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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Arrrgh


I started this vest a while ago, before the Holidays in fact. It began as a sweater but when I got this far it told me it really wanted to be a vest. The only thing it needed was a finish for the armholes.

I fiddled with the armholes all week. What you see here are attempts number 6 and 7. I did not begrudging the multiple armholes, I actually enjoyed doing them and then re-doing them again. I learned something new with each modification so all that ripped knitting had a purpose and I held no ill will unto it.

The zipper? I love having zippers in sweaters. Sewing them isn't that bad, but it can be fiddly and not work well the first time, therefore I dread the prospect of doing them. This time the zip went in without too many problems, only having to start over just a couple times. It was at that point I should have put two and two together and realized something was afoot.

Last night having completed the 7th armhole finish, I tried the vest on again. I was thrilled with the prospect of just one final hour of ripping and knitting a matching armhole finish on the other side, and the vest was done. Complete. No longer an UFO nagging and mocking me as I cast on for something else. It was a garment to be worn the next day. Even the ends were sewn in. I was thrilled I tell ya. Jubilant.

It was not to be. The flippin' zipper broke.

Arrrrrggghhh.

The thrill is gone. The happy little task of knitting the 8th armhole finish, grateful for what it has taught me, is now nothing more than a Sisyphean task to which I am condemned. Will the replacement of the new zipper be another?.....sigh

I'm bitter, to say the least.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Scary, I know.

4 days in a row. Wow.

Just a quickie to get this pic out there.


I'm sure not all of you have any idea of what this is. Hmmmm should I take guesses? Nah, I'll tell ya. It's a little piece of Viking Knitting. Obviously I haven't pulled it through a draw plate yet. Don't have one anymore. I have no clue where it went.

This piece is about 5 inches long. I'm keeping it on the rod cuz I have to take it to my Lunch and Knit on Friday and I don't want it crunched before I get there. One of the girls (Hi Susieb!) was asking if I knew how to do this. It's been eons since I have done any so I thought I'd give it a go again before she gets here next weekend and wants me to teach her. It was like riding a bike, no problem. Well, ok, my joins are not the best and it's a tad bit wonky in tension (must remember to let the wire to it's own thing) but nothing that a good pull through a draw plate won't straighten up a bit.

It's a very simple technique kinda a cross between spool knitting and needle weaving done in wire. In this sample I used a fairly large rod about 6 yards of wire and only worked four stitches around. It took about hour to do. Using a hex key or allen wrench would have given me 6 stitches per round and made a better chain in the end. I've tried using a wooden dowel as some peeps do but trying to keep those stitches lined up over a corner rather than merely on a line drawn on a stick is a lot easier.

I'll post a pic of it after I get it pulled through the draw plate.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Don't Get Excited

I'm only posting to mess with your minds. giggle/snort. Tell me true, when you saw that I posted again, for the third time in as many days, did you not say something similar to, "OMG the universe is collapsing" :o)

While out and about running errands yesterday Joe and I wandered into the storage and shelving department of the home renovation store.

Me: Dang, you're a brave soul walking me through this section.
Joe: You don't have enough room in the house for any more storage.
Me: If I had one decent system I could get a lot more stuff stored. I need a better system.
Joe: Um, yeah, I was wondering what your system was for the stuff on the kitchen table.

Ooops.

So now I have the kitchen table cleared off and stuff stowed away (not decently stored) I shouldn't push Joe to the ultimate end of his rope over something as trivial as stuff on the table. Gotta save that pushing for something bigger. Right?

Lo, having the table cleared afforded me the opportunity to take some journal pix.


Three black leather and one brown. All were done with different methods of sewing the leaves together. I've made six in all, just haven't covered the other two yet. The smaller two in the pic are 200ish pages the other black one and the brown one are both 400ish pages. I forget exactly how many pages, sure I could count the number of leaves but who really cares????

The leather was reclaimed from a couple of coats and two skirts. The interior of each book is suede. I like my books. :o) Sure they aren't perfect, some of the stitching and cutting is a little wonky if you look close enough and the edges of the pages are not in perfect alignment, but they are perfect for me, I'm a little wonky myself. I'll give up the perfection of a "proper" journal for something I created any old day.

Anyone wondering why we were at the home renovation store??? The kitchen table. I love my table. You see we have a beautiful, antique, mahogany, 60 inch, round, pedestal table in the kitchen. Love, love, love my table. It also has seven, yes, seven, leaves to it. I love my table. This sucker can get HUGE. Did I mention I love my table? But.....

A 60" table for just the two of us is a bit much wouldn't you say? It just begs for stuff to be "stored" on it. So I started to thinking about it. I know the top with all the expansion mechanisms can be easily removed in one piece. Easily that is if you have a couple of strong guys around to lift the top off once the bolts are removed. (it must weigh 200 pounds) We've had to take it apart twice in its lifetime with me, moving it into the old house when I got it and then moving it into this house, neither was all that "easy" but doable. So now I'm on the lookout for a smaller table top to replace this one. No luck so far. The store that use to sell 48" solid oak tabletop blanks doesn't carry them anymore....sigh I'll even consider a 36" round (even less "storage" space!) and try to overlook the humongous talons-clutching-globes-feet that would stick out a little. None of the local lumberyards carry anything like that either. Guess I'll have to start surfin'.

We do have an oval oak table that with some fiddling could work...except for the fact that I painted it blue two years ago......grrrrrr Maybe it will look alright, I kinda doubt it though. I really do not want to strip that table.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Giggle Snort

I'm sure most have seen this already but for the few muggles who read this blog, behold:


What really gets me is that it took her (and a small crew) only a week! (article here).

So what's left I ask you? Here are some favs of mine in no particular order and yes, crochet is included cuz after all relatively speaking it's all string.
Houses here, here and here, gas stations,
cars here and here, and here,
motorcycles, tanks and here,
trees here, here, here , here, here, here, here, and here,
signs,
all manner of furniture has all been done. here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
This doesn't even begin to "cover" it (giggle/snort) If you want to see knitted food, gadgets and miscellany do your own search, there's plenty out there. I'm just tired of linking. :o)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Amused...

  1. to keep pleasantly or enjoyably occupied or interested; entertain we amused ourselves with games
And yes, I was thoroughly amused.

My unblocked, ends dangling, binderclip closures, version. I like this pattern. Rav link here.





















Love, love, love this reversible cable!


Not loving how it's wonky at the back of the neck, but I'm sure that will work itself out in the blocking. If not, a few whip stitches here and there on the inside will tame the bulge.




I used this yarn, stuff that I dyed a while ago and is nearly as old as I am, Bear Brand twin pack, from an estate sale. The pix in the link are truer to the color but even warmer, it is definitely brown not so raw meat-like as in these pix.

I started this sweater just before X-mas. Went gangbusters on it working both sleeves and getting about 6 inches below the armpits in just a couple of days. Then I ran out of yarn. Dang. I put it away and thought about it for a while. I really didn't think I'd be able to recreate the coloring. The original yarn had prob'ly been in 7 or 8 different dye pots to get the mottled brown/rust/navy colorway I was sure I couldn't do it again. I came sooooo close to ripping it out I can't believe I restrained myself. I suppose it was the fact that I really really love the coloring of this sweater is what pushed me on to try dyeing some more.

I had a few skeins from the original batch that were a little more cooler than warmer in overall coloring and a tad brighter on the orangey/rust side of the equation, so I crossed my fingers and threw it in and warm olive green dye pot. Is it exact? Nope. Is it close enough? Yep. The navey parts of the original dye lot are a dark almost black green in the second batch, but you really have to know what you're looking for to notice. I took the sweater to my Friday Lunch group and all professed they couldn't see the difference. Maybe they're just being nice, I can see it with no problem, but then again I don't care about it either. :o)

Overall pattern critique:
Well written. The yoke is kind of a PITA to work cuz the increase rows are at odds with the cable rows but it's only painful for a little while. Once you reach the point where you're just about to give up on the frustratingly constant row counting you're done with it. Just plan on working the yoke when you have time to pay attention, it's not a chat-with-the-girls kind of knit.

Obviously I changed somethings on this pattern. The most apparent being I made a cardigan and not a pullover. That was a no brainer change. I also lengthened the sleeves, I don't get 3/4 sleeves. Yes, I push my sleeves up all the time, but to knit them at length?!? Not my style. After deciding to make this a cardigan and not a pullover of course the ribbing was going to be all wrong so I opted for a boarder of the cabling all around. I took into consideration the drawing in of the fabric caused by all that cabling and increased the stitch count between the front edge cables from the original 108 stitches to 178 stitches.

If I was to knit this again (and I might) I'd consider increasing the width of the sleeves. I have pretty skinny arms and I think the sleeves are on the snug side, especially if you want to wear this over something. Over bare arms? Then maybe they aren't too snug.

I haven't decided on what type of closure, if any, I'll put on this. Maybe a zipper, maybe some big loopy toggle clasps. I'll see what moves me after I've blocked it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Year of Natural Fibers

Did you know today is the start of the International Year of Natural Fiber?



Ahhhhh natural fibers.


Catching up cuz I've been gone sooooo long. Even though my last post was just after Christmas and was only a snark post aimed at Joe, you'd think I'd have lots to tell you. You'd be wrong. Not a lot of blog worthy things have been happening (The Inauguration not withstanding of course. WOW. I'm so proud of us now) and when there were blog worthy happenings I was without camera. Honestly, how boring is it to read a post that is long list of FO's with no pictures? Super boring. So for the sake of reader boredom there will not be a recap of all X-mas knitting. It's a shame cuz there as a lot of it. And then what happens so often after marathon knitting episodes, the mojo disappeared. (I hadn't knitted a stitch from X-mas til a couple days ago, and even then I wasn't feeling the love......sigh)

I suppose I could have posted something about all the storms we endured, but many of you did as well so why bother posting pix of snow drifts 5+ feet high when you could see the same thing or worse, out your own front door? I could have told you about a couple of power outages we had and how we coped snuggled in our bedroom, (it was 38 degrees in my kitchen) or told you about the two crashed laptops but either of those stories would have to had endured a lot of editing for content and/or language. ;0)

I could have told you a charming little story about teaching my 7 year old granddaughter how to knit last week but without pix it just wasn't the same. What the hell was I thinking not taking my camera with me that day?!? She even called me to remind me to bring "stuff" so she could learn. She did a marvelous job. Such an adorable child as all g-kids are, she said the cutest thing.....she kept calling her knitting needles "wands". Ya know, I think she gets it already, knitting needles are magic wands.

Hailie wasn't the only person I taught to knit recently. While Gillian and her beau Nick were home Nov/Dec I taught Nick how to knit. So how's it going Nick? Is that scarf done yet?????

I promised myself I'd post today. I didn't realize the International Year of Natural Fiber was beginning today so my planned posted is taking a backseat. Later today or maybe tomorrow I'll have pix of what has been keeping my hands busy. I've been making leather bound journals. Similar to the one I made before during my Leather Coat Project. I've made 6 books this time. Three are bound with a fourth one maybe completed today, we'll see how the day goes.