Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday - 3/16/2011

I was thinking I had nothing to share this Wednesday until I actually looked at what I had in front of me, and realized I kind of have a lot. Which is good, cause I'm not even sure I'll be able to post next Wednesday, as I'll be in California for a business trip (conference!) - but the crocheting is never done, and I'll definitely have projects with me (I mean, all that time on the plane, what else am I going to do? :) ).

Soon to Be Not Super Secret Project:
This weeks super secret project is already finished, and I'll be sharing it along with more information on Friday. It pertains to helping Japan. I'm very, very upset about what has happened there. I feel like it hits me again every day, and I know that while that feeling fades it never goes away completely, because I know how I feel every time I crest Route 80 and get my first glimpse of the skyline of NYC and realize once again that the Towers are gone. Next to my home city (which is NYC) there's no place in the world I love so well as Tokyo - I lived there for four months in 2007. So I've developed a project to help out (in addition to my out of pocket donation and a charity auction that I joined on LJ) and I'll talk all about it on Friday when the pattern is out of testing. But for now, if you want to read more about my time in Japan, and see pics, it's in my previous post.

Anyway! Enough sad. On to the works in progress!

Flower Pot Cozy
I'm not done with the flower pot cozy that I talked about last week but I have at least made progress.

I've gotten to the point that I can do one round in about 10 - 12 minutes, which seems sluggish but is faster than I was was working. Unfortunately, I've reached the point on the flower pot that I have to start increasing the size of the rounds.

As you can see, I'm about half way up, and I'm pretty much at the point where it fits the pot snugly. That said, now that I've seen it on the pot, I'm MUCH happier with it than I was before, so that's a step in the right direction. :)

Yet Another Version of Jose Estrella
I'll be making at least one more version after this, but this is the most important version of Jose Estrella, the Starfish - the version in his baseball uniform! As I've said, Jose Estrella is the Short stop for my amigurumi undersea baseball team, the Oceans!

The Sugar 'n Cream in white and yellow didn't quite do what I'd hoped, but I'm just going with it. Anyway, he's completely done except for the embroidery on his uniform, which I've forgotten to do for the last two days. He'll be done by Friday. :)

Jenny (my spinning friend) gave me a bit more fiber - a bunch of merino, and a bunch of romney. I spun the merino first, and there are pics below, and now I'm working on the romney. The merino was definitely the easiest of the three types of fibers I've tried to draw. However, even though I'm not finding it easy to draw the romney while the spindle is going, I am finding it relatively easy to get the thickness I want and keep it consistent. No idea if that's the fiber or me. :)

I also spent 20 bucks (after shipping) to get a pound of roving in mixed shades of black and gray and white. I don't know what type of fiber it exactly is (except sheep) but I bought it from here on the recommendation of a friend on Nerd Wars who had used it before - not the kind of thing I'd chance without that - and I'll definitely report on how it goes!

I also did some work with my previous spinning. Namely, I removed it from the spindle, wrapped it around a wooden hanger (cause I don't have a knitty knoddy or whatever they're called), dunked it almost boiling water, let it dry for 24 hours, wound some of it, let it dry for another 24 hours, and now it's ready to go!

The top is the first fiber I did, and the bottom is the merino. I think it pretty clearly shows my improvement. :) Anyway, I don't yet know what to make with it, but I'm thinking a shawl with a nice loose gauge to make the unevenness a feature instead of mistake (I have a K crochet hook in the house, or maybe I'll use the size 13 knitting needles - yes, I might actually knit something! ;) ). For the shawl, I'd use the merino. Not sure yet what to do with the other. :)

Poppop's Birthday Present
My grandfather turns 93 on April 4th, and me, my brother and my mom will be going down to Texas to visit. Before I even knew that, though, I had concocted a plan to make him a present. One of the Nerd Wars challenges this month is "WIP Help," and the idea is that you help someone who can no longer finish projects on their own to complete something that they had started. While ostensibly, this was aimed at helping little old arthritic ladies finish their blankets, they've made allowances because so many of us don't know any old arthritic ladies. One of those exceptions is that we can use stash yarn that belonged to people who have died - provided that we make something that that person might have made with the yarn. That's the option I'm going with - so I'll be making my grandfather's birthday gift out of stash yarn that belong to my grandmother, who died in 1976 (six years before I was born). I wouldn't be sharing this yet, except that I anticipate being done or mostly done by next Wednesday. :)

This yarn is SO COOL. I've done some research on it. It's labeled as having been made by "Patons & Baldwins Ltd" - a corporation that merged with J.P. Coats in 1961, and became what we now know as Patons. It is in fact Scotch Fingering, 100% wool, imported, and it's been Patonised, which just sounds cool. I couldn't find much info on this yarn specifically, but based on images of the same yarn that I could date, I'd place this particular label as dating to the late 1940s or early 1950s. The skeins are 1 oz each, and I've got 10 skeins of the tweed and 6 of the blue, and also a decent size chunk of knitting that dates to a time in the unknown past when my mother thought to make something out of it and then got frustrated at how long it was taking. I'll definitely photograph that before I (with her blessing) frog it. For what I have in mind, I'm going to three ply the yarn - two lengths of tweed and one length of blue - and the goal is to make him two wheel chair cushion covers. Cause his wheel chair cushion is comfy and squishy but dead ugly. :)

Go see what everyone else is up to over on Tami's Ami Blog on this rainy WIP Wednesday!

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