Thursday, October 31, 2013

The tale of the cursed yarn

Here is a scary yarn of a tale for you on All Hallows Eve....
There once was a yarn. A beautiful yarn.  A deep, royal purple of a yarn.  This yarn was so beautiful that it was purchased based on this sole characteristic.  However over the years this yarn has become the bane of the purchasers' existence because it would not SHAPE to any project thrown at it!! 

Yes, my friends, this yarn has been tried, and tried, and tried again; in 14 different projects in fact.  Only to get frogged and balled up for a different try.  The issue is that the yarn will not hold any shape nor does it like to be manipulated into any sort of pattern. Very frustrating.  Have I mentioned that it is a lovely color, one which complements my skin tone nicely.  I think that is why I was so committed to using this yarn.

So finally I decided enough is enough.  My husband wants me to use up some of my stash (and plus I need to make room for all the purchases I'm bound to make because of a new gig... more about that in a later post).  This past weekend I was looking at it and decided that I would show this yarn who is boss and form it to what I wanted.  I ended up taking all 6 balls of this yarn and winding them together.  Yes.  Six.  Six balls of yarn stranded together to make a bulky yarn.  The yarn is advertised as a DK weight.  Really I think it's somewhere between fingering and sport.  And the resulting 6-stranded monster yarn is somewhere between a bulky and superbulky.  If I was really good I would do the test to see how many wraps-per-inch but I'm too lazy to go find the leftover yarn (after I was done I threw the previously cursed yarn back into the stash box hoping to not see if for a while).   

So what did I do with the 6-stranded monster?  
I knit myself a scarf!  I haven't knit one of these for myself in YEARS! 

Pattern: None
Yarn: Plymouth Dreambaby (50% Acrylic and 50% Nylon)
Needles: Two sets of US Size 15
Started: October 26, 2013
Finished: October 28, 2013

Nothing too fancy.  I decided to make it into an infinity scarf because I'm kind of obsessed with those things lately.  And because we are working with the worst yarn ever I kept it simple and just did a simple seed stitch.  Which also worked out great while watching my BoSox kick some @$$ in the MLB playoffs.  To make it a little more fancy I decided to add a twist - not a true mobius, but done in the cheaters method.  

Actually I started this on Saturday evening as a mobius scarf.  If you have not watched Cat Bordhi's moebius  cast on video - you must (Link here).  So what started out as a fun little project that was going well with the cursed yarn turned ugly quick.  As I was knitting my mobius away I noticed my tension was getting tighter and tighter.  I thought it was because I was getting mad at the Red Sox (it was an evening where they were losing terribly).  Next I noticed my hands started to hurt.  Nevertheless I kept going and didn't think anything of it until the next day when I picked it up and started knitting again.  Right away my hands started to hurt.  I really think the yarn (acrylic and nylon) was a pain to knit with!  Argh cheap stuff!  Well as you can see my project is NOT a mobius scarf and it is because the yarn broke my needle and I decided to go uber simple and hence the final seed-stitch scarf.

Moral of the story.... just because a yarn is pretty I think I'll need to look at the composition and really think if I want another cursed yarn in my stash.         

Pssh... who am I kidding?!  I'll totally buy more yarn just because it's pretty and non-functional!  Apparently I've blogged about cursed gorgeous yarn and shoes before... so yeah chances are I'll buy it again soon.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Furlough Projects

Here are a number of items I've worked on during the government shutdown.  This was in addition to the 40+ miles I walked/jogged, closets and cabinets I organized, (4) books I read and all the other little things completed.  Too bad my energy went to this and not to doing my job - serving the scientists, clinicians, librarians and US citizens.

Okay had to get that off my chest.  Can you tell I'm still perturbed?  Ah well....  At least I was able to make good with my time and had fun in the process.  No more political talk, I just had to vent....  

But yes, here are a number of crafty things I worked on (in addition to the Owl in the Woods sweater).

Doggie sweaters and shirts:
I cut up a sweater that no longer fits and both Boe and Rosie are enjoying their new sweaters (kinda).

I had a pair of flannel pj's that were beyond repair so Boe was lucky to receive a flannel shirt.  I'm glad you can't see the sewing job on this... I really need to learn how to sew.  I see a class on sewing in the future!

Doggie toys:
With the same flannel pj's I braided rope tug toys.  Can you tell Boe likes it?  So does Rosie but Boe goes crazy for the toys.

All kinds of fun for cheap!  I found all of the ideas on Pinterest: 
Sweater from a Sweater Sleeve: 

Until next time! 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Owls in the Woods

We've been doing a lot of hiking lately and Rosie missed the memo about Yorkies being fru-fru dogs - this dog can HIKE!  We've gone on a number 5+ miles hikes through the woods, on and off trail and through rough terrain.  She has been a trooper!  And it's nice because now that she is properly trained to come and stop when called we can have her off-leash which she just loves.

But the past few times we went hiking I started to become worried because she is so small, fast and blends in with the fall colors of the forest.  So I thought I could make some neon-colored clothing to mark she was a pet and not some hunt-able game critter.  

After hunting around for some neon yarn I found some at a big box store.  Not stoked that I had to purchase yarn at a big box but neon must not be a eagerly sought out color.  I ended up with Caron Simply Soft neon orange and yellow.  Again not super happy - but it works for what I need here.  Besides I spray the natural tick repellent on Rosie when we go hiking so really I guess it's okay if I get this sweater all gross and I have so much yarn left over I could knit a couple more for the queue.  

Pattern: Ginny's Cardigan by Mari Chiba
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in neon orange
Needles: US 5
Started: Oct. 7, 2013
Finished: Oct 13, 2013

I decided to knit this as a button-on shell sweater as I've knit for Rosie before.  I don't even need a pattern anymore and can easily wing it as I go.  However instead of making a plain stockinette or garter stitch back, this time I decided to add a pattern.  I ended up using the owl pattern from my new Interweaves magazine, The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits, special edition.  This particular lace pattern is the back of a gorgeous cardigan inspired by Ginny Weasley.  I actually intend to knit this cardigan for myself but I thought it would be adorable as a doggie hiking sweater.  The pattern itself was easy enough, although purling the 4 yarn overs was a bit cumbersome and I think I was a little sloppy on two of the eyes.  But again, this is just a hiking sweater and it was nice practice for when I do knit this for myself.

Can't you tell she's saying... "Okay, let's go!!"  

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Boe Snow is the new addition to the family.  We adopted him a couple weeks ago from the Washington Animal Rescue league, the same place we adopted Rosie.  Boe is a bischon fris mix, albeit a little long and bobble-head-ish.  Of course I say all this with love! 

And I've already introduced the little dude to knitted goodness.  I decided to knit Rosie some neon hiking gear for safety when we bring her hiking. So of course I couldn't leave Boe out!  Pictured below are my quick neon kerchiefs for Boe and Rosie.  You can see Rosie is modeling hers outside during a hike!  No pattern, just a quick triangle knit.  More knitting (and puppy and bunny) updates coming soon!