Sunday, July 31, 2011

June and July roundup

June and July just mashed together in my head. (Where has the summer gone?)(Have I even had a summer?)(Isn't going to the pool only one time so far rather pathetic?)(Fall sports season starts when?)  The months have mashed together and so have my projects. Here's my FO list:

For the kids in Kazakhstan:

-A hoodie for a long-armed kid that won't be needed until next May, which means I'm knitting something ahead of time!

-Four baby blankets, using up stash in lots of browns and lots of scraps. (The fish blanket used up most of my worsted scraps. I'll just have to create some more.)

-Two pair toddlers socks
-One pair adult socks
-One balaclava

-Two swiffer covers for me, in an attempt to get my house cleaner.
-A pair of newborn baby tights in sweet, soft blue stripes.

My theme? Using up stash and leftovers.

The result? Success!

Projects I might not have mentioned....

First of all, and I know I've mentioned it a lot, the fish blanket is done!


The fish blocked out nice and flat with no puckering seams using my usual blocking method: Wash, roll up in a towel to get out the excess water, lay flat on a towel and pat into shape. No pins were involved.

I used the tesselated fish pattern, size 8 needles (2 pairs) and worsted weight yarn scraps. It was worked on for a week or two in '09, and then again now for about a week and a half. A large part of Saturday was taken up with the sewing together (Chinese food was eaten rather than a pile of meat, and no-bake cookies were made instead of brownies to conserve eggs. Neither was quite what I wanted, but I had a huge hamburger today, and as soon as I buy some eggs I'm going to make brownies.)

Another balaclava was made. I had leftover yarn of 2 balaclavas, plus was mailed another partial skein. I made this one and then sent the leftovers on to the next. This really does fit a normal sized head, but my usual hat model is hiding from me, so you'll have to trust me.

These are an adult sized pair of "Hug me" socks with a 9" (23 cm) foot length, size 2 needles, and Filatura Lanarota sock yarn. Soft and cushy, like always.

Back when I was writing my baby tights pattern, I made a pair of tights to test some pattern changes.

They're newborn size, too small for the baby orphanage, so I might just sell them. They're using Patons Classic wool in worn denim and Chaco yarn in white.

I've also made 2 pair of toddlers socks using leftover sock yarn. Each pair was made using 3 sock yarns, knitting a partial row with each color so that the color spirals down looking like stripes. The blue pair is 13 cm and the burgandy pair is 11 cm.

Here's the yarns that I used for the burgandy pair.

I think that now I'm caught up with all the finished projects-- just in time to start a new month.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Guess what I did today?

Guess what I did today?

That's right. The fish afghan is sewn together and it's washed and drying as we speak.

I also vacuumed, did some laundry, colored my hair, watched "Secretariat" and loads of shows on the food network, especially "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives".

Now I need some meat to eat.

And some chocolate.  Preferrably brownies.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Well, it's Friday and the fish are done. (I just told that to my DH, and he said, "what fish?" You know, the things I've been working on all week?)

Along the way, I've had a casualty. My 16" sz8 circ has bit the dust. The fish were too much for it.

Most of the time the fish have been piled up in a basket.

But occasionally I would get them out and make piles by color. That's harder than it looks, as all the long tails get tangled with each other.

Finally it was time to lay them out like an afghan. I know if I squint at the picture, then I can see the color combinations better and the problem areas will stand out.

I might just leave them like they are, though. (Or maybe that row with 8 instead of 7 should be fixed. Geesh!)

I'm hoping that when I get them sewed together that nothing will shrink in length or width, or otherwise it might be too small. I have 2 fish left over and a bit more yarn, but I'm hoping that the size will be right without having to make any more.

In the meantime, think of me as I'm sewing the afghan all together. (Who's idea was this, anyway?)

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Back in Jan '09, I started knitting some fish from leftover yarn.  (Pattern is here.)  I hadn't done much since, but decided to drag them out this week, finish knitting the fish, and put them together for another baby blanket.

In 2009, I had knitted 12 fish.

The pile, when not looking like this (as usual),

has been steadily growing. I have now knitted 13 more. They knit up quickly, but I can only handle about 2 at a time before boredom sets in.

I figure I need 35 fish to make a 20x30" afghan, so that means I need to do 10 more. If I do 2 per day, then I should be able to get the fish done by Friday. Then, all that's left is to sew them together, and that should be mind numbingly crazy, who thought of this idea easy, right?

Friday, July 22, 2011

New yarn

Since MDSW, I've been very good. I haven't bought any new yarn. That is, until last week.

I actually bought yarn 3 times last week, but, in my defense, they were all really good deals.

First, I bought some yarn from work. This Patons Classic Wool (cognac heather) has been on clearance for $2.99 for several months now. Finally, on Monday it was 49 cents! I bought all that was left, which was 7 skeins.  Not enough for an adult sweater, but definitely enough for something smaller (like a baby blanket :)

At the same time, I scooped up the remaining 2 skeins of Patons Stretch Socks, one in Sugar and one in Plum, again for 49 cents.  I have a pink pair of socks already, but I might need a purple pair to add to my rotation.

Then, in a good internet deal, I got these 3 skeins of sock yarn for $4 each. They each have 310 yards, so they should make a large adult pair, plus a couple of little pairs. I got them from the dyepot in case you want to check them out.

Again from work, I bought 2 skeins of Sugar 'N Cream for 59 cents each.

I've already put them to good use and made 2 swiffer covers. This is the smaller one, so it took less than a ball of yarn (the above pic shows the leftovers).

The second swiffer is bigger, and the first cover I made for it was too small, so this one is gi-normous. It used up a whole ball, plus leftovers from 2 other balls.

This way, even it shrinks, there will still be plenty of room.

So there we have it, my yarn purchases for the last 70 days. Not too bad!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Three baby blankets are done, washed, and dried!

They're all going to a baby house in Kazakhstan, so they need to be wooly and warm. It's been a good way to use up some of my browns, since the babies aren't requesting any colors.

This is another of Evelyn's no-sew blankie. The whole point of the blanket is that you can knit the whole thing without breaking the yarn except for the border. That of course, changed, when I decided to do blocks of color. There were definitely ends to sewn in, but I like the way it turned out.

Lion Brand Fisherman's wool in oat tweed and brown. Knitpicks green. Brown garter stitch borders were added before the green border to make it the goal size of 20x30".

Then, I did two blankets using Ten Stitch Blanket by Frankie Brown.

I love them so much! I stopped at two, but I might still make another one. They're very addictive and they're a good way to use up oddballs of yarn.

I made some changes to the pattern. I used 2 strands of WW held together on size 11 needles. This made it lots thicker and cushier. Also, to make it a rectangle, aiming again for that 20x30" size, I knitted 14 ridges before the first open double corner. That makes the middle square now a rectangle and in turn makes the whole thing into a rectangle. Then, you just go round and round until it's the right size.

The first one I made was with different skeins of Fisherman Wool, using natural, oak tweed, and brown. I started with 2 strands of natural, changed one to oak tweed, changed the other to oak tweed, changed one to brown, changed the other to brown. This one is my favorite. I love all the natural colors and the way the color changes. I made the changes in the middle of a row rather than the corners, like the next one.

The next one I made with some other oddballs. The tan is Patons Classic Wool in Sesame that I got on such a clearance deal a year ago. The green is repurposed from a sweater that was given to me half done. And the brown is more Fisherman's wool. I changed colors at the corners this time, but I think I like it in the middle better.

I feel like I could do the color changes better, and might have to make another one just for that reason! (hahaha)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Washing Day

Today was washing day. All these woolies got thrown into the washer to soak in Eucalan and to spin dry.

(Yes, I have been knitting, and yes, I might even talk about it in the future!)

Monday, July 18, 2011

2012 Grad sweater

"Hey, son, what are you doing right now?"

"Oh, no," he says, seeing what's in my hand. "I've fallen and can't get up."

"Ok,", I said, "I'll just take the picture like this."

"Okay, how about a better picture?" I say.

"Do I have to put it on?" he says.

"Yes, it would make a better picture."

Grumble, grumble.

"If it wasn't so itchy, I'd like this myself," he admits.


It won't be itchy for a Kaz kid, since he will have something more than a sleeveless shirt on underneath.

So this sweater has been done for awhile. It's been washed, the button has been sewn on, and it's ready for one of next year's grads. I decided to make it over the summer while I had some extra time.

The biggest worry? Where will there be a kid with arms that long? My DS is 14 and is 6' (and 1/2 inch, thankyouverymuch) and his arms swim in it. I suppose the arms could be shortened if necessary, but they might also be just right.

Neck Down Hooded Tunic by Knitting Pure and Simple. Did size small on 10.5 needles with 2 strands held together.
black: 12 skeins (50 gr. ea) Filatura Lanarota Rich Wool.
blue: 9.5 skeins (50 gr ea) Happy Trails by Wooly West dk wt in Big Sky.
knit body for 23.5", then slit and ribbing.
sleeves: dec every 6th rnd. Make super extra long and then quit. Make shorter later if necessary.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fur. Lots and lots of fur.

Some people have a summer home. We have a summer dog. Just when we get sick and tired of rolling tumbleweeds of dog fur, she goes back to her mom and we are fur-free for several months.

And there is a LOT of fur.

In an effort to keep it under control, Lucy got groomed recently.

Before: the stuffed animal look

After: the "hey, did her head shrink?" look

She still has her skirt, like any proper cocker spaniel, but at least her head and back are under control.