Friday, June 16, 2006

Sound the Trumpets!

I finished something:

slightly floofy (it's a word. shut up) puffy not-curly-not-straight hair brought to you by the constant downpour of the last few days. good for the really dry skin. not good for the manageability of the hair.

Fern Leaf Lace Tank
Pattern: my own. ("pattern" being used loosely here to describe the "wing it" method) Knit in the round in "Fern Lace" from my Reader's Digest stitch book.
Yarn: Filatura di Crosa Millefili Fine. Millefili Fine is a mercerized cotton. It seemed to me to be a light DK weight.
I'm not really sure about the gauge since it's a bit tough count stitches in the lace. (that's the excuse I will stick to) I used size US6/4mm needles and used (mumblemumble) yards of this yarn. Okay. Fine. I have no idea what the yardage was. I have started and frogged so many projects with this poor yarn. I can't remember how many balls I had in the first place. I have about (mumblemumble) yards left.

Overall, I'm happy with it. It turned out exactly how I wanted. The lace produces what I think of as a chevron-like effect so it didn't get that wierd pooling thing that variegated yarns sometimes does. It is DEFINATELY a layering piece, which was what I intended, but it's so well ventilated that layering wouldn't be a problem even in very warm weather. (I'm hoping we will one day have very warm weather)

I celebrated finishing something by taking something apart! I needed more yarn for the lace cardigan I have been slowly working on. I'm knitting it from a recycled men's XXL sweater I had purchased for $2. (Cha. Ching. I knit both fronts and one sleeve from the sleeves of the sweater.) I ended up cutting about 2 1/2 inches from the shoulders and just picking my way down to where the yarn was whole because the shoulders were sergered (??) together. The thrifty, save every ziploc bag part of me felt really guilty about this:

crappy picture above shows a big pile of wasted cotton yarn in teeny little shreds

until I realized the front and back each measured 26" across!!

Did I mention the Cha? And the Ching?

I knit the fronts and sleeve with the "yarn" doubled (each piece of the original sweater was machine knit with 4 strands of cotton threads) so I wound the yarn up that way.

each of these balls of yarn is about 4" tall and 5-6" in diameter. That's a lot of yarn

I LOVE recycling sweaters for the yarn. I love the funny looks you get in the thrift store. I love the big BIG pile of crazy cheap yarn. I love re-using something that was not being appreciated. Sigh.

Enjoy the weekend. I'm hoping for sun! I'm hoping I didn't just jinx it by saying that!

(Go Oilers)(shh... don't tell anyone I said that)(although I am by no means an Oilers "fan" I am cheering for them in the playoffs. Not as a bandwagon jumper but because I would pick a team to cheer for anyway, so it might as well be the Canadian team.)(if you don't live in Calgary, this need to explain myself may be lost on you.)

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Another day, Another D'oh

A progress shot of a tank I'm working on.

I don't know if I've mentioned this one yet. I'm just winging it without a pattern and only a vague plan for what I'll do at the arm holes and for the neck and back... I'm using a simple lace pattern that has almost a chevron look, which breaks up the variegated look of the yarn. I've started a couple of projects with this yarn but always frogged them, it pools kind of funny. I like how it looks with this lace pattern, so, no frogging yet.

However, today, when I was measuring it and laying it out for a progress shot, I noticed something interesting.

This is a close up of how the lace pattern should look:

This is a close up of how the lace pattern should NOT look:

Say it with me now: D'OH

I was able to salvage the knitting without frogging, it's not perfect but it will work. Luckily it sort of gets absorbed into the pattern, so I'm going to pretend it's not there.

Happier knitting:
In spite of my vow to finish something I already had on the needles I started something new. BUT... I had a good reason! I did! Honest!! I had planned to knit something for, well, the wife/baby of one of my co-workers. I don't know her well, but he had joked once about me knitting something for them, and, well, of course I'm going to knit something for them. So, I'm knitting a big blob:

Okay, you're smarter than that. It's a Pinwheel Blanket.

It's a little difficult to figure out the diameter of this blanket (if you have made one and have some magic math-free way to figure it out, please let me know. I mean, other than just trying to measure from the center of the blob up to the needles.) At the time I took this picture, I was moving to a longer circular needle and was able to measure. The radius (I'm hoping I have the correct terms here. It's been a while since I took any math) was 10 inches at that time, with about 300 stitches around. I figure I need at least a 32 inch diameter so it'll probably end up being closer to 500 stitches* on the needles.

It's in the round, so it is a good hockey watching project. It was going really fast for the first 6 - 8 inches of radius. Then it slowed right down. You increase 10 stitches every other round. You do the math. (I don't want to do the math. Even though, in this instance I can do the math.)

Thanks for all the nice comments on the skirt (and the good wishes as to my health. All better now!). I think I might try to copy the skirt and make another one. I so rarely wear skirts but maybe I would more in the summer if I had some simple ones to wear.

*I first typed 5000 before I noticed it. That's what it feels like. I should have left it

Monday, June 05, 2006

My goal: Live until the year 2092

I knew it had been a while since I posted, but I didn’t realize just how long it had been. Hmm… What’s been happening?

Well, I have been knitting a lot (GASP) but, um, I haven’t finished anything. I just keep starting new projects. All the WIPs look pretty much the same as the last time I showed you, just a little bit bigger. The new projects I keep starting never seem to make it very far, as I change my mind and/or get bored and/or decide it just won’t work/isn’t worth it.

So. Knitting right now=not so visually stimulating.

I need to buckle down and just FINISH SOMETHING already!!

(Where did the term “buckle down” come from? Why?)

And now, some random thoughts with a minimum of crafty content in point form:

-Do you ever wish you could write about something/someone on your blog, just to get it out there or to vent, but you don’t JUST in case it would lead to disastrous repercussions (a la Dooce)? (if you’re reading this and you know me and you’re wondering if it’s about you, it isn’t.)

-I spent 10 minutes on the phone with a census taker yesterday because I forgot to fill out and/or send in my census form.

One of the questions was: Are you White? which annoyed me somewhat. I wanted to say “I like to think of it as non-tanned”

(I know that wasn’t what they were asking (the census taker apologized for the crassness of the question).)

-The funniest question on the census form was “Do you give permission for this information to be made public in the year 2092?” I doubt I’ll have much concern about my personal privacy at the age of 122, but, you know, maybe I'll stick around just so I can cause a fuss when my private census information from 2006 is made public. (I should probably start saving for retirement if I'm gonna live that long)(also, I should be just about all the way through my stash by then, so it will be time to go)

-I was sick last weekend and part of the week. I’ve decided that I have a sure-fire way to make a ton of money off of stupid wealthy people. A weight-loss plan that basically just involves getting the flu or similar stomach ailment “cleansing” the body. I just need to figure out how to infect people at will and market it.

-I realized that I prefer to be left alone when I’m sick, but at the same time, I kind of wished that I had had someone to check on me once in a while (drawback to living alone). Just to make sure I was alive. And bring me sprite and crackers. And maybe rub my back.

-I went to a wedding on Saturday (I will spare us all the mopey 35-year-old single woman at wedding scenario… haha) for which I had nothing to wear. So, after work on Friday (an 11 hour work day… don’t ask) I had to go shopping.

At this point you may be tempted to ask my why I left it so long. Don’t make me go into detail about being sick. Also, I’m not the best/most enthusiastic shopper in the world. And, possibly I procrastinate a bit.

So, 1 ½ hours later I found ONE skirt that might be a possibility and left the store, carefully avoiding snapping the neck of the woman in front of me who was having trouble deciding which white blouse to buy.

I got home and decided I didn’t like the skirt after all, so… I altered a skirt I already had. Starting at 10pm on a Friday (do I know how to party or what). After I was exhausted from working for 11 hours and then shopping.
I can’t believe it worked.
(I forgot to take a before picture.)

The skirt was straight sided with a drawstring waist. I love the skirt but never wore it, probably because it was at least 2 inches too wide on either side. (4 inches total, in case you're keeping track) The bottom has short slits on either side seam and it's a really pretty silk/linen blend with embroidery. I should have altered it years ago...

I took it in on an angle so it has a slight A-line shape, added darts and a zipper on the side. None of these alterations would stand up to the scrutiny of someone who knows what they are doing with a sewing machine, but, none of the seams burst open at the wedding, so I considered it a success
(I wore it with my green Soleil, which I had not yet worn. I love it!)

(numerous attempts at ironing this skirt proved fairly futile)

Of course, this experience does nothing for my dislike of shopping and serves to reinforce the idea that any clothing (except jeans. I don't want to take on jeans) that I need should be able to come from what I already have. Or from yarn. Or, possibly from remnant table cloth. (I have a fear of cutting into new "nice" cloth. I don't know why)

My goal for the week is to COMPLETE a knitting project THAT I ALREADY HAVE ON THE NEEDLES. (the all-caps are for my own benefit, in case you feel that I’m yelling at you, personally)

Hopefully I will have something completed to show you soon.