Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tune Without Words

I'm going to start calling my dryer Hope.

I washed a duvet cover weeks ago, and I'm still pulling clothes out of the dryer covered with feathers, despite regular lint-trap cleanings. *sigh* I suppose if I put something really fuzzy through the dryer I could get rid of them all at once, but what would I do with the fuzzy/feathered object that would result?

This was a good weekend, since I finished off the tax forms for all family members requiring one. Oddly, despite having a reputation for being tech-savvy, I continue to be a Luddite here and do them without benefit of tax software. I tried it once eons ago and was so offended that it insisted I list my husband first (when he fills out the forms, he can have top billing) that I never went back.

I've also Finished off a couple of Objects. One's a surprise gift, but I've Raveled it.

These were finished some time ago, but I wanted to record my dissatisfaction:

Pattern: Retro Rib Socks, from Evelyn Clark's Favorite Socks

Yarn: Trekking Pro Natura, 75% wool, 25% bamboo

These are my husband's socks, which he likes. I like the pattern, and I loved the yarn in the skein, but I don't like the way it's wearing. Bamboo always blooms a bit, adds a bit of shine, but these are pilling, which my other bamboo socks have never done.

The yardage that would not quit:

These are probably the last orange knit goods for KD, as she prepares to graduate from the College of Orange and Black.

Pattern: Anastasia Socks

Yarn: Regia 4-ply

Mods: I used some graphing advice from Wendy's blog to re-size them, so I had enough yarn left over for these:

Pattern: Piano Mitts, by Catherine Ryan
Yarn: Leftover Regia 4-ply

And there's still some left!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Portable knitting

I always have socks on the needles. Portable knitting, instant gratification. In no particular order, here are a few things I've finished recently.

Jacqaurds for NKD, who swore I had never made her socks (conveniently forgetting these, which she took home and misplaced):

Yarn: Patons Kroy in Crayon (I'm not crazy about Kroy, but she wanted a jacquard and it's all I could find)
Pattern: My standard toe-up sock pattern
Modifications: length, obviously, since NKD has very short feet. I also inserted Wendy's wonderful flap heel for toe-up socks - I loved the way they turned out when I made her Double Eyelet Rib Socks, so I just grabbed the instructions and inserted them into my pattern. This involved quite a bit of math, and all of my mathematical children have flown the coop, but with the aide of my trusty calculator I have now inserted this heel into any number of sized patterns.

Here's another:

I knit KD socks from leftover worsted weight Wool-Ease some time back, and when the weather turned really breath-taking last month out in the midwest, she asked for more. I grabbed some Wool-Ease she had left behind at Christmas (it made a really spectacular hat and mittens for a young Spiderman fan/friend of hers). I used every bit of it up, but here are her new worsted socks, with Wendy's heels - this time I also had to figure out what to do with the one row where she has you knit a complete round in the middle of the heel, since I didn't want a single row of red on top of the sock.

And lastly, NKD got her own pair of clogs this weekend:

In addition to cutting down on the length, I also chose the higher heel-back option. These developed a crease during felting that I never quite got rid of, but she's happy with them - it was all I could do to make her wait until they were dry!

Great merciful heavens - now I have no socks on the needles!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sometimes, knitting is not the right answer

I realize this is heresy. But I need my crafting to be practical.

My co-worker's daughter is a nurse, and a little over two weeks ago she let it be known that she would like to have some baby blankets on hand as she works in her inner city hospital, just in case the mothers on her floor don't have anything to wrap their babies in as they head home.

Of course I immediately cast on a baby blanket from some leftover yarn. And cast on again. And again. I haven't actually made a baby blanket (that I remember) since my very first knitting project, and I had to work out the proper pattern for the amount of yarn at hand. It took me two weeks, in between other projects, to crank out a lovely little "dishcloth blanket," which I delivered today.

Meanwhile, two weeks ago when I was still casting around for a pattern, I stopped by the fabric counter while I was out running errands, picked up the end of a bolt of pale yellow no-sew polar fleece, had them cut it in half, and delivered two 36x30" baby blankets the following Monday, at the whopping expenditure of $2.22 and 2 minutes apiece. The nurse and her mother were pleased with the idea, and plan to replace them with more of the same as needed.

My knitted blanket is nice. And there's definitely a place for hand knits, from heirlooms to practical workhorses. But in this case, there was a better solution.

Dishcloth baby blanket

Yarn: 1 1/2 skeins Simply Soft in white

Needles: Size 9 circular

Pattern: if you've ever made a cotton dishcloth you don't need this, but just in case:

Cast on 5 sts.

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: K3, yo, k to end of row.

Repeat row 2 until desired length (measured on one side of the triangle)

Row 3: K2, k2tog, yo, k2tog, knit to end of row.

Repeat row 3 until 5 sts are left, bind off.