Archive for the “house” Category

This weekend is the beginning of vacation! Pirate-Husband and I are going to an annual medieval-style camping event. We're going up to the site this weekend just to get our land and tent set up, and then coming back, working for a few more days, and going back to site Wednesday of next week. We plan to stay for a week and a half.

Last night I started the baby blanket just to see what the yarn looked like knit up (lovely) and I plan for that to be my car knitting. It's a 4.5 hour drive up to the campground. The expectant mother will be at this event, so I don't want to work on it where she might see... but since we're driving to and from site twice, I'll have a good chunk of time to work on the project.

I'm bringing the Bloo Socks and the yarn I bought for the Swiffer cover commission with me, as well as my drop spindle and some roving. I could only find one TP roll onto which I can wind the singles, but someone on Ravelry suggested sliding the cop onto a straw - what a great idea! Also, there's a "silk spinning on a drop spindle" class I want to take, and I'd like to have my own spindle for that. The ones they give out tend to be unbalanced.

Posts may be scarce until August 11; I'm not bringing my laptop on vacation with me. There is internet access on site, but it's slow and costs $6/hour! Be seeing you... :)

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No kidding, there I was, picking out another two balls of Sugar and Cream in Michael's with Pirate-Husband so that I can make a Swiffer cover for an online friend who commissioned one in yellow and blue. Those selected, I commented that I still didn't know what to knit for my friend Asa, who is expecting her second baby this fall.

"Why don't you knit a blanket?" suggested Pirate-Husband.

"I suppose I could," I said, "but... I don't know. They take a long time, and they're big and boring, and I'm not so sure about blankets after the last one."

He held up a ball of Red Heart and said, "This is a good neutral color. I think you'll probably need three. Here."

And that's how I was suckered into left the store with five balls of yarn when I meant to buy none until next year's Sheep and Wool festival. I'm thinking perhaps a feather and fan blanket, since the pattern's already in my head from the Ostrich Plumes scarf, and it's easy but not boring. Besides, what baby doesn't need a washable blanket? And it was an excuse to order another set of Addi Lace Turbo needles, in size 8 this time. As I didn't have the right length circular needles in size 8, I don't feel any guilt about this at all. (I do have a set of 16" long size 8 circs for hat-making, but there is no way I can make a baby blanket on 16" needles.)

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My new Addi turbo lace needles arrived yesterday, before I even got the tracking number for the package. Turbo shipping for turbo needles, I guess! ...okay, that was a bad joke. Anyway, I had time to do a couple of rows on the Ostrich Plumes scarf, and already I'm in love with these needles. When I get home from work I'll try a pattern row!

Pirate-Husband's socks are coming along as well. I'm a couple of inches past the gusset decreases and can knit in the car again since I don't have to look so closely. I'd like to have them done before I go on vacation next weekend.

And, someone on an IRC channel I frequent has commissioned me to make a Swiffer cover for her! That seems like it will be good vacation knitting along with the next sock.

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Even though I'm not a big fan of knitting with cotton, for a project that took less than six hours total I think I can handle it. Especially when that project is so awesome. I made a cotton pad for my Swiffer WetJet, using the Ballband Dishcloth Reusable Swiffer Cover pattern from Noelle at Strange Yarns ;; Skull Charms. I love the texture of the slipped stitch and 'bricks' pattern, and the bumpiness is really good at picking up dirt from the floor. We gave it a quick try, and I hate to say how much dirt there was even though I mopped with elbow grease last weekend. Maybe it's time to admit that I should be washing the floors more often...

I did add an extra half-repeat to the pattern, and for the next one I'll add a full repeat as well as making it slightly longer. Maybe my Swiffer's a little bigger or my gauge slightly smaller, but I'd like the side pockets to be a little deeper. Pirate-Husband tried it out and it seems to stay on just fine, so maybe there's nothing to worry about. You can see in this picture how, er, 'rustic' our wooden floors are. There are big gaps between some of the boards which just tore the disposable pads apart. I'm hoping the cotton stands up to them for at least five moppings. I think they pay for themselves at two moppings, so five would be spectacular. I bet they last even longer than that!

I love the idea of reusable where disposable once reigned. There's enough yarn to make another Swiffer cover, and I'm already envisioning cotton soap sacks and washcloths (in less obscenely bright colors). I love handmade soap but it does tend to melt away quickly, and a soap sack should help it last longer. Or they'd make wonderful gifts, wouldn't they? I'm not sure who on my gift list would really appreciate a handknit lace washcloth and soap sack. Most of the people with whom I exchange presents aren't into handmade stuff, so it's wasted on them. How sad.

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I know I said I was on a yarn diet, but sometimes exceptions have to be made. In this case, two balls of Lily Sugar and Cream for my swiffer cover. My theory is that if I don't buy the yarn, I can't make the cover - and if I don't have the cover, I can't mop the floors. I do have one disposable pad left, but that's obviously single-use, and the floors need mopping more frequently than I'd like to admit. And, probably, more often than I actually do it!

Besides, this should be a really quick project. It's 69 stitches and 33 rows 34 rows, plus a bit of seaming - I can knock that out in a day, right? I also had to get new needles for this project. Who'd'a thought that I didn't have size 7 straights? Fortunately I carry a card in my wallet with all my needles catalogued, so I was able to double-check before just buying 'em. Now the question is - do I cast on RIGHT NOW, or do I keep working on the sock?

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The heel on Pirate-Husband's second sock was completed last night. Since it wasn't my turn to drive to work (hooray for carpooling!) I got several rounds into the gusset. I expect to do more on the way home this afternoon.

I spent quite some time yesterday searching for the perfect sock pattern for the next pair, which are going to be a gift to my best friend. Originally I'd wanted to surprise him, since our feet are the same size, but then I felt the need to ask how long a cuff he'd want. Once the surprise was ruined, I started asking him all sorts of questions from the exact height of his heel to what sort of sock he might like to wear. I think we've settled on Mr. Pitt's Socks from Kaitlyn Wong at Sassy Stitchess. They're simple, easy, and subtle - just the thing! I'll be using Trekking XXL in colorway 71, which is shades of blue.

While I was going through sock patterns, I added eight (!) more to my Ravelry queue. I don't have the yarn to knit all of them yet, but I will eventually! There are so many things I want to make and not nearly enough time to make them all.

I also added this reusable Swiffer cover from Noelle at Strange Yarns ;; Skull Charms. After years of wanting one, I finally got a Swiffer WetJet last weekend, but the disposable pads annoyed me. Why use disposable if it's not necessary? I'm going to break my yarn diet just for the cotton yarn that I'll need for this pattern. It's cheap and also I plan to use it right away, so it won't be taking up space in the stash-basket. (Not to mention, I mopped the floors with one of the disposable pads that came with the Swiffer, and they look so good that I'm tempted to mop again sooner rather than later.)

The unfortunate thing is that there are no conveniently-located Michael's or Joann's stores near me where I could get the Sugar & Cream yarn. I'm debating ordering it online; even if I pay for shipping on it, it might come out to less frustration than trying to drive into town. There's a Michael's "coming soon" to a shopping center relatively near me, but even that's still ten or twelve miles away, and it'll probably be another year before the store is open.

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While Pirate-Husband worked on rebuilding the fish pond yesterday (with help from a friend), I sat on the deck, switched CDs as necessary, made sure they were drinking enough water, and knit on his sock. I am in the middle of the gusset decreases now, and the pond is being filled.

There was a semi-local SnB today that I wanted to go to, but thought it would be better for me to stay here and work on the house. We have guests next weekend, a wedding to attend the weekend after, and Pirate-Husband's mother and younger brother are coming to visit the weekend after that! Still, I really would have liked to have gotten the chance to meet some of the people who were planning to be there today. Ah well, I know it'll happen eventually.

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Staycation, n. - A vacation that is spent at one's home enjoying all that home and one's home environs have to offer.

Knitting was put on hold for a week while out-of-town friends came to visit. We spent two days visiting local wineries and three working on the rebuilding of our koi pond. It's going to look so good when it's done! Overall it was a wonderful time, even if it was mostly yarn-free. (One of the wineries was selling alpaca yarns. I didn't buy any.) I got to show off the new drum carder and spun up half a bobbin of some pepto-pink practice wool to demonstrate the wheel. One friend even commented that the BFL I spun up looks "store-bought"!

I did get a little more done on the first of Pirate-Husband's socks and I'm almost up to the heel flap (he keeps saying I should make the leg a little longer) and I'm already thinking about what the next socks will be! Too many projects, not enough time.

Besides, I have all these non-yarn hobbies. I got a mountain bike and I need to start riding, I miss playing guitar, and I haven't drawn anything in a long time. There's a computer to rebuild and I'd like to start work on a story that's been brewing in my head for a while. The house is a constant project. Lest anyone think I'm complaining, I'm not! I love my life. It's everything I've been wanting forever. Good job, good house, good husband, good friends, good hobbies. I just wish I could do everything at once!

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Shapeless AmoebaYou wanted a picture, you get a picture! Here is the Shapeless Amoeba Baby Surprise Jacket just after the buttonhole row. I have five more rows to knit. The color is about right, I think, but the dark pink may be showing up a little more vibrant than it is in real life. I may have to invest in a better camera if I want to keep showing off my work, or maybe build a lightbox. Despite my frustrations with garter stitch, this is actually an easy knit and a cute little sweater. I'll have enough yarn left over to knit a matching hat - the questions are 1) how big is a baby hat supposed to be and 2) will I have the time to get it done?

Amarillo y VerdeI do plan to knit the Baby Surprise Jacket again, and this is the next colorway, "Amarillo y Verde." It's more of the 100purewool worsted merino. Ideally, I'll knit this up before I know that anyone's expecting. It's a nice, neutral baby color and then I'll have it ready to give at a moment's notice! (Not that anyone's ever had a baby at a moment's notice, really, but you know what I mean.) Also, I might enjoy knitting it up more if I'm not working with a deadline.

Winter JoyI've also got two skeins of this colorway, "Winter Joy." I wasn't expecting the green in it; the picture on the website only showed blue and brown. But I really like it and think it would be great for a baby boy, even with the green. The gauge I'm getting makes this a sweater for a 9-month old, so I guess these will only be good presents for a baby who's born between March and May. That means if someone has an out-of-season baby, I'm going to have to come up with a totally different project to knit. Maybe a pair of cute pants? I'm not sure I ever want to knit a baby blanket again, unless it's a really interesting pattern and a quick knit.

moonriseBecause I'm showing off pictures already, here's a long exposure of the moonrise from my front porch. I took a dozen of these pictures and this was the best one of the bunch. (Again, I may have to invest in a better camera.) You can't quite see it in this picture because it's out of frame to the left, but on a very clear night I'm able to see the Washington Monument on the horizon, about 40 miles away.

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Friday evening after work, I decided it was time to get started on a Baby Surprise Jacket. I'm using merino worsted from 100purewool in Trieste, a dark green with blips of light and dark pink. First, of course, I had to wind up the yarn. But where was my swift and ball-winder? Certain that it was in one of the boxes labeled "Pirate's Room," I searched for half an hour with no luck. Finally I called Pirate-Husband. "I remember putting them in one of the giant boxes," he said, "I think on top of all the alpaca fleece." Sure enough, there it was! I wound up one of the hanks and got started. Swatching on a US 7 needle gave me a good gauge and feel, so I cast on... and then it was bedtime.

Saturday morning I was up early and got started knitting. When Pirate-Husband got up, I told him, "This yarn I'm using is soft like.. like.. a horse's nose."

"That's a really funny way of describing it," he said. "A horse's nose? Really?"

"Yeah! You know, the tip of a horse's nose, right between the nostrils, where it's all velvet soft? This yarn feels like that."

Later, when he came up to see my progress, I made him pet the yarn, and he said "Huh! It *does* feel like a horse's nose!"

I may be crazy, but at least I know my softness indicators.

Anyway, I only got six rows into the project because the weekend was dedicated to painting the great room. It's done now, except for a little bit of touch-up on the edges. I'll be so happy when the house stops looking like a construction site!

Edited to add: See that comment? It's so obviously spam, but it's so amusing to me that I'm leaving it there. "Infernal pink" indeed!

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