Friday, April 30, 2010

Around and Around

I had a bunch of odd balls of mercerized cotton in DK weight.

Pattern is loosely modified from Bad Penny. I cast on for the largest size and just did my own thing with the color sequence. Since I had the most of the blue, I saved a full ball to use for the neckline and cuffs.

Total yarn used: about 400 grams (8- 50 gram balls), about 920 yards.

It's comfortable and nicely casual. A jeans sweater for summer.

This makes seven.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fit For a Princess

This was going to be a long ranty post about the morons I encounter on the road. . .

but then, I finished this sweet little princess dress and everything seemed too fine to start a rant. I'll save that for another day.

I love the lace panel. And the top-down, practically seamless construction. And the picot edge on the sleeves and hem.

Pattern is available (for free)here. You can see the modification I made, subbing 4 rounds of ribbing for the eyelet round and eliminating the satin ribbon.

Do you like the buttons? They are tiny bows. (Click on the picture to make it bigger.)

I have to say that this was a very quick knit. Something like 5 days start to finish, just working on it a couple hours a day. Of course, I made the smallest size.

And here's the whole thing. I like it!


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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weave Me Some Magic

I've been plotting the current weave for a while.

Our kitchen calls out for some brightly colored placemats in the summer.

And so, I dragged out the bag of odds and ends of crochet cotton (see below) that was part of a major Goodwill score a year ago and started sorting.

What I settled on was these crayon colors. The thread in each seemed slightly heavier than the typical size 10 (more like a 5?) and the colors look good together. For the weft, I am using some Bernat Chunky Cotton in white.

There were some glitches (mostly minor). First, there was the massive tangle of warp that I had to tease out before tying on to the cloth beam. Then, when I started to weave early yesterday morning and discovered that my perfect warp (oh, my lord, the tension was the best I've done so far!) was threaded only through the slots (not the holes) , I had to go back and untie, untangle again, thread, tighten, tie. Well, you get the picture.

First mat is nearly finished. I need to find something to use as a separator so that I can weave the second. I am really pleased with the way this is coming (I say that a lot, don't I?)

Here's what's left of the crochet cotton. I used some already in other projects (the striped dishtowel, the ill-fated washcloths) and I still have a bunch. Price tag is still on the bag to give you an idea of the magnitude of this bargain.

Since I do very little crochet work (and that, certainly not with thread), I suspect that this will be used up in weaving, or, when I get sick of it, I may dump it.

So far, though, I am more than satisfied with this purchase--all of $13 for enough yarn and thread to fill the trunk of my car. And the best part? What you see here is all that's left!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

What You Were Waiting For

This adorable dress was the pattern of the day earlier this week.

I just had to cast on! I could not resist.

Of course I subbed the yarn for something from stash (Plymouth Encore DK in Daffodil). I also made a minor modification--not especially visible or obvious in this photo, though it will be in the final photo.

I am not convinced that satin ribbon works with knitwear. Especially not in knitwear for babies. After all, the fiber is (usually) different, so it needs to be washed separately, and frankly, starts to look quite ratty quite quickly.

So, I eliminated the eyelet round at the waist (what baby this age has a "waist" anyway?) and knitted 4 rounds of k1, p1 ribbing on the smaller needles the pattern suggests to draw it in just a hair before the skirt increases.

It was a "finish as you go" project for me, so the sleeves are hemmed, the button band is tacked in place. All that remains is 4" more of plain knitting and a shallow pique hem.

So, is this a sweater, in which case it counts toward my 10 in 10, or not?

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Some Progress

I added another scarf to the "fair" box, but this one will also be a donation to the Red Scarf Project that is conducted each year to support kids who have aged out of the foster care system.

Perhaps you've been listening to the stories on NPR. Kids who are fostered often roll into "adulthood" with no support of any kind, though some few (the very lucky ones, it seems) may find a caring adult or family or caseworker who will guide them into maturity.

Imagine if you can (and I can, but that's another story for another day and blog) being 18 (barely) and alone in the world!

Enter the Red Scarf Project and OFA. Offering moral support and financial assistance to former foster kids who are continuing their education. They make a difference. And you can too! Follow the links and do what you can.

And here, in the Blarney Woolen Mills tote that I had to practiaclly beg for (despite having spent way more than the required minimum for "free with purchase--yet another story for another day) is the cotton tee.

It is progressing nicely, and a sudden turn in the weather makes me not really care if I finish it this week or not! Where did the warm weatther go?

Oh, I'll keep plugging away, but not right now. Right now, I am contemplating another potential fair entry.

Picture tomorrow.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Taxman Cometh

And ours are filed. So there!

Yes, we did wait until the last minute. That's because We Owe. Remember that little $800 "break"we all got? Well, we just returned it. Interest-free loan? Yep.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

To the Parents

of the child(ren) who called at 1:30 AM

Caller ID tells me your number and your name. Your Precious may have been having a "slumber" party, but trust me, she and her little friends were not slumbering.

Three times!?

Where were you?


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Do Something With All This Yarn!

That's what my mind has been screaming at me for days.

So I dipped into a hidden corner of the stash bins and came up with (eyes left, please) this lovely batch of DK weight mercerized cotton that was wanting to be something simple for summer.

Enter Bad Penny.

My summer shirt is (very) loosely based on this pattern. I'm using up odds and ends of Elann Sonata, Patons Bumblebee, Patons Cotton DK and Reynolds Saucy Sport. All the colors are soft and muted. I won't be adding anything metallic.

I have no plans to buy additional yarn, so this will be as long (or short) as the yarn allows.

The stripe pattern is 3-2-1 (repeat). the ribbing will be blue.

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

One Down?

This scrappy scarf, made from sample skeins, may well be my first entry
for the 2010 fair!

The knitting (many miles of seed stitch) took seemingly forever, but I stayed interested because each row (it's knit lengthwise) used a different yarn. Click on the picture to make it bigger.

There's a mix of luxury and utility in this one and some sparkly stuff and ribbon as well.

I am pleased, and I think I will enjoy wearing it.

Pattern is in the free patterns section at Yarn selections are your own. Each row calls for 10 yards. I believe I have 45 different yarns in this one.

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

See You In Six Months

I had a follow-up visit to my radiologist.

That's what she said to me! IOW, I am doing well.

It was a good visit.


Sunday, April 04, 2010

Highly Unsatisfactory

Here's an "after" photo of the baby washcloths I attempted with cotton chenille.

I decided to cut them apart and hem (by hand) before laundering (machine wash and dry). Honestly, the other option was to launder the whole strip and finish after.

I don't think it would have made a bit of difference in the long run. Even if the initial product had looked better, they will still need to be laundered.

What I learned from this project: Machine sewing! That's the ticket!

Of the 7 cloths, only 2 are salvageable. And only if I stitch down the hems.

Lesson learned!


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