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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spring Reading and Crafting

I am trying to finish all my “almost done” projects before August when I move. There will probably be several projects stashed away for when I’m home, but hopefully I’ll get some of the major projects finished.
One of these projects is a hat from “Weekend Hats.” If you haven’t had the chance to look through this book, you should. It has wonderful, knitting inspiration with only hats. Don’t worry about learning how to knit in the round! It is the simplest way to try new stitch patterns. It’s just a tube with decreases on one end. And although there is a gauge recommendation, there is a little less stress that if you were making a sweater. “Weekend Hats” projects are simple enough for a new knitter to enjoy and interesting enough to challenge and grow any knitter’s repertoire. 

I knit a few of its hats over Christmas break, a Green Ruche Beret and a Greenery Beret and was deceived into thinking that since I had picked these two quicker hats, that all of them were that fast. 
They are not.
I cast on for this hat the end of December. Granted, it has sat in a bag for most of the past three months and it is knit with fingering weight yarn. I dyed this yarn back in November with Kool-Aid in my garage. I had had two skeins of plain, cream colored wool leftover from knitting and felting snowmen a few years ago. I ran out of steam to make twenty more snowmen. So I dyed the yarn, and I’m still knitting that hat. I think my gauge is looser than prescribed, but I am not ripping it out. It will join the ranks of adorably slouchy hats.

For those knitters who love the look of variegated and tonal hand-dyed yarn, such as the luxurious Koigu, but can't get over sticker shock, don't despair. I have had all the pleasure of hand-dyed yarn from an inexpensive ball of cream yarn from KnitPicks and several packages of sugar-free Kool-Aid from Food Lion. I made an enormous mess in the garage, spreading out my five Mason jars with their various pink and purple dyes. The longest part was waiting for the beautiful skeins to dry, draped over an obliging clothes line, strung between two different ladders. I think the total cost of the finished yarn (not including the materials such as Mason jars, rubber bands, and vinegar for colorfastness), it will have cost me $7-8 and I still have unused Kool-Aid packages in my closet. 

I am putting together the last square for a blue throw quilt. It was one of my impulse projects. I have always loved blue and white, and one day at JoAnne’s Fabrics, I decided I was going to buy a little yardage from 14 different blue and white fabrics. My mother tried to get me to calculate how much I needed and such. At the present, I need to get a few yards of white fabric to put the four large squares together, and then fabric for the back. Any suggestions? Should it be a blue-and-white floral, stripes, solid?
I have my spring dress to finish. I only have to hem it and but bias-binding on the armholes. I also need to find a coordinating solid fabric to make a cute scarf. Because I had to alter it to fit me, the neckline isn’t perfect and I’d rather toss a scarf over it that have the headache of seam-ripping and starting over. 
I also have a puppy body finished. It still lacks its appendages: arms, legs, and ears. These typically take longer to knit and finish than the body. Each appendage has at least two ends, and it has to be sewn into place on a non-diagramed dog. Um, where should this ear attach? 

If you have any questions or ideas about hand-dying, actually finishing projects, or something else, please leave a comment!

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