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I LIKE IT A LOT!

A big thank you to whoever created del.icio.us, now I can keep track of the sites I visit, as opposed to Google Reader, which only captures RSS blog feeds. Not that it’s terrible or anything, and I haven’t lost my love for Google (did you see their Gmail April Fool’s Day joke?!)

But as always, please send the links *you* like to lelah olender at gmail dot com. Without you, This list really shows the “I” in “I Like It A Lot”!

Sewn, stretch cast-off for knitting. Who can remember which Elizabeth Zimmerman book the stretchy cast-off is in? Not me. And do I even like to read her books? Not really. I majored in Linguistics, the theoretical branch. I like knitting patterns as technical as they can come- basically, patterns and puzzles concerning words was my major! So. This is a tutorial, which I like because the photos make it very easy to understand. Which is good, because then you don’t waste time trying to figure out convo-speak means in a technical world (knitting is technical, trust me, we discussed it in my old computational psycholinguistics class, along with Jacquard’s punch machine for weaving, which was the first computer ever).

Here’s something to employ that new technique, summer socks for flip-flops. They look really fast and look like they’re good for those in colder climates- when you transition to wearing flip-flops, your feets hurt when the bands are, because you lost your calluses from last summer. These socks would help pad your delicate winter tootsies. This pattern is no excuse to start wearing flip-flops to the office! You can’t get away with “…but I have socks on!!” here. Only in Japan, in maybe a restaurant or teahouse, and maybe if you were an employee.

Now, the only time I ever made soap was when I was little and I melted my Mom’s good soap in the frying pan to make “new” soap. It was a long, hot summer day. I was bored. I used the stove by myself. Needless to say, I got in big trouble, and I even got grounded! Ha! But this recipe looks really easy, and if I did it now, I certainly wouldn’t get grounded. Especially since you’re not just melting soap in a frying pan!

SpiritCloth is back! This time she shows us how to color fabric with crayon. The finished result she shows isn’t what you’re picturing… it’s really professional looking.

The Yarn Museum is a virtual museum that spinners post photos of their artisan yarns on. For a fiber addict like myself, this is such eye candy. I haven’t submitted anything yet, but I certainly will. What spinner would shy away from being a part of that? They have categories, sort of like challenges, so it’s not only organized, but it’s interesting. People here are really creative, taking a very, very old craft and making it so new and now.

Do you also sew?Fitzpatterns has a whole set of free downloads for some really cute, urban, contemporary clothing patterns for us cool types. Well, I’m not so much cool as I am a big dork, but I try. I really like the woolen cape, I printed the pattern out, but right now I can’t afford the $70 of fabric it requires (and I also went… $70? I could *buy* one for that much!). But if you are a die-hard sewer, it’s cute to make, and would be stunning if done properly and sewn well. Spending that much isn’t an issue then. Take me for example. I spent $60 on 9 skeins of yarn last week to make the Hourglass sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. It is tweedy, though. I love tweedy things.

Well, that’s all for this week! Keep coming back here, though. I do post between Tuesdays, I’m not actually all talk!

A diaper?

Yep! I sewed one! But a cloth diaper, you say? Well, consider what washing and air drying a cloth diaper does to the environment, compared to a paper diaper in a landfill. I wonder how long a paper diaper takes to decompose in an anaerobic environment. Also, did you know you can save about $4,000 per child by cloth diapering? Not to mention how soft they are. A lot of Moms switch to cloth diapers when baby has a rash, why not use them all the time, and save money? You’re going to be doing a hell of a lot of laundry for baby anyway. Heh. All you do to clean this is dunk it in the toilet, flush while holding onto it (obviously…), and then throw the mostly clean diaper into the wash with all the other mostly clean diapers. And with these there’s no pins. I’m old enough to remember being stuck once or twice. Yeowch!

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I followed a basic diaper shape, used part of a microfiber towel, a tablecloth, and some vintage fabric. Also used was elastic and Velcro (the superglue-on kind). My machine gave me some major issues- I couldn’t sew through the damn thing to sew on the Velcro! Now I know to sew it on beforehand, before I sew the sandwich of layers together. But the sticky kind is super sticky, so that works. Sewing super-sticky velcro gums up your needle, as I found out.

This type is called a “pocket diaper”, you put a folded up cloth diaper inside, as a soaker. Basically, the back is left somewhat open (the elastic on the outer layer covers the opening), so you can put the soaker inside, and when the baby poops or pees, you can take it out easily, throw both in the wash, then air-dry. 🙂 I’m going to open a http://www.hyenacart.com to sell them when I make them, so look out for this one! I will post the link on Thursday when my site is up.

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1. Gather supplies: stock pot, 4 jelly jars, measuring spoons, measuring cup, dyes (I use Dharma Trading Fiber Reactive Dyes), and white vinegar.

2. Soak wool, or yarn in bowl of water to pre-wet. Here I am soaking 8 oz of Lincoln top.

3. Fill stock pot almost half-way with water, set on stove, start on high heat.

4. Measure out 1/8th of a teaspoon or however much you want for your color density/saturation. Put each color in each separate jar.

5. Add a half cup of white vinegar to each jar.

6. Fill jar to almost to top bump with water.

7. Place jars in stock pot (careful, water is starting to get hot!)

8. Carefully arrange yarn or top or wool into each jar. I just went one end to the other. If you are doing skeins of yarn, it’s best if their umbrella swifted into 2 yard hanks.

9. Admire pretty colors (photo not necessary!).

10. Set timer on stove for 45 minutes, or until all color in jars is gone. When water is boiling, turn down stove to medium, so it simmers.

P.S. Your kitchen will smell like vinegar, it’s best to crack a window!

To remove wool, turn off heat and wait wait wait until it is cool. Trust me. I have burned myself before by being impatient. Then when cool, remove and rinse out in tub/utility sink. Then hang it in your shower to dry, I like to hang a hangar on the showerhead and rope the stuff on.

Hope you find this useful!

The weather is nice enough here to take photos outdoors again! I’ve been busy, knitting, dyeing, spinning… you know, me stuff. 🙂

First up we have a felted bowl from

    One Skein

:
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I made the largest size, and it really ended up being too long, so I just folded it over. Simple enough solution. It was waaaay fast and easy to knit. Took me a night to knit, wouldn’t this be a great present? Maybe with ribbon woven into the sides? I used the recommended Lamb’s Pride Bulky. I really like how it turned out, that yarn always felts well. I shaped it over a mixing bowl from Ikea. It is now in my dining room, on my hutch, holding my scented things refill packs (yannow, Febreeze Noticables, Glade Scented Oils…).

Next up:
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Yarn of course! It’s superwash sock yarn, dyed in chocolate, seafoam green, and ecru. With the natural white of the yarn showing in, too, because I like it that way. I dye it that way on purpose using the Jelly Jar/Stock Pot method. Works the best for me- no mess, no fuss, just mix dye, put water in the jars and the stock pot, then put already wet yarn in like so:

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After about 45 minutes simmering time, the dyebaths are exhausted and a little color creeps up into the white (this was a photo early on). Later, I decided I hated the pink, and dyed that the chocolate color after it had dried. I really like the final results! I am giving half to a swap buddy and saving half for myself.

Long day spent at the doctor and at A Yarn For All Season’s winter yarn sale. So you know that makes me a tired girl! I got a bag of Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed for half off. If you live in New Jersey, PLEASE support them! They have too much yarn and too much is on sale, it’s all for you!!!! *tempt* *tempt*

Sewed and sewed.

I did it! I finished my shirt! It is Simplicity pattern 4407, view D. IGNORE THE BLOTCHY FACE– Percoset is not my friend (I had surgery yesterday, they gave it to me for pain). But yes! I sewed this! I am leaving it as is, with no buttons or buttonholes. It’s like a shirt jacket type thing, for spring days or cold summer nights. I really like it. I made mistakes with crooked lines and you can tell I am kinda a beginner at sewing, but I love the sleeves.

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I used some gray calico fabric, on sale at the Rag Shop for like $2.50 a yard. I did take like three weeks to make it, but I wanted to go slow, seeing as how I haven’t seriously sewn in … almost 15 years (I took two semesters of sewing in high school).

I’m just so pleased with it. It’ll look really cute with a white shirt underneath. My “Born to Knit” shirt from Modern Yarn is just what I am wearing today.

Sweater is done!

Yarn: Lamb’s Pride Bulky
Needles: 11s and 10.5s
Time spent: 3 weeks
Pattern: my own

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