Thursday, January 24, 2013

Making due and Mending

Quick one today.

For those of you who follow my podcast, you probably have already gotten the hint that I try to be as "Green" as possible. To me, that means trying to fix things rather than replace them and overall trying to use less.

Yesterday I spent about an hour mending a laundry basket and thought I might as well share, since I can't be the only one who has this type of trouble.

I've included a before and after pic of what I was working on so that you can see what I figured out.

Using a light colored yarn from my teaching box (in this case, some Rowan something or other), I moved the broken and pokey bits of the basket back where they seemed to belong and covered them with yarn. I used the yarn for two purposes: For the handles of the basket, I used a lot of yarn, wanting to not just reinforce, but keep any bits of the basket from poking out again. My hands deserve not to be shredded when I'm doing laundry. The other reason I used so much yarn is because I wanted a little cushion. Laundry baskets can get heavy when full. Why not make it more pleasant to carry them?

The other thing I did was simply run the yarn around the top reeds of the basket to pull them back into shape and keep them from sticking out and getting caught on things. For this, there was no need for the full coverage I did on the handles, shown to the right. Instead, it was a quicker job and I wrapped about every quarter to half inch. I figure, I've just extended the life of this basket at least a year, if not multiple years, which saves me the original cost, or at least defers it, and I haven't thrown something useable away. Also, I did this with a sturdy yarn, something all of us have near ay hand.

Just thought I'd share.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

MId-January 2013 Project Status

Well, as one might expect, I can't seem to goa month without finishing something.

As proof, I  maintain that we're about halfway through the month of January, and I have already finished two things!

As you may or may not remember from the last post, there were 11 unfinished projects at the start of 2013. I'm happy to report the fact that two of those are done.  To the side, you can see the blanket I started last summer while my husbean was in surgery. I couldn't get a pic of it all spread out because it's frigging huge and we don't have enough floor space.
But trust me, it's huge.

I took a couple pictures just hoping to give you a feel of the crazy-quilt style this blanket embodies. 

I like how it turned out, and I like how it looks with my friend's baby playing on it in my living room. Keep in mind, the whole thing is garter, just using up odds and ends of dk/sport weight in my stash.

Next, I finished some spinning! I had trouble getting a good pic of this with my neanderthal camera skills. So let me just tell you what it is, pink and brown with a little white. I spun it so that the pink and brown were tempered by the white rather than preserving them as deep colors. I like the semi-pastel way it turned out. Very vintage baby. It's a two ply, not sure what I'm going to do with it yet. But I'm sensing a shouldrette or really big cowl in it's future.

Here's the best close-up I could get. Sorry for the blurriness.

But what would my life be without a new project here and there? Are you groaning? Maybe 11 is my magic number! So I wound up these two lovely skeins of sock yarn (cascade heritage, if I remember correctly). These two are going to be a daybreak for my friend Micah. He's awesome enough to wear a Daybreak the way Stephen West intended. So he gets one.

This will be the 3rd one I've made. I'm still not sick of the pattern. Something about it is just fun. I think I should probably investigate other Stephen West patterns soon. Who knows what I could be missing??

Below is the first progress pic of this lovely.

And, lastly, what would life be without starting something new on the wheel? I just took something off, so it is probably lonely, right?

This supremely cheery yellow and orange is courtesy of my friend Erica. We made a deal last year that I'd provide her with a whole, clean, pin-drafted fleece, and she'd give me half of it back dyed. I'm not sure how many ounces I have in this color, but I'm smitten. It's the perfect winter doldrums spinning. How can you not be happy when faced with this?

So, yeah, 11 projects again. Whoops!

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Unfinished items going into 2013

Like many people who knit, spin, crochet, weave, or otherwise make things with their hands, I have several projects going on at one time. Some may call this genius (I do) because it allows me to flit from one to the next according to what my brain is craving (or capable of) at the time. For example - rough day, maybe some socks or garter stitch. Easy day or want to feel challenged, lace will do it. Others may say this is not so smart. For example - you could lose projects, forget about them, never finish anything..... But why be negative? I never never never forget about projects....well, only sometimes.

So, rather than hiding my WIPs (works in progress)(because we always intend to finish them, whether or not we actually do), I'm going to start the new year celebrating them. And what better way to do that then haul them all out and take pictures of them? note: these are the only ones I know about or could find....there could be something(s) I didn't remember.

Project  #1 
Review Socks.
These are being made out of Poste Stripe Seattle Coffee Blu. This is from Simply Socks Yarn Company.  Full disclosure: I received 1 of these skeins for free from the dyer. I chose which colorway I wanted, but there were other colorways that I really liked as well. I purchased the other ball myself since I enjoy doing socks 2 at a time.

Current Progress: both socks are just passed the gusset and working down the foot.

Project  #2
2013.1 Husbean Socks.
These are being made out of trekking. They are being made out of the remnants left from 2 pairs of Sasquatch Socks (or at least I think they will take both sets of remnants. If not, he'll get 2 pairs).  Not in love with the colorway, but it's passable for him and that's all that matters.

Current Progress: leg done, ready to start heel flap.

Project  #3
Angela's Blanket
To be honest, this is the longest WIP I have. It spans multiple years. It's mitered squares made out of some lionbrand that I was gifted a million years ago. I was given a bag full of the stuff - as in the sealed bag that the yarn store must have received it in. I forget even who gave it to me.

Current Progress: No F'ing clue. I've given her multiple finished square and have at least 13 more I haven't given her yet - any maybe 10 more skiens.

Project  #4
Scrap Blanket 
I started this right before my husbean went into ankle surgery last Spring.  I've got two panels, one knitted onto the other, each 200 stitches across. 

Current Progress: I've got something like 70 rows left until I'm finished with the 2nd panel. Then it's done until I have enough scrap to make a 3rd panel. 

Project  #5
Milestone Shawl
I started this on my honeymoon in late Oct 2011. It's a lace pattern of little moons. After I finished the pattern, I went back and repeated it over and over to increase size. Then I went "off road" and made up some of my own. Now I'm stealing the willow boarder from Victorian Lace Today.

Current Progress: Almost 1/4 done with interminable border.

Project  #6
Handspun Arianne Sweater
True to the title, this is being knit from yarn I spun myself. I believe it's Corriedale. I can't remember who I bought it from, but I do remember that I purchased it at one of the spinning days at the winery in Livermore. I call the color Antique Pink, although it looks a little like a purple-y-mauve here. It's lighter than that, I just didn't take a good picture (personal kryptonite)

Current Progress: Ripped out once and back to pat start.

Project  #7, #8
C.M. Material Girl and Unknown fibre
The Crown Mountain is lovely stuff (as everyone knows) I'm spinning it with a wollee-winder on the electric wheel the husbean built for me. I expect to use this wheel a lot more as my belly increases.

Current Progress C.M. Material Girl: 1/3 done on singles. 2/3 to go and then 3-plying. 8oz, I think.

The unknown fibre was purchased at Purlescence. I fell in love with the color. It's brown, white, and dark pink. I'm probably about 3/4 done with the singles. It is spinning up much lighter, but still very nice. I did really like the drastic dark colors, but even muted by the white, they are turning out very pretty. Reminds me of fall.

Current Progress unknown fibre: 3/4 finished singles. Then need to 2-ply or Navajo ply. 4oz, I think.

Project  #9
Lupine II, EWEnique Creations and Fiber
This is a primarily superwash merino hand-dyed goodie from my Alaska Cruise in, what, 2010? It was when I got engaged. There's only 2z here. It's GORGEOUS (but a little felty from me handling it too much)

Current progress: prob about 1/2 an oz. FAIL.

Project  #10
Halloween Fibre (Fairy Mountain Fibres)
Alright, I don't have the band for this, so I don't know the real name of the colorway. It look Halloween-ish to me, though. Pretty sure it's Fairy Mountain. Love the creepy green and teal over the magenta and black with some angelina.

Current Progress: pic is misleading, I'm actually on my second spindle shaft of this, which means I'm more than 1/2 way. Sadly, the spindle shaft is broken, so it's very slow now.

Project  #11
Sorry, no pic. I think I know where this project is languishing, and I'm just not woman enough to get it It would be hard to get at and I'm just not motivated enough to face the accompanying crap-alanche that would follow. This is a lovely skien of novelty yarn (but the 'spensive kind) that was a gift. It's pink, white, black, and red. I was wearing it around my neck in the skien, so I decided to single crochet it and then secure it into what's now being called by the fashion world a "Circular scarf" or a "round scarf" or whatever they want to call a mobius these days. Although I'm not going to add the twist, so it won't be a mobius, just imagine a skien around my neck and you'll have it.

Current Progress: Almost done with the crocheting. So pretty darn near close to complete. Once I dig it out of it's hidey hole, I may even manage to finish it.

Some things I have on my spindles are not projects, or at least not WIPs in a true sense. These are things I take with me when re-enacting. They are not really to finish, they are to give me something to do with my hands and which I enjoy that is historically accurate. I have 2 spindles engaged thusly, and packed with my re-enacting gear. I'm using gift fibre (as in, the person was going to spin but hated it and gave me their beginner stuff) on one and random grab-bag fiber on the other (ends of multiple sheep thrown together, all different colors). Although I don't consider these projects, they are very fun when I work on them. If I ever finish the yarn, I'll post it and maybe make something out of it as a project. I have 1 supported spindle to model spinning cotton (which I hate) so I can show people.

Not started: Things which haven't yet been started, but which are in the swatch stage are also not going to show up. Why? They aren't projects. They are little hopes that may or may not happen.

Handspun blanket: Let's face it, this is just a convenient way for me to store old handspun ends. But I'm thinking it either needs to be ripped out and reknit on a pattern (maybe bee-keeper quilt) or ripped and the yarn re-purposed another way. Otherwise, I'd put it on here. But since it's going to get frogged either way, it's not really a project anymore, just a way I'm storing handspun scraps.