Thursday, May 28, 2015

Reversing a trend.

It seems that a lot of my recent projects have been about running out of yarn and waiting for more to arrive. Well, today, Friends, I can proudly say that I completed a project with YARN LEFT OVER! It's a miracle, really. Some days, it feels like it will never happen again.

Anyway, back in the early part of the Spring, I was in the mood to knit myself a new sweater, and as my LYS had lots of colors of lett-lopi, I decided that I would make the Afmaeli sweater. The printed pattern showed all kinds of color combinations, but I knew as soon as I saw the rainbow-colored version, I knew that was the one for me.

I bought the shop out of all their charcoal skeins for the body & sleeves, as well as the beige for the ribbing. Nerd that I am, I really wanted the colors specified in the pattern, so I had to order those online. I dutifully knit my gauge swatch, checked it against the instructions, and quickly cast on. The photos in the pattern showed a little more ease than I like, so I did a bit of math and worked out some waist shaping to get a more flattering fit.

The body knitting sped right along, but for whatever reason, the sleeves seemed to take ages to finish. I was eventually able to join the sleeves and begin the fun bit of stranded color work for the yoke. I enjoyed it so much! Once I got the collar done, I tried it on and it fit! With yarn left over! Like, 5 skeins of charcoal and 3 skeins of beige, and more than half of each of the remaining colors. I'm more pleased than I really should be at this, but given all my recent frustration on this account, you can hardly blame me.

Next time, Friends, I'll tell you about some of the things I've been making with the leftover lopi. Until then.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Temple to Water Filtration

Yesterday our local water utility had an open house to show off the restoration of their 1879 limestone gatehouse at the Crescent Hill Reservoir. The slate roof was replaced in its entirety, and the terracotta tiles in ceiling were thoroughly cleaned. The iron stairs appear to have gotten a fresh coat of paint and everything just looks shiny and clean.

Some of my favorite details are on the outside of the building. It's obvious that the stonemasons employed on the job knew what they were about. All the limestone ornaments are beautifully carved, and as far as I could tell, all different. I hope to get there more often and look at things more closely. Until then, though, enjoy these photos I took in the short time I was there last night.

Lovely limestone stair.

Carved limestone lintel over the window.

Wrought iron stair. We weren't allowed to go higher than the first landing.

Pretty sure this capital is marble; it hasn't weathered as well as the limestone.

Terracotta ceiling tiles & simple rose window.

Trefoil dormer window, with terracotta tiles.

Window, second landing, and underside of stairs to third level.

The security camera amidst the ironwork in the widow's walk is an anachronism.


Another marble capital, different than the ones on the opposite entrance.

Stairs, from first landing to the second.

I love that they put a pitcher on top of this gable. I had to look it up, but the squared bit it rests upon is called an acroterium.

Another pitcher, different from the first.

Detail of the limestone balustrade.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

It's a vicious cycle, using up leftovers.

So last post I showed you the cute baby blankie I made for my new nephew (who is now a couple weeks old and as cute as can be!). Once I finished the blanket, there was plenty of yarn left over, so I thought I'd try using it up.

The first project was a wee sheep hat for a charity's silent auction - our group had a cute little baby fingerprint kit thing, but we needed to beef up the basket, so I made the hat. I only needed to purchase one skein of green yarn, no biggie. Once I finished the hat I thought it would be nice to make some wee mittens to match it, so I cast right on. Sadly, I ran out of the cream colored yarn after the first mitten, so I had to go right back to the shop for some more. And, just my luck, they didn't have any. Nor did the other two shops in town, so I ordered it online and hoped it would arrive in time for me to complete the mittens in time for the auction. It didn't.

While I was waiting for the new yarn to arrive, I thought I'd try out another pattern from the book with the sheep hat. The Fair Isle hat and leg warmers pattern looked like a good one to help me use up some of the yarn I had, so I cast on and mere hours later, I'd finished a cute little hat. The leg warmers went pretty quickly too. I had enough of the green, brown and tan yarn left to make some mittens to match the others, so I did those too, which worked out just right. I've since sent the set out to my new nephew.

I thought I give the same set another try, with the orange, black, and white yarn leftover from the blankie. I was able to finish the hat and mittens according to the pattern, but I ran out of orange before I could finish the legwarmers, so the last bit of cuff was finished with a bit of white. I have no idea what I'm going to do with this  set. I may decide to enter the hat and mittens in the State Fair this summer, depending on whether or not anyone I know turns up pregnant between now and then. On my Ravelry project page, I named them after Finding Nemo, because they're the same colors as a clown fish, and I imagined that if Nemo & Dory had made their way to the North Sea, they'd be wearing Fair Isle sweaters. Or at least Dory would, but I didn't have yarn in her colors.

So that's all I have for now, Friends. I've been knitting all kinds of things lately, but I haven't been especially meticulous about photographing them. As I catch up on the pics, I'll write up the projects. Until next time then.