Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Fat Tuesday!

It's good to be back. Since starting at Loop, finding time to take photographs in the already scant daylight hours of winter has been rather difficult.  But the dearie and I have off from work today, and it's Fat Tuesday, and I got a free doughnut from my new favorite doughnut shop, so let's celebrate!

First, the doughnut.

I like me some good pastries.  Near to where the boyfriend lives, there is a darling doughnut shop that puts the chain stores to shame. Not only does this mom-and-pop shop offer a succulent doughnut as the base for most of their creations; they put interesting stuff inside and on top. Ever since I discovered the peanut butter and jelly doughnut during college, I have judged shops based on whether or not they offer pb on their doughnuts - or alternately, maple icing.  I am delighted that this local shop offers a couple versions of both on a regular basis.

Now onto the mitts.  Maybe it's my propensity toward cold fingers and wrists, but I think mitts are a great all-season accessory.  Even in the summer when it is very hot and you put away all your winter garments, you would be wise to keep a pair of mitts handy. Air conditioning never seems to work quite right, and it's often too cold inside to suit everyone's tastes; mitts sometimes are all I need to feel comfortable, even if I have short sleeves on.


About the colors: During the knitting of the first mitt, my dearie and I were also working on a swatch for an art project called "Feel the Love."  For our swatch, we decided to each work a garter stripe using a yarn from our respective stashes, back and forth, playing off the color used just before.  As I knit my mitt I noticed how nice the reddish color of Peace Fleece looked with my mitt, and decided to throw it into the second mitt as a chance to play with the colors.  Wouldn't you know, I had already knit almost the same colors together last spring?

Edit: I knit these Diamondback Mitts in Jamieson's Shetland Heather Aran yarn, with a smidge of Peace Fleece thrown in.

On a different note...
I have long been looking for a good solution to organizing my knitting needles, and I know I'm not alone.  Here's what I've come up with:
Bag out
IKEA has been selling these overnight bags for a little while, and I decided to combine the orange one with an idea I had developed to accommodate dpns and circular needles and interchangeable tips.

Bag needles
I took plain old plastic page protectors and trimmed them down so that they fold over one time when a 3x5 index card is inserted with the needle size info. I like to be able to see everything without the bulk that some other options offer. Not the prettiest solution, but very useful, in my estimation.

Bag peek
The shape of the overnight bag makes it very easy to organize all my needle envelopes in one place, and it is pretty grabby when I have to take it on the go. There is a wire frame just below the zipper that makes the top fold like a lot of purses I've seen.

Bag inside
The bag has an outer and an inner velcro pocket, as well as a zippered pouch, so I can store things like interchangeable cables, notions, and a needle gauge. While I usually consider velcro to be the devil, it doesn't seem to hurt the needles at all.

lil bag
I've also stocked up on a handful of these smaller zippered pouches made to match the overnight bags, which make great single-skein project bags. The slim shape helps it fit in my backpack and the sturdy material protects everything else from offending sock needles.  I'm also happy that these are not made specifically for girls, unlike most of what I've seen on the market. Now if only I could find something comparable that is locally made...

What's your favorite method for organizing your needles?

As I type this post, the dearie and I are trying out a kit of natural dyes that he obtained from earthues. The yarn is currently in its mordant bath, and soon that should be finished. I intend to share with you about our experience, since there is much about hand dyeing that seems mysterious, once you move beyond Kool-Aid and Wilton dyes. For instance, how much time does it take to try it out for the first time?

I think I've given you plenty to digest.  Go get a doughnut!