Sunday, December 28, 2008

A picture worth more than a thousand words.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Still haven't learned...

Yep, the blanket is not done.  As of 5pm today, I have ONE more horizontal join to do between rows 4 and 5.  I lucked out and had three skeins of cascade 220 in black hiding in the stash, so I used black to crochet it together.  The only problem is that now, since I've already missed my deadline, I want to crochet around the whole blanket to give it a finished edge.

Why is that a problem?  Well, I only had three skeins to start with and that's how many it took to join the rows together.  So... now I need to either 1. buy more (oh yeah.. it's Christmas)  2. trade for it (which will probably take too long) 3. Use a different black (I have one that is slightly lighter than the one I used) 4. Not edge it and just deal with it or 5.  Not edge it now, but give it to sister and edge later.

Meanwhile, I gave my sister a polar bear stuffie last night so I had something to give her at the family celebration.  She now wants baby polar bears.  Anyone know of a sport weight or fingering weight white yarn that felts?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I never learn

Once again, Hanukkah is upon us and I'm scrambling to get together a fish blanket.  This time is even worse, because I'm being a total perfectionist and keep changing things.  In the past few days I've dyed up a skein of yarn to make the last three fish (I didn't have enough of the same color to finish the row), I've over dyed three other fish (there wasn't enough variation in the purples), I've laid out the blanket five times (each time thinking I should change something, but then leaving it how it was originally).

Good thing we're doing the family Hanukkah on Tuesday.  Two more days to get it all done.  Now I just need to decide if I'm sewing it together with blue or black... if it's black, I need to go find it in my stash.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Clogs 3 : Me 1

I have made numerous pairs of felted clogs.  Till today, they have all been fun and easy projects that delighted the recipients.   Today, I met my match.

Two of my father's friends wore through the clogs I made them a few years ago, so I agreed to make new ones.  Yarn was bought for one pair, but I couldn't find yarn I liked for the second.  So... I went into the stash, pulled out three skeins of lamb's pride bulky in a white color and went to dying.

Strike 1... the colors did not come out as I planned, nor was it the "colourful" my father wanted.

I could live with that.  The person who these were meant for would love them no matter what colour they were.

I wound up the yarn and prepared to make the clogs.

Strike 2...  I can't find the pattern.  I thought I left it out when I packed, but apparently not.

Fine, I went out and bought a new copy.  Not so bad, they changed the pattern since I bought it to make the clogs narrower, which works out rather well for F's foot.

I knit them up, and forgot to count... so I ended up one stitch short and frogged a whole slipper.  This doesn't count as a strike... I still got them done in one night.

Strike 3... Felting.  Last night I went to my mom's and got ready to toss them in the washer.  I invited F over to get a perfect fit.  Yeah, right... 3 hours later, I finally had one slipper felted enough to fit her foot, but it was no longer full of red colors... it was now pink.  All the dye ran in the felting bath and there was very little left on the slippers.  Not to mention that it took 3 hours to felt and then one was larger, so I had to toss it back in by itself.  Well, it continued to bleed, so is quite a few shades lighter than it's mate.

How did I get one point in this whole mess?  Easy... Two slippers of the same length are currently sitting on my mom's dryer to dry.  I won a battle, but seriously lost the war.  I'm considering making F another pair and turning this pair into a dog toy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Look what I did...

In my attempt to avoid the use of patterns and mass produced items, I've collected (okay, they were all gifts) the Barbara Walker series of stitch pattern books.  My sister gave me the Mosaic one this year for my birthday.  

I like how the book walks you through the "rules" to mosaic knitting and offers patterns.  My only issue (and this is my issue, so please no flames about it) is the large number of patterns based on an old cultural/religious symbol.  I briefly considered trading away the book now that I've figured out how to do the technique, but that seems a bit extreme.  I'll just hide it on the back of the bookshelf.

I like stranded knitting.  I like how the colors interact and the patterns create a focus for your eye.  That being said, I usually don't like how my knitting turns out when I strand... mostly because of tension issues.  Mosaic knitting fixes that.. well... mostly.  I had a few tension issues when I was slipping more than two stitches at a time, but I think I figured it out by the end of the hat.  The only other difference, that I've found so far, is that you can't do just one stitch in an alternate color with mosaic, it will always be two stitches high.

The yarn is Valley Yarn Amherst (I think, I already lost the labels).  It was the give away at the Ravelry party this year at Rhinebeck.  Mom gave me her skein and the two skeins have just been sitting there waiting for me to do something with them.  It's a very nice merino.  I was very pleased with how soft and bouncy it was.

Close up of the mosaic pattern.  I'm very pleased with how this came out.  The hat fits my head, though I look horrible in watch cap type hats.  I suppose it will find a home eventually.