Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dishcloths Galore

There is something wrong when honesty wears a rag, and rascality a robe;
when the loving, the tender, eat a crust, while the infamous sit at banquets.
-Robert Ingersall

The Second Annual Dish Rag Tag is about to begin. Remember last year? The pain, the heartbreak, the troubles with the US Postal Service? Well, it's a whole new year. And I am ready.
Never fear, these aren't early entries for the Dish Rag Tag, these are just my two new favorite patterns, both free patterns from Abigail. Aren't they lovely in the varigated yarn?

There's no such thing as working ahead in this Dish Rag Tag - that would be cheating - but I have been refreshing my dish rag knitting skills. Last year I won the enviable title of Dish Rag Queen for admitting that I had some 30+ dishrags in their bin under the sink. As a prize, I got the world's most enormous ball of dishcloth cotton. Well, way back in June when my posting was sparse and my working was the stressful and time consuming Night Float, I took that ball to work, set it next to my computer, and knit the occasional row between phone calls, notes, and waiting for lab results.

So, just how many dish rags can you knit with a pound of dishcloth cotton?

Eight. Plus two Mason-Dixon baby bibs not pictured here, for variety in all that garter stitching.

Then, I turned my eyes to the rest of my cotton stash, and, feeling all Mason-Dixon-y, I made a log cabin out Mission Falls 1824 cotton scraps (last seen here as Christmas gifts).
I love using every last bit of leftovers, don't you? So I took the leftovers from the contrast color on my basketweave dishcloths, and made the cutest wash cloth ever.

Jen's already gotten this is the mail - hopefully it'll be a nice compliment to all that pink she's been knitting!

There were more, but perhaps we'll keep them a surprise until later in the exciting August dish rag races?

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Seasonally Inappropriate

The only reason why we ask other people how their weekend was
is so that we can tell them about our own weekend.
-Chuck Palahniuk

It may be wildly out of season, even for San Diego with its chilly nights, but better late than never. I finished my Bed and Breakfast pullover quite a few months ago, and even got a few chances to wear it before it got warmer.

What can I say? I love this sweater. This is everything I've ever wanted in cabled pullover. Thanks to the Year of Projects, I have it.

Bed and Breakfast Pullover
IK Winter 2003
Yarn: Cascade 220 in French Blue and a dark brown for the contrast
Needles: US 7 Brittany Birch straights - the most delightful combination of yarn and needles!
Notes: I do think there was a slight error in the chart and that the cables should start closed and then open on the bottom (makes sense if you see the chart), but I didn't realize that until too late. It's not a crisis. Overall, a very fun, well-written, wearable pattern.
Best Thing About This Project: This is basically my dream sweater. Expect to see modeled shots pop up as the nights cool off and it comes out to play.

This project was one of many helping me knock down the stash. I'll update the sidebars soon, but as of August 1st I'm down to about 480-some balls of yarn and 103,000-some yards of yarn. Getting under 100,000 is rapidly approaching!

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Random Monday

There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship,
communion or company than a good marriage.
-Martin Luther

Happy August! (My birthday month, for those of you tracking these things.)

Because Random Wednesday is more random on a Monday, and I'm still recovering from a little jaunt up to Washington State this weekend.

I got to spend the first weekend of August on a very exciting trip to see the incomparable Kate D. marry the love of her life. Gosh, I love weddings! Go on, congratulate her. She doesn't leave for her honeymoon until Wednesday.

While I was there, I also had the great privilege to sleep under a fabulous handmade quilt and admire some beautiful embroidered pillow cases. And I took pictures. I'll share once I upload them.

Speaking of travel, have you ever flown Virgin America? It's a new airline with only a few airports so far, but it's a life changing experience. Leather seats and electrical outlets - in coach. Friendly quick service. Your own personal TV/entertainment system. And competively priced tickets. I've never been airline brand loyal, but flying all the domestic carriers these days is so depressing, that I was positively delighted to find this airline. They're expanding - look for them. It's like flying internationally, only shorter. And still in the US.

What else? I got a cool and completely unexpected package in the mail the other day. A friend of the family back in Pennsylvania was doing some closet cleaning and found a whole bunch of knitting books, so she packaged them up and sent them to me. There are some real gems here - Knitting for Him, the Nicky Epstein series, and an Erica Knight book, as well as some basics. What a great surprise!

And, since I got lots of knitting done on the plane in my nice comfy leather seat, I'm ready for the new August projects. The big one is my Dale sweater - Park City. This will complement my husband's Salt Lake City, as they're from the same Olympics. I'm making the off-white version, and I wanted a slightly brighter CC2 in blue, but I worry that the one I ordered might be a little too bright. Any thoughts from the photo to the right? Never fear. My sister-in-law is in town and she was the recipient of my last Dale sweater. I'm sure she can help. In the meantime, go leave her some blog comments.

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