Monday, January 1, 2018

A quick and useful project for winter

January 1 ski in -23C cccold.
I like to cross country ski and it has been extremely frigid here. A friend and I went out two days ago and I decided to cobble together a neck warmer of thin knit fabric, emulating these items that sell for outrageous amounts. But people swear by them. I hacked a rectangle out of a bit of leftover rayon knit. I don't know the dimensions of the original but my version is 30cm (12") in length and folded flat measures 25cm (10") wide. I pull it halfway up the back of my head under my hat, and the front covers my chin and keeps the wind out of my ears.

It took me 10 minutes to make it.

I added the odd strap after wearing it twice and freezing my nose (literally). I cannot get enough air through the fabric and when I breathe out my glasses and my visor fog up alarmingly.

The strap means my frozen nose is covered but I can breathe adequate quantities of unfiltered air.

The season of giving

Santa the Sewing Lawyer has done it again.

Felted slippers for the whole family. Here is my Ravelry link.

These are an easy machine knitting project. I made them on my bulky machine using a free pattern available on Ravelry. I made a couple of test pairs - one for me and one for my husband. I used the numbers on the pattern for my pair and after felting it, guesstimated how many stitches and rows to add for a man's size. The length was right but the stitches don't shrink much in width. So I had to do some retrofitting by taking them in through the toe.

Then I figured the numbers for my gift recipients. 75% of them fit really well...

I improved on the pattern by incorporating techniques I learned from watching Diana Sullivan's video on sew-as-you-go socks. She is such a great resource!

A better heel, pre-felting
They fit me!

The other thing I changed was to raise the back heel. I started on four stitches and increased until I reached the target number for the half sock width. My first pair felt a little low at the back heel.

This felts down quite nicely. And the blue pair fits its recipient (and me) perfectly.

These slippers are really comfy and warm. I ground some silicone caulking into the soles to keep them from being quite so slippery.

I also made my son's girlfriend a pair of Jalie Vanessa pants in a stable knit. This print is pretty fun and they were much appreciated.

I made the usual pair of colourful PJs for my husband. I did not take a picture of them when finished but here they are in progress.

And... two pairs of last minute machine made socks for my parents. The first, second and fourth socks were easy and cooperative but I had to knit the cuff for the third three times and the heel twice. The machine insists on being in charge at all times. Clearly it wants me to use it more frequently.