November 07, 2012

Frustrating times

Have you ever LOST a knitting project that you were working on?  I mean, you've looked practically everywhere with no success and panic has set in?  That's been my underlying crisis for the last three days.  With all of the traveling that I've done and the "just pile it over there until I have time to deal with it" theme of the last few weeks, I managed to LOOSE my sock project bag and its contents:  one pair of ribbed socks in a new colorway, Surf Wagon.  I've looked everywhere--car, truck, garage, back porch, every nook and cranny in the knitting room, Rocket's room (one never knows what one will find stuffed in the closet of a 9 year-old), the boys' room, the office, under furniture. I racked my brain and all I could think of was that I left it in North Carolina in the hotel.  :( 

But, even though the next project that I am going to show you turned out less than admirably on this cold, grey, gloomy, and frustrating day, the socks are always in the very last place you accidentally look, and mine were on the inside edge of a dining room chair.  So, hallelujah!  They have been recovered and I am determined to work on them today because I am just about ready to start the heel, and we all know how much I love to knit the heel ... but then, hey, the thought just hit me that these might make a nice pair of fingerless mitts if I just start knitting in the thumb ... stay tuned.  I'll have to think about this.

And about that other project of frustration ... tie-dying t-shirts for Rocket's class has been a seemingly endless dilemma of disaster.  The first time the teacher asked for volunteers, I said I would be happy to help because, well, I dye things all the time and she was less than informed on the whole dying process.  I said, "buy the silk dye".  She said "I need cheap".  I said "the shirts won't turn out well with acid dye if you let the kids dye them at school".  She said, "I want to dye them during class".  And they all came out pink and white and crappy and every kid had a different type of shirt and acid dye doesn't set well when the water isn't boiling hot.  So then she held a fundraiser to buy new shirts and sent new shirts home with Rocket for me to dye at home.  Again, I said "buy the silk dye" and again she said "do it cheaply with the acid dyes".  I did.  When I dyed them yesterday, with water so hot that the heavy gloves I wore burned with the heat, they looked like this:

But the shirts are frickin' 100% cotton, and cotton is the enemy, no matter how well you "scrub" it before dying if you are not using silk dye.  After a night of letting the dye set, they unwrapped themselves in a rainbow of gorgeous, breath-taking colors.  And then they went through the cold water delicate rinse cycle in the wash and all the pretty color faded away and now they look like this:

So, listen up!  The lesson here is, if you want stunning color when you tie-dye shirts, A) use silk dye like you are supposed to, and B) use silk dye like you are supposed to.

And that's all there is for today, except to mention that I tore down the alpaca gloves I started over the weekend to the cuffs after perusing some antique glove patterns in my Piecework magazine collection and have decided to lengthen the cuff, reduce the width of the hand, and try to emulate this nifty little pattern that I saw for the back of the hand.  Oh, and I felt obliged to order a better pair of Harmony needles with a longer cable because these Addi's that I have really suck.  Funny how needle love is such a personal thing, kind of like fiber love I guess.

Anyway, have a knitty day!

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