Monday, August 31, 2009

time for some chemistry

anyone else do this? i mix the baking soda and borax in equal parts. i use a tablespoon of the concoction in the dishwasher with half of the normal liquid cascade (or whatever) and a scoop in the washer instead of oxiclean.

i feel quite thrifty!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

necessity is the mother of invention, or ...

...i am the macgyver of knitting.

i wanted to try this tunisian crochet 3 color technique i saw. isn't that amazing? doesn't that say noro to you? it did to me!

i made a little afghan YEARS (read 20?) ago using the afghan stitch/tunisian crochet so have a hook somewhere. well, finding it was going to involve turning more stuff upside down than i wanted to do, so here's what i did:
voila! duct tape and a cork -- instant afghan hook! i knew all that wine would do me some good ;-)

i live in a white house

but look how red/orange the light is this morning with all the smoke...

looking east at 7:30 this morning.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

bye bye zg

tibetan monks painstakingly and patiently creating a mandala at the aspen chapel:

here we are trying to take it in without sneezing or startling anyone:

annual team photo at maroon bells, featuring me trying to learn about my new camera's self-timer:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

color(ado) days

captured on red to yellow and everything in between day:



the humble pansy

Sunday, August 9, 2009

green blueberry filet

here's a quick grocery bag i finished today. there is a lace stitch in the nancy bush knitted lace of estonia called blueberry. it's charming and open, and it made me want to try it in one of my spur of the moment grocery bags. here it is close up.
i put that stitch near the top, then 3 rows of stockinette, then a simple filet stitch i found on the internet down to the bottom.
with 2 tone icord for handles, it almost looks like a cute summer top!
it holds a lot, though!
so why is it green? the yarn is 100% soybean i got at abuelita's, my local yarn store. i have to say i am not crazy about this yarn. it was both sticky and slippery -- how can that be? i don't know, and it could be because i used bamboo needles for most of it, and the plant fiber could have not worked well with the bamboo. it did work better with the size 7 aluminum needle i used for the bottom. to do another bag, i'll use addi turbos to see if they help. i'll bet they do.

here's the recipe:
using 1 skein of the kollage delicious and a size 13 circular needle, cast on 56 stitches. join in the round, knit 2 rounds, then start the blueberry stitch. you could use any open lace stitch that has a 4 stitch / 4 row repeat. i knit 4 repeats of this. (the blueberry stitch is in the nancy bush book referenced above.) knit 3 rounds stockinette, then start the filet stitch. go as deep as you'd like. i then fashioned a bit of a bottom by knitting 2 rounds stockinette with the size 13, 5 rounds with a size 7, then turning the bag inside out to do a 3 needle bind-off for a sturdy bottom.

that should use up almost all of the skein, depending on how deep you go. you'll need a bit more yarn to knit up a 4 st. icord (using 2 size 9 dpns with the yarn doubled). make it as long as you like for handles!

ETA: well, this yarn is quite fragile, and was tragically split by a mildly edgy plastic lettuce bin. it looks great, but i won't be using it for any more bags. i guess really expensive washcloths are in its future.
plus, the split caused the untimely demise of a bottle of tequila, so i'm peeved at it. ;-)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

the trouble with intarsia, and a toe dilemma

looks pretty cute and done, doesn't it? wait, what's that little white tail sticking out there on the top? ah, yes, now i remember. the trouble with intarsia.

i was afraid it would come to this. i finished this much of this stocking 7 months ago, and am finally facing the tails.

when it took me less than an hour to achieve this...
...i was pretty aggravated that i had put it off for so long. those unfinished projects can gnaw at you like a guilty conscience, and this one has, since it is for a family baby. granted, he won't need it until december, but i hope they haven't bought another in the mean time. or worse, received another one made with love and much more discipline ;-).

i just need to add some snowflake buttons on the trees, some gift buttons on top of santa's sack, some puffy white beard and the charming name AIDAN to the top.

bringing me to my name-adding dilemma: which way do your family stockings face? toe right or toe left?

Friday, August 7, 2009

what's wrong with this picture?

i decided to do a sewn bind-off for this sweater so it would be flexible. i looked online for some directions, wrote them down, and started binding off on the right side. i got about 10 stitches into it and realized that i liked how the wrong side looked better than the right side. i had already cut the yarn to start sewing and did not want to knit another row -- what to do? i just followed the directions backwards!

here you can clearly see the needle going into the stitches as if to purl -- in bizarro world ;-)
it actually worked just fine.

here i hope you can see the difference in appearance between the front and the back. the back does not look bad, but the front looks much more finished.

next time i do a sewn bind-off, i'll try to remember to start it on the wrong side.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

crankin' it out





i can not WAIT to be done with this. i am staggering toward the finish line. the last picture is of one skein's worth of knitting -- about 1 leaf repeat.

based on the above picture of my voluminous derriere and where the sweater falls, i have decided it is long enough, so have started with my 2 inches of rib at the bottom. now i'll have to decide (post-wash/block) whether to add button bands down the front.

it's been fun to do, but it's hard for me to stay interested in a long project that's mostly for me.

looking at the pictures, however, i really do think it will be cute and fun to wear.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

pretty bird inspiration

wow, have you seen these? it makes you want to needlepoint again! it would be fun to try to chart something similar to knit.