Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gotta love quick projects

Yesterday I started a Swiffer cover. And this morning I finished it. Sometimes you just need to make a super quick project.

Now, normally I dislike things like Swiffer and wouldn't even think of buying it. The reason is that it's one of those things that they sell you the stuff for cheap, but then make a lot of money on the consumables. In this case disposable cloths you put on the Swiffer for cleaning your floors.

We have a parquet (parket) in our bedrooms but nowhere else in the house. Sweeping them only goes so far, so I thought the Swiffer was perfect to shine them up and get rid of the extra dust, plus it's small and easy to get in and under stuff. But instead of getting the disposable cloths, I wanted to make reusable cloths.

I'd made some for my mom in the past and now it's my turn ;) The pattern was free and I used Sugar'n cream cotton (Green Twist), and voila:

(since I took these photos I added some velcro on top to keep the cloth in place).

Another thing that made this project so enjoyable (and even quicker) was that I tried knitting backwards for the first time. It was much easier than I thought it would be and it made the knitting easier too because I didn't have to keep turning my work. I could just go back and fro and then it's hard to quit. I was a little bit afraid that the tension would be different, but the resulting fabric looks very even. I'm very excited about having this new weapon in my knitting arsenal.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The View from the Clothesline

I've watched and admired the Potholder Swap of 2009 and 2010 (they don't have the 2010 separated out, they are mixed with the 2011 potholders).

I first heard about it through Grumperina and at first was mildly amused that people were interested in making potholder, but was increasingly intrigued by the beauty and quality of most of the potholders. The second year I was basically drooling over the photos, but didn't have the opportunity to participate. This year, the time was right. A local yarn shop had the correct yarn (100% cotton, sport weight). It is called Reynolds Saucy Sport, which is 100% mercerized cotton at a reasonable price and I got a bunch of colors, because I wanted the potholders to be colorful.

I looked at different patterns to try. Originally I wanted to try some vintage patterns but ended up with a pattern I've wanted to do for a while. It's called African Flower and is a fun pattern, a hexagon (always a plus) and has an interesting construction. The back is plain sc hexagon (Ravelry link) (a pattern from Lion Brand) and the joining of the front and back is done by using the Bobble-shell edging from Attic24.

In the first prototypes, I changed color for every line (after the flower), but I didn't like so much how it was working out. It wasn't until I thought off 'framing' the flower with the white background that I was happy with how they were turning out.

These were a pure joy to make. They were quick, maybe 3 hours total, so I could do one in an (long) evening and you don't see the full effect until you do the edging, so you are very motivated to finish all the all-white sc rows on the plain side so you can see how it looks in the end with the complimentary color on the edging.

Oh, and I used a smallish hook in order to make the fabric sturdier. It is size D/3.25mm and the potholder is so thick and scrumptious. I will send them away next week and will be receiving 5 other ones in few weeks time. Exciting.

p.s. the Ravelry group for the swap has all the info.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Hexagon love

I'm halfway done with my blanket. Four skeins out of the 8 I had for the main color are gone and 72 hexagons are done (that is 18 hexagons per main color).

The pattern is from a tutorial by Attic24 (hexagon how-to).

The yarn is Kambgarn - a sport weight merino yarn, processed (dyed? packaged?) in Iceland. They have great colors in this yarn.

The hook is 4.5 mm (US 7). The one I'm using is from Susan Bates and it has a nice wooden handle on an aluminum hook.

I have about 10 colors, plus the main color. It is so much fun to always have different color combination. I don't select the colors randomly so it is a bit of a puzzle to select a color without repeating the same color too much at any one point. At the same time I don't have to worry too much about what all the other hexagons are, only the ones closest to the one I'm doing at that moment. So easy-piecy lemon-squeesy (as my 7 year old would put it - the one in the picture).

p.s. the blanket has been blogged before, here and here.