Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

It can save more than the environment. Case in point, these:
Swiffer Covers 2

Handy, dandy handmade covers for my Swiffers (dry and the Wet Jet). Total cost for the two: approx $2.25, a savings of goodness knows how much over the at least two disposable cloths each I was using per week before. Now to find a solution that will replace the floor cleaning fluid for the Wet Jet.... Any ideas?

Pattern: Skull Charms Reusable Swiffer Cover
Yarn: Peaches 'n Creme, black (MC) and 168, the imaginatively named "shades of green" (CC) -- a little less than a ball of each for the two
Needle: Brittany walnut (yeah, the beautifully turned ones they're not making anymore) #7 -- note a pattern lately in my needle usage?
Mods: None for the dry Swiffer cover. For the cover for the Wet Jet, I did three full repeats of the 12-row pattern to make it wide enough to fit.

Here's a pic showing the "pockets" at the end which hold it on:
Swiffer Covers 1

Just love these!

In other RRR news, M and I found this at the thrift store today:

Yep, a handmade Irish fisherman sweater. And it was dirt cheap 'cuz, frankly, who'd WANT one of these here?! We had a chilly winter this year, and I can't remember a single moment when I would have been tempted to put this on (and I've been cold since about birth).

Anyhoo, that's about 31 ounces of prime Irish wool (checked the seams, and it looks completely re-claimable) or a really beautiful sweater for someone who'd like it. [Sweater measures about 48" at the underarm.] I couldn't leave it in the store but, honestly, don't really have a use for it myself. So, anyone wanna make an offer (trade preferred) for it?

Oh, and this should add credence to its claim of being handmade:

Note the boo boo in the cable on the sleeve.

Emergency Babe Done

Emergency Babe 2

Here she is. Done and ready to be shipped off tomorrow for the auction.

Pattern: Babe from Knitted Babes by Claire Garland
Yarn: RYC Cashsoft 4-ply for Babe; SWTC TOFUtsies for sundress
Needles: Inox 40" 2.5mm for Babe; some old aluminum #3s for sundress
Other: felt, embroidery floss
Mods: Let's see: knit the Babe in the round (will never knit one flat again) with Kitchenered scalp; legs and arms are picked up from the body and knit in i-cord; dress is an improvised pattern (see below).

Oh, and to keep her neck from flopping, I came up with a great solution: I put a short emery board (the kind you use for your nails) in her. It's abrasive enough that it won't move around in the stuffing, stiff enough to keep her neck from flopping, and still soft enough that it will break or bend before causing any harm. Also, if it does break or bend, there aren't any splinters like you'd get with a craft stick.

In other knitting news, I delivered the piano scarf this morning. It was a hit. When I left Marilyn with it in the choir loft, it was draped across the organ console, and she was moving her head all around watching the keyboard appear and disappear. When I took her daughter (who wanted to know what the scarf's "magic" was) up to see it later, she, too, was entertained. So glad when people are as delighted with things as I am. It was meant to tickle and amuse, and so it did.

Tidal Wave sock #1 is just about ready for Dr. Kitchener, but my next "big" project (that would be "big" as in it's my at home project, not big as in it has any size to it) is a Swiffer Cover. Yipeee! Two of my favorite things: knitting and reducing trash. With any luck, this one'll be done before it's time to clean the floors on Tuesday.

Pattern for Babe Sundress

Yarn: SWTC TOFUtsies
Needle: US3
Gauge: approx 8sts=1" in stockinette

Cast on 70 stitches. Knit 4 rows. Switch to stockinette (starting with a K row) and work even for 3", ending with a WS row.

The remainder of the dress is worked in garter stitch (knit every row).

Decrease row: *K1, K2tog, repeat from * until 1 stitch remains, K1 (47 stitches)
Next row: K
Decrease row: *K1, K2tog, repeat from * until 2 stitches remain, K2 (32 stitches)
Knit 9 rows even, ending with a WS row
Cast off 6 stitches at beginning of next two rows (20 stitches)
Cast off 3 stitches at beginning of next two rows (14 stitches)
(these two rows form back waist)
Work 10 rows garter stitch, ending with a WS row
K4, bind off middle 6 stitches, K4

Continuing to work only on last 4 stitches, work 11 more ridges garter stitch and bind off.

Rejoin yarn to 4 remaining stitches and work 11 ridges garter stitch, bind off.

Finishing: sew back seam; sew straps to back waist; weave in ends; block if desired

Piano Illusion Scarf

This one was a really fun knit. Watching the illusion develop made the mostly-garter-stitch-but-still-have-to-pay-attention knitting significantly less of a chore. I'm sure Marilyn (who I know loves funky socks) will appreciate it.
Piano Illusion 3

Pattern: Counterpoint Scarf by Jennifer Crawford (from whom I also borrowed the idea of photographing it ON the keyboard
Yarn: Peaches 'n Creme Cotton in white and black; just about 1.5 balls of black and probably an equal amount of white (we buy that by the cone) for a 4+ octave scarf which blocked out to just about 5'
Needles: #5 Brittany Walnut (I LOVE those needles)
Mods: I don't think I finished it the way the pattern said: I basically just made the end look like the beginning.

And if she doesn't wear it as a scarf, perhaps a table runner:
Piano Illusion 2

In other knitting news: the first Tidal Wave sock is just about to the toe. No new photos, sorry. I can say, however, that I am LOVING the Harmony needle. The cable is soft and the tips really do feel like glass. I don't think I realized just how much I was enjoying this needle or how much nicer it was than my former standby sock needle until I had to use said needle yesterday to work on an emergency project.

Emergency project?! Yes, the school where M used to teach is having its annual fundraising auction next month (the one for which Mr. Penguin was felted last year), and she got an email from one of the parent coordinators wishing that they had such an item this year. I figured I don't have time to felt an animal in time to get it there for pre-auction viewing, but I can whip out a Knitted Babe in a couple of days, right?

So, yesterday afternoon, I cast on for a Babe (this one'll only have one outfit). The body's done and stuffed, and I've picked up the stitches for the first arm (among the mods this time around are knitting the body in the round, picking up stitches for the arms and legs, and doing the arms and legs in i-cord). Will post photos when she's a little more decent.

Speaking of that, I should stop writing and get back to the knitting. Wish me luck!

They're DONE!

The Grey Socks

The grey socks are DONE!

Pattern: Generic top-down sock, 68 stitches with 2x2 rib at the cuff and a slip-stitch heel.
Yarn: Mega Boots Stretch Softcolor #505
Needle: Inox 2.5mm 40" circular, magic loop style

This is the second pair of socks I've attempted with Mega Boots Stretch (the first I've finished), and I'm really not sure I like the yarn. It's very splitty and very fuzzy which can make it difficult to work with. But the socks are done, and as soon as I find someone in a colder clime with size 8 (women's) feet or smaller, they will have a home.

But now it's on to the next sock project:
2nd Tidal Waves Socks 1

A new pair of Tidal Wave Socks (pdf link) from the pattern by Deby Lake. It's TOFUtsies #727. And, of course, they're being knit on my new KnitPicks Harmony circular (32" 2.5mm). I am in love with the needle so far.

I love this pattern and this yarn. The pattern is a simple but interesting lace that's perfect for on-the-go knitting. The yarn is soft (and even softer when it's been washed a couple dozen times as my other pair of Tidal Waves have been), not at all itchy, and it holds up beautifully to wear and washing. I know there are those who really don't like it at all, but I am certainly not one of them.

And last, I had to share this little episode in our house last night. Monday morning is trash time in the neighborhood, so Sunday evening M empties all the trash cans and the litter boxes that need it so she can put out the trash barrel before we go to bed. Last night, when she emptied the smaller litter box, she came back in to find this:
K-Man Litter Box 2

That's our little K-Man settling himself in to the litter box. He loves to curl up in small spaces, but the litter box?! Fortunately, we use liners, so the box itself was clean, but still. He appeared ready to take a nap:
K-Man in Litter Box 1


I'm just soo tickled with this I had to share:
Candy Corn Dishcloth 2

Sorry the photo's a bit blurry, but you can see what it is, right? When I found the pattern (through Ravelry) I knew I had to make one for M because she's a candy corn freak. Okay, not the most Easter-ish of Easter presents, but she gave me ballpark snacks (we're off to a game after church today), so we're having a completely non-traditional Easter in the Old Pueblo.

Pattern: Knitted Candy Corn Illusion Cloth from Rhonda White (I could spend forever on her site)
Yarn: Peaches n' Creme in White, Black, Yellow, and Orange (I'm too lazy right now to walk the 20 steps to the loom room to find the color numbers)
Needles: #7 Brittany walnut (the ones with the beautiful turnings they don't make anymore)

Cast on and bound off last evening (with time to spare to knit some more on the piano scarf).

M teased me about being so tickled with this, but she doesn't have a leg to stand on considering the number of dishcloths she's made (and been equally tickled with) since I showed her the dishcloth site.

In other knitting news: the piano scarf is half done, having just reached three octaves long. No new photos yet.

Now, let's see if I can get that darn grey sock done today so I can start something else and use my new KnitPicks Harmony needle. My mother called last night and told me just how much she's loving knitting on hers and suggested that I fondle mine for a bit as motivation to get the grey sock done (I have, and it worked). [Lest you think my family is totally nuts: she did not call to tell me to fondle a knitting needle; it just came up.]

Been Away So Long....

Really, I've been knitting [some of it super-secret, which is a bummer 'cuz I really like the finished product -- oh well, in a couple of months...] I just haven't been writing about it. I've also been playing, or more correctly, watching other people play at Tucson Electric Park (I <3 Spring Training!).

So, the knitting. I finished Mystery Project #1 which will be delivered to its intended recipient by April 2nd, after which I will post photos here. For the curious, here is a link to details on Ravelry.

Then there was that super-secret Mystery Project #2. Can't give any details (sorry, not even on Ravelry) for now, but here's a peek:
Sneak Peek of Mystery Project 2

That's it -- the rest will have to wait until the pattern is published.

But here's some knitting I can show off:

Just a black and white striped scarf, right? Of course not:

I saw the pattern and knew I had to make it for Marilyn, my piano teacher who also happens to be our church's organist and the wife of M's Senior Pastor.

I am loving the knitting, and can't help but turn it sideways every few rows to admire the growing keyboard (I've finished only one octave so far). I think I may become addicted to illusion knitting very quickly.

In other knitting news, the darn grey socks are almost done. Here's a pic of #1 as it stood Wednesday afternoon:

Since then I've finished #1 and am about to turn the heel on #2, and I can't wait to have them done. Why am I so anxious to finish? Well, it could be that I'm sick of grey; it could be that I'm not really liking how splitty the yarn is; it could be that I am completely bored with all that tiny stockinette. Yes, it could be any of those things, but what it really is that I finally bought myself a Knit Picks Harmony wood 2.5mm circ for sock knitting and I really, REALLY want to use it.

And yes, since you asked, my toenails ARE fluorescent pink, and I DO drink far too much Diet Coke (though right now I'm enjoying a Diet Barq's).

Oh, and now that they've finally made it available on its own, I've ordered me a copy of the Morehouse Farms Alligator Scarf pattern. Oh how I wish they did online delivery of patterns (yeah, like I need to start another project right now, but I like instant gratification).

Tucson Ribbed T

Here it is!


Pattern: Bob by Jamie Cook-Jacques
Yarn: Reynolds Tucson #24, it wound up taking about 6 balls
Needles: WEBS Hard Bamboo Interchangeable Circ #8
Mods: Made the sleeves 1" longer than the pattern called for.

I love how this turned out. The yarn is very soft, the sweater is very comfortable. It'll make for perfect wearing for the next couple of months while it's both hot and cool at the same time (only in the desert).

Next project has to remain secret for a little while, but the details are over on Ravelry (along with some new photos).

Recipe For a Cheap Date

Friday night is date night around here. Lately that has meant dinner -- either at home or at our favorite Mexican place -- then a wander about the Foothills Mall, followed by coffee and desert somewhere. Yes, we're wild and crazy.

Yesterday was a little different:
  • M finds expiring gift certificate for a free medium specialty pizza at a local gourmet pizza place we've yet to try out. Total cost for dinner: $3.00 for soda
  • Cold Stone Creamery coupon means two ice creams for $5.00
  • Stop by the video store to pick up a movie (My Big Fat Greek Wedding -- can you believe M's never seen it?) and discover that it's free movie weekend. Total cost for entertainment: $0.00
Bringing the grand total cost of our cheap date night to $8 plus tax. Under $10 for dinner, ice cream, and movie for 2. Gotta love it.

Coming soon: elegant date night for two on the cheap (cash in credit card reward points for Melting Pot gift cards).

Yeah, yeah, I know I owe the blog a picture and details on the finished Tucson Ribbed T. It's coming, really -- gotta cut all those pesky ends off and photo it.