Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Answers to Questions

Just so everybody knows – I am not moonlighting as nrrdgrrl just to put extra comments on my blog. She is a totally different person and has her own blog and there are pictures with both of us in and everything.

In response to her questions, though, and no offence to the lady with the gardening question – this one is just quicker and easier to answer and doesn’t need photos or soil or suchlike – here goes :

Bra balls are pretty much what you thought they were. They are essentially two plastic balls inside one another. The outer one opens up, you insert your bra, put the smaller call inside the cups, shove the straps inside the holes on the inside ball, close it up and there you go. It helps stop the cups getting squished in the washing machine (I have a wool cycle) and helps stop the fabric snagging on anything that might be floating about in the wash. It also, as you have seen, works pretty well for blocking children’s hats. I was going to stuff the thing with plastic bags, but I think this method provides better overall ventilation for quick and even drying.

The ball ring (and for a moment when I read your comment I had to do a double take as I had a senile moment and couldn’t think of ANYTHING that you could be talking about, then I thought that maybe you and Nico were getting bored and looking for something to spice up your “private time”, but then, thankfully, the penny dropped and I realised what you were on about) was also concerning me as far as overall wool weight goes. So – I weighed the ring on my diet scale – just short of 5g. Then I weighed an untouched ball (with ring inside) – ball is labelled as 50g – just over 55g. Not exactly conclusive – I could always take both items to the post office and use their scale but as I normally get there at the busiest times I don’t think it would go down to well.

I did manage to make a complete child’s hat with one full ball – very little left over – actually hardly any as I knit the tail thing until I had just about enough to darn in an end – which isn’t bad, is it? It is still posing on the bra ball but now with a bow not a tail. I think it’s quite cute and not too OVERTLY “baby girl pink””.

Finished Hat

I am knitting an adult size hat with the other two balls, with Jackie hoping that I will use very little of the stuff as she wants something made from the leftovers. If I do run out and she asks nicely maybe I’ll buy another ball just for her.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

What a full, active life I lead.

Following on from my previous post – no, I haven’t done any gardening at all this weekend. Some of my vegetables are sprouting, but the sunflower seeds are ignoring me. This confirms that flowers hate me (I have had terrible sinus so far this season) and vegetables love me (which explains why the strangest man in the room always feels the urge to come and talk to me about cabbages and their plans for world domination).

My life for the last few days has been something like this :

Friday :
I did some more knitting with the new Elle 50% wool 50% cotton DK. All in all not an unpleasant experience.

I liked – the wool was nice and soft and knits up pretty nicely. Even though it isn’t that tightly spun I had no problems with it splitting. The colour was gorgeous, I thought of raspberry sorbet all the time I was knitting, and the wool makes the cotton less obvious and gives it a nice bit of bounce. My stitches weren’t quite as even as I get with wool, but that is something I expect and allow for when using cotton.

I disliked – the colour and dye lot information on the INSIDE of the ball band. This is one of those ball bands that sort of impales the ball so you (OK - me – maybe I’m clumsier than most) pretty much have to dismantle the whole thing to see if you have balls from a matched set.

Ball Band

I seriously disliked – the KNOT! Just far enough into the ball to make you wonder if it is worth ripping but then again just far enough that you know you will make a plan. I have another 2 balls to knit into a chemo cap for Georgia (more on her later) and really hope not to have a repeat of this. It isn’t really the experience you want to have when you are trying something for the first time.

Knot Nice

I was totally puzzled by – this thing

Ring Thing

This would explain why I couldn’t find the inside end of the ball when I fiddled around in its insides. The ball was wound around it. I have obviously lived a sheltered life as I have never seen anything like this before. It seems like cheating to me. Kind of like stuffing tissues in your bra. Does this happen often? Am I the only one to find this vaguely creepy? I discovered this after I’d found the knot and decided to re-wind into the centre pull ball I’d been wanting all along with the added check for any additional knots.

Saturday :
This just got away from me. I did the monthly shop in the morning, took the kids to the library to exchange old books for new ones, did a bit of shopping and took the kids for lunch. Then I took Jackie to visit a friend who has just had a knee replacement. I was supposed to be there at 3. I was convinced that I left home at 2:30. The trip took no longer or shorter than it should have but we got there at 4. Either there is a time warp somewhere between our homes or I managed to lose an hour. Then, when I went to make myself a cup of tea I put salt in instead of sugar. For future reference – tea draws much faster when you ladle in a few spoons of salt rather than sugar. It also tastes AWFUL!

Things got better after that, though. We had a nice visit, she liked the books I got her at the Library’s second hand sale (was it terrible of me to ask her to give them back once she’s read them so I can read them too?), and I didn’t lose any more time that day I did also sit and watch “Haunted Mansion” with the kids and get a kiddy hat finished. More on that later.

Sunday :
I blocked the shawl for Georgia. 2 balls of “Splish Splash” cotton, 5.5mm needles (I think) and what I could remember of the Kiri shawl pattern as I was too lazy to check on it when I started.

Yes, I am blocking on the squishy floor things that you get for the kids. I was thinking of getting wood and nails and making a blocking frame so I stop having to borrow beds but I saw these when I was shopping, realised just how much cheaper and time efficient they were compared to making anything and just bought two sets. I think I might buy myself more.




You will get an after picture once I hand it over, hopefully on Saturday at knitting.

Then I delivered some HONEY stuff to Maureen, bought milk for the week, dropped the boy child off at the shops so he could browse the bookshops and took Jackie to a birthday party. After the initial upset when she hurt her ankle on the trampoline it seems that a good time was had by all as she didn’t want to leave.

She was obviously a little tired, though, as this happened within moments of us getting home. You will see from the picture that yes, indeed, cats are the MOST opportunistic animals in the world.

Opportunity Purrs

While she was asleep I washed some underwear and the hat I’d finished on Saturday night. There is a great big i-cord on the top that will get tied into a bow. As I’d chucked everything into the washing machine at once I had bra-balls handy as I was deciding what to stuff the hat with while it dried. How’s this for inventive?


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Does it count?????

If you have decided that you are not going to buy anything to knit as you have TONS of stuff in your stash and really should be using it, and that you really need to stop buying sock needles as you have tons of them started but not many finished, does it count as breaking this “promise” when:

1. You were going to be good and use leftover sock yarn to knit a hat for a friend’s daughter but your own daughter saw it and LOVED it and it fit her and she looks SO CUTE in it (scroll down to earlier post to see happy Jackie in pink hat) and now you need to make something else before you see her again in November.
2. You need to use it to make a chemo cap for a different friend as you were going to make her one but used the cotton to make her a shawl instead and she is worried about losing her hair and you’d like to have this done by November too.
3. Buying the wool is REALLY a favour to yet another friend who was wondering how it would knit up but has no real project planned for it and can’t justify getting any just to “test”.
4. All your sock needles (well, at least the 2.5mm DPNs whose location you can think of right now) are full and you want to do the mystery sock on Sock Knitters Anonymous on Ravelry next month and you need to make your daughter “long socks” because she asked so nicely and the are cheap and bamboo and you’ve never used bamboo DPNs before (bamboo circulars yes, by the same maker, and they are NICE) so really this is just an experiment not an actual purchase.

Because – if all these mitigating circumstances don’t count then I have been a BAD GIRL!

Wool is 3 balls of “Elle Elite DK” 50% cotton, 50% wool, colour 034, feels lovely in the ball, will hopefully be just as lovely knit up. Jackie, who grabbed it and yelled “Thank you Mommy” the moment it came out of the bag has been told that it is not for her but that I will make her something with any leftovers.

Just so you know – I do get some knitting done every now and again – see Michael’s next sock below. Trekking (XXL), colour 23, pattern made up as I go along (and, if I’m being a GOOD GIRL – see above – noted on an index card so I can recreate the second sock to match it), stitch pattern called “Gingerbread Rib” from a book I borrowed from Miriam – “Vogue Knitting – The Ultimate Sock Book”.

Gingerbread Sock
Originally uploaded by jaynewagner

Commenter who asked about gardening with yoghurt tubs – that post will come over the weekend if I have a moment to plant another one.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

No Blocking, Please – there’s RUGBY

Well, blocking has been delayed until next weekend as Jill’s house was taken over by her son’s friends who arrived to watch the World Cup Final. All her beds are occupied and hence unavailable as blocking surfaces. We WON so I am willing to postpone shawl blocking (and darning in of ends) until the next available opportunity.

By the way – isn’t it AMAZING how wonderful and understanding knitters can be? Most people, when asked if they have a double bed with clean sheets in a lockable room and if you can borrow it for the day, and if they mind if you get it wet and stick pins and suchlike into it, start giving you funny looks and ask why you can’t just go to a hotel.

In the meantime I have occupied my copious leisure hours with planting seeds in the hope of growing a few of my own vegetables this year. In the spirit of recycling they are all in empty yoghurt containers, sitting in (new) cat litter boxes and covered with cling film (I am thinking of getting some sheets of perspex instead) so they have their own little greenhouse type things to grow in. I planted some sunflower seeds last week which are supposed to take 7 to 14 days to germinate and I can see NO LEAVES yet. I hope they arrive soon as I’m not really into delayed gratification AT ALL.

I have also made a double batch of Low GI cheese muffins so I have a good grab and go breakfast in the freezer, and currently have Low GI banana bread baking. As far as the muffins go, it is a GOOD THING that I made a double batch as the family laid in to them and only half of them are left. They are a fairly quick and easy mix to make, though, so if they remain popular I’ll show the brother and son how to make them and they can keep everybody supplied. The daughter, who declared that she wouldn’t like them, allowed herself to be persuaded to try them and now won’t stop eating them.

In knitting news I’m trying to get all the bits of the knitted bear (present for daughter’s teacher) done and reading through the knitting books I borrowed from Miriam. So many patterns – so little time.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I have Photos!

I have clever children – they both got Bronze medals for their Kumon – Michael for Maths, Jackie for English.

I have finished things:
Pink hat for Jackie – my standard patternless hat using the wool left over from her pink frilly socks.

Horcrux socks (from Six Sox Knitalong) for Michael – wool is one of the Opal hand dyes. It looked like the inside of a nappy on the skein but I think it knit up quite nicely. Michael has been told that, the next time he thinks I love his sister more than him, he must remember that I cast on 80 stitches for these socks. There are 40 rows in the heel flap, 98 rows in the foot, and 22 rows in the toe.

I started something – Margaret Tudor from Tudor Roses. This is the centre front panel.

I’m off to borrow a bed for blocking on Sunday (weather permitting) so there may be more pics then.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I have been BUSY

I got my Ravelry invite (I’m on there as MsTarzan if anybody is interested), I made a shawl for a friend whose cancer has decided to come back to visit, I have finished a pair of socks for the 17YO (Horcrux socks from Six Sox knitalong), I have cast on for Margaret Tudor from Tudor Roses.

Now I just need to find the time to add all the new buttons to my blog, tidy the place up a bit, and see about POSTING more often.
It would also help if my PC decided that it didn't actually HATE blogger with a passion and would speed up transactions as opposed to taking as long as possible to do ANYTHING.