My Adventures in Knitting, truly my Yarn-escape!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Wednesday's Yarns - Boiled Fisherman's Mittens

Details can be found on Ravelry - Boiled Maine Mittens.

     For Christmas, I knitted my son Boiled Fisherman's Mittens.  I got them finished as we drove to the airport and sent him off with instructions how to shrink them (Boiled Wool A Felting Alternative).  Apparently, from his recounting his adventures of boiling the mitts, that hardly dented them.  So he recounts his efforts to shrink the mitts in Maine from boiling to freezing them outside, to finally resorting to a dryer...


To End...

"Well, first I boiled them and left them outside to cool (one source swore by boiling and cooling in the freezer), but they just froze, didn't shrink at all. Then I boiled them again and let them cool. Again, not much. I put off using the dryer for a while cause someone said it would remove the lanolin. (Whether or not that is true, I have since found out that you can buy lanolin to periodically treat and weatherize wool) so next I got them wet and worked in them, left them on a radiator, and trampled on them outside a bit. This actually started doing something, but it was slow, and I only had access to a radiator at work, not home. So I ran them under hot water (figured boiling didn't mean as much as hot water drying) and put them in the dryer for 45 minutes. Finally, big change. But the mitts weren't retaining much heat in the dryer, so I wet them again and put them back in the dryer for 60 min with a bunch of sheets. Now, HUGE change, so I did that once or twice more until they fit just right. They are pretty easy to shrink in the dryer, about 3 hours worth of drying and wetting though. It took them from big and floppy and knitted to being thick, felted, and super toasty warm! They are also water resistant. I use them every day! Seriously, the best mittens I've ever had, (and I have a fancy pair of axmen that are awesome)." Jonathan Harmor

My son did suggest some ways to make them fit better, suggesting the mitten be less broad and a longer in the cuff so he can shrink it a bit tighter.  So I cast on another pair and I'm going to try and incorporate these suggestions.  Also, I'm trying to create a smaller woman's size for his girlfriend.

      On the reading front, I'm starting to read "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" by Michael Wolff.  I wasn't certain if I wanted to read it at first, it's a tad pricey even for Kindle.  I asked others in my Facebook Group "Resistance Knitters" and all agreed it was worth reading.  Some suggesting at small doses (like we don't get enough of Trump news as it is).  I eventually caved because it seems everyone is reading it (the New York Times Bestsellers Hardcover Non-fiction has it #1) and honestly it's hard to resist the allure of an insider's recounting of the White House right now.  I have just started and so far I am not disappointed.  I think I like getting a feel for things behind the scenes, so while nothing is horribly new, it brings it alive the news accounts and adds more dimension.  Besides, it's just a bit of fun.  I'm taking it slow though, easy to get overloaded with Trump news!

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Wednesday's Yarns - Project Peace and Western Romances

     I'm still working on my Project Peace Shawl, a December project.  (My project page with details - Ripples of Peace Shawl.)  It's done up in Malabrigo Silky Merino in Mares (the darker) and Azules.  I've been working on the end lace pattern and I'm really pleased with the results.  It looks like worn denim and it's as if the end lace piece is just worn more.  It'll be beautiful with any jeans.

     I'm rereading a series I enjoyed years ago, The McKettrick Series by Linda Lael Miller.  Her western romances are one of the best.  I started with McKettrick's Heart because it was a BookBub deal and I forgot I had read it!  It wasn't until the end that I vaguely recalled the book but it was a pleasure to revisit the McKettrick's stories.  I've gone on to McKettrick's Luck and I am realizing Linda Lael Miller just has a wonderful style of writing.  Immediately drawing you in and creating believable characters.  I'm planning to head to my favorite used bookshop on Friday to find copies of these older books.  I have tons of credit because I always turn in my romance novels for credit (keeping my more treasured books in my bookcase).

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Wednesday's Yarns


     With a beautiful dark blue Stroll Tonal Sock Yarn called Orbit I tried out several asymmetrical shawls, each one not really doing it for me.  I had bought it for the "Just Knit It" pattern and I find that's the only pattern that fits me right now.  Even though I just finished one, I just love a rhythmic knit that I can disappear into.  So I'm "Just Knitting It", and I love the simplicity of the results.  Perfect symmetry and a shallow silhouette.

© stitchnerd

"Just Knit It" done in Lion's Heartland (a worsted made a thicker depth)

     I did finish the Boiled Maine Mittens just in time for my son to fly off, literally.  I finished the last rows, tucked in the ends as we took him to the airport.  Car trouble (bad gas!) delayed us a bit and also getting sandwiched in a funeral procession for a fallen police officer (very sad).  We got to the airport just in time and the mitts were done!  I left the boiling to my son.  I had found this recipe on how to shrink the mitts just to size - Boiled Wool A Felting Alternative.  When he sends me pictures I'll post them.  Now I need to make a ladies size for his girlfriend whose hands are just a bit smaller than mine.  Hopefully casting on this week.

     A few months ago I joined the Book of the Month Club and it hasn't disappointed.  Bonfire: A Novel by Krysten Ritte (November 7, 2017) is a great read.  Unique wording, an interesting flawed main character returning to her small town after 10 years absence.  A mystery is woven into a past recounting of being horrifically picked on in High School by the mean girls.  Now she's a lawyer for an environmental group trying to find the truth.  What happened to the worst of the mean girls who disappeared after senior year?  Were the kids who tormented her really sick or faking it as they said?  Is the main business employing the towners and donating generously hiding something?  Is the water contaminated and has there been a cover-up?  Intriguing plot and right now I seemed to have fallen into a gripping part where memories of the past are colliding with the now.  Great read!


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