Thursday, July 31, 2008

July Stash Update



Woohoo! This is the last of the stash updates, since the stash is gone. I just had to make the last dorky graph of the yarn! The blue line was the goal of finishing by the end of the year, and the red line is the actual stash remaining. The yarn was measured in grams, and the x-axis is in months.

FOs from the stash this month included the Jill and Joey kangaroos, Korknisse, a giant cat bed pillow, a rabbit, and a mouse made from the scraps.




































Yarns finished include...all the rest of them.

And here's the first post-stash project!

This is the "before" of Elisabeth's wedding shawl. It's quietly blocking right now, so check back tomorrow for the "after" shot!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

WIP: Corny ballerina

Finally, a project in easy stockinette to carry around, and to take to knitting group so I don't seem deaf-mute. I was really leaning toward knitting the Protopretty DNA tank, but realized that with complicated cables, lace, and shaping, it's more of a sit-at-home-and-concentrate kind of project. So the winner is...Ballet Camisole (pdf link. Here's the ravelry link) by Alexandra Virgiel. It's from Magknits a couple years ago. It'a a simple, fitted tank that's designed to cover up bra straps and midriff, so hopefully it'll be conservative enough to wear to work.

I'm using the corn fiber yarn, aMaizing. It's a ribbon that's sort of like a teeny-tiny I-cord (you can see the loops in the picture if you look closely). Surprisingly, it's not that stretchy vertically, but the knitted fabric stretches pretty well in both directions and has a nice drape. I'm loving the yarn so far, especially after all that mohair. It doesn't split, doesn't itch, and is forgiving on the SSK's (doesn't loop all wonky compared to the k2tog's). Oh, and it's machine washable. And cost a buck per ball at Kirkwood Knittery. Woohoo!

This is all I've done so far. This will be my mindless knit for the time being--I didn't even bother to change it to top-down, and I'm not making any modifications....Well, not quite. My chest is too big for the XS, and my waist is too small for the S, and I don't want to re-calculate all the shaping. So I'm going to take a risk, and knit the whole thing in the S size, but knit the bottom half of it in one size lower needle size. I didn't even swatch in the lower needle size, so this is extra super daring! Well, if it doesn't turn fit me, surely it will fit one of you!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Food glorious food!

Sorry, no knitting pictures today. I'm slogging away on Elisabeth's wedding shawl...close but no cigar so far. I followed soknitpicky's suggestion of putting the knitted kidsilk aura in the freezer for a while, and it did frog pretty easily afterwards. Still, this is the last time I work with mohair for a long, long time.

The good news is that finally I'm getting a ton of veggies and fruits from Fairshares! It was getting ridiculous and tragic, what with the flooding in the midwest, chickens being eaten by dogs, local farmer Hale dying, and so on, how little produce there was. Now I'm struggling to eat everything up before the next batch of food, and I'm really glad I'm splitting the share with RMS.

The fun part of being in a CSA is all the new veggies one gets to try out. Deborah (of Ephemeral Chaos), who is in my knitting group, gets the same shares. We still haven't figured out what this squash is. It's a light green--pistachio or celery color--and an oval shape. (On the left).

Cut open, it looks like this.

We've both searched online, and still we have no idea what it is. I cut it open, licked it, figured it was a sort of squash, and cooked it into a green Thai curry. (I did cut off the part I licked). The curry was good, but the lesson learned is don't ever let me go mushroom-foraging.

As you can tell from the picture, that week I got two regular cucumbers AND an English cucumber. Every time I have an English anything I become more of an Anglophile!

I also got a few turnips, which are the sort of thing I always assume I've eaten before, until it's time to cook it and I realize I have absolutely no clue what to do with it. I ended up cutting it into very thin slices along with the cucumber and making a spicy asian salad. (It's piled elegantly between some Match patties and soba noodles).

This week, we got a whole pile of veggies, including zucchini (more--kinda getting annoying now), yellow squash (even bleagh-er), green peppers, onions, tomatoes (woohoo!!!), green beans, mushrooms, cucumber, purple basil, corn, blueberries, eggplant, and sunflower shoots. What on earth? The shade of green was so lovely I almost didn't want to eat them. I rallied and made some squash-mushroom-and-sunflower-shoot risotto, which was so, so good.
I am of the firm belief that everything tastes better if piled on top of each other--after all, that's how expensive restaurants get to charge so much. I'll leave you with a pic of the mushrooms in their little bag, because they look so yummy and fresh!
p.s., I didn't pick them myself.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Stashbusting part 4: how not to run out of yarn

First, hello to all the visitors from the Carnival of Green Crafts! And for all fiber lovers, go to the link about the person who scored such an incredible bounty o' yarn from the thrift shop, it will make you absolutely sick.

This is the last in a series about stashbusting. Part 1 was about how to get started, part 2 was how to deal with huge bundles of yarn, part 3 was how to deal with little bits of yarn, and now this is how to avoid running into the horror of running out of yarn mid-project.

One reason why random extra balls, or WIPs, end up in the stash is that you get to the end of the yarn, but the project still isn't finished. So you stash it away, or you go out to the yarn store to get just that one more ball. (And while you’re there, you get some other yarn as well, and on and on it goes.) Then that ball never runs out, and ends up populating the stash. Obviously, if you’re trying to get rid of stash, you want to end up with just the right amount of yarn for any given project.

Rule #1: Know how much yarn you need for a project. Small people need less yarn than big people to make the same garment that fits properly. Keep track of how much yardage you're using, so that you can use that data for the next similar project.

Rule #2 (the worst): SWATCH! If your scale is accurate, weigh your swatch. Do the math, and figure out beforehand if your yarn will be right for the project.

#3: Knit socks toe-up, and gloves/mittens finger-up. Stop when the yarn runs out. Also, this gives you the option of adding a different color cuff if you do run out of yarn.

#4: Knit socks, gloves, mittens, and sleeves 2 at a time. That way you never have to worry about saving yarn for "the other one."

#5: Knit sweaters top-down. I am absolutely loving Barbara Walker's Knitting from the Top and Stefanie Japel's Fitted Knits, both of which are big on knitting top-down. If you run out early, you still have a sweater, it's just not quite as long. Whereas if you go the other way, you have no sweater at all!

#6: Knit seamlessly, if possible, so you don’t have to save yarn for seaming.

#7: Mix colors. Have a backup plan as you knit, and weigh as you go along. That way, you can switch colors earlier, if need be, to put in a stripe, and not have it look like you tacked it on at the end.

#8: Make projects where you can stop when the yarn runs out, such as afghans, rugs, runners, scarves, ets

#9: Know where to find extra yarn if you need just a wee little bit more. See: swatch. If you do double cast-on, use the extra yarn in the tail.

#10: Worst comes to worst, make a smaller size, and give it away.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Corny temptations

Now that the stash is all gone, I feel free. Too free. Now that I don't have anything to hold me to anything, there are too many things to knit, and too many things to do! I went shopping at Kirkwood Knittery, ostensibly to be a Black Yarn Swap angel, but really to get more stuff for myself. I got some aMaizing yarn that's made of 100% corn. Not only is it a cool fun fiber, it was in the sale bin for a dollar per ball!

I also got some Tofutsies sock yarn made of various stuff, including soy and chitin--some sort of crab-shell-derived stuff that's supposed to be antibacterial. Honestly, I don't think my feet are that unhygienic, and I'd rather have some normal bacterial flora than fungus, but I thought I'd try something new. Besides, I need to get some plain old socks going to carry around, and so that I can look somewhat professional. (My cat-emblazoned socks have become a bit worn, and one too many patients has asked if I am, in fact, wearing cat socks.).

I am torn between making this Protopretty DNA tank with the aMaizing yarn, or if I should make something really plain that I can make in mindless stockinette and carry around in my purse for boring moments.

Just in case you think I'm slacking off, I'm halfway done with the wedding shawl! Kirkwood knittery had two more balls of the Kidsilk aura, in the same dye lot no less!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Stashbusting part 3: little bits of yarn

Almost every project leaves behind some extra yarn, and your stash is probably full of little bits and bobs of yarn. Here are a few one-skein and sub-skein ideas to get you started, arranged approximately in decreasing amount of yarn needed. There are many books on one skein knitting, and it's worth taking a look at them for inspiration. Physically put similar weight yarns together, and mix them around to see what you can combine to make a larger project. You'll surprise yourself!

-Tank tops/ sleeveless tops
-Socks and slippers: make them toe-up, so you can use up every last bit of yarn
-Gloves and mittens: make them finger-up, or make them fingerless if you don't have enough yarn
-Small scarves
-Baby sweaters: babies are squishy and aren't terribly concerned about flattering fit, because they're generally pretty cute. If you make it, it will fit eventually. My Peachy Baby Sweater uses takes one skein of fingering weight yarn.
-Legwarmers: for the long-and-leggy among us
-Hats
-Felted bowls
-computer cases: I love this one by chaotic crafter
-purses--the striped ones that use up multiple yarns seem pretty popular
-shopping bags--take one to the store and feel eco-awesome!
-bikinis
-bags to hold your knitting project
-baby/child hats. The hats for preemies are really tiny! Here's a cabled one from sweaterbabe.
-blankets or pillows for pets
-Who needs a cozy? Everyone and everything!: phone, PDA, fruit, golf clubs, pens, needles, retainer, beers, wine, etc etc etc
-small bags for organizing or for gifts
-dishcloths, scrubbies, burp cloths, etc
-toys for cats and dogs, kids, and adults (see like 75% of my projects, har!)
-pincushions--note that any little toy or amigurumi can be a pincushion. My cupcake sprinkles are little pins, and they make me happy!




-belts
-ties
-masks: for dress-up or for sleeping. Naughty Needles has the cutest Kill Bill eye patch.
-baby booties. Saartje's booties took only 5 grams of yarn each!
-wristwarmers or wristbands
-Christmas, Easter, Halloween decorations
-coasters and doilies
-squares to make a big stash-busting rug or blanket. (Note: seams would be depressing).
-headband
-little socks for furniture so they don’t scratch the floor.
-doll clothes (see the end of this post)
-lace or other pattern swatches. Fitterknitter is charting a bunch of old lace patterns from 1897, and they're available for free.
-olive. Have a martini while you're at it.
-decorations for larger projects, such as pompoms, flowers, or fringe
-curtain tie-backs
-bookmarks
-Korknisse
-Stuffing for toys
-Use instead of ribbon for wrapping gifts
-Use as scrap yarn for provisional cast-on

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Shawl shenanigans

The first post-stash project is a wedding shawl for my friend Elisabeth. I couldn't find a pattern for a rectangular shawl that had 1) a leafy open lace, 2) wavy edges, 3) no knitted-on edges, 4) no picking up stitches. I even widened the search to include patterns with provisional cast-on, but no luck. So I set about making up a new shawl pattern. The center panel was easy enough, since it came straight out of a Barbara Walker's first Treasury. After many swatches and froggings, I found a lace pattern that turns out wavy on all four sides, that I could use as the border all the way around. I made up and perfected a Greek Key lace pattern to incorporate along the sides of the center panel. I dorkishly made a lovely excel chart of the shawl, to make sure all the math worked out. I even swatched!

I blithely started knitting away, rather pleased with myself. Imagine my horror when I used up an entire ball of yarn on just the border of one short edge! I had gotten four balls of Rowan Kidsilk Aura, since most shawl patterns called for 3 balls, and I wanted one extra. At the rate I was going, the shawl would turn out shorter than it was wide. I checked my math. I checked my swatch. I looked at other shawl patterns. And then it hit me...I should have blocked the swatches! Grr, stupid swatching!

So I blocked the swatches, and realized I needed, erm, 40% fewer stitches. Also, there's no way I can fit in the Greek Key lace without having really weird proportions, so that got cut out. And I started over (old one on top, new on on bottom):

Oh yeah, didn't you know? Kidsilk Aura can't be frogged because it's drain-cloggingly fuzzy and sets into a permanent web as soon as each stitch is done. So not only do I have to start over, I don't even get to have the joy of ripping out the first one. Oh, and I may have to turn all the LYS's upside down, looking for another matching ball of yarn.

At least the second shawl is looking better. I usually use wood/bamboo needles for lace for some extra "cling," but I couldn't bear the thought of taking the first shawl off the needles, so I used a new set of metal circs that I got as part of the Black Yarn Swap. And they're so much better! They're sharper and can get through all that MFing fuzz, and pick up all the little twisted stiches (Does anyone enjoy p2tbl?). I'm a metal-needles-for-lace-knitting convert now!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Stashbusting part 2: big projects

Knitting with big bundles of yarn is very different from using up the single skeins. For one thing, it's dreary to make more than one or two biggish projects from the same yarn, so ideally, you should get rid of each yarn in one go. Try to finish each project with no more than a ball left at the end. The great part about knitting with the big lots of yarn is that you clear out a lot of space with each project! To that end, here are some ideas:

1. Give away or sell the yarn. Lots of the same yarn are are much easier to sell or even give away than little random odds and ends.

2. Double your yarn, double your fun! Knit with two strands from two balls, or put together the inside and outside ends of one ball. Of course, change the needle size as needed. The Brea Bag was knitted double, and it was super-fast!

3. Felt if you have felt-able yarn. Felted objects suck up a LOT of yarn, because they have to be made huge initially. They're also pretty fast, because usually it's all in plain stokinette stitch. Plus it's fun to see them turn into normal-sized things at the end. My needleholder didn't felt down too much, but still it used up a ton of yarn.

4. Non-garment household-type items knit up fast, because there's no shaping. Some ideas (warning, some are Ravelry links):
-bathmats: crocheted--Snow Bobbles from Miss me knits--or Knitted--Absorba the Great Bathmat from Mason-Dixon Knitting
-rugs: one with matching cushion from Vintage, felted one from Valley yarns, crocheted from Blue Sky Alpaca. Make one for picnics!
-blankets
-pillow covers: Argyle felted pillow from Knitpicks
-felted boxes, baskets, or bowls: Nantasket basket, Felted bowls from One Skein by Leigh Radford, Box from Mason-Dixon Knitting

5. Sweaters--remember those? If you have too much yarn, try changing the pattern to a sweater coat, or if you have too little, change to a vest or tank top. Even a small big bundle (2-3 skeins) is enough for a sleeveless top.

6. Crochet takes up a lot more yarn than knitting. For ex, my cable crochet blanket turned out a lot shorter than I expected. Also, crochet is easier to leave sitting around open to pick up and work on intermittently, because there's only one loop to worry about. And if you mess up, it's easy to rip out!

7. If you know how, do double knitting and incorporate some fun designs while using up twice the yarn.

8. Do a small project at the same time to keep up your spirits!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Stashbusting part 1: Organising

Wow, I can't believe it's all gone! Six and a half months is a long time, but I guess not remotely as long as how long I held on to the stash. I know most people actually enjoy having some stash around (see here for an extreme example), but for those of you looking to de-stash or at least clean up a little bit, I thought I’d share some tips over the next few posts.

The most important step is organization.

Step 1: Frog all WIPs and UFOs. Really, be honest. If something has sat around unfinished for 6 or 12 months or more, you’ve become a better knitter than you when you started it. Would you start that project today? If not, ribbit, ribbit!

Step 2: Put all the yarn in one location. Sort by weight, including the sub-skein amounts--put all the baby yarn together, all the worsted together, and so on. I had all my worsted in a couple clear boxes, fingering in another, all the “big” bundles of yarn in a few more, but kept everything visible. Look at how much space it takes up. This is real estate you’ll have back when you’re done (to fill with new yarn, eee!).

Step 3: Catalog everything. Ravelry is great for this, because you can tell the yardage of something immediately by entering the weight, and you can see pictures of everything at once. I recommend getting a good scale (accurate to at least a gram) to accurately measure how much yarn you have. I lurve mine!



Step 4: Sell or give away anything you will not love knitting. I really didn't enjoy knitting with the brown acrylic yarn, and it felt pretty awesome giving away one (of 3) of the skeins. I wish I’d given away more! Destash is a place to do just that, or donate to a local charity. Ravelry has made it possible to see who has the same yarn (even the exact lot number), so be an angel and offer to give or sell your yarn to other knitters.

Step 5: Set a way to track your progress, however minute. I am a big dork and kept an ongoing excel spreadsheet / graph to track everything to the gram. A big pile o'yarn looks like a big pile o'yarn, and it’s good to know you’re actually progressing.

Step 6: Set goals. Set long-term goals ("I'm going to finish my yarn this year" or "I'm going to finish this sweater by 3 months"), broken up into some short-term goals ("I'll finish 3 skeins this month"). Set yourself a reward for each goal met.

Step 7: Make a project wishlist. What do you want to make? You need to include big projects (sweaters, blankets), medium projects (socks), small projects (hats), and wee projects (dishcloths). This can include specific patterns or a general idea (ex "hat for aunt"). What will make you happy?

Step 8: Match your yarn to the projects, at least the bigger bundles of yarn. Save the big bundles for big projects. Don't waste larger bundles of yarn on wee projects, because you might run out just before finishing a larger project. Not like I know from experience or anything.

Step 9: Start knitting. Try to vary large projects with small projects, otherwise you’ll get depressed. Have a couple going at once if you want: a mindless large project, a small portable project, and a challenging one to keep things fun. Remember, this is a hobby.

Step 10: Stop buying yarn! This is the hard part, and in fact I bought some yarn (to save gas, really) before finishing the stash, when I was passing by the faraway yarn store. But don't touch it! Put it away carefully. This is your reward when you finish! If you must, buy needles, notions, books, etc to feed the addiction.

Next in stashbusting: giant bundles of yarn

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Peachy sweater travels

Thanks to Ravelry, I can stalk how the Peachy baby sweater is doing. It’s having quite the life of adventure and travel. I posted one by Alfaromea in Germany last time , and I’ve rounded some others here. I’ll periodically add more, so if you’ve knitted one but aren’t on Ravelry, please email me to be included!

First things first. If anyone lives in or near Fresno, California, Ancient Pathways is having a class for the Peachy baby sweater on July 22!

Rivercitystl actually lives in St Louis and I was going to go to her knit group, but somehow haven’t made it yet. She used a ribbon at the waist, which seems to be the popular option.

Mindifiknit (Adrienne) in California used the Oriel lace pattern from Super Stitches Knitting. She used hand-painted sock yarn, and it pooled in a v cool, swishy way.

Hooknneedle in Colorado is the only person who has made two! She did ruffles instead of sleeves, and was able to make each one out of one skein of yarn.















Kaparoo in Ohio used the “No purl monkey” lace pattern. I really like the drape of the yarn (Plymouth wildflower), but I'm not brave enough to use unblock-able yarns for lace (it is cotton and acrylic).

Teamau in California knitted the only one photographed on a real human so far! I love how the binky matches.
It’s great to see how all the sweaters are turning out. I guess it would have been better if the lace pattern were included, but I felt that would be plain old plagiarizing from Barbara Walker, and it's a good way to compare how different lace patterns turn out on the same garment.

Keep em coming!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

FO: End-of-the-stash Scrappy Mouse

At long last, it's all finished!!! (Cue majestic music and joyous dancing). The last project is--you guessed it--a cat toy. All the little scraps of yarns needed to get used up, so I just tied them all together and made a seamless mouse. The baby/fingering weight yarn was used doubled, and the rest of the yarns were all worsted or aran, so it worked out fine with size 6 needles. Here it is, in progress.
For a few months I'd saved the little snippets of yarn from cutting ends, and laced it with a hefty dose of catnip to use for stuffing. There wasn't enough stuffing, so I unraveled all my old swatches, cut them up, and used that too. Let me tell you, that was a fun frogging session!
I started and ended with the only "real" yarn that was left, the Peach Knitpicks Palette. I used it all up on the I-cord tail, realized I needed to save some for the provisional cast on for the next project, and ripped out a couple yards. And then I pulled the yarn through, and...Voila!

The mouse is pretty big, almost rat-sized. I forgot to weigh everything beforehand, but no matter. I don't need to weigh any stinkin' yarn anymore! Cause this is what my stash looks like:(The bin is a shoe-box sized one, not a huge packing bin).

Holy mole, the stash is really gone! I feel free, and a little lost.

Monday, July 14, 2008

FO: knitted bunny

Wow, it's really down to the dregs. I'd wanted to make this bunny from Heartstrings Fiberarts since I saw the pattern, which takes a square piece of knitting and turns it into a bunny. Like magic!

I started out with the brown Knitpicks palette, thinking I'd have enough to get to a square. Oops. I only got about halfway, then had to switch over to the peach. Hey, I'm just trying to finish the scragglers of the stash, not win a nobel prize.

Here's the before:

And the after:

Hrrmph. Not terribly magical. I didn't realize that the ears were knitted separately, and that all the shaping comes from sewing it into a bunny shape. Still, curiosity satisfied, and another 8 grams done from the stash, leaving just four grams of the peach Knitpicks Palette.

And...tomorrow...the big day!!!! Not to give it away or anything....but the stash will be gone! Actually it's already gone, but I want to build up the suspense. Eeeee! What will the last FO be?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

FO: No it's not a giant knitted turd!

Actually, it's a cat bed pillow. It looks kinda gross, but at least it used up the rest of the brown acrylic Red Heart yarn!! The felted cat bed's walls don't stand up, so I wanted a longish pillow to hold up the walls, and for Cammy to rest her head upon. It looks better in place:

So that leaves just 12 grams of yarn, 4 in brown and 8 in peach of the Knitpicks Palette. Most of it is already knitted, so hopefully there will be another FO very soon!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Books!

It's been way too busy at work for any FO's today, but still, good news! I was puttering around on Amazon, ostensibly looking for neurology books, but ended up getting a bunch of knitting books. Teehee! Many had been on my "wishlist" for years, and seeing how no one has ever bought me a book off the wishlist, I figured it's time to take things into my own knitterly hands. I am so loving the used book feature, especially because I think book vendors haven't figured out that when a knitter wants a certain knitting book, they'll pretty much pay anything.

The first shipment arrived:

I got Vogue Knitting for *three* dollars!!! And the Fourth Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G. Walker was like ten. Too exciting! I was flipping through Vogue Knitting, and I already can't believe I have been able to knit at all without it. For instance, I've been doing my "make 1" stitches the same way for everything, and lo and behold, one can make them lean left or right! Maybe that's why some things end up looking like shite and yucky on one side, and fine on the opposite side. Oops.

This weekend's gonna be a big work weekend, but I'm hoping to reward myself by finishing up the last couple little projects from the stash!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

FO: Kangaroo Joey




Isn't he wonderful?! It's a pretty tight squeeze, but he can hop right into Kangaroo Jill's pouch.
From the side, he looks like he might pop out, but thankfully I had the sense to make the pouch in 1x1 rib (which I consider purgatory), so he's pretty secure.
The pattern is the same as for Jill, except a few rows were left out, to make him a bit shorter. And, the yarn and needles were a lot smaller, of course. I used size 0 needles, and Knitpicks Palette (sock/fingering weight) in peach. I used 29 grams, leaving just 8 grams! He's really small--compare him to the Korknisse--so although the gauge seems very slow-going, the whole project is actually pretty fast.
It seems that suddenly knitted toys are all over the house! At least this one has a specific spot where it belongs, which is the first step to keeping things in order...

Monday, July 7, 2008

FO: Onesie


This onesie was finished a while ago, but I held off posting until I gave it to the lucky recipient, Erica. Or, actually, her soon-to-be-born son, Edward. I was fully prepared to give it to them at her baby shower last week, but realized at the last minute that I had totally forgotten to sew on the snaps at the bottom.

The pattern (free) is Beach Onesy & Hat, from Lion Brand Yarns. But I changed it quite a bit, because I felt like the onesie was getting too huge. I caught 5 babies during medical school, and they were a lot smaller than anyone who would fit into the onesie as the pattern was written. Also, I ran out of yarn, so I fudged it a bit. I changed the back into something like the back of overalls, and made adjustable straps with buttons on the inside. (No one wants the yucky straps hanging out on the outside, imho.) This is the view from the back, sans bebe.

I sewed on some grosgrain ribbon at the top and bottom edges for strength, and sewed on snaps. I am so loving snaps right now! No need to make buttonholes, or buy buttons the right size. Surely there are strips of ribbon/grograin out there with plastic snaps already built in, but I had a good time sewing in these old-fashioned metal snaps. Or studs, as the brits call them, as I learned today from Mooncalf on her her knitblog, Make do and Mend. She says she bought "giant press stud thingies I needed," which sounds a bit dirty, but her cardigan looks beautiful.

The yarn is Wendy Aran cotton (machine washable, v important!). I used probably one and a half balls, but it's hard to say. I made Tribbles (scrubbies) with the rest of the usable yarn, and I think I counted this yarn as gone a while ago.

The "wave" stitch pattern works pretty well, and I may end up incorporating it into a future project.I do love knitting with cotton, as it has such great stitch definition (and isn't a bitch to work with in the summer), but strangely I rarely buy it. Fortunately Bee sent me some black Rowan cotton as part of the Black Yarn Swap earlier, so I'll get a season-appropriate garment for me-self soon!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Silly FO's: korknisse

After the apple cozy, I decided that at least one yarn had to be used up on the holiday, and got going on some Korknisse. I've had Korknisse on my queue for a while, since they look like they're good for dregs of yarn, and are so dang cute! The pattern is by Manne, and translated into English by Saartje (of bootie fame).

Holy crap, they are addictive! And fast! I made two, and finished up the dregs of three yarns: Chocolat Rowan RYC Cashsoft, Happy Forest Dream in Color Classy, and Plum Knitpicks Essential Tweed (I had 1 gram left from the Baudelaire socks). I also had a few un-weigh-able lengths of Ballerina Knitpicks Swish superwash, and Goldilocks Louet Gems worsted, so those got gobbled up too. Woohoo! Three yarns down!

As I was rooting through the giant bowl of corks we've accumulated over the past couple years, my darling husband seemed oddly interested. I was putting the "clothes" on the Korknisse, and I kept on hearing corks bouncing around upstairs, and I figured Cammy was playing with them. When the Korknisse were dressed, I went upstairs to find:
Cue the silliest conversation ever:

Me: What's that?
DH: I made a raft for GI Joes
Me: Why's the front different from the back?
DH: The back is where he sleeps, and the front bumper is where he jumps off to go for a swim every day.

Well you know what happens next. That's right, the Korknisse get to ride in the raft. At which point I mention how fun it would be to glue gun all the corks together. And he volunteers that he loves to glue gun things together! How on earth did I not know this about him previously?!?

So we glue gun the cork raft. The Korknisse stand aside, and Cammy keeps guard, as the glue sets.

Me: I'm going to make a little flag for when we put it in the water
DH: Are you going to put it on your blog?
Me: Yeah
DH: Then don't knit the flag. That's embarrassing

Hah! As though we didn't cross the line of crafty insanity long, long ago!

Well, the cork raft is, indeed, seaworthy. Look at the Korknisse having the time of their lives, on their sink cruise! And the little (non-knitted, non-embarassing) flag!
Too fun. While the glue gun was out, I used it on the real cork corks to make a trivet. I had posted about a similar one from Martha Stewart / Danny Seo, which had a little metal thing holding the corks together. Glue gunning is much better.

It is a wonderful day indeed, finding out that your spouse likes glue gunning, and crafts cork rafts for imaginary GI Joes. :) And finishing 3 yarns.