Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Done and done ..

Today - two finished things, the blanket and the socks. The blanket is finished, seamed and blocked - which involved the use of a shade cloth and tent pegs and fishing line - yes really. Once the blanket was done, yesterday morning - well I thought I'd better work on the socks and lo - by the end of the evening they were both done, finished, ends woven in, I had no idea I was so close. Two days and two projects.

First the blanket - when I laid out all the pieces on the floor, next to Toby, I realised just how big it is. I thought I would have trouble keeping the cat (Yo-yo) off it, but in truth, it was difficult to keep Toby off it. He was quite taken by the Puzzle nature of fitting it together. See the little ball of yarn on the right? That is all I had left of the 11 wheels of yarn, so the planning worked out just fine.

I had wondered how I would seam it, as I wanted it to look the same on both sides, or at least neat on both sides. I tried whip stitching it together thru both sides of the edge slipped stitches, and it looked good so thats what I did. I found some yarn in my stash that matched perfectly, so used that. To prepare for blocking I threaded fishing wire thru the edges, leaving a 1m tail at each corner.

Then I filled the bath with warm water and wool wash and let it soak for 10 minutes. I drained it and let it soak in plain warm water for another 10 minutes to rinse it before spinning it in the washing machine. Then we swung into action on my big blocking plan .... which all hinged on the day being fine and sunny and warm.

I laid it out on the old sand pit cover, a large rectangle made from shade cloth. Bear helped me, we pulled the fishing wire taut, and used tent pegs to hold the blocking lines taut and straight. I did check it was square that the sides were parallel and that the diagonals measured the same ... cause you know, it matters, especially when you fold it up.

Then we went off to collect Poppy, she had a sleep over part at a girl-friends batch, in Karitane. So we packed up beach things and barbecue things and headed out for the day. One sunny beach day latter we returned to find the blanket warm and dry and soft and blocked. I love the magic of this blanket, how simple garter strips with mitered corners can seam into quite a complex looking blanket ... Its the mitered garter blanket from Elizabeth Zimmerman, and I think JF has the nicest example on line, looking at it I wish I had enough yarn to work an i-cord edging. Still this is the second time I've knit this design, and I will make sure I have enough yarn to add the i-cord to the next one, oh, yes, there will be another one, I'm sure of it.

So that night without the blanket - I worked on Honey socks, the 2nd in the Vintage Purls 2008 Sock club. I had worked sock one - from the toe up, and stopped when i had just over 50g of sock yarn left. Then I started sock 2 and knit to the same point, and followed the cast of instructions, which cleverly had us cast off following one of the increase rows in the pattern to make for a very stretch edge ... nice touch.

Which leaves me playing with swatches - and going to Wednesday morning spinning, wow - you sure get a lot of spinning done in a 10am - 2pm 4 hour spinning session. Then on the way home I got to thinking about how much fun we had at the beach the day before --- which led to noticing that the local sports shops had significant reductions on summer stock. So I collected the cubs and we went off to buy them wetsuits, like the other kids at the beach had, warmer and sun safe. And I now have a wetsuit, yup, that surprises even me, but 40% off and knowing if I bought the kids suits they would be warm and swim and body board for hours while I froze in on our local beaches ... So here I am, 40+ with a wetsuit for the first time in my life, maybe its a mid-life crisis?

who knows and who cares?
Do you think the cubs will share their body boards or should I just give in and buy one for me?


Anonymous said...

Get your own board! Better yet take learn to Surf classes - be hard core. :)

CraftyGryphon said...

That's a great way to block large things. I think we've even got a large bit of leftover awning (from I don't know what), and my husband has zillions of tent pegs. We don't camp, mind you, so I don't know *why* he has them, but they're useful!

Knitting Linguist said...

Definitely get your own! Life's too short not to have a wetsuit and your own board ;) (we call them boogie boards over here...) The blanket looks wonderful -- I'm so impressed with how quickly you got that finished!! Have fun at the beach, and happy new year to you all (I know, you're already there; how does 2009 look from the other side?)!

KathyR said...

Happy New Year! May your year be filled with lots of interesting, fibery goodness!

I'm in agreement with the others - be daring and get your own board! If you decide at a later date that it just isn't your thing, you could always sell it on Trade Me.

Love the blanket! It really does look soft and squishy. Makes me think I wouldn't mind making one, too. Like I would finish it! The socks look soft and cuddly as well. Good on you for finishing both items before the end of the year.

Angelika said...

I love it when knitters are inventive. Nice way to block the blanket. I'm sure you'll get lots of use out of it.

Bells said...

Oh My. what a huge blocking job. I love that pattern and it's so great to see yours all done and so cleverly blocked!

Julie said...

If you've got your own wetsuit, you really should get the bodyboard to go with it. It's never too late to enjoy a second childhood; have a good time with yours.

You know, I thought I was insane for having to move furniture to block this last shawl I knit, but I think your tent-stake blocking method tops it. Lovely job, on the blanekt and the blocking. Makes me want to take a nap.

Diantee said...

I agree, get your own board - the kids will be too busy on their boards to share! Well done on finishing 2 projects. Happy New Year - it feels like a good one to me. Cheers

Annieofbluegables said...

that is the most interesting quilt/afghan and tutorial on blocking I have ever seen. You are amazing.~a

Anonymous said...

Fantastic blanket!! Happy New Year!