Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Knitters on Kiva

Help fund a microloan to knitters in Bolivia!

(Once these knitters are fully funded, the javascript will show random other kiva entrepreneurs.)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Converting diapers to yarn

I finally got a visit to the friend who's been receiving all these diapers I've been making. I brought along a pair of sweater shorties, with felted on decorations.

picture of shorties made from a felted sweater

I took nearly a dozen diapers in two sizes, with doublers, plus some shorties/longies.

picture of diapers and shorties

Here are some of the details on the cutest diapers:

picture of four diapers

My friend gave me a generous gift certificate for my birthday. It was good at the local yarn shop, which meant I had to spend it immediately, or never spend it. I willingly ran off to spend! I got my first skein of Malabrigo, plus some Earth Collection Homestead in natural colours, and 2 skeins of Mirasol Hacho sock yarn.

picture of yarns
Ooh la la, lovely yarns!

Houston, we have longies

After knitting through many troubles, I finally completed the longies from Yarn Pirate yarn. They've gone to their new baby owner and I hope they keep baby dry and warm next winter.

I originally knit the legs in the multi-colour yarn, and then switched to brown when that ran out. But then I had longies with cuffs that came above the knees, and that looked just plain dweeby. So I knit the legs by alternating colourful with brown yarn, with made the legs look much better, and I still had enough brown left for a 3-row cuff. The longies came out about an inch and a half shorter than I'd hoped.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Third time's a charm?

These longies will be utterly fabulous once they're done. They have to be. They've been nothing but trouble through the whole process. The first time they were too big and I was running out of yarn. I ripped them out and restarted them on a busy day full of commencement ceremonies. At some point in the process, I did a short row WRONG, and continued to repeat that error all through the longies. Only when I divided for the gusset did I notice that I was SEVEN STITCHES SHORT. That's when I realised I'd been doing the short rows as a k2tog, not as an encroachment. DUH. There's no recovering from that error, and I ripped them out and I'm working on them again. There were a few other downers, too, like leaving my knitting bag hanging in a bathroom stall at the commencement, and discovering the bag missing when I got home. By reviewing my pictures of the day, I could see at what point I was missing my bag, and returned back to the place to get the bag. I won't even get into the story of the bum on a bicycle who wouldn't leave me alone when all I wanted to do was work on the longies. I'll be actually seeing the baby shortly, hopefully they'll be done by then.

Free Range Kids

I always appreciate what Lenore Skenazy has to say:

Free Range Kids on NPR

Thursday, June 04, 2009


This blog post is part of Zemanta's "Blogging For a Cause" campaign to raise awareness and funds for worthy causes that bloggers care about.

I've been meaning to blog about Kiva, and Zemanta's Blogging for a Cause campaign was a bit of a kick in the pants to actually post.

For mother's day this year, I asked for Kiva gift certificates, and my family gave me $50. Kiva is a microlending facilitator. People who have money to spare can lend money to people who could use a small boost. I was able to help fund a loan for a woman in Peru who makes knitwear and cheese, and runs a store. Kiva says: "With this loan of 2500 soles, to be repaid in four installments, she will invest in the purchase of barley, animals, and supplies to make foods to carry in her store." I also invested in a group of entrepreneurs in Bolivia. I may have been influenced into investing by the woman wearing a baby in a sling made of colourful Bolivian fabrics.

My daughter has invested her babysitting/dogsitting money in a noodle seller, and with a friend, has raised money through lemonade stands to make a few more investments.

Bonus! There's a Ravelry team, so you can feel part of a team as you help people.

These are loans to real people in real situations, and there is some risk, though the risk seems fairly low. But if the loan is repaid, then you get the money back and can invest again.

Kiva - loans that change lives

Monday, June 01, 2009

Stuck like a stuck thing

So I haven't been knitting lately, not much anyway. Mostly, I'm stuck. Here's a picture of many of the projects that are lurking about, unfinished. Not all of them have even made it to the blog, yet. There's so many of them that I can hardly start any new, but they're not progressing.

Starting at the left we have the St. Peter Port Stripes. A funny one to start with because they're not exactly stuck. Just slow moving. They're not holding my interest well, even though they're gorgeous.

Next are the spaghetti socks. Sadly, I think the heel area is too tight. It's something that's hard to tell when you try it on with just the heel done. As the socks get taller, it's more obvious that the short row heels are just too snug over the top of the foot. I'm so loathe to rip them out. Each heel is made with two strands of yellow yarn, and the yarn has been cut to the length of that heel. Knitting another heel will surely involve a different length of yarn. Thus, joining in the middle of a heel. I can't bring myself to face it.

Next are the Hiiumaa hybrids, which need to be ripped back. I'm a whuss about ripping back.

Next are two projects, one atop the other. The top are a pair of baby socks. They just need the ends woven in. I knit them for my new nephew. But they're thick and warm and it's, you know, almost summer. Below that is a cool mitten I started. I got mired.

Lastly, on the far right, my darling, my heartbreak. This is a pair of longies knit of the gorgeous Yarn Pirate yarn. It's not going well. See, I mixed up my numbers when I bought it, and I thought I was buying enough to make a pair of longies. I thought thirty bucks of yarn would make me a pair of longies. I'm not even knitting the largest size, and I'm going to run out of yarn before knitting much of the legs. I don't want shorties. I want longies. I'm going to have to rip them out and redo. Again, it upsets me because like the spaghetti socks, I've already cut the brown yarn. Now I'll have to cut it again for a different waistband for a smaller pair of longies. This means a possible join later. And no matter how nicely I work on my joins, they always show somehow. Spit joins, Russian joins, woven joins, woven-while-you-go joins, they all show up somehow. I do whatever I can to avoid joins. But I love the yarn. Love love love it.

Pretty kitty always shows up for pictures.