Sunday, July 01, 2012

Term break

It is term break, which means the cubs are on holiday for two weeks, in July,  mid-Winter, so frost and sleet and hail and wind ... and maybe if we are lucky blue sky, sun  or snow, all of which would be  good. I've taken two weeks leave, one of the few bonuses of being an academic, lots of leave, but the pay scale reflects that. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of marking and meetings, knowing that I was to be away for two weeks and knowing that I was to come back on a day of teaching - I had to get marking and such squared away before I left. Today is a bit of a tidy up as well, responses to the last post, and reports of things done .... one post-able and one not so much.

Soap sweaters, I posted last time that I had been making a few of these, and I was asked to say more. I'm not sure what to say, there are a few patterns on Ravelry, this is the one that is perhaps the most like the ones I make, but mine are plainer. I cast on as for a toe up sock, and then knit to fit, with increases and decreases as needed. I graft the top together. Some times I have worked an icord three needle bind off and added a wee loop so the soap can be hung up. Previous soap sweaters have been knitted, but I mistakenly thought that I could crochet them faster. Turns out no, but the crochet ones are pretty, and maybe have a little more texture. I think I mentioned before that I like the way the soap sweaters keep the soap from going soggy, especially when traveling, and double up as a bit of a wash cloth. I can squeeze the soap+sweater almost dry in my towel and pop it in my wash bag ... and it survives a trip nicely. I've knit mine in a variety of yarns, handspun, and most weights from sock to Aran ... they all work fine, just use the appropriate sized needle. I use circs or dpns, but I guess you could knit them flat and seam them.
 These are some old and empty soap sweaters. They smell like the soap they contained, so these are a mix of Pears, and Eco Store scents which are heavenly. As the soap is used the wool felts and shrinks around the soap, and at the end there is a little felted bubble of wool with a delicious smell. I store  mine in the blanket box - to keep the winter bedding smelling nice. I have heard that some people make their soap sweaters refillable - and you could if you used superwash wool so it didn't shrink and felt. I'm not sure a button or dome would be useful, but one of the patterns provides for that - with the water and agitation and all, I just can't see that working for me, both staying done up and not shrinking so it could be refilled. Besides I can cover 3 or four soaps  in an evening and I love the little felted peebles and rocks that are left over.  If I refilled them I would miss out on those.
 I finished a sock, the second so technically I finished a pair of socks. Teosinte by Knitspot, all done, rib, cast off, and ends woven in. These turned out a tad looser than I would like, and they have a short row heel with is not my favorite to wear, so I'm putting them aside for Bear. He has ten pairs in his drawer, so I feel ok about stockpiling some for when he needs more. I do have to admit I knit the larger size .. and I would knit this again, in the medium and with a flap and gusset heel for me.
 I used Judy's magic super stretchy bind off for the cuff edge. I love this but have to look up every single time how to work the yarn overs for a knit and a purl stitch. I love how the way the extra yarn overs are worked at the transitions between knit and purl forms a hinge that lets the cast off zig and zag like the rib pattern. I also love how this stretches ..... I don't have a photo but believe me it easily stretches three times or more its original width.
And the last photo, is the two Bears, Big Bear and eldest Cub, hanging out and doing what ever guitar players do together. Jamming? Eldest cub asked Bear to show him how to finger a particular cord, so he could play a particular tune .. and they sat and played for a good three hours. I thought I better record this moment so when one turned into one of those teen age trolls that I hear about I could remind myself that there are times that he is not a troll. Hidden amongst the yarn at the end of the blanket box is my mystery swap knit for 2012. For now that is as much as you get to see, it may be done, it probably isn't, and if you guess what it is or who it is for please keep mum until after next weekend when it is swapped.

The rest of today involves a finger nail painting party with the younger cub, her friends arrive at 1 with their favorite polishes, I have a large pastic mat, lots of cotton balls and nail polish remover, have given several lectures on the importance of 'being very careful', and have bought chocolate biscuits, fizzy and baked muffins. Seems a good way to kick of a term break.

Take care
na Stella


kreativa said...

Helo, I come from germany. I have a wish to you: please put on the top of your blog: translate. You will find it by layout-gadget. Thank you very much.
Hallo, ich wohne in Deutschland. Ich habe einen Wunsch an Sie: Bitte fügen Sie auf dem rechten oberen Rand Ihres Bloges die Funktion "translate" ein. Sie ist unter "Layout-Gadget einfügen" zu finden. Herzlichen Dank. Liebe Grüße von Ate

Knitting Linguist said...

I am very belatedly catching up - but I had to stop at this post and say oh my goodness! THAT's Older Cub - how he has grown!!