Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011

40 candles


A postscript - my husband literally lost eyebrows to singeing bringing this in for me to blow out.  Props to not smoking for 13 years, it took a single blow to put them all out and I wasn't even dizzy when I finished.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

And some knitting

So, Chroma - I was thinking of doing the Green Mountain Spinnery Stained Glass pullover in it. Here's a swatch of Upick and Fossil, but I was also thinking of Galapagos and Midwinter:



Mmmmm dinner

My birthday is tomorrow - I'm going to be forty.
So, my sister sent me 40 balloons -



See? No joke, that's a lot of balloons.
I also got taken to one my favorite restaurants in Altanta, Muss and Turners.



Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sending things away

So, I'm really enjoying this stash busting thing, but realistically, I have a lot of stuff to get through.  But, I'm all excited as I'm sending Elsie her gloves and mittens today.
I also just looked at Great Northern Yarns and wow [drools on self], just amazing.  And not that pricey for what it is [more drooling].
Anyway, I have an idea for a version of a Green Mountain Spinnery design using the new yarn from Knitpicks, Chroma, in fingering.  I have to finish a pair of socks, then I'll do some swatching.
That last paragraph really pissed of my computers' spell check, which makes me chuckle.  Apparently, I need more coffee today.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Lined mittens

This using up stuff - it feels good. Here are leftovers from Elsie's gloves and from the Detroit Lions hat:



Thursday, January 13, 2011

Progress

Needed backing and ironing.


Recycling

Yes, another day off so ....
I am not going to finish that ugly stars sweater, and much as I hate it, I can't bring myself to throw it away and unknitting it is pointless. It's intarsia and I'd just spaghetti when I was done.
But I also have leftover blue velveteen from the fish shawl and stuffing from Sack Boy so today I'm making a pillow...



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Blocking

One of the questions I get a lot from other knitters is how to block. It scares a lot of people - I get questions from non-knitters who don't want to dry clean their knitwear. I don't blame them, I don't go in for dry cleaning if I can help it.
You can block in various ways, Knitty.com has some great tutorials, but I like to full on wet block, or wash my knitting. Fiber content will also factor in, but i find most anything can be washed if you're careful. In addition to blocking and shaping, I like my sweaters to actually be clean.
So, since we're now on our 3rd snow day, I thought I'd do a visual blocking tutorial:
You will need lukewarm water, baby shampoo, 2 sets of towels and a basin large enough to submerge the piece you're washing without smooshing it.





You might also want "help"





Fill your basin with lukewarm water - it should feel neutral to your hand, maybe slightly warm. Imagine you're washing a baby or cat. $$ There are 3 things that will shrink and felt wool (actually once it's a garment you're fulling, rather than felting); heat (not just too much heat, but shocking wool, ie going from hot to cold quickly) detergent and agitation. So, controlling your temperature is important. Keep the water the same temperature for the washing and rinsing. $$
Once you have filled the basin add the shampoo (or wool wash like Euclan, I like baby shampoo because it's cheap and readily available and it's designed to clean something made of protein) between 1-3 teaspoons, depending on the size of what you're washing/blocking and froth the water to disperse the soap throughout. Drop in your knitting.

Prod gently to make the water and soap reach all the fibers. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. You'll probably notice some dye bleeding out if your piece is new, some grey dirt if it's older. If you're seeing a great deal of either, drain your container and repeat.



Next you need to rinse out your knitting, so repeat the first step (minus the soap) until the water is clear; no soap bubbles, no color.
Now gently press out the water - don't wring, just press against the side of the basin, turn the work and repeat.



Now lay out your first towel flat on a counter or other waterproof surface and lay out you piece on it. Doesn't need to be shaped, just laid flat in a single layer.



Now roll up the towel into a big cigar:





Now press firmly all along the roll the remove water. The towel will wick away water and pad you pressing to keep the piece from stretching. The towel is also insurance against agitation, which can cause felting/pilling. When you unroll the piece you'll see the absorbed water in the towel:
Repeat this process with the second towel. Leaving a little water in your piece helps to shape it but too much will make it stretchy and blocking evenly will be harder. Also, too much water will take a long time dry out and possibly bleed onto your bed/couch/rug which isn't great.
Finally lay the piece out in a warm dry place, shaping gently for a garment, using wires or pins for something like a shawl:
I'd suggest using a towel under your piece on a bed or rug. For small things like socks, the bricks of the fireplace work just fine.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Another day off

In a city with 11 snowplows for a metro area of 4 million, you're gonna lose a couple days of work and school.
This Dec. the small one lost one of his dragon mittens so I made another fast pair the night before the day of the storm:










They took a couple hours to make, and they're not lovely, but they work.
I'm also finishing a pair of socks for him:



Have I mentioned that mine 9 year old son and I have the same size feet?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow day

Everything is canceled today. Work, school, heck, some dolt lit his car on fire spinning out the tires. Check out the video here.
















Now we're making cookies.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Well that's different

I'm from New England - it snows there. Sometimes a lot and things get a little crazy.
Now I live in the Deep South and this is what happens when they predict we MIGHT get freezing rain tomorrow night:



Pathetic.
You know what really stinks?
Left my knitting in the car.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I really like these

For Elsie's gloves - the colors will be different.
http://www.knitpicks.com/patterns/Guardian_Gloves__D10778220.html

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Well, that's just creepy

At Target tonight:


Going anywhere on New Years is always a bit odd. This didn't help.


See, Capra sweatsocks.