Monday, January 29, 2007

I like grey

In the midst of winding yarn and procrastinating, I have been trying to crochet...something. I decided to frog the most recent incarnation of the PDA hat (attempt #5 I think) and feared that this hat and I are just not destined to be friends. I should mention that the first time I tried to make the hat I used Manos Del Uruguay varigated wool (colour 119; Adobe) and the results were for lack of a better word, vomitrotious. To be honest, I have yet to find a project for this yarn. It's beautiful but I think it may be yarn for petting as opposed to knitting. All of this has caused me to think about my yarn choices. I know that tastes in yarn vary wildly and are quite personal. I reflected on this as I stood in line at Romni, behnd a woman who was buying a small basket's worth of teal and white varigated eyelash yarn. I tried not to judge, I really did.

Some people love that stuff, just as some people love chenille, boucle and fun fur. I am not one of those people. (in fact my ex roommate Phil often critisized my drab and boring yarn choices, often exclaiming 'oh no, not oatmeal again') I bought some grey yarn.

It's Rowanspun dk and it was on sale. I wish they'd had more in this colour.

and I also bought other grey yarn

one hank of Classic Elite: waterspun. It was sad and alone, the only one of it's kind, on sale and also discontinued. I have a few hanks of waterpun in sage and I thought they could be friends. The yarn does seem a lot happier.

Truthfully, I do occasionally buy brighter coloured yarn, but I prefer single coloured yarn; and yarn that does not mix colour and texture, as that kind of yarn , makes me a bit queasy.

now speaking of crochet...and Classic Elite waterspun in sage

This was the beginning of the cranium hat from the Crochet me site. Then I realized that the gauge was off like woah and also the metal hook was too big and causing me pain. (which is why I actually went to Romni, to buy some bamboo hooks. The fact that some grey yarn came back with me was purely by accident, I swear. Actually I'm pretty sure it followed me home.)

Anyway, I came home, frogged that thing and started anew. At one point I realized near the end that I had somehow misplaced a couple of rows somewhere near the beginning, but there was no way I was starting again so I just 'modified' the design somewhat. I do think it needs some cheery embelishment. Perhaps some crocheted leaves or a happier looking model.

So here is the finished hat. It has been blocked but I think I should steam it as well. Also I am shocked at how jowly I look in this photo. I think I should stop buying yarn and save up for a chin tuck...either that or knit myself some sort of facial support garment. In any case, although this hat isn't perfect, it is a crocheted thing that I made so I'm pretty excited. Sadly, it is more of a summer hat so back to PDA I must go, because I just cannot continue to wear last year's hats.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

fear of a moth planet and other adventures

Hey, it's some brightly colored yarn...and it's drying in my bathtub. Here's the story: Anna (aka Josh's mother) will be moving out west soon and had some wool to give me. Upon returning home from the 'yarn hand-off' I realized that in addition to partially knitted up and very brightly coloured 'something(s)'(blanket? tunic? sweater? I didn't think to ask.) there was a pair of 10 mm Brittany needles. This excited me greatly because I don't have any Brittany needles and I think they are 'neat'. But I digress... I checked the partially knitted something(s) for evidence of moths and they seemed to be clear started to frog the partially knitted something(s) and I decided that yes, I should take Anna's suggestion and give it a wash prior to using. I decided to frog it at the same time. I wasn't sure exactly what the yarn was but I'm suspecting a blend of wool/alpaca/mohair? 'Molpaca' perhaps?'s sort of felted, yet at the same time sheds like woah. I will do a burn test at some point, if I can ever find some matches in my apartment squalor. As I frogged the something(s), I noticed that the yarn was distressed at certain points but put that down to age.

The 'frogshing' took me some time and I realized I was going to be late meeting Jacquie for sushi and knitting at the HoS, so I left the sodden yarn mess in my bathtub to deal with later.

The next morning (aka later) I started to detangle the sodden yarn mess and noticed there was more breakage than originally thought. I did some research on the internet and discovered that this could be a sign of moth damage and got 'the fear', so I then spent the rest of the day panicking, making lavender sachets:

and protecting the precious precious yarn stash by separating it, putting it all into paper bags, throwing in the sachets and hermetically sealing the bags (ok, truthfully I just folded over the edges and stapled them shut)

Perhaps this was overkill. The damage to the yarn probably happened pre-knitting (ie: when the yarn was still in balls) and I didn't see any other evidence of the dreaded moth. In any case, much of the yarn was salvagable and my fear and paranoia did force me to organize the ol' stash and decide on some things for next week's Stash 'n' Bash, Plus I have lots of bright coloured yarn to knit into...something... using the supercool Brittany needles. Or perhaps the sadly neglected Knifty Knitter. In any case I can't complain cause hey, it's some free, interesting yarn. Any project suggestions?

speaking of projects

This is my first attempt at a crocheted something. It is the Pda, from the Happy Hooker book. I unravelled most of this 'masterpiece' immediately after taking the photo. one day perhaps it will become a hat. But not today...or tomorrow for that matter.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Vintage knitting

I think I've finally figured out my layout problems (and accidently erased a whole bunch of links in the process), although I made the 'mistake' of looking at the blog through Netscape Navigator, where it appeared to be very flocked up. I'll never do that again. I figure, what I don't know won't hurt me.

In my continuing knitting adventures, I have decided that I should knit a real following the instructions...of a pattern...written by someone other than myself. My thinking is that if I ever want to design a sweater, I should try knitting one first. (I don't count capelets and mesh sweaters made out of sock yarn as real sweaters) So I decided on the hoody in this picture (that would be the one on the left) I probably won't bother with the embroidery though.

The pattern is a Beehive (aka Patons) pattern and probably dates from the early to mid '40s. The instructions are a little confusing, however, on the back of the pattern book it says "In case of difficulty write to PATONS & BALDWINS, LIMITED: TORONTO 10." So I'm sure that if I can't figure it out I can get some advice from the fine people at Patons and Baldwins Ltd. All I need to do is write a letter and build a time machine. The first confusing thing about the pattern was that it called for #4 British size needles, but I actually have some old British needles with the sizes written on them and figured out that a 4 = 6mm. Sadly I decided to use the British needles and they are very sticky and now my hands are rather chapped. Although I have about 3 pairs of 6mm needles, they are all sticking with the yarn (even my casein ones) so I'm debating whether or not I should go track down some bamboo ones in order to save my hands.

Here is a terrible photo of the left side and partial right side of the hoody. I'm using Mission falls: 1824 wool in Zinnea and I'm hoping I have enough. The pattern calls for 14 + 4 ounces and I only have 17.50. Then again, I've only used 1.75 oz (or 1 skein) so far, and I have 9 skeins left. I may try to pick up an extra skein or 2 so I can make a zipper placate since I'm also worried that the sweater is going to be too small. I'm not sure how much I love this yarn as I find it loses its twist really easily, especially if one has to keep unknitting rows due to confusion with the pattern.

(edit: I drew a little chart of the stitch pattern and it helped with the confusion. It was in fact, my first foray into charted knitting and I liked it.)

In other news, I got this book a few weeks ago from Knitpicks. It has really 'useful' things like knit and crocheted cupcakes and pints of Guinness and a sweet mallard duck wall hanging, which I may try to make at some point if I ever have time. Even if I don't use any of the patterns, her instructions are quite good and well laid out and the book is cute and inspiring, plus it was on sale. In any case, when I saw

on Amazon, I had to order it, wit the hope that it will encourage me to get my crochet on. I don't like the projects as much as the ones in the Knitorama book, but has a couple of completely frivolous things I'm interested in making if I ever figure out the crochet thing; some lacey spats, some lacey gloves, some other lacey gloves, a crocheted tie, a crocheted lampshade cover. Plus her instructions look a bit clearer than the ones in the SnB; Happy Hooker book and she even has a few pages on spinning. But now, I am really not allowed to buy any more knitting or crochet books.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

something odd has happened to my blog re: format.
I will figure it out at some point...hopefully. Until that time, please bear with me.