Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Laundry List

I keep trying to make a real blog post but it just isn't coming. All I can seem to get out is a laundry list of my day and random thoughts. I'm having that problem in other parts of my life, too. Every so often I have glimmers of brain activity that I like to conserve and dedicate to tackling my inbox. Too often those glimmers of brain activity are quickly replaced by vacant stares and drool in the corner of my mouth leaving taxes unfinished and emails unanswered. I blame winter. Winter, I love ya, but you and your no sunlight have got to go.
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From Darth Vader's Twitter:

"The bad news is we had to let go of about 8,000 clone troopers today. The good news is it really only counts as 1."

I'm 95% sure I'm going to quit accepting freelance work through the service I currently use. This seems like an unwise move given the state of the economy, but I can't keep working for the Empire. The Rebels have more fun anyway.
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I culled the magazine collection today. I thought if I ever had to choose between Interweave Knits and Vogue Knitting that Interweave would win. When it came down to getting rid of magazines, I pulled the Vogues out of the buh-bye pile and put the Interweaves in. Interweave has great articles but I never ever ever go back and reference them. I usually turn to my books or to the internet. There are some great patterns in the Interweaves I destashed but I never looked at them, they were never in my size and I know where to find more if I decide I want to have them again. The same magazines have been in the same stack since 2006.

I didn't keep all of the Vogues, either. The ones I kept I kept for the photography and not the patterns. I confessed this to the knit night knitters and I'm confessing it to you now. I have a secret love of couture as art. I don't follow it like I used to and I certainly don't dress like it, but if couture happens to wander my way I stop and look.

Hey! Is Project Runway on DVD? I never even thought to look.
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I'm working on the Big Thaw Pullover from the Fall 2008 Knitscene.
Big Thaw Pullover
There has been an error in nearly every step of the pattern. At a few points the errata had errors. At one point the corrections to the errata had an error. Considering all of that, I happy that this has turned out as well as it has so far. Sure, there are a few things I would do differently if I knit it again, but they aren't egregious enough for me to knit back. I just want a sturdy sweater for Scott to keep warm in.
Big Thaw Pullover
I love this yarn. I love the way the finished sweater looks enough that I may knit this again soon in a different color using my own notes. If I were to make one change what I've knitted so far I would rip back the sleeve caps for their 4th (or is it 5th) reknit, but the husband recipient insisted they were fine and that he liked them, which is good because I devoted the better part of a week to getting them looking as good as they do look which isn't saying much. [There's always one run-on sentence in every post. I can't help myself.] The thick ropey yarn is still soft and creates a great fabric that I can't stop fondling. It is an unusual texture. I love it and I imagine many more sweaters knit from it.
Big Thaw Pullover
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I made more of the best laundry soap I've ever used today. There were a few questions about where to get the ingredients. I found mine at Schnucks, a local grocery chain. You can buy them online, too. I included pictures so you can see what they look like.
Making laundry soap
Use a good grater. It isn't worth the savings if you are going to grate your knuckles. We have a new grater that does a great job turning the Fels Naptha soap in to dust. We were going to get a microplaner from the hardware store but this $1.99 from Goodwill grater worked just fine. Just make sure the soap is grated in to a fine powder so it will dissolve fully. Try not to stab anyone with your soap shiv.
Grating soap
Making a soap shiv
The recipe is roughly 2 cups (1 bar) of Fels Naptha or other bar soap grated, 1 cup of Borax and 1 cup of washing soda mixed together well. We use 2-3 tablespoons per large load and get between 20-30 loads per batch. The Fels Naptha is about $2 a bar, the Borax is $5/box and the washing soda is $5/box. 1 bar will make 1 batch. 1 box of the borax and the washing soda will last a long time. I think we have made five or six batches by now and we still have some left.
Making laundry soap
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My mom gave me socks she knitted from my yarn that were too big for her. This is the first time I've had my own socks from my own yarn. I have knitted socks from my own yarn for other people, but I've never gotten to wear socks from my own yarn. I like it. I'm going to have to step up knitting and make some for myself. Also, it's hard taking pictures of your own feet.
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