Monday, February 27, 2012

30 minute power post!

Hello! Prepare for another 30min procrastination blog post!

First let's look at a bunch of projects other knitters at SnB have finished!

Katherine's perfectly slouchy hat.

Kat brought in some silk she dyed with indigo.
This one was my favorite. 

Some of the knitted squares Clara and Mary made for the animal shelter!

Clara in her new sweater! Awesome work! (And props to Mary for seaming the whole thing)

Jordan III, Pom-Pom Queen

Mary acting nonchalant, but in reality barely tolerating the musical guest that took over the SUB and made conversation near impossible at the last meeting. 

I have nothing new to add to the finished projects photo stream right now because 1) I still have not bought blocking wires for the stole (snowy conditions meant I had to drive right through Columbia without any stops) 2) My sister has been finicky about her hat.

I suppose that's not being fair. She wasn't being intentionally finicky. I will say that when someone sends you two pictures of the same hat with varying degrees of slouch and you say "The first one," make sure the picture shown first is actually the one you meant. When I showed up at her apartment for my birthday visit I probably only had an hour of knitting left. When I let her take a look, she mentioned she wanted the finished hat to be extra slouchy. I blinked a few times before reminding her that the picture she indicated was actually the less slouchy version. Texts were reviewed to see who was correct (yours truly). To make a long story involving the location of extra yarn and annoying decreases very short, Jackie didn't get her hat that weekend. To pacify her, I gave her an extra hat I had with me. I actually made two of these suckers since the pattern was so fun and I had extra yarn. After spending five minutes deciding if she liked it, Jackie finally came 'round when she realized the colorwork made little hearts. I believe her exact words were, "THERE ARE HEARTS ON IT!?!?"
Content with her substitute hat. We are now non-matching twins with matching hats. 
Time to get back to my mammalogy review. I must admit I'm more of a fan of invertebrates, but I see the importance of certain mammals, if only for their contributions to the yarn industry.

Monday, February 6, 2012

I wrote this to procrastinate.

I'm writing in an attempt to keep from studying (or really, to take a break from it) so I only have 30 minutes to churn out a satisfactory blog post! 

Today I finished my stole (cheers! ovation!) while watching season two of Downton Abbey (watch this!!!). Given that I have a moderately stressful week ahead, I really shouldn't have been watching TV at all and I should have been saving the knitting for times of great need. Despite knowing this, I could not help myself since both the pattern and show are so addictive (why do you stir up such trouble Mrs. Bates?!?).

It's off the needles! Now to block to the "Six feet by 17inches" dimensions
Anyway, it should be no surprise that to further delay studying I dunked the stole in the bathtub as soon as it was off my needles. Only afterwards did I remember that most of my blocking pins were at home and I only had one box with me. Since I had a soggy mass of wool, however, I had to figure something out. 

I tried to block best I could using Madeline's "edge of a towel" trick. The truth of the matter is that I'm just not very good at blocking. The pattern insists that you use blocking wires to achieve the best results but of course I ignored this (why didn't I order them with my yarn shipment?). In the end I got an undesirably scalloped edge. Arg! I remembered reading about the Yarn Harlot using string to block her shawls out (I'm sure this is a widespread practice, this is just where I learned of it). I decided to try that on one side at least and use the rest of the pins on the other. By this point I was sick of the blocking process, but I rather enjoyed threading my scrap yarn up the length of the wrap. The lighting in my room isn't great right now (reminder: replace two lightbulbs that have gone out) so I had to dig out my headlamp to do a proper job. In the end the yarn helped, but it was impossible to stretch the project wide enough. Things weren't looking particularly neat around the edges either.
Threading up one side

One straight side + one wonky side= fail
For the next few days I'll have a room I can't walk in that smells of damp wool. I don't mind the smell really. I associate it with achievement, perhaps because of how long I was trapped in a room with my first sweater as I tried to block it out. 

The whole experience was a bit annoying, but the brilliant thing about knitting is that I can just reblock it later! I plan on stopping by Hillcreek Yarn Shoppe on Friday to pick up some blocking wires (here's hoping they have some!) and frustrating my mother by blocking on the guest bed at home this weekend. I'm rather excited to do a proper job at blocking it. The pattern (Guernsey Wrap, in case you don't recall) has been a blast to knit. I could see myself making a few more as presents, especially after I've invested in blocking wires. 

Up next on the knitting docket is a hat for my twin sister who has a birthday on Thursday (I'll let you connect the dots). The yarn shipment came in on Saturday and I have to admit it helped motivate me to finish my stole. 

Okay, back to studying plant anatomy. I promise an update on SnB activity will come soon! For now, look at Katherine's finished sweater!

Note to self: knit sweaters that fit this flatteringly
My 30 minutes are up. I was only able to proofread twice, so pardon any grammatical errors.