Sunday, November 28, 2010

IWTMT: Wooly Dryer Balls

I found both of my essential oils this week and have really been getting back into using them. I have peppermint and lavender and like to add a drop to my hand lotion for a little aromatherapy pick-me-up. Another thing you can do with essential oils is add them to scrap white cotton and use them as dryer sheets. I use commercial dryer sheets right now, but I don't dry towels with them since it reduces their absorbency.

At first I figured I'd just knit little cloths and throw them in the dryer, but a quick search on Ravelry showed me something even more fun: Wooly Dryer Balls. You create a ball core of acrylic, then wrap it in wool and felt it -- dryer balls!

I don't have any light-colored wool right now, but I do have plenty of acrylic I could use. (I've heard that some white wools do not felt as completely as colored wools, and I would want white to reduce visible fuzz.) Add a few drops of essential oil, and this seems like the perfect laundry companion.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Get It Out!: Microspun

We're not going to talk about the Binary Scarf, because someone who shall remain nameless may have worked on the Binary Scarf while drinking and made a mistake and hasn't been able to fix it for two weeks.

SO, instead we'll talk about Get It Out! (Get It Out! joins a short-standing tradition of my naming things in the hope they'll catch on, like I Want To Make That and Sell The Stash. Also, it helps for organization purposes.) Back in September, I blogged about my "first in, first out" plan.

I'm pleased to tell you that, except for a very small amount of leftovers, the Lion Brand Microspun in turquoise has gone from stash to actual object(s). We ended up waiting for our Thanksgiving guests, so I sat myself down with the Klutz Crochet book and taught myself how to make the flowers. Never underestimate either flowers or the amount of yarn in Microspun, because I managed to bang 21 flowers out of a partial skein. I'm only in possession of 20 of them, because my little cousin wanted one, but 20 is a lot of crochet flowers. It's so many, in fact, that I'm thinking of abandoning the putting-them-on-charity-hats idea and making a little scarf. What do you think?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

IWTMT: Temair Throw

I keep saying I'm going to crochet an afghan. One of these days, I bet I'll even do it. Lately I've been feeling the holey, decorative will-this-actually-keep-me-warm afghans. Like, the ones where you drape them artfully on the couch and people ooh-and-ahh over the fact that your house looks like Oprah and Martha Stewart got married and expensively crafted on everything.

The Temair Throw (Rav) is basically this crafting love-child. It's a free pattern on Lion Brand, so you will need an account to see it. Using 16 balls of Vanna's Choice, it's one of the more affordable artsy afghans I've seen.

I can very easily picture this in a beach house, I don't know why. Why don't I have a beach house? Oh yeah, I live in Vermont.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

In Progress: The World's Ugliest Stash-Busting Afghan

Thanks for sticking with me, anonymous readers! Here, have an entry with a picture.

Remember how over 2 years ago I learned how to crochet and I began the World's Ugliest Stash-Busting Afghan? When I started it, we had a queen-sized mattress. Now we have a king. This is going to take FOREVER, especially since I haven't made any charity hats and thus don't have a ton of scraps right now.

It's been kind of slow going, yeah. But this is the kind of project you commit yourself to. (Here's the post with the first picture I took of it. Progress was also made here.) I mean, I've been working on this thing longer than I've been married and it's only 41" long.


The last time you saw the blanket I'd just started the gray strip, so ... progress. That's the 'ghan on the king-sized bed. Amazingly it's wide enough that it shouldn't be a problem using it. I don't remember what measurements I was using previously, but now I'm using these for a king. According to that, a king blanket should be 108" by 100".

I don't know if my scrapghan is 108" wide, but I'm getting there with the length! I know I'll finish it ... one day ...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

IWTMT: Thermal

In guild this year we're going to make sweaters. I don't know that I can commit to a sweater. However, I said I wasn't going to make socks either and I ended up caving. We took our measurements and I think we'll be making up custom-fit patterns based on measurements and gauge.

However, that hasn't stopped me from lusting after sweater patterns. As usual, because I'm crazy, I fell in love with a pattern that uses fingering weight yarn. It's Thermal (Rav), which is a) a free pattern from Knitty, and b) designed by cosmicpluto, who also designed that lovely Dipped Infinity Scarf pattern I never made.

Actually, it seems that the Dipped Infinity Scarf was the FIRST IWTMT. Apparently I'm just a cosmicpluto junkie.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Adios, Plymouth Encore!

I found the crochet hook I've been using in the Scrapghan. It was, of course, tangled up IN the Scrapghan. I immediately sat down and polished off a few little balls I had laying around, including some remnants from the Baby Blanket of Doom and its predecessor. Apparently the last time I worked on it I hadn't learned the Russian Join, so things are a lot more fun now.

What I'm most excited about using up, though, is the Plymouth Encore. I used up the last 12 yards of the blue from my first socks, and 40 yards of orange remnants that someone gave me for this project. This is awesome because I can move them over to the "used" tab of my Ravelry stash page. They're small victories, but every victory counts.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Where Have You Been All My Life?

Let me be honest: I've lived in this apartment since June and we're not unpacked yet. There's plenty of stuff that we could probably use still in boxes in the attic. One of these things is our food scale, aka my yarn scale. Another is my passport in my maiden name. Haven't seen that one in a while.

Back in the last apartment I'd picked up a cheap fabric shaver as an impulse buy one day at Staples. (I know, right? Staples!) But I never used it. While unpacking a box I found the shaver and knew enough to put it in my craft room, but I didn't know if we had batteries for it. I was up in the attic a few weeks ago looking for something and I'd run across the pack of C batteries we had, leaving it there because we didn't have anything that needed C batteries anymore. Except, apparently, my fabric shaver.

Ta-da! I used it last night on my Amanda Hat, which was getting kind of fuzzy, and can I just say? Where have you been all my life, fabric shaver? Why did my parents never have one of you? You will make all my knits look better. I can take the pills off my shirts now.

I was so excited I cleaned out the little reservoir with a piece of toilet paper and brought it to show my husband. He didn't get it. He never gets it.

Poor guy.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

IWTMT: Koolhaas

Oh no, you may be saying to yourself, not another hat pattern! Well, yeah. Or did you forget about all that green yarn I have?

Not only is this week's IWTMT another hat pattern, it's another Brooklyn Tweed hat pattern. I'm not creative and I'll admit that. Where Habitat is very classic, Koolhaas (Rav) is like the cool kid at the hat table. Koolhaas is the hat the other hats secretly wish they could be like. Am I gushing? I'm the uncool not-a-hat at the hat table. Even I want to be Koolhaas.

I bet Koolhaas would look really good in my Green Mountain Spinnery Wonderfully Wooly. Ding, ding, I think we might have a winner.