Saturday, October 25, 2014

Quick Household Projects

I was slightly annoyed with how much yarn I had left over from the blanket I finished last week. I had 2590 yards of yarn and used 1842. Over a mile, but still, I was hoping to use up at least one or two full skeins. Luckily (?) I already wanted to make a toilet paper cozy and the leftover colors work for our in-progress bathroom. Do you have any idea how few good toilet paper cozy patterns there are? I spent far too long looking and wound up with something reasonable:

Pattern: PFC83-Flowered Toilet Roll Cover (Ravelry mine)
Yarn: Red Heart With Love in Lettuce and Mango
Hook: 4.0mm/USG, 3.5mm/USE for the bottom edge
 Timeframe: October 21 - 24, 2014
Mods: Magic loop start, did the top edge as Round 6, slip stitched down the post to continue to the actual Round 6 instead of breaking the yarn and reattaching it. Carried the yarn though the stripes. Also no flower.
Problems: Amount of yarn

While searching Ravelry for good toilet paper cozy patterns, I came across a little soap dispenser bird and HAD TO HAVE IT! Isn't it the cutest thing ever? There's also a duck version!

Pattern: Bird Decoration (mine)
Yarn: Red Heart With Love in Bluebell
Hook: 3.5mm/USE
 Timeframe: October 21, 2014
Mods: Magic loop start. No eyes thus far - we'll see if I add them later.
Problems: My soap dispenser top is a bit large and distorts the head somewhat, but it still fits!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fixing the Scale

I flew to a friend's wedding and of course was just finishing the blanket on my way. I had my yarn scale with me so I could weigh remaining yarn as needed, and pulled it out when I started finishing colors of the blanket. It read zero. Crap.

 Being an engineer and a broke grad student, I grabbed some screwdrivers and took it apart. It's pretty cool, there's a metal bar that is a cantilever (attached on one side only), so when there's weight on the plate, it bends where it's attached. This bending causes a small amount of stretching in the bar, and since the properties of the metal are known, there is a sensor attached to the side that measures the stretching and converts that to the number of grams that must be on the plate. Really cool.

Anyway, after taking it apart, I found that the wire that gives the power to the sensor on the bar slipped out of the cutout in the internal plastic that housed the wires and slid under the plastic wall. As my bag was roughly jostled in transit (it was in a checked bag), the plastic case cut through the wire. Totally fixable.

I grabbed a razor and stripped the insulation off of the small wire to expose the shiny inner wire. This was actually easier than I thought it would be (I assumed I'd end up cutting through the wire once or twice). I managed to twist the small wires around each other to complete the connection, and finished it off with some electrical tape to seal it all in and not cause more problems.

The things I do for yarn...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Harvest Wedding Blanket

This was my September (and into October) project. I bought the yarn back in January for a friend's
October wedding. I started it in February on too-small needles, so ripped it back and put it away for a little while. A little while ended up being almost seven months. I re-started it on September 1st, figuring if I did one square per day for September, the center strips would be done and I would just have the seaming and borders to do in the first couple weeks of October.

I mostly finished on time, and then got pretty sick for a week and a half and didn't touch it. So of course, I was binding off the last edge and weaving in the ends between the ceremony and the reception. Which means I only have one (not too bad) cell phone picture of it unblocked and hanging over the car door:

Yarn: Red Heart With Love in Tan, Mango, Eggshell, Lettuce, Chocolate, Bluebell, and Merlot
Needles: US9/5.5mm, US13/9.0mm for the bindoff
Timeframe: September 1 - October 18, 2014
Mods: Knit the first row of each square to make the color changes clean.
Problems: None, aside from getting sick and then finishing it at the last minute.

The wedding was excellent and I truly hope they enjoy the blanket!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Wedding Cross Stitches

I mentioned many many moons ago that I was working on some cross stitches for weddings I was attending. Here are the finished projects, now that both recipients have theirs:

Both used DMC Light Effects threads. I love how it looks, but I hate working with it! It's stiff and prone to breakage, especially the multicolored one used for the second project. I've learned you have to cut it short to use it and even then, you may have to finish it off before you've used the strand.

I also only used one strand for the date on the first one. I didn't really want to take the time to re-do it with two strands, so I left it be even though it doesn't show up as nicely as it could. For the second, I added the second strand and think it turned out much better. Hopefully the recipients like them as much as I do!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Quick Gift

This month is already more productive than last, with a whole pair of socks (164 yards) off the needles and gifted. Yet again, Thuja, #31 at least:

Pattern: Thuja from Knitty (Ravelry mine)
Yarn: Dark Horse Fantasy in #82
Needles: US6/4.0mm
Timeframe: October 4 - 7, 2014.
Mods: None.
Problems: None. Love this pattern so, so, so much!