Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Here Bootie Bootie

Aren't they cute? I have been itchin' to see how this Alpace Cloud from KnitPicks would make up into booties. They are sooo soft, maybe one day I will knit me a little top out of it. Well, it wouldn't be so little. I think I would like to have this next to my skin. I got the chance since someone at work had a baby girl.

Knitting Knerd

I discovered, by accident, that unexpected things can result in the dye process. I was working with some punta from S. America and using Wilton Cake Gels in a green with the following result:

I have definate bands of color seperation here--it's all one color of dye. Here's a closeup:

I had this happen with a couple of other colors too. Royal blue and of course black. I have never had this happen using food colors or Kool-Aid. Foolish me, I didn't take pictures of these, I did bring them so school to show my chemistry students though.

This spun into a beautiful yarn that I finished with a navajo ply, but my camera doesn't do it justice, so I opted to not include a picture.

My dying method was the same--cold pour with a steam set. The concentration was very similar as well, so this leads me to believe that the breed of sheep caused the difference.

I think I will try some other colors this weekend to do some testing. I may even take the small amounts and blend it together which is something else I want to try...

Moral of the story----ALWAYS TAKE PICTURES!!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Tales from the kitchen

Seeing all the newly dyed fibers at a couple posts and the upcoming fiber fair, I had to do some dying myself this weekend. The first batch is a blue that is done with Wilton Cake Coloring Gels. These tend to be a little unpredictable with results, I have seen some beautiful examples of chromatography before. This time didn't give me quite that results, but there was a small amount of color seperation. I am happy with the results, but was hoping for more purple and magenta which has seperated out in bands in the past.

Second image was inspired from a bouquet of flowers I saw at the grocery store. There were these small intense lime green flowers in it. It was such an unsual color combination that I had to give it a go. I actually came pretty close. This was done all with Kool-Aid. We have black cherry, grape and a watermelon-kiwi one that they don't make anymore. Just the color I was looking for, good thing, it tasted terrible.

Saturday, August 27, 2005


I have to say I am much fonder of merino that the cordie. Isn't this a pretty picture? It is my preparations for the upcoming fiber fair. I am teaching my first fiber class on dying in the kitchen. The balls are all about 4 oz. each, I just got better at wrapping them as I went. I even remembered to wind a ball for me. This isn't a set up picture either, I happened to be winding them at the table in front of the vase of roses. What are the roses for? Tomorrow happens to be our 10th wedding anniversary. He can't believe I took a picture of 11 balls of wool. I said I coudn't help it, it just seemed so pretty.

Friday, August 26, 2005

It's Friday Night!

What does a teacher do at the end of the first week of school? She comes home to her spinning wheel and her good friend Mike and his twin brother. They got a little transparent as time went on. You can see them in the backrgound if you look carefully. More of the Blue Jeans roving. I think after I get to a certain point, I will knit and spin as I need it. That way if I have some extra, I can have the solid color.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Snip, Snip

These are the socks for my 5 year old ogre nephew (that is said with love). It really is his knick-name. I finally got around to getting the ends weaved in with my toddler watching. Went to get a drink, came back and found said toddler with scissors "helping Mommy". Snip, snip went the ribbing. Oh $#(@ went the Mommy. (Bad Mommy)

Good knews is after careful inspection, she only snipped through one of the strands on the ribbing. Will reinforce area and keep fingers crossed. Perhaps he will grow out of them before they start to unravel.

I know they don't match exactly. Cheapskate didn't want to buy a second ball to make them match. These were toe up and took just under 1 skein. I am not thrilled about the top, I tend to bind-off too tightly, so went up in needle size which made them too loose. When my son modeled them, they look better, but will need to experiment with some different cast-off techniques before attempting another pair.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Here I Sit...

I am still thinking about this yarn. And perhaps trying for a new digital camera for Christmas. I have been trying to get a good picture of this stuff. It's not cooperating, it is sitting in the chair being lazy, mocking me.

Here is the original thought I had intended it for: Classic Elite Yarns BamBoo Pullover. I thought the blues and greens would be like an ocean. I haven't had a chance to spin up any more at the moment. Thoughts? Suggestions?

I think that this weekend I may need to dye...

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

School starts tomorrow...

Well, maybe not tomorrow, but today was the first day of inservice for returning teachers. Morning consisted of listening to some speeches. Afternoon consisited of listening to presentations and looking at graphs of test scores. Lots of listening and not a lot else, what's a fiber fiend to do? Knit socks of course. When I started, I was just finishing the ribbing on the top.

Sock is knit on #2 Brittany needles, with KnitPicks' Simple Stripes in Autumn. I think the colors look a little better in person. It is nice to have a good brainless project once in awhile. The mate to this sock was knit mostly in the dark during a 10 hour ride to Wyoming.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Camping Canundrum

This is what I accomplished camping this weekend. Not sure if I like it. Perhaps I thought it would look different, I don't know. The best thing to do is probably put off judgement until knitting up a sample. I was so happy with the singles, but unsure about the plyed version. The Hubby and I are still having an argument over whether or not the emerald is actually emerald as it is named, or if it is teal. He says it's teal and isn't real fond of it. I love it. He likes the blue. I like the blue too, but if the plied isn't what I want, I have almost a pound of each and no thoughts of a finished project. Ho hum.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Yummy Yummy!

I couldn't take it any longer--it's been days since I have last been spinning and a brand new box of fiber.... forget the dirty kitchen--forget the dirty laundry--I need to SPIN!

Isn't it just beautiful? It is a superwash wool, and it is sooo soft and pulls so nicely! Usually I pull the roving into strips to make it easier to work with, but this I can spin it right from the bag. I thought I would get bored with just one color, but now I am not so sure.

In the Beginning...

There is roving, then there is singles, then there is two-ply, then there is hopefully a sweater....

A box from Paradise Fibers arrived on my doorstep today. The emerald and blue are supposed to be the beginings of a sweater with a wavy pattern to it--like the ocean. The blue was originally supposed to be a little more on the cobalt side, but alas, there wasn't enough in stock.

In the background you can see 4 pounds of merino. What in the world am I going to do with four pounds of wool? It's for a class that I am teaching at our fiber fair in September. I do a lot of my dying with Wilton Cake Gels and Kool-Aid and that is what we will be working with during the class. Of course I did order a little bit extra, I have to have something to keep me out of trouble.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Teeny Toes

I have been busy painting a few rooms in the house for the last few days of summer, but have gotten a little knitting done. These little socks were made from some leftover Koigu KPPM. They are destined to be a gift. The garter stitch toes and heels makes for a stretch to fit sock. The picture isn't the best, which is the reason for the delayed posting, they have been finished for a few days. I have always gotten great pics with my digital camera and now that I want to blog, it decides to be finicky.

Back to painting....

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Berry Cute

A finished Berry Cute Hat from Fiber Trends! I bought the yarn and pattern for this well over a year ago, perhaps even two....

I knitted it in Cotton Fleece from Brown Sheep. I had bought the pattern and yarn when I first started knitting "real" items after the fuzzy scarf epidemic. I saw it a long, long time ago at SkinnyRabbit and tracked the pattern down. I even used the same yarn as the one that inspired me.

This will probably be a fall, early winter hat, not sure if the 20% Merino will be enough when it is bazillion below. I keep reasoning with myself that it has to be warmer than 100% plastic but who knows.

Now on to the matching mittens!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Dancing Socks

The knitting part on these socks was finished a couple weeks back during a 14 hour car trip home from a wedding. I don't have a problem with kitchner stitch--except in the car. So they have been sitting in my knitting bag waiting for the finishing touches.

The yarn is KnitPicks's Dancing. It's a cotton blend. The pattern is actually modified from a Peaks'n'Valleys pattern from Mountain Colors. I like shorter socks and decided to do a picot edge instead of ribbing. The patterns was fun to work with and really easy once I got the rhythem down. Best part is it took just under one skein do a pair of socks. Perhaps there might be a Christmas gift with the other ball I ordered. I got lots of compliments on them from family members when I was working on them during the trip.

I tried and tried to get a good picture while they were on my feet--but it just didn't want to happen. Feet must not want to have their pictures taken.

My only complaint is that they are a little bigger (the socks) than I am used to, I could go down one needle size to a 1, but I think things might be too dense then.

Fingerless Mitts

One Christmas present down, how many more to go?

These were done with a hand-spun Merino two-ply. The dyes were a combination of Berry Blue Kool-Aid, Tropical Punch Kool-Aid and Lavender Wilton Gel with a cold-pour method. They smelled pretty good! The idea for this color combo came from a stained glass window at church. I came very close to the colors.

My favorite things is that though there are only three colors, but there are many more than three variations that occur in the dying and plying (hey--that rhymes) process.

Mmmm....merino.....much softer than the cordie.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


This is the second part of a batch of Corriedale roving. This batch was dyed using a hot-pour method with kool-aid. I have to admit that the colors were totally NOT what I had expected and was pretty dissapointed when the roving was drying. Now that it is spun up though, it isn't so bad and may actually be a pretty yarn when knitted up.

Still now so sure about the Cordie (as my husband calls it). It was a lot rougher than the other fibers I have used. Much shorter fibers which tended to get caught in each other, so it took a little longer to spin.

My First Post

I have always said that I wasn't a slave to trends and now look at this. I have to join the blog world--I am jealous of everyone's blogs and have to try my own hand at it. It's strange, you think of all the things that you could put on your blog put when you actually start you have a hard time thinking of what to post.

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