Archive for the “swiffer cover” Category


I totally rocked my Saturday.

There was a lot to do: garbage dropoff, a trip to the hardware store, grocery shopping, fishpond maintenance, cat brushing and yardwork. To be honest, it was a little overwhelming to face a day like this for the first time on my own. But I sat myself down with a cup of coffee (which I made without any sort of coffeemaker at all, because all the coffeemaking devices left with Pirate-Ex, but which was awesome nonetheless and possibly even more awesome for not needing a specialized device) and told myself, “Self, you can be anyone you want to be. Do you want to be someone who goes wah wah wah I can’t do this it’s too much, I hate being a girl in a hardware store and I know nothing about fishponds or do you want to be someone who goes HECK YEAH (I may have used a stronger word than ‘heck’) I can TOTALLY do all this! RAWR! I am going to STEP UP!

In a move that should surprise absolutely no one who knows me, I chose RAWR over wah wah. (Useless trivia: my desktop computer is named RAWR.)

And to reward myself for being RAWR I stopped at the local artsycrafts store and bought the sock yarn I’ve been ooh’ing at – do those stripes say “I want to be Jaywalker Socks“? Maybe! or maybe they’ll just be plain socks! – as well as three colourways of Sugar and Cream for washcloths and a new swiffer mop cover as the old one doesn’t fit quite as well as I’d like anymore. The mere thought of knitting anything else in cotton makes my fingers seize up in protest, so I’m going to make up a crochet pattern for it if I can’t find one I like.

(Conveniently, I had a 20% off everything coupon for the artsycrafts store in my pocket.)

I expected the cats to get between my camera and the yarn, but for the most part they were quite well-behaved. Kipling snuck into the frame once or twice…

Anyway, it was such a successful day. I tossed garbage bags and didn’t hesitate to ask for help in the hardware store and bought only healthy groceries within my budget, and I fixed the fishpond all by myself without even getting too wet, and raked leaves and cleared two flowerbeds and I even ran up the driveway, and despite (because of?) all this activity my back isn’t even complaining too much. Also, I brushed the cats, since they’re shedding for springtime. One cat absolutely loves being brushed and the other only barely tolerates it. Can you guess which cat is which?

Oh yeah, so making coffee without any coffee-making devices! You’ll need a heat-resistant glass measuring cup (I’d say a Pyrex, but mine’s actually Anchor Hocking. Either way, one of those.) and a good strong paper towel, like Viva. Add the right amount of boiling water into the measuring cup. Now, you don’t actually want your water to be boiling when you put the coffee in; you want it to be a few degrees less, but when the water hits the glass it’ll cool down just enough. Then put coffee on top of the water. The general recommendation is for two tablespoons of coffee per eight ounces of water (about 240 ml). Don’t stir for 90 seconds, just let it float and bloom on top of the water. Then stir and wait another 90 seconds or so. The coffee shouldn’t be in the water for more than four minutes total, or it’ll get bitter. Pour through the paper towel into your mug; most of the grounds should have already sunk to the bottom of the measuring cup anyway. Et voila, coffee sans coffeemaker!

I bought more coffee at the grocery store. I’m determined to perfect this method. My first attempt was strong but sour; the suggestion I found was to use *more* coffee rather than less to avoid sourness.

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“What have you knit this year?” Pirate-Husband asked me last night.

A Cunning HatFirst there was the Jayne hat that I knit from Knitting Ninja’s pattern for friend Otel. This was a quick project. I had to borrow needles for it, which have since been returned. Although I probably have enough yarn for a second hat, I need to get the right size needles before I can knit it up. Not that I know anyone who wants a Jayne hat… I already have one, and Otel is the brownest browncoat of all my friends.

With the Buttons Then a Baby Surprise Jacket for friend Gwen’s second baby, a little girl. I loved the 100purewool yarn I used for this project; it is so soft and easy to work with! The pattern got tricky a few times, but with help from Ravelers I worked through it. I finished knitting only minutes before my deadline, but Gwen loved the sweater. It should fit on her daughter right about now; I’d love to get an ‘action shot’ from her to post.

Garter Rib Socks Something for myself, a pair of Garter Rib socks! The pattern is from Charlene Schurch’s “Sensational Knitted Socks”. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to get the basics of sock knitting. These socks were knit up in Blue Moon Fiber Arts’ Socks that Rock lightweight, and I was short by about ten yards. Fortunately a kind Raveler had some extra in the same colorway that she was able to send me.

swiffer_bottom Something for the house, a quick and easy Swiffer mop cover from Noelle’s pattern. This project took about six hours, which is about my tolerance for knitting with cotton. I plan to make several more of these, with an additional pattern repeat so that when the cover curls, it goes over the edges of the mop instead of under. Pirate-Husband mopped the floors this past weekend and was disappointed to find that the cover I’d made had been used but not yet washed; he used one of the disposables instead and afterwards said that mine worked a lot better!

pirate-husband_socks3 I’d promised Pirate-Husband a pair of socks last November, and in July of this year I finally delivered. He has very wide feet and I was concerned that I’d run out of yarn, after my experience with the Socks that Rock, so I didn’t make the socks very tall. I had a few yards left over at the end, so I guess it worked out just right! He wears them often, especially now that it’s cold out, and I know he’d love to have another pair.

Baby M Blanket After I finished Pirate-Husband’s socks, I cast on for the second baby knit of the year. This one was for friend Asa’s second child, but as she hadn’t chosen to find out the sex of the baby, I had to knit a gender-neutral blanket. Feather and Fan seemed fitting, as did these muted colors. Once again, I finished knitting the night before I needed to give the gift. Once of these days I’ll break that habit.

bloosocks_complete I sure didn’t break the habit with the Bloo Socks, knit in Trekking XXL for friend Michael. I finished these in the afternoon and gave them to him that very evening. I also didn’t learn the lesson of splitting the yarn in half before beginning; I used more than half of the 100g ball on the first sock and had to frantically call yarn stores all over the country to find another ball in the same dye lot. I’ll be writing this pattern up in the near future, as soon as I work out the heel and toe numbers in other sizes. There is a shortage of fine-gauge sock patterns out there. These were knit up at 45 stitches to 4″ on US size 0 DPNs.

Silkie Glove 1 Mom’s gloves will probably be the last completed project of the year. Her birthday present is knit up of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Silkie Socks that Rock in Ravenscroft. She’d requested a colorway that would go well with both her black wool dress coat, and her green winter jacket, so what better than a black yarn with subtle greens that glow in the sunlight? I am using Marnie MacLean’s Hooray for Me pattern, just making full fingers instead of partial. I’m sure she’ll love them; I just hope they fit!

Eight projects in 2008, not a bad tally! In other accomplishments, I read 23 books in the past year, and I learned to spin on a wheel. Pirate-Husband commented that I should knit more for myself, and I want to commit more time to spinning as well. Those will be my goals in 2009!

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This weekend is the beginning of vacation! Pirate-Husband and I are going to an annual medieval-style camping event. We’re going up to the site this weekend just to get our land and tent set up, and then coming back, working for a few more days, and going back to site Wednesday of next week. We plan to stay for a week and a half.

Last night I started the baby blanket just to see what the yarn looked like knit up (lovely) and I plan for that to be my car knitting. It’s a 4.5 hour drive up to the campground. The expectant mother will be at this event, so I don’t want to work on it where she might see… but since we’re driving to and from site twice, I’ll have a good chunk of time to work on the project.

I’m bringing the Bloo Socks and the yarn I bought for the Swiffer cover commission with me, as well as my drop spindle and some roving. I could only find one TP roll onto which I can wind the singles, but someone on Ravelry suggested sliding the cop onto a straw – what a great idea! Also, there’s a “silk spinning on a drop spindle” class I want to take, and I’d like to have my own spindle for that. The ones they give out tend to be unbalanced.

Posts may be scarce until August 11; I’m not bringing my laptop on vacation with me. There is internet access on site, but it’s slow and costs $6/hour! Be seeing you… :)

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No kidding, there I was, picking out another two balls of Sugar and Cream in Michael’s with Pirate-Husband so that I can make a Swiffer cover for an online friend who commissioned one in yellow and blue. Those selected, I commented that I still didn’t know what to knit for my friend Asa, who is expecting her second baby this fall.

“Why don’t you knit a blanket?” suggested Pirate-Husband.

“I suppose I could,” I said, “but… I don’t know. They take a long time, and they’re big and boring, and I’m not so sure about blankets after the last one.”

He held up a ball of Red Heart and said, “This is a good neutral color. I think you’ll probably need three. Here.”

And that’s how I was suckered into left the store with five balls of yarn when I meant to buy none until next year’s Sheep and Wool festival. I’m thinking perhaps a feather and fan blanket, since the pattern’s already in my head from the Ostrich Plumes scarf, and it’s easy but not boring. Besides, what baby doesn’t need a washable blanket? And it was an excuse to order another set of Addi Lace Turbo needles, in size 8 this time. As I didn’t have the right length circular needles in size 8, I don’t feel any guilt about this at all. (I do have a set of 16″ long size 8 circs for hat-making, but there is no way I can make a baby blanket on 16″ needles.)

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My new Addi turbo lace needles arrived yesterday, before I even got the tracking number for the package. Turbo shipping for turbo needles, I guess! …okay, that was a bad joke. Anyway, I had time to do a couple of rows on the Ostrich Plumes scarf, and already I’m in love with these needles. When I get home from work I’ll try a pattern row!

Pirate-Husband’s socks are coming along as well. I’m a couple of inches past the gusset decreases and can knit in the car again since I don’t have to look so closely. I’d like to have them done before I go on vacation next weekend.

And, someone on an IRC channel I frequent has commissioned me to make a Swiffer cover for her! That seems like it will be good vacation knitting along with the next sock.

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Even though I’m not a big fan of knitting with cotton, for a project that took less than six hours total I think I can handle it. Especially when that project is so awesome. I made a cotton pad for my Swiffer WetJet, using the Ballband Dishcloth Reusable Swiffer Cover pattern from Noelle at Strange Yarns ;; Skull Charms. I love the texture of the slipped stitch and ‘bricks’ pattern, and the bumpiness is really good at picking up dirt from the floor. We gave it a quick try, and I hate to say how much dirt there was even though I mopped with elbow grease last weekend. Maybe it’s time to admit that I should be washing the floors more often…

I did add an extra half-repeat to the pattern, and for the next one I’ll add a full repeat as well as making it slightly longer. Maybe my Swiffer’s a little bigger or my gauge slightly smaller, but I’d like the side pockets to be a little deeper. Pirate-Husband tried it out and it seems to stay on just fine, so maybe there’s nothing to worry about. You can see in this picture how, er, ‘rustic’ our wooden floors are. There are big gaps between some of the boards which just tore the disposable pads apart. I’m hoping the cotton stands up to them for at least five moppings. I think they pay for themselves at two moppings, so five would be spectacular. I bet they last even longer than that!

I love the idea of reusable where disposable once reigned. There’s enough yarn to make another Swiffer cover, and I’m already envisioning cotton soap sacks and washcloths (in less obscenely bright colors). I love handmade soap but it does tend to melt away quickly, and a soap sack should help it last longer. Or they’d make wonderful gifts, wouldn’t they? I’m not sure who on my gift list would really appreciate a handknit lace washcloth and soap sack. Most of the people with whom I exchange presents aren’t into handmade stuff, so it’s wasted on them. How sad.

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I know I said I was on a yarn diet, but sometimes exceptions have to be made. In this case, two balls of Lily Sugar and Cream for my swiffer cover. My theory is that if I don’t buy the yarn, I can’t make the cover – and if I don’t have the cover, I can’t mop the floors. I do have one disposable pad left, but that’s obviously single-use, and the floors need mopping more frequently than I’d like to admit. And, probably, more often than I actually do it!

Besides, this should be a really quick project. It’s 69 stitches and 33 rows 34 rows, plus a bit of seaming – I can knock that out in a day, right? I also had to get new needles for this project. Who’d'a thought that I didn’t have size 7 straights? Fortunately I carry a card in my wallet with all my needles catalogued, so I was able to double-check before just buying ‘em. Now the question is – do I cast on RIGHT NOW, or do I keep working on the sock?

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The heel on Pirate-Husband’s second sock was completed last night. Since it wasn’t my turn to drive to work (hooray for carpooling!) I got several rounds into the gusset. I expect to do more on the way home this afternoon.

I spent quite some time yesterday searching for the perfect sock pattern for the next pair, which are going to be a gift to my best friend. Originally I’d wanted to surprise him, since our feet are the same size, but then I felt the need to ask how long a cuff he’d want. Once the surprise was ruined, I started asking him all sorts of questions from the exact height of his heel to what sort of sock he might like to wear. I think we’ve settled on Mr. Pitt’s Socks from Kaitlyn Wong at Sassy Stitchess. They’re simple, easy, and subtle – just the thing! I’ll be using Trekking XXL in colorway 71, which is shades of blue.

While I was going through sock patterns, I added eight (!) more to my Ravelry queue. I don’t have the yarn to knit all of them yet, but I will eventually! There are so many things I want to make and not nearly enough time to make them all.

I also added this reusable Swiffer cover from Noelle at Strange Yarns ;; Skull Charms. After years of wanting one, I finally got a Swiffer WetJet last weekend, but the disposable pads annoyed me. Why use disposable if it’s not necessary? I’m going to break my yarn diet just for the cotton yarn that I’ll need for this pattern. It’s cheap and also I plan to use it right away, so it won’t be taking up space in the stash-basket. (Not to mention, I mopped the floors with one of the disposable pads that came with the Swiffer, and they look so good that I’m tempted to mop again sooner rather than later.)

The unfortunate thing is that there are no conveniently-located Michael’s or Joann’s stores near me where I could get the Sugar & Cream yarn. I’m debating ordering it online; even if I pay for shipping on it, it might come out to less frustration than trying to drive into town. There’s a Michael’s “coming soon” to a shopping center relatively near me, but even that’s still ten or twelve miles away, and it’ll probably be another year before the store is open.

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