Blogger was easy to set up, though a bit time consuming. I regret that I'll leave here all my past entries and comments, but I needed some fresh air. Here's the new blog, go take a peek: cheapknitter.blogspot.com
And here's the link to the Spanish translation: yquesitejo.blogspot.com
See you there!
Posted at 7:24:25 pm by Pioggia
Here are my sister's socks, finally finished, cast-off and washed.
And here are the spouse's socks, which I was knitting at the same time, though not at the same speed.
They are greener, but I am having a hard time capturing the color with or without flash. I stole a picture of the original yarn:
Which is ultra alpaca fine, 50% wool, 20% alpaca and 30% nylon. The colorway is peat mix.
I am getting ready to move to blogger, and I will post the link soon. I will leave my old entries here, as long as blogdrive allows me to.
Posted at 11:49:13 am by Pioggia
Posted at 10:08:31 am by Pioggia
The sister socks have heels. And are getting close to being finished.
The image problem is solved, but I am now having problems with blogdrive. I changed the format of the page, but those changes took forever to show up. Plus my last entry did not show up in more than 24 hours. Apparently, their servers were down during a power outage a week ago.
I started this blog more than 6 years ago. Back then blogger was already more popular than blogdrive. I did not use it because I liked writing my own html. Whenever I made a mistake, blogger overwrote my own code. Not a big deal, links got converted into text, images were erased... What really bothered me was that, if I tried to go back and correct my own code, it was gone, blogger had rewritten it and I had to start all over again.
Many years later, blogger dominates the market. Lots of new nifty gadgets have been introduced and it looks really cool. It works like a little black box that more or less covers your expectations without you having to write any code yourself. Which is good, because it is still erasing the original code whenever it encounters a mistake. So I still don't like blogger.
Still, I am considering moving over. I am willing to bet that their servers are never down. Also, I fear the extinction of blogdrive. It does not seem to be evolving and it actually seems to be shrinking (their helpdesk people used to reply right away, but now they don't even bother to answer). They have added a few bells and whistles to their blogs but you have to pay for them, not so with blogger.
I know this blog already has lost its readership, and it should not bother me to start anew. Still, it breaks my heart to think I would lose 6 years of entries and comments. Blogdrive does not even allow you an export function. And I don't blame them. Their business seems to be dying, why should they make it any easier for their users to leave them?
Posted at 9:46:49 am by Pioggia
The grey socks have a heel but no picture. Instead, I have pictures of a colorful experiment. Kathy over in Runs with Needles
has dyed several sock blanks, which eventually tempted me to buy one.
I left it alone for a while, but the recent epidemic of gray and dark green left me lusting after some bright blues, greens and purples. Undecided, I used all three colors. Actually, I used five different dyebaths. The result is a progression from deep purple to green.
There are a few irregular splotches here and there, so it is not a very smooth progression. I used plain food colorings and vinegar. Lots of both. All these bottles were new from the box when I began.
Lessons learned? I should have threaded stitches on both sides with waste yarn before dyeing. As you can tell, both ends kept unraveling. Some of the splotches can be blamed on those unraveled ends coming in contact with sections not yet dyed (notice that I am not blaming my own lack of hindsight or dexterity). Another lesson is to use two different rinsing pots and hold the blank from the middle while dunking it into these two pots. The middle is best rinsed under running water. The final lesson is to have everything ready before you begin and not worry about the cleaning (or anything else, phone included) until the process is over, even if the process takes about 6 hours.
Posted at 11:30:20 am by Pioggia
Imageshack tends to eat my pictures. Generally the old ones, so I used not to care about the broken links. But I've recently noticed broken links with some of the newer pictures, which is very annoying. So now I'm using flickr. I hate monopolies, but sometimes they make sense. Plus, I figure yahoo needs all the traffic it can get.
I started a pair of gray socks for my sister, who likes neutral colors. I'm using Maizy, since she's allergic to wool. This shade of gray is too somber for me and makes me not progress much.
Now, the spouse had recently expressed some interest in a pair of socks, so I dragged him to a yarn shop and asked him to choose some yarn so I could work on two pairs of socks simultaneously. The idea was that if I got tired of the gray socks I could work a few rows in a different color. But what color did he choose? Gray. Comfort sock, a nylon and acrylic blend from Berroco. I promised to turn that yarn into socks later on, as long as he chose a different color for now. And he nicely went ahead and chose some green yarn. A very dark shade of green. Here are the two new skeins, side by side.
The green yarn (which they kindly wound into a center pull ball at the store) is Berroco Ultra alpaca fine, a wool and alpaca blend in a color adeptly called peat mix
. I am already working on it.
Now I alternate between two pairs of gloomy socks, and there is yet another pair of gray socks in my near future. So much for bright ideas.
Posted at 9:17:40 pm by Pioggia
This craft at least is actually related to knitting. I ended up needing two blood transfusions back in March (thank you, anonymous donors!) and was still severely anemic, so for quite some time I was eating lots of iron rich foods. Among them, black beans. Beans, of course, have to be soaked before cooking, resulting in some really dark water.
After I don't know how many pots of black beans, I started to wonder if wool would take up the color. I know, it is not a pretty color, but it was something edible (so I could use it in my kitchen) and it was already available. Long story short, don't use vinegar as a mordant, use alum. The high pH itself turns the water from black to purple.
And then the yarn ends up with a pretty gray-blue color, that I certainly did not expect. Here are the before and after pictures.
I am only hoping it lasts, because the Serratia marcescens
yarn I dyed last Summer has faded to almost white by now.
Posted at 4:07:52 pm by Pioggia
My main craft is knitting, but I do some other stuff sometimes. So I thought these vinyl car decals would fit here. I call them the Geek and the Freak, and they are supposed to represent my husband and myself. I'll let you guess who is who.
And a view from inside:
These could not go in the rear, they need to be inside the car since static alone keeps them in place. I made them with window decoration paints.
Posted at 11:17:50 am by Pioggia
Yes, because this is a knitting blog and unless I have some knitting to show I have nothing to post. This is not a space to vent about whatever is going on in my life. Still, a few things are worth mentioning: I almost died in March, the pooch died in April and I quit my job in May. There's more but I guess that suffices to explain why I've been a tad gloomy lately. And yet, here we have a pair of fingerless mitts for one of my friends with really, really tiny hands. I never got to measuring her hands, I just compared mine to hers and noted that hers were about 1 cm shorter. Here's the result:
I am sending them out today and hoping they fit. I made them with some Regia self striping sock yarn that I had leftover from a previous pair of socks for another friend.
Posted at 12:51:30 pm by Pioggia
This is the fastest pair of socks I've ever made. It took me two weeks, during which I was regularly following the FIFA games in South Africa. I finished them last night, as the spouse was opening the Freixenet
to celebrate Spain's victory.
I took the picture this morning, while still in my pajamas. The pattern is called "dead simple lace socks" (no wonder I finished them so fast), found in Wendy's Socks from the Toe Up
. The yarn is Simple Stripes, from Knit Picks. It's 75% wool, 25% nylon.
Posted at 11:20:17 am by Pioggia