Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The word for the week is...

ACHOOOOOO! Back next week once the Hell Sniffles are over!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It cast on ITSELF. Really it did!

Remember how on Monday I was going to start Maplewing?
I had a wee accident with Red Heart Team Spirit yarn instead.


It just jumped on my needles ALL BY ITSELF and started knitting up this cool sweater....

....from the latest Sabrina Fashion Knits. (Yeah, the page is in Swedish, sorry. And does anyone know what "Förhandsbokning" means? I think it's something like "pre-order"... but it would be cool if it was the word for knitting.)

Anyway, here's the Knitting Accident so far...

It just jumped on my needles. Really, it DID.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Perfect Yarn (Not Pictured)

So, last week, I went to Fibre Space to get more of the lovely silver Metalico. Sadly, they were completely out, but ordered more (and two more skeins will be mine, bwahahahaha!). Since I was in a YARN STORE, some stuff came home with me. The first thing I picked up was a cute little pewter square neckthingy - YO on one side, K2TOG on the other:

It's like a little knitter's dog tag. I'm wearing it today, of course.

I also got some yarn. I can't remember whose, but it was lovely. (And I'll find out for Wednesday.) Oranges and browns and just screaming of autumn. In other words, I finally have the yarn to make Ann Hanson's "Maplewing":

Ann's Photo, not mine.
Isn't it GORGEOUS????

Someone pointed this shawl out to me, and I knew it was going to happen If I Ever Found The Perfect Yarn. I did, I just bought the pattern, and it will be cast on tonight.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Not much knitting, but I finally tracked down a song that's been haunting me since I caught it on a vidshow a year or more ago. So, I share with you:

Have a good long weekend!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The month-long splice

So, about a month ago, I went on a cross-body bag shopping spree (NOT a cross body-bag spree, that's something else entirely) and got a lovely little green LeSportsac bag. Which happened to come with a smaller bag, which I wasn't using until last week. (The quarter - really, the shiny thing is a quarter - is for scale. It's a pretty small bag.)

What I put in it was my Jolly Roger cowl thingy. Which I've been carrying around since the last time you saw it, with the second ball of Metalico all balled up and ready to go, but not spliced.

Finally, today, during lunch, I spliced the yarn. Metalico splices like a dream, by the way...

So, there it is, all spliced, and ready to finish Row #7. (The slightly darker yarn in the bit-of-splice that's still drying.) So I might actually finish it before it gets too cold for a light lacy alpaca/silk cowl!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Can acrylic be un-scratchified?

In the arena of "this is either brilliant or nuts", I was driven to an experiment by the following:

From a comment by "Kristal" (September 13, 2012 at 4:44 am) on the relevant day's Worsted For Wear comment section:
There's a secret to using Red Heart. Leave it in the skein, but remove the wrapper. Get the whole darned thing damp - all the way through to the core - then wrap it tightly in a plastic bag. Tie or ziploc the bag shut so no air or water escapes, then toss it in the fridge for a few days.
The scratchy fades.
A lot of the scratchy, awful feel is from the sizing chemicals they put on the acrylic. The water and cold breaks these chemicals down, and gets rid of a surprising amount of that nastiness.
So, we start with a partial skein of green Red Heart.

Then, fill a bag with water, get the air out, and put it in the fridge:

Now, in the photo on the right, the water appears to have a greenish tint - it doesn't really at this point - it's just refraction, reflection, and other neat tricks. Four days later, however....

Yeah, that water is pretty green. Next, we remove the yarn from the bag, carefully dump the oddly green water, and rinse the yarn.... and then hank it so it can dry. (My lack of tinker-toys is evident; I'd have a knitty-noddy else.)

Now, the test. Is it actually any softer than un-soaked Red Heart?

The answer: NO. In fact, the soaked yarn feels slightly sticky/tacky at this point, but the un-soaked yarn actually feels about the same scratchy-ness. I will continue the experiment later by knitting up one mitten from the soaked yarn and the second from the unsoaked, to see if there's any difference in how it feels as it's worn, but I'm thinking (at this point) that soaking Red Heart doesn't really do much. Possibly they changed the formulation of the yarn or chemicals - but this batch is no softer than it started, and feels slightly worse.

PS, if you're not reading Rachael & Josh Anderson's Worsted For Wear webcomic, you should be!!