Ice Skating

February 26, 2009

Just a few photos from ice skating this past Sunday. A lot more people were supposed to show up, but there was such a long gap between the the planning stage and the execution that most forgot and it turned into a housemates-only activity.

Lisa plays hockey, but I haven’t skated since they closed the rink in Tucson and Charlie was a little vague on his experience. His skating was a little vague as well, but he managed to stay upright for the most part.

Sorry Charlie, it was you with your eyes closed or me with a rather unflattering look on my face.

The rink was pretty nice and just right up the street from the house. They have an hour and a half of open skate between al the kids running around for hockey practice. There was also a rather high (and adorable) proportion of fathers with teeny-tiny daughters, teaching them how to skate, as well as a mix of novice to experienced skaters. Just like the roller skating rink back in Tucson, the experienced skaters seemed to be for nothing except to intimidate everyone else by skating just a little too closely.

Luckily, this rink had something I hadn’t seen before – rink guards, there to help you up when you fell, offer skating advice, and keep the sheep in line for the most part.

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Just to Watch it Dye

February 25, 2009

The Macalester College knitting and crochet club got together to dye yarn with Koolaid this past weekend, with almost entirely good results.

It was a fun project – two packets of lemonade flavor and two of lemon-lime, plus about 10-15 minutes in the microwave turned this bowl of yarn soup into this lovely skein:

I purposefully put a twist in the skein to get a few white spots. I have no idea what I’m going to do with it. I thought of making a hat for myself, but I definitely don’t have a scarf or mittens to match.

Quite a few interesting results, with few mishaps (some skeins got tangled), but a few odd side-effects.

Moldy hands, for one.

In other news, I did manage to churn out another FO for February.

A cat sweater, from the the pattern Cats Love Sweaters, by Christine Landry, available for free. I knit it from Plymouth Encore Colorspun, my one falling down so far on the No New Yarn Rule this year.

I usually put it on Boomer in the evenings to keep her from sitting in front of the heating vents. During the day however, I just leave the front door open while I’m here so she can lounge on our porch. Must be 70 degrees in the sun out there.


Bonus!

February 21, 2009

We got about 3-4 inches of snow last night and I thought I’d take this opportunity to chuck Boomer into it, in case it doesn’t snow again (hah!). Here she’s hightailing for the bush in front of the house…

…and here she is hiding under it. Presumably she could see that there was less snow under there.

After that, she made for the front door and I soothed her hurt feelings with half a can of turkey Fancy Feast.


Knit Out 2009

February 21, 2009

Twice a year, knitters gather at the Mall of America for Knit Out, an event geared towards showing off yarn, learning new techniques and maybe meeting one of your favorite knitting book authors.

Last Sunday, a fellow convert and I hopped onto the bus and the light rail, heading for the Mall of America. We had a lot of fun checking out the different booths. We weren’t really interested in any of the scheduled events save one, but by the time that one rolled around, we were more interested in getting lunch and going home.

We did stand in one of the humongus lines encircling the vendor booths for freebies, but the best two items turned out to be easier to obtain – a crochet magazine’s booth was handing out free wooden crochet hooks and The Yarnery, my LYS, had a kiosk where they were handing out 30% coupons.

We checked out the Patons booth, but couldn’t get in the line since the Mall cops had already deemed it too long.

We did have a fun time cringing at the displayed afghans. Someone should just declare orange off-limits for afghans, it never goes well.

A much more pleasing crocheted afghan was on display at the same booth that was handing out hooks:

I especially liked the dotted-line heart in the middle.

Shelly Kang was at The Yarnery’s actual booth, demonstrating the technique for her miter-square sock blanket, which is visible on the table in front of her. I tried to work up the nerve to ask her to sign my copy of her slipped-stitch hat pattern, but couldn’t quite break the internet/real-life barrier.

Finally, on the way out, we happened to pass a fashion show in progress that was taking place near one of the entrances to the amusement park in the center of the mall.

We had a hard time containing our glee at the huge balls of yarn decorating the stage. I wonder if they were real?

In other news, I’ve changed the blog settings so that comments are now nested. That means that, besides just being able to reply to my original post, you can now reply to other people’s comments.


February Finished Objects

February 13, 2009

I know, I know, February’s less than half over. Still, I’ve finished everything for 14valentines and I have nothing I need to knit for the next two weeks. I have yarn and I have projects in mind, but I need a break.

Anyway. Onwards!

First up is the most recently completed (and by recent, I mean a half an hour ago), my Eiffel sweater. It’s knit from Jarbo Garn Tropik, a bamboo/cotton/acrylic blend that is very soft and was pleasant to knit with.

I had some problems starting out with the sleeve increases and it sort of colored how the rest of this went. I found myself second-guessing the designer on every point, only to discover that they were pretty much right on most scores. The pattern is free, available from Knitty here.

Moving back in time, the Adamas Shawl:

I used the pattern recommended yarn for this, since I already had it in my stash, Knit Picks Shadow in Vineyard Heather. I added the beads myself and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.

This pattern is also available for free, here.

Here’s my housemate modelling it:

Finally, the Slippery Socks from four months and a blog ago:

They turned out nice and thick and comfy. Thanks to a friend, I have a whole other skein of Mountain Colors Bearfoot to play with. Maybe a sweater for the cat. This pattern is available here.

Now, I’m going to go take a break.  There’s a hat for my dad and some baby items in the pipeline, but I need a few days of mindless TV first.


Night of the Living Lint

February 10, 2009

On Sunday, my housemates and I did something that might be considered atypical of college students – we spent an hour or so our free time cleaning the house. The previous occupants had been a little lax in that department and sporadic cries of disgust were heard throughout the house as one of us or the other expressed our disbelief at some collection of dust or crud. The stove was particularly nasty.

However, the biggest surprise came later that night when I went to move the laundry along. I hadn’t cleaned out the lint trap when I did laundry last week and decided that now would be a good time to scrape it clean.

Here’s what I found:

What’s that, you say? Could it be?

That’s right, it’s a solid centimeter of pure lint. Nobody had cleaned it out in months. Nasty. Also, fire hazard and the probable reason the dryer did such an awful job this past week.

In other news, Charlie has succumbed to the allure of knitting (pictures forthcoming), I finished a pair of mittens and a shawl, and the cat is still cute.


January Finished Objects

February 1, 2009

January is a fairly productive month for me, thanks to 14valentines, which is basically my version of Christmas knitting, with all the attendant panic, despite my “years of experience” (all three of them).

First up were the Simply Ginny socks. I had more trouble with these than I’d had with a pair of socks in a while. The yarn was on the thin side for fingering and it made the spots where I divided the stitches among the needles really obvious. Otherwise, they’re really soft and I had a lot of fun knitting socks that only took about four days total to knit. Now I just need to cut down on the time between each sock.

My biggest accomplishment this month was a set for my cousin’s second baby. I realized rather late in the game that I had knit a blanket and dress for the baby’s older sister but the new little girl had nothing.

I chose a few patterns, including Saartje’s booties, one I had done before. Very fiddly, but worth it with the right buttons. The sweater is ‘Baby Mine’ by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and the hat is the Norwegian Sweet Baby Cap by Gro. This was my first time trying out Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock and I’m fairly pleased. I think I’ll be using it for special projects that aren’t actually socks, since all of their colorways are much to pretty to cover up with shoes and jeans and my search for clear plastic sneakers has failed me.

Finally, on the last day of January, I managed to finish off a pair of mittens.

These are the Cat Mittens, designed by Jorid Linvik, available for purchase here. I took a crack at a pair of Selbuvotter about a year ago, finished one mitten and inexplicably hated the thing. It looked fine, but all I wanted to do was chew it up, throw it in the compost pile and forget the cursed thing ever existed. This time, it worked out. I think the cats might have made a difference.

14valentines started today and I’m not quite running behind. The projects for the 6th, the 10th, and the 13th are…not quite there. So join me as I panic slightly and attempt to finish a sock, a shawl, and a sweater in two weeks.