Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
This Christmas I decided to try to cut down on the paper waste that always seems to encroach. I used this pattern and a bunch of stashed red and green fabric, plus about 6 yards I bought from the sale bin at JoAnn. My idea was to make red bags and green bags so the tree would look festive & Christmasy, but not red-and-green bags that would look too Christmasy if people wanted to use them AFTER the holiday for shopping bags, which is the intent--reusability and reduction of waste.
Posted by Dana at 1:47 PM
Sunday, December 20, 2009
- Knit both soles at the beginning of each slipper. Leave the spare sole(s) on spare needles until needed. You'll have to slip the spare sole onto your size 13 needle at the end, but that's no big deal. I prefer doing both up front because I just find it's easier to knit two of the same thing in a row rather than getting all the way to the end of the slipper and having to knit another sole. I imagine there are a lot of half-finished clogs out there missing just their second sole...
- If you got really efficient, you could knit all four soles (for both slippers, two each) in a row.
- The pattern calls for both a 24" and a 16" size 13 needle. I've found that I need only the 24" needle; at least for the womens medium on up, the cuff never gets small enough to need the 16". That saved me quite a bit on an unnecessary 16" needle.
- The pattern calls for double-stranded worsted wool, like Paton's Classic or Cascade 220. Upon the advice of my LYS, I've made all mine using single-stranded Lamb's Pride Bulky. The mohair makes them a little fuzzy, but it's nice not having to double-strand, and they felt great. As far as I know, there haven't been any problems with holes.
- Buy two skeins of your Lamb's Pride in the sole color, and only one in the foot color. It seems counter-intuitive when you look at the finished slippers, but there's actually a lot more yarn in the sole than the foot because the soles are garter stitch and double-layered.
- If you gift these, it's hilarious to give them un-felted. The look on people's faces when they open the package is priceless. Both my mom and dad tried to figure out, politely, what the heck they were, and both tried to put them on as hats. ha! Then, you can felt the slippers with them there to try on as you go.
- The slippers are done felting when they feel snug on the bare foot. They do stretch with wear, so err on the side of snugness. If the person really wants to personalize the fit, they can wear them for a few minutes while soaking wet before setting out to dry.
Posted by Dana at 12:39 PM
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Posted by Dana at 9:27 PM
Saturday, November 07, 2009
le yikes! over a month since the last post!
Posted by Dana at 11:25 AM
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Posted by Dana at 10:22 PM
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Posted by Dana at 6:29 AM
Saturday, September 19, 2009
This is why I don't do the "take a picture of yourself in the bathroom mirror" photo shoot very often.
- For the sleeves' provisional CO I used Judy's Magic Cast on with two KnitPicks needles and then just knit one direction, taking the needle tips off and holding the stitches on the KP cable for later. This worked well for the kitchenering later.
- I increased above the yoke pattern across the back (4 sts total) to give a bit of back-neck shaping. I didn't want it to ride up. I'll report back on this one once I have the buttons on and have had the chance to wear it.
Posted by Dana at 8:33 PM
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
- My favorite part of this pattern was the lace. There is something really fun about lace in a bulky yarn.
- This was my very first sweater knit in pieces and seamed! (Not counting the little seams in baby kimonos.)
- I stayed up FAR TOO LATE last Saturday (um...3:30 am) seaming, watching Buffy, weaving in ends...and it was totally worth it.
- I'm calling it Chocolatl because of the color.
- The fronts and back are size S (the 36") and the sleeves are M.
- I added about .5"-1" to the length because of my longwaistedness.
- A full-on Eucalan-enhanced wet blocking did wonders for it. I don't have a "real" blocking board or mats so I couldn't pin it out, but I used my rotary cutting mat to facilitate stretching the pieces by hand...and, again, the extra time was totally worth it.
Posted by Dana at 8:44 PM
Friday, August 07, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
These warshrags are so, like, totally awesome.
Posted by Dana at 8:22 AM
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Posted by Dana at 4:18 PM
Monday, July 27, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
And no, I'm not hinting at anything. In fact, I seem to be going to baby showers less and less these days as my college friends age. (Waaah.)
Posted by Dana at 9:58 AM
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Finally, a reason to learn intarsia:
Posted by Dana at 2:09 PM
Monday, July 13, 2009
Posted by Dana at 2:24 PM
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
It's been a whirlwind of a week around here. I can't for the life of me figure out how it got to be the end of June already.
Posted by Dana at 12:56 PM
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Confessions of an Underpaid English Teacher
Posted by Dana at 7:46 AM
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Posted by Dana at 9:09 PM
Friday, June 19, 2009
How better to celebrate the end of the school year, that time of 180 days of focusing on OTHER PEOPLE, than a good-old-fashioned navel-gazing post?
Found this meme on Blue Garter's blog...
1. Respond and rework; answer the questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your invention, add one more question of your own.
2. Tag eight other people (if you feel so inclined).
What is your current obsession? I just started a knitted log cabin blanket (Mason-Dixon knitting) and I'm thinking that might be it.
What is your weirdest obsession? I only eat the same colors together when I eat skittles, and always two at a time, one on each side of my mouth.
What are you wearing today and why did you choose it? red Keens, red capris, blue & red Ravelry t-shirt, gray hoodie, and red ballcap. I have been working in my classroom all day, cleaning and filing, and wanted something peppy and comfortable, plus layers because the weather was indeterminate this morning...typical June in Western Washington.
What’s for dinner? Tortilla soup and a good malty beverage
What did you eat for your last meal? mandarin chicken salad
What’s the last thing you bought? Two copies of my Teacher's Daybook for next year, one for me and one for a friend...the best teacher planner ever.
What are you listening to right now? "Before the Goldrush," an album I just discovered & bought on iTunes. It is a benefit CD for Teach for America, and features artists famous and not-so singing covers by artists who influenced them. I'm loving Billy Joel's "You're My Home," covered by Rebecca Elliott; Van Morrison's "Into The Mystic" covered by Swell Season; and Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" covered by Korby Lenker. (full disclosure: Korby and I sang together in our college choir; he's since moved on to Nashville where he records great pop-bluegrass-uncategorizable music. I would heart him even if I didn't know him.)
If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? Downtown London and just sit and people-watch.
If you could time travel to anyWHEN in history for the next hour, where would you go? I'd go to Vienna and watch a premiere of a Mozart opera.
Which language do you want to learn? Spanish
What do you love most about where you currently live? Our backyard and all the natural light inside the house. I also really love our community as a whole.
What is your favorite colour? Red.
What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe? my Back-to-school U-neck vest I made from Fitted Knits. It makes me feel stylish and cute, yet still professional.
What were you doing ten years ago? I was finishing my first real teaching job, starting my summer job and a whole summer riding my bike everywhere, and (although I don't think we knew it then) about 8 weeks away from moving to Texas.
Describe your personal style? Northwest casual is a good descriptor--Jeans, t-shirts, scarves, sweaters, fleeces. Not quite crunchy (i.e. granola), maybe just mildly textured? More REI than hemp.
If you had £100 now, what would you spend it on? $165.19 in US dollars...Hmm. Oh, I know: two Amtrak tickets to Seattle with my sweetie, Mariners tickets because we haven't gone to a game in years, and a dinner out before coming home.
What are you going to do after this? Pick up my son, go to the bookstore, and spend a gift card I just found in my desk while cleaning it out. (Cha-ching!)
What are your favourite films? Anything Baz Lurhmann (except Australia), Casablanca, Lord of the Rings, Pride & Prejudice (both recent versions), Say Anything.
What inspires you? Helping someone find their truth and express it in writing. Excellent analysis, humor, wordplay, and fearlessness.
Your favorite books? Jane Austen (I used to be a P&P devotee, but now Persuasion, I think, is on top), Lord of the Rings, Cold Mountain, Narnia--anything that transports me. Over the years I have really come to appreciate The Scarlet Letter.
Do you collect anything? random papers, receipts in my pocket, extra pounds on my thighs, and yarn.
What makes you follow a blog? A sense that the person is writing from the heart, with his/her own personal style and sensibility, and not pandering to an imaginary audience. I"ll read almost anything if it seems authentic and thoughtful. Nice photos don't hurt.
What was the most enjoyable thing you did today? Drilled through the piles down to the top of my desk for the first time in months.
What new skill would you like to learn? This summer I want to work on my photography skills, and actually be able to understand what all the gizmos on my yearbook cameras do without relying on the auto setting.
Consider yourself tagged. And, commenters, can you guess which question I added?
Posted by Dana at 2:58 PM
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Posted by Dana at 8:38 PM
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
The most hilariously unironic issue of Mary Maxim ever.
Posted by Dana at 8:13 PM
Posted by Dana at 6:27 AM
Monday, June 08, 2009
I have recently started facebooking. (It's like googling; it's a verb. This is what my students say.)
- The aforementioned people I haven't thought about in years? Well, they feel free to comment on my taste in books. (Hey!)
- Other people can post embarrassing pictures of me from college and tag them with my name. And current colleagues and family members can click on them and see just how much beer I drank during the Europe trip of 1997. (The nice thing is that I was such a goody-two-shoes that my hair in the 90's will likely be much more incriminating than any party photos.)
- There is an uncomfortable sense of being back in the not-cool crowd when I see the photos others have posted from high school.
- I totally overthink the status updates ("What are you thinking about?" it asks) because I have both a lesbian librarian and an ultra-conservative quiver-full Christian in my friend list. Will saying "friggin'" offend anyone? Is saying I like the show "Dollhouse" revealing me to be in favor of the subjugation of women? If I'm gardening, am I pedestrian? If I'm reading Lord of the Rings, am I a nerd? Basically--this all comes down to feeling judged, and being a sort of private person who also, ironically, loves to connect.
- How long will it be before a current student sees one of those pictures of me drinking the beer in Europe? How long before the worlds collide in ways that I can't anticipate??
- With all the time I spend connecting with former/online friends--am I neglecting the actual flesh-and-blood people in my life, nay, in my house, even?
Posted by Dana at 8:03 PM
- my center cable is off center, since the stitches to the left of the cable (the little buggers are on the right in the picture, but remember the sweater was knit top-down) are really loose. I've not had this problem so dramatically before, and I knit a lot of cables, but that's probably also because the cotton is so much less elastic than my usual wool.
- The pattern calls for inserting a few short rows at the bustline to ease the fit. It doesn't give directions for doing this unobtrusively, though...and as you can see from the WEIRD GAPING HOLE in the picture, I don't think I did this right. There weren't any directions, so I followed the short row directions in Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters, and the short rows just came out kind of funky and gappy.
Posted by Dana at 6:02 AM
Sunday, June 07, 2009
I just saw this on a blog I visited and thought, hmmm?
Posted by Dana at 12:11 PM
Saturday, June 06, 2009
One of the best things about teaching is its cycle of open and close, renewal, and fresh starts--every year a new chance, a change. As the season turns and another school year closes, my mind turns to new opportunities and summer studies.
- Read classics I've always meant to read; study Anna Karenina with friend Michelle
- Bike or run every day; look amazing
- Finally develop that rhetoric/linguistics unit for my AP class that's been half-baked in my mind for two years
- Refinish bedroom dressers (only 12 years late) and finally get rid of horrific yellow wallpaper in master bedroom
- Weed-free garden; clutter-free home; healthy organic meals daily
- Eat crap, gain (more) weight
- Futz around on computer, wasting hours per day
- Procrastinate on school because "I have so much time until September"
- Dither over house projects and end up starting many, but leaving several half-done
Posted by Dana at 5:10 PM
Friday, June 05, 2009
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Posted by Dana at 7:18 AM
Friday, May 22, 2009
I have never been much of a stasher.
Posted by Dana at 10:31 PM
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Posted by Dana at 8:28 PM
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Posted by Dana at 6:44 AM
Sunday, May 03, 2009
See Leann Knit tagged all her readers for this one...a spontaneous self-photo meme.
Posted by Dana at 5:56 PM
Saturday, April 25, 2009
I just love putting together baby gifts. And this one was particularly thrifty--I think the most expensive item I bought was the yarn for the sweater. I found the pants on sale at a discount shop ($2 for two pairs), the shoes at Target, the socks at Tuesday Morning...the book, which you can't quite see, is the only full-price item. I even used my Jo-Ann 40% off coupon for the buttons...$.98.
Posted by Dana at 12:50 PM
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
You see, it is the very first pattern I ever made.
I knit two of these baby kimonos while pregnant with Miss E--though her name was "Winky" then--I made one in pastels and one in blues and greens since I didn't know if Winky was a Winker or a Winkette yet.
(Speaking of Miss E, is this not the weirdest face she is making? She is trying to wink and smile at the same time. Pretty entertaining watching it.)
I've since made the pattern two more times as gifts. The pattern calls for cotton, but since that kills my hands, I chose wool instead.
I ended up making this with EXACTLY 220 yards of Cascade 220 paints...whew. I even had to split the yarn to seam one side. It's a gift for a baby shower on Saturday and is finished EARLY. yay me!
The reason this pattern is so great for beginners, or for quick gifts, is that it is all one piece. You knit up the back, then increase on each side for a while to make sleeves, then bind off for the neck and work one arm/front, then go back to your held stitches and do the other arm front, then seam, and, VOILA! All done, all garter stitch, all cute.
The last couple of times I’ve made this sweater I have had weird things happen with the fronts, though–I get to the 40 stitch limit about 2-3 inches shy of the length desired and I end up with more of a double-breasted look than a kimono. I think I need to do a few more rows even at the neck before doing the bindoffs and starting the increases. But I still find this pattern just so enchanting and the perfect little bitesize baby gift with matching onesie & pants!
I’m not crazy about the flashing and pooling with this yarn, but it looks OK in the garter stitch. Think I would have been really unhappy with it in stockinette.
And I can't believe my big girl once fit into one of these herself!
Posted by Dana at 6:18 PM
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Posted by Dana at 1:56 PM
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
It is spring break--finally--and we have spent the last four days just winding down. It has been fab. We fired up the ol' Firebolt (AKA our 1985 VW Vanagon) and headed for Olympia to visit my in-laws, then out to the Olympic Peninsula for one night of camping. (We are easing the kids back into the camping routine--we hope to do a lot of it this summer.)
Posted by Dana at 5:01 PM