Friday, January 06, 2012

I'm back ....

...and wish I could say, "better than ever", but would be a lie.

Here's the short list of what I've been up to:
My mother and father-in-law are celebrating their 93rd and 91st birthday's respectively. Gotta love it. They're slowing down a bit in all aspects, but still living independently. Independently enough to make us wish that they'd consent to bring someone in a few hours a week to help. Not happening yet. This is the cowl I made for my mother-in-law for Christmas. (Still have Blizzard yarn in my stash.) Looks pinker that it really is. It is a pattern that I bought at my LYS. It was knit in a super bulky alpaca. I made it a bit longer so she could slide it over her head if she wished, or could button it up close. The buttons go through the cable crossings.

I'm thinking of making one for me in black alpaca for running. I think it will be very convenient with the buttons.

This is the ornament I created for my sister-in-law who shoulders the primary responsibility for the parents. Every year I bead her an ornament. I try to do something very different each year, but I cheated a little this year. The ornament you see is one of my personal favorites, and I added pearls as a twist. I was especially fond of the large pearl drops you see on the bottom. For Christmas 2012, I'm going to have to start much now. Taking care of elderly parents, is a pretty thankless job, frankly, so we try and do nice things for her whenever we get the opportunity. That included taking dinner with us when we visited, so she didn't have to come to the house for two nights (she did anyway, and we were happy to see her, but she didn't have to worry about someone checking on meds, food, etc.)

The rest of the break we spent finishing up chores (seriously), relaxing, eating and exercising. And just to show you what an exciting couple we are, we bought THREE, no kidding, THREE irons, before we found ONE that actually worked. (My hubby is an ironer, and he's really tough on irons. Well, between him and our calcium rich water, they don't last very long.) So this time we invested a little more (Rowenta) because I was becoming so frustrated with our current iron. (I really didn't like it overall. The hand controls were poor, it switched heat settings unexpectedly because of how it was designed, ugh.) So into the trash. But the first iron we bought didn't shut off as it was supposed to. We depend on the auto shutoff feature, so I returned it, and got another. Different store, different city, and what do you know - this one shut off while one ironed. What the heck?!!!! So New Year's Eve (see, I told you we were an exciting couple), I took it back once more. As luck would have it, it was the same clerk who had taken care of me the NIGHT before. This time I also bought,  an additional (more expensive) model. Well, thank goodness third time's the charm and I got to return the more expensive iron. Now to train my husband to use spring water, instead of tap water. And what store was so patient with a seemingly crazy customer. Target. Never a problem returning to Target. (I do keep my receipts.)

And now I must ask for some advice. In a prior posting, I mentioned that I was making fuzzy feet for my husband. Well, I knocked them out pretty quick. I used Knitpicks, Wool of the Andes, and based on prior experience did not expect any felting difficulties. In fact, I was expecting it to felt like a sonofagun. Well, I would have been incorrect.

Here is a photo of the drying slippers. See anything unusual? Maybe not yet.

How about now? The black, foot portion is felted, and the yellow is completely not. And though you can not see it in the photo, the heel flap on the right one, is also not felted. This is all the same wool folks. Do not consider the white. That is a leftover, from another project and NOT Wool of the Andes. I had two choices. Try and force the yellow to felt, and then the foot would be too small, or just call it a day. Has anyone else experienced this?

I'm thinking that I'm going to stick to wools that have a touch of mohair for felting from now on. Like Lambs Pride. Any other suggestions would be most welcome. I'm putting the Fuzzy Feet in time out for now.

And don't even ask about the new coach. I don't have any idea or opinion. And I'm trying to decide if I even care.


Kaye said...

No advice on the half felted slippers, I hardly use KP yarns. But I like the Steelers colors!

Too funny, I was actually excited I got a week OFF from ironing clothes!

Chrisknits said...

Cascade 220. The best felting wool I know of. Or Paton's Classic Wool. Both are perfect. The only trouble I have is a front load washer that refuses to felt in one cycle. So 2-3 cycles later I have a felted object. Best advice, do not combine different brands, which I know you didn't. Also, I don't trust WOA to be all from the same supplier to Knitpicks. I generally don't use Knitpicks yarn at all. Which is why the WOA sweater is still unfinished in my closet. Never got good results from it.