Lovelies

Img_1210 Blogless Sara came over on Saturday.  We had big plans to work on about 2,517 different craft projects because we’re optimists that way.  What we actually did was muse over her sweater that we still need to steek and dye some roving.  I’d like to try knitting with roving and then felting the product, so I dyed with that in mind.  I’ve been spinning the roving that my nephew and I dyed over the summer, and I like the way it looks quite a bit.  I wonder if I’ll like this stuff knitted.

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I had a fortunate day on Sunday.  Of course seeing the Yarn Harlot was great, but I also won a doorprize–a scarf pattern and a skein of yarn. 

Even better, though, I was the recipient of a lovely gift from my friend Cae.  She knit a gorgeous shawl this summer and made an edging out of one of the Nicki Epstein books.  She decided to put the edging on only two sides of the shawl, and look what she did Img_1213 with the extra edging.

Img_1214 Doesn’t she do lovely work?  Aren’t I so lucky?  Thank you, Cae!

It’s a rainy gray day here.  I’m going to take a little nap before I start my Treadmill Journal writing.  I have Friday off from work, so I’m looking forward to the long weekend.  I hope to set aside some time to start my holiday crafting.  What are you making for your gift list?

KSKS Bag: Fini

Img_1066 I spent the entire day–nearly twelve hours–sewing yesterday.  I completed two Madison bags:  one for Lisa who won it for completing Tour de Fleece and this one (almost identical–different lining) for my KSKS pal.  My pal is an exquisite knitter, so I’m super worried about the pattern. I keep looking at stitch dictionaries hoping to find just the right pattern for her and the yarn I’ve selected.  While I fret over patterns I’m working on a needle case to include as well as a little wallet per Split Yarn’s tutorial.

My almost-15-year-old nephew came over to hang with me last week.  He’s into drawing and music and art–an anomoly in my highly pragmatic family, as I am.  Well, let me clarify.  There is a lot of creativity floating around in my family, but there seems to be an inability to embrace it, to take risks with new skills.  But I’m going off on a tangent that I could write about for hours. 

So the kid comes over, and I’ve got three pounds of roving and some new dye from Selling Dye 2 You (won via Dye-O-Rama, woo hoo).  What better way to play than to mess around with these supplies?  Here are some of the results, all destined for PIF :

Img_1065 There’s a pink and black roving that didn’t make the picture.  I’m going to spin it into yarn for my nephew to use.  I tried to teach him to crochet (he wants a skater boy beanie), but he lost patience too quickly.  He thinks I’m going to make the beanie for him, but he’s wrong.  I’m a determined teacher and auntie!

Jen posted a link to this beautiful sweater.  I bought the pattern, and I’ve decided to make it as a reward for turning UFOs into FOs.  It may be the prettiest sweater I’ve seen in a long time.  Ok, it is.  And, as you know I believe, sometimes pretty is enough.

Don’t forget to sign up for the Funky Scarf Swap.  I can’t wait to challenge myself with a fun scarf for a new friend.

Meet Blue Shutter Beach

Img_0983 My cousin and I take a few trips each summer to the beach she used to live down the block from, Blue Shutter Beach.  This yarn reminds me of the New England shore, lots of shades of blue with a little bit of sand among the rocks and sun peeking through the clouds.  I’m going to have a hard time sending it to my pal on Monday, and I hope she likes it as much as I do.  Thank you to all the Dye-o-Rama Mamas, especially Noelle (and Dye-O-Rama Papa Cody, too!) and Scout.  Scout gave me my first dyeing lesson and answered my questions as I got busy on Thursday, and I owe a big thanks to Mona, who showed me how to dye variegated yarn. 

There are lots of tutorials online about dyeing, but I’m going to put up the pictures from my experience for my reference…I didn’t take notes, so I’ll have to come back here when I want to remember what I did!

Img_0957 First I soaked the two skeins (370 yards total) of Gems Pearl in Pure White in warm water and a dash of white vinegar.  Then I made a peanut butter sandwich and slowly ate it.  I don’t think this is a critical step (the sandwich, not the soak), but it helped me to be patient while the yarn "wetted."

Img_0961 Then I decided on the order of the colors of the Landscape dye.

   

Img_0962I mixed the dye with boiling water after I did some research about how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon and cups in a pint.  I do not know these things off the top of my head.  Every time I look them up, I tell myself I’ll remember, but I don’t.  Hey, wasn’t it Albert Einstein who said "Never memorize what you can look up"?

Img_0960 I painted on the colors.  The yarn was pretty dry, so I felt comfortable bringing the colors close to each other.  In a few of the white spaces I dabbed the lightest blue, which seems to have worked well. 

Img_0964 Then I wrapped the yarn really well with Reynolds Wrap.  I adore the person who invented the EZ Slide Cutter.  Pre-EZSC, I had too many plastic wrap disasters to count.  Really.  Now I’m a plastic wrap guru.  Scout advised the extra good wrapping since I was going to use a small microwave and wouldn’t be able to spread the yarn out in a big dish. 

Img_0963 I nuked the yarn for about 12 minutes and painted the second skein.  There was some cooling off time, removal of the plastic wrap, a warm rinse, a rinse in my favorite Aveda conditioner.

Img_0967 Then began the looong drying process.  First I hung the skeins in the shower.  When they were fairly dry, I hung them off the light fixture in the dining room.  This morning I was able to re-skein them in order to see how the variegation looked.  I’ll make a label tomorrow, add a few goodies to the mix, then I’ll send the package off.  Really I will.  I promise.

KSKS sign ups start tomorrow at 8 a.m. EST.  I hope you’ll join us for the fun!

Happy Mother’s Day and Some Yarn

Img_0595 Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, and to all the moms I know.  I think the greatest gift (after, you know, life) that my mom has given me is her support and encouragement.  She and my father have always told me to do what makes me happy.  They grounded me with pretty solid values, and they always made me feel there was nothing I couldn’t do if I set my mind to it.  I think that encouragement is what has enabled me to try so many different things, and even if I’m not that good at something I try, to have fun with it and to enjoy myself.  My mom’s pride in me keeps me trying to deserve it!

How about some yarny goodness?  Remember I won a contest over at Trek’s?  Look at these goodies:Img_0809 some hand dyed sock yarn and one of her sock bags.   On Friday I spread my stash all around me on the living room floor.  I put all my sock yarn in one area and realized that I need to get busy knitting some socks.  Img_0810_1 There’s some Brooklyn Handspun, Mama-E (have you seen June Bug?) and a couple of skeins from my girly Scout

Two new skeins have been added.Img_0834_1 I dyed this at Mona’s on Friday, and I LOVE the colors.  I can’t remember the type of dye we used, but I’ve asked Mona for the name.  We made these skeins variegated, and I used Lanett superwash.  I think I’d like to make toe up socks for my oldest sister.  I promised her a pair as a 2005 Christmas gift, and I think this yarn suits her perfectly.  Any good links to instructions for two toe ups on two circs, anyone?

I’m so anxious to see how this yarn knits up that I may set aside my current darling for a bit.  Or maybe alternate projects.  Oh.  You’d like to see her?  Img_0835

Do or Dye

Img_0790 "Wound Too Tight" is the name of this bright and black yarn.  Scout showed me how to use the warp board, then set me to it.  I apparently have tension issues (her Superboy can tell you about ISSUES–trust me!) even when winding a warp board–one of the screw thingies popped out from my winding so tight!  I went a little nutty with color; next time I want to try a more monochrome colorway.

Img_0792 I’m calling this one "Institution" because it reminds me of the colorways I’ve seen in schools and hospitals.  Maybe not complimentary, but hey, a girl has to get a laugh somehow, right?

My favorite TN LYS owner Sheila had a raucous good time with Kay and Ann at the Mason Dixon book signing last night.  Be sure to look at the pictures–looks like there is some Euroflax in Threaded Bliss’s future!  And as if I didn’t already adore Sheila enough, she’s won my heart even more; she’s sending me a leftover Whoopie pie.  Ok, let’s see who else adores whoopie pies: CariLiz?  I assume they’re a regional food, the way Fluff (which, by the way, is amazing as a hot chocolate topper) is, hard to find outside of New England…kind of how it’s going to be impossible for me to find green chile once I leave NM. Ok.  I just got sad. 

I’ll finish with a happy note.  Neal, while walking to his car in Hartford, ran into Hilton Armstrong (isn’t he adorable?).  He reports that Hilton has a good grip (they shook hands), that Hilton’s hands are calloused, that he’s REALLY tall and his head looks just as tiny as it does on tv, and that Hilton remarked "Cool, man" when Neal told him that his girlfriend (me!) was from Peekskill.  Now, if I could manage to meet Charlie