Monday, February 11, 2008


Here is some stream of consciousness writing for you:

It is 4 AM, and I am bustling around, doing dishes, cooking for the day, hard-boiling eggs and keeping the laundry rolling. "What is she doing?" you ask. She is doing what she always does. Goes to bed at 7:15 PM because she cannot keep her eyes open, and awakens at 2:30 AM when DS arrives home (or whenever DH begins to snore.) Sigh. I guess it's a mid-forties thing. Or maybe a self-preservation thing--if I'm going to be awakened each night, it might as well be after 5-6 hours of sleep!

It doesn't help that I've just had 8 ounces of diet Pepsi with Lime, and am working on an antipasti platter of cheese cubes, crackers, olives, pickles and hard-cooked egg. No way I am sleeping after that, heh!

Thought I'd post about blocking. We have replaced all but 2 rooms of the house with laminate flooring; the remaining two rooms have awful, 12-year-old carpeting (that is due to be replaced this year after I pay off my Lasik surgery!) What I usually do is lay an old sheet down on the carpeting, and pin out my wooly items into the carpet and padding, spray them down with a fine mist of water, and leave them to sit overnight. In this weather, with the furnace running all the time, items dry within 2-3 hours; in the summer it may take 24-48 hours. I usually don't drench the items, but I do spray them liberally :)

It's funny, learning to knit with wool in the past 2 years has taught me a lot about blocking and finishing items. Prior to wool, I had acrylic, which I find does not require blocking. However, I have also made crochet cotton doilies for many years, and I don't remember ever blocking them! Ever! I usually iron them if I want them to be less rumply after laundering; even that is awful because I just throw the items into the washing machine. Cave-man style linen care :) (Well, some items I have hand washed and laid flat to dry.)

But now, I feel I have some finesse to apply to my finished items. Really, the amount of work that goes into making crocheted lace deserves better than I have given in the past! I want them to last for generations, and be appreciated for their beauty, even by muggles.

That reminds me--two years ago, I went to a craft show in early November, doing some Christmas shopping. There is a local church that has an annual craft fair and sale with about 40 booths! It's just down the road from my house. Anyway, one of the booths had vintage crochet and embroidered linens for DIRT CHEAP!!! The lady selling the things said that they were her mother's, and that she'd found trunkfuls of them after her mom passed. She and her sister split up what they wanted, and were selling the rest.

Oh my, I don't have to tell you that I spent my whole wad on those linens! I will have to pull them out and photo-document them for posting here! You will be so amazed. If I remember right, I spent about $22-28 dollars and got TONS of doilies, tablecloths, towels, etc. There are some incredible items in that stash! And such beautiful work.

Have you seen this 4th of July potholder? (1/18/09 ETA: Fixed link is here.)Isn't it the bomb?! I would like to make one of those myself....Really into the patriotic thing right now. I started a group on Ravelry about patriotic knits--some of the items that are posted there are so gorgeous! I love the red, white, and blue! So graphic, so meaningful, so crisp and summery!

About yesterday's photo shoot:

Uh. It was colder than stink! Look at this close-up of my poor hand. My thumb is getting pre-frostbite! And this is after running outside in my Blue Beauty sweater, posing for about 3 minutes, running back inside until I thawed out, and then running back outside for another 2-3 minutes shooting photos! Ah, the things we do for the love of knitting....I musta been crazy :D (current wind chill is around -18 degrees F! Not sure what it was yesterday....)

See ya!


shell said...

You were really up early! Today my kids have a 2 hour delay, really wish it was no school. I truely think weather this cold deserves one sitting inside and knitting or spinning, not running around out in it.
I find I too have learned to care for my hand knit items much better than I had prior to my love affair with wool.

hakucho said...

Love this last picture of your really is gorgeous. Love the color and it fits you perfectly. You must be so happy :)

Stay's freezing here too. I so can't wait for the warmer spring weather :)