I thought today was going to be “one of those days”. My hubby and I had to take our car to the dealership. You know the wait and fear of the unknown when you have to take your car in to the “shop”. We bought the car there in December. It’s used, 2003 Taurus wagon, but a great deal.

The word WARRANTY means different things to many companies. You’re never really sure if it’s to be honored honorably. Sorry…couldn’t resist the play on words. And of course you hope you don’t have to find out. Well we did have to approach them for a few issues. Surprisingly we were very happy with Courtesy Ford’s business ethics.

NO PROBLEM! That’s really what it is like dealing with them. They go the full distance. We have been back to them twice about warranty issues. Not only did they honor the warranty but they were organized, friendly, and fair. THANK YOU Courtesy Ford.

I believe that good old fashioned business ethics should be applauded!

While we were there I worked on my latest project:

This one is my own pattern and I’m loving it! Just a quick tip about photographing your work: I find that turning off your flash and positioning the piece under a light gives you much better detail of your work. The flash, whether using soft or not, obscures the detail of the stitches.

Bascially I wanted my hat and neck warmer to be a set so I incorporated the woven cable into my pattern.

//////00/////////00//00/////////00//00/////////00//00/////////00//00/////////00//00/////////00//////

The line above shows my planning when I cast on my stitches.

/=knit and 0=purl

I know I want six rows of garter stitch to trim the piece and that I want buttonholes so that I can use some funky buttons and not have to pull the neck warmer over my head.

The cable is worked over nine stitches with two purl, two knit, two purl in between the cables.

Again, take the time to knit a swatch. I decided I wanted a tighter material so I used smaller needles, 4.23mm. The swatch told me some vital information:

1. My gauge is 5 stitches per inch or 5sts/inch. This one piece of info helps to me figure out how many stitches to cast on no matter what size needles and wool combination. Basically I can alter any pattern to fit my needs as well as create my own pattern.

2. The tightness of my material. By knitting a swatch I can actually see and feel what type of material I will be making. Now is the time to make changes, NOT halfway through a project.

3. If I am using a variegated wool a swatch will give me a good idea as to how the colors will pool. If I’m not happy with the way they pool then I can switch needles sizes and/or stitches.

4. If you are planning on felting your project pretesting a swatch will give you an excellent gauge as to how much your material will shrink to achieve the feeling you want. Now is the time to rethink your pattern if it’s not what you want.

Alright, I’ll get off my soapbox. I know that I need about 100 stitches cast on because my neck it roughly 16 inches around plus some slack, I chose about four inches. Don’t forget, when making cables your material will pull in. So if I were to write all this info into a pattern it would look like this:

CO 99 sts

Row 1) k
Row 2) p
Repeat Rows 1&2 twice more
Row 7) k6, *p2, k9, p2, k2, repeat from * to last six sts, k6
Row 8] k6, *k2, p9, k2, p2, repeat from * to last six sts, k6
Row 9) k6, *p2, sl 3sts to cable needle, k3, cross cable needle at front of work and k3 from cable needle, k3, p2 repeat from * to last six sts, k6
Row 10) k6, *k2, p9, k2, k2, repeat from * to last six sts, k6
Row 11) repeat Row 7
Row 12) repeat Row 8
Row 13) k6, *p2, k3, sl 3sts to cable needle, k3, cross cable needle at back of work and k3 from cable needle, k3, p2 repeat from * to last six sts, k6
Row 14) repeat Row 8

Rows 7 to 14 are your pattern rows. Repeat these rows until your neck warmer is the length you want.

Finnish off with six rows of garter stitch.

I’m going to try a new-to-me technique call “steeking” for the button holes. But you’ll have to wait until I’ve done it for a tut.

Until next time, stay well and warm.

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