Thursday, November 29, 2007

Questions from Readers

Fair Isle Style Vest
Originally uploaded by sunasak
I actually got some questions from readers, so I thought I'd answer them here. Since my first question is from someone I knew when I lived in Illinois (we still are on an email list together, too), I thought I would illustrate today's post with something I made before I came to Texas. This is from the 80s, during the Fair Isle obsession phase. It is made from rather scratchy wool that was on cones in a mill end outlet in Columbus Ohio. But it fit in a grad student budget, so it was good! I was quite the purist, and used steeks on the armholes and neck. What a brave woman! I cut into my knitting! I still have this vest, but it's a bit warm for most of the year here. No moths have eaten it or anything!

So here is the first set of questions, from my friend, who is too shy to post on the blog (this is a very articulate, well educated and wise person--you'd love any comment she made--to her and the rest of you, please do not be shy--it makes bloggers SO happy to read comments, and readers are very nice. At least mine are). Anyway:

1) Do you have any suggestions for what to do with leftover sock yarn? ... I have dibs and dabs, some fairly sizeable, left over that I hate to throw out.

Yes! I have read lots of suggestions on the sock knitting list, gotten interesting ideas from my LYS friends, and found other interesting ideas in books and magazines. All sock knitters have leftovers (OK, once or twice I have used ALL of a yarn, but that's not the norm).

I started an afghan a couple of years ago. it's little mitered squares made out of sock yarn leftovers. It started off with sort of a pattern, with each yarn being used as many times as I could, going up in diagonal stripes. I don't know how long that will last, especially since some yarns don't have that much left over. A few yarns are slightly different in texture or width, but it's mostly pretty good. I haven't worked on it in a while--now that I have so many pretty hand-dyed yarns, maybe I should! You could also do an afghan out of small granny squares, with a solid color to tie them all together or something. Or a ripple afghan with many colored stripes.

Other ideas include:

* Baby booties or socks
* Preemie hats (I think the finer yarn looks better on the tiny heads) or baby hats. Hospitals appreciate the little hats.
* "Monster socks," which are socks made with leftover yarn, usually with some unifying theme
* Wrist warmers, which teens like
* Mini sock holiday ornaments
* Felted coasters if you have non-superwash sock yarn around

There are lots more--feel free to post other ideas, you lurkers!

2) How do you protect your yarn from m___ths? So far, I'm using ziploc bags and herbal packets and cedar balls. Is this enough?

I did have more trouble with them in Illinois than here, thank goodness. I have sprigs of rosemary and lavender in the closet and sock drawer, but nothing has happened in the 10.5 years I've been here. Oddly enough, we had a dickens of a problem with the moths that get into your pantry. ACK. We still see one every so often. They do not seem interested in wool. Just food. Those moths were driven away with sticky pheromone-laden traps from Mr. Pest Control Man.

You do need to let your wool items breathe, so don't leave them in sealed bags for too long (at least I am told it needs to breathe--I didn't check on on it). Cedar seems to work well, as does keeping wool items clean. The moths like stains.

Other tips on dealing with those nasty chomping critters? Contribute if you will!

More than one reader asked for the Rainy Day Socks pattern when I am finished. I am sending it out to a test knitter (who is no doubt now going, "Ooh, I have an official title!"), and if she can follow my slightly rambling instructions, I'll share it right away! I am still working on Sock #2 myself, because yesterday required too much concentration to work on anything but the repetitive section of Juno Regina. it's moving along slowly.

I really appreciate the nice comments on the socks, especially with the less-than-stellar photo quality. Now that I have the new computer I promise to put up a couple of other patterns you might like, too.

1 comment:

  1. The vest is gorgeous. Stuff like that never goes out of fashion. It's a classic.


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