Sunday, February 11, 2007

Henry; January's contest winner; bed-of-roses socks; sewing update


My dear neighbor Henry passed away two weeks ago. He was 86 and died of methothelioma, a type of lung cancer caused by asbestos. He was exposed to asbestos when he worked at the Brooklyn Naval Yard during the second world war. I loved him very much, and have been so saddened by his death. His wife passed away about a year and a half ago, and he seemed to have lost all love of life. I miss her so much, he would always say to me. I think I see her sometimes. And all I could do was hug him and hold his hand. He was the kind of man that would talk to you and listen and look you in the eye and really talk--not just small talk. He would also kiss the ladies right on the lips and he always told me he loved me. Towards the end, I would send Manly out to help Henry sweep and bag the leaves that fell from the autumn trees.

This square is for Henry.

January's contest winner & contest update

Mims from Oregon (blogless) will receive a copy of Knitting for Peace. She sent in three (!) lovely squares in memory of Arrie Mae. Thank you so much, Mims. These squares will make a lovely addition to my and Mom J's blanket drive. We are so happy to have these. Mims earned three contest entries and still has two entries in the contest jar. She also earned six extra entries for the Trekking 126 that will be awarded in June. Thanks so much, Mims!

February is such a short month. I'll accept entries that I receive by March 3 for February's prize. February's prize will be Big-Needle Knit Afghans, which is an incredibly gorgeous book--if you thought that you'd never be into knitting afghans, the patterns in this book will change your mind. And perhaps the Lone Knitter will throw in a little something from her yarn stash as well.

Send in your squares, y'all!

Bed-of-roses socks

This month's Socktopia themes are: Life is like a box of chocolates…; Forever in my Heart; Bed of Roses; Short and Sweet; and Laissez les bon temps rouler!

I liked the bed of roses theme, and I thought I should see how my Kool-Aid socks would knit up. After all, I did dye them about a year ago. I dyed these with Knit Picks dye-your-own 100% merino wool. I think the dying process made the yarn a bit harsh, and I wish I would have used conditioner when rinsing out the Kool-Aid to soften the yarn up a bit. I think I might have overdone it on the vinegar as all. I think the feel of the yarn is keeping me from knitting these up as quickly as I would like. It's just not pleasant when the yarn isn't gliding and soft and squishy. I do think they'll make nice soft socks once they're washed.

Here's my word on Knit Picks merino sock yarn: it does not felt when washed; it does not felt when worn; it is sturdy; it is oh-so-heavenly soft; it is lovely to work with; it is cheap. My one complaint is that they aren't available in fun colors. Knit Picks seems to have done away with the brighter colors in favor of more neutral ones. Oh well! Guess I can always dye my own.

Sewing update

I finally finished cleaning the sewing machine that I've had sitting around my apartment for almost three years now. Mom J was getting rid of it, and I knew I might need a machine to sew up some drapes I was thinking of making. You know, I haven't touched a sewing machine since I was about twelve, but it all came back to me. I plugged in the machine, turned it on, wound a bobbin, threaded the needle, and sewed up the seam that was falling apart in Manly's jeans. It felt really awesome to fix something so quickly. So the sewing machine is working! I'm so excited. Now I just need to finish my prospectus so I can start my quilting.


The_Add_Knitter said...

I agree that the Knit Picks colors are less than your socks, they are trippy for sure.
Sorry to hear about your sweet neighbor, that's always hard to get used to. Our group is meeting next Sunday so you'll be getting your squares soon!

Gingersnaps with Tea... said...

Sorry to hear about your neighbour. Asbestosis is horrible, my Dad was exposed to a lot of asbestos and I always worry about him. But he's 83 now and according to his Dr. amazingly healthy for his age.
You may find this amuzing, it's certainly indicative of my current state of being, but I lost my knitting bag. The one with the yarn and the squares I was making for you in it. I am starting over so rest assured, I haven't forgotten.

K. said...

Isn't sewing just amazing? You take some fabric that isn't anything, and make it into something wonderful to wear. Or snuggle under. Much like knitting and yarn, too. Your socks are looking very springtime.

monica said...

Sorry to hear about your neighbor. I love the colors of the socks you are knitting. I have my blocks to send to you and will try to get them sent out by the end of this week if I am not snowed in. I am still working on the baby blanket.