Thursday, June 2, 2011

What to Knit?

I'm starting to think on my knitting dilemma for next week.  I'll be taking a class, which will entail a 40 minute commute each morning and evening.  The cool part - I don't have to drive.  Kudos to carpooling.  In my mind, I'm starting to plan a little about what would be  good, easy, and portable project to work on.  So - that's about 2 hours a day times 5 days - or approximately 10 hours of knitting in a car with 3 other people.
After working with this for awhile, I actually do the math and realize that 40 + 40 = 80 minutes…or just under an hour and a half a day.  Times 5 days equals 7.5 hours.  That would be why I’m the SCIENCE teacher, and not the math teacher.  And really, in knitting, does this even matter?  Probably not.  Really my concern should be, will it be light out while we are driving – much more important to the knitting process.

Back to the potential projects.  I tend to over-estimate how quickly I knit (even with timed proof to the contrary), and so tend to add extra skeins of yarn thinking, just in case I get finished.  For a portable project, I need to keep a couple of considerations in mind.  First, I will be in the back of a car, so it will be helpful to not have a lot of tools to keep track of (scissors, crochet hook, stitch markers) and not have to change between different skeins of yarn.  On the other hand, I don’t want a project so big that it takes up too much room – as my backpack is supposed to have the notebook and other class supplies.  Sounds like something medium-sized, like a scarf or shawl, will be perfect.  And, probably, since we’ll be bouncing around on the road, something fairly simple, so I don’t have to interpret a pattern or keep count of stitches too much if we are talking in the car. 

Let’s look around, and see what kinds of yarns and projects I have planned for this summer, to see what might fit the bill.  I’m in a rainbow phase right now, and want to make one of my tube scarves in rainbow stripes.  Very fun, but will require carting around 6 skeins of yarn at a time – definitely out.

I’ve got the makings of several other projects too – crocheting fun trim on flip flops, knitting baby hats & booties, knitting head kerchiefs.  All easy and portable, but are quick projects, so will require tools to finish them off, or have several pieces to carry around.

Another project on the schedule for this summer – a medium weight blanket in very basic stitches.  That would be an easy one to work on while chatting in the back of the car, but I’m pretty fast as basic stitches, so it would probably get to be too big and bulky to fit easily into my backpack by the end of the week.

It looks like it is going to be a shawl.  Something medium-sized, with finer yarn (smaller skeins), and detailed enough that it will take longer to knit.  But, still thin enough it won’t take up too much space in the bag after a week’s worth of knitting.  And I’ve got the perfect yarn too – look at this beautiful mix of greens and brown variegated yarn.

And the pattern:  I think I’ll use LionBrand’s Splendid Triangle Shawl pattern.  I’ve made it before in this homespun spring green, and it is a simple pattern of 4 repeating rows.  It does have 2 stitch markers, but hopefully that won’t be too bad in the back of the car.  I think with this yarn, it will end up making a looser, drapier, summerier version of the shawl.  Shall we see if I can finish it during my carpool next week?

Here I was, all set and ready to pack, and what happens this morning?  I find another pattern.  I tend to have knitting ADD - I'm easily distracted and lured away from finishing a project by the idea of starting a new one.  As you can see from earlier in this post, I have several things I can't wait to start - so much so, I'm having a very hard time finishing what's currently on the needles!  But - let me show you my newest find:  Fibonacci Scarf

I've had specific interest in the Fibonacci numbers ever since it was used in a sculpture for our new Math & Science building.  I have to say, the reason I knew about the Fibonacci Sequence was from the Da Vinci Code, not from any scholastic endeavors.  I like patterns and odd math or science facts, so I cued into it in the story, and like the pattern of it.  If you don't know offhand what it is, I'm sure you've heard of it.  The pattern goes "1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34" and on and on.  The sequence adds the last two numbers to get the next number in the sequence.  This pattern has been found in many objects in nature, like a shell's spiral, a pinecone's tabs or sunflower's seeds. 

Back to knitting - this is a very cool scarf, and looks absurdly easy to knit.  The idea here is to use two colors.  Using this picture, if you start with red, you make stripes in the number sequence up towards the middle.  And contrast that with the black stripes, that count up the number sequence from the middle out.  Takes a moment to write out the numbers to intersperse them, but after that, easy enough and makes a abstract, more-complicated looking scarf.  Maybe this is what I need to take with me on my trip.
What do you think?  Maybe I should just pack them all.  How much room do I need for all those other things in the suitcase? 

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