Saturday, March 31

I am bored with my knitting right now - two sleeves to work here, frog and re-knit there, get the second sock finished on the other project. Ho hum - where are the mediation knitters when you need them?

Instead, we have the katz:


who seems to prefer looking down over all he can survey.

Oz -

who staged a sit-in to protest the empty water bowls.

There is peace in the kingdom.

Sunday, March 25

Live action knitting

Maybe I do finish projects, just not ones that I will be wearing.

Above, my own version of reversible socks (knit toe-up with a garter stitch toe and heel and 2-stitch ribbing on the instep, sole and ankle, bind-off using Grandmother's Old Fashioned Purl). Off to DD#1 after I tuck in the ends. She wanted enough over the ankle for a cuff but I don't think I achieved that.

Exhibit #2 is my felted rug. This was an indulgence - I bought the book because this project was on the back cover. I followed all specs, including Brown Sheep Burley Spun wool - even at 25% off at Loopy Yarns, way more than I have ever spent on a single type of yarn.

There is a sad rule about felting - there is no formula to figure out how much shrinkage to expect per size of original knitting. You have to swatch and wash. Err. I didn't do that and the rug turned out fine, except one tiny detail. Perhaps if my pre-felting gauge matched the instructions, I might have been able to squeeze out a second yellow stripe out of the Lamb's Pride - oh well.

A happy rule about felting is that you control the shrinkage - you don't have to run the item all the way through the washer cycle. So hover over your top loader and pull out that wool every so often to make sure your slippers don't shrink to the size of baby booties. I got more shrinkage lengthwise and little width wise. The rug turned out fabulous and is now cushioning my walnut table.

Tuesday, March 20

When on vacation, I count

I don't have a household inventory. I don't know the serial number of our TV or any of the computers; how many plates we have or the number of books we have (however I am aware of the 11 boxes in the basement in addition to those books on the 8 bookshelves in the apt).

I made a knitting needle inventory on Christmas vacation once. I wrote about it on my first blog but Blogger seems to have deleted the entry. I used a piece of orange copier paper that I have been revising occasionally. I was horrified at the number of needles at that time and so I gave away a big handful of mostly mis-matched pairs to the Pine Ridge Reservation and then sold a good portion on eBay (duplicates of duplicates so I don't think I have replaced them). This time I am transferring my figgerin' from the back of the Columbia DVD club letter to my handy-dandy Knit Kard by Nancy's Knit Knacks.

Do you know how many knitting gadgets there are? That's discussion for another day.

I have discovered that I own at least 79 sets/pairs of needles: double-pointed in metal, bamboo and wood; single-pointed, 10 in and 14 in; circular from my early days when I bought my supplies at Woolworth on through quality and price range to the 47" Addi Turbo size 15 that I am saving for when I learn to do the mobius cast-on (I couldn't follow the directions posted from Cat Bordhi's appearance on Knitty Gritty but after finding this set of instructions, I just might put my investment to use).

I seem to favor size 7. There is a whole row of size 7 circulars, 1 pair of 10" single-point, and two sets of double-points, including the set made in bamboo that I bought at Mary Ann's, in the Hyde Park Bank building in 1993.

I found other favorites - there's the set I bought in Belfast (1989) when I made The Sweater for my husband. I have 3 sets of wooden needles that April sent me. I have a couple sets that I consider vintage needles - there is a set that probably weighs 1lb - heavy duty stainless steel, ready to click through a jumper in utilitarian grey wool to fight off the damp English winters. Some curvy plastic needles, a set of groovy bronzy lucite needles.

Now that I know how many needles I have, I don't feel so bad about how many unfinished projects I have.

Thursday, March 15

Knock it off

I can look at some handcrafted objects and figure out how to make them - simple things like cross stitch and socks. Who hasn't gone to a crafts fair and decided not to buy something because, "Huh, I could make that." But do we ever?

I am making reversible socks but I don't belong to the Socks That Rock club:

Lorna's Lace, 162 Icehouse, superwash sport weight on size 2 dpns. I had to take the needles out of the stockings I started at Christmas time for DD3 from Handknit Holidays. Maybe next year.

These are for DD1 whose feet really are as big as these socks look. We stopped off at Loopy Yarn for a set of size 8 dpn which were only $3. Who would go to a yarn store and only spend $3?? I couldn't convince DD1 to pick out yarn for a sweater (I know she had flashbacks of her elementary school days when I made her pants but all she would say is "it never fits right" and "I don't want to support your UFO habit"). She changed her mind when she found the handpainted yarn (all wool is 25% for a couple more days).

There are lots of NCAA basketball games over the next couple days (a moment of silence for Bobby Knight's Texas Tech team, please).

Monday, March 12

Good to go other places

I have been using my blog lately as a portal - clicking on my own links to read Dances With Wool, the Yarn Harlot, check to see if classes are up for Stitches Midwest or the Michigan Fiber Festival. And then I click on Julie's page hoping to see something new and interesting that she has done. While on Julie's page, I click over to Mason-Dixon and Zimmermania.

Not many photos of knitting being taken here.

But I have been knitting. I started this scarf on my day trip to Pittsburgh.

Homespun, size 13 wooden needles, kpkpkp to the end, repeat until the skein runs out. The scarf was sadly too short so I bought another skein. Smacked in the face by another knitting truth: Lion Brand Homespun has dye lots or variations of yarn. I haven't decided what to do with my scarf. Though eminently wrappable au francais mais il y a une probleme. A join line, shall we say.

Anyone with two eyes can see the white and the other white.

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