Gutting Pumpkins

For some reason, the pumpkins that got carved on Sunday rotted by Wednesday. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen. But, to help the five-year-old feel better, we carved a new one today. The one that rotted was Good Cop/ Bad Cop from The Lego Movie, so we replaced him with Lord Business.

I was in charge of scooping the insides out. I think that might actually be my favorite part of carving the pumpkin. Except this pumpkin had a non-existent stem to pull the lid off with.

Luckily this house is full of wine bottles and cork screws. Best makeshift stem ever. And of course we had to cook his guts once they were removed.

And we ate them all within the afternoon. While those cooked, the five-year-old “helped” me carve the face. As in he held the knife while I actually did the cutting. But he tried to do it on his own a couple times. That’s just a really difficult (and dangerous!) thing for him to do on his own.

In the end, we have Lord Business as he was falling into the pit. That happened in the movie, right? I’ve seen the blasted thing at least five times and can barely remember anything past MilhouseĀ and quoting Batman’s “I only work in black. And sometimes very, very dark grey.”

Happy Halloween, Everybody!

Bit By The Socktober Bug

I had a post all ready to go to tell you about my little sock starters that are only toes. But I obviously can’t post that one because (if you’ve been following along on Twitter) it’s obvious that these are not just toes anymore.

This is where I was on Tuesday, when I started the original post and

this is where I was the next day. I honestly didn’t know I would get that far, but now I can see why so many people are addicted to the sock knitting. It goes so fast and starts looking like recognizable things very very quickly.

See, it was really strange that I wasn’t a sock knitter. I have an extensive collection of socks, but only one pair I had made myself. And I’ve been knitting for over ten years! Ok, I have knit quite a few socks (you can see some of them here), but they aren’t all for me. Every knitter’s plight, eh?

So this time I’m winging it…kind of. I have Wendy Bernard’s excellent guide, Custom Knits Accessories, for basic guidance. But I’m doing these toe up rather than the top down example in the book, so everything goes backward. Plus I’m just putting it on my foot to check measurement instead of actually measuring anything. Makes it go a whole lot faster. Well, except for having to take of my shoe and socks multiple times at jiujitsu Tuesday, but that’s a completely different story…

Aside from weaving in the ends (which will probably take me another two months to get around to because…meh), I think these might be done tonight. I’m so close, I can feel it! And for the first time in my life I will have made a pair of socks in October for Socktober. Yippee!

Adventures in Grafting

I often see knitters who have a general disdain for grafting, or Kitchner stitch. I don’t know why. I love how it makes it easier to make things in the shape you want. Take these dishcloths, for example

I tried three times to get them square by working them corner to corner, but the knit corners were always rounded and the final corner always ended up way too long. Finally I just decided to work two halves at a time, making two triangles that I then grafted together. Perfect squares every time.

Here I’m going to take a little bunny trail to give you the basic formula:

Basic Diagonal Dischloth

Materials

  • 100% cotton yarn (I use Peaches and Cream from Michaels because it is readily available and feels nice on my fingers)
  • Size 7 or 8 knitting needles (preferably circular, but you can use whatever you can find)
  • Yarn needle

Instructions

  1. Cast on two sets of three stitches (either working from different ends of the same ball of yarn or two different balls). From now on, instructions are written once to be done on each set of stitches.
  2. Knit row
  3. Knit one, make one, knit one, make one, knit one
  4. Knit row
  5. (RS)Knit two, yarn over, knit to last two stitches, yarn over, knit two
  6. (WS)Knit two, purl to last two stitches, knit two
  7. Repeat last two rows until sides measure as long as you want them. I use my hand and make the sides reach from my wrist to the end of my middle finger. You can decide how long you want yours to be. End on RS row. Graft together with WS facing in. This is where having them on circular needles will help, but you can always transfer one side to the empty needle if using straight needles.

    This next one takes the grafting to the next level, though. I started on each point and made diamonds. Or at least aimed to make diamonds. I ran out of the self-striping yarn, so I continued on from that point as if I were making a regular two-sided square. Then I connected those two pieces, and grafted the outside pieces to the straight edges.

    I’m really liking the options making things in pieces gives me. I’ve always tried to make everything in as few pieces as possible, but perhaps having a little more flexibility makes the extra work in putting it all together at the end worth it.

I Love Yarn Day

Though it might be every day for me, tomorrow is apparently “I Love Yarn Day”. According to the Craft Yarn Council, this day happens on the second Friday of October. They even have a website where you can find local celebrations. Most of these seem to come in the form of a flash mob. I have no idea what a yarn flash mob would be, but it does sound interesting.

They also suggest ways to celebrate on your own, such as knitting/crocheting in public, wearing something knit, gifting yarn, making things for charity, etc. Basically, do something yarny. And pretend that was a real word.

I will probably celebrate by looking at my current project

IMG_0961.JPG

as I walk past when getting up in the morning because I am spending my weekend up to my elbows in small children. But maybe I will get into the spirit by wearing a headband or barrette. Because, you know, it’s still 90° here like it’s not the second Friday of October.