Monday, April 29, 2013

Baby Blanket Squares

Most of my knitting time recently has been going into squares for the first baby blanket of the year.  This is my second time making the Mitered Crosses blanket from Mason-Dixon Knitting, and I still love the pattern.  Instigated by the 2011 tsunami in Japan, proceeds from the sales of this pattern still go to Mercy Corps relief work.
For a baby-sized blanket, I adjust the pattern and do a simple 3x3 square.  That's my 5-inch gauge ruler in the picture for scale.  I'm knitting it entirely out of worsted weight stash, and am pretty thrilled that it looks like I may actually have enough of the cream color.  One more square to go, attaching, weaving of ends, and an applied I-cord border (in the multi-color yarn).  Looks to be on track for finishing by the end of May!

I have once again joined the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup group on Ravelry.  I intend that this will distract me from neither my knitting goals nor my blogging.  It did last time, but this time around I feel like I know more about it, and have a plan for incorporating it into my knitting routine.  Hopefully, it will also help me get my ravelry projects page caught up with reality.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Barely Related to Knitting

Two weeks ago, the husband was out of town for work for about five days.  So I decided to paint the living room.  We've lived in this house for nearly seven years now, and have done no painting whatsoever.  It's still entirely beige.  My mother, by contrast, hadn't owned her new house for two weeks before every room was a different, bold color.  Neither the husband nor I are against painting, we just hadn't made it happen.

Last spring, Ace Hardware had a deal where you could get a quart of paint for free.  We found the particular mossy green color I had always had in mind for the living room, and Mom got a can and I got one.  Our living room is a long open space that's really the same room as the dinning room, and is open to the kitchen.  So the plan was to paint  just two walls to set the living room space apart from the rest of it.  We thought two quarts would probably be enough.  I should have asked my dad to pick up a quart, too.

When the same get-a-quart-free deal rolled around this year, Mom and I figured it was time to use the paint from last year.  With the husband out of town for a bit, we had a great opportunity to surprise him.  He had known we were getting the paint last year, but hadn't heard about it since.  So when he left for the airport, I took Lil One to my mother-in-law's, gathered equipment, and got ready.

Here's the before picture, ready to paint, with husband's motorcycle cover doing duty as a couch protector.
(Standing next to the dinning room table to take this picture -- see the chair in the lower right)

Mom and my brother came over Sunday afternoon to help paint.  Turns out that we needed three quarts, which only became apparent after Ace was closed for the day.  Here is Sunday's progress, and the patches we couldn't quite get.

So Monday morning I went back to Ace for one more quart, and that afternoon while kiddo was napping I finished the job.  Painted over those two patches, and gave a second coat to the bits where we had been skimping to try to make the paint be enough.  Here are the after pictures with everything back in place except throw pillows and the pictures on the wall.
(On the left of this picture you can see where the room is open to the kitchen and the door to the garage.)

Here's how this is all (barely) related to knitting -- as I put the furniture back I re-arranged a little bit, bringing  in another chair from the sun porch and creating a lovely little knitting corner by the window.  Of course this was also a great opportunity to organize my living room stash.  While it was all spread out in the den during painting, it took nearly half the floor space.

Husband didn't say much about it, and it took a couple of days to get a sense of whether or not he liked it.  He does, he just doesn't care very much about what color the walls are, which is probably part of why it's all still beige.

I love it, and am now plotting about the laundry nook and the half-bath.  Yellow.  Somewhere between sunshine and cornbread.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

2013 Washcloths - April Edition

The April washcloth is now finished. Knit with the cranberry color of Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Cotton in "Stockinette Triangles," the April 4th pattern from my "365 Knitting Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar."  I had a plan to make the triangles in two colors so the purls and knits would be different colors, but to still have a reversible washcloth that would have required intarsia with at least ten little balls of yarn, and that was not the level of involvement I was looking for with this washcloth.  It looked really neat in my head, though, so perhaps I'll try it another time.  Maybe when I'm down to using up scraps of colors.

So far so good with this year's goal!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Yarn Along - Barbie Doll clothes

Joining Ginny's Yarn Along again.  Lots of great knitting and reading ideas over there.

Last week all my other knitting was put on hold to churn out some doll clothes for Niece S.  She turned five this week, and loves her Barbie dolls.  If you ever want to knit for Barbie dolls, has everything you might want.  Well over a thousand patterns there.  I knit a dress, a jacket, a top, shorts and a skirt (not pictured).

As far as reading goes, I've started re-reading A Clash of Kings, the second book in George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series.