Friday, August 1, 2008

What have I been up to?

Sorry- fell of the "Blog Wagon" there for a while. I've been busy, knitting and staying busy with the kids. Here's a couple of project updates:

Christmas Balls

Baby Sweater

Felted Basket

"Hey Teach!" Sweater

I'll try to be better about blogging!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Natural Dyeing Experiments #2 and #3

Here's my next two experiments with natural dyes. This one is a superwash sock yarn, dyed with Logwood Blue, Lac (burgandy/purple-ish pink) and Cochineal (lighter, reddish-pink). I totally love how this turned out!
Reskeined, it's a beauty!
Next, I dyed up almost 2/3 of a POUND of wool roving in the five different dyes, and got interesting results with the exhaust. From left to right, Osage Orange, Madder, Logwood (was BLUE! I think I should have added more dye or less wool, but it is a nice beige shade!), Cochineal, and Lac.
Once it dried completely, I folded, braided, and rolled it. This pancake is HUGE! (10 1/3 ounces!)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Natural Dyeing Experiment #1

Wow- two whole months! I'm such a slacker!

Not much exciting to blog about- just a couple of pair of socks for the SAM5 knit-a-long. BUT- on to the title- I aquired a bunch of natural dyeing supplies from Maiwa and got BUSY!

Behold- Experiment #1

Yarn: Cascade 220 (1 skein) Originally natural colored.

Dyes: Madder Root, Osage Orange, and Logwood (blue), premordanted in Alum & Cream of Tartar
Simmered at 140 degrees in quart jars for about 1 1/2 hours.

Rinse- it took about 8 rinses for the Madder section to (finally) run clear.

Outside Drying! These colors are SO vibrant! I have plenty of dye left in the jars- I'm mordanting some spinning fiber now to use as exhaust.

I also have dye material steeping (Lac and Cochineal) to try some more tomorrow. I have one skein of bare sock yarn premordanting now, but I have plans this evening, so it'll have to wait until tomorrow (at least.)

I found MY summer time-waster! LOL!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Slacker! Couple of FO's

I won't bother trying to explain how busy I've been or give excuses as to why I haven't posted. Let's just gloss over all of that and go directly to my most recent F.O.'s, shall we???

Finished my Salto socks today! I used Zitron Trekking Pro Natura in a lovely chocolate-brown color. Worked these on 2.0 and 2.25 mm needles (Harmony wood Knit Picks DPN's) and they came together pretty quickly! Love the cable work, and they're much more impressive looking than your average plain sock!
Next up (actually- I finished this before the socks- kind of an interlude between sock 1 and sock 2!) is my first Baby Suprise Jacket. I aquired the pattern leaflet (an Elizabeth Zimmerman design) from ThreadBear in Lansing, but I owe much thanks to Dawn for her online notes, as the EZ pattern is definatley not a line-by-line guide! Absolutely will be making another one of these!

This one is made from Elegant Yarns Fantasy, also found at ThreadBear, and it's 99% done. Needs a little crochet edging around the neckline and some buttons, which I haven't looked for yet.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Finished Noro Socks

Finished up the Noro Socks today- here's the specs:
Yarn: Noro Kureyon Sock
Colorway: S-40
Needles: 2.5 mm Opal Bamboo DPN's
Pattern: Improvised- based on my usual sock recipe (toe-up, gusset, short-row heel) but with a tiny cable running up the top of the foot. Topped off with a couple of inches of 2x2 ribbing so I can fold them down in the spring/summer.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Spinning Update

I purchased this fiber from "All Spun Up" on Etsy (see post below) a couple of weeks ago. It's 70% superwash Merino wool and 30% Alpaca. Tonight, I spun up about-half into 3-ply (Navajo-ply) sport-weight yarn, approximately 12 WPI. This skein is about 65 yards, and is around 2.1 oz. Lovely, isn't it?!?! Once I spin the other half, this will become a pair of socks for me. I love the "neutaral- goes with jeans" color scheme.
Hopefully I can get some more spinning time in soon and get the other half plied up!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Red Wings Shorties

Just finished this cute pair of cutsom shorties for a friend of mine. Made from Knit Picks Wool of the Andes (White) and Patons Classic Merino (Red.)
(The legs are actually the same length- I obviously didn't lay them exactly flat when I photographed them!)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Two-Fer!

The first part of this "Two-Fer" is my first skein of spun silk. The second aspectis my first beaded yarn. Behold! Approximatley 95 yards of 3-ply silk yarn, 2 plies are spun silk and 1 ply is commercial sewing thread to which I strung on 100+ size 11 seed beads in a variety of coordinating colors.
Too bad my camera doesn't handle close-ups very well! You can see some of the tiny seed-beads spun in there on the right-hand side. This stuff is SO shiny!
Here's what I started with- a length of hot pink and electric blue unspun silk. Purchased from ThreadBear in Lansing last week 2/13/08 when dh and I managed to get out of the house without the kids to see "The Blind Boys of Alabama" in East Lansing.

Working on a pair of shorties (Detroit Red Wings theme this time) for a cloth-diapering friend, along with the Noro Socks (one is DONE! Second one is casted on!) and the hibernating Autumn Cardigan. Don't know why I can't get it in gear to work on that- I tried last weekend and only managed about 8 rows on one sleeve before I switched to something else. :sigh: I think it's the tiny DPN's. With such a huge body going, row after row on little DPN's doesn't seem much like progress. I've heard others have stalled out at this point in this pattern too, so I'm chalking it up to "normal."

Monday, February 18, 2008

Malabrigo Baby Sweater

First up today is a teeny-tiny baby sweater made from one skein of Malabrigo (colorway "Curacao") for Baby Sainz. A co-worker of mine just found out their firstborn will be a boy, and thus I had to "get busy" with the tiny clothes. This sken of BUTTERY soft merino has been itching (not literally!) to become something adorably tiny, so I sat down and "winged" it, no pattern. I wish I could write up the pattern, but it's not a 'perfect' design by any means. The arms are a bit skinny, but newborns tend to have wiry arms, eh? (Mine did!) I'm so excited for them, I can hardly contain myself! This baby has been a beautiful blessing, and has brought new life into a tough work environment.
Picked up some silk to spin while stopped at Threadbear in Lansing before the "Blind Boys of Alabama" concert on Friday night. I truely wish I'd had more than 20 minutes to spend in there. Absolutely going to have to make it a day trip next time!

Scored some merino/alpaca roving on Etsy last week, a fantastic shop called "All Spun Up." I can't hardly decide what to spin first!
Although truely, I should be working on some WIP's, right?!?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wyatt's "Hot Legs" Longies, half-of-one Noro Sock, and "WhatIfKnits" Raffle

1. Recently completed (except for installing the elastic in the covered waistband) longies for a dear friend's ds, Wyatt. Dad's a huge Jeff Gordan fan and wanted a pair that would mimic his colors/theme:

2. Showing off the start of my Noro sock yarn sock. Simple stockinette with a tiny cable running up the front of the foot. I might add one later that runs up the back of the calf, but I haven't decided yet! (The cable shows now on the 'side,' since this sock-fetus is currently laying sideways. Not that the picture shows it well anyway! LOL!) I'm really loving this yarn, even with it's unusual pseudo-single ply and a touch of thick-and-thinness. It's softer than I expected, and coming together nicely on 2.5 mm needles. (US size 1.5)
3. WhatIfKnits is hosting a rafffle with some AWESOME prizes in exchange for making donations to chosen animal welfare or protection groups, or your local equivalents. I donated to Harbor Humane Society's "Hope Fund," and hope you will consider entering this raffle and supporting a good cause.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sam's Stripey Socks- DONE!

Here's my February socks! Started them yesterday, 2/2 and finished tonight before half-time 2/3/08. They're made for my 6-year-old son, and he LOVES them already!Yarn: Regia Stretch Color, 50 grams (tiny bit left over.)
Pattern: Improvised toe-up, 2x2 rib on top of foot and all of leg, gusset w/turned heel.

Colorway repeats were not exactly the same length in each repeat, which bugged me but Sam says that makes them "special," so it works for me! :)

Sam's Stripey Socks

Taking a break from the Autumn Cardigan has given me a chance to make a pair of socks for my son, Sam. He's been asking for socks since I finished Emily's handspun rainbow socks (below) so I picked up a ball of Regia Stretch Color (he only needs 1 ball to make 2 socks, lucky me!) and got started yesterday. Even though I had a raging headache, I finished one sock yesterday and hope to have these finished today. Good mindless Superbowl Sunday knitting, for sure!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Steeking 101

Finished knitting the body of the Autumn Cardigan. Time to STEEK!

Someone once asked me if there was anything (knitting related) that I was scared of. It took me a long time to answer, as I'm pretty much an "I can do that!" kind of gal. The closest thing I could come up with is steeking. Taking scissors to something you've spent so many hours on, knowing that one wrong 'snip' and there-she-goes all unraveling and becoming a limp pile of kinked threads.... okay, so it worries me a bit. But, I've done it before and I'll do it again, so here she goes!

A. Body of a fair-isle peice that needs some steeking!
B. Machine stitching zig-zags down one side and the other of the 'center' row that will be cut. (This is an arm whole.)
C. Lots of places to steek in this particular pattern! Here's the long-stretch down the front of the cardigan.
C. All sewn, ready to cut. (Yes, the kids must have hid my good scissors! All I can find is their 'kiddie scissors,' but they'll work! The steek must go on!)
D. Hold your breath and CUT!
E. Voila! Instant cardigan!
I've picked up stitches and have about 2 inches of one sleeve done, but I'll photograph that when I get something that looks like progress. I'm setting this aside for a couple of days; I'm starting to burn out on it and don't want to end up hating it. Plus, I think it's going to be too small, although washing/blocking might take care of that problem. I think I just need a break!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Emily's Easter Egg Rainbow Socks

These are of the superwash merino I hand dyed and hand spun myself! Pattern was pretty-much a take on Fleeegle's toe-up short-row-heel sock, but with some of my own twists thrown in.
About 2/3 done with one of the JoJoLand spiral socks, and almost finished with another row of leaves on the Autumn Cardi, but I'll update those when I have something more intersting to photograph!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Drive-by Update

Still plugging along on the Autumn Cardigan- almost done with the third row of leaves! (5 rows total) Have to take frequent breaks due to the needle size (US-4) and colorwork, but I'm totally loving the pattern.

On other fronts- I've finished one of the hand-spun socks for Emily (the 'Easter Egg Rainbow' yarn) but haven't had time to work on the other one. Little progress on the Jojoland spiral socks too- BUSY week!

Of course, today I have NO excuse, as we have our first Snow Day of 2008. Here's a view of the back porch. Gotta' love the Left Coast of Michigan in January!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Autumn Cardigan- Progress

Just wanted to drop a quick update on the Autumn Cardigan. It's coming along quickly now that I finished the ribbing! Almost done with one row of leaves. I LOVE how the colors are coming together!

On other fronts, I'm 99% done with one of the Easter Egg Rainbow socks (in Em's size) and about half-done with one of the Jojoland swirly socks (my size) but I didn't snap pictures yet. What's to see but two not-done socks?
I have a feeling I'll be obsessed with this Autumn Cardi until it's DONE! LOL!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


I'm so excited! (Can you tell???) My Kauni yarn finally came!

I have big plans for this yarn: an Autumn Cardigan, as designed by Ruth Sorensen.

The colors I chose are EQ (rainbow- for the leaves) and EK (greens/yellows- for the background) like the version pictured on the left in the pattern. I'm almost done casting on the bottom rim, and can't wait to see the colorwork emerge.

Final Photo of Hannah's Slippers- Emily gave these to their new (very happy) owner yesterday, the first day back to school from holiday break:
Off to knit in my happy chair. Good night!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

"Leftovers" socks- first FO of 2008

First finished object(s) of 2008!

Specs: Socks -small ladies size, using leftover OnLine Supersocke (from Sarah's socks, below) and some solid turquise Brown Sheep Wildefoote. No, the toes don't match, but OH WELL! That's why they're called "Leftovers!"
Yarn from yesterday isn't dry yet, so I'm not sure what to cast on next!

From "Zebra Stripe Gum" to "Easter Egg Rainbows"

My adventures in dying and spinning- 12/31 (dying) and 1/5 (spinning):

1. Start with 4 oz of superwash merino roving that's been calling my name for MONTHS!
2. Divide into six equal 'bumps' since I have six tablets of Easter Egg Dye.
3. Give each bump a home inside a ziploc bag.
4. Prepare the egg dyes with a splash of vinegar.
5. Add warm water to each Ziploc until the fiber bumps are soaked, then add a cup of dye.
6. Stash the ziplocs into pre-warmed crock pot with water, turn on low, and go do something for a couple of hours.
7. Once the water in each ziplock is clear (all dye is taken up by the fibers) remove bags from crock pot and let cool.
8. Rinse with clear same-temp water a couple of times and lay out on a towel. Roll the towel up and squeeze out excess water.
9. Hang to dry on dowel (along with a couple of skeins of hand-spun Brown Sheep mill-ends yarn. May as well multi-task!)
This is where my dh walked in and said "Hey- first it was Hippy Guts and now you have Zebra Stripe Gum!" I can always count on him for comic relief!
10. Once COMPLETELY dry, divide each color into four (relatively equal) segments, and roll into color-sequence bumps. (I off-set each 'bump' by about 1/5 of the red/pink so the color repeats when I did 2-ply would be a little bit off-set.)
11. Spin fine singles.
12. Finished! 2 skeins of 2-ply fingering weight "Easter Egg Rainbows" yarn! Can't wait for it to dry so I can knit socks!