Saturday, October 27, 2007

"Old knitters never die..."

The grandmother of one of my mom's friends recently died, and left a fairly big collection of needles. The granddaughter didn't know what on earth to do with them, so my mom took them for me. I know what to do with them.

I haven't quite finished sorting them all out because I've only used a UK gauge on them so far - I need to use my American gauge to determine more precisely the sizes of some of the needles. But a few things are clear. Firstly, I didn't need to buy two sets of 2.75mm DPNs at the store last Sunday (oh, well); secondly, I am not going to run out of sock needles anytime soon; and thirdly, my concerns about not having enough DPNs for a larger-than-four-people sock class have completely vanished.

Also in knitting inheritance news, a few weeks ago, the neighbour across the hall from my parents unfortunately died. Since then, my dad has been helping the woman's sons clean out her condo. Turns out she was a hoarder (we inherited a large package of toilet paper), and also a knitter. My mother says there are over 100 balls of yarn waiting for me to pick up when we have next have dinner at my parents'. (!!!) Most of it is acrylic, but some of it is wool, and a little bit of it is mohair. I'm going to keep a little bit of the stash for myself, but most of it is going to better causes:

Someone posted to the GTA forum on Ravelry telling the story of a librarian teacher at an inner city school (i.e. no money) in Toronto. She's started up a knitting club for the school kids in an effort to keep them out of trouble. 70 kids showed up on the first day to check it out. 40 kids signed up to be in the club on a long-term basis. This was a vastly larger turnout than they were expecting, so they're kind of screwed for needles and yarn for the kids. Therefore, I have emailed the teacher offering the excess of needles and yarn that I now have. (If you, too, have an excess of knitting supplies you'd like to donate, send me your email address at wipinsanity at gmail daht calm, and I'll pass it along to the teacher so she can get in touch with you.)

I love being able to help!

In other news, DH picked up some sock yarn at the store at the same time as he was shopping for my birthday gift. Funnily enough, it's the exact same yarn I used to make these socks for him. I taught him the long tail cast-on, told him how many stitches to cast on, and how to start the ribbing, and away he went on DPNs. He's very slow, but he's doing it. I'm so proud. (Pictures to come when there's something significant to photograph.)

Moving forward on my plans to try and make money from my knitting, I set up a business account at PayPal, and a free account at Payloadz. This combination will enable me to offer paid patterns for download! Very exciting stuff. I don't have anything to offer yet, but stay tuned.

Mendocino for DD1
On Monday, I finally got off my heinie while DD1 was at school and gave the thing a 45-minute soak in Eucalan. Then I blocked it, picking off as many bits of pumpkin patch dirt from DD1's field trip as possible. Therefore, I can now say that it is, at long last, officially finished! Hooray!

Photographs forthcoming - I don't think I have time to do them now because I'm trying to finish this entry before DD2 wakes up.

Lacy Ribs scarf for Mercedes
About a month ago I think it was, I blogged about having taken home some Nobile yarn from ONLine as a possible contender for a top I'm designing. It turned out not to be a good fit, so now I have this ball of Nobile sitting around not doing anything. Mercedes at the shop told me I could turn it into a scarf for her instead. So that's what I'm doing. I've cobbled together a bit of ribbing, garter stitch, and one of the lace motifs redacted from my daughter's fuzzy white blanket, and I'm getting something that looks pretty cool, although I'm still fiddling with the design in order to be able to get a full-sized scarf out of just two balls (there is not a whole lotta yardage with this yarn).

Once I finish the scarf, I'm going to write out the instructions and print off some copies for the store to sell. I'm also planning to make it available online as my first sellable item from my Payloadz account. I'm pretty excited about having a 'product'!

Doll's Wardrobe skirt for DD1's doll



Ain't it purty? One article of doll clothing down...two to go.

Inside-out comfort socks for BIL#1
A number of months back, my elder BIL was hanging out at our place, and I happened to look at his socks. I noticed pretty quickly that they were inside out. When I mentioned this to him, he was completely unsurprised, and revealed that he does that on purpose. That way, the smooth, comfortable stocking stitch side of the socks is touching his feet. Naturally I was instantly inspired to knit him a pair of socks where all the ends were woven in on the stocking stitch side, so that he could wear them with the reverse stocking stitch facing out without the socks looking so blatantly inside-out. In the summer I found some terrific sock yarn that I thought he would really like, so I decided to make him some "inside-out" socks for Christmas. This week, I started them. I am knitting them inside-out. No way am I going to purl an entire pair of socks.

They do seem a little big to me so far, though. I'm going to compare them to some of DH's socks to see if I need to rip back and stop the toe increasing earlier.

Fair isle tank top
To my disgust, I realised that I had misaligned the two different stranded motifs on the 18-month size, and had to rip back most of it. However, I've now finished the stranded colourwork component and am about to start on the skirt.

Elizabethan Jacket for MIL
The approach of Hallowe'en and the huge amount of Christmas projects I've taken on has thrown me into a bit of a Christmas panic. This panic gave me the chutzpah I needed to do the blocking last night (which also involved cutting two of the steeks). It looks absolutely marvellous - it blocked more-or-less to the required measurements and all the ugly rippling and puckering is gone:

Branching out for DD1's teacher
Bit by bit, I keep going on this.

Kilt hose
Last time I was at Knitters Attic, Mercedes said that someone had come into the shop asking about getting someone to knit kilt hose for their bagpiping troupe (or band, or something like that), and how much it would cost. Apparently they used to have a lady who made kilt hose for them, but she's died and they need someone else to do it. The guy dropped off an example of a sock she'd made to give us an idea of what needed to be done. I redacted the pattern and tried it out (I love a challenge). The result?

Not too shabby, eh? It may be acrylic, but it's really comfortable. I timed myself on how long the sock took - 5 hours and 45 minutes (more or less). That means I could do a pair in 11.5 hours.

What would you charge for something like that?


Craftygrrrl said...

How much to charge for your craft is an on going debate. What it really comes down to is what is your time worth? There is the sentiment that by undercharging the knitter is undermining knitting being seen as a legitimate Craft that has artistic merit as well as mundane applications.

But is all you want is a decent dollar figure 10 to 15$ an hour is not unheard of. Knitting is a skilled trade, remember there used to be organized guilds of us.

Carrie K said...

Hundreds & thousands of dollars. It looks great!

Sorry to hear about the passing of the knitters but it's always fun to see the passing out of the stash. And then some to a worthy cause! Nice.

The Elizabethan Jacket is sooooo gorgeous.

The J said...

If you check out the Designers group at Ravelry, it was suggested that the standard way of doing it was by the yard + complexity, rather than by the hour (which would make experienced, quick knitters cheaper than the newbies). They had a dollar figure too, which I can't remember off the top of my head. If you can't find the thread, send me a pm, I probably bookmarked it somewhere...

The Elizabethan jacket is GORGEOUS! Love.