24 June 2006

Transition Projects

Lots of things on my knitting mind lately, but I haven't been able to post for a few days as I had a run of nasty migraines. This post will be bare-bones, too, because hubbster won't let me stare at the computer screen for more than 30 minutes, as this kind of web-work tends to make my head worse. Oddly enough, writing at the computer (as in, dissertation chapter writing, in Word) doesn't seem to be a problem. Er, that is, my back starts to hurt before my head does, in that case. Gawd, I'm getting old. Anyway, in addition to some minor brainless knitting while the headaches were mild, and some total inactivity while they were really bad, I also managed to write 6 decent pages of the diss and do a lot of data-entry. Ura! So, feeling pretty good. Here's an accounting of the knitting done. Little bits of things, as a transition and resting period between the Great Icarus and my next biggish project - fixing the gauge problem and finishing my husband's Viking Sweater.

So, been doing some more Mason-Dixoning:

This is their eponymous warshrag, minus a few rows which I deleted because I like small dishcloths. My husband called it eggy, and I realized only then how close I came to accidently making a fried egg - so lucky I didn't reverse the colors! I actually intended to make the center pink (I thought the color combo kind of flowery), but I got to the center so quickly that I missed it.

This, I feel quite certain, is the world's ugliest Dishcloth:

I made it blind, while watching Nosferatu with the girls on knit/movie night. I just picked whichever color came to hand at any given moment, and couldn't really see what I was doing in the semi-dark. But blame the horrific results on the film...

It's slightly better looking from the back. Which isn't saying much. Oh well, at least this one may actually get used as a dishcloth - hubbster wouldn't use the other ones because they were too pretty.

Then there's the baby bib:

Another stab at random colors, this time with the lights on, and the results are infinitely better. I decided that since the whole point of this article is to get spit up, drool, and already-chewed food particles all over it, that I wasn't going to waste an hour of my life sewing in ends. Tied 'em up and cut 'em. So there.

Note also the presence of a burp-cloth on the needles, pattern also courtesy of the fine ladies at Mason-Dixon. I find that the variegated yarn comes out interestingly in this pattern.

Here's a better shot of the bib colors, taken in-progress, but also in sunshine:

Note the purple plastic needles, with red tops. I got a whole lot of brightly colored plastic needles on Ebay a few years ago, these among them. Normally, I don't use straight needles. But I make exceptions for small projects, when the nature of the needles adds substantially to the fun of the knitting. Like the short tortoise-shell needles that I just adore, for knitting a panel of lace, and like these brightly colored ones for bright-colored knitting. Ya-hoo!

I should mention here that I come from a family of hand-made warshcloth users. Here's my supply from Grandma:

These are, obviously, crocheted, as that's Grandma's forte. I find they're too big for dishes, but just right for wiping counters. So, crocheted cloths are for counters and spills, knitted ones are for dishes (and must be small enough to fit inside a champagne flute!) I have so many of Grandma's, though, and they keep coming, so I'm thinking of sewing some matching pairs together to make little back-pillows. Thus to prevent lower back ache when writing the dissertation...all things are related, all things are useful.

Speaking of Grandma's crocheting, I recently inherited some of her huge collection of hand-made doilies. I've adored these since childhood, because my mom used to have them, on our antique oak furniture, and that combo with oil lamps equals home to me. So now I just need the oak, and the oil lamps. Anyway, here are the doilies, because they should be shown off somewhere:

The one in the middle, if you can't tell from the picture, is knitted. Which means it was made by my Great-Grandma Annie (because Grandma didn't take to knitting any more than I took to crochet). Grandma couldn't tell me whether she or her mother, Annie, crocheted the others, as they both made a lot of doilies in their time. Great-Grandma Annie also used to embroider edgings on pillow-cases and those thingies you put on top of your dresser to set your brushes and perfumes on. I have a pillow-case and the thingy still from my childhood bedroom, and mean to cut off the embroidered edge and re-sew them on new, fine linen fabric as the original cotton is worn to bits. I love this stuff.

But anyway. Back to business. Father's Day has come and gone, but one dad, mine, hasn't gotten his present yet because it still isn't dry. Here it is, unfelted:

And as they look now:

They're the Felted Clogs by Bev Galeskas, courtesy of Fiber Trends. I've done this pattern before (though I forgot to photograph those) and really, really love it. The pattern is so clever the knitting of it is kind of like lace - each moment you've discovered some new aspect of how it all comes together. I don't even mind having to do the sole pattern FOUR TIMES (because they're doubled), even though I normally can't deal with socks or sleeves because of the whole doing-the-same-thing-twice thing. They don't take long, and they're interesting. Cool. Plus, they make great slippers. This from me, who wears them Russian-style, i.e., constantly, and therefore has worn through every other slipper I've knitted remarkably quickly (my beautiful Fuzzy Feet turned to dust and ashes - well, okay, they just wore disastrously thin - after only 3/4 of the winter in Ivanovo). Will be making still more of these. But these, in the picture, are dry now, except for the puffy-paint traction I put on the bottom. 12 more hours, and they can go off in the mail at last.

Oh, and yes, the interior sole is dark green stranded with a lighter green, whereas the trim on the parts that show are just dark green. I didn't have *quite* enough of the dark green, so sue me.

HO-kay. There's no more avoiding things. Must face facts. Deal with it. Grow up, already. Must accept the Gauge Problem, and Take Measures. Literally, and figuratively. Here's the aforementioned problem (scroll down) made pictorial:

I don't know what's wrong with me - it's some of my worst knitting, ever. And I know, I forgot the upper plain stripe on one of the sleeves. Whatever. The whole main-color part has to be ripped out and re-knit on three of the four parts shown here, as all four of them are now different gauges. Argh. But, for once, I'm not going to give up, if only because the color pattern part on the body is SO gorgeous. I have faith the sleeve parts will also look nice when blocked. Sadly, blocking did nothing for the main-color gauge problem, though. Sigh.

Not that it isn't tempting to continue my tour through Mason-Dixon land by starting a log-cabin blankie (I've got it all planned out, now), or to knit those "quick" panels for the skirt I'm planning, or to start that whole new Fair Isle sweater with 27 colors....Sigh.

Oops, my online time is up. Email will wait for another day. Web browsing will wait some considerable time.

Maybe just a little more mindless knitting before bed....


Nicole said...

I love the colors you chose for those slippers - this is the first time I've seen that pattern knitted up and liked it! Usually, the colors are too wild. I like the subdued look. Very nice.

The Purloined Letter said...

Thanks so much for showing the lovely doilies. It brings back so many memories! Lately I've been thinking about learning to crochet just so I can duplicate some of my great-grandmother's lacework. The ones in your picture are really lovely.

gray la gran said...

the felted clogs look fantastic! i was going to make those for my dad one christmas, but ran out of time and out of "umph". it's amazing how they look before vs. after. the before shot is so discouraging, all limp and floppy, but then ... a thick solid wooly slipper! i think i must put those back on my *list*.

Kate A. said...

I made the felted clogs before in light grey, with charcoal trim, and those were gorgeous too. But the best thing about them, I think, is that the soles are much sturdier than other felted footy patterns I've tried. I'm going to make more for me, my husband, and his parents, because we all wear slippers all day every day in the winter (er, while at home, that is!), and for these I'm going to do the soles without the "bumper" and add leather slipper bottoms. I hope they'll last at least a few years!

And I'm so glad you liked the doiles, purloined letter! While I haven't gone so far as to think about taking up crochet (I'm *terrible* at it), I am trying to think of ways to incorporate these doilies into my house/life without adding extra wear to them...I mentioned re-sewing some of my great-grandma's embroidery onto new fabric. I think I might also sew one of these doilies onto a pillow or something. I was even thinking of sewing them all onto squares of a bed cover...I don't know, I may just leave them as they are, and take them out to caress them every once in a while...