Sunday, July 30, 2006

This and That

Saturday's Sky for Sandy. I took the picture on Saturday but I was computer challenged in getting it posted. I love the shot so I'm sharing a day late :) It is Queen Anne's Lace season in Michigan and I keep wanting to pull over on the road and take pictures with all the other wildflowers that show it off. I'm going to have to break down and do it because it makes the most lovely colorways.

This Saturday I took Kya and we manned (and canined) the booth for the rescue group at a huge Pet-a-palooza event in the area. She loves all of the attention but it was around 95 degrees so it made for a long day. It was well worth it though, we spoke with dozens of people about the breed and the horrid conditions in the greyhound racing industry. I hear we got a few adoption applications submitted too, Yeah!

And last Saturday I got to amuse the ladies at the LYS by showing up in a t-shirt and a Shetland wool vest on an 80 degree day! It was wonderful, Cristal was in and she was the one that helped me verify that my colorway would work and critiqued my first fair isle swatch. And Joan (LYSO) was in, albeit busy until we interupted her, and I was delighted to receive a very genuine and super huge smile as she congratulated me on Rosemarkie. Unfortunately, none of us had a camera so you get a really tacky and fuzzy shot in the mirror. See, it does fit! And I'm not really camera shy, but every time I looked I'd goof up the angle so this is the best I got. And yes, it does have the timer do-hickey but I didn't feel like figuring it out and setting it up. Maybe next time :) I had a good chuckle with Cristal over my fair isle "hat". When I first read AS's Fair Isle book it was absolutely perfect for me. I had a great time swatching everything under the sun in stranded color, two handed and happy. I marched in to the LYS and declared that I wanted to knit a simple fair isle sweater - maybe one with just a border to start. Joan advised that I should knit a hat. "But I don't want to knit a hat, I want to knit a sweater." "But you should knit a hat, you don't even know if you like it." "But I love it and I don't want to knit a hat." back and forth we went until I conceded and said I would make a lovely hat. I came back the next day and found the Celtic Collection and began picking out my sweater lol. I love the challenge and she was just trying to save me from spending a lot of money and maybe not liking it. She is a wonderful lady and runs a wonderful yarn shop that specializes in the traditional knits. Unlike the other shop nearby that suggested a handpainted boucle for a dk weight substitute for a stranded colorwork sweater. I stared at her wide eyed, shuddered, and left the building. wow.

And for the lovely Lolly (actually for me, just inspired by the month of purple) I made some wonderful and scrumptious superwash merino sock yarn. I love it. Superwash is very slippery and not the easiest to spin. This is from the very first batch of roving that I bought to learn to spin on. This was another purchase that Joan in her infinite wisdom advised me against. While she was right, I persevered and after spinning for a year, I had no problems with it at all and will have some terrific purple socks :)

Oh, and I found out that they are having a knit night next Friday in the evening - so if all goes well and I can get out of work early, I may get to watch some real knitters in action! Sweet!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Lovely Handspun fun!

Isn't that gorgeous? Looks just like sunshine! It's a beautiful skein of handspun cotswold fleece from Sydney over at Tigers in Red Weather. She held a contest on her blog and used a random number generator to choose a winner, and that winner was me! I like that, I do :) It's her own handspun and I was quite excited when it came in the mail - quite "Feeling Tangerine" don't you think?! I haven't decided what I shall make of it but Kya thinks it would make luscious legwarmers as it happens to match her fall coat. She keeps eyeing it, I have to watch her, she's a sneaky one, she is. Thanks very much Sydney!!

Actually in that photo she's pleading for a walk. I've been working some overtime and between that and the heat, it's cut into the nightly walk time. How long do you think I managed to hold out against that look?

I did manage to get a little spinning done, not a whole lot but a start. And it's Project Spectrum Purple too. I've got some sock yarn to do in shades of purple as well, hopefully next week. I seem to do alot of heathers, I really like the blended colors and all the crazy shades you can mix in. I ordered the J&S shade card and I'm anxiously waiting on it. Meanwhile, I'm mixing my own.

I was thinking how fun I thought it was to win the handspun yarn from Sydney and I thought it would be nice to continue the trend. I have some fleece I'm working on and some ideas, so stay tuned and maybe I'll come up with something to share :)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Let loose the hounds!

I hung out with Alice this weekend and made some progress on Anne Boleyn. The long floats are not my favorite but do you see the Hounds? The next pattern band has Falcons. I thought this sweater was perfect - I've definitely got the hounds and Falcons have always been one of my animal totems.

One of the things I realized while watching the video was that it was the first time since I started knitting that I actually got to watch someone else knit. Especially fair isle. I've done all of my research on the internet and in books so except for the little videos on, I haven't seen other people and how they do it. I do remember my grandmother from when I was a kid but not in any detail. I would love to find a group locally to talk to some people, I think it would help me out with my technique - even in slo-mo those shetland knitters are FAST, wow.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Do you dream in color?

So what have I been up to? Squid soup perhaps? Kind of looks that way doesn't it?

No, that is some wonderful Romney lambs fleece that was one of many, many dye pots this week. You see, I finished Rosemarkie and then I started thinking. And when I started thinking I had these beautiful images of delightful colorways. I carried the only color card I have all over with me - checking different lighting, different wattages of light bulbs, natural sun and shade, with differing color combinations and gradients, on and on. Then I wanted to swatch of course and see how all these mysteries of my mind really looked in the clear light of actuality......

But I don't have that big bucket of all the colors to swatch with, or any scraps from prior projects (ok, I have six skeins - but the wrong colors!). So I'd have to order the colors and wait for them to ship and then remember what that beautiful image was.......that would of course require patience. I have less of that than skeins. So I did what any impatient, fair isle knitter would do - I broke out the dye pot and tried my hand at capturing some of those colors.

I wasn't actually nuts enough to try and spin each individual shade into it's own individual skein but I wanted an idea of how the core of them would work together - so I spun them together (remember that patience thing?) And I got a swatch, a nice simple *small* swatch (that's what they really look like Marina :) Now, I think the colors are great and there are about 8 more shades that go in there. So now I'm thinking yeah, maybe I should swatch those in actual shetland, maybe the wait would be worth it and I could always use them in the sweater.....

......and about that time I started thinking some more and realized I'm creating colorways for unknown sweaters - sweaters without patterns, sweaters that do not exist! What would I swatch??? I started to feel like Brad Pitt's character in Twelve Monkeys ((Games) Colors, locked up colors, colors that want to get out!). And the really scary thing? There's more, the wool is still drying.....

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Ever tried to pee with a greyhound in your lap???

Just checking.

Happy Independence week - Love those fireworks, don't you!?! ;) ugggh