Monday, January 30, 2012

Almost famous

As I am undergoing physical therapy for my right wrist and both shoulders, I decided to lighten up on the knitting a bit. But that doesn't mean I can't read about knitting. My SO picked up a new Rachael Herron at the library for me, not knowing I "know" her.

Initially, I just leafed through A Life in Stitches, but the chapter on love blankets caught my eye. In this chapter, Rachael describes the love blanket she received, and the one she conjured up for Zoom, a Canadian blogger who was having a rough year. I didn't participate in the former but I did the latter. So, while not mentioned by name (or by pseudonym), I still feel like I am part of Rachael's story. And it's a good book, too, very readable and entertaining. While there is a lot of knitting and knitting metaphors, this is really about Rachael and her life so far.

Meanwhile, I redyed the not-dyed-very-good yarn, then started on the Prairie Blanket.

The redyed yarn looks more saturated, so I plan to alternated skeins, to spread the color out. So far, I am liking the results.

(A while back I added a widget for Amazon Contextual Product Ads on the right sidebar. The resulting ads are odd, to say the least, and sometimes a little hysterical. Money Ball? Seriously? How did they come up with that, from a knitting blog?)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Back in the saddle

Somehow, when I set a project aside, I assume that when I pick it up again in a day or two, I will know exactly where I left off. That assumption does not apply to projects that get set aside for weeks, though. It took a bit of knitting and tinking and counting and puzzling to figure out whether I was slipping the first stitch of every row and how I was decreasing the sleeves, etc., but now I "have traction" on the gray and pink suspender sweater. I just hope I don't run out of yarn again.

The KoolAid dyed blanket project is languishing a bit while I work on the sweater, primarily because I need to make a decision on the dyed-not-so-completely yarn. And then actually do something about it. The problem is I have to work for a living (boo) and there are only so many hours in a day.

The legwarmers are progressing, though, because they are small and portable and require no thinking or counting, perfect for keeping my hands busy and my mind from wandering during business meetings. Next week I have to take the car in to be serviced (and to find out why the gas mileage is dropping). I would not be surprised if the legwarmers did not get finished then.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Poodle Skirt scarf

Another scarf in fingering - I don't think I will do that again for a while. I usually get tired of scarves halfway through, and scarves in fingering seem to take forever. I don't know why I would think they should knit faster than socks, though, even if the needles are bigger.

Pattern: Favorite Scarf Ever by Lisa Bruce
Yarn: Barn Yarn, in 'Poodle Skirt'
Needles: US5
Modifications: I did not knit this scarf in two halves to be grafted together, so I ended with 2 knit rows and a bind off.

I love this colorway (especially the name), but the color runs were too short for socks. I'm loving the tiger-stripe chevrons, though.

Now. I REALLY need to get back to the gray and pink suspender sweater, before winter passes us by.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Stash reorg leads to leg warmers

I decided to copy all my CDs onto my old laptop, thereby eliminating the need to even have the CDs. But I really like the CD shelving, so I repurposed it to hold some of the stash.

My daughter noticed the big ball of Toasty Toes and wondered what that was for. I said leg warmers and she said I'd like some leg warmers.

But instead of the Toasty Toes, I am knitting hers in some self-striping Austermann Step.

The pattern calls for DK yarn and this is fingering, so I'm not sure how long they will be. But they will be colorful!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Not according to plan

In the continuing saga of dyeing yarn with KoolAid, I took that pretty sample and knit a swatch in garter stitch.

That got me itchy to get going for real on the blanket. But first, I had to dye the rest of the yarn. In the name of efficiency, my first inclination was to try to dye it all at one time. Sanity prevailed, so instead I tried two skeins at a time. The results were less than stellar.

I used more KoolAid, to try to get a more saturated, more even color, but what I got was more variation, from very saturated to almost no color. There is still more yarn to dye, so I will try one skein at a time. Depending on the result, I will then maybe re-dye the above skeins.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

To dye for

My daughter requested a new, bigger blanket for toddler N, who has outgrown the baby-sized ones I made. It would need to be washable, of course, and wool (wool is naturally flame resistant, plus it breathes), but I did not want to break the bank. So I purchased some undyed skeins from KnitPicks (my first purchase from them), with the plan of dyeing the yarn myself, using KoolAid.

(I keep typing "KookAid".)

An article on knitty provided the how-to and examples of what each flavor might look like. My daughter chose the Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade, but I decided it might be prudent to work up a sample. It's really simple.

First, I measured out one ounce of yarn.

Not a bowl of spaghetti

Washed the yarn.

The casserole dish is sitting on a burner but not over a flame

Mixed one package of unsweetened KoolAid into water in a pot.

Blue lagoon

Added the yarn and heated it all to almost a boil.

Blue spaghetti

Let sit for 30 minutes, then rinsed and washed the yarn.

Smells like KoolAid


The color, while very pretty, is uneven in saturation, which my daughter likes but is something to keep in mind for future adventures in dyeing. Once the yarn is dry, I am going to knit up a swatch for this pattern: Prairie Blanket by Oat Couture.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Grounded in Degradee

I did not think anyone would want white-ish socks, so I used this yarn for a fingering weight scarf.

Pattern: Grounded, by Kirrily Robert
Yarn: Fortissima Socka Degradee Color, colorway 101
Needles: US4
Modifications: None to speak of, although I did slip the first stitch of each row knitwise

I *love* how the colors change, although in real life they are more muted than in these photos. And the fabric is incredibly soft and airy.

Can't wait to wear it. Too bad it is going to be 50F here today. Maybe I should move farther north.

Monday, January 02, 2012

First FO for 2012

Actually, I finished this last year, but was too lazy to take a photo, much less post. Besides, I already had my recap for 2011 finished.

Pattern: Smilla by Susan Luni
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky, in 'Oregano'
Needles: US15
Modifications: I knit this flat, so had to seam it. Ugh. Also, I did not understand the instructions, so instead of a neck wrap, it is more cowl-like. I may have to take it for a test run, to see if I need to make further modifications - it seems really bulky.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

2011 recap

Today seems like an appropriate time to post a recap of all the knitting that actually got finished in 2011. More knitting occurred, as evidenced by my WIP list. Maybe one of my New Year's resolutions should be to eliminate WIPs? That intention has been semi-permanent for a long time. We shall see what happens in 2012.

Jaywalker socks
Undulating Rib socks
Twin Rib socks
Bluebell Rib socks
Retro Rib socks
Baby Cable Rib socks (for my SO)
3x3 Cable with Moss Stitch socks
Inlay socks
Baby Cable Rib socks (for me)

Mobius Ring wrap
Zandloper scarf

Suede Baby Hat
Kromboomssloot Snood
Spiral Tweed Cloche
Watch Cap
Classic WWII Watch Cap
Official Kittyville Hat

One-piece Baby Kimono
A-line Cardigan
Hooded Pullover

Misc. baby stuff
Summer Slumber Sack
Feather and Fan baby blanket
Baby Bib o' Love
Baby Genius Burp Cloth
Pinafore Dress

Gridded Kitchen Towel

Happy New Year! And knit on!