Sunday, June 29, 2008


My dyeing results from last Sunday:

This is Trekking Natura sock yarn (I wish you could feel this) dyed in a turquoise color that you can't really see and appreciate here.  Since the yarn is a blend of wool and bamboo and the dye I used is for plant fibers, it's a very soft color and not quite heathered but not quite solid, either. I am very happy with this yarn.

This is Knit Picks lace weight yarn dyed with a dark green dye. I used a color resist in some areas then removed the resist and dipped it briefly into the same color to eliminate white  - it is an almost solid lace weight yarn destined to become some shawl or another. 

This is a sock blank from Knit Picks.  Molly gave it to me to try out. It is a flat piece of double knit fabric. I dyed it and then will knit a pair of socks from it, unraveling it as I go (instead of making a ball of yarn). There are two strands of yarn knitted together. This should make a look alike pair of socks, I would think. Thanks, Molly for letting me experiment with this.

This is Trekking yarn, dyed by me. I wanted a pair of tan or light brown socks with splashes of blue and dark green to go with a lot of my work clothes. The tan color was darker than I thought, so rather than dye the whole thing tan and the paint on the blue and green over it, I painted the entire skein. I am very happy with this yarn.  

I had some mohair that was part of a clearance bag of misc. yarns. I decided to play with it, made a huge skein - I think it was about 7 feet long - and put it into the dye pot after most of the vinegar water I had pre-soaked it in was dry. The result was a beautiful blue and white yarn in a very itchy mohair. LOL. I may never do anything with it except look at it, but I love the color and so I am happy.  

I am at the bind off on one basket weave sock. I've decided to do a picot edge but haven't settled on the method of picot yet, so it's not complete. I've been frogging the Wool in the Woods cotton linen top that I've been working on. Apparently I can't count to 2 on a regular basis so the double moss stitch was not correct. (blush) I am plugging along.

I have also been working with JoJoland Harmony. I had started the swirl shawl, then decided that the colorway I chose doesn't do that pattern justice. There just wasn't enough color changing going on for that pattern. So I browsed stitch dictionaries and chose the thistle flower pattern in Barbara Walker's second treasury. I have knitted and frogged that shawl so many times......

We hope to go on the boat this afternoon and evening but I am not sure about the weather. It's so hot and humid out that I will only work on non-wool, small projects. My choices are limited but I will have at least 2 projects on board.

It was a busy week last week and looks to be that way again this week. I am looking forward to the short week and long weekend, though. Have a good one. Remember to be safe if you use fireworks. Let's keep in mind the real meaning of the holiday, too, and spend some time thinking about why we celebrate that holiday. We are lucky to be Americans.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Rainbows (lots of photos)

Karen and I just got back from walking. We almost didn't go - I am not thrilled with walking in the rain. Recently, though, there have been a few times when we didn't walk due to rain and then found that it only drizzled so we could have. Tonight I was not going to let that happen. We did get wet, though it was on the tail end of the walk and actually felt good by that time (it helped cool us off a little). Near the end of the walk we got our reward. We saw a beautiful rainbow in the sky - very faint at first, then deepening colors, and then we saw another, just offset from the first one! 

We made our own rainbows over the weekend. I had a few friends over and we dyed yarn and fiber. Everyone had a different method of working but the results were great no matter how it was done.  

We dyed fiber:

And we dyed yarn:

and we dyed sock blanks. We are all anxious to see how the sock blank looks when it is knitted up. I'll try to get a photo of the one I painted when it is dry.

We knitted and ate and chatted and steamed in the warm, humid weather. At the end of the day we had beautiful fiber and multi-colored hands. LOL.

On Saturday DH and I went out on the boat. We had great weather. The mid to late afternoon into the evening is our favorite time of day to be on the water and the weather cooperated and did not send any thunderstorms our way. No fish were caught but we enjoyed the evening, dinner and I enjoyed knitting.

This morning it was back to work. I have another monitor visit this week - hopefully that will go smoothly. It will be too busy for me to work from home any day this week, but my first experiment with that went well, so I do believe it will happen again. Have a great week.

Friday, June 20, 2008

It's Friday and I worked from home

I really did work, too. I had 2 study binders that needed to be updated. I got everything done on those in about 5 hours. Then I took a break and went walking, and when I came back I dealt with 2 new issues that had come up. Everything is done and I saved gas and frustration and time by not driving. Yippee! I am hoping that I can do this at least once every two weeks, if not every week. I have to haul heavy binders home with me to work on but it's worth it in what I save, I think. I understand that more employers are allowing this recently.

We have water lilies blooming and I am very happy. Apparently so are the lilies. ; )

My basket weave socks are looking good. Here's the one that is further along. The yarn is Colinette Jitterbug.

and a close up of the pattern.

The tank top that I am ad-libbing a pattern for is moving, but slowly. This is a perfect *knit on the boat* project - worsted weight yarn, not a complicated stitch pattern and no wool or alpaca. Very necessary in the heat and humidity that is Maryland summers.  We haven't been on the boat much, so it hasn't gotten far. I have been doing a little work on it at home because I wanted to do the connection between the back straps on land. Rocking on the boat makes some maneuvers tricky. This photo is the front, being knitted top down, shoulder straps already connected. Once the back reached the same point, I will cast on more stitches for the connection of front and back under each arm. I think I will be working stockinette at about that point, or I will be converting to it soon after.

I started a new project the other night. I was browsing through my pattern collection and browsing on Ravelry. I have some yarn that was gifted to me a while ago with the intention of using it for the Pooling Colors Scarf . I was excited to try it, and try it I did. Over and over and over. After a while, every time I looked at that yarn I felt guilty for not being more stubborn, not figuring it out. It was a negative experience and not one appropriate to such beautiful yarn. I finally decided that it would be better to use that beautiful yarn for something.

The Montego Bay Scarf was one project that I liked. I wasn't sure about the color changes within the pattern but decided to try it. Quite a while later I finally had to make myself go to bed. The yarn is so soft and smooth and lovely that I want to just keep on knitting. I had thought that I would start the scarf and do just a few rows, then save it for when my socks are finished. I wanted a change from socks for a travel project and thought this would be it. It will be great, too, if I don't have it finished by that time. ; ) It's cashmere and beautiful.

My Cables and Os sleeves are waiting for me to attach them to the sweater. I don't see how I will find the time in the next few days so maybe I will "break the rules" and knit the neck band on next. Even picking up stitches doesn't take the same concentration as sewing in sleeves.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Wow! it's been a while

I've been to NY and back. I've moved my office across the hall at work. I've done gardening (it looks good but it's a little behind the growing season), dealt with a few family issues and I've been knitting and spinning.

I hope to have some photos soon of my knitting and spinning progress. It is a dark evening because of the clouds and rain we had earlier - not very photo friendly.

I bound off the sleeves  on Cables and Os! I have to sew in the sleeves, knit the neck band and decide whether I want front bands. That's all that's left to be done. yipee!

I am at the heel of my basket weave sock (my latest take along sock) on one and about half way up the foot of the other one.

I have knitted the front to the joining place and just started the back of the cotton/linen blend tank top in the Wool in the Woods yarn. (rose and green colors seen in the June 7 post)

Here's a picture of my previous travel project - a finished pair of socks in cotton/wool/nylon. This yarn was gifted to me in the mitten swap I participated in last year and I love it.

This is my latest spinning project. I am turning this

into this

an attempt to create a worsted weight yarn - 2 ply. We'll see how it goes, because this is not my *default* spinning weight. I've been using my drop spindle also - I finished the first ounce of that pretty blue fiber, wound it off onto a temporary bobbin and started on the second ounce while I was in NY. I'd like to go do more of that spinning now, so I will leave you with some pretty flower images (If I can get Blogger to cooperate for a change)

and a breathtaking sunset

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Birds are After Me!

Well, one bird was, anyway. It flew straight at my face and scared the you know what out of me. I screeched and nearly fell off the step stool I had been standing on trying to get a look inside the bird house. Yes, it was my fault that the bird flew straight at my face. I had watched the bird house off and on for a few days and had concluded that the residents had flown the coop. I was nosey, though and wanted a look. I took a step stool and placed it on the uneven ground near the house and stepped up, tried to see inside, got closer and aaaiiieee it flew right out at me. I ducked, and wobbled but managed not to fall or twist anything out of whack when I landed. Of course, I could not have been lucky enough for that little stunt to go unnoticed..... a man walking down the street called out 'Are you OK?" Face red, heart still racing I responded in the affirmative, took my stool and slunk back into the house. DH just shook his head.

Thursday night Needle Exchange at the LYS was good. We all, of course, re-hashed the paint smell thing. After that was over we chatted about vacations, kids, yarn and spinning. Several of the regulars at the Needle Exchange had been persuaded to purchase drop spindles and fiber at MD Sheep and Wool Festival, so we've been spinning a bit at our Thursday night gatherings, in addition to knitting.
Nancy's Labyrinth sweater is still thin (remember, it's a strip of knitting with increases and decreases that zig and zag that will eventually make a sweater) but growing and the yarn is so yummy. It's alpaca, which I love, and the colors will be shades of browns and grays. Karen's shawl with the silver in the yarn is gorgeous. The pattern is cool, Jade Sapphire's Swirled Pearl Shawlette (click on additional patterns, and it's the bottom right pattern) and the silver shot through the deep blue not quite solid yarn is stunning. Angela is working on a beautiful linen wrap. I love linen and this yarn is a Claudia's handpainted yarn so the colors are great. Of course there were socks and sweaters and other things being worked on as well, but those are my favorite things going on right now.

I am still working on the sleeves for my cardigan and I knitted another hex on the shawl.

I haven knitted and frogged and knitted on my new project. I added the stitches for the square neck on the tank top in Wool in the Woods Dunluce, knitted a few rows and decided that the neck opening would be too wide. I ripped back to the join and cast on fewer stitches for the neck. I need to knit a few more rows before I can tell whether I have the right number this time. The close-up of the stitch pattern is pretty accurate for color. 

My new sock is being knitted in Jitterbug. I thought I would make a stockinette sock with this yarn but when I had a few inches of the toe knitted it seemed to cry out for a simple stitch pattern. I search for a little while and came up with this basket weave pattern. It's simple enough that I can still use this as my travel sock but I think it shows off the yarn nicely. What do you think?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Knitting tonight!

I do knit most nights, at least a little, but tonight is knit night at my LYS so I get to chat and knit with like-minded people and that is good. DH tries, he really does, but he just doesn't have the passion of a knitter.

Last Thursday was a bit of a bust. The LYS is in a small strip center along with a copy store, religious articles store and church rooms and offices. Last Thursday the church group decided to do some sort of craft project that caused some problems for me. They had a painting project going on and they used some nasty smelling spray paints. The fumes came in first through the A/C system (there's no way to control it from the store, so we couldn't turn it off). We then moved outside because of the 5 of us there, 3 of us got headaches from the fumes. Of course, a few minutes later the church room door opened and out came people and paint fumes. I was coughing almost non-stop within a couple of minutes even being outside. I do have some respiratory problems, which they had no way of knowing, but anybody there could have had severe asthma and had a medical emergency as a result of their art work and the fact that they didn't warn us ahead of time. They wore masks while painting but didn't think that we (next door) would have a problem? I left, obviously, and let the store owner know.

This week should be better. I am looking forward to seeing Nancy's progress on her sweater and shawl. Nancy is knitting a Labyrinth sweater - she knits a long strip of knitting with increases and decreases that, when bound off, zig zags in different directions but when sewn together will be a sweater. She cast on something like 3800 stitches!!!! Each row takes a while, as you can imagine. She is also knitting a shawl in a very pretty cotton yarn. Karen was on vacation last week and her vacation knitting was with a yarn that has silver in it! It will be a shawl and I can't wait to see what it looks like.

Our first water lily bloomed this week. It's not fully opened in this photo - we left for the day before it was fully opened.

There is another lily in the pond and it was getting ready to bloom. We don't have enough room in the pond for a third lily, but I really enjoy having night bloomers in the pond also. I am home mostly in the evening, and I go to work most days at 6 AM so the day blooming varieties are not open when I am home except on the weekend. Night bloomers open as the sun goes down, stay open all night and close up with the rising sun. Much better for my schedule, but not in the cards this year.

We were out on the boat this past weekend and while we sat at the dock I was able to snap a few photos of this handsome Great Blue Heron.

We watched a beautiful sunset from the water.

I knitted and used my drop spindle on the boat. The forecast was for 15 MPH winds but it wasn't nearly that windy and turned out to be a wonderful evening. I used my drop spindle for a while, and knitted on a new project. I wanted to knit on something that I didn't have to watch very much while on the boat - it's kind of like reading in the car if I have to watch my knitting a lot on the boat - and I didn't have anything that fit the bill except for one felting bag that is in the works. I knew that wouldn't keep me busy all day so I cast on (sigh) for another project. I had purchased some Wool in the Woods yarn, a cotton linen rayon (I think) blend in worsted weight and I had already swatched for a tank top. I cast on for the bottom edge using Ann Budd's Handy book of Sweater Patterns as a guide and knitted a few rows. I then gave more thought to what I was doing and realized that I have no way to anticipate how long I can make the top if I knit bottom up. I frogged it and started at the shoulders. I am knitting moss stitch shoulder tabs and will soon cast on stitches to make a square neck line, then at some point I will change to a stockinette body for the rest of the tank, and probably go back to moss stitch for the bottom edge.

Have a good day. Tomorrow is Friday! yippee!