Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sequencing Activity

Can you put these pictures in order?

Unfortunately you are correct. What gave it away? The wiggly-tiggly unraveled yarn or the fact that I asked the question?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I made this

It was for a fellow teacher's surprise 50th birthday party which was July 22nd. That was the same day as knitting camp started, so I couldn't go. I did wrap it and drop it off ahead of time. I knit it in less than a week. I believe the pattern is called Seafoam. I've seen it in a number of stitch dictionaries, but there is a well-written version by Ali Green here. I didn't have the 2 edge stitches in the one I used, but I can't find now.

Pattern: Seafoam stitch
Yarns: Opal Hundertwasser and very pale blue vintage Red Heart baby wool double stranded.
Needle: Size 7 US
Size: 65 x 9 inches
I like how double stranding and combining with another yarn softened the self-stripiness of the Hundertwasser. I was just crazy about finding this yarn for a good price when it came out. I bought five, but now I'm not as excited about it. This actually was my favored colorway of the ones I had. I would have liked socks from it. I do have enough left for a small pair of socks. Maybe enough for Amy of the small feet or for some kid. I destashed 2 others and that leaves 2. One is pretty similar to this one. I can't remember the other and I don't see it in my Ravelry stash. I either knitted it up, or it escaped or I imagined it, albeit poorly.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gourmet S'Mores & Knitting Camp 2008 .

A good time was had by me at this year's knitting camp. I can't speak for "All." I was told by Nola from Monday night knitting to take lots of pictures. Here they are.
The weather was great.
Breakfast morphed into lunch. We had lots of sausage. There is talk of naming our camp Sausage Camp. (Okay, that was just me.) There were 3 kinds, 4 if you count weenies. You never sausage food.

This, in particular was delicious. Elizabeth cooked it. I think everybody had seconds. Some of us had thirds. Of course I'm not talking about the salad part. Elizabeth worked her tail off, by the way. She also carted my ass, did the shopping, provided lodging, cooked more food for us and made the coffee.

Making S'Mores on night number one. You can tell it's the first night because the S'More making started before the fire was truly mellow enough. The S'Mores were gourmet because there were regular grahams, chocolate grahams, peanut butter cookies, Hershey bars OR fancier chocolate. Yes, I tried the peanut butter cookie s'more! Note: Choose a cookie with a mid to high degree of structual integrity. I think Oreos show promise.

The accommodations were accommodating. There was another tent, too. That does'nt look rite with to m's.

Knitting happened.

So did the weaving in of ends on a crochet project, though I don't believe the actual crocheting occurred at camp. If more crocheting was this nice, more of us would like it better.

I thought the yarn swap was pretty big. This by the way, is only part one. JPKnits came later, bearing mohair.
I'm up for doing it again next year. But if I win the lottery, we're going to the Washington House Inn or some such place. They've got fireplaces for the s'mores. I know I can win. I just need to buy a ticket once in a while.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Blanket Blockery

The red pins are push pins. I bought a lot of little packs of them once when I saw them very cheap. They were my great idea for blocking because T-Pins were too expensive and hard to push in and sewing pins hurt the heck out of my fingers. They didn't work on the blanket because they are too short to stay in. The blanket is pretty thick. I'm hoping they will work on a thinner project. Worsted weight maybe not, but lace I think.

Here is the blocking process illustrated.
1. I lowered the water level in the washer and washed this on the slowest wringer speed in warm. I let it spin and then put it in the dryer with a few other dry clothes (leftover from my last load) for about 10 minutes.

2. I pinned it out using all but about 6 of the pins you see on the pin holder.

3. It pinned out to 39 X 37.25 inches.
4. Enjoy staring at and examining your knitted object for a while. Try not to obsess about imperfections.

5. See how nicely it folded up. When I unpinned it the edges pulled in a little. I'd say the final measurements are approximately 35 X 37. Perfect size, I think.

6. Prepare for giving it away by putting it somewhere cat hair free until the time comes.

Monday, July 14, 2008

One done, one started

The Bliss Baby Blanket is done. I haven't blocked it yet. I'm still unsure of the wisdom of trying that. The yarn is a very heavy pure cotton. I lost track of the skein count, but this baby must weigh nearly two pounds. I'm guessing that I used approx 8 100 gram skeins. That's 800 grams divided by 454, equals nearly 2 pounds. I don't even know if I want to get it wet. Who knows how long it will take to dry. I suppose I should get off my rear and do it today though since the humidity is at a living level. Now where did I put the million boxes of pins with heads I bought for blocking?

Baby Bliss Blanket by Melissa J. Goodale
Yarn: Idena Cotton Big Sport, 100 yards per 100 grams. Color 187 (Orchid, I say)
Needle: Boye Needle Master US No. 7 (Yes I AM a loose knitter)
Gauge in Pattern: 14.5 st to 4 inches
1. I added an edge of single crochet to even out the lumps that the corners of the segments were making and to make the edge stronger. The cast on edge was partly just a single strand of yarn because I cast on my version of the e-wrap cast-on because I read somebody's account on Ravelry who said they didn't like the way a long-tail cast-on looked. I think this mod was pretty successful.
2. About halfway through I decided to slip every first stitch of the rectangles. This cut down on bulk and made the rectangle edges smoother. See if you can tell from the picture. The cast-on/cast-off edges are oriented side to side in the photo.

I have started (yet) another project. Sorry for the blurry pic, but this one has the yarn included. I am double stranding Opal Hundertwasser with some of my dwindling stash of beloved vintage baby yarn. You may remember this yarn from here. I really adore how it's turning out. The self stripiness does not detract at all. Nay, it actually contributes. This project has a deadline which is incidentally the first day of knitting camp next week, July 22. It is for a work friend who is turning 50. There is a surprise party that night and I want to drop this off ahead of time. She has very sharp and sparkly baby blue eyes. I spent a good 1 or 2 weeks messing around trying to settle on a yarn and a pattern. Finally I am happy with this and I don't think I'll have any trouble finishing it on time. Except for one little thing . . .

Tendonitis! In my left arm. I've had it for about 2-3 months now. At first I barely noticed it, there was just a twinge now and then when I was lifting or holding something heavy. Now it hurts a lot more frequently, especially when I lift anything at all, even an empty coffee cup. I am icing it and I may start some ibuprofen after I'm done with the antiviral (long story involving clown tongue). I don't think that knitting is responsible. If it gets worse, I may have to quit knitting for a while after I finish the seafoam scarf, or at least reconfigure how I hold the yarn.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Stitch-N-Pitch Milwaukee

Yesterday was the 2nd annual Stitch-N-Pitch at Miller Park in Milwaukee. The Brewers hosted and were hosed by the Colorado Rockies. Allow me to introduce my charming dinner companions, Lil and Shirley. We had steak--tube steaks. Yes, Shirley had a dog with mustard and relish, while Grandma Lil and I each had brats with everything on them. We had a lovely time, but the ladies were not happy with the scoreboard. I didn't pay the game as much attention as I should have because I was hell-bent on finishing this, my 10 x 10 swatch for an afghan later to be auctioned to benefit Brewers' charities. I didn't quite get there. We all got a bag with a free ball of yarn. I liked the yarn I had very much, but it had many, many breaks and weak spots and I had to keep spit splicing it. Poor Grandma Lil and Shirley. I think they may have thought it was disgusting. I suppose it truly was.
Dude, where's my car?
To top off the evening, we lost the car. It took quite a while to find. There we were, the wandering Jews. Eventually, I had to park the ladies and go off on my own to where I thought it was. I made the decision about whether they should stay back or come. Shirley's hip was getting bad, so I left them. They had road barricades to lean on and a spot out of the traffic.Idiotic of me not to have brought the keys, now wasn't it? So I had to go back to the ladies, repark them some place where the car would be able to reach them and they could maybe sit down, return to the car and drive it over to finally pick them up. When I got back there were great big rescue dudes on bicycles talking to them. When I pulled up and got out of the car I got the dirtiest, withering, you low piece of scum look from one of them I've ever had in my entire life for abandoning my two old ladies at a bike rack. Talk about fumbling. I couldn't figure out how to get the doors unlocked and tried to make jokes. They weren't having it.

You can't imagine how guilty I feel. It's worse now than when it happened. But I got them home safely and we all have a new story to tell.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Care for a My Chai?

I've been meaning to do this for a while. I've had the ingredients gathered for about a week. I waited til noon today when after a week of the most marvelously pleasant weather, it looked like this:
As I felt the humidity build in the house I chopped the cinnamon and I explored cardamom in it's pod state.

I didn't think to visit an oriental import shop, so unfortunately, the tea I bought when I couldn't find any decent loose tea for less than 25 bucks a pound is "cut tea." I knew that would be smaller once I got it out of the teabags, but I didn't think it would be this fine. I did not figure out a way to preserve the fabric of the teabags for re-use. I know this stuff is too fine to bother with a tea ball or one of those tea spoons that clap shut around the tea, but is it too fine to put into the water and let it sink to the bottom? If anybody has a method of making teabags, please share it with me. I am considering buying some of those round coffee filters and using those. They seem thinner than the #2 cone filters that I have around.

Progress reports

1. The Bliss Blanket. I think one more repeat, which is 2 rows of diamonds.

2. The girls in their nightgowns. The nightgowns are NOT too big. I'm sorry. But I know Emma's is cozy. I got so excited when I had my camera out and she woke up from the chair, stood up with her doll and made a huge yawn. I got it! I managed to hold the camera still and snapped it. But right when the perfect photo appeared on the screen so did some message about a door being open. I had managed to pop open the battery/memory card door when I squeezed the shutter. As I learned in German class, Das ist aber schade. As I learned in French class, C'est la vie. As I learned from the radio, Que sera, sera.

Least, but last of all, these have been various lacy scarf beginnings and now they are socks . . . maybe. I definitely know they're for a work friend who's turning 50 this summer.