Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Knitting: Still Chugging away...

Still have the same three main projects in my lineup.  The Lusekofte sweater, the Chroma U-Pick socks, and the Chroma Worsted U-Pick Equinox Raglan top.

Mostly I have been trying to chug away at the socks to get them finished and out of the way.  Apparently there is an enormous amount of interest in the Chroma yarns on Ravelry, since I've been contacted several times about its qualities.  I promised that I would keep the photos on them updated so they could see how the yarn behaves.  Now that I got some decent lights for my photo area, I'll be less reluctant to take progress pictures.

I have not touched the Lusekofte for a while, but I've gotten to the sleeve/body division on the Equinox.  The one thing that I do not like about the Chroma yarn as a replacement for Noro Kureyon is that the color changes are too evenly spaced.  If Kureyon wasn't so darn scratchy with all that mohair content, I'd just stick with it.  The Noro Taiyo line is a nice alternative, but at $15 for a 200 yard skein, I'm not using that to make a sweater any time soon.  It does make a lovely rendition of Rose Tyler's scarf from the "Boomtown" episode of Doctor Who.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cooking: Ways to a cleaner kitchen

There are a few  ways to keep your kitchen clean and organized.  I'm going to list some of them for you here.

  1. Color coded sponges- I use two different-color sponges in my kitchen.  I use yellow sponges for my dishes and other items related to food.  I use blue sponges for cleaning, especially stove tops and the floor around the fridge and any other nasty areas that might be a bit more grungy. This ensures that you do not get cleaning chemicals on to anything that touches food.
  2. Cheap paper plates - I use the cheap paper plates that are very thin as disposable cutting board liners.  This ensures that you do not cross-contaminate food because you have a clean surface under each food item that you cut.  You cannot leave some of the wetter items on the plates, like tomatoes, but it's worth the peace of mind that comes from a germ-free surface.
  3. Proper use of the garbage disposal - the name is misleading.  The garbage disposal was mainly invented to clear your drain of the bits of food and crud that comes off your dishes after normal washing.  You are NOT meant to peel a ten-pound sack of potatoes and try and stuff all the peelings down there.  Use a compost pile or a wood chipper for that.
  4. Smaller garbage can - If you are living in an apartment building or other area prone to infestation problems, it's wise to use a very small kitchen garbage can and empty it frequently.  A large can is just a bug-buffet... starve the little bastards out.
  5. Shelf-lining - My apartment has cheap, particle-board shelves in all the kitchen cabinets.  I bought two yards of oilskin (that rubbery plastic some diners use for tablecloths) for about four dollars and cut pieces to fit all my shelves.  The rubbery underside keeps it from slipping around, and the top is easily cleaned by a damp (blue) sponge.  And buying oilskin by the yard is cheaper than that shelf liner they charge an arm and a leg for at Walmart.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Knitting: Long Arms II: The Revenge

 I am in Texas and it is 28° degrees outside!  Don't tell me I don't need to knit!  If there's a typo in here, it's because my fingers are still frozen.

Still working on the arms of my Lusekofte sweater, but at least the end is in sight... I've started on the steek portion that joins the arms that is cut apart later before they are sewn into the body.

I'm sorry the pictures are so crappy.  I'm still trying to find a decent light-diffusion apparatus for my picture taking, and until then it's crappy built-in flash photography.  What you're seeing here is the cuff at the lower right, then the main part of the sleeve, and then the color work that makes up the upper arm and shoulder.  What looks like stripes in the middle of the top edge is the steek portion that will be cut to separate the sleeves.  Since this is part of Knit Pick's History of Knitting kit series, I will assume that this is how the old Norwegian ladies constructed their sweaters, but wow.  It is not easy.

I'm knitting on two nickel plated Options circulars, size 4.  It's gotten a lot more fun since I started the colorwork.  I have a feeling the main body of the sweater is going to be boring and slow, but at least the finishing will be interesting.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Knitting: I must have really long arms...

... because these Lusekofte sleeves are taking forEVER.  Also, I upped the number of rounds between increase rounds by double, and I *still* think I might have to do more plain knit rounds at the top than is called for.  I feel like an Orangutan.  It might be time to check for errata, or double-check my gauge.

Excuse the coffee mug splotch in the middle.  The splotch-less shot came out blurry.
  I've completed one Knotty glove.  I'm using Knit Picks Stroll yarn, and while the ribbing sucks in an incredible amount, the hand in plain stockinette is huge.  I could easily take an inch off in stitches and it would still be loose on me.  Since my daughter asked for a pair, I will definitely do that on hers.  I did not have the usual, holey problem on the fingers I do with most gloves.  The pattern seems well-designed to avoid that... kudos!

Zero progress on the afghans.  I just haven't been in a crocheting mood, I guess.  Doesn't stop me from having five skeins of yarn, in the various afghan colors, parked next to my spot on the couch at all times.  They're mocking me with their half-collapsed states.  It's annoying.