Keeping it warm

We’ve been experiencing a very, very cold spell on the east coast.  Our water pipes under the kitchen sink froze three four times and with the aid of a regular hairdryer, we didn’t have to call a plumber for burst pipes.  This issue was caused by a poor plumbing plan when our house was built. We know exactly where the pipes freeze and have tried to insulate that area but when the temperature gets below 15ºF and the wind blows, there is not much we can do other than be diligent…periodically run the water at that tap and keep the doors open under the sink so some warm air gets in.

We bought a new faucet when we remodeled our kitchen and it automatically shuts off after running for four minutes.  So we can’t just let the water drip all night.

If that fails, we get out the hairdryer and blast the frozen pipes with hot air.  That usually only takes a few minutes but it’s still not fun standing on a ladder, reaching into the wall cavity through the floor joists while finagling a flashlight and the hairdryer in the COLD basement wearing heavy gloves.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the keeping warm part.

I am a tea/hot chocolate drinker.  My mornings usually consist of a cuppa tea in my new mug while leisurely reading email, blogs or doing a crossword puzzle. The only trouble with that is that the tea gets cold.

Yeah, I could get up and microwave it but I don’t want to.  Then I remembered I bought a teapot warmer several years ago.  I’ve used it in the past but out of sight, out of mind.

It’s a bit large for the mug but works just fine.  And with the little tea light, there is no need to drape an electric cord over the table.

 

I remember now

The Bacardi Cardigan sweater is knit on circular needles though knit flat.  The reason is so the color changes don’t have to start and end on the same edge.  If the color you need is on the other side, just turn the work over and start knitting/purling from that edge. It can get tricky but it saves from weaving in hundreds of ends when finished.  And weaving in cotton yarn has challenges quite different from wool.  It’s slippery, doesn’t like to stay put and has a mind of its own.

I remember now why I put my Bacardi Cardi in hibernation.  Besides having six balls of yarn attached to the needles…

…the edges are wonky.

Some areas are nubby and the yarn doesn’t want to lay flat.

And the tension is too tight or too loose in places.

I think I must…

…rip it

and start over.

One plus is that I do have the correct gauge with US #5 needles even though I did knit a swatch earlier, it was good to know that the swatch didn’t lie.

I found a few videos on making a better selvage edge while carrying several colors of yarn that might be helpful.  I would need to add another stitch to each side but if it helps with that unevenness and bulk, it will be worth it:

  • This one is a great technique and is right to the point of what I was looking for.
  • Way #5 in this video.  This is the same technique as above and begins at 8:51 but watch the entire video if you want other to see other methods.

I also asked the designer, Barbara Gregory, for suggestions.  Her reply:

One suggestion for the edges is to occasionally work the first stitch of a row (preferably a row of a single color) with one of the yarns that is being carried up the edge. This stitch will not show once seaming and bands are completed, but it will anchor the carried yarn and help you to maintain the desired tension along that vertical edge.

 

My other thought regarding the edges is to do seaming and picking up of stitches for the band more than a single stitch in from the edge if necessary to get a clean edge.

So I’m ready to try this again!

Challenge

Ravelry: “Ravelry is a place for knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, weavers and dyers to keep track of their yarn, tools, project and pattern information, and look to others for ideas and inspiration.”

So I decided to set up my Ravelry Challenge by completing 12 projects this year but I don’t really have any specific things in mind.  Except to finish my Bacardi Cardi begun in 2014.   (You can find me here.)

Using as much of my own yarn stash to complete those projects is also part of my challenge.  Maybe if I added all the stashed yarn to my Ravelry account, I’d be able to see what I have and what it can become.  But that time consuming detail will be left for another day.

At least “most” of it is corralled in five super-large bins.

I need to dig out that Bacardi Cardi…

First knits

Well, these are not exactly the first knits of 2018 but close enough.

I knit a pair of mitts for a dear friend a few years ago and her children love them and sometimes wear them.

So I knit a pair of mitts for each of them.

Crossed Cables – Shirl’s Mittlets knit in Yarn Bee Snowflake wool blend

Honeycomb – adapted from Unisex Gloves knit in Araucania Natural Wool

Owl – Who’s Owl Mitts knit in Cleckheaton

Bumpy – my pattern knit in Lion Brand Wool-Ease

Ziggy -my pattern knit in Lion Brand Wool-Ease

I hope they don’t fight over them…