My Life in Knots

Monday, August 25, 2008

Another Bag, More Socks and Mittens for the hubby

So as one can see from my sidebar I have a waiting list for bags. I wish I could make them faster and as I do each bag I do get a wee bit faster with them and then listen to feedback on what could or should be changed/added/deleted etc.

So here was the latest bag delivered this morning and the recipient was so happy she bought yarn to match her bag...which we all noticed also matched her current project bag, and yarn and her car!

Heathers Bag

I also realized about 30 min before my Monday Morning knitting group I really had nothing portable on needles so I had to remedy that! I have some beautiful Araucania hand painted sock yarn and no idea what it wanted to be. So I brought my cake along, in one of my sock bags of course, and cast on a toe while I was there. I am using size 1 (2.25mm) needles and generally like 64 stitches around on these needles, so figured I'd cast on and increase to 64 stitches before I came home to decide what the socks would be.

I decided on Express Lane socks (linked in the side bar) as it would give me a slight pattern to hold my interest while knitting, but, would be enough straight knitting to really showcase the beautiful yarn.

Express Lane Socks
I also had some Alpaca left over from the Hemlock Ring Afghan I made for the Olympics. I had to open a new hank of yarn to bind off the last 2inches of the afghan leaving me with about 108 yards of yarn to use on something.

My husband liked the feel and warmth of the yarn so I made him some fingerless/convertible mittens. I started with the Pele pattern but soon discovered that pattern just didn't work for my husbands hands (I'm not sure whose hands it would work for as they were about 4inches to short and 10inches too wide) So I used that pattern as inspiration but did a lot of modifications I noted on my Pele Project Page on ravelry.

Now they well fit like a glove and will keep his hands toasty warm and he has no excuse not to shovel this winter!

Hubby's Convertible Mittens
I also had started 3 times a pair of socks out of a beautiful Brooklyn Handspun yarn that Mardi gave me in exchange for her bag. I ended up settling on the Pablo Blue socks which I loved to knit, they were fun and interesting, however, a bit small for my foot using the pattern directions. This is alright though because they are a Christmas gift for my mother in law whose foot is about 1/2 a size smaller then mine so will fit her beautifully!

Pablo Blue Socks

So thats whats been getting done, craft wise, around here the last week. I have more bags cut out and more projects in mind. I do start my college semester oh in about 8hrs and expect with school, kids, homework and such things will slow down a bit on the craft front but not all that much! I find it very therapeutic to craft during school and such because it's kind of time for me away from a computer, kids, text books, TV's etc.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Ravelympics 2008

I participated in the Ravelympics for Team Splurk and decided my event would be the Afghan Marathon....for non rav/plurking people: This means I decided to cast on a knitted afghan at 8am on 8-8-08 and to cast off by the closing ceremonies, Beijing Time.

Day 1
08/08/08 8:08am
Cast on: Hemlock Ring Afghan
Yarn: Berroco Cuzco in Oliva 682.5 yards used
Needles: US Size 10 double points, 29" circ and 40" circ

Ending Day 1 at 66 as seen below

Day 2
You can see the cute stitch markers April made me that I used for this project!

ended day 2 on row 88

Day 3
With a sever sinus headache all day I was able to work on this and finished off at 11:oopm EST
I then wove in the ends, washed and blocked the afghan.
Here it is stretched out on a queen sized bed drying. The finished size is 45" from point to point.
Not a huge afghan more something to throw on your lap but given the fiber content of 50/50 Alpaca/Wool it's more then warm!

It's now dry but will wait till there is sun light for better photos.

I only entered this one event thinking I would need many more days to finish this project so I'll just support my team mates from here till the end.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

What do you want to see?

While I have a ton of ideas of what I personally want in a bag I'm always interested to hear what others want. Since I started sewing up my own project bags I have found no one bag is perfect for everyone. Some people want purses that will also hold knitting, some want storage bags, some want easy to grab totes. The sizes differ, the contents differ, zippers, no zippers, snaps, buttons, closures, fabric etc.

So I'm asking what it is you would like to see in a bag? If you have seen my other posts on sock bags and more sock bags you'll see some of what I have done. But, I'd still like more input, no matter how odd, hard, complicated, impractical or easy but over looked you think it is.

Just leave a comment or email me at Bugaboo1 AT stny DOT rr DOT com replacing the At with an @ and DOT with a .

More Toys and finished dying!

This is where this spinning began with a grey (lighter color in the twist) roving I spun to about sport weight, and a brown (darker color seen in the twist) also spun between fingering/sport and then plied the 2 together.

After dying in Wilton's Rose icing paste coloring this is the finished result! It comes out semi purplish in some images but it's like that Raspberry scented marker a lot of us had in grade school.

Here's the other toy my hubby made me a Yarn Swift woohoo! He's actually making me another now out of my favorite wood but I can't complain about a solid mahogany one shown here either!
All balled up! I have about 60 yrds of workable yarn here so now to figure out what to do with it....oh I do already know I just can't say yet but the color was picked for a purpose!

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

More bags and a Barter

I had sewn up a prototype bag I jokingly call the worlds most perfect sock bag. Well the women I knit with LOVED it and have been asking me to make them ever since. I had started about opening a store but I always go back and forth as to if I want to make my hobby into a job or not. So one begged and prodded me with goodies to make her a bag and here it is!

She supplied the material, which I normally wouldn't do because sometimes people give you really a fabric that could never work for a pattern they have to have, but, I know she has impeccable taste and already knew it was upholstery weight and perfect for the bag.

I was able to create a working pattern and test it then went to town on her bag using this pattern. I cut down some of the sewing time from about 12hrs of sewing and fitting to now about 8. Theres a lot that goes into these bags, every inch is fully reinforced and lined with 6 pockets, zippers gallore, inset snaps you name it.

But, I was thinking for myself I wanted an even smaller version so created the perfect 1 sock project bag.
It has the basis of the design from the larger modle but would only hold 1 sock project with the pattern on index cards or folded paper. You could though throw in a credit/debit card into the internal pocket, cell phone, cash and keys and use this as a knitting on the go/ for Rhinebeck?

Inside the 1st photo of the small bag is a cake of Brooklyn Hand spun currently in use for a pair of socks. This is one skein given to me by Mardi to make her bag. She gave me the material as I stated, and then below:
A skein of Mama-E's C*EYE*BER FIBER Sock in Winter Sunrise (top blue/red hank), A Skein of Brooklyn Handspun in Tropical Punch (orange/peach hank), 2 skeins of Panda cotton in roses ( burgandy/pink/green skiens), 2 skeins of Rowan handknit cotton in Red (2 skeins bottom right), a skein of Froebe Fibers hand Dyed in Watermelon Bombe (Top right pink/green skein) and the Brooklyn hand spun in the bag was Leafy Stalk.

So if wondering if I will barter with you the answer is yes I love to swap/barter...but the bars been set pretty high for pricing. It's really because 1. she likes to spoil people. 2. the bag is well made and takes a lot of time 3. the raw materials I supplied to put in the bag bring the cost pretty far up and 4. just cause she wanted to keep giving me yarn.

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Some spinning...I think I'm improving

Yeah it's sideways and I didn't fix it oh well! I did spin though. I am now doing the park and draft method which is working out better for me. I had some wool in grey (top small dowel) and brown (bottom small spindle) so spun up both then plied them together and ended up with a light worsted weight yarn.

My wonderful husband has been doing some wood working and made me 2 niddy noddies, a swift and another on the way. So I used the 16in niddy to hank up my spun creation to then soak and set the twist.

This is the hank of approximately 60 yrds of hand spun wool.

Then I wanted to play with some natural dyes. I have been told not to use an increasing acid bath on natural dyes containing red #3. But, if a girl wants reds or pinks what is she to do? Well I decided to try it anyways and picked up some Wilton food coloring paste in Rose Pink and dyed away. I soaked the yarn in clean warm water while I dissolved the paste in some hot water. Then I filled a pot with about the same temp water the yarn was soaking in and added the dye. I placed the yarn in the dye pot and turned up the heat!

After simmering for about 15 minutes I added about 1/3 cup of white vinegar hoping the addition of acid after the red#3 had time to set in would be better, and I think it's a success. I turned the heat up a bit more and let it rolling simmer for about 20 minutes until all the dye was incorperated into the yarn and the water in the pot was clear. Then set it aside and let it cool to room temp. I had filled a water basin with tap water as well and set out so they would both eventually come to the same temperature. Then I rinsed.

Here's the skein drying now. I'll get close ups later when I wind it up into a cake to show the color variations. It's a deep fushia/red coloring due to the base roving used.

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Some knitting

I've made a few socks lately! This is a sock I started oh in October of 2007 but got mad at so put them in time out while only the 1st sock was partially done. I picked them back up last month and finished them off!

Pattern: Menehune Cobble Stone Socks
Yarn: Crystal Palace Yarns Panda Cotton
59%bamboo 25% cotton 16% elastic nylon
Colorway: Rose water
Love this yarn even though it is splitty

Then I had been eying a free modular pattern and decided to give it a go.

These are colorful socks and have no give so they look wide but they do fit pretty well
Pattern: Domino Diamonds
Yarn: Noro Kureyon Sock
70% wool, 30% nylon
Colorway: S180

Then for the knitting plurkers out there you know WendyKnits offered a free pattern for a limited time. You would have to be on plurk to appreciate the importance of the nanner. Here is Wendy's rendition of Nanner socks, I called mine unripe nanners though due to green yarn

Pattern: Nanners
Yarn: Crystal Palace Yarns Panda Cotton
59%bamboo 25% cotton 16% elastic nylon
Colorway: Sprite Green

And now, to avoid casting on my afghan for the ravelympics I decided to do another pair. These are in progress so I'll give more info once done.

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Honey do list.....

I'm not sure about everyone else, although I here from my husbands aunts life is like this for them as well, but, the house never seems done. There is always a job to do. Once you finish something off something else is broken, cracked, messed up, disorganized you name it and requires your attention.

Well here the jobs get divided for certain reasons like I do all the laundry because if anyone else in the house touches the machine they will break it (has happened before) and I don't want to go naked because of thats my job

The hubby mows the lawn and does lawn work because I'm 1. not an outdoorsy person and 2. I'm allergic to most of what grows in our yard;grass, evergreens etc.

But, it seems lately My honey do list is bigger then my honeys! How did that happen???
I have been working on claning it up some though and since I haven't shared many pics of the house post construction here's an item from my list now checked off!
These are the new windows we had installed on the enclosed porches. This is the front porch where there are 4 like this and the back porch is the same minus the triangular windows at the top. I needed curtains though as with 4 huge picture windows on the afternoon sun side of the house the whole front porch could be a greenhouse.

I had been pricing out yardage for large enough coverings in a material I would like then ran across these at walmart one night. $17 for 2 tab top panels and calculated I would need 3 panels per window. They look a big wonky in this pic as they weren't completely up yet.

They are a nice nutral color though with a touch of red which coordinates to the inside where I have greens and rust colors. So it's not matchy matchy, which I can't stand anyways, but flows nice. The problem was how to hang them. The porch walls are an old aggregate stucco over lath so sometimes finding a stud is impossible or being able to drill into certain spots. Also regular rods were not going to work for this. So between the hubby and I this is what we came up with.

Closet rod doweling I then stained with left over stain from refinishing all the solid wood doors in the house. Instead of large, expensive wood hangers which we knew would rip out of the walls like almost everything else had, hubby bought c hooks and anchored them into the walls. The effect got the curtains almost to the ceiling of the porch to help cover as much of the triangular windows as possible for heat and light management, kept the curtains just above the floor as well. It's low profile so we maximize room on the porch for use and don't have to worry about the curtains sticking out a few inches and they operate pretty well.

They now run the length of the porch turn the corner and run the width of one side where the 4th window is and have helped immensely with the heat, although it's still like a sauna out there it's not as bad when they were uncovered.

Best thing is for all this we only spent about $130. I mean it is a porch so it's not like I was going to do custom drapery for this area of the home, but, drapes can become costly as well as the hardware so I was pleased with the cost being so low and the over all look being as nice as I think it turned out to be. .

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