Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sometimes There's A Simple Solution

I've been working on several projects simultaneously, but one thing I've been steadily working on, in addition to the Granny Square afghan, is the little Shrug called, "Sweet Little Nothing Shrug" in turquoise blue and various colors from my homespun yarn. It is based on this free pattern. It worked up pretty well, overall, and took only two weeks to spin, then two more weeks to knit the garment itself. There was only one problem . . . the fact that the ribbing that ran along the bottom of the shrug kept flipping up in a really annoying manner. Guess I should have knit the ribbing with a smaller needle. Dang. I didn't.

I took it to the knitting guild Monday night, hoping that someone there would have a great suggestion, other than ripping it out. Several knitters pointed out that I probably should have done the ribbing on smaller needles than the stockinette portion of the body. Did you know that? Well, I didn't but apparently it's pretty common knowledge in the knitting world that you knit ribbing on smaller needles than you're using for the body of the garment. Save that suggestion for future reference, maybe. Not much help in my current situation.

Many people asked if I'd blocked it yet, why no, I haven't, because I still need to finish knitting the front ribbing before it's finished. But it was flipping so bad that I doubted even wet blocking would help. (I've had this flipped ribbing problem with another sweater one time, a pullover, and blocking didn't get it out). Grrr.

All week, I kept trying to come up with solutions - such as maybe crocheting along that bottom edge and/or put fringes of yarn down from the ribbing and weight the edge down with little beads. It would be a decoration, but would also weight down the material that wants to turn up.

In desperation, I took the garment over to Julie's house and she said, "Give it to me and I'll steam it." Steam it? Really? I've never tried that before. Yes, she has a steamer down in her basement. Ten minutes later, the shrug looked so much better. It was laying perfectly flat. Amazing!

Now that we've fixed that problem, the fringes and beading idea still sound appealing to make the shrug even cuter and more unique, and it's nice to know that steaming really is a good option. Wet blocking isn't the only kind of blocking out there. Nice to know, eh? And I went out to Mar-Becs and got one for myself - only $30, you can't beat that.

Edited to add: And now it's finished - I did end up adding the little beaded fringes of yarn that I'd come up with as one of the possible solutions to the rib flipping problem. Not bad. It sorta adds an extra cute factor. It's probably a little TOO cute for someone of my certain age - but what the heck, I'll wear it in good fun. I now call it my "Cha Cha Shrug."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Afghan Finished - College Life Begun

It's finished. Yay!

My daughter is at school, safe and sound.

All her stuff is in her dorm.

She's starting a new college life.

And now we are feeling the aches and pains of the move. Even a hot soak doesn't help much.

But it's good. She'll be fine.

Our little bird has flown the coop.

I'm feeling relieved and a little sad. Not allowing that to overwhelm me yet.

Lot of emotions. But whew, it's gonna be okay.

Friday, August 06, 2010

It's a Boy!

No, I didn't just have a baby or a grandbaby. I just found out that my Green Creek Conure, Mac, is a boy. With Green Cheeks, the males and females are virtually indistinguishable by sight, so you have to have them blood tested to find out for sure. Tests just came back late last week. Here is Emily with Mac.

Mac not only enjoys riding on my shoulder everywhere he can, but he also enjoyed spinning with me. If you look closely, or click on the photo to enlarge it, you can see Mac perched on the back of my chair while I'm spinning on my new little Merlin Tree "Roadbug" wheel.

Speaking of gender, I've decided that the Roadbug is definitely a female. My friend Luann said I should have had her painted Green (favorite color) but I thought, no she's just a plain, down-to-earth, but quirky and funny girl I call appropriately enough "Rhoda the Roadbug." She's named in honor of one of my favorite sit-com characters, Rhoda Morganstern, from the Mary Tyler Moore series.

Remember Rhoda? (the lively sidekick of MTM). I always wished I could be as beautiful, funny and talented as her - plus I wanted her attic apartment. If Rhoda could have been a real person, I'm almost SURE she would have been a knitter - maybe she would have spun huge art yarn? Probably would have had a loom as big as her apartment, and maybe knit some wild colorful shawls and definitely over-the-top quirky hats. Maybe she would have knit creative, fantatic freeform sweaters? Who knows.

One more gender analysis, I believe that my Mach II Spinolution wheel is a male - and I call him Henry. He's broad and substantial, and I picture him much like a Henry the VIII kind of guy. He likes to stay home in his castle, eat a lot of fiber, and not move around much. He rules over the spinning kingdom here at home as my best "go to" wheel - he likes to be the ruler.