Cooperative Press celebrated their birthday this month. I'm a little late to the party, but I'm a big fan of their books and their mission.
Founded by Shannon Okey in 2009, this company does small print runs of innovative books and pays better royalties than any other publisher. They produce superior craft-related books which are printed in the United States of America.
To the right you can see Dave the Bear sporting Troche from Fresh Designs: Hats, Fields of Malachite from Ancient Egypt in Lace and Color, and Quadrille from Needles and Artifice. His legs simply weren't long enough for the Amplitude Vertical Stockings (also from Needles and Artifice).
Thanks, CP---and happy birthday!
Hot Tip: After working a bobble or nupp, on the following row, slip the stitch you made the ornament on with the yarn held to the wrong side of the work. Bobbles will stay on the right side and not slip through the work to the wrong side. I recently discovered this trick and am using it now in one of my designs.
I have a low-functioning thyroid. It's a common condition, and I know people who treat it by simply adjusting their diet. So I did a little research online and found some interesting information.
Not surprisingly, gluten and dairy are said to be terrible for the thyroid. Soy as well. But eggs are great, and curry spices and coconut. Maybe I should mostly cook Indian food for the next month and see how I feel.
Cranberries, blueberries, and raspberries are also good---especially cranberries, which are high in iodine. Okra, grapefruit, and zucchini are welcome additions to the low-thyroid Louisiana locavore's menu. Avocado, alfalfa, mushrooms, and cucumber would make a splendid sandwich (too bad hummus is on the list of foods to avoid!) and beets, potatoes, and carrots could become a lovely borscht (a little cabbage is okay too, even though it's goitrogenic). Potatoes, red kidney and black beans, and brown rice are already common in our household. Seaweed, mung beans, and amaranth are favorite foods I'm more than willing to eat more often. And I already use coconut oil and olive oil frequently.
I'm going to pay attention to my diet with these guidelines in mind. I'm not going to change much yet, just notice what I eat. Wish me luck!
Hot Tip: While most instructions say to pick up and knit stitches with a single needle, I find that in some cases using one needle (in the left hand) to pick the stitch up and another (in the other hand) to knit it is much easier. This works well for picking up stitches in every row, where every other row has a little knotty thing at the end of it instead of a nice looking stitch, especially when knit firmly. It also works well for picking up stitches around a motif, or for dark or fuzzy or slightly felted edges.
We emptied our little chest freezer before the New Year in preparation for defrosting it. It was time. We had never defrosted it and we'd had it for three or four years. The preparations took several weeks, but the defrosting itself took only a few hours and was finished this past weekend.
Here are a few tips for your own potential defrosting project, and an inspiring photo of our newly frost-free appliance in its natural environment.
To the left of the freezer lid is the beautiful green floral knit bag I made out of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. It's stuffed with plastic shopping bags to carry a change of clothes for my daughter, to use instead of bubble wrap when sending mail, or to take with me to the Farmer's Market.
10 Tips for Defrosting your Freezer
1. Put towels down as soon as you turn the freezer off, even if you haven't taken the plug out to let it drain. Frost builds up everywhere, and will leak freely when melted.
2. Put towels down even if you are running tubing from the freezer to drain the frost---and not just around the hose, but behind the freezer and to the sides as well. (see above)
3. Pay attention to the way the drain plug comes out of the bottom of the freezer. We replaced ours handle side down and had to use a vacuum cleaner to suck it back out.
4. If you accidentally replace your plug handle side down and decide to try vacuuming it out, be sure to use an attachment such as the crevice tool which is smaller than the plug. Just saying.
5. If things like stickers and twist ties have fallen off your frozen products and made their way to the bottom of the freezer, do not, I repeat, do NOT climb in after them. Do not accept your 13-year-old son's offer to hold you by your feet while you gather them and do not by any means allow him to shut the lid with you inside.
6. I do, however, encourage you to bribe the aforementioned son with ice cream in exchange for wiping out the freezer.
7. If the instructions say to attach a garden hose to the drain, be aware that they probably don't mean an actual garden hose. A 1/2" garden hose will not fit a 1/2" drainage spout. They probably mean to use clear vinyl tubing (available at your local hardware store).
8. Ask for help when you go to the local hardware store for vinyl tubing, and hope you get a young guy who doesn't know about defrosting freezers but is earnest about helping to set you up with exactly what you need. It will lighten your mood, and eventually he'll drag in an old-timer who's willing to provide the items you request.
9. Did I mention to use towels?
10. Be sure to admire your work. It helps if there's ice cream. . . .
Here's a tutorial for grafting live stitches to each other using a yarn needle. I hope you find it useful! Note: I say in the video to use a yarn tail twice as long as the seam, but you really need a little more than that. Try three times as long, just to be safe.
This is my first video with the Nikon D5100. I had to put it on manual focus so it didn't keep zooming in and out---as a result, the picture blurs when I move my hands closer to the camera. Still, it's better than my previous video! More soon.
This door has a secret panel in it . . . but where?
I am quite pleased with the way my Quadrille turned out. I was 10 stitches short when I finished (wonder where that happened . . . ), but that doesn't seem to have caused a problem. The fit at the top is exactly what I envisioned.
I changed the bind-off slightly so that the eyelets would be centered under the picots. The eyelet is formed with a five stitch repeat and the bind-off works two stitches of the previous row for each picot. I saw that this wasn't going to produce the effect I desired, so I bound off alternating numbers of stitches and the picots came out in little pairs.
I could have made the picots themselves pointier by not knitting the first stitch of each before binding it off. But I think the little humps are charming and go with the circular cables perfectly.
I had a good time deciding what I wanted to do with the ribbon. I tied the front one into little ribbon roses, but nylon ribbon doesn't stay well in roses and I ended up stuffing most of them down the front of the bodice. I liked the back lacing shown in the book, but it took awhile to figure out how that was done.
I tried my Quadrille on the night before I took pictures so I could cut the ribbon to appropriate lengths. I had my daughter with me to help smooth, tug, and tie, and I missed her terribly when setting up for the photo shoot. This is not a piece to get dressed in by yourself if you can help it. Just saying.
My body is not a very good shape for a corset. I have a naturally small waist and ample hips, but my ribs are prominent and my bust is . . . not. I can't decide whether or not the circular cables help. But the piece is lovely and I will wear it proudly as a vest-like contraption as long as I have a willing assistant to smooth, tug, and tie!
My Quadrille bodice is finally blocked and beribboned! I'm calling it Crawfish Quadrille after Alice in Wonderland's Lobster-Quadrille.
I enjoyed knitting it immensely, but will refer you to my Ravelry project page for important notes if you're considering working it up before the errata page is posted.
Hi! I'm Kangath---
knit designer, musician, writer, and mother
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