Monday, April 28, 2008
Here be the components (well, minus the yarn, copious amounts of Glad Wrap and a few other bits and bobs). I think the food colouring was 94 cents a bottle, the vinegar about $1.20 and the gloves about the same (for 80 gazillion pairs), so I felt merrily thrifty. Yes I did.
Here is yarn merrily sitting in my vegetable steamer (or at least it's a vegetable steamer when husbandy type creature isn't defiling it with his nasty dim sims). The instructions I was going by suggested a baking dish, but I didn't really have anything suitable, so instead I just used a steamer in a saucepan of simmering water, covered the top with foil and then wodged a confectionary thermometer through a hole in the edge so I could keep tabs on the temperature. Worked very well this way.
And here is the finished yarn. Yes, this is a lousy photo (well, they all are frankly), but it was the only one that came even close to showing the colours of the end result; it came out so vibrant that I just want to eat the yarn. I think I'm going to make something to keep my hands warm now that the weather is getting nippy.
So, all in all it was terrific fun, and I still can't believe just how well it worked. I am not a person for whom things involving any level of science/competance/neatness come easily, yet this worked like a charm. Nothing went wrong (!). This doesn't happen very often.
I'm so glad that I've found a good method to do this. I love colour, and more to the point, I love weird combinations of colour. So now I can indulge my perverse senses and thoroughly blind everyone else. Sounds good to me. I can't stop concocting wicked plans in my head, and there's a big ball of unsuspecting sock yarn in my lounge room that's going to get it next...
In other news, um, well, not that much. I am, among other things, a partially reformed binge reader (a reformation due more to lack of anything grabbing me lately than any actual inclination to change my wicked ways) and a sci-fi/fantasy addict. There has not been much knitting lately because a bit over a week ago I picked up the first book in Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy series, and then felt compelled to read for the better part of my waking hours until I finished the rest of the books. Oh my, what a series; I was in thrall, there's no other phrase for it. It's been a long time since a series picked me up by the scruff of my neck and dragged me away kicking and screaming, but this one did it. Thoroughly recommended (though I'd rather not consider right now the classes/meals I missed in the process).
Anyway, so all of the binge reading has meant that not a great deal of knitting took place. I finished the tea towel/wipey cloth I was making - not particularly exciting there. More interestingly, I finished my first Hedera sock and am pleased to announce that it fits my great big hulking man-feet perfectly. Consider me pleased. I've already taken too many blurry pictures today though, so there shall be no iffy photographic evidence of said sock-fittage until a later date. I'm sure the world can wait...
Now, off to read more (did I mention there was a follow on series...), drink my tea, and fondle my lovely dyed yarn. Mwa ha ha ha...
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
The weird thing is that I still love it; it was fun to knit, the design is awesome, and I think it would suit me if I'd just made it smaller. I am still very much a fan of this pattern, and I very much intend to try it again some day (maybe in time for next summer, since in Melbourne the weather for tank tops seems to have passed...). That said, it's still going to be frogged because the yarn is too lovely to languish sadly in something that I am, in all honesty, probably never going to wear (the colour! I love this colour so much I could eat it).
I'm not really sure what happened with gauge; my swatch said it was bang on, but then again I wasn't sensible about checking throughout. I have absolutely no idea why I didn't measure the first hexagon after I finished it. Really. It was stupid to a colossal degree. I guess I'm just not long on common sense most of the time... Oh well, that's life, eh? And I suppose it wasn't all gauge either; courtesy of pizza shop drudgery and not enough solid meals, I've lost about ten kilos since I started it. So any existing gauge issues would have been exacerbated by the fact that there just wasn't as much of me for it to cover as there was when I started. Meh.
Anyway, I was having a crappy morning (splitting headaches, essay proposals that won't get written no matter how many times I order my brain to do them, and having to write kiss up letters to apply for jobs that I don't even want do not put me in a fantastic mood), and when that happens, I usually try and cheer myself up by doing something constructive. This was that constructive thing. So now the Basalt tank is finished. I can bid it a happy farewell, and go on to other things. Yay for closure! I was, after all, getting a little guilty about leaving the poor thing kicking around my study like it had been...
Monday, April 14, 2008
I was a little nervous about the sizing. My feet are, well, perfectly in proportion to my 5'11 self, which is a nice way of saying that they're great big whacking man-sized feet (about an 11 to 11 1/2 in women's sizes, and wide to boot). Which I am attempting to knit pretty, lacey socks for (there's probably something flawed in this thinking). But I've been trying on as I go (somewhat obsessively, truth be told) and so far they're going on okay. Let's just hope that it keeps up. I saw someone on a forum say that they'd made them fit fine with no modifications, and they had bigger feet than me, so I'm trying to take solace in that. I guess that even if they turn out too large, I can always give them to someone else...
And now a few musings about Ravelry: I remember being embarrassingly gleeful the first time someone favourited one of the things that I had made (I think it was my silly multicoloured beanie, but it could have been the Cleo tank... I can't even remember). I recall the first time I got a favourite for something that wasn't even finished yet. Then I moved onto watching my various items compete for how many little hearts they could accrue - the results were quite surprising really (my Greenjeans was a clear leader for a while, but it's now been overtaken by my Leaf ties cardigan - which has now made it into double figures :D - which is odd since I thought the Greenjeans was far better in terms of yarn, fit and the quality of the knitting). And now I've had my first unfavourited item! This amuses me, which is good thing, because I suppose if it didn't I'd get pedantic and try and figure out why on earth I fell from this random person's favour!
The whole favouriting system is so nice; a really great feature. I think it works especially well for people like me who don't really interact in real life with many people who appreciate knitting/knitted items; gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling anyway. Even though I'm sometimes a little baffled at people's tastes... I'm surprised that as many people have favourited my stuff as have done, because really, I'm not a particularly good knitter technically speaking. And my ideas of colour can be... well... weird.
Anyway, that's enough knitting blather. Back to the sock for a bit, and then I'll go and play with my poor languishing imaginary friends (ie. Anna shall attempt to write). And then, if I'm feeling game, I'll bolster myself with another cup to tea and go into battle against the Corporations Law reading... Let's hope I make it back alive...
Friday, April 11, 2008
Also, speaking of Boxing Day sales, why do I keep buying mohair yarns when I really don't like mohair very much at all? I can't seem to stop, and then they languish sadly in the stash for months while I glare at them and wonder what I was thinking. Maybe it's the pretty colours...
I've been reading a lot about yarn dyeing the last little while, so now I'm getting an itch. This may or may not have anything to do with the fact that I have a research essay proposal to write for next week... Stupid attention span. Thankfully, I'm prohibited by my current financial situation from progressing further down this particular path of procrastination; I can't justify buying yarn just to dye it (no, I mean REALLY can't justify it... this isn't the usual can't justify where really you can, this is a matter of choosing between yarn and meals with vegetables), and because I tend to go in for dark colours, none of the purposeless stuff in my stash will really cut it.
On that note, finally, my hoarding instinct pays off. The last month or so the financial situation here has been, well, kind of dire. But, even on days when there has been nothing (and I mean nothing) in my bank account, I still have plenty (and I mean plenty) of yarn to knit with. And so it bloody well should be!
No, I have nothing particularly interesting to say, or any new blurry photos to post. Just the announcement about socks. And mohair. And rants about how it sucks to be broke.
I think I need another cup of tea.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Something that may or may not have come up in this blog is that not only do I like to knit and write (both not all that proficiently at times), but I'm also, well, a little bit (okay, a lot) odd. Kind of eccentric, would be the nice way of saying it. Anyway, the other day I'd just washed the socks in question and was trying to finish the drying process off in the small smattering of midday sunshine that the fickle gods of Melbourne weather were kind enough to bestow on us. It was only until a person walked by on the footpath and looked at me oddly that I realised that I was singing a song to the socks (a song all about socks and how great they were). Hmmm... Probably not healthy.
Anyway, maybe next time there'll be finished objects. We can only hope. At least I'll try very hard not to be dead next time I post. Make no promises though...