Friday, July 22, 2011

Fun Stripes and a Fun Puzzle

Today, I hope to finish knitting this pair of socks:
Lang Jawoll Sport Weight that I dyed in Fun Self-Striping Colors
I really enjoy how fast sport weight yarn knits up.  Who cares if no one can fit them in their shoes?  They're fast!
I am on vacation with my sister and my kids right now.  Here is one of my vacation accomplishments; the second puzzle of the summer:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Inspired By Mary

I have been checking out a lot of books from the library about dyeing yarn.  Often, the authors will write about looking to nature or other sources for color inspiration.  So, I was thinking that I would look to sacred art for inspiration, being a Catholic knitter and all.  I thought that I would choose colors of Our Lady.  Browsing around on, I noticed that common colors in icons and paintings are blue (obviously), and usually a dark red and some yellow-gold.
Now, I am not a color theorist.  I am also not too bright.  I never foresaw that these are the primary colors and that when applied to my yarn it might look like this:
Blessed Mother Yarn
It doesn't remind me of Our Lady.  It reminds me of Bozo the clown.  Oh well.  I thought of dyeing over the yellow sections with tan, but my son keeps encouraging me to leave it, saying that it will probably look good when I knit with it.  Hmm.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hand-Dyed Mittens

Even though I am a knitter, I still feel kinda weird making mittens in July. 
Mittens in Nashua Julia that I over-dyed.
See my grapevines in the background?  So, now I knit mittens and think of when it will be cold.  In the winter, I will see this picture with the grapevines in the back and remember when it was hot!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My First Felted Fleece

Well, I suppose it was likely to happen at least once.  I felted a batch of fleece that I was dyeing.  I am especially sad about this because I am very careful and am not sure what I did wrong.  
Felted Fleece.  Very Sad
I have dyed 6 batches so far.  The other 5 were done using the "cold-pour" method.  For those of you not familiar with dyeing, I put the dye stock on, wrapped it in plastic wrap and steamed it.
For this fleece, I used the "hot pour" method.  I used the book "Twisted Sisters' Sock Workbook" by Lynne Vogel.  Since this involves bringing a dye bath up to 190 degrees, and since I haven't had felting problems with the other method, I assume this is where I went wrong.  As I say, I was extremely careful, so I am pretty leery of trying again.  
On the raw food side, I am really enjoying my fenugreek sprouts.  I was introduced to them by my friend Angela last summer.  Otherwise, I wouldn't have ever come across them as I live in a raw-food-black-hole and have to search out sources for these things.  They are delicious and easy to sprout in my Easy Sprout.  I have two Easy Sprouts and keep them going on a rotation, growing all kinds of sprouts.  My favorite is fenugreek.  Try them.  You'll love 'em!

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

Hello!  Well, I borrowed my father's camera for a little while.  Don't worry, I will pace myself and not over-whelm you with huge quantities of pictures.  Here are two to document some of my summer activities.  A little bit of puzzle-doing, a little bit of dyeing wool and a little bit of learning to spin wool into "yarn."
Here's the first puzzle of the summer along-side some hand-dyed fleece.

Here are my first little hand-spun darlings.  The picture needs to be rotated, but I have to go make tortillas.
See you again soon!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Dyeing, spinning, knitting

Hello, friends!  I still have no camera, so I can't show you what I have been up to.  I am so sad about this because I have just learned to spin wool on a drop spindle.  Today was my first day, actually!  I dyed about 4 oz of some Norwegian white wool that I bought from Paradise Fibers.  By the way, not only do I get more hours of fiber fun by buying roving, dyeing it, spinning it and then knitting it, but buying unspun fiber is about 4 times cheaper than buying yarn.  Depending on the yarn, I may save even more than that.  I'm sold.  Plus I am having crazy amounts of fun.  My yarn looks like a child made it.  A child who has only limited fine motor skills.  Who cares?  It's fun!  And it will make a fabulous hat!
Here's a picture that I took before my camera went away.  It's 2 of my darlings at the cemetery, where I love to walk everyday.
I have been gardening and mowing as well.  Thank God it's storming today.  I am a wee bit neglectful when it comes to watering the garden!

I hope that your summer has been blessed so far!  See you soon!