Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Not only is it a Pretty Thing....

it also feels heavenly, being made of (inexpensive!) cashmere. I can even feel virtuous, since it was recycled.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pretty Things

The Yarn Harlot put out a pattern for a lace neckwarmer named Pretty Thing that attracted a lot of attention when she first knit it, and I jumped on the bandwagon. I happened to have also recently purchased a single skein of recycled cashmere yarn in a lovely rapsberry color from, and all I needed were 16" size 4 needles. I am so in love with Knitpicks Harmony needles, so I ordered a pair, and when all the pieces were in place, I couldn't resist casting on. This pattern requires a fair amount of attention to the chart, so it's good for when I have good light and few distractions.

I'm up to row 12 out of 60 rows, so cruising right along, and so far, (bless me knitting goddess!), no mistakes. I'm not using a lifeline because frogging on a circular needle is just too much trouble.

The sweater continues apace. I know this is about as interesting as watching paint dry--it's only marginally more interesting to knit than that as well--but there is the excitement of wondering whether the whole thing will be a failure, so there's that. I tried it on and it is rather fitted, in a good way, I hope. It will grow a bit in the blocking.

This yarn seems quite soft to the touch, but up against bare tummy, it prickles a bit, so I will have to wear at least a camisole under it, and maybe a turtleneck. I tried on my old turtlenecks, and decided that they are ridiculously loose and baggy. So I placed an order today for 4 mock-turtlenecks from Lands'End in size small. I know, I'm not really a size small! But to wear under other things, I thought that might be better. If not, they will go back to Sears. Free shipping, so not much to lose.

The sweater is perfect to knit while watching 2 hours of Ugly Betty! Let's hope the Ugly doesn't rub off on the sweater. I have to say that I'm glad poor Betty is finally improving her appearance.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

As I Lay Dyeing

First the old news: I have been working on the top of this top-down sweater (Ingenue, which I ain't!) since August, but I wasn't sure it was working out. I cut the yarn and blocked what I have so far, and at this point it is looking a bit more hopeful. As I was warned, Patons Classic Wool has a tendency to grow quite a bit when it hits water. I did soak and block my swatch, so perhaps I am on the right track after all. Worth pressing on, once the shoulder section dries.

So to amuse myself this morning, I decided I needed to do some Kool-aid dyeing. I had purchased 2 50-gram skeins of 75% wool sock yarn at Let's Knit a week or two ago, marked down to $3 a skein because the skeins were kind of messed up.

So I wound it into a skein, using one strand from each ball so that whatever pattern I ended up with would be the same in both socks.

Then as my exercise for the day, I walked over to Ralphs and bought 4 colors (um, flavors) of Kool-aid:

I dissolved the Kool-aid into 3 jars (I used the Grape to top off the jars and kind of deepen the brightness of the Black Cherry, Berry Blue and Strawberry) and put the whole set up in the microwave and nuked it a couple of times.

The colors seem to be fairly promising:

So my yarn is drying on the patio, and I will rewind it into 2 separate but pretty much matching balls, ready to start a pair of socks one of these days. I want to weigh the yarn at the PO to make sure I got the full 100 grams I am supposed to have. (One skein had far less than the other, for some reason, so I evened them out, but yardage may be missing. Hey, it was $6 total.) So I may try the toe-up method, in case the yardage is a little low. Socks that don't come up very high on the ankles are more useful than socks that don't quite reach the toes....

So while my sweater dries and my yarn dries, I still need something to knit!

Luckily, I have some monster knitting to work on. A couple of weeks ago (July?? August??) Beach Knitting had a big sale, all sale yarns $2 a skein. There were 3 skeins of Rowan's Big Wool in a most unappetizing beige color. But hey, it listed at $16 a skein, and I could buy it for $2 a skein, each 100 grams of super chunky a 100% pure wool. Color is no obstacle!So I also bought a jar of Wilton's Food Dye Gel in Leaf Green and back in September, I wound and spit-spliced all three skeins into one continuous skein and dyed it Leaf Green. The beige was no more!

And this yarn was exactly the yarn called for in a pattern that I had been thinking of for quite a while--an oversized Basketweave pattern to use as a cushion cover (from Knitting For Good.) I even had 3 over-sized buttons in my button stash, just right for the look.

Knitting with size 17 needles is not really as much faster as you might expect, because all the movements are larger and less efficient. The cover is maybe 2/3rds knit. I picked up a 16"pillow form at Joann's yesterday so that I could make sure of the size as I finish it up. Not sure who the lucky recipient of this pillow will be, but it has been a lot of fun to work on.

On the sports front, a lightbulb went off in my head this morning that should have gone off years ago. Sam remains a Chicago sports fan, but he can't get the games live on tv. He was planning to follow along on today's Chicago Bears game by watching the online scoring, and he said, yeah, it's almost like listening to the game on the radio. Wait a minute, what did you say? Radio? Maybe you could **listen** to Chicago radio online! And guess what? Sure you can! Live streaming of the local Chicago stations! That means that Cubs games can also be followed on the radio, play by play! How did I never think of this before?? I have known since 2006 that I could listen to WFMT on the computer! I just never put 2 and 2 together (and in my defense, neither did Sam or Kristen.) Anyhow, Sam is now listening to the Bears live on the radio online.

This is a good time to be alive and I don't want to hear from anyone who thinks the internet is making us stupid/isolated/whatever. It's the best thing since movable type!