Saturday, November 29, 2008

Kitchen fun

One of the problems with moving, is that I don't have easy access to all my stash.  It's not that I can't get to it, it's just not as easy as it was.

So, what to do when I can't find the color combination I want and don't want to buy new stuff?

Dye up the old!

I've been doing some food safe dying lately.  It has to be food safe because my acid dyes are packed along with all the extra pots and pans I bought to avoid poisoning myself.

This batch started out as white lamb's pride bulky.  It's going to be a pair of felted slippers.  I wanted long repeats so the color would be more than one or two stitches, so I wrapped the hank by using mom's dining room chairs.  There are three colors, though my dad thinks the colors are too close together.  The orange is cherry&orange, the red is tropical punch and the not-so-bright is black cherry.

This one is still wet, so is a bit harder to see... I couldn't find grape kool-aid at the supermarket today, so I decided to buy a set of food coloring.  It came with red, blue, yellow and green.  The original color is what you see knit up... it's more gray than purple.  The background yarn is what I did today. It's more of an overall purple with some really bright spots here and there.  These two skeins will be fish in the blanket.  I already made six fish out of the gray/purple, and while I need to repeat a few colors to have enough fish, it wasn't one I wanted to repeat.  I figured it would be easy enough to over-dye.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Toys

I have a few new toys to play with.

The first, is a new stuff sack from Tom Bihn.  They already make a smaller version that you get with the Swift or can buy separately.  This one is still a prototype, so I'm giving it a good testing.
Not even half full with a scarf made of 300 yds and an extra ball of yarn.

Inside view.  That red thing on the right is a yarn guide.  It snaps open and shut so you can take the project out without having to cut the yarn.

The bottom is about 6 inches in diameter.

A comparison with a monkey bag for size.  The monkey bag was stuffed full with the scarf.

Next, just as small and portable... my new wheel!

Kitty added for scale.  Yes, the wheel really is in that box.

Not only was it in the box, but it didn't even take up the whole thing!  

All the pieces. 

And all together!  Norm made a few modifications since Rhinebeck.  The treadles now slide onto the guides in the base, so they don't come off while you're spinning.  He also added a screw to hold the treadles to the wheel instead of using the pin and cap that he had on the previous model.  The 12:1 ratio really does spin fast.  Like all new toys, she and I need a bit of time to get used to eachother.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

TV rant...

Can someone please explain to me when hunting ghosts, scaring people for money and chasing people through a park became science fiction????

I am highly disappointed in the Sci-Fi channel lately. Mind you, Sanctuary makes up for some of the issues, but wrestling????

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Finished a few things..

I went over to my mom's this afternoon to borrow her washer.  It's just so much easier to felt in a top loader, especially when you don't know how the yarn you're felting will react.  While I was there, I borrowed her sewing needles to finish off a few projects.  I can't wait till I can unpack all my boxes, I have no idea where the pouch with my finishing supplies is packed.

I was flipping through the Interweave felt and found a polar bear pattern.  This pattern was the ONLY reason I bought this issue, and I can't tell you how glad I am that I did.

Here he is pre-felting.  Before I put his legs on, my father thought he looked like a rat.
Here he is after felting.  You can still see the stitch definition, but I'm very happy with how this one came out.  I might put in a bit more stuffing on the next one.

Pattern: Polar Bear Stuffies - Interweave Felt 2008
Yarn: SWS - less than 1
Needles: US 10

He took me less than a day to knit up.  I may have to make more of these.  He's destined to join a 3 year old who is getting a new sister soon.

Also finished, a sweater for the new sister.
I forgot to put in button holes (the pattern calls for ties) so I just crocheted loops onto the edge for the buttons when it was all said and done.  Next time, I'll add in button holes.

Pattern: Easy Baby Cardigan (free pattern by Diane Soucy)
Yarn: Plymouth Jellie Beenz - 2 skeins
Needles: US 8

This was a very easy, very quick knit.  Not a bit of sewing anywhere on it.  Gotta love a sweater with no seams!

I finally added buttons to the neck warmers I made.  I can now say that making one lengthwise doesn't work unless you find a way to draw in the top and bottom stitches a bit (ie, garter or ribbing).  The one I made according to the pattern works well and hugs my neck, the one I did lengthwise flops open.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My Holiday Wheel

I'm so excited!  I got a message tonight that the wood working is done on my new wheel and they are going to start the finish tomorrow.  I ordered an extra bobbin, so I can do three ply yarn if I want.

Norm has a new web site... go look here!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Warm socks...

I finished these last night.  Nice, thick, warm socks!

Yarn: Brooks Farm Solana (Rhinebeck 2008)
Needles: Size 3
Pattern: Widdershins
Mods: altered the toe increases and the increases for the gusset to get the look I wanted.
Cuff: 2x1 rib

I think this is the quickest I've ever knit up Rhinebeck yarn.  It's less than a month since I got it.

I love how the heel on this pattern turns out.  I need to sit down and figure out the generic formula for the heel.  Right now, it only works for my worsted weight socks.  I can't imagine knitting fingering weight socks at 7 stitches/inch.

There has been forward movement on the fish blanket, but since my sister has requested no previews and occasionally reads this, I have to send you to the Ravelry page for it if you want to see.  I apologize to those who don't have access to Ravelry.  I'm afraid you'll have to wait till I give it to her to see the blanket.  Any suggestions on fish layout would be more than appreciated.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Lots of semi-FO

This one is really a WIP.  I started them last night.  I love how the heel turns out, though I modified the toe and the gusset increases to get them to turn out how I wanted.

Pattern: Modified Widdershins from Knitty - Summer 2006
Yarn: Brooks Farm Solana
Needles: Size 3 

Next up... a project that's taken me almost two years to finish.  Well, most of that time involved me procrastinating.  I just don't like to seam.  I still need to block this a bit.  I'm hoping it doesn't grow too much.  On the advice of a friend, I made the sleeves longer than called for and then already reach to just above my thumb.
Pattern: Rogue
Yarn: Jaeger Shetland Aran (80% wool, 20% alpaca)
Needles: size 8

These weren't on the needles nearly as long as Rogue, but I did start them back in February.  I guess I hit a sock block.
Pattern: 2x2 rib sock
Yarn: Ellen's Half Pint Farm wool/bamboo
Needles: 2.5mm

I continued the ribbing down the foot because I'm not sure how much the yarn will bounce back once stretched.  Guess I'll find out as I wear them.  I REALLY like how the colors mixed together when knit up.

A few weeks ago, I bought a skein of Malabrigo.  I have a skein of the worsted in my stash, but haven't knitted it up yet.  One of the problems with living somewhere temporarily is that my stash is still packed up.  I've been limited to knitting with the yarn that I've recently bought (hence using yarn I got at Rhinebeck '08 already).  A search of what to do with one skein came up with a neck warmer.  These aren't finished yet, I've decided to add buttons since pulling anything over my head causes instant friz.
Pattern: Ilean
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted
Needles: Size 8
This was knit out of the leftovers, so I knit lengthwise to make sure it would fit around my neck but used the same stitch pattern.