Archive for May 2009

Time to hit the highway

May 22, 2009

How could something so beautiful be so deadly?

I was slain by the stealthy assassin Madalice today. And so ends my week-long participation in Sock Wars IV. She chose the Air Raid socks, one of three possible patterns, and one that seems to be favored by the fasted knitters in the competition. The yarn is Plymouth Sockin’ Sox (60% superwash wool, 25% bamboo, 15% nylon) in color 2. Look how well they fit and how beautiful they are; it’s a pleasure to succumb to them. My last words were (no joke), “At least I didn’t get socks today, I’m still alive!” At that point, Noel told me that there was a package waiting for me at home.

Just look how close I was to finishing the pair of Insidious destined for my target, Knit&Sip. I was one inch from starting the toe. I could have finished them tonight if the Priority Mail people had chosen to hang on to my death socks one more day.

I chose to knit Insidious, attracted by the ribbing (which I thought would be forgiving for my target’s size 10 feet) and the cables (which I thought would be fun to knit. Here you can see the big Insidious cable and the little 2/2 cables that surround it. In the end I probably sacrificed a little speed for the fun of these cables. I also thought this pattern worked best with the yarn I had chosen for Knit&Sip, Knit Picks Felici in the Martinique colorway.

The socks in progress will be mailed out to Madalice tomorrow so she can finish them up (fast as she is, it’ll probably be a matter of minutes) and hurl them toward their intended target. Congratulations to a worthy opponent. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the Sock Wars IV tip jar.

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Nothing else will fit right

May 2, 2009

We’ve been in a spring cleaning mood around here for the past couple of weeks.  Okay, my husband’s been doing just about all the cleaning.  But today I decided to pitch in by attacking the piles of old t-shirts clogging my dresser drawers.   Solution: T-shirt yarn!

I used Arlette’s helpful tutorial.  Just look at the old t-shirt haul.  I still have a packed garbage bag full.

Since I was using the dining room table for my workspace, I protected it with several layers of newspapers and then an additional tablecloth on top.  Turned out to be a good idea since the cut-up t-shirts shed lots of little bits of fabric; when I was done, I just balled up the top tablecloth and threw it in the washer.

Cut off the bottom hem and the top design/sleeves section (the crossbar of the T).

Fold up so that there’s an inch of fabric at the top with a closed edge.  Slice strips all the way up through the folds to that inch.  I did some with 1/2″ wide strips, most 1″ wide.

It ends up looking like this. (See those flecks from the previous white t-shirt? I wasn’t lying.)

Connect the cuts over that top edge in a spiral fashion. Arlette describes it much better than I could.

If you have a good helper, she can participate in the really cool step — tugging at the long strip so it curls up on itself.

See?

You end up with a pile of relaxed tubular fabric.

Roll it up into balls.

Helpers are good at doing that, too.

Pretty soon you’ve got nine smooth balls of cotton fabric, ready to be knit up into rugs or bags or whatever. And nine less t-shirts. After we stored them with the rest of my stash, my helper told me that I was recycling. “That’s right–I’m recycling old t-shirts into something I love!” I replied. And together we yelled out: “Yarn!”