The young master heard about balaclavas and the idea intrigued him because his face is always cold in the winter, so I offered to knit him one. Basically what I did was take my basic hat pattern, that I’ve been using since before he was born, and make it really long, adding a little peep-out window for his eyes. Unfortunately although he’s a teenager now, his head’s not really “adult-sized,” so this is loose all around, on him. I may try to felt it, or crochet around the window to firm that area up, or something. I may just knit him a second one and give this to Chris or some other bloke with a big head.
I despise this. Despise it! It is always such a hassle and nuisance. I’ve just finished wrapping the ROV presents, so you can expect them in a week or so, but…next year, I’m going with gift bags. I hate wrapping presents.
Recently I bought a bunch of Elsebeth Lavold’s “Silky Wool” to make a skirt on the knitting machine, and I did, and had 9 skeins left over. I offered it for sale in my Ravelry stash, but there were no takers; it sat around, and since the colors are so great I kept trying to think of something to make with it.
Last night I had an idea for a pullover; it would have to be done with colorblocking, because the two colors of Silky Wool in the stash didn’t go well together. Luckily I had some mustard-colored Lang Seta Tweed to break up the two greens.
This morning I decided to challenge myself to see if I could complete an entire sweater (from cast-on to blocking) in one day. Yes, the knitting machine would have to be used.
I did it!
First I knit the back and the front as identical rectangles. After removing them from the machine, I bound off the shoulder end with a straight bind-off and the hem edge with a picot bind-off. Then I took the front piece upstairs to the sewing machine, marked and machine-stitched a neckline, and cut the excess knitting away. (I have to do it this way because I haven’t yet mastered ‘necklines on the machine.’ That is my project for the holiday season.)
Then the shoulders got seamed, and for the first time I tried hanging the sweater on the machine and knitting the sleeves right onto the body. (Usually I hand-knit sleeves, even on machine-knit bodies.) This was awkward and annoying, and probably next time I’ll just knit separate sleeves on the machine and seam them to the body afterwards. But at any rate, once the sleeves were done, I bound off the sleeves with a picot bind-off, and then seamed the sleeve seams and side seams. Lastly, I picked up around the neckline in such a way that the sewing machine stitches would be hidden, and knit a tall mockneck which then got folded down to the inside of the garment and tacked in place (again, to hide that sewing machine stuff).
The picture does not show it blocked – I’m going to steam-block it later. Ended up with about 3 yards of excess yarn. Now THAT’S what I call stashbusting!
(And ballbusting. Going to have a glass of wine now.)
I don’t do this often, but once I get started I’m sort of in this destroying mode for a week or two. Well, last week I went to Macy’s and purchased a pair of brown corduroy jeans. I tried them on in the store, and they fit fine except for being about a full foot too long. I wore them once or twice and ended up with the hems fraying in the back. Since I was in altering mode this week (due to the Derby Swirl Jeans project) I decided to change these.
Since the only thing I wanted to do was shorten them, it seemed I had a choice of hemming or just cutting off the excess. Naturally I took the lazy way out. But my brown-themed clothing is all chosen to have an irregular, organic look, and so the raw frayed edges would go along with that. I cut 6″ off the hems and flung them into the laundry (for the first time) to get the fraying going.
Yeah, well, they shrunk a little in the wash. Not so bad in the waist/hips, but they shrunk enough in the length that I now own a pair of frayed brown cropped corduroy jeans. Pfft!
However! This is not technically a problem, since I actually prefer a cropped length. They will show off my Luxons nicely, when they get here.
But it did warn me to launder things before making irrevocable adjustments. Maybe a simple laundering would have shrunk them properly in the first place. I may go buy another pair, because they were relatively inexpensive, but if I do, it’d probably be a different color.
I have these awesome Fluevog Derby Swirls which are a beautiful blue-red faux pony hair. They are quite bright, and I’ve not yet been able to find anything to wear with them that doesn’t make them look like clown shoes. So, I spent some time considering what style would look best with them, and punk seemed to be about the best. Couldn’t find any red plaid or Union Jack jeans in my size, so today’s project was deconstructing an old pair from my closet.
The first step: laundering them, since they were in the laundry pile already. Here they are after the initial laundering.
The second step: applying random blobs of bleach. This was actually the toughest part, because the Clorox “Bleach Pen” didn’t do a thing. I had one opened and one unopened, and neither one of them did anything after 5 minutes on the fabric, so I busted out another Clorox product and could see it working immediately. They were then laundered again to stop the bleaching action. Here they are, front and back, bleached.
Third step: applying random areas of red dye. I don’t have a lot of MX dyes around here (that’s what you need to dye cotton), and my craft store hadn’t had any in stock. Instead I purchased Jacquard’s “Tie-Dye Kit” for red tones and used one of the colors in there. It was either Red or Ruby; both were in the kit, and I just grabbed one without looking at it.
First, the bleached jeans went into a bucket of soda ash and warm water for about 15 minutes while I gathered all the other stuff I’d need – towels, rubber gloves, dye pot, stirring stick. These light grey jeans bled a lot in the soda ash bath. They bled a lot. I had planned to do the next bit with the original soda ash bath, but I was afraid it would simply redeposit all the grey back onto the bleached sections, so that stuff went down the drain. I laid out the wet jeans and sprinkled random splotches of dry dye powder here and there, rubbing it into the wet fabric, and then flipped them to do the same on the back. Then I wadded them up in the dye pot and poured new soda ash water all over, and let it sit for an hour. This was followed by a hot-water laundering, to get rid of any excess dye.
Finally, I wanted them to be destroyed as well as altered in color. I took my small scissors and cut slits and holes in them, here and there, and used a pumice stone to rough up and fray the cut edges, for that really worn look.
I’m about 99 and 44/100% happy with them. The only thing that really irritates the hell out of me is that these jeans are 2 sizes too small!
We didn’t go very far abroad this morning because it was drizzling, and I was glad of it, because by the time we found the cache, it was actively raining. This one was near Beaver Lake, just a few miles from home, and after beating the bushes for a while Alex finally found it.
After that, Alex and I spent some exciting time excavating in the foothills of Mount Laundry. Chris made beef stew and I made some bran muffins. Another lovely domestic day here with the US Picks.