Monday, October 23, 2006

Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude has been active in shipping care packages and other things to our service members stationed around the world. (See Crazy Aunt Purl's blog about her visit to an OpGratitude collection & packing site in June 2006.)

New to their
Wish List is an invitation for people to knit scarves for our service people. Not just ones to wear on duty (like Operation Home Front's Helmet Liners) but scarves for fun and comfort when wearing civvies. (For other off duty comfort, see Operation Toasty Toes.)

Anyway, here are the three scarves I'll be shipping off this week to OpGrat. I made the goldish moss stitch and wild black and orange scarf; Juliette made the green basketweave scarf. She gave me the black-and-orange yarn, whereas I gave her the green yarn; the green and gold (actually, two strands fo slightly different colors) were made from donated yarn.

All of which you could probably care less about, and just want me to get to the lizard part:


Friday, October 20, 2006


A friend of mine is just learning to knit, and another friend has recently started knitting again after a lapse of several years, so I pulled out the tub of knitting magazines and pattern books and leaflets for them to look through. Many of the magazines and things were given to me through the years by other no-longer-knitting knitters, so some of them are rather like going through a time capsule, looking at the fashions and hair styles (and home decor) of 20-30 years ago.

Today, while overseeing Georgia, the dog from next door, exploring the living room, I spotted a magazine that I'd forgotten about. Measuring 13" x 10" in size, it didn't fit in the tub, and has been hunkering down on the dining room table amidst all the books from my long-ago collapsed 7-shelf bookcase.

The magazine is McCall's Needlework & Crafts, the Fall/Winter 1965-1966 edition, which sold for $0.75. One of the photos on the cover, otherwise adorned with angel ornaments, stuffed animals, tote bag, a mosaic rooster, and a man and woman wearing black-and-white intarsia and slip-stitch patterns sweaters, was this:

Now, lest you think that this was part of their Halloweend Costume Collection, let me say that there is no costume collection in here, Halloween or otherwise. In the magazine itself, this charming "Boys' Ski Mask" was paired with a Girls' Ski Mask:

They appear together on the same photo spread as these two rather nice Boys' and Girls' sweaters:

My guess is that the ski mask designer was into Carlos Castenada at the time.... (Uhm, for those of rather younger than I am, here's a hint: peyote.)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Lizard That Ate Chicago

Well, okay, so maybe that isn't one of my socks, and maybe the lizard didn't suddenly grow big enough to eat Chicago. Well, that is one of my socks - I knit a small sock to go along with the little sweaters to donate to CCI for their fundraiser holiday tree. I'm also playing around with trying to knit a driedl, and some Magan Davids, but I can't seem to get the tension to my liking, nor the increases (or decreases, depending on if I'm knitting from point to base or vice versa) to look neat and non-nubbed.

I cast on 24 sts to make the sock posing with Mike...think I'll do some 18 st ones. When I was making the one above, I found myself automatically starting to do the slip 1, knit 1 heel, but then I thought, heck, no one's going to be wearing this sock, so there's no reason to make a sturdy heel!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Hand-Dye, and A Missing Lizard

Several months ago, Phina Borgeson, one of our knitting guild members, offered to teach us a bit about dying yarn. We met three times this year in the evening at Canine Companions for Independence (thanks to one of our members and her knitting assistance dog), so it was perfect being able to use their kitchen, with its sinks, stoves, and microwave.

Fortunately, not a huge group turned out tonight, and so there was enough time to not feel completely rushed as we soaked our yarns, and either dyed them a single color in the stove-top pots, or hand dyed them, painting on the dyes while the hanks lay in a Pyrex dish before microwaving them.

I took some photos of the others' yarns as they were painting and dyeing them, and I'll get a page up on them sometime this week or so, along with my transcribed notes from Phina's instructions, but I thought I'd post my hank here.

We were using Paz Easter egg dyes and vinegar. Here's my hand-dye using the turquoise and hot pink, all wrapped in plastic wrap before putting it into the microwave:

Once the water runs clear after microwaving for a couple of minutes, I rinsed the hank out under hot water, carefully squeezed out the remaining water, and here it is!

I didn't get the turquoise all the way down the 'stack' of yarn so there are some color variations, from a bit a of white showing, through different intensities of the turquoise. Where the turquoise and hot pink overlapped a bit, there are touches of purple.

My favorite colors!!!

Phina said that the best time to by the Paz kits are right after Easter, when they go on sale. She also recommends splurging and buying the 9 tab kit so you get the cool colors like turquoise. On the way home, I was envisioning color junkies lurking in dim alleys, swapping Paz tabs of colors they don't like with those who have colors they do.

So, I get home, and find Mike has left a calling card for me, letting me know that he got down and went cruising after I left the house shortly after 6 PM. I, uhm, stepped over it on my way to hang my hank of still-wet yarn in the iguana room and say hey to Mike...only to find he was not there.

When in my room changing clothes, I did check my side of the bed to see if there was a tail sticking out from under the body pillow. No tail. I checked in between the blue- and white-covered duvets to see if he was laying under the white one. No Mike.

Off I went to clean up his pile (my gawd can that boy poop!), and then look for him. Not under my desk, which is where he's gone the last couple of times he decided to sleep outside of his own room. So, I picked up a flashlight and went to check under my bed. Before I got down on the floor, however, I decided to check 'his' side of the bed, just in case... And there he was! Well, there his tail was:

I flipped back the pile of duvets to check on him, and he was still quite warm. Between the feather bed on top of the mattress, the flannel sheet and flannel-covered down comforter (the blue one under the white cotton-covered down comforter), he stays warm so long that it is detectable the next morning.

So, a productive day: I learned to hand-dye and pot-dye yarn, and Mike put himself to bed (well, into my bed) on the right side for a change!

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