March 30, 2007

Everyone else is doing it

So, I figured that I post a couple of pics of my pear tree in bloom. This tree actually produces a ton of small pears, which we made jelly with last year.

This tree probably needs a little pruning, but as we know, if I do anything to help it out, it'll die out of spite. So, I just pick up the good sized pears off the ground everyday and throw the smaller ones into the woods for the animals or plop them onto the compost pile.

Also, there was a trial load in the washer today, as the Hubby kindly woke me up at midnight (his bedtime) last night to tell me the washing machine was broken. Appearantly, the machine had stuck on one part of the cycle and the clothes had been rinsing for over three hours. I tried another load today to see what was the matter and figured it was a good time to wash and dry my louet swatch for the DB fair isle baby sweater.

Let's discuss the import bits first shall we? The swatch is the square on the right side of both pictures with the ladybug atop it. The back ground st st is the unwashed baby top in progress. The top picture shows a more accurate color, but looses detail. The bottom picture has horrible color, but accurate detail. Both pictures can be enlarged to a hugnormous size for insane detail.

I did not measure the prewasher swatch as good knitting habits would necessitate. Shrinkage was not my main concern, as this baby sweater is a process knit and has no recipient. Also, it's important to note that I washed it in a garment bag on a short cycle (about 20 minutes start to finish), because I was worried that it would get sucked into a small crevasse and clog the machine further.

My main concern was instead the toughness of this yarn. I am curious to see if this could really withstand the two year old it is sized for, or if it would become an unsightly mess in the first wash. As you can see, the first wash didn't completely do it in, but it also didn't completely hold up either. There was no pilling or felting of the cloth, so the pretreatment used to make it washable withstands the agitation from my ancient-uses-40-tons-of-water-to-wash machine. It did become a little fuzzier as to be expected from any animal fiber; Remember this is 100% merino wool. I dried the sucker on high heat just to be sure and still the only fiber issue was the slight fuzzing.

Here's the ringer--Does anyone notice a difference in the actual layout of the stitches? In my original swatch, just the same as the background sweater, the stitches had a slight tilt to the the right half of each 'v,' the opposite of what is seen here under the header single yarns. If you enlarge the picture on the right you can see this twisting in the stitches of the washed swatch are more visible. The columns of v's appear to have a ribbed effect in my eyes. The opal yarn used is a three ply yarn not a single yarn. It makes me wonder if this flaw is my own fault due to the way I knit or if it's due to the way the yarn is spun. What do y'all think? Am I being overly critical and it looks fine? Or has this happened to anyone else using this yarn?

Secondly, you'll be relieved to know that I had no problems with the load I ran today. I had a time set in case the machine took an extraordinary amount of time, but I ended up staying in the "laundry" room and kitchen doing other things, so I was able to watch it. Other than opening the lid several times to check the water's progress, I just let the washer do it's thing. And it did. YAY! Silly Husband, he's always thinking things are broken, just because he doesn't know how to use them. He's very much the Undomestic Goddess. I guess he'll just have to start doing more housework. :)

No comments: