Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'd Like to Do This More Often

I'd really love to post to the blog more often, but it seems the moon and stars have to align. First, I need to have interesting knitting to show. Then I have to have a decent photo of my interesting knitting. (Surprisingly difficult to come by.) And then I have to have a few minutes to pull it all together.

I could blame my lack of time on Libby living at home now and Laura popping in at random intervals, but in all fairness, it's mostly because I finally took the plunge and began redecorating the guest bath. I chose it as a jumping off point to a total wallpaper purge. We've got wallpaper in eight rooms and our realtor says we have to get rid of all of it. I figure it would cost $10,000 to have it done by a proper professional, so I'm having a whack at it to see what I can accomplish myself. I think I could do it, too, if I didn't have a full-time job!

DH lacks the confidence to do much on his own, and I do agree it took some nerve to keep going after I saw what the walls looked like under the paper in the guest bath. I started there because it was small. Turns out small is a problem. You can hardly turn around, no one can fit in there to give you a hand, and every two feet it seems you run into a corner or crevice that requires infinite patience to get right. Anyhow, I've discovered that I'm capable of applying skim coat to smooth the walls. Now the next test is whether I'm capable of sanding it off to actually result in walls smooth enough to paint. I'm hoping that DH is capable of being trained to help with the sanding!

I am managing to do some knitting in between frantically trashing the bathroom and adjoining laundry room. I've got all the pieces done on my cable maze cardigan, and now only have to weave in ends, block everything, assemble, knit neck and button bands and sew on buttons. I just realized that my fantasy of wearing it to the department party on Saturday evening is pretty ridiculous. I'd forgotten about knitting the bands, I guess. And I don't have buttons yet. Not gonna happen in time. I am happy with how it's turning out. Of course, I still don't believe it will fit me, but that's only because every other sweater I've ever knit has turned out to have the flattering properties of a feed sack. I do love the Plymouth Royal Bamboo as a finished product, but DAMN that stuff is splitty! I'm not sure how durable it is going to turn out to be either, but it is SOFT and has a nice sheen. It reminds me a lot of rayon, but it's not nearly as slippery to work with. I spoke to a local LYS owner at the guild meeting last week, and he told me, "Everyone hates bamboo." Nice thing to say to someone in the middle of a bamboo project! I think to be a good YS owner, you need to have a better bedside manner than that!

I also started swatching and dyeing main color for a housewarming gift for Laura's first apartment -- a set of placemats in her favorite colors - rust with navy trim. I'm using the felted trivet pattern from Felted Knits by Beverly Galeskas, resized to placemats. KnitPicks didn't have the rust color I wanted in their bulky, feltable stuff, so I bought "bare" and some of their Jacquard acid dye and took the afternoon off to dye it yesterday. It's not as deep a color as I'd envisioned, but it is pretty. I think she'll like it. I was surprised how much yarn 600 grams turned out to be! I had to do the dyeing in the washing machine because it was way too much for my stainless steel dutch oven. That required an extra 2 gallons of water (ideally would have used 4, ended up having to use 6 to fill the tub to cover the yarn), and of course I couldn't "cook" it in the washer, so that probably accounts somewhat for the light color. All things considered, I guess it turned out pretty well! Now all I have to do is untangle the hanks (I swear I cannot understand how it gets tangled the way it does even though it's secured in two places on the hank) and wind them into my hand-made flat center-pull balls for knitting.
What is the "logic" that prompts me to start a new project just BEFORE finishing a prior project, I wonder. Surely it would be smarter to finish project one before diving into project two. I know I'm not the only knitter who struggles with "start-itis." And it sure is fun to get new yarn in the mail and play with dye and all that. It's a constant battle to maintain discipline, though! Ah, hell with it. I'm having a good time!


Libby P said...

lovely post mom, thanks for jumping back into the blog, i'll join you shortly... as soon as a little project of my own is finally finished. and no, dear readers, i do not speak of knitting.

love you!


Laura said...

Hey mom, I do really like the color, I can't wait to get the rest of my placemats and coasters and stuff. Thanks! (Do I want to know what DH stands for, or no?)