Saturday, March 29, 2008

My 7 deadlies

Jennifer is having a contest. She is making me think. She is also making me blog. Grumble grumble...

Without further ado (since I have no new pictures) here are my 7 deadly sins of knitting:

Pride -- I was indeed proud of the sweater I made for my nephew Joey. It has a few flaws, but I am sure proud I finished that one.
Envy -- I'm envious of all the people out there who can have a knitting-related job so they're surrounded by fiber stuff all day long. I"m also envious of people who spin and dye their own knitting yarn. I've remedied the dyeing last month when I learned that process (though I want to do more) and will be learning to spin in April. Now to get my hands on a wheel....
Gluttony -- I [heart] knitting books. I have at least 80 books now, and the collection keeps on growing. I do knit from some of them, but not all. I have also had quite a few signed by the designer (I'm also a glutton for signatures)
Lust -- I have to admit for a lust (quite severe) for luxury fibers. I have cashmere, quiviut, buffalo in my stash, as well as lots of alpaca. I just love the softness of them. I just have to actually knit them up, not keep them in my stash.
Anger -- Not exactly anger, but sadness -- the alphabet blanket that I made for my nephew (which did get used quite a bit at first) was accidentally washed in the laundry. I had made it from Zara which is supposed to be superwash. It's not. I'm not sure what setting it was at, but it was accidentally washed with the whites, so it might have been on 'hot'. It's felted now.
Greed -- related to lust and gluttony above - I will happily buy new knitting books or luxury fiber just to have them around. When in Calgary last spring, I bought over $100 on alpaca to make a log cabin blanket. When I got home, I even ordered more -- but in a navy color -- just to have all of the colors I wanted. Have I started it yet?
Sloth -- This one is pretty obvious - blogging. I don't blog enough. I just don't get around to it. I do take pictures of my stuff, but not enough, and even when I do, I don't always post them. I'm lazy about blogging and not afraid to admit it!

Hope I win. $30 would buy me a nice skein of cashmere, I also don't have any camel in my stash yet. Or some Alpaca with a little sparkle might make a nice scarf.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It feels good to give

At the last guild meeting the topic was making hats. We all were asked to bring in yarn and some big needles, and we would be making chemo hats.

I had some leftover fleece artist mohair, and Jenn gave me some chunky white yarn from her stash. They knit up together to make this:

I finished the first hat during the meeting, mostly because I was able to knit the whole time. It took me about an hour and a bit to make. I sewed it up when I got home. Here's another view of the same hat.

It was so addictive, so I asked Jenn if I could use the leftover white to make a second hat. I had enough, and figured that I should have enough of the same mohair. I ran out of mohair just at the top, so the top is plain white. I don't think it looks so bad.

I was addicted. I was loving making these hats. I remembered that when I raided Jenn's stash, she also had some dark green of the same yarn, and I had some white mohair in my stash, so the next night, I whipped up this:

I had about enough to make 2/3 of a hat left, so I made a kids hat (it was Jenn's idea, actually), so I also made this hat. The pompom at the top was a big hit with Erika (the model).

To quote the herringbone mitten pattern - respect the Pom. I used up all of the leftover white yarn, and there was next to no green leftover. All in all, quite efficient, and I have 4 hats for chemo patients who need them much more than I do.

If anyone out there has hats they want to donate (of any style, shape, size, colors, yarn makeup) please don't hesitate to contact me, or any members of the guild, and I'll bring them in to our next meeting. Our goal is to have 200 hats done by next fall when they'll be sorely needed.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

That darn sock -- or Darn that sock?

Last year, at about this time, I finished a pair of socks for a co-worker. She picked the yarn and the color (STR mediumweight -- "In the navy")

She had told me a few times that she loved the socks, but since she only wore them at home, I never got to see them on her feet, nor did I know if she really wore them all the time or was just making me feel good.

Well, the other day she showed up at work with this:

and asked if I could fix her precious socks. She tells me that as soon as they come out of the wash and are hanging to dry, she sometimes can't wait for them to be fully dry, and was sad to see this big hole in the ball of the foot.

We think she probably snagged it on something on her floor, didn't realize it and then plopped them into the wash - which then made the hole bigger.

Anyone know how to fix this? The newer looking yarn in the picture is my first attempt to do some sort of duplicate stitch, but that failed miserably.

I was tempted to just take any live stitches and sew them together, but that might make it have a big pressure point on the foot.

Any help? Anyone?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Silk Twister

A while ago (read 2007) , I wend to Effiloche with Jenn -- she had promised me to buy me a skein of yarn as a thank you for some photos I took for her.

I had always wanted to have some sari silk, so that's what I ended up getting. Jenn bought me one skein, and I bought a second (just in case...).

I wanted to make a corkscrew scarf with it, I just thought it would be very cool one skein project.

So, this is what I did. I cast on a bunch of stitches (100, I think), and then every other round or two, I did an increase on every stitch to double the rows. I ended up with about 500 or 550 stitches to cast off at the end. Also, some of the rows were garter stitch and some were stocking stitch so that it doesn't roll too much. I found the pattern online somewhere - if you want it, leave me a comment and I'll try to find the pattern and post it)

In the end, I decided to give this to my mother for Christmas, as I wasn't thrilled with the final result. I liked it enough, but not for me. For the next skein, I'll probably just do a simple shawl with big needles like the Handmaiden bias shawl.

I have also been busy doing some hand-dyeing. I made three gorgeous skeins which I'll be photographing soon. I actually have photos of the skeins, the cakes, but need to take pics of the swatches. What a difference it makes when knit up!! I can't wait to make all three pairs of socks.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Dino puppets

Two posts in one day, there must be a full moon or something.

I know this is a knitting blog, but I do need to digress for just a moment.

Over this past weekend, Erika and I decided to make some sock puppets. She had a "how to" in one of her activity books and wanted to make some. So we got out the hot glue gun, some felt, and other arts & craft supplies.

I happened to have an old pair of ugly green socks, which we cut up to make dinosaurs.

See how cute! Erika's is the one on the right with the dark pink hat and longer hair. Mine is on the left with the "magician's hat".

She chose the heart-nose for hers. It had to be pink. :-)

Here's the full-body shot of the two together where you can see the polka-dots. Erika cut out her own polka dots, and I attached them with the hot glue gun. Actually, I did most of the putting-together with the glue gun, since a 4 and a half year old isn't quite ready for hot glue. I did let her put the stars on the hat, since I let the glue cool down just a bit before putting them on.

She also did cut out some of the teeth on the dinosaur, but then cut the teeth in half (twice) so I redid them.

These were really quick and easy, and lots of fun to make!


Jenn was talking about making a bunny the other day, and since I'd bought the pattern from Kate a while ago, I figured I should make one too. Especially, since I have a little niece or nephew coming in the next few weeks. I already have something for him/her, but figured that a cute fuzzy bunny would be a good thing.

The yarn comes from Jenn, who exchanged it with me for some sock blockers that my husband will (eventually) be making for her. He made me some for my birthday last year, and I love them, and he graciously offered to make some for her. It's super soft, and feels like a terry cloth bath robe. Just perfect for a little baby.

The picture above was actually a spontaneous shoot because Erika had placed the bunny on her quilt like that. I couldn't have arranged it better.

Quite a collection of hand-made stuff. The quilt was made by my sister in law (the one who is having the baby). On the left of bunny is Hello Kitty, and on the left is Uniqua (which we got at the
Backyardigans live show two weekends ago) - both not hand made. They are all resting on Erika's baby blanket as a pillow, which she still sleeps with every night.

Bunny was a super-fun and SUPER-fast knit. I did it in two nights, but total knitting time was three hours or less, and then a little bit of finishing (maybe half an hour). I decided to not put in eyes/nose/mouth on this bunny, as they would just get lost in the multi colors.