Thursday, January 25, 2007

How to wash yarn?

One of the things I need to do, besides actually uploading knitting pics and bringing them to work on my thumb drive, is figure out what the heck to do with this yarn. I have a pattern in mind, just a nice and simple v-neck sweater with ribbing at the wrists and bottom, but this yarn is that funky stuff made for machine knitters. Meaning it's been treated with some kind of oily, soapy stuff.

Based on what I've read online, I need to wash and dry this yarn before using it, because if I knit it with the goo still on, my sweater might get distorted once I block it. That's bad. I found this yarn online for about $25, which I couldn't pass up (that, and I love this color! Hard to find, believe it or not). I was so excited at the price I didn't think through the mechanics of washing 1,000yds+ of yarn in the tiny shoebox I call my apartment. I don't have a bathtub, just a standup shower. I don't have a back yard, or a slop sink. I do have a bucket big enough (I think) to hold this yarn plus water, but then I'm faced with a winding dilemma. Do I unwind it from this ball into a large hank, tied off at intervals with string to keep it mostly untangled? I have a feeling that once it dried I'd have a devil of a time re-winding it again.


Any suggestions or personal experience I could put to good use? I installed one of those awesome visitor-counter things, so I know (some) people are reading this. Feel free to add your opinions, I'd love to hear them!

Monday, January 15, 2007

I [heart] Twanky!

Twenty points to anyone who gets the reference!

Ok, I know none of you will get it, but it's from "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" which, in my oh-so-humble opinion, is one of the best tv shows ever produced. The gorgeous and sexy Madame Twanky is the *cough* female alter-ego of Michael Hurst (who played Iolaus). The colors in the pin are inspired by the colors and shapes in Iolaus' vest. I made it to represent the Hercules love at the Xena Convention this weekend. I was one of the extremely few people there who were in the Herc camp ;)

Anyway, onto crafty nonsense. I found a pattern for a simple knitted circle in "The Knitters Bible", which is the outermost ring. The middle ring is actually fabric that I found (which I'm hoarding away for one of my other 2007 resolutions: Make a scarf patterned after the patches in Iolaus' vest), and the middle ring is store-bought felt. I used my meak embroidery skills for the words and the outline of the heart, and I needle felted some pretty pink roving into the middle of the heart. (Question: at what point does roving cease to be roving and become felt instead? Would this technically be called felt, since I performed the process of needle felting to get it?)

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Green Dragon, Rearing it's Ugly Head

Can I be rich yet? I mean c'mon, I graduated college, I'm working in my chosen field...can't we skip the years of toiling away at low-level, and then mid-level, jobs until finally I'm an executive producer? Can we just skip those years so I can afford to buy this?It's a knitters tote bag, made by this brilliant company:Offhand Designs. This is their "Zhivago Weekender" tote bag, and it comes in a billion different colors.

Think of all the knitting you could shove in this bad baby! Not to mention how stylish it would look! The price? Oh, just $220.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New Years Resolutions

I haven't posted in so long, I don't know where to begin. First, an explanation. On the last show I was on, I brought my laptop to work everyday. On this show, I have a mac in my office. It's much much easier to manipulate pictures when all you have to do is upload them at night and then mess with them (and post them) at work during your downtime. I find it hard to actually get on my computer when I get home at 8pm...I just want to knit and watch tv and relax.

Enough excuses. Here's my list of Knitting Resolutions for 2007:

1) Learn cabling. Oh wait, I figured this out right before Christmas - Ha!

2) Learn to do colorwork, both intarsia and fair isle. I think I can do intarsia, after using the basic technique on a pair of slippers for my mom for Christmas. Fair isle is another story entirely, and looks slightly difficult. That said, the end result is gorgeous!

2) Finish my $*&^#! poncho! Grr. I need to get to an lys and pay someone to help me get over this hurdle.

3) Stop buying yarn unless a) it's on super-duper-prices-won't-be-this-low-again sale b) it's one of a kind and I'll never be able to pick it up elsewhere or c) I have a project in mind that I'll be able to start within the next month. Leaving myself a lot of loopholes, eh? :)

4) The biggest and most important resolution: BE PATIENT!! SLOW DOWN!! DOUBLE CHECK!! It took me until after bind off and sewing in the ends to realize one 1/2 of my recently completed Fetching was one cable round longer than the other. How does something that big just pass me by? Oy. I believe knitting was put into my life to help me be more patient and methodical, and while I have definitely improved, I'm nowhere near where I need to be.

And just for fun, some pictures!

First, we have the winder I bought before Thanksgiving with a 50% off coupon from Winding without a swift is, well, difficult, but I have a strange system where I hang the hank off my left arm and wind with my right hand, veeeery slowly, occasionally unraveling or shifting the hank so the yarn doesn't get tangled.

And my Top Secret sweater - done!! This is a shot of it blocking. As you can see, the only flat surface in my apartment isn't big enough for my sweater, thus the arms hung off. I believe this is why the arms on this sweater are about four inches too long. *sigh* I'm going to cut and use lifelines (I'm scared!) and take off about 3 inches.

*drool* Patons SWS...I love it! Simple stockinette hat - forgot where I got the pattern. I didn't even bother blocking it, though it's only been cold enough a total of 3 times (all of which were in Florida over the Thanksgiving holidays) to wear it. Hence why I love hats, but have no use for them. Although this weekend it's forecasted to get into the 30's (eep!) in Los Angeles, so maybe I'll wear this one all day around my apartment. Actually, I have a geek*con to go to this weekend, so no hat for me. Geeks unite!

Aww, Emma's helping me knit! Ok, no she's not - she's getting in the way. This is my hideously expensive alpaca yarn that I used for my mom's scarf. Emma somehow a hold of one of the balls while I was gone for Christmas and I ended up being forced to cut out pieces of the yarn from the ball because she had ripped it with her kitty claws.

Projects in the works right now (No, my WIP bars haven' t been updated):
-V-neck sweater. I have the yarn, now I just need to wash it and wind it. (It's that "pre-treated" stuff used for machine knitters, so it's covered in some kind of oil).
-Scarf for my grandma. She requested one after seeing my mom's. Hers is pale pink and it's a "Joann's Exclusive" yarn, which really means next to nothing in the long run. Perfect color though :)
-Knitty's "Danica" in Patons SWS (different color than my hat, I think. Actually, I can't decide). I'm inspired by this knitter's recent creation which I saw in the Knitting Livejournal community. Beautiful!! And I got a $40 gift certificate to Michael's from my awesome sister, so maybe I'll use $15 of it towards the SWS.