Feeling Halloweeny?

Here is my latest time-waster and it's totally addicting fun. Make sure your volume is on so you can appreciate the sound effects. I'm fully aware that you may not come back to my blog, but [sigh] it's all in the name of making the world a more enjoyable place. OK, click here.

Now, as for moi and the little knitting penchant I've been feeding, I made a 2x2 rib scarf from that orphan ball of green stretchy mystery yarn I got last summer (turned out to be GGH Solitaire). It is not flawless [hysterical laughter here] but will be a lovely ribby thing to wrap around a neck on a chilly fall afternoon at school.

I also started Rachel's college blanket. I have been lurking on Knitting Novices, reading about baby blankets and other throws, and I decided what I will do. I'm using Lion Thick and Quick and cast on the fisherman beige for the first section, in multiples of seven, for a total of 56 stitches.

Then I just did K7 P7 until I ran out of that skein, and on a knit row I started the next block, I switched to the burgundy skein and am doing my favorite purl ridge stitch. It's in four row sets, first a row of K, then a row of P, then a K1 P1 row, and finish with a P row. I've done several things in this stitch and as you might guess I like it! My next skein will be in black, and I am not sure what pattern I'll use but am thinking of something plain since it will be black--reverse stockinette or garter perhaps.

What then? you ask. Good question to ask Stacie Newman since I have a proven tendency to make it up as I go along. Well, I'll see how long it is and perhaps add one more skein to the end of it, and then I'll do another whole set just like it and sew or crochet them together. If it's not wide enough, I'll do another whole set and add it on. :^)

Now back to knitting since it's what I'm doing to avoid paper grading (again). Then I'll probably have to buckle under and actually do my real work. Knitting is so much more fun.

Ennnhhhhhh--Not what I was hoping for

[Big sigh.] Well, I have felted my monster knitting three times now, first with the twine, then with yarn, and then (after cutting the three pouches apart) with an edging seam in what I thought was feltable yarn.

Here they are in all their misshapen ugliness. Yes, I washed them the last time with other stuff (um, I KNOW not to do that) so now I get to trim off the white fuzzies along with the other excess fuzz.

I want to give up! But then I realize that I probably keep learning good information while I flail away. So here is my next plan. I'll remove the edging seam and redo it using truly feltable yarn, and then I'll wash them again. And I will stretch and shape them very carefully for evenness before drying them. BTW, I really have created a monster because the seams in some cases are my way of felting into integrity gaping holes that cutting them apart created along many spots on the edges.

Too ambitious? You be the judge

Today we find Stacie having improvised and fudged and now feeling generally, well, desperate.

I knitted with the most fetching yarns--Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky in a dark grayish purple alternated with Manos del Uruguay's Multibramble.

I knitted in the round, thinking it would be good to felt something like a tote.

I ran out of said yarns.

I hadn't gotten very far in length, but boy had I gotten width . . . it was, shall we say, . . . expansive. So I used the two needle bind off (woo-hoo! I can do it! anyone with a smidge of knitting experience and three needles approx the same size can do it!) and a nice coordinating yarn (I truly had run out of the other two--what was I thinking??).

Then I consulted a book I'm quite taken with at present, Fabulous Felted Hand-Knits. I got some nylon twine from DH and stitched a vertical baste one third of the way across and then two thirds of the way across this behemoth of a knitted "bag," so that I could felt it and hopefully create felted seams at these bastes. I don't know why that seemed better than using the yarn to seam with, and then having more wool in that spot for felting. I may still have to go this route.

Then I felted it in the washer in a zipper pillow case with my jeans. The two yarns felted differently (really, I meant that to happen!) and I got great stitch definition for the purple Debbie Bliss, while the Multibramble, true to form, melded together in a most pleasing melange of colors.

Next, I took quart size zipper bags and inserted them in each section, blowing them up and creating a bit of "puff" so the bags will have shape. This is where I stand at present. I have run my fingers inside the divisions along the "seams" I tried to create and found--yes, holes. So when it dries fully and I remove the twine, I think I will give it a second go with yarn and see if it felts "fully." (I meant to say that too. Love a good pun, don't you?)

OK, OK, photos. Here we go.

So what is my nefarious plan here? I have one! I am trying to create three pouches that can be cut apart and that I can then make handles for. Anyone with more knowledge, please feel free to stop me. As it is I won't get anywhere with it today, as work beckons me on a Sunday (I really have to go in to school all day for a fundraiser--good thing I find it enjoyable).

OT: If you're into puns, I have one more: my daughter has a CD by a band called "Piebald" (not the pun) and this one is titled, "If it weren't for venetian blinds, it'd be curtains for us all." Yuk yuk. No idea if the music is good or not.

Can you say "schwaaaaaaaggggg"?

'Waaaaaay back in the summer, when I had time to actually knit AND blog about knitting, I entered crazycatladymel's birthday contest by donating yarn to Interim House in Philly. Well, as a donor, I was also entered in her "little" contest and when her birthday arrove, Aug. 8, mine was the name she chose out of a random, perfectly scientific drawing. Me! I won!

Kathy from Interim House sent me a boffo hooded sweatshirt from Interim House, which I wear every day since, esp. since the house has been getting chilly late at night and early in the a.m., and today, the box of gifties from Melissa arrived. Wow! I had vaguely remembered her saying she "gives good gift." Was she right! It was colorful, sweetly packed, and so much fun to explore.

Here is the resulting schwaaaaaggggg, or perhaps I should say "loot."

Not to gloat, but OMG. I have won so many cool things! Lighted knitting needles, a handmade needle case (I love it! It's so nice!), handmade envelopes (Melissa is so crafty she puts even my stepsister Bia, Miss Craftiness Personified, to shame), an ice cube tray from Ikea, a pincushion, a little lamb finger puppet, samples of Eucalan and handcream, two cool knitting buttons ("Just one more row," and "I'd rather be knitting"), a Chibi, a "bouquet" of button-blossom flowers (those are so neat, Mel!), some crafting stickers and gift tags, instructions for her best washcloth and scrubby, and as if that weren't already a total . . . the "cat-de-grace," some kitty treats for Percy (who has been willing to share so far)--catnip, chicken yummies, and the coolest little poofball made of mylar. It is eminently chase-worthy.(Percy's sister Pippi thinks this is the cat's meow.) Now, how it relates, and what it really promises, I don't know, but Mel has gifted me with a DVD of Kristy McNichol and Christopher Atkins (Blue Lagoon?) in [trumpet call] The Pirate Movie! Frankly, I'm frightened. I was probably busy having babies right about when this came out, but it promises to be an 80s remake (no kidding! just look at the hair!!) of Pirates of Penzance. Well, all I can say is thanks, Melissa, you are the ultimate gifter.

Tomorrow, I will take some of these items with me on my four day weekend in beautiful . . .Eastern Washington! I took a personal day so I'd have a looooong weekend (we get Columbus Day off, weird) with my sister and her family in Okanogan, Washington. So early early I fly off to meet her at lunchtime :^) in Wenatchee, for the lovely drive up the highway to their home. Yes, I'm taking my knitting with me, and yes, I'm taking stuff to grade too. But I will actually enjoy the grading (they're not essays) and can stop whenever I want to, so I can knit again. That's a vacation! Happy knitting, all.

On the needles

Just so you know I am not neglecting my knitting (well, OK, I am mostly neglecting it right now--drowning at work!) I wanted to describe what's on the needles now.

First, I'm almost done with a hat made from Rumors and it's a looker! I just love the yarn.

Also working on a striped stocking cap for Max, which I started once and frogged completely. It will be just the ticket when it's done but I hate Microspun! It should be called Microsplit. AAAggghh. I have to use sharp needles to keep from splitting it, but also have to watch incredibly carefully when I am knitting to be sure the needle goes in at the right spot, so it's slow going.

Yeah, I still have that cable scarf on the needles. Haven't touched it. I should either frog it or finish it. It's not that big a deal. But when it comes to time to knit, I just don't want to work on that. :^(

Future projects: I have the sock knitting DVD that one of you recommended to me, the one on two circulars, and I hope to watch it over Thanksgiving vacay, so that I can try my hand at socks. Like a guru knitter, I own sock yarn already but haven't learned enough to put it to use. I also want to knit a throw for my college age DD1 for Christmas. And I have two balls of sweet, soft white cashmere that is begging to be made into baby booties or ???

For anyone who stuck with me to the end of this post, here is a photo of the ghastly tote I made a month or so ago.
I hate the colors. The size was great and that was good information. But I will choose colors with much more care from now on. It is destined to be a kitty bed. And that handle! Not a good idea, braiding the yarn and then felting. Sigh. Live and learn.