Monday, August 04, 2008

An FO And More

First the Finished Object, may I present one of the longest-running sock projects ever finally completed:

A-Maizing Socks

Begun: April 15, 2008
Completed: July 30, 2008
For: Me (because I’m not giving these away — they took too long to make!)

Yarn: Crystal Palace Yarns Maizy Print, 2 skeins = 408.0 yards (373.1m), Colour 1001 Night Shades (grey, rust, lt. brown, lt. blue-grey)
Needles: Clover Takumi 5” dpns, 2mm

Pattern: Ridges and Ribs by Criminy Jickets (Dave from Ottawa)
Mods: I reduced the pattern to 64 sts to fit my small foot. I’d go with the pattern’s 72 sts if you have a more normal-sized foot to fit.

Comments: I was obviously not having a pleasant time of the knitting considering how long these took me to finish. The yarn is very splitty which gave me trouble especially in the twisted slip stitches. Not sure how these will wear but they took a long time to dry after their bath. The fabric feels quite nice anyway and the lovely end result was worth the PITA knitting. I do love the elegant look of the ridge going down the side of the heel!

When I last managed to find time to post I was finishing up putting all the stuff back in the north-side attic spaces. All done! Looks good too. I bought two more shallow clear plastic bins so that I can put all my craft paper in that is currently littering a large 4-drawer dresser in my studio. I want to get them out of the way and out of the light that comes through the south skylight. It’s fading the colours out of some of the paper. Not good. It’s dark in the attic so the fact that the plastic bins are clear will not be a problem. I want to be able to see what’s in them so I don’t forget what I have! I hope to get to that little (heh!) project later this afternoon if possible.

I have to say though that I’m pretty darned tired of cleaning. It’s been almost a non-stop marathon for weeks now. On Saturday T-Man and his mom and I went to Auntie90’s house to do some work sorting her possessions. This is a huge job because apparently instead of throwing anything out, she put it in the basement. She particularly stashed things like pantyhose, scarves, face cream, clothes, purses, cleaning supplies, old patterns, fabric and costume jewelry. Her drawers and cupboards were stuffed with tea towels, doilies and a gazillion napkins, both cloth and paper. I tell you, if I had the energy I could make a mint on her “collectibles” on eBay — except that I have no idea what things are worth and none of the family (least of all me) can be bothered. So we sorted in bags labeled Discard or Salvage and left the best things for appraisal by an auction house. There isn’t much in the latter category except for some silver and china.

Remember that Auntie90 isn’t dead and gone yet! She is currently in hospital waiting for a place in a care home to come available. She still has most of her marbles too and apparently is having a great time with the nurses and enjoying all the attention. I think leaving her house was like a huge weight off her tiny little bird-like shoulders but unhappily said weight has been transferred onto poor Nana and other members of the immediate family. Auntie didn’t have children and her husband died a number of years ago, so we’re it unfortunately. Her older sister isn’t capable of helping, though Auntie92 still doing ok for now in her own apartment. Please don’t remind me that her turn will come soon enough.

Of course I didn’t let all that interesting stuff go to charity or the trash! I’m not nuts. (Well not much anyway.) I got to sort the linens and boy, was that fun! Sorta. With Nana’s permission, I had the pick of embroidered cloths and crocheted lace tablecloths, many of which were done either by Auntie or her mother-in-law (by-all-accounts a very formidable but talented woman). There were souvenir tea towels from Australia, Cape Breton and Hawaii which didn’t interest me. There was adult-ladies-sized Elmo jammies and t-shirts still with the tags on them which I did take because they actually fit me. There were only a few pieces of fabric that I might use and the rest, along with some very old threads, went into the trash. I could go on but my best score was…sheets. Vintage pure cotton sheets, either white or very pale pastels that I can dye for my rag quilt! Yay! Now I don’t have to buy any new fabric and my quilt will be totally special to sleep under because it contains sheets from both my mommy and T’s auntie.

Next step is to wash everything because they are all dusty and musty. And then we get to the dyeing which I will do in plastic buckets. Speaking of dyeing, I scored a large stainless steel washpan that apparently had been used for Auntie’s cats. Pretty classy catbox because it looks like one of those professional chafing dishes they use for buffets. Just needs a good scrubbing and it will fit across two of the burners on my dye stove for when I need to keep things more flat than I can in my dye pots. It will be good for scrunch-dyeing fabrics for instance or low-water immersion when I have too much for my microwave at once. Don’t really need it for the sheets because I plan to do “parfait” dyeing with Procion MX and a bucket or two will work just fine for that. No matter how anxious I am to get on with this quilt, I probably won’t even start the dyeing until later this week.

Because first I have to pick my woad! And extract the dye and attempt to dye with it. Tomorrow morning first thing is when I’m planning to start. I need to pick the leaves before the heat of the day. Yes, I’ll remember to take photos. Every step. Hope it works.


Dave said...

I'm sorry that the yarn was such a pain to knit with, but the finished socks look absolutely gorgeous -- well done!!

Louisa said...

Thanks so much for your kind comment, Dave! It means a lot coming from the pattern designer himself. I'm thrilled! Sorry but I did forget to mention how well-written your pattern is and how much I enjoyed learning the technique for wrapping the corner sts of the heel to prevent holes. After so many socks, I'd still never done it that way but yours was easy to follow. Thanks for writing it!