Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Sometimes it's easy being green

The peonies haven't even bloomed yet and we broke a record with 94 degrees this past weekend. It's been high 80's-90's since and rainy. Spring in Michigan can be anything I guess. I did have a little fun watching the ants work the buds so bloom is soon, very soon. I love the sweet scent of peonies and the absolutely huge blooms. They are starting to remind me of my knitting though, 'still in progress'. I am grateful to have the shawl to work on right now but I think it overwhelmed me to have one more thing on the needles. I'm declaring June a month to finish some things up before starting anything else.

The shawl is Kiri. I've admired how this pattern has turned out with other dramatically varigated yarns so I'm hoping this one will be successful as well. These things sure don't look like much during the knitting now do they...... but they do make a nice ending tribute to project spectrums month of May, green.

And if you didn't catch it, check out Lolly's final May post on Living Green. It's a great reminder as we enter those hectic summer months.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Fritillaries and Sheep Thrills





















Well I got my knit on......... sort of. My hand is still hurting and I have to be careful with it, at the same time I need to use it when I can so it doesn't stiffen up, so of course I have defined knitting as physical therapy. I can't purl with my left hand but I can knit so I've been continental knitting and english purling. It doesn't make for perfect tension so I don't want to affect any of the current WIP's. So what do you do when your knitting is a little precarious, your dexterity is a little wonky, and and your tension is a little loose? I figured on Lace, but nothing fancy.

That fingering weight merino from Marina hit the dye pot and out came the Fritillaries colorway. I'm confessing that I am a tad bit giddy. It was one of those moments that make you think you should hold your breath but I was too busy blowing on the yarn to help it dry. Having to wait overnight made me cranky and I was up at dawn to see if it really did turn out exactly how I wanted. So I grabbed my coffee in my monster Sheep Thrills mug from Kings Pottery and the monster ball of yarn and camped on the porch to knit for a few hours before it hit 92 degrees. Ahhhhh beautiful, I am definitely giddy. I hope everyone else is having as wonderful of a weekend!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Many Thanks

The lovely and talented Marina sent me yarny gifts - naked Henry's Attic Kona Superwash that I have been 'dyeing' to try! yuk! yuk! I couldn't resist :) Now what to do with this luscious goodness? I'm thinking a colorful handpainted shawl would be wonderful in the fingering weight. Something I wouldn't hesitate to grab and throw on since it is superwash, kind of like a favorite sweater, cozy and comfortable. I feel very honored that she shared part of her stash with me, Thank You Marina!


She was also asking about what I steamed my wool in and expressed that she was thinking of baking some in the oven. I bake sometimes too and pretty much do it the same way Amy does and she has been kind enough to post her method here Boogie's Oven Baked Wool. As for steaming, I just use a simple stainless steel steamer basket insert in a Corning Ware pot. I use the same pot in the oven too but without the steamer basket of course. And for big batches I use a roaster pan.

The biggest thing to remember is that the pot must be non reactive. So stainless steel, Corning Ware, Pyrex, or the roasters coated in porcelain, make sure there are no chips though. I like the steamer for when I really do want some of the colors to bleed together for a good blend. The oven is great for larger batches and when you want to keep more color distinction. Make sure you don't over cook it or let it dry out. There are a lot of tutorials out there to dye in the crock pot too but the one I picked up gets to hot and the wool boils and shrinks - not what I was looking for so I'll have to find another one.

Maybe I can get some dyeing done while this hand heals. It does improve everyday but it will take awhile more. The whole situation was unreal and I've been in a bit of a shock really. Like a glitch in reality that seems to prevent me from getting to the next step, a skipping record that just needs to move on already. Looking for a new shawl pattern should help. If you have any favorites that are nice in the fingering weight I would love to hear about them. Thanks to everyone for the healing thoughts, I really appreciate it.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Owwwwieeee!!!!

See that?! That hurts! Dog bite, first time I got hurt in animal rescue. Happened Saturday and it is starting to heal but I still can't use it. Hurts like @$%%^^#@!! Can't knit, can only type one handed which is soooo slow as to defeat the purpose of typing. Am I whining enough, probably yes.

I do have goodies to share though and Thank You's to send so I better get a move on if I'm giong to get them posted this century! Oww.......

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Forever in Blue Jeans.....

These 13 hour days are really cutting into my fiber time! And my jeans time too. After working 9 hours and commuting 3 1/2 to 4 hours I've been really strapped for minutes. They have completed one section of road construction so hopefully things will speed up shortly. Either that or I'm going to have to learn to knit while driving, or sitting in traffic as the case may be. I'm not complaining too much though since this getting paid thing is really helpful, but hey, we all want the best of both worlds right!?

Remember that blue jean lace weight yarn I was bemoaning awhile back? The yarn was nice but didn't suit the project. I had the options of modifying the project to suit the yarn or modifying the yarn to suit the project. I chose the latter and frogged my progress. I reskeined the yarn and over dyed it.

Because it was already dyed in larger sections that were higher contrast, I used variation in the medium and darker ranges adding in a little purple in one direction and a little green in the other. I applied it randomly to blend it out a bit. The end result is even better with blue jeans and definitely suits the pattern better. I really like it now. The update on the color makes it exciting to knit even the simplest pattern. I am also glad that I took the time to rip out my initial effort and start over. I am much much more comfortable with itty bitty yarns now and it shows in the execution - balanced and even, just like it should be.