Friday, June 28, 2013

After Knitting...

This was before, and what you see here is after.   See didn't I tell you that felting was magical?  Coincidentally, (or not) this pattern (Felted Moebius Basket) is from Cat Bordi's "A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting".   I love, love, love, that book.

Felting is also very forgiving (just one more reason to love it).   As you may recall, I messed with the pattern just a little.   I used two strands of Manos rather than one and I skipped the applied I-cord edging.   After running it through the wash twice, I was thrilled with the heavier basket but not so much by the longer handle.   After contemplating, and rejecting, the idea of removing the handle all together, I decided to cut the handle, remove two inches and then sew the ends together (being careful to keep the moebius twist) with left over yarn.   At that point it looked a bit Frankenstein, but after yet another run through the wash (to felt the new seam), I am really happy with it.   The basket got a bit smaller but is still big enough for my needs (a portable knitting notion keeper) and the seam is only visible when I look for it.   I am pleased.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Magical Knitting

If you have never (intentionally) felted your knitting before than I bet this does not look very impressive at all.   However, if you have, than you know that this picture is just the precursor to the magic that is felting.

As chronicled here, I have had a yen for a Felted Moebius Basket for which friend Kerri, very kindly, passed along a hank of happy pink Manos.  I was happily knitting away this weekend when I ran out of yarn just a few rows away from the finish (Eeek!).   Once again, Kerri came to the rescue.  Today she brought me the "little bit" (that turned out to be more than enough) of pink yarn that she had left over from her original project.   Just a few quick rows and my knitting came to a very happy ending.

Now all I have to do is get the laundry done so that I can get to the magical part. :-)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Our house

Our House
Hubby goes to our house every day to pick up the mail and keep an eye on progress made.   I stopped going with him a couple of weeks ago.   It just made me sad to see our home in such a state (dark and smokey smelling).    The other night, however, in order to save my love the extra drive time, I suggested that I just go and stay in the car.  Once there, however, I did not.

Do you know, it was not nearly so bad as I thought it would be.   The walls and ceiling are there, and it only smelled humid and closed (which you would expect).   There is more work to be done before the painting, and carpeting can begin but it is coming along a lot faster than we expected.  

I've already been asked to pick a carpet and start thinking about light fixtures and paint colors.   We've been looking at kitchen appliances and washer/dryers.   At first it felt like things would never be back to normal but now it feels like we are moving right along.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Happy Knitting

Photo taken by me @ Starbucks

What you see here are ingredients to the Mobius Basket from Cat Bordi's A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting.   I made one for my mother a couple of years ago that still serves as a catch-all on her coffee table.

This one is for me, for knitting notions.   I remember the pattern being fast and interesting, which suits my mood.   The lovely pink yarn (Manos Maxima) is mine courtesy of Kerri.   She says that knitting pink makes her happy.  She wants me to be happy too.  It is very nearly as bright in person as it looks on my screen.  Not my usual thing but, again, it suits my mood.  My plan is to double the yarn, in the hopes of getting a firmer basket (although, I hope, not bigger).

Monday, June 17, 2013

Survivor knitting...

The night of the fire, after the flames were out and the giant fans had blown through the remains of our home, the firemen let me run in and grab our meds from the kitchen.  To their obvious consternation,  I added a quick trip to the living room to grab the three knitting bags/baskets that were sitting by the open patio sliders.   The bags did a great job of protecting their contents from the smoke and soot.   Only the top projects were smokey and stinky.    So far, I have been able to comfortably work on most of the deeper projects.    This Linen Tunic is one of those survivor projects.

The Linen Tunic caught my eye and landed on my needles more than four years ago.    This is what I was working on when I left for vacation and ended up moving to Florida.   By the time it came out of storage, I had moved on to other things.   Then, recently, while searching my napping projects for something else, it once again caught my eye.   Now four years, a major move and a house fire later, it is finally done.   It has been soaked, spun, and hung to dry.   All that remains is a quick iron and it is good to go.    Assuming I stay on task, I will be wearing this baby on Tuesday when I meet the girls for lunch and a knit.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pool Knitting

Pool Knitting

We are settling into our apartment very well.    The boys are surviving a shared room and Jack has, thankfully, adjusted to apartment living with no problems.   Having to walk him rather than just set him loose in the yard is different for all of us but so far, so good.   

I have always like condo/townhouse living, so living in an apartment for a few months suits me just fine.   One of the things I could really get used to is our daily swim in a pool that someone else takes care of.   Hubby swims laps, where I am more likely to get wet and get out.   That means that I have time to kill before we head back home.  As all knitters do, I put this time to good use.

My Amy Butler bag made it back from the cleaners, clean and smelling like nothing (awesome!).  However, I was warned that the process can be tough on some fabrics and that was the case here.   The straps are fraying where they did not used to.   Still, it is plenty fine for a pool knitting bag and that is it's new purpose in life.   It easily holds a light shawl, a couple of dollars (just in case), a Kindle, phone, keys, and....knitting.    

The yarn is a fire survivor (it was in my trunk).   It is I Love Cotton left over from when I still shopped at Hobby Lobby (before they refused give their employees legally mandated health coverage).    It really is a nice yarn and I will miss it when I am all out.   In any case, this yarn is destined to be a Wingspan Shawl.   Which means that what you see above will someday, hopefully, look like this.

This is the third time I made one of these.   Obviously, I really like the pattern.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Home is where we are

Wednesday, Hubby, T2, and I moved into the apartment our insurance company found for us.   Thursday T2 and I picked up Jack (the dog).  Friday T1 came home.    It is wonderful having us all under the same roof again.

The apartment is very nice (think high end hotel grade).  It is furnished, has a pool, and is very close to home and friends.   It isn't our house, but it is already becoming home.   We have all been having trouble sleeping, hopefully that will get better here.

There were a lot of faux plants when we got there.  All of which are now in the top kitchen cabinets (the ones I can't reach).   We were able to rescue a few of our house plants and now those are scattered around the apartment.

I've been knitting a couple of things.   Hubby's other sock for one and my "sticky" knitting.  I finished the black Simple Joys Shawl and a dishcloth but have yet to get  back to the Linen Tunic.   I've also started and discarded two mandala place mats.   That idea my not actually happen.   I love the yarns (Paton's Grace and Cotton Classic)  and the pattern is pretty straight forward.   Although pretty, both seem too thin for placemats.   I am considering Sugar & Cream but may let the idea simmer for a bit.   I can't keep buying yarn and not using it.   One, we can't afford it and two, it does not hold with my plan to be more purposeful about my yarn purchases.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Spinning my wheel...

As you can see, my spinning wheel survived the fire.   One of the contractors was kind enough to give me a mild cleaner and towels so that I could clean it myself, which I did this afternoon.    I need to order some oil and then I will be able to give it a whorl.

In the mean time, we are this close to being in a lovely apartment.   We toured the facility on Friday and really liked what we saw.   The unit is being cleaned today and we will be able to see that tonight or tomorrow.   Then, according to my housing angel at the insurance company, all we need to do is sign the contracts and we are good to go.   Our hosts have been wonderful but we are really anxious to be in our own space and to bring Jack home (he is driving his hosts crazy).

The adjuster tasked with valuing my yarn came on Saturday.   He is writing off the whole stash.   Just watching him inventory my stash was so sad that I had to leave the house (breathing wise I am not supposed to be there anyway).   The good news is that he and the cleaners think that my napping projects might be salvageable.   Almost all of them are in sealed ziplock bags.   There are at least two Koigu projects in there.    Since that is the commercial yarn that it hurts the most to lose, I would be grateful to have a couple of things to work on while I think about how I want to handle my yarn buying from here on out.

Knitting time has been slim.    Hubby's completed sock came through it's cleaning good enough (just a bit fuzzy) so I feel comfortable working on the second one.   My black Simple Joys Shawl is only slightly smelly.   I was already two thirds of the way into the seed stitch edge so I decided to go ahead and cast off.   At that point I can soak and wash it.  That has worked pretty well so far.   The Ridgely was in a ziplock at the bottom of a tote that was right by an open window.   The bag was sooty but the Ridgely looks and smells undamaged.   I have put that into a new bag and will start working on it again as soon as my brain feels less fried.