Thursday, July 12, 2018

Nature's A/C. . .

January 25, 2017
High temperature 19 F
Low temperature 3 F

Friday, July 6, 2018
5 PM

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Taking a Break

Northern Shore of Oahu, Hawaii
Turtle Bay Resort
November 2010
I'm going to take a short break from blogging. Look for me in the comments on your own blogs.

I'll return to regular blogging soon, but until then, I'll share some random photos from time to time.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Seven Year Socks

women's size 5 socks
Mountain Meadows' Twizzlefoot - Bluebird
July 2018
Julie W. (JulieKQuilts) and I have followed and read each other's blogs for years. Julie's a dedicated cardio nurse whose own heart is as big as Texas, as she often makes beautiful quilts and gives them to her special patients.

In 2011, I made Julie a pair of socks for a swap we had arranged. I am still using and loving the placemats and mug mat she made and sent to me.

women's size 5 socks
July 2018
ON-line - Desert Color #1855
I got a chuckle when I saw Julie's comment on the recently finished Chameleon Socks, and I knew it was time to make some more socks for her.

(click image to enlarge)
Julie's feet are tiny (size 5 compared to my size 10), so I was able to knit two pair for her in the time it normally takes me to knit one pair for myself. Julie's socks are pairs #9 & 10 in my 2018 Box of Socks knitting quest.

Enjoy these socks, Julie. I promise it won't take me seven years to knit another pair or two for you.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Back in Time - Family Photographer

Art, Annie, Franklin, Ed, Ted, Charlie
I don't have a photo of my Dad's complete family: I'm sure his sister Sadie is not in the photo because most likely she was the one who took it. Sadie probably took the photo in this earlier post, too.

Every family seems to have a historian, the family photographer. Because of their role, they are seldom in photos.

Who's your family historian/photographer?

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Biting the Bullet

binding Tavern Blues
June 2018
Tavern Blues simply would not be ignored: it taunted me every time I passed the crumpled mass on the sofa. On Saturday, I finally bit the bullet and began hand stitching the binding. I listened to High Profile (a Jesse Stone novel) by Robert B. Parker as the needle slowly inched its way around the quilt.
turning the last corner
Tavern Blues completed
June 2018
Tavern Blues is now officially finished.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Holiday Fun

I loved writing my name with sparklers when I was young. My Mom would purchase a package of sparklers, a package of firecrackers, and possibly some black snakes nearly every year. The firecrackers worked great for launching a soup can into the air.

What fireworks do you remember from your childhood?

Have a safe and happy Independence Day. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Washing Reclaimed Yarn

washing reclaimed yarn
June 2018
Several people asked me how I washed the yarn reclaimed from thrifted sweaters. I use the bathtub, hot water, and Ivory dish soap. I run enough water to cover the yarn, swish the soap to get it sudsy, and then add the hanks of yarn. I do not agitate the water, but I do gently turn the hanks over to make sure all the yarn is wet. I add more water to the tub, if necessary. I let the yarn soak for 45 minutes to an hour and turn the hanks a couple of times.

Once the yarn has adequately soaked, I gently squeeze the soapy water out of the hanks. The tub is emptied and rinsed. Then I add clean tepid water to the tub and rinse the hanks to remove any soap.

The hanks are then placed in my washing machine, and I run them through a SPIN only cycle to remove the excess water. The hanks are then draped on a drying rack. I do not put weights at the bottom of the hanks as they are drying. The minimal kinks that remain in the washed yarn do not bother me.
reclaimed silk and cashmere yarn drying after washing
June 2018
reclaimed silk/cashmere yarn before washing
June 2018
These after and before photos show that most of the kinks came out of the silk/cashmere yarn. 

some reclaimed yarn will bleed color
June 2018
Yarn reclaimed from a 100% wool, burgundy tweed sweater was also given a bath, and the dye bled into the water. This is why it's advisable to wash colors separately.

I always wash the yarn in hot water for two specific reasons:
     •  if it's going to shrink, I want it to do so before I knit something with the yarn
     •  I want to make sure the yarn gets clean

Most of the things I knit are for charities, and the recipients do not always know how to care for wool. I believe the hot water bath I give the reclaimed yarn gives it a better chance of surviving less than ideal washing conditions.
clean reclaimed, tweed yarn
June 2018
Be aware that all the kinks do not come out of the reclaimed yarn. This does not affect how it knits and the kinks will not be noticeable in the finished items. 

While reclaiming wool yarn from thrifted sweaters is time-consuming, it is a great way to obtained quality yarn without breaking the bank. 

Here are some items that I've knit with reclaimed wool:
     •  Cowls here, here, here
     •  Vests  here, here, here, here

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