Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Tote That Wouldn't Felt

I finished knitting my bag on Friday. YAY! I was unsure about the finishing because I honestly haven't done much. Reading all the different ways to join edges & such confused me so I decided to wait until knitting group Saturday night so I could get some help. Tatiana taught me to knit & she suggested crocheting the ends & the handels on. To be honest, she did it for me - who am I to complain? Most knitters hate the finishing work & I brought other projects so I let her. Well, we knit the handles on wrong, which really didn't matter before felting because it was really big & still hung kind of like a hobo bag & I liked that it was different. We had lots of new people at our group & everyone really wanted to see it felted so we decided to do it at her house. We did take "before" pictures but she has them so I'll post when I get them.

Felting...we followed the directions of the pattern for felting & left the bag alone. Oh the excitement! When time was up we looked at it and...it was BIGGER. Not smaller, people, bigger. When I held it up I could have worn it as a dress! So we tried again on a longer wash cycle with hotter water & actually threw in some of her son's jeans to help with aggitation. No cigar. STILL not felted. Ok, maybe a little, but really, just a little. We are girls that aren't afraid to experiment so we got out the iron. We steamed it under a washcloth & that worked some, but still not much. Bottom line is this...Tatiana has this really cool state-of-the-art gentle washing machine! (she's gonna be mad I wrote this). But everyone started coming in there & checking out the washer & we all agreed that we'd never seen such a machine. Gentle on & perfect for regular washing, bad for felting. It doesn't have an agitator! I put it in my old beat up washer & VOILA! Felted - too much. The finished measurements are 11x13 - so about a legal sheet of paper. Now the sideways handles matter. We've decided to cut them off & line the bag, but it will be a few weeks because I can't fool with it right now - I'm leaving for Vegas this Sunday & I have other things to do on my days off.

Current projects: I'm steadily working on my sweater. It's getting closer but it's so...boring. I finished up the yarn I had for Patrick's scarf thinking I was finished - he doesn't think it's long enough. UGH. Woolie Ewe doesn't have the same dye lot, so we'll see what happens.

I've seriously started looking at baby stuff because I have 2 baby gifts to make. It's so hard to decide because everything is SO cute. I also have some issues knitting clothes that I know they won't get much wear out of...I have a few things in mind so stay tuned for that!

I guess I get my gold medal. I just have to figure out how to put it on my blog...

Monday, February 13, 2006

Ever heard of a Moebius Loop?

Well, that's what the brainiac I live with informed me that I had NINE inches into my first circular knitting attempt. On a deadline. During the knitting olympics. I'm not sure what they call it in the knitting world, but I'll be sure to find out so I can avoid them in the future.

When I started this project the voices of my helpers rang in my head, "Be sure not to twist your stitches." Yeah, whatever. In my world of straight needle knitting, really it doesn't matter because you untwist them as you go. Ummmm, not really the case when you JOIN your work & knit in a circle. Let me back up a bit. The olympic events really started at 3:00 on Friday, but I was thinking that I couldn't start until 7:00 when they really really started. Not so. I got back from Walmart with Patrick telling me to start knitting already, opening ceremonies started! He is still in self preservation mode & not wanting to get stuck with the pointy sticks. So I quickly unpacked my groceries & started knitting. I knit all of Friday night while watching tv & then Saturday I watched literally 5 movies & all I did all day was knit. About 8:30pm, I decided to see how wide the opening of the bag was. Hmmm, I can't seem to straighten this out. Patrick, hold this side. Ummm, we have a problem. "You have a mobius loop", that's what he said. What the hell is that??? It can't be - it's not possible that I screwed this up & knitted for 2 days not knowing. Alas, yes, it is possible. I'm not sure if you can tell from the picture, but it is indeed twisted and there is no fixing it. Well, there is but it's not really what I wanted to do. I frogged the whole damn thing, nearly 2 balls of uneven, bulky yarn & started over. I wanted to cry but I really just couldn't. Lesson learned. I realize this is what happens when I decide to try new things with no supervision. Really, though, it doesn't make it fun.

The good news? After much knitting & a few tips from my knitting friends, I'm back on track. I'm about 9 inches in and the handles are done, so it's not the end of the world. See picture #2. Now THAT'S a circular bag. Geometry lesson over.

Friday, February 10, 2006

And so it begins...

The olympics start tonight! I'm so excited! Why is it that it's been so hard to wait to start this project - I have found myself wanting to cheat a little & start early WAY more than once. So I put off buying my needles until Tuesday this week. But I sure have been looking at my yarn a bunch - isn't it so pretty? I can't wait to see how this comes out. Nevermind that I NEED a bag like I need a hole in my head, but whatever. Sixteen days to finish - I'll be a knitting fool....

I did finish up that cream/ gold scarf Wednesday night at knitting group - blame it on the huge snickes coffee that I drank (fat free whip & no sugar, so there!). SO GOOD.

Keep an eye out - I'll let you know how I'm coming along!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

On the Sticks

*** I feel like I haven't been actually writing about what I'm knitting so I took some pictures today. #1 is a cheapy one skein just knit scarf that I'm making for me. So FREAKING boring! You can't tell from the picture but it's pretty skinny & has some gold sparkles in it - I figure I can wear it over a tee or something! #2 is Kenny's Christmas scarf - I am using a pattern called Reversible Stitch that I found on about.com. Kenny ended up with a really cool Christmas present so I put him on the back burner so I could finish other presents for people that didn't have gifts! But poor man. His birthday is in May, so I joke that he might get it then. I'm really liking the way it is turning out - my friends say it looks "tweedy". #3 is Patrick's Debbie Bliss alpaca silk Christmas scarf - it much more sage green in person. I am using the pattern for the Cashmere Boyfriend Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I really really like it. And everytime I'm knitting something else he reminds me that it doesn't look like the alpaca! One day he'll get his present too. ARGH! The knitting olypics start Friday(along with the real olympics) so I'm starting something new. Plus my sweater I previously featured. Too many WIP anyone?

Monday, February 06, 2006

Meet Priscilla - modeling my new scarf...

Today marks the debut of my scary new model, Priscilla. It's such a long story - I'll try to make it brief. I really wanted a dress form because one of my 2006 goals is to learn to sew. But we went to a furniture / fixtures close out sale & I found this thing for about $16 so I got it. I figure I can use it to model the stuff I'm selling on ebay & maybe rig it into a dress form eventually. If not, it's less than $20 & the entertainment value is definately at least worth that much! We named "her" Priscilla after the transsexual in Priscilla Queen of the Desert, since it is technically a man but will be modeling primarily woman clothing. Patrick has banished her to my reading / craft room for fear of waking up in the middle of the night & putting bullet holes in it. I have to agree with that! Be on the look out, Priscilla will be making sporadic appearances here.

On to the scarf - it is the same Spiral 'Ruffled' Scarf previously featured here but I knit it in Sierra - for me! I love it but I haven't worn it yet. Shame on me! I am still singing it's praises though, it has definately been my favorite thing to knit to date - which is pretty obvious since I knit 3 of them.