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Monday, November 29, 2010

the ghosts of knits past

this weekend we got new bookshelves for the kitchen.  i unloaded a crate and a cupboard of cookbooks onto 3 of the shelves.  the rest were for kitchen gear, knickknacks and things that make me happy.

the bookshelves went into a corner where we had a stool.  i kept my trapper keeper and odd things on that chair, plus i had a big felted bag hanging off of it.  the stool gets neglected and i forgot about the bag until i looked into it.

it was like looking into a time capsule.  i found 2 other knitted bags, a frilly pink swingin' apron (think mad men), a nylon drawstring backpack and t-shirt from my college reunion four years ago and a toy gun that i think came from the boy's transformer toy.

i was intrigued by my bags - they were some of the first projects i ever did.  to wit:

this is zeeby's bag, from the first stitch and bitch book, knit with brown sheep lamb's pride in chocolate souffle and cream.  i remember starting the bag, then quitting becos it was boring.  several months passed before i picked it up again and finished it within a day.  woof, what a lousy knit job!  well, the knitting's not so bad - it was the sewing that sucked!

this was one of my first felted purses by bev galeskas.  i remember i bought the yarn at mrs. strausser's, a lady who sold yarn out of her home here in norry.  i used a strand a piece of forest green and sage green. after it was felted, the bag resembled a watermelon or a squash - i ended up calling my bag the watermelon bag.  the shamrock pin i got at the kutztown festival - it's a fimo clay pin and looked really cute on the bag.

ack, look at how misshapen that bag is.  i probably threw the bag in the washer a couple of times then spun it out.  obviously i hadn't heard of blocking.

now this was a bag to be proud of!  the tab top tote, another bev galeskas creation, i wanted to make an even bigger felted bag.  this used double stranded brown sheep lamb's pride.  i remember having made the i-cord strap, sewed it end to end, only to realize i had to feed it through the tabs, so i had to cut the i-cord, thread it through the tabs, then kitchener the ends together.  after i felted the bag i thought it would look really cool with needle felted flowers on it.  this was before clover came out with their needle felting tool with the multiple needles - i did all this with one needle, baby!

ugh, some of the wool is coming off the bag already!  guess now i have a reason to get the tool out (along with the brush mat!) and finish what i started!

i got a big kick out of rediscovering my old knits.  it showed me how far i really came.

today was "the boy's day".  hubby and i took him to harrisburg to see the new harry potter movie at the IMAX theatre at the whitaker center.  i planned to take some knitting along, in case we had to wait, and had barely left the house when this happened:

yeah, that's my KP's harmony exchange, in two pieces.  we barely got to the ATM when i picked up my knitting and the damn needle broke in my hand.

i got my interchangeable needles 3 years ago - i have one of the first generation sets.  not long after i got my set, i discovered the wooden needle would fall out of the metal coupling.  set after set, the needle would fall apart during my knitting, and i did lose a lot of stitches.  i was pissed becos they were brand new needles and i am not a hard knitter.  the worst needles were the larger gauge needles - larger than a 10.5, although my 9s fell apart too.  KP was great with replacing them free of charge, but week after week i'd email costumer service to complain about another broken needle.  i probably replaced half of my needles within the first two months.  crazy.

it got to the point that even the replacements were breaking, and at that point i did self repair.  i'd rough up the edge with an emory board then glue the needle back into the coupling with either some e-6000 or duco cement.  i had to take such care doing this, becos if a little glue got on either the metal coupling or the wooden needle, it would leave a smudge or worse a rough spot. i know a couple ravelers used gorilla glue to fix their needles.  it was really frustrating to spend so much money on a product, only to have it not perform well.

so anyway, i had a broken needle,  i was too stubborn to go home for another project (there wasn't anything i wanted to take along to knit in a dark theater) and hubby commented that i was stewing and fidgeting with my hands.  i tried to knit with the broken needle but the needle kept falling apart.  ugh.

i made it through the drive and the movie without knitting (!!!).  i dug around for the stupid e-6000 (which naturally i couldn't find even though i bought a new tube a month ago!) but found the free circular needle i got with my door prize at KDO.  the cord was hopeless tight and coiled so i boiled water to straighten it out (remember doing that?)  i managed to pick up the few stitches i started knitting and luckily i didn't lose any over the course of the day.  unfortunately i got the needles too wet, and the bamboo lost a bit of the polish and were a big snaggy, so i had to run some wax paper over them.

the day was a good day tho.  here's one of my favorite views from the parking garage:

the steeple is so close to the garage, you can practically touch it.  the boy enjoyed the views from the roof.  it's amazing what is beautiful to a little kid's eye.

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