Monday, January 29, 2007

Blocking Adventure

After thinking about it, I remembered that I had blocked things before. Many years ago, when I would crochet a doily, I blocked it by washing it in hot water with Dawn detergent, rinsing out the soap, pinning it to a towel on top of something that pins would stick into, and spraying it with spray starch. More recently, I've started knitting dishcloths. I block a dishcloth by putting it in hot water with vinegar added to set the color, wringing it out to get rid of excess liquid, and then placing it on the back of a sofa.
So, for the sweater that I'd just finished (which is half wool and half alpaca), I put it in the sink with a bit of detergent in tepid water, rinsed it in cold water and vinegar, squeezed the liquid out without wringing, and then wrapped it in a towel to get even more liquid out. By then it was just damp. So, I put in on the back of our sofa. One of my kitties helped with the blocking. Here is an unblocked picture of the sweater. Details and a better picture of the sweater are here on my other blog.
The Tubey that I'm currently knitting is coming along -- without too much frogging and reknitting. I thought that it would be done by today. But, I decided it would look better if I made some changes to the order of the stripes.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sweater number 1 finished

I've finally finished my smocked top-down raglan based on the Smock it to me pullover in Knitty.com. Mine is knit in the round with Mystic Inca forest green wool/alpaca yarn and size 3 needles. (I bought the yarn on ebay.) Detailed details on how I made are here. It has a garter stitch crew-neck neckline. It looks a little bit long in the picture. But due to the nature of smocking, it will be shorter in real life. It also looks a lot better when worn. The sleeves have a little bit of puffiness, which I like. This is sweater number 1 in the sweater a month KAL. I still need to block it. I've never blocked a sweater or anything else for the matter. So, we'll see how it turn out. At least, this time I did swatch before starting.
I've already got great plans for my second sweater. I love Tubey, but there are a couple of things that I don't like about it -- namely the fit around the neck and the fit around the arms. I was about to frog my old Tubey and knit something else from the yarn when I thought: Why not make the shrug part with an underarm seam? There's nothing in the basic construction of Tubey that says it would ruin the look. My second thought was: Why waste all that yarn around the neck when it just gets rolled under? So, I've got an idea of how to proceed.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

green pullover

Well, I'm almost done with my green smocked raglan pullover based on Smock it to me in knitty.com. It's done with some yarn -- 50% wool, 50% alpaca -- that I got over eBay from Mystic Inca. I thought it would be very tedious knitting a sweater with size 3 needles, but it went fast, as least I considered it fast. The smocking pattern in the lower half of the garment and the lower half of the sleeves gives it interest. I'm knitting it top down and have now started the smocking on the second sleeve. Though, I may go back to the main part of the garment to make it a bit longer. I've already made the first sleeve a little longer than I had planned in order that the smocking would cover the top of my hand, if desired and if cold. If it's warm, I can push the lower half of the sleeve up to make a 3/4 sleeve.
I thought I was almost done knitting a pair of socks. The pattern for the socks is one of Chrissy Gardiner's. The heel is Fleegle's. I was test knitting the pattern for Chrissy with some yarn that I didn't particularly care for and decided to try out Fleegle's heel at the same time. (The yarn is KP Essential in pumpkin. I like the yarn but don't know what I was thinking when I ordered that color.) To make a long story short, I liked the pattern so well that I'll have to a second skein of the yarn in order to finish the second sock of the pair.
Finally, I'm knitting dishcloths as they appear on the Yahoo monthly dishcloth KAL.
My Sony camera is in the shop again, and I'm using my daughter's Sony camera. She gave it to me when she got a new (non-Sony) camera for Christmas. Her old camera takes pictures except that you can't see them on the screen until after you've taken them.
I have plans to start making Monkey socks soon. I hadn't heard about them until I finally decided to upload all my Turkey pictures to my yahoo picture albums. I took a lot of pictures and so the album is quite large and took a long time to upload. While they were uploading, I decided to read through past Yahoo sock group posts and found that a lot of people were making those socks.
We were in Turkey for over a week. In addition to a magnificent solar eclipse, we saw quite a bit of Turkey: Istanbul, Troy, Antalya, and Cappadocia. (The interesting rock formations in Cappadocia were where the pod races were filmed for Star Wars.) Troy was the most interesting. Cappadocia was the most beautiful.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Happy New Year

I'm really behind on posting.
Christmas and catnip
We decided to get our two cats catnip for Christmas even though they usually play with it for a couple of hours and then basically ignore it. This Christmas it was different. One of our cats opened her catnip present Christmas morning -- and she did open the one with her name on it -- before the rest of us got up. And then the two of them played with it and the other catnip present for the rest of the day and a lot of the following days.

The Nutcracker
My DH and I went with our two DSs and the oldest son's girlfriend to the Nutcracker presented by the New York City Ballet. We were underwhelmed by it all. Most of the dancers seemed to be just going through the motions.

The actor who plays Monk
My oldest son and his girlfriend went to a Broadway play featuring the actor who plays Monk on tv. They were quite surprised to say the least. My DS likes Tony Shalhoub and has seen him in quite a few movies including Big Night and also Galaxy Quest. Nothing prepared them for the role he played in the play. My DS thought the change of pace from Shalhoub was funny. They saw more of him and heard a more varied language than they were expecting, even though they were on the wrong side of the theater for the "best" view. At least, they got in for cheap $15 student seats. I assume though that the acting was good. It's not clear, however, whether the play will make it to opening night.

An empty feeling house
Two friends of my DD went back to Ohio last Wednesday. My oldest DS and his girlfriend went to California on Thursday. And my DD and other DS went back to London on Saturday (after their Friday flight to Chicago and then London was cancelled). So, now it's just me, my DH, my mom, and the cats.