Saturday, August 30, 2008

Forays in Felting

With so many areas putting a moratorium on plastic & paper shopping bags, I think that knitted bags will be great gifts.

I finished knitting the handles on my French Market Bag this morning. I made a few modifications to the pattern. I made the bag 12 inches from the end of the increases so it would be a little deeper. I also decreased every 8 rows until I had 17 stitches then every 4 until I got to 9 stitches on the handles and ended with 8 rows of Stk St instead of 4.

I think it turned out kind of nice. The colors did not contract quite as much as I thought they would in the store.

Now I got to felt the bag. This was my first foray into felting. I took an old pillow case, put the bag in it and used a garbage bag tie to close it up. Put the washer on hot and small load, tossed in the pillow case and a couple of old towels and let it agitate. I checked it every 5 minutes or so. First thing I learned is that garbage bag ties do not stay on during agitation. Second is that felting is hot. There was a hint of wet dog smell, but that very possibly could have been me. I checked the bag to see how things progressed. It was like making a soup.

A very disgusting "Sheep Soup".

When things looked done to me, I set the washer on spin to get out a lot of the water. Per Maya's advice (from Babetta's Yarn and Gifts - my favorite LYS!) I let the spin work out until the water was down to a trickle then I opened the washer and removed the bag. O then rolled it in an old towel and pressed out the remaining water. I then blocked the bag by hanging it on a hanger and filling it with old plastic bags to held shape it and hung it at the end of the porch to dry. Its in the 90s today so should not take too long.

I must say I am pleased with the results! This one will probably be a Christmas gift, but I think I might make one for me in blues.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ravelympics Results

Well, the athletes have left the stadium, the medals have been awarded and I managed to finish 6 of the 8 tasks I set out to accomplish. I am happy with my accomplishments. Of the 10 completed tasks for our team, 6 were mine. I cast on for the French Market bag so the 2 that did not get finished are at least on the needles. The cabled hats gave me enough of a challenge to keep it interesting, but not overwhelming. I am amazed at what I can accomplish when I set my mind to it!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Never Not Knitting

Found this song on the web and I can so relate as a knitter! As can my husband. Hats off to Alana Dakos for her creativity!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Finished #6

I finished #6 of my Ravelympic projects. Its the last in the "Hat Dash" category. Its a greenery hat made from Cascade 200 wool. Its a fun pattern to work and its very well written. I have just 2 more projects to finish and I am done.

I did learn a valuable lesson from knitting this hat. Do not sneeze while holding a metal cable needle in your mouth. It can inflict damage!

Monday, August 18, 2008

#5 is in the books!

Finished Project #5; only 3 more to go on my Ravelympics challenge!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Finished Ravelympics Project #4

Well #4 is now in the books. I am halfway there. Project #4 is called "Hermione's Cable and Eyelet Hat" and is based on a hat from stills from the upcoming Harry Potter movie "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince"

This one took a little longer due to the fact that its on smaller needles and I made some slight modifications to the pattern. (I made it bigger to fit my melon head)

The pattern for the hat can be found here. I cast on an additional 22 stitches for 2 more cables. I also modified the decreases as follows:

Followed decrease pattern for decrease tows 1-4
Row 5: K6 K2tog around
Row 6: K5 K2tog around
Row 7: K4 K2tog around
Row 8: K3 K2tog around
Row 9: K2 K2tog around
Row 10: K1 K2tog around
Row 11: K2tog around
Row 12: K2tog around

This left me with 6 stitches at the end. Had maybe 10 yards of yarn left on skein.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#3 is done!

Finished project #3 last night. Its an Irish Hiking Hat for the "Hat Dash".

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Project # 2 is done

Finished up project #2 in the category "WIP's Wrestling". These socks have been languishing in the basket since the spring.

My First Medal!

I received my first medal in the Ravelympics for the Hat Dash!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

One down, seven to go!

I have finished my first project for the Ravelympics in the "Hat Dash" event.

This is a watch cap made with Plymouth Encore Worsted, a washable wool blend. This will be donated to Christmas at Sea at the end of the Ravelympics, with the 5 other hats I have already made for them. (They start preparing Christmas gift package just after Labor Day) I started knitting for them because I remember what it was like when my brother was in the Navy and how much I missed him at the holidays when I was growing up.

7 more projects to go!

Friday, August 8, 2008


Ravelry is hosting their version of the Olympics on their website. To participate in one of the events, you have to cast one and finish your projects between the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. I am signed up for 3 events for Team SmartAssYarnHo. I am doing the Hat Dash (knitting hats, duh!), Bag-n-Tote Backstroke (knitting a purse or shopping bag or some sort of a bag) and WIPs Wrestling (WIP = Work in Progress. You have to finish up projects that have been languishing) I have 8 different projects I will be working on in the next couple of weeks: 1 french market bag, 4 hats and 3 WIPS that I will be working on. I will keep you updated on my progress.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Today, Bob's work was treated to a day at the San Francisco Giants game by Simmons Mattress. They have been hosting their retailers for a day at the Giants for 40 years!

Our seats were almost at the top of the park, but the view of the field was great.

But the view of the San Francisco Bay was even better.

Bob did get grumpy at one point

Because he caught site of this large container ship and thought of containers arriving at work

but he got over it.

The Giants beat the Braves 3-2. Nice ending to a lovely day.


Well, after a trip to Home Depot and some more cursing, Bob fixed the problem with the water shut off. He discovered that he did not turn the faucet far enough to turn it back on the first time.

I love my husband. I love my husband. I love my husband...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Don't touch anything else!

I love my husband...but....sometimes...

Let me clarify. He is in a phase right now where things seem to go wrong or break when he touches them. It started last night. He was tired when came home form work and a little cranky. He asked is he could use the computer. I finished what I was doing and switched screen names. Then the fun started.

"What did you do to the mouse?"
"Nothing but clean it."
"Well you must have broken it, its not working now."
"Was working fine for me after I cleaned it."

Cursing ensues.

"Fine! I'm logging off"

Today, when Bob picked me up from work he told me "You better use the bathroom before we go home." This is never a good sign.

Bob finished tearing out the linoleum in the bathroom earlier today. (We had some water damage from a leaking toilet tank and are replacing the flooring with tile.)Just before he came to pick me up from work, he decided to see if I was right about where the water shut off valve to the house was. (I grew up in this house, but that did not make a difference) He turned the spigot and went in the house to check to see if it was off. It was. He went back outside to turn it back on. It just spins. No water. Oh joy. I have a bathroom with no floor. A toilet bolted on plywood that I have had to bucket flush the past few days and now no water.

Bob does not seem to understand about women and bathrooms. When he started tearing out the floor, he asked me if I could avoid using the bathroom for 3 days. I told him only if he no longer wanted a wife. I guess he will have to build me an outhouse.