Friday, 30 November 2007

Can a tumble dryer really kill the planet?

Our tumble dryer broke last weekend - the drum stopped turning and there was a smell of burning rubber. I seriously considered not replacing it - after all we are always being told not to use them - dry your clothes outside (not in this part of the country where it's always raining), get a clothes horse (my kids would soon have that on the floor and anyway, where the heck would I put it?) or use the radiators (have you noticed how stuff that is dried on the radiator ends up feeling like cardboard?). No-one ever mentions the fact that one you have used one of these methods to dry your clothes, use of the steam iron is then compulsory to remove that cardboard feeling.
So all you eco clever clogs out there...which is worse the tumble dryer or the steam iron? After just 4 days without a dryer and therefore almost without a washing machine (no point washing if you can't dry and yes it has been raining almost all week) I've decided that in a house with 3 children, a tumble dryer is ESSENTIAL.
So how did I rescue my green credentials? I went to and ordered the spare parts needed to fix the tumble dryer. Cost? About £25 and in a couple of days time the Dryer will be like new and I will be happily drying all the clothes by machine again.
Tumble Driers have very few parts and almost all of them are easily accessible once the back of the machine is off. SO, if your tumble dryer breaks - at least think about repairing it yourself. It isn't hard (not if I can do it, it isn't) and it's got to be better to repair than fill a landfill site with a large hunk of metal.

Monday, 19 November 2007

There must be another way...

I finished my duaghter's Pinwheel Jacket but I'm not going to blog it....yet. Her verdict? 'Me no like it' once I had finally got her to try it on I could see that the arms are way too small - the pattern says 'knit until sleeve measures 12 inches'. Well my daughter must have arms like a baboon because she's only 2 but the sleeves are still too short. I didn't like the way the yarnovers ended up being HUGE holes around the arms either - they look OK on the circle for the body but once you pick up and start knitting the sleeves, well bleughhh.
Anyway, I didn't like knitting it and I don't like the finished result either. I'm too fed up to rip out the sleeves and work on it so I've put it away for a while.

Which brings me to my next topic....
I've got really tired of the whole cast-on, photograph, finish, photograph, blog, Ravelry thing. Knitting is supposed to be a hobby, something that keeps me busy, keeps my mind occupied and my hands off the chocolate. Lately it's become about buying more yarn than I need, casting on for things in too much of a rush and feeling pressurised into blogging when I don't want to.
I'm glad there's going to be a break before SP12 because I need one. Blogging is supposed to be a hobby too - not a chore.
I'll blog again when I've got something decent to show you - and not before!

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Can't Finish Anything....

It's really frustrating but I can't finish anything. I have more half-finished projects now than I have EVER had in my life. What's wrong with me?

I finished this Tilted Duster weeks ago but I'm just not happy with it....I got round to sewing on a hook and eye to try to close the front properly but it's still not right. I'm also not happy with the neatness of the knitting and the way it hangs. See how wrinkly the bottom is? I've steamed it twice but it's just not right.

If you knit a Tilted Duster I would also say DON'T block or even press the collar ribbing - when the cardigan is on your body you need the flex of the ribbing to allow the collar to mould round your shoulders and neck. If you press the ribbing all you'll get is a flapping mess.

Also on the needles I have Bellatrix socks - one finished but not overjoyed with it so who know when I'll do the second.

The ribbed cuff was WAY too small - only 60 stitches and the socks are quite long - mid calf on me - so extra width was needed. i had to cut the cuff off and re-knit it, adding some increases and a few rows of stocking stitch at the top to make a roll. I've still not found a sock pattern than I want to knit more than once and with most of them I struggle to knit the second. Anyone want to leave suggestions of socks that are fun to knit, fit properly and look nice so you acutally want to wear them?

I have knitted pieces for 3 Alan Dart Snowme snowmen from Simply Knitting but they look like a pile of fluff at the moment so not worth photographing yet. And finally (well not quite but I'll leave the other UFOs for another day) a baby Pinwheel Jacket for Miranda. The Cotton was a bargain - 50p a ball and the whole cardigan will only take 2 balls.

Here's the center of it - it's really fiddly to start with and drove me mad. Would be easier to knit in wool or something else with some stretch. The red stripe is the waste yarn marking where the sleeve will go - the BEST thing aboout this cardigan is that there's no sewing up to do - when it's done it's done....

So don't forget, I'm looking for suggestions for socks that are fun to knit and great to wear.