Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

The other day (you know, the one where I was sick?) I took advantage of a few free minutes to finish up a little project. Kidster #1 wanted a ninja mask for his costume. I had made one for him a while back when we inherited the costume from his cousin but it was red. It was the only fabric in a TMNT color that I had on hand at the time, and I only cut it out and never stitched it. It actually fits him perfectly, but he would rather not be Raphael. See, he has a thing for Purple. It's his favorite color. And since Donatello is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle with the purple mask, it only makes sense that it's his favorite guy and that's who he wants to be.

The purple one is a new and improved model. I made the front out of felt (because I was dead sick and didn't feel like sewing around those eye holes). I made the back ties nice and long, and I even attached an elastic band to keep everything nice and snug. That way we don't have to rely on the ties to hold it in place. It's not perfect, but it's pretty good work from someone who was half dead.
I'm not worried about the red one. It has already found someone to love, and now they play together (sort of).
Special thanks to Charlie Brown for modeling today. Hope you get more than rocks this Halloween, Chuck! Oh yeah, and never jump in a pile of leaves with a wet sucker.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Calling in Dead

With two kidsters and one Hubster in school there is no way to avoid the inevitable. But I have actually avoided the inevitable for two months now. Each of them has gone through at least two, maybe three by now. My hands are raw from all the washing and hand sanitizer. But it finally wore me down. Yes, you guessed it, I'm sick. I couldn't even talk this morning when I got up. And don't think the kidsters didn't take advantage of that, let me tell you!

Before you ask, let's have a little conversation. What ever happened to just being good old sick? You know, go through a box of tissues (or two in my case), get the red under your nose, cough for a few days, hack up a little mucus (sorry for the graphics) and then you are on your merry way. But now, everything has changed. Forget about going to the store to buy some cold medicine. One cough and people go running from you or get that fear in their eyes like you just started the next plague. No, it's not swine flu! I'm not the epicenter of a national disaster! I'M JUST SICK! It happens you know.

Thanks, I feel better now knowing that you understand.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Campaigning for your vote!

Hi fiber friends! I have some exciting news. This week my Braided Cable Handle Tote pattern was put into the running for the November KAL in the Bag-A-Month Club group on Ravelry!

So I am calling on all of you out there to vote for me! Come one! You don't have to leave a comment. You don't have to fill out a ballot and mail it out. All you have to do is go to this thread in the group then click on the "agree" tag within post #5. And you'll be transported into online knitting heaven at the same time. How easy is that?

Thanks for your generous support!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sweater recycling update

I have been so busy I can't even believe that it's been a whole week since the last post. (Big sigh.) With one kidster in school in the morning and the other one in the afternoon, I have been spending a little more one-on-one time with each of them. The 5 year old has really turned on his charm and manners lately. Not sure if it is because of school or me, but I'm not complaining! The 3 year old has also adjusted nicely to school. At home he's still Dr. Demando, but we're working on it. I remember 3 being the (ahem) fun age.

But back on topic! You're all dying for an update on the yarn situation aren't you? Ok, even if you're not, you are going to get one anyway!

Last Saturday night I armed myself with my scissors and a beer. I think the beer part should be a prerequisite when you are taking apart handiwork made by someone else. Or at least it's a good excuse!
I had Googled "recycle sweater yarn" and came up with a lot of useful links. Having the need to really know what I was doing I read at least four articles and blogs; but the first one Craftstylish had all of the info anyone really needs. (BTW, Shortly has a post today from her sister also loving this tutorial!)

I had a little trouble getting started at the cuffs of the arms. They had been reinforced with thread and I was nervous trying to cut the thread only. I moved up a little on the seam, made a snip, and viola! The whole seam just pulled out. I managed to do this with both sleeves, the raglan joins, and the sides! I had the pieces apart by the time I had finished beer #1! Of course it was on to beer #2. By the time I was done with that one I had unraveled the neckband and both arms.

On Sunday I got a little help. Kidster #1 unraveled while Hubster wound. They had so much fun together that I am going to remember to put them to work next time! I took out my homemade swift again and proceeded to measure and prepare for washing. This part was very tedious. If you can, unravel directly onto the swift. You'll be glad you did.
I soaked the yarn in a big pot in my tub and hung it to dry in the storage room. Please pardon the mess! If you look closely between the yarn you can see the tower of bins that is my stash. Well I do have some more in another room, but don't we all?
I have yet to wind all this up into balls. Probably because I don't have a ball winder. Yet!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Even superheroes need lace!

What do superheroes and lace have in common? Apparently a lot, since I've already been commissioned to make a small one in white and a huge one in green.
The lace pattern is from Water Web. Kidster #1 and I thought it would make a perfect net for catching those bad guys. Besides being a chance to practice all those yarn overs it was a good car project, since a few "five minutes at a time" seems to be about all the knitting I can get in these days. But an FO is an FO so I'm not going to complain, even if the rest of you could have done ten of these by now!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

More yarn projects!

I recently inherited a huge box of yarn from my terrific neighbor. Since retiring she hasn't had any time for knitting (isn't that funny?) and decided to donate it to me! Most of it was Lopi which I am looking forward to felting into lots of fun things (slippers, anyone?). But there was also quite a bit of this cotton. I thought it was interesting because I am churning through the red cotton I bought on sale this summer and I am looking now for an apple green color. I know, this isn't quite apple green. Or pine green. Or green at all.
It's teal, and quite bright. But I am going to play around with it and some yellow and see if I can get it closer to some kind of green color. I made up my homemade swift (I love Ravelry!) and got one of the skeins all ready. I have the dye. Now I just need to find a pot at a yard sale or something. I don't have any extras that we don't use!

Friday, October 9, 2009

It's all about the yarn.

Remember my trip to the thrift store? Of course you do, it was only the last post. Well, I didn't mention this sweater that I bought for $4.00. I found it in the men's section and it didn't have any tags. It's huge, so I'm guessing it's an XL. It is a tweedy darkish blue with hints of green. And these pictures don't do the color justice.After closer examination I determined that it might even be handmade. The front and back were knit then seamed (not cut!) so I should be able to get some great yarn from this!

I am so excited. I have had my eye on this hoodie vest. I think I'd make it longer since I am not a size 2 like this model obviously is. But checking out the Ravelry projects for this one shows a lot of different body types and it seems to work for everyone. With the blue yarn I think it would go great with jeans! This might be the yarn and project to get me inspired for something a little bigger. Off to disassemble my first sweater...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fashionable, cheap.

Spending time with the kidsters is great, terrifically funny, and very rewarding (see, I'm grinning, really I am). But one thing it is not is fashionable. The cooler weather has meant transitioning from shorts to jeans, but the t-shirts and sweatshirts remain. It's all about easy, comfortable, and cleanable! I've always wanted a winter wardrobe full of handmade sweaters but let's face's not going to happen with an hour of knitting time a day.

This morning I happened to stumble upon a 50% off sale at the local thrift store. I check in every now and then for pants for the kidsters, to replace the blown-out knees that we have or are about to have. (I take advantage of it while they are too young to care. Once they want to have Abercrombie they can get a job and pay for it themselves!) And since I was there, and since I had time, and since it was a sale, I looked around. I was specifically looking for a large stockpot to start experimenting with dying yarn. Didn't find one. But I did find some very nice sweaters. Right up my alley in terms of simple comfort but with some real style. And in my favorite earthy neutral colors! Here's my take, for about $20.The brown one is very soft cotton and the ivory one is linen and gorgeous. Both are new with tags! How great is that? I can see myself wearing the black t-shirt sweater all the time. I'm a sucker for a v-neck. The green one caught my eye because it is a hoodie (love it) and it has those mini cables that are quite popular this fall. But my favorite is the gray cabled shawl collar sweater. I wish it was colder out today so I could wear it right now! My winter wardrobe is complete.

Maybe now I can be comfortable and fashionable!