Thursday, June 30, 2005

Some things I've knit recently

Here are some photos of some of the stuff I've knit in the past year or so. I'm not crazy about the photos because I never think this stuff looks good hanging up or tossed across something. Maybe I'll find someone to model them next time or get my old man to take pictures of them on me.

  • some things I've knit
  • Wednesday, June 29, 2005

    Dolly always gets left out...

    Don't cry Dolly, we love you too! By popular demand, here is Dolly.

    E-Z Slippers Part II

    Vi-ola! They turned out very nice. Now that they've dried (takes a couple of days) I've added some strips of suede to the bottom to keep them from being too slippery. They are very slippery on the bottom if you don't do this. It's easy: just cut bits of suede to make sure it's under the heel and ball of the foot and glue it on with fabric glue (I used "Unique Stitch" glue). I went for maximum foot shaped coverage here, cuz I don't want my dad slipping all over the place!

    Monday, June 27, 2005

    E-Z Felted Slippers

    Here are some slippers I am making for my dad for a belated Fathers Day/thank-you-for-the-terra-cotta-warrior gift. I used Nancy Lindberg's pattern for "Felted Scuffs". Note that the first time I made these felted slippers a few years ago, it was as a Fathers Day gift and they turned out GIANT---around size 13 (my dad wears 9). He wore them anyway, to show his love for his, er, slow daughter. You need to make sure of these things: that your water is very hot, that your detergent does NOT say "safe for hand washables" on the label, and that you put your item to be felted item into a zippered pillowcase or some such thing to keep fuzzies from really messing up your washer. It's also helpful to throw some jeans or towels in with it, as agitation and "roughing it up" actually help the process along. I use the timer on my stove and go down to the laundry room and check them every 5-7 minutes to check sizing. If you have an old washer that lets you keep re-setting the initial wash time you can get buy with one fill up of hot water and just keep setting the time back. Since the water's so hot I use tongs to pull the pillowcase out.

    This is the "before" pic. They are about 14 inches long for a men's size 9. They should be shrunk to about 10.5 inches long. I made an extra bottom for each and sewed it on to make them nice and comfy. The "after" pic will follow shortly.

    My new friend from China!

    I remember getting the National Geographic magazine that had a huge spread on the "Terra Cotta Army" discovered in China in the mid 70's. I was amazed by them then and I'm still blown away at the size and beauty of the most quiet army in the world. My dad just went to China, and I had one request for a souvenir...

    Look! he's asking me to marry him!

    Thanks, Dad!

    Here's a link to the Museum of Qin Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses
  • terra_cotta_army
  • Sunday, June 26, 2005

    The spectre of Spector

    My husband really wanted me to post this here. Thank you, Chrissie, for sending us this enlightening photo of Phil Spector. It seems that Phil believes his hair will save him from the long arm of the law. As Chrissie said, "River Deep, Hair High".

    Not what Tennessee Williams had in mind

    I was just out behind my house calling for Angelo and I admit, wearing a nightgown. Just when I thought I could get back in without being seen, some churchies came walking by (there's a church across the street from our house). I felt like I must look like Baby Doll or some other tawdry "Sunday Morning Coming Down" loser---out in her yard in a dirty nightie at 11:00 on a Sunday, for heavens sake. Oh well, judge not lest ye be judged yerself!

    Oh, Don Gato was a Cat...

    This is Angelo.

    I have lived with cats all my life and have never known one quite like Angelo. He has a really great sense of humor, and he talks a lot. He is also the poster child for that whole "curiosity killed the cat" thing. He sticks very close to home now, but in his younger days he liked to roam a little and he came home with:
    1) a black eye, if a black cat can get a black eye, from what the vet decided was "blunt force trauma"
    2) an abscess on his chest that we had to lance and pack with hot compresses for a week (pictured here), and
    3) a broken scapula and other internal injuries from deciding to climb into our neighbors yard at the very moment when they let their two big dogs out to toss around the old catskin.
    It was while Angelo was being treated for the tangle with the dogs that our vet diagnosed him with Feline CRF---Chronic Renal Failure. We were pretty broken up about it, but that was almost 2 years ago now and he's still with us, he's actually gained a little weight and looks great. We have to give him subcutaneous fluid injections (100 mL of lactated ringer solution) every other day, but it's a small price to pay. If you have a kitty with CRF, don't give up hope! They can still live quite a while, happy and relatively healthy if you're willing to give them the special care they need. He is, at this very moment meowing at the door and tormenting one of our other two cats to get us to let him outside to play in the grass. He is still allowed to go outside if either my husband or I can hang around with him and keep him close to home. Going outside is absolutely his favorite thing in the world, it would be torture to deny him this. Our other two cats (one of whom is pictured in the "good Morning Judge" entry below, my old friend Oni, who is 16 and golden!) are thankfully a little less interested in exploring. Here's angelo now:

    Saturday, June 25, 2005

    Lush so far...

    My big idea is to knit this (flat) pattern in the round. I dread seaming, and with this specialized yarn that shrinks by 20% after you've knit it up, I thought it might look more even if I was able to put it all together before washing it. You can't sew together a Rowan Denim item before washing it because the seaming yarn will shrink and it will get all bent out of shape. Anyway, I wanted to try converting patterns to knitting in the round, so here goes...
    First I knit the bottoms of both the front and back separately for the first 4 inches or so, and then joined them where the side splits end on the pattern. I actually shortened it by an inch or so by leaving out one of the vertical diamond shapings on the lower edge. I am short and don't want it to be too long.

    I marked the side "seam" stitches, and then decided to just purl each one to create a fake seam.

    I have opted to purl where the pattern calls for beads this time. I want to be able to concentrate on the changes I'm making in the pattern and the purled stitches still make for a nice design.

    Here it is so far. I have gotten to the armhole shaping, where you actually do have to divide it and knit the front and the back separately from here to the shoulders. I found that my guage changed when I switched from knitting every round to stockinette (because I'm now going back and forth). I had to unravel a bunch and switch to a smaller needle, hope it works well and doesn't show...


    I'm not a lush (anymore), but I am trying to re-work the Rowan Denim People book pattern called "Lush" into a circular pattern from a flat pattern. I've been struggling a bit and thought I'd like to keep a record of the process, so I'm doing so here, I hope. Here's what the pattern in the book looks like:I'm making mine in the darkest blue (watch out if you're wearing white!).
    Note that there is great info on using Rowan Denim on a blog called "All Tangled Up: Knitting From Across the Pond". In fact, she and a few others are my inspiration for trying to do this publicly, as they have saved my ass when I've run into a knitting brick wall! I will have to go snap some pics of where I am so far and I guess I should figure out how to describe what I've changed. More soon.

    Good Morning Judge