Saturday, May 31, 2008

While I wait for my yarn to arrive...

...I am working on a Scarf for Beatrix, which is a knit along through the Belle of the Ball Podcast.

I've made progress on this since this picture was taken, but I still have well over half to go, so it's not zooming by. Still, it is an easy lace project and is turning out to be quite pretty.

I got this cone of mystery yarn from someone in the local library knitting circle I used to attend pre-baby. She didn't like it, apparently. I was uncertain about using it. I wasn't sure how the variation in color would work with the lace pattern, but I'm pretty pleased with it, so far. I originally started the project with a black fingering weight wool yarn, but I soon abandoned it. I couldn't see the pattern at all with the dark color, plus, it was a hot day and I couldn't stand the feel of wool on my hands.

I'm looking forward to seeing this project completed, but I'll probably work on it in between some other projects. Don't know yet if I'll keep it or give it away as a gift. We'll see...

Monday, May 26, 2008

I might have bought some yarn this weekend

I could resist Web's Annual Sale no longer.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Atari Toddler Space Invader Soaker

This is the Pea Patch Diaper Wrap pattern, size XL. I decided to add a few space invaders, courtesy of the bmp sock pattern from knitty. The sock pattern also has a chart for the little shooter that you use in the video game to stop the alien onslaught. I thought about adding that as well, but it would have been placed right on his butt and I think it would have been, well, let's just say that he has enough shooting out of there.

The two shades of gray are made from our sheep's wool. Thankfully, these are large on Silas, so they should fit for a while to come.

Friday, May 16, 2008

BREAKING NEWS! The knitbook featured in podcast

I'm so excited! My humble, little blog was featured in this week's Belle of the Ball Podcast. Thanks, Michelle, for recommending it, and thanks to the Belle of the Ball Podcast for featuring it. Be sure to check it out! It's a great knitting podcast out of Graham Washington that I've been listening to for a few months now.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Pea Patch Diaper Soaker

The soakers I originally knit for Silas no longer fit, and we've been mainly using Velcro wraps with his cloth diapers. I decided I'd like to knit some soakers and longies, at least to have a few in consistent use, by next fall. So, here's the first one!
This pattern, the Pea Patch Diaper Soaker, is by one of my Ravelry friends, Michellerene. It's a clever design and knits up fast and easy. I made a size large, and they fit him perfectly. Since I want to have him grow into them, the next one, which I'm about 80% done with, will be an XL.

What's cuter than a baby in wool pants, I ask you? And brown, well, it's quite the appropriate color. Stay tuned for pictures of the next soaker, which have something a little retro added to them.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Waldorf Fleece Balls

I got the idea for making these simple fleece balls in a Waldorf-inspired book called "Creative Play for Your Baby" by Christopher Clouder and Janni Nicol. They were very easy to make and my son loves them. I used some of the wool batting that survived the awful moth infestation we had earlier this spring.

To make these balls, all you have to do is wind the batting round and round until it's a bit bigger than the size you want the finished ball to be. Then, take scrap yarn comprised of feltable wool and wrap it around, or needle felt it onto the ball in various patterns. Wash in the washer on hot till it's the desired size. Needle felt to tidy up any loose segments, or add additional embellishments, dry, and give to baby.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Just Some Socks (not too intersting, but finished!)

I'm not a huge sock enthusiast, but I got Ann Budd's "Getting Started With Socks" in January and decided I'd check out what the sock-making madness was all about. I've only made one other pair of socks and that was 3 or 4 years ago, so doing this pair was basically like starting from scratch, knowledge-wise. This project also filled an obligation to knit something for my husband, who's been neglected in the hand knits in favor of making a gazillion hats and sweaters for our son. Socks are actually something I can make for him which he'll wear (unlike the scarves and hats I've knit for him).

I'll admit, turning the heal is really fun. I love making something that forms so well around such an oddly shaped body part. And the self-striping yarn always impresses people who don't know what self-striping yarn is. I made these on dps and I LOVE my dps. Still. Since I hear the magic loop method makes sock knitting faster, I've gotta try it out. I also heard on the Knit Picks podcast a while back about a double knitting method in which 2 socks are knit simultaneously, one inside the other. I've GOT to try that. But I'll probably take a wee break before I knit another pair. I've got a soaker on the needles right now and it's so fast and gratifying. I'll be done with several pairs before I know it.
I'm not complaining too much about the fact that it took me 4 months to finish these very basic socks. Why? Because Drew's been wearing them a lot. He loves them. woo-hoo!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Death By Moth

I have a fear of moths. Irrational though it may be, it is very real. It began with a childhood experience which I will briefly recount and hope that you are not too grossed out. When I was about 8 years old, I was on vacation with my family. I remember that we had stopped at a visitor's center at a western national park. The center was in a small trailer-like structure. While my parents talked to a ranger, I wandered aimlessly around the trailer, and a movement around a light caught my eye. Ironically, I felt drawn to the light bulb, just as the moths who were fluttering around it had been. I got close. Too close. Several of the moths flew up my nose. I have no idea why. I then proceeded to sneezed them out. Ever since then, I've been afraid of the fluttering little bastards. I cover my nose whenever they come close, afraid of a repeat of that traumatic childhood experience.

Now that you know that story, you will understand when I say the following, I say it with horror: My wool has been infested with moths.

Yep, we have an all out moth invasion on our hands. I keep a good bit of my stash downstairs in the living room, and that has survived just fine, thank the gods. But all of the wool I was storing upstairs, well, that's a different matter. You can imagine what it's like for me, going up there and having moths swarm around me. They might as well be bats, though truth be told, I'd love to have a few bats right now as long as they favored a diet heavy in moths. I did have cedar amongst my wool
to ward off the moths, but apparently, it wasn't nearly enough.

Onto the specifics of the loss, as well as the clean up: I was too grossed out and sad to take pictures of the worst of it. In fact, my husband cleaned up a lot of it for me, bless his heart. There were bags and bags of wool batting from our four sheep waiting to be spun or felted. Most of it was filled with eggs and larvae (I shutter just writing that) and most was not salvageable. They even burrowed into the wicker baskets the wool was stored in. Oh, and apparently, moths love alpaca as well. Fortunately only two skeins of my hand-dyed Atacama alpaca yarn were eaten through:
Here's the thing. I can't bring myself to kill them. As a rule, I try not to kill anything. Maybe it's the years of Buddhist practice, I don't know, but I hate to kill anything, including insects. Instead, I let my man incur the karma and kill them for me. Mostly, we brought everything outside and released them to the elements. They few that are lingering inside, get the smack down whenever my husband sees them.

Here are two of our sheep, Bart and Blu, whose wool was (partially) lost to the moths. Thankfully, wool is a renewable resource.