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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cows

Ya know how cows spend their entire day grazing. They eat for a while then lay about chewing their cud (all the while looking very contemplative and content), then they eat some more, and the cycle repeats itself. I've been a cow.

A cow has four chambers in it's stomach rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum. The rumen, is the first compartment where everything goes and the good stuff, like sweet tender grasses and such pass through there onward to the other parts of the stomach to get absorbed and digested further. The flotsam and jetsam of their foraging, the stuff which is harder to digest or the stuff that really should not have been eaten at all but got scarfed up while grazing, is spit back up from the rumen for another go around through the teeth. This is the cud part, a "lets try that again I've got to chew on it a little more" thing if you will. Hopefully after a few go a-rounds with "I've got to chew on that a little more" everything passes on through.

This is how my days have been spent of late, chewing the cud of what is/was attempts at sizing the mousetraps for babies, kids, and adults, along with numerous other variations. I've had some successes, and a whole lot of jetsam. lol

I know I could figure a neat and tidy algebraic equation to whip all this out in a flash, but alas, while the gray matter is still churning out ideas, it is still also stuck in the no math zone. Case in point, I've made several errors by my inability to count by two's!!!.....sigh....Nonetheless, I carry on.

Four newly sized booties to felt, the sweet tender grasses so to speak.


Pix of "finished" felted booties/slippies to come, and I'm still chewing on a lot of cud, but I really, really, gotta put down the needles and the pen and paper and get the house ready for Gillian's arrival home for the holidays. Then of course there's that Turkey Day thing that is coming some time this week. ;-)




Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mousetraps

You guys are so clever. Even though I threw you that red herring of a picture that was waaay out of proportion, you did come up with some really good guesses, as well as some that were actually right. LOL I'm still giggling over the Wonder Woman breast plate and the bat catcher. ROFL.

Yes it is a sock, of sorts, a felted bootie technically.



An adaptation of Debbie New's Better Mousetrap Sock. (found in her Unexpected Knitting book with a basic version printed in Interweave Knits Fall 2001)

Obviously I had gauge issues to work through doing this in stockinette as opposed to garter stitch, plus embiggening it for felting. There was also getting the decrease angles right, and of course having absolutely no sewing/grafting was a must.

I have to admit, I was dubious at first if this was going to felt like I wanted.


The bunchy part at the break of the ankle was worrisome as well as those incredibly pointy toes and heel. Even before I felted these babies I casted on for a version that has a less pointy toe and heel. I'm ok with how the toe felted I'd still like to work on that heel, and obviously, I have to use a different decrease. See the tiny holes at the decrease seam on the heel? Not a big deal on the toe but problematic for wear and tear at the heel.

In regard to the first attempt that was so out of proportion, it wasn't a complete failure, it actually turned on the light bulb of how and where to make some adjustments to make a more substantial boot that has a tongue and laces up. Hmmmm considering I don't have any boots, and this year is supposed to be colder and with more snow than we've had in many many years, maybe I ought to actually consider a "real" pair of boots!

After I'm done with the next version of this boot, of course I'll start thinking harder about a real boot, but I'm thinking working this in a slip stitch checkerboard pattern would be kinda fun, a harlequin jester's boot kind of thing. :o) And there are certainly globs of embellishments that could happen, embroidery, needle felting, etc. Then of course there is putting in zippers or buttons for a better overall fit. Egads, I do go on don't I? I can't help myself, when faced with something so incredibly mindless and easy to make it begs for just a little more time spent to make it extra special.

I like it. What more could you ask for in a design? 34 mindless rows of simple knitting and you've got yourself a bootie. I think, "normal" socks should be blushing with shame.

Gotta go, I've got waaay too many variations to get knitted....rounder heel, shorter cuff, with tongues that lace up, zippers, buttons....

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ooops

Um yeah, I forgot to mention that in a fuzzled state, my math skills aren't too good. The proportions of the yesterday's mystery piece were waaaay off. It is supposed to be more like this. (I think)



I really did like the Wonder Woman breast plate guess though! LOL

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fuzzeled*

Typical of days following a rather long interlude of dancing**, I'll be rather fuzzy. On occasion there will be aftershocks, Wednesday and Tuesday were aftershock days. Days spent out of sorts, with low energy and episodic riffs of the dance*** revisited. What I find immensely curious regarding these days is my level of creativity. That is to say creativity on the thinking side of the equation not the actual production side. I come up with some of the most outrageous ideas on days like this.

Obviously I can't tell you why this is, I'm not a doctor, but I can play one at times (giggle/snort) and this is what I think. I think the reason is two-fold.

The first reason could be cuz for several days previous I am desperately placing myself into self-induced hypnotic-meditative state of sorts. Consciously trying to induce a "coma" for the sake of pain relief....sortof. Maybe a bio-rhythm/transcendental meditative kind of thing, I don't know I've never read up on any of those techniques, it's just a "thing" I've been doing all my life to escape the dance. Perhaps it is this "biotranscend-rhythmative state" I had been so completely immersed in during the days of the dance is what sparks the creativity. And just maybe this recently immersed, often practiced, somewhat easy to slide into, "altered state" is close to, or at least passes along the way, the place where new ideas are hatched in my brain. Or maybe it's just that being so close to that "calm center" lets the thoughts and ideas flow.

The second reason for an increase in creativity might be, perhaps these brow beating sessions actually do spark areas of the gray matter that are usually overlooked or run rough shod over when "normal" brain activity is going on. And on these fuzzy days and aftershock days I can actually stop and smell the newly bloomed roses.

Whatever the reason, these spurts of creativity that come following a dance, I'll take them, and chalk them up to the one and only good reason I can find for having these episodes.

Oh yeah, and did I tell you I have a tendency to babble on these days as well? :o)

So what does all this rambling about altered states have to do with knitting? Here's what, an example of something born of my state of fuzzle-ness.


It's half done and it's going to be felted. Any guesses?


And the footnotes for those of you who are completely confused as to what it is I'm rambling about:

*Fuzzled v., being in a state of contemplative fuzziness, usually accompanied by a strong focus on puzzle solving

**Dancing v., being in the throes of a migraine.

***Dance n., a migraine

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another Sweater and Neckwarmer

Greetings! I've been "dancing" again so several days have been literally lost. Not a good time of year to be losing days. Frankly no time of year is good for losing days, but that's how it is, how it's always been, so be it. Now on to what I did get done before the lost days.

Last Thursday before all was lost I finished yet another neckwarmer. They are like popcorn or potato chips, I can't stop myself.

This one has a 100% to-die-for silk outer shell and a cashmere lining. I want to fondle it constantly. And just think, it's a sage-y khaki color, hmmm wonder who this one is for....um yeah I'm selfish that way.


Next checked off in the finished column is this sweater. It's big, bulky, blue, and beautiful, no real pattern, I just winged it. Typical top down raglan big comfy 'comfort sweater' made with Lana by Tahki. It's a comfort sweater with two definitions, 1) perfectly simple, bulky knitting for the days proceeding and/or following dinner and dancing with Mr. M 2) one of those sweaters that you just want to wrap yourself in on those cold icky days that are fast approaching and read a good book while sipping a hot toddy of your choice. For the tiniest bit of interest I added a simple cable down the sleeves.


Does this blue looks familiar? Yep it is the yarn from the car coat sweater I started a while back. The one with the colorwork problems. Remember? I worked the sleeves in one pattern and the bodice in another that looked like a swastika. Um, yeah, that was an unfortunate ordeal. sigh.

Oh yeah and one more thing regarding the limitless mockery of that first attempted sweater with this yarn. Doncha think a normal person would have ripped it back to a spot just above the bad colorwork and then continue from there? Sure, of course, why not? Why rip everything just to do it all again? Right? Right. Ooops. I didn't even realize what I was doing until one day I picked it up to start knitting and was confused for a second as to exactly which piece I was knitting and which piece I was ripping as I knitted. I was at the point of equilibrium where both pieces of knitting were identical. The damn fairies got me one last time, I ripped and reknitted virtually the same damn thing. Oy.

In the not so finished column we have this sweater. Not much to look at I know, but I'm almost to the armholes just a couple more inches to go. I'm kinda fudging an old Bernat pattern circa 1964ish. It's actually a guy's sweater in their Cables and Raglans Book #130. I've changed the stitch pattern using a k2p3 instead of the faux 2 stitch mini cables with a purl, moss, purl pattern between the cables. It's a nice stitch pattern and I'll prob'ly use it someday but it is also an yardage gobbling stitch pattern and I'm using reclaimed wool for this. You know me and the constant struggle between me and the yardage fairy, nuff said.


Aside from the stitch pattern change I'm also adding a hemmed button band, see the row of slipped stitches that will be the turning?


And I've also added a hem at the bottom. See the purl row for turning?



I think, (I hope) this will ultimately become a nice sweater jacket. I considered putting a zipper in it like the original I've morphed this sweater from but instead I'll use some pewter clasps I've got. Then again that could change we'll see what happens. I'm really excited to get started with yoke/shoulder area. In the original the front(s) end straight across at the base of the neck. The back comes up over the shoulders and is seamed to the front and with a little bit of shaping becomes a standup collar. The sleeves are a very shallow raglan shape. It's interesting, I haven't seen many like it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What's a mother to do?

Blatantly and shamelessly promote her son, that's what.



You can get one of your very own here.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Oompa Loompa

Soon our local theater will be putting on a production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Someone involved with the production decided the Oompa Loompas needed these wigs. (Rav link here. non-Rav link here.) I'm not sure how many degrees of separation there is but I was tagged with making one. Not a bad thing, I have always been interested in the pattern, I just never knew exactly what I'd do with the thing after I was done making it. So yeah, sure I made one.

Ta da!


Then I couldn't help myself, and felt the need for a photo shoot, a High School Yearbook like photo shoot. Whadduya think?




Oh no, that is soooooo wrong!!!!


But ya know what? I've got a secret.


I'm not the only crazy one around here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Done.

Dyed.

Spun.


Skeined.

Balled.



381 yards of 3 ply.

59 yards of Navajo ply.


total yardage 440 yards.

I like it. Even though I tried, really tried, to spin tiny, it still came out around about a worsted weight.....sigh If I had only made a two ply I would have like the wt. much better, but considering I was intending to knit socks, I thought I ought to make a 3ply. I could be mistaken, but I'm sure I read somewhere sock yarn should be a 3ply for durability. Oh well, I'll still make socks they will just be extra thick and should make my too big clogs fit well. :o)

The little bit that is Navajo plied is what as left on two of the bobbins after plying. I like the longer non-tweedy coloring. I'll use this bit on the toes and heels, or maybe just on the cuff. I'm thinking about trying the Chevalier pattern. (Ravelry link)

I also knitted a few Clemence, (non-Rav link here) which are, as of now, my most fav neckwarmer pattern. The green/blue one is made with the Balmoral I dyed earlier this week. It started out a light sage green, I really, really, like this. The purple one is ONLine Lambswool 112.




I've got a whole project basket filled with odd balls of yarn to make more of these. The outer "lace" shell takes about 80 yards and the inner (optional) lining takes a tad bit more. It is a perfect project for all those odd special fiber balls we have laying around.

I've made these true to the pattern without modification except, (you knew there would be an exception didn't you?) after the last repeat of the lace pattern I work 2 rounds of knit, 1 round of purl, and another round of knit, (the purl round just makes for a better turning round) Then I change to a needle one size smaller to complete the lining.

Off to go watch the returns, hope I don't lose count on the now memorized lace pattern! :o)