Dyeing for New Yarn

Last week I took this:

Knit Picks Bare Fingereing

and put it in this:

a bowl of water.

Then I cooked up some of this:

 dye from the walnuts off of our tree

and added my yarn:

I let it simmer all day and all night:

then hung it out to dry:

don’t worry, I put it in the shade after photographing it.

When it was dry, I wound it into a cake:

and oohed and ahhed and made everyone in the house smell it and touch it and admire it and compliment my dyeing prowess.

And this concludes my first attempt at dyeing yarn. I am not incredibly thrilled with the outcome – I had hoped for a more tonal variegation rather than straight tan. I also was looking for something a little more akin to purple. However, this wasn’t about getting a certain end, but rather the learning of a new skill. I think it is only the beginning. It was incredibly exciting.

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Evidence of My Insanity

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time then you know that I am a little crazy.

Okay, a lot crazy.

Case in point:

I recently yammered on and on about how I hate knitting diaper covers. I was so excited to be free from that chore when I bought pocket diapers. I believe my exact words were, “I may be the Benedict Arnold of the Knitting World, but I think I can live with that. Meanwhile I am going to hand this stinky baby to The Man for him to change and I am going to knit a not-a-soaker knitting project.”

Wanna see my most recent finished project? (Ravelry page here)

See? I told you I am crazy!

In my defense, this is no ordinary pair of longies. Firstly, this yarn is not only DK (rather than worsted), but it is the lovely Sanguine Gryphon Traveler. Two hundred and eighty yards of pure heaven. The colors! The texture! The smell! I love this yarn!

Secondly, the baby needed some pants. One small fact that I forgot to put into the equation when I traded up diaper systems was that when one doesn’t knit cute soakers, one must buy pants, skirts, shorts and bloomers. I had forgotten that all those hand knit soakers were actually parts of the wardrobe as well. I am keenly feeling their absence. So, knitting pants for the baby was the most logical choice. (crazy, remember?)

Thirdly, this yarn wanted to be pants for V. Honestly! I cast on a sweater with it as soon as it came in the mail. I took it on vacation. I worked and worked. I also ripped and ripped. I frogged it back from almost complete four times before I got the hint. It did not want to be a sweater. Who am I to argue with such a lovely yarn? Give it what it wants! And it wanted to be pants.

I can say honestly that I enjoyed every stitch of this project, even the ones that got frogged repeatedly. The way the colors play across the strand of this magnificent yarn is dazzling. V will probably get more knit pants in the future…. when I can order a few more skeins of Traveler in some different colorways.

All I Need to Know About Life I Learned From a Knitter

Okay, not really. But, my kids are learning some important things because of my hobby. Things like:

Never get between Mama and her knitting bag while she is knitting.
It makes her mad, and you might get tangled up in the yarn.

Look before you leap.
Onto the couch. You never know what knitting project might be sitting there like a little porcupine with needles sticking out all over.

Some yarns may be scratchy.
But not merino.

The internet is a useful tool.
With it you can get on Ravelry
.

Don’t throw your sweater in the hamper.
Unless you want it to fit your doll.

Sometimes love comes in the form of wool.

Comic drawn by The Bookworm. She gets it. 🙂

Retreat!

Remember that lone moth that terrorized this once happy knitter?

He wasn’t alone.

Cue scary music….

So, I decided it was time to call in a full retreat. Three boxes of ziplock baggies later, and my stash looks like this:

Not very inspiring, is it?

I am going to miss my baskets of yarn. I am going to miss being inspired by the sight of them. But I have invested too much money in it to let it turn into moth food.

Kinda gives more weight to Matthew 6:20, doesn’t it?

“But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

Did I Tell You I Like Purple?

Well, I do. A lot. See?

This is my lusciously purple Chandra shawl, knit in Madelinetosh Eyre, Duchess and Wisteria. It is a fabulous merino/silk blend which cost more than I liked, but was a pleasure to knit.

I made a big boo-boo on this, though. Somehow, by some strange genius on my part, when I was casting on, I added one extra repeat without knowing it. Weird, right? And, of course, I didn’t find out until I was nearly finished with the whole piece because of the nature of the construction. As I started getting closer and closer to the end of the short rows and it became evident that one side had an entire repeat more than the other, I shrugged my shoulders and kept going. I wasn’t going to frog it. So, here is my mistake (personal touch?):

When folded in half, the ends don’t match. But, it can be worn in such a way that it won’t matter. It is such a snippet of a thing.

One note, however, is that the top edge rolls terribly when knit as written. If I were to make this shawl again, I would definitely do something about that. And, I would cast on the correct number of stitches, too.

Otherwise, I have a new, gorgeous, silk/merino, handknit, purple shawlette just in time for Fall. Isn’t knitting grand?

It’s a Mystery

A mystery knit-a-long, that is. However the real mystery is if I will be able to wrap my post-pregnancy-milk-making-half-starved-totally-fatigued brain around the complicated lace that is being doled out! (Did I say half starved? Make that perpetually eating yet never satisfied…. Pass the chips, please.)

As for the actual knitting I am averaging about two rows a night on this bottom up shawl (the rows started out in the hundreds but get progressively shorter as you go). I am using this yarn from my stash and some beads that I got in a recent swap.

Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Lace 

This is my first beaded knitting project, so I am super thrilled. Also, it is a Kitman Figueroa design (remember the Jaali shawl?) which pleases me as well. Her lace is exquisite, challenging, and, well, totally awesome.

I will keep you posted on my progress. Oh, and I have one more finished project to show you tomorrow and then you will be caught up on the camera-free knitting that happened this summer… I think.

Now, back to “solving” that mystery.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Autumn Bliss (for knitters, that is)

Ah, Fall. The chill in the air. The cloudy mornings. The bite in the wind that tells you autumn has finally arrived.

The time for knitters to rejoice. Out come the sweaters and shawls that have been stashed away. The scarves and hats that have been forgotten all summer make their return.

And the socks. Oh, yes, the socks.

This is why I knit. (well, not why. But definitely a big perk.)

I know you have seen these before, but as I slipped them over my cold toes this morning I remembered how much I really love them. My first socks (knit for me), newly darned and ready to go.

Contented sigh.

Just Call Me Benedict

I feel so guilty. Like a traitor to the knitting world. I have gone against my wooly good sense. I have thrown away years of lanolized conviction.

I switched to pocket diapers.

For years I used contour diapers with Snappi and wool soaker. For years I have sewn my own cloth diapers and dutifully knit covers. I have an extensive library of patterns for soakers, longies, and skirties. I have most of them memorized.

But, Ladies, I must confess that I am tired of knitting soakers. I am, dare I say it?, *sick* of knitting soakers. And it casts a pallor on everything that I knit. “This lace sure is fun, but I ought to be knitting another soaker…”

And then, a friend (and fellow knitter) gave me five pocket diapers. Just enough for a trip to town, or a few hours with a babysitter. And I was hooked. I mean, seriously hooked. All of the sudden I wasn’t the only one in the house who would change a diaper. It was liberating, I tell you.

I was so giddy with my new found freedom that I ordered a few more of the wonderful little things (a few or twenty five. Whatever).

The point is that now I can knit whatever I want! All that worsted weight yarn? It is totally freed up to be used on *whatever I want!*

I may be the Benedict Arnold of the Knitting World, but I think I can live with that. Meanwhile I am going to hand this stinky baby to The Man for him to change and I am going to knit a not-a-soaker knitting project.

Life is good.