasty.  I tried the beet salad, pantzaria salata, and it was delicious.  I also had the lamb burger.  It tasted good, but the texture was a bit chewy compared to a beef burger.  Kim had  spanokopitakia, phyllo pastry filled with spinach and feta, and dolmades, grape leaves stuffed with rice and beef.  Kim was generous enough to share one of her dolmades with me, it was very good.  I don’t remember what Doug had.  Sorry about that.  I would definitely return to this restaurant.  Thus fortified, the three of us continued on our journey. 

Next up was Natural Stitches.  We’d all been there before.  It’s a very large store, with a huge variety of yarns.  One of the outstanding things about this store is that each type of yarn is marked with the general amounts needed to make different items.  Its in knit measurements, but from that crocheters can estimate.  Crochet uses about a third more yarn (not 3x) than knitting.  There is a decent selection of crochet pattern books.  I bought three new books:  Suzann Thompson’s Crochet Garden, Monette Satterfield’s Let’s Crochet, and Mollie Makes Crochet.  I haven’t made anything out of any of the books yet (having been making amigurumi puzzle balls and felted pumpkins) but they are on the to do list.  I was thinking that making flowers might be a good stash buster. 

For those that spin and knit, kits to take you from fleece to socks.

Handy guides on finding the right colors for your fandom team, whether that fandom is Harry Potter or NFL.

Assisting in figuring out how much yarn you will need for that project. 

Tonidale’s was the first shop on this part of the yarn crawl that was new to me.  Doug had been to their old location and said that the new place was much bigger. It was a bit tricky finding the place, since the yarn crawl ‘passport’ had the wrong address listed.  Once we acquired the right address through the magic of the internet, it was much easier to locate, especially with the big sign on the edge of the parking lot.   I loved the way they displayed the yarn on the walls, in circles stacked on each other.  Tonidale’s has a wide variety of ‘novelty’ yarns, including ribbon yarn and eyelash yarn.  This made my friend Rebecca (who crawled at this store on a different day) happy, since she loves working with ribbon yarn.  There was also a nice selection of ‘regular’ yarn, in a good range of prices.  I picked up some bright red acrylic yarn along with some matching variegated acrylic yarn.  I also got a ‘learn to crochet’ kit for my 7 year old niece, who has been having fun finger weaving.  Doug bought some pretty purple hand dyed superwash merino yarn. 

Our last stop of the day was Knit One in Squirrel Hill.  It wasn’t on the official yarn crawl.  Doug wanted to stop there since it had recently gotten new management and he was curious what the shop was now like.  Knit One is also a large store, with a good selection of yarn.  Although I saw very few crochet patterns or books.  It does have comfy chairs and couches spread throughout the store.  I took advantage of one of these comfy couches, as Doug and Kim browsed.  While sprawled on the couch, I realized I could overhear the beginning knitting class that was going on in the back section of the store.  I blatantly eavesdropped and was very impressed by the instructor.  She was encouraging and patient with her students.  When one of the students expressed her frustration at still having difficulty, the instructor convincingly pointed out how much progress she had made and showed her the things she had done correctly in her practice sample.  The student began working again with renewed enthusiasm. 

Five shops in one day was definitely exhausting.  Doug, Kim, and I made our way home with our bags of new yarn and patterns. Just three more shops to go!