Thursday, September 18, 2008

What I Did On My Blogging Vacation Part 1 (With a Contest at the end)

Here is my massive report on all the knitting I did on my blogging vacation. The first day I almost managed to finish two projects (one of which I can't show you) but I was held back from that feat because of the bind off. The second project was a hat and scarf combined and it took fooorrrreeever to bind off. I am pretty pleased at how it turned out though since I did a lot of tweaking to the pattern.

With out further ado the much altered Toasty Topper.

"Don't hate be because I am beautiful!"

When the pattern stated that "one size will fit an infant, toddler or small child." I believed them. What I failed to take into account was that the children of two parents with large heads will have large heads themselves (Harry is in the 90th percentile for head circumference). The hat when knit as written with the exact same yarn that was used by the pattern (which I oddly enough had picked out to use for a hat for Harry before I even found this pattern) was much too small for my large noggined progeny.

I altered the pattern by using only one strand of yarn, used smaller needles (for a tighter fabric as this will go under hoods), did more crown increases, bound off an entirely different number of stitches and added a ton more for the scarf part of the hat. I think I bound off too many stitches since you can see Evan's ears peeking out. I may knit an extension on to that part of the hat so that the ears get better coverage. Over all I am pretty pleased with the hat when I take into account that it was only loosely based on a pattern and mostly it came from my large brain (a big head means a bigger brain.. right?)

That bottom stripe was supposed to look less subtle. I tried to do a slip stitch rib, but it did not stand out as much as I would have liked.

Evan the monkey toed little boy

Saturday I did a lot of yarn dyeing. I found a great article that had several ways to get variegated yarn when using food coloring to dye with. I am practicing my techniques for some socks that my mom wants me to knit for her. I am very happy with how my yarn turned out. I used the hot pour method and it was super easy. I ended up with a lot fewer white spots than the author of the article, I think in part because I have a wider and shallower crock pot. That let the dye to get to more of the yarn.

My first batch I used more orange Kool-aid and less yellow. The colors seem a bit more pastel than the second skein.

I could not resist knitting up a swatch just to see how the colors looked together.

I like the colors of the second skein better. They seemed to saturate better. I used more yellow and cut back on the orange. I know it is hard to tell the subtle differences from my pictures due to my sucky camera, but trust me they are there.

I had been planning on trying the cold pour method where you pour the dye directly on to the yarn, but I chickened out due to the mess factor. I will give it a try when I can be sure that my kids will not be around to "help" me. I shudder to think of what this would do to my carpets if I spilled some of the dye.

I also managed to make good starts on two different socks, one to start a pair and one to finish a pair. No pictures again because the recipients are readers of this blog.

Now it is contest time!!! If you would like to win one of these skeins of yarn just leave a comment. Stealing from the book Emma you will have to tell me three dull things or two moderately amusing things or one very amusing thing. I will pick two winners (you have a week to enter) and if you are not a knitter, I may be able to be convinced to knit it up into something simple.... if you twist my arm hard enough and don't expect it to be a rush job. Good luck!


Midlife Midwife said...

3 dull things: I wear size 9 shoes, my car is red, my dog is 6 years old.
2 moderately amusing things: * I used to work as a clown and can still make a flea jump into a bag. *I was so flustered on my wedding day that I couldn't find two barrettes that matched.
1 really amusing thing: I saw a 73 year old lady today who told me to watch out for the moths and cobwebs in her private parts because nobody had been down there in a long time.

ummm, I'm not a knitter, what do I have to bribe you with in order to get you to knit me something out of those gorgeous yarns?

Krissy said...

I like you contest.
3 Dull Things: I 5'6 3/4" but tell everyone 5"7". I just walked my daughter to school. I hate doing the dishes and have no dishwasher.
2 Mod Amusing Things: I almost fell in the Grand Canyon when I was five. I live in West Germany as a kid.
1 Really Amusing Thing: I'm really good at telling jokes. I tell them like stories and my best joke goes for fifteen minutes giving it what I think is the best punch line ever, the person's reaction. Everyone gets a really good laugh(hence being amused).

Heather said...

I am sooo much not a knitter that I had no idea what you were writing about for most of this post.

3 dull things: My back hurts. I want to buy a new bathroom scale but I keep forgetting to look for one at the store. I need to get my hair cut and styled. I bought a picture frame a month ago and it's still sitting on my kitchen table empty. I can't count.

Becky said...

Three dull things: I hate to vacuum. I have blue eyes. I could read before I knew my alphabet.

I am a knitter, and love the yarns!

Leah said...

The yarn is lovely! Some of my favorite colors.

Here are two moderately amusing things:

1. Our hamster has grown so large that he can hardly squeeze through his tubes. My husband thinks he is part guinea pig.

2. I told my 7-year-old daughter the other day, "parenting is a hard job sometimes." To which she replied, very seriously, "I feel for you, mama."

Bev said...

3 dull things: I work full time as a room inspector partime maid, I listen to audio books on my drive to work and I hate to do housework. Now for the amusing things, I love to knit and blog about it and you where one of the winners of my blog contest.

Yes I would love more yarn I have been banned from my credit cards so I can't buy more so now I'm going to try to win yarn.

Aunt Kathy said...

I am so jealous, I am afraid to dye my own yarn... I know I will spill it and have red hands and feet for a year. LOL

Ok you know I can knit so I want the yarn

3 Dull things about me
1- I hate mushrooms
2- I have good handwriting
3- I balance my checkbook to the penny (all 3 of them)

2 Moderately amusing things
(I know we only had to answer either dull, mod amusing or really amusing but I see others did all three and if that means a better chance at winning, yeah I will too.)
1- I have two freckles one over each eyebrow and my sister calls me devil eyes and it always gets me angry, but I can make her wet her pants by singing the theme from Mickey Mouse club (oh and we are 44 and 46, lol and it still works)
2- I recently went to my first support group for my upcoming surgery and my sister came with me and in front of a room full of strangers I practically called her an alcoholic, not intentionally, it just came out wrong, but when we went for our second meeting everyone remembered and laughed when we walked in.

And 1 REALLY amusing thing... hmm something I haven't blogged about?

1- One day a friend and I were put with our kids, we had a car full, two adults and 4 kids, we drove up to the order window of a fast food place and there were several cars both ahead and behind us. We got to the order window and realized we forgot money, we scraped up a dollar in change and ordered a box of cookies or something like that, and laughed so hard when we got to the window and the lady inside saw the car full of hungry toddlers and we bought only a 50 cent item. Her face was priceless.

Jackie said...

Your yarn is lovely!

3 dull things about me:
I work for a bank.
I like to read.
I have blue eyes.

ikkinlala said...

Three dull things:

1) My landlady thinks it's funny when I wear a skirt (because I hardly ever do).

2) The Ramsey number R(3,3)=6.

3) I'm going to buy grapes at the farmers' market tomorrow.

Bronwyn said...

This is possibly the funnest contest idea I've ever seen.

I think I'll go for a couple moderately amusing things...

1- Our dog, a Standard Poodle, is scared of the new 6 week old kitten who weighs just over 1 pound and is really tiny. The kitten is not very scared at all.

2- Once, the above dog was asking to go outside and when I opened the door to let her outside there was an injured robin hopping around on the deck steps. The dog freaked out, very startled, and refused to go outside for hours afterward.

Life's a Stitch said...

One amusing (?) thing: I have a pedometer eating toilet. Can you picture that? One pedometer, attached to waist, a trip to the bathroom, and and an unexpected splash to the bottom.

Love the top of that hat and your dyed colours.


Kenyetta said...

I love this contest and all of the comments!
3 dull things: life, just work, knit, and computer
2.I love to sing but can't
3.I'm 33 years old
2 moderately amusing things:
1. I always thought I was 5'4, just measured myself- I am 5'2
2. We have 2 big dogs and 2 kids in a 2 bedroom house and we are about to get another big dog

sailorcross said...

3 dull things: My car is gray, my son's car is gray, my daughter's car is gray--and they are dull gray.

2 moderately amusing things: My 25 pound cat sleeps on my pillow on top of my head! #2 My daughter and I were shopping. We came out of the store, got into the car, looked around and realized that it wasn't my car! It looked exactly like my car, but the inside was slightly different. We just looked at each other, started laughing and quickly got out of the car before the "real" owner arrived. Both cars were dull gray.

1 really amusing thing: My best friend and I went out. She had just bought a new cell phone. We were sitting in my dull gray car, trying to figure out how to put phone numbers into her new phone. We just couldn't seem to manage this. We finally got one number in and accidentally called it, and the person on the other end was no one that she even knew! We started laughing so hard that she wet her pants in my car--clear through her pants onto the seat of my car--and we just sat there and laughed about it!! The seats are dull gray, too!!

I do knit, and you did a wonderful job dying the yarn. They both look beautiful! I tried to do this once without much luck. I'm going to have to check out the article that you noted and try again!

Sharon Rose said...

I looooove your dye job! I am an autumn colors freak. To express my appreciation, I will also provide all three:

Dull: I live in PA, temporarily. I am self-employed. I have three cats.

Moderately amusing: My husband is a foot and half taller than me.

Amusing: My everyday car is an antique London Taxi, right hand drive.

Thank you for running such a fun contest!

chelle said...

ok for real that is a CUTE toque!!!!

I am in love with you dye job! I so need to get in the kitchen and do some dying!

three dull things --- I chew gum like all the time, I have worn the same toe ring for 14 years never removing it like ever, & I would much rather drive a manual car that a standard.

ps If I win you win not have to knit anything :D

Amber said...

Those are all seriously great. But do you know what is the greatest of all? Your hilarious title for this post. :-)

Angela said...

i love to knit - and orange is my eldest daughter's favorite color - maybe for a dress/hat/purse for her doll?

3 dull things - i use crest toothpaste, my dog can't catch a frisbee, i collect old chipped tea cups.

1 awesome thing (at least to me): i love how my daughter calls damsel flies "dazzle flies". it just melts my heart.

Carrie S. said...

Let's see. I can come up with dull and moderately amusing, but really amusing might take some work...

I have two cats, my boyfriend is blond, and I dye my hair.

Moderately amusing:
I'm working on a pair of socks from the New Pathways book right now, and I'm also doing a sock-yarn mitered square blankie.

Really amusing:
I make up my own languages.

Squishy Stephanie said...

I am often told to "use my big girl words" because I communicate in grunts, whines and fractions of sounds. It annoys my husband to no end, but oftentimes people know what I'm saying.

I am not quite sure I know what my real hair color is. It has been every color found and not found in nature. Currently it's blue.

My secret guilty pleasure is reading Peyton Place, a wonderful novel written by Grace Metalious. It's so saucy and scandalous and drama filled, until I realize it resembles my own life.

Most of my cats are named after mathematicians. It amuses me to no end that I've got a tabby (striped) cat named "Fibonacci"

Jersey said...

I'm in

3 dull things about me:

I have brown hair
I have one daughter
I am an engineer (and you are thinking - that's boring enough for 3)

Fun contest!

Turtle said...

i love Erma!
Dull: i hate to shave , gin vs vodka, something is eating my zucchini in the garden Moderately: my husband calls my red hair artificial intelligece (white blonde naturally), my nose sweats if i truly think it is spicy (my family watches before they dare eat as i have an iron stomach. Amusing: The other night we had gone into the city for a concert (5 of us total) we caught the last ferry home and sat and entertained ourslevs watching the groups with the drunk friends coming on who we found out was his 21st birthday so reminded us of "weekend at Bernies" this really was funny and made the hour ride much faster!

Elaine said...

I can think of thousands of dull things about me ... that's the problem.

1) I have a dull job.
2) My hair is dull.
3) My knives need to be sharpened.

Well maybe I'm just joking about those things.

1) In fact I love my job.
2) My hair has been worse.
3) I'm a vegetarian and don't really need very sharp knives.

Guinevere Meadow said...

I don't knit, so I won't enter your contest, but I am in AWE of your talent!

EJ said...

3 Dull Things - that's easy peasy:

I've knit since I was 5 years old
I have blue eyes
I love to kayak and canoe

purple-power said...

Now what interesting dull things can I tell you about myself?

1) I'm a vegetarian.
2) I love dark chocolate - preferably 70% and up.
3) I was 42 when my daughter was born.

Anonymous said...

Here's one very amusing thing for you. I have a 15 month old daughter who likes to pick up rocks and other outdoor objects. That's not unusual. A few weeks ago we were at an outdoor dinner at a friends house and she was wandering around picking up rocks from their landscaping. I am not an overly paranoid mother so I let her play with them. Then I look over at her and see something wet on her hands and realize that she had picked up a snail and had shoved her thumb INTO the snail shell, sqaushing the poor snail. The wetness was snail GUTS and it was trailing from the snail in one hand to the other hand and then to her MOUTH! I am not easily grossed out but that was very gross, though very amusing at the same time.

tom said...

I think I'll go for the dulls.

1) I have a daughter who is a senior in college

2) My hair used to be dark brown.

3) I live in NJ

Kristen said...

Pretty yarn!
Ok - 3 dull things. I am going back to school to do the prerequisites in hopes of getting into vet school.
My first class is physics- Level 1 and it's not easy.
I have my first exam on Thursday. Please wish me luck. :)

Rachel O said...

How pretty the yarn looks!

3 dull things

I'm a college student.
I'm 5'9"
I play the flute.

Debbie said...

Ok- I have one very amusing story - I work at a liquor store and one day a young man came in but had no ID, so I refused the sale. He started begging and I told him that I could lose my job when he said "If you get fired, I will be your sugar daddy". I was totally flabbergasted! Everyone else thought it was hilarious! Debbie

Dawn said...

3 dulls things:

I feed my cat every morning at 6am.
I feed my husband every morning at 6:01am
I drink coffee every morning at 6:02

Damselfly said...

Harry totally knows how to work the camera. Your stitches on that hat are so neat!

That orange and yellow yarn looks so tasty I could eat it!