Friday, July 20, 2007

Hogwarts Sock Swap 2 Questionnaire

Hogwarts Sock Swap Questionnaire
Second Years

1. What Hogwarts house have you been sorted into?

2. Shoe size? Foot length? Foot circumference?
SHOE SIZE – 7-1/2, FOOT LENGTH 9”, FOOT CIRC. 8-1/2”

3. List your three favorite sock yarns.
a. vanCalCar Acres Flock Sock
b. merino
c. anything soft

4. Would you like to try a new brand of sock yarn? If so, which brand? I’ve used a limited selection, so anything nice!

5. Do you prefer variegated or solid sock yarn? I like solids, color tones, and long colorways

6. What colors would you like to add to your sock yarn stash? Happy colors – red, pink, yellow, oranage.

7. What kind of sock patterns do you gravitate toward? Lace? Ribbed? Fair Isle? I like lace and patterned.

8. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, animals, etc.)
No allergies, and I have 4 cats, and don’t smoke.

A Short Poem for a Sock

When yarn goes a little wonky,
Then it makes me slightly cranky,
But that's the way the knitting goes -
From cuff to heel, from heel to toes.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Slow Bee, Humming

I've added the Mystery Stole 3 "Slow Bee" button. I've spent more time reading all the posts than I have knitting the stole. I did get up early this morning to work on it, only to have to frog back 4 rows - to row 35. The good news is that now I'm up to row 43. This is NOT a project I'm going to rush because it is too frustrating to make mistakes. If I keep my focus - no tv, no audio books, no cats on my lap - I do okay.

The good news is that as I sit and read all the posts, I do my mindless entrelac knitting on a tote for the Summer KAL CAL, and I've completed two tiers in two days!

On another tack, I do knit on my commute to and from work, usually on a pair of socks. I have noticed that sometimes people seem hesitant to sit next to me. While I'd like to think that maybe they are just being considerate and don't want to disturb me, or maybe they're intimidated by my plastic needles; I think the truth of the matter is that I hum to myself as I knit - not loudly, but it might be audible. I've turned into the crazy lady on the train!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Let There Be (Yarn) Cakes! (DIY Swift)

HOW TO MAKE A SWIFT – by Suzanne Ress
2 pieces of ¼” x 1-1/2” wood cut to 37-1/2 inches long, plus the end pieces that are left after the cut.
2 pieces of ¼” x 5” pegboard cut to 37-1/2 inches long
1 fencepost cap (to use as base)
1 piece of 3/8” threaded rod (it was precut, about 12 or 18 inches long)
At least 2 3/8”-spacer hex nuts (about 1-1/2” long, or longer), you can get more.
2 hex nuts for the top and bottom of the threaded rod (3/8”), one of them could be a wing nut.
A packet of washers (1/2”)
One nylon or plastic 5/8” spacer that is ½” to 5/8” long and has a ½” hole
Wood glue
3/8” doweling, cut into 3” pieces
C-clamp to hold swift to table

Drill with 3/8” and5/8” bits.
Staple gun with heavy-duty staples, at least 3/8”
Miter saw
T-square angle ruler

Drill a 3/8” hole in the center of the fencepost cap.
Screw the threaded rod into the fencepost cap. Make sure it goes all the way through. If there is enough clearance underneath, add one of the hex nuts to the bottom of the rod.
Screw one of the long spacer hex nuts all the way down the threaded rod so that it snugs up to the fencepost cap and keeps the rod steady.
Screw the other spacer hex nut so that it is a couple of inches down from the top of the threaded rod (Note: I could only find two spacer hex nuts at Lowes, but if you want to add more to fill in the space from bottom to near the top on the threaded rod, you can).

Glue the pegboard onto the wood, making sure that the ends are even, and positioning the pegboard holes to be clear of the wood on either side.
Staple through the wood to hold the pegboard and wood together
Mark the center of each arm, measuring from end-to-end and across.
Drill a 5/8” hole at the center mark for each arm
To make braces to hold the swift arms at a 90° angle, use the miter saw assembly to cut a 45° angle at each end of the two leftover pieces of wood. IMPORTANT: make sure the angles are cut along the SAME long side of the piece of wood, so they both lean towards the center and towards each other.
Place one arm on top of the other, aligning the center holes. Put the nylon spacer in the hole to keep the arms lined up. Use the T-square on the bottom arm to square up the top arm.
Take one of the wooden braces and slide it against the wood, under the pegboard, with the short side of the brace towards the center of the swift. Since the pieces of wood for the arms are not even with each other, this has to be fiddled a bit. Mark the point on the arm and on the brace when the brace is set to hold both arms squarely. Put some glue on the brace and slide it back into place. Staple it on one arm of the two.
Repeat this on the “other” side of the swift arms, so the two braces are opposite each other.
Turn the arms over, and secure the brace to the “unsecured” arm.
To make life easier, I numbered the pegboard holes with indelible magic marker, to assist in even spacing of yarn hanks.

Put a washer on top of the spacer hex nut (you can add a nylon spacer on top of the hex nut, as I did) on the threaded rod.
Add the swift arms.
Fit the second nylon spacer over the threaded rod and through the center hole on the swift arms.
Add another washer on top of the swift arms.
Add the second hex nut or winged nut to the top. Screw it down to the swift arms, but DO NOT screw it down tightly. The arms should move freely.

Using the miter saw, cut the dowel into 3-inch pieces.
Use the pencil sharpener to sharpen one end of the dowel.
Push the dowel gently, using a twisting motion, into the holes in the pegboard to hold your skein of yarn. As I wound the skein, I found it loosened a little, so I kept readjusting the tension on the skein by moving the dowels.

As I wound yarn, the spacer nuts would loosen or move a little, so stop every once in a while and make sure that everything is secure.

Look, now I have yarn cakes!!

Guarded by Dickens.