Project a Week! Well, sorta.

My plan was to finish/produce one new project a week, but it turns out maintaining my focus is easier said than done. Instead of finishing each project in turn, as I meant, I bounced around and did little tidbits of various odds and ends. Le sigh. Still, progress!

Project #1: Use the indigo vats. 

I dyed a duplicate dress of Twyla’s with a not-great ombre effect. Might redip it if I can successfully revive the vats when it warms up. It was really too cool at the time to bother. Plus about 2 yards of gauzy vintage cotton with some kind of a rustic print. The irregular print was actually kinda cool, but the fabric was ugly, stained, busted, and yellowed, so a sloppy overdye actually looks pretty good on it. It will become a summer dress for me, probably.

Project #2: Itchy sparklepants sweater. Status: halted. I ran out of attached yarn and can’t locate the second ball. So it’s on hold. Which is fine because it’s too hot anyway, and Twyla probably won’t even wear it, as she claims it’s itchy. She also claims she’ll wear it over a long-sleeved shirt, but she is a notorious liar.

Project #3: T-shirt rug. Status: woven, needs to be finished. Weaving’s done. The edges look terrible. I’m going to bind the whole thing in twill tape, which I hope will tidy it up. Size is weird, too long (about 6 1/2 feet x 30 in) because I warped my loom 2 years ago and couldn’t remember how long I’d made it, so I just continued until I ran out of fabric. The last couple feet are more irregular because I was using the tops of the shirts, so there were seams and printing. I might take that bit off for a more uniform look and a less awkward size, then use it up later in a cat mat or somesuch. I don’t mind the seams and printing per se, just that it’s all at one end.

What I do like are little details like this, a little nod to my former life (this, from the end where the prints are rarer).

And now I’m being fearless and showing the ghastly edges. I bought some 2-inch black twill tape, but I’d rather a wider edge, so I think I’ll sew use a full strip on each side instead of binding it the usual way, if I can make it look nice. I’d really prefer to machine-finish, but I’m not sure my lightweight machine can make it through all this nonsense.

Project #4: Sideways cardigan. After a false start at the wrong gauge, a disappointing end to the contrast yarn, a relieved additional ball purchased on ravelry, and toying with edging options, I decided to edge it and I picked buttons. I started this sweater when I was less plump. If I were still less plump, I may have left off the ribbing at cuffs and bottom for more of a jacket look, but as I am, I felt I need the length. I’ll get a picture wearing it when it dries.

Pattern: 110-2 Jacket in garter stitch with short rows b y DROPS design. I used Lion Fisherman Wool & Noro Silk Garden Light, different gauge than pattern. It was a really fun knit and I’ll make it again, this time keeping the original sleeve shaping intact, and reversing the order of the skeins at the center back point so the colors are mirrored. As it was, I made sure the front was mirrored, but the idea didn’t occur to me until after the second sleeve, and I didn’t have the fortitude to frog back to center back after frogging and reknitting the whole sleeve for gauge. I really like this, but it’s definitely one of those designs I’m not sure I’d love as much if I weren’t a knitter.

Which brings me to this week’s project. Project #5: Destash Log Cabin Throw, formerly Destash Cardigan. Ugly and ill-fitting sweater, but I think it will be a nice throw. A pain in the ass to frog, thanks to the FIVE balls of yarn, including some really sticky fuzzy strands.


Now, so far:

Perfect television knitting. 20 x 40 center square, then all the additional strips are x 20. This is my first log cabin. If it goes well, I might make one of those caddywampus short row ones next. But I didn’t want to think at all.

So, yay! I’m on my 4th week of this plan, and I’ve wrapped up 2 projects and made progress on 3 others.  Going forward, I plan to do ONE THING AT TIME, TASKS TO COMPLETION. We’ll see if I succeed.  My new plan is that for ever 2 WIPs I knock out, I get to start something new. I was going to force myself to suffer through all of the UFOs before moving on, but that’s too cruel. It’s already getting hot to knit.

Thrifty Critter

I’ll take some better pictures in natural light tomorrow, but for now, here he is:

critter knitting

and also:

knitting, with stink eye

Besides Le Critter, I cut out several shirts’ worth of strips for my rug.

Alternate Alterknits Rug

I’m dying a bunch of t-shirts that I’ll be cutting into strips to make a version of the Alterknits rug. I’m using wider strips & maybe bigger needles, and I’m thinking of carrying a strand of bulky wool along with for extra texture and strength. There was a giant rag bag in the hallway when we moved into the school, mostly sweatshirts & t-shirts that had been cut up to use as cleaning rags. I like terry rags for cleaning, so I’ve just been sort of waiting until I’m out of clean rags to use them, but I thought a rug might be a better use. They were a mix of grays and dirty whites, all stained, but mostly in pretty good shape. So I dyed all the whole shirts & many of the large pieces (big enough to be worth seaming into a big loop to cut up). I used 2 packs each RIT dye in fuschia and sunshine orange (25 cents each from the salvage place in KC), and the intensity varied by the original color and order in the dye pot. The orange went from burnt orange to tangerine to pale peach. On the left is the hank that I cut up before I realized I didn’t want a sweatshirt-gray-with-stains rug and that I had a bunch of RIT dye from the junk store.

orange rinse bath

The fuschia ranged from dark purple to hot pink to a muddy purple-pink:

pink rinse bath

and then I used the dregs of the dye to dip some yarn I had that was a sort of ugly “natural” yellowy gray–not amazing, but better. I may dip the whole thing again in some neon pink RIT I got at the same time. I’m going to dye all my faded grandma flannel PJs next week and pretend they’re all new. I’m kind of in love with the RIT dye right now.

yarn dyed with RIT dregs

I’m cutting the t-shirts into inch-wide strips & the sweatshirts into 1/2″, which will hopefully even out the difference in thickness. So far, I’ve only cut up 3 shirts. It’s hard on the hands, but it’s fun winding them into the large, satisfying balls they make. The little ball was a child’s shirt.

tshirt yarn

The pattern says to stop cutting the strips at the armpits & toss the top half of the shirt, but I continued cutting all the way around into the sleeves. The yarn it makes is less refined, but it seems so wasteful to stop at the armpits. And I’m hoping knitting in the yarn as well will create a more textured appearance that’s forgiving of irregularities.

Thrifty Critter

Hooray! Now I can feel free to ramble endlessly about knitting without destroying the Housewife. I’m starting to modify the lovely Girls Suck theme for WordPress, and right now, I’m working on a little critter to use as my mascot. Originally, I had a sort of retro navigation icon thingy I’d made before I decided I didn’t want to handbuild everything. But I loved the original theme so much I want to kind of keep the same feel, so I thought I’d knit a little scrap yarn critter to sit on the ground. So I’m working on him now.

critter in progress