Friday, February 22, 2008

Salvation Army

At the beginning of January my friend Jenni and I decided to organize and update a room a month (organize? Who, me?). This month I've been working on my bedroom. It's funny to me that we've lived in this house 7 years and almost everything was still boring and white until last summer when I redid the living room. I'm a little slow with things sometimes.

So, my room. White. Boring. I have one personal challenge in the updating and organizing: Do it as inexpensively as possible. I have been loving the challenge of thrift store shopping! My husband had been wanting a reading corner so when I saw a beautiful wooden chair by the basement door at my mom's houses, I asked her about it. Right away she told me I could take it home if I wanted. The chair had belonged to her dad and so while she didn't have a use for it she couldn't get rid of it either. The afghan I bought at a local thrift store for $2. From time to time I wondered about the person who crocheted it and felt a little sad that their hard work ended up in a second-hand shop.

I have been keeping a list of items to look out for while out and about. Yesterday I took a trip up to the nearest big city to their Salvation Army. A friend had told me that it was an amazing thrift store, and she was right! I found several treasures: the table to go next to my grandpa's chair & two working lamps. The little table is solid wood and was an amazing buy at $10. The silver based lamp with the beaded shade that sits atop the table was $7. I fell immediately in love with the wooden based lamp that was only $4 and I was able to find a shade that is in brand-new condition for just $1. The one thing I did not like about the shade was how bright-white it was. My friend suggested I tea stain it, which was the perfect solution.

Still on my list is a night stand for the side of the bed, but until I find one this TV tray works pretty well. I have a few other projects in the works that I will post about when they are completed. I hope to have the room finished by Wednesday, a little before my deadline.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Failed Afghan Intentions

When I began knitting these blue, white and gray strips I had every intention of turning them into another afghan similar to the one I knit for my mom. I was using the same pattern (pdf) but made a slight change in the edges (seed instead of garter) and the cable - knitting them in a small braid rather than a plain twist (which I actually think I like better anyway, but oh well). My problem came when I went to sew the strips together and realized I had accidentally knit some of them on the wrong sized needles. I guess my attention to detail is lacking from time to time.

I re-knit one of the strips on the smaller sized needles (because that was the original plan and most of them had been done that way). However, for several reasons I decided not to continue with the afghan and a week or so ago I started giving the strips away as scarves. They are warm and cozy and everyone liked them.

Friday, February 08, 2008

they say it has stopped (for now)

We have had snow storm after snow storm around here (makes for lots of cozy evenings spent knitting). The news claims we'll be five days without another storm! That hasn't happened for two months, hence the Christmas lights still up in the front of my house. It hasn't been safe enough for my husband to get up on the ladder to get them down (and besides that he'd have to wade through a couple or so feet of snow just to get to them).

Friday, February 01, 2008

Socks for Tess

I have in my house a very happy four-year-old (and enough yarn for at least another pair). I'm not sure what brand this yarn is (because I lost the label), but it was sent to me by Mama Bear. The pattern I used was simple enough. I cast 15 stitches onto each of 3 US size 2 needles. I knit in a k2 p1 rib for three and a half inches. At that point I worked a 2 inch heel flap over 22 stitches. I did my favorite heel, s1 k1; turn s1 p across. I turned the heel leaving 8 stitches in the middle then picked up 12 stitches along each side and continued the rib along the top of the sock. For the gusset I decreased to 11 stitches per side needle (needles 1&3) while 23 stitches remain on the top. Tess has a size 11 foot (in what? toddler? I think) for her length I knit until the sock measured 6 inches from the heel. I decreased for the toe until I had 13 stitches on the top needle and 6 on the other two then finished up with the kitchener stitch. Volia!