Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Washing Yarn

Remember the yarn I won on eBay that smelled like an ashtray?

It was beautiful yarn, and I got it for a great price:
Plymouth Wildflower DK - 61

Plymouth Wildflower DK Fancy - 857

When I first got it, I noticed that it smelled like cigarettes. Very much!
So, I put it out in the sun for several hours.
Yarn in the Sunshine

This usually works wonders. But not this time. The yarn still smelled AWFUL.

So, I started unwinding it with my yarn swift, and let it rest in the storage room to air out....hopefully.
Stinky Yarn

No such luck there. This yarn needed SERIOUS help.

This weekend, I finished unwinding it all with my swift, and it all ended up in nice hanks like this:
Plymouth Wildflower DK unwound & washed - 61

They still smelled to high heaven, so I washed each hank by hand in some laundry detergent and warm water. Then, I rinsed each hank with cold water, and hung them outside on tree branches to dry. I'm sure my neighbors thought I was crazy.

(I would have taken a photo of the drying hanks, but then I might have been committed.)

Of course, as soon as I got them all out on the tree branches, it started to rain. HARD.

When the rain finally subsided, I went back out again, and squeezed out as much rainwater as I could handle. MAN!!! This was WORK!

I was almost brought to the point of using a few choice words, but I persevered. It smelled nice outside after the rain, and there were kids out playing in the streets, so that helped my mood a bit.

The skeins were left outside for several hours, and then brought back in when the sun was starting to set. They were still a little damp, so I had to hang them all over the house on every doorknob available. There were 11 hanks of yarn, but not that many doors in my house, so I improvised by using the knobs on the kitchen cabinets as well.

Now, three days later, I have dry hanks of yarn. They do smell better, THANK GOD!!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

An Afghan for an Afghan! :)


This morning, I woke up early, after having slept all night. ALERT THE MEDIA!!!
I NEVER sleep at night. I don't know what the deal was.

I know one thing....my hubby was sick, with a fever of 101, and he was actually sleeping under the covers. Maybe that made me feel all comfy and cozy. :D

Anyway, I slept all night, which was a wonderful thing.

So, when I got up this morning, I gave my hubby a glass of ice water, and a little cup of water with some Airborne dissolved in it. I also talked him into calling in sick at work. I was shocked when he did it! Wow!

Next, I made him ANOTHER glass of water, this time with Alka-Seltzer Plus cold medicine dissolved in it. By this time, he was up and walking around a bit. So I talked him into making himself a toaster waffle for breakfast. After eating that, he went back to bed to sleep off his fever.

The house was nice and quiet, so I went to the living room, and gathered together all the squares that I had for making a baby blanket for the "Afghans for Afghans" project. I counted all the squares, and pulled out 12 of them (each a different color). Then, I arranged them in a way that looked decent.
1st Afghan Ready to be Stitched

Next, I started weaving in all the ends of yarn that were hanging loose. The Lamb's Pride Bulky yarn is so thick, it looks like dreadlocks. (tee-hee!)

So, after weaving in all the ends, the squares got out of order somehow. I know this, because the completed baby blanket is completely different from the way I laid them out originally. :P

1st Afghan - Complete

Oh well, it still looks good. I just did a basic whipstitch to seam the squares together. It gives it a nice "rustic" look. Makes me wanna snuggle under it in a cabin in the mountains. But, I don't get to snuggle under it at ALL. This blanket is for a baby in Afghanistan. ;)

Thanks to some members of the Knitting Help Forum, I had enough squares to finish the blanket. How cool is that? I knit about 9 squares, and received 11 squares from members of the forum. :D I'm close to having enough to make two blankets, so I'm gonna get back to work making some more squares. Hopefully, I'll be able to send TWO blankets to the "Afghans for Afghans" project! Woo Hoo!

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Sweet Gift

Yesterday morning at church, a friend of mine gave me the sweetest gift. A vintage bag, filled with knitted squares, knitting needles, and a skein of yarn. It belonged to his great-grandmother!

Vintage Knitting Kit from Ritchie

I think that was so generous of him.
He is only 12 years old, and has such a sweet spirit.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Making Room for Hubby in my Craft Room

Well, I guess my days of quiet bliss are over in my craft room.

My hubby's son (my stepson) has decided that he likes us enough to stay with us this summer. So, that means that my hubby's "cave" is gonna be converted into a teenager's bedroom for a while.

THAT means that my hubby needs a temporary cave to sort out his thoughts after work. So, I'm having to clear out a corner in my craft room for him. Poor guy.

Yesterday, I got started. I went into the craft room, and started taking things out. First, I took down the sewing table. (After removing the piles of books and clothes and knitting projects from the top of it.) Hey! There's my sewing machine! :P

Next, I dragged out the rocking chair, the desk chair, and the little rolling carts that were holding up the sewing table. (The sewing table is just a board, by the way.) So, then I had lots of space in the middle of the room. I stood there and contemplated what to do next.

I looked at my yarn bins, and thought, "Hmmm....I wonder if they will fit underneath the shelving on the other wall. They did! Woo Hoo!

So, that meant I needed to move all the stuff out of the way that WAS under the shelving. So, I started moving things around, and ended up getting slightly injured in the process. I scratched my arm on the sharp edge of a bookcase, and dropped something on my hand, which immediately raised a blue spot. OUCH! Off to the kitchen I went to get the ice pack out of the freezer.

Now, I was working with one hand, while holding the ice pack on the other. :P

I was able to move everything around, and now I am satisfied with the results.

Here is the front wall of my craft room. The only thing different is the little bookcase behind the spinning wheel. It used to be underneath the shelving.
Front Wall - Bookshelves and Spinning Wheel

Here is the empty corner, ready for my hubby to invade with his desk and a few other things.
Empty Corner for My Hubby

Here is my little nest now: My rocking chair is SURROUNDED by yarn. Ha!
Chair is Now Surrounded by Yarn

There won't be any sewing in this room for a while. If I need to sew anything, I'll just have to set up my sewing machine on the kitchen table.

Here is the view of my side of the room, from my hubby's corner. I placed my cutting table between our spaces, so he can have a bit of privacy when he's over there. It kinda makes a low wall for him.
View from Hubby's Corner

I guess this will work okay for the summer. I'm just glad it's not going to be forever.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Stinky Yarn!

Pew! :P The yarn I won on eBay STILL smells to high heaven. I guess the person that had this yarn before is a chain smoker, or something.

I've tried EVERYTHING to get the cigarette smoke smell out of this yarn. I put it outside in the sunshine for SEVERAL hours, turning it over every 30 minutes or so. No luck.

Next, I put it all in a mesh laundry bag, sprayed the heck out of it with Febreze, until it was wet.....then put it in the dryer with a dryer sheet. STILL no luck. :(

So, yesterday afternoon, I spent a couple hours unwinding all the yarn with my yarn swift. Today, I plan to wash it by hand, then spin the water out in my washing machine, then hang the yarn out to dry on my clothesline.
Stinky Yarn

If THAT doesn't work, I'm gonna have a yarn bonfire (or I could just knit a sweater for someone I don't like.) Ha!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Yarn, Yarn, and MORE Yarn!!

A few nights ago, I decided to unravel one of the cashmere sweaters I've bought at Goodwill. Believe it or not, I've found FIVE cashmere sweaters there!!! And each sweater costs less than 3 dollars. You can't beat that! ;)

Here's the pink sweater I've been working on:
Unravelling Cashmere

Lookin' good! :D
I wonder how many ounces of cashmere I'll get out of that sweater?

And I won a few auctions for yarn on eBay.

Here's the vintage poncho kit I won, filled with 100% wool yarn. Nice!
ANOTHER Vintage Poncho Kit

I will NOT be making the poncho. Blech! :P
Maybe I'll make a felted bag....or a blanket for charity. Who knows.....

Another auction I won was for 11 skeins of Plymouth Wildflower DK yarn. Very pretty, very soft, but also very STINKY! The person I won them from is a heavy smoker, so every skein smells like an ashtray.
Plymouth Wildflower DK Fancy - 857 Plymouth Wildflower DK - 61

So, today, I've been airing them out in the sunshine.....turning them over every 20 minutes or so. They're getting better.
Yarn in the Sunshine

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Baby Afghan for A Baby Afghan!

Tee-Hee!! I just love that title.

I've been working on a new charity project for the last couple weeks now. I decided I wanted to make a baby blanket for the "Afghans for Afghans" project. They need baby afghans made from wool yarn by May of this year, and the afghans must measure 30" x 40".

So, I mentioned in the Knitting Help Forum that I'm making 10" squares from Lamb's Pride Bulky Yarn. I asked the forum members to help if they could, and I did receive help from 2 members so far!

I knit 5 squares myself, and received 5 squares from forum members. Way Cool! Now, I only need 2 more squares to have enough to make a baby blanket. :D
Bulky Squares for Baby Blanket

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I'm a forum moderator and blogger for Spinrite Yarns (www.yarnspirations.com), and I spend WAY too much time there. :D You can also find me on the Knitting Help Forum occasionally