Saturday, December 27

The last of the Christmas knitting

I know I said sewing pics but this is a knitting blog and I do have knitting pictures so it only makes sense that they would be posted first. :)

Here is my mom's mug cozy. Exact same as the other two but in a random brown acrylic. No idea if she likes it yet as I haven't been able to get out to her house to give it her. Hard to see detail I know but brown and black and red yarn are not very camera friendly.

This is the Top Down Timothy Hat. I found the pattern on Ravelry. This is the top. And why, yes, yes that IS my handspun. :) I'm rather fond of it. I used size 6's and did everything as written except for the cast on.At first I thought it was too snug. Heck, it fit me rather nicely and I don't have nearly as big a head as he does. :) I blocked it out and while it ended up being a bit over blocked (in my opinion since the ribbing flattened a bit...but not too much as it goes back to shape with some stretching) it ended up fitting him well. It was a bit snug at first but as he's worn it, the fabric has relaxed a bit. He took it snowboarding this morning and said it was great. Warm, long enough to cover his forhead and ears, and not too snug on the band at all.This is the "right side". Out of bordeom I threw in a couple cables though they are tiny (1 stitch ones) and short. Hard to see amongst all the color anyhow.This is the "wrong side". I much prefer this one. I like the majority knit stitch look going on. Only drawback is you loose the cool top one this side. I do have a bit leftover in this and the entire small skein of the solid brown. I might make something out of it but I don't know what. I'm interested in what my yardage was. I really need a yardage counter!

Monday, December 22

I'm feeling rather productive lately. Not sure if I really am or not but the feeling is definitely there. First up. the first skein from my Freyalyn's Fibers sock bats! It's another 14 ply/fingering weight yarn. It's currently BACK on the wheel though as my plying sucked horribly and it was a mess. Well not really but the parts that were spun tight enough to actually stick needed to be washed while the parts that weren't overspun didn't. Meaning when it did get washed some stayed and the rest sort of fell apart. I wasn't too pleased with it. I'm naming it "Cherry Glen" after the iris with the same name. Hard to tell in this picture but the colors remind me of it. I started this on my drop spindle and then transferred it to my wheel. Not sure I should have done that. I got to impatient to be done so I spun faster on my wheel than I was on my spindle. As a result the wheel spun portion is less even, the second ply (which was totally wheel spun) wasn't as long as the first, I have more slubs and more overall fuziness. Quite irritating. Let this be a lesson to take your time. Just because you can whip through something doesn't mean you should. :)
These are cabled mug cozies from here. Super fast and easy. The second one is a bit smaller (these were for my dad and his lady friend ;) ). I started the second one Friday night and brought it with me on Saturday when we drove down to see them. I finished it in the car but had forgotten to grab an extra skein (I didn't use a whole skein...just grabbed one that was floating free in the closet) and was cutting it close. I happened to have some size 6 needles in my bag and bound off with that (instead of a size g hook like on the first). Both cozies have about 6-10 rows less of the final 4x1 ribbing near the top and neither have i-cord ties, instead they have a 20 stitch crochet tie. The second one has 3ish rows less of the garter stitch topping and a regular knit bind off (the first has a crochet one). I much prefer the first one but they both turned out nicely and fit the mugs they were intended for. I have one more about to be started for my mom (in a brown). They are super fast and an enjoyable knit. My dad got his on Saturday and since Im lame and forgot the bag for them he got to "open" them then. He really liked them. They are nice and squishy too so it'll be nice on the hands.
Lion Brand Wool Ease
Size 6's, 8's, and a g hook
Less ribbing at the top
Less garter on one cozy

Ok, off to work on the last one.
New to do list:
1. Finish mom's cozy
2. Finish the husband's hat (looking awsome by the way in my handspun)
3. Finish fiber bags and fiber (stupid blasted machine that won't work!)
Coming soon: some random sewing pictures. :)

Friday, December 19

Trade longies are done...

and well on their way to the intended home!

I hope they fit. I tried them on the youngest wee one since her and the recipient are about the same size and they fit her pretty well. I tried them on over a larger prefold and the body stitches stretch a bit but not too bad I don't think.

Size medium
Short rows
10 inch inseam
Hand dyed yarn by me (I think I'm calling it just makes me think of there)
Cat Nip Yarns Licorice Twist
Garter stitch cuff
Elastic waistband

As a result of hand dying the yarn the legs are very much different from each other. I originally dyed the yarn for us. It was an experimental idea and it turned out quite well. I had thought I had enough but when I reaized I didn't I dyed the solid green for contrast. When I started up on the trade they are for I decided this yarn was much more them. I took it with me to my sisters house and started knitting. Split for the legs and split the ball in half (to ensure the same amount of yarn). Only I had forgotten how the yarn had taken the dye. See the darker leg up there? That's actually the outside of my ball. The other leg was closer to the inside. The way I dyed it made the outside much darker. Not a big problem really. When I split though the darker leg had a large chunk of much darker spots. Very little of the lighter stuff. I ended up cutting off a good chunk for that reason. I think they turned out ok. The mama said she likes them. The yarn changed patterning on the entire thing. Despite my own personal ocd tendencies I do like that and wish they were ours. Even the husband was dissapointed that they aren't. :)

New down to the wire list:

1. Finish S's coffee cup cozy

2. Start on Mom's

3. Finish the husband's hat (yup, found a pattern and think it'll work)

4. Sew G's stocking (the next couple posts as a result are going to be sewing related...I have some things I finished I want to share).

I'm pretty sure that's all I need on that list. I have to finish another hat but that's not for Christmas. It is on the list though. We are travelling tomorrow (weather permitting....please oh please!) so maybe I'll bring that and the husband's hat to work on.

Saturday, December 13

Coming down to the wire...

1. Finish bags and fiber samples (through the drum carder...more on that later)- 70% done
2. Trade longies- 10ish rows and a quick washing/lanolizing before mailing. Finish by Tuesday.
3. Hat for the husband- Hmmmm.

Wednesday, December 10

More yarn and some knitted stuff

Just plain ol' washrags. Bottom one is dark brown (there are actually 2 of those but one was in use at the time of the picture) and the top one is "Shaded Brown" or something like that. It's in the bathroom. It wasn't meant for there but it is and it's lovely. Both were done on.....8's? Yeah. That sounds right.
The remaining lavender BFL. Hard to see but there is a penny in there. Again, 15 WPI. It's currently on the needles as a hat. Because the first hat sucked ass and looked ridiculously stupid on my head. Lavender is not my color nor are hats my "thing". Le sigh.

Sunday, December 7

Version 3.0

Once again. My shorties turned longies. While at K's house I grabbed the newborn pair I had done, frogged all the other stuff I had done on the legs, frogged the newborn pair, and reknit the legs. Again. But this time they actually match the body and look good. :) I did the cuff a bit different this time. Well sort of. I bound off in the tiny bit of body yarn i had left. Gives it a little punch. I like them a lot this way. I'm glad I did it. I'm surprised I had enough for the legs. I have so little left of the newborn pair I couldn't even do another drawstring. I'm so so glad I did it this way though. I actually like them now. :)

Wednesday, December 3

Warning: Spnning, not knitting, content

Last weekish I took my wheel down to the only shop that deals with wheels in an attempt to get my maintenece kit. I had the forsight to call ahead and see if they had it in the first place. The lady said she had a half kit and to bring my wheel with me and what they ddn't have we could figure out. So glad I did! I got t all fixed up and working and came away with a lazy kate (bobbin holder) and some merino. Today's pictures brought to by the awesomeness of a working wheel (how many of you instantly heard Seasame Street voices with that sentence?).

Lavender BFL (blue-faced leicaster): part of the fiber swap I did (from flapjack on MDC).
15 WPI (wraps per inch)
2-ply/light fngering weight
Currently becoming this hat. I have about 5 more ncrease rounds left to go on it. It's knitting up nice and evenly and looks great (in my opinion). can't wait to wear it. I'm not normally a hat person, much less a slouchy beret/tam type but I think this will work. Especially with the new hair cut coming up. :)
"Sand Dunes" (my name) Merino bought from the wheel people.
16 WPI
2 ply/ light fingering weight
Next up to becoming a hat (for the husband)
I love how this turned out! It was black ,grey, white, yellow, a darker orangy yellow, and brown. I seperated out allt he chunks of color and then divided them into twog roups. I wanted even singles! The BFL had one single that was longer (hence the two skeins) so I was hoping to avoid that. I did a bit. I didn't have much left over and it was all one color (I plied it and am going to use it as a solid coordinating color). Once spun, I wound off each ply and plied them together usng one end from inside a ball and one from the outside. I like the barber pole effect. I did a swatch the other night and it knts up nicely. We shall see what it looks like in a pattern though.
I have another skein (red merino I bought last year) drying right now. Another 2 ply though I don't know the WPI yet. once I get pictures of that I'll post it/them. I do have some knitting content (with pictures though nothing to amazing) so stay tuned. I'll try and get them up n the next day or so.

Sunday, November 23

Shop update

Forgive me for not posting this last little bit. I've been on vacation. There has been knitting and there are pictures to prove it (though not much..redid the shorties turned longies again, did a washrag, and completed all but one leg on some trade longies).

Today's very brief post is brought to you by the power of an updated etsy shop! Everything is on sale!! Fibers and bags alike have had their prices cut! Go check it out. :)

Sunday, October 26

Occasionally I do knit

Fall is here. Obviously. We like the park. Cold and park do not normally go together well though. The oldest wee one has been wanting to go and swing for days now but the parent in me tends to kick in and say no, you're hands will freeze. So I got on Ravelry last night and tracked down a mitten pattern. It happened pretty fast and the knitting happened even faster! I love these. I'll be making more.
Pattern: These .... Kidlett Mittens. Done flat and in garter stitch. I did these in an unknown wool yarn (gift from a friend) on size 6's. Perfecct fit for my 3 year old.
Since it's colder here and the youngest wee one needs longies I've been working on some. I ended up frogging a pair because...well...they sucked. :) These former shorties still fit so why not make them longies!? I undid the cuff and picked up my stitches and went to work. They aren't my favorite and I need to figure out how to make the legs "fit in" better with the body. One problem is the body yarn is substantially more faded than the legs. I knew that would happen but I was hoping it wouldn't be as noticable. I am trying to come up with something to embroider on the upper body in an attempt to bring the darker bolder colors up and make the faded colors less obvious. I'm not sure it will work but who knows? I'm not in too big a hurry. They work, they look cute on, and they are done. That's all I was going for really. :)

Tuesday, October 21

Marie-Therese Gown GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Marie-Therese Gown GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

I's not knitting but DAMN! I have to enter. I have to. I must.

Friday, October 10

Something to get excited about!

(Fiber bag avalable over at my etsy store..filled here with 4 ounces of fiber...also good for knitting projects)
Not too long ago I joined the etsy mama's tribe on mothering. I posted a quickie to mark my spot so I could find it easy and then forgot about it. It popped up on new posts today wihch reminded me to go check on the store. It had been a couple days so I headed over and was surprised to see two conversations (basically emails hosted there on the site). I open them up and was even more surprised to see they were from the same person! Apparently they really wanted to talk to me. The person trying to get a hold of me was Jessie from PhatFiber ( ). Going to her site you won't find much yet. Her store though will be sampler boxes (her blog about it is here: ).
So the point of her getting a hold of me was to see if I would be a contributor to her debut box(s) in Jan.!! I'll be working on getting my samples worked up. There is a theme (Wintery Mix) so there will be some dyeing and some sewing and maybe some spinning. We shall see on that last one. I am so excited! What a nice little way to promote my stuff you know? I need to work up some business/promo cards to also include. I am so excited!
Nothing in my store has sold yet but I have hope. Woo hoo!

Wednesday, October 8

Feb. Lady Sweater...

"to fit a grown ass woman".

More like piss off a grown ass woman.

It does not matter how well I count or how many stupid little stitch markers I use or how slowly and deliberately I go by the end of row 1 (ONE!) of the lace pattern my count is off. I have avoided knitting on this damn thing for awhile because of it (and I'm still not happy with the arms). I finally pick it up since I actually have time and the mood to knit on it and what do you know, my count is off. It's getting extremely irritating. I'm on the verge of frogging the damn thing. I know in the end this will be one of those projects that was worth it but good grief! There may not be a "in the end" at the rate I'm going. I will finish this thing if it kills me though. And it may.
I am needing to write out a goals list. I have a lot of things on my plate that need to be knitted and be done with. I also need to finish the stupid q&a for the master's program but I'm avoiding it. Once my question gets answered over on MDC I'm putting a self-imposed knitting ban on myself. I just need to get this finished already! There isn't that much left to it and I'm dragging my feet. It's the easy stuff now too. I will finish that too!
Sheesh. How's this for a somewhat cantankerous post. :)

Monday, October 6

Are you ready?

Because within this post you will behold something so utterly fantastic it will cause you to wet yourself. Don't say I haven't warned you.

So the other day I called my mom up to see if I could borrow those combs. I had decided to participate in a monthly spinning challenge on Ravelry and the fiber I was working with would be best combed. She said sure and did I want her to send those two lovely Ashford spindles as well? Sure! And what about some fiber? Absolutely! And I have a question...would you like to try my wheel!!?? Ummmm....YES!!!So there it is. Sitting in my house. All for me. A lovely Ashford Traditional. I do need to run and get a maintence kit to replace some things but once I do that I will be good to go! That basket next to it has a ton of wool and a bit of llaama in it. Yesterday she sent me even more...a 13 gallon bag of wool (cleaned by was a raw fleece), a 12x8x8 box with store bought corridale (undyed! and in roving form), and a box that fit 12 32 oz. bottles in it full of gorgeous chocolate brown llama. I am so excited at the amount of fiber I have somehow fallen into in the last couple months..and all different kinds! Breaking away from the merino baby!

I need more dye. I have way too much white stuff. :)

Sunday, October 5


My first go round with embroidery. Oh how I love these pants! The tree could be a bit better but hey! I never said I could embroider. :)

Stats:Pattern: Picky PantsSize: Medium! This is the first pair of mediums I have had to make for us.Pattern specs: Short rows, over a 9 inch inseam, elastic waistband, garter crotchYarn: Paton's Merino: Deep Olive (main body and in between stripes and cuff)Wool of the Andes: Avocado (first and third stripes) and Fern (middle stripe)

I love how the leaves came out. They are actually embroidered on whereas the tree is just a crochet chain that I stitched on. Every where I read says not to use merino on soakers/covers/longies since it has crap memory and losses it shape pretty fast. I've used it here and there but not on a project this large before. I believe them now. :) I can't tell if it's all because of the merino or if a lot of it is the fact that she's still mostly crawling so she's got that downward pull on the legs all day long. Either way is fine by me. These will definitely last the fall and winter. I'm in the process of making another pair but minus the embroidery. :)

Oh and I have got an utterly fantasticly awesome post for tomorrow. It includes fiber and fiber tools. I know. Hold on to your seats. The anticipation is bound to get you. :)

Sunday, September 28

Lovely longies

Holy crap. Knitting content.

Pattern: Picky Pants
Size: Small with backside increases and extended short rows: 9 inch inseam
Yarn: Cascade 220 Tweed
I LOVE these. Too bad they are not for us. These are for my neice (to go with the greenish pair). I barely squeeked by on yardage. I had enough when I was done to tidy up the crotch a bit and have maybe 3 inches left. In fact the first leg had a picot hem (thank heavens I didn't seam it up yet!) and when I got done with the second leg I barely made it to 9 inches and still needed to bind off. So I undid the first leg and snuck away two rounds and voila! I so want these. I tried them on my wee one and they looked cute on her (and she's much larger so they fit more snugly) so I'm sure they are going to be oh so sweet on my neice.
I need some Cascade Tweed.

Friday, September 26

My fiber gots bling


Oh yeah. My glitz is finally showing up. Subtle yet there. I'm liking it. Not sure I'm liking the fiber itself (kind of rough and prone to breaking) but oh well. I went on a spinning spree a bit ago and got quite a bit of this done and then had to park it. It's been sitting on our fireplace mantle staring me down. I got a chance to take a pic so I did. I've been browsing the spindle forums on Ravely and am now very inspired. Too bad my kitchen needs cleaned and my fmaily needs fed....priorities right?

Monday, September 22

So excited!

Ok I have some knitting content but for today we'll skip it.

The reason for my excitement? My etsy store (A Sleeping Spindle) is now stocked and running! Ok it's been somewhat stocked since Augustish but only with 3 things. When the husbeast went on his last business trip I got some more stuff done up and just got it added so I have a decent amount of things on there now! Someone even "hearts me" on there.


So go take a look around. Totally open to customs and/or suggestions.

Saturday, September 13

Sock it to me!

Last night, as the wee ones settled into bed, I decided to start spinning instead of working on Feb. Lady. Naturally. When do I ever actually work on what I blog about. :) These are some sock bats from Freyalyn over on etsy. This is her sockstuff with glitz. These were part of my fiber swap. It's 100g. of 80% wool/ 20% nylon. I was waiting for my mom to replace the drive band on her spinning wheel so I could spin this up faster than I actually can but it doesn't seem to be happening. So I pulled it out last night. First impression is so-so. I started at the bottom with some red (I'm planning on bouncing back and forth between the ends so so far I've done some red and some of the greeny color that you can hardly see in the pic.) and colorwise it spins up GORGEOUSLY. That is soe seriously lovely red. I know. I love red. This is a good red. All the colors (well the two I've done so far) are nice and saturated. I have yet to notice any of the glitz. You can see it in the bat but once you start spinning it sort of dissapears. Not sure if it was just my lighting or the amount of glitz I've grabbed so far or what. If I were to hand this off to someone and say there was glitz in there though they might think I was lying. The fiber is rough. Not, "Woah! I won't wear that!" but more of a.....tweedy. Comforting rough. Make sense? Probably not. I can't feel the twist move up the fiber as I spin either. Now I tend to over spin and can really feel it move up the entire length as I go. I know I was overspinning last night but I wasn't able to feel it. Now this is not a problem really. It just means I need to pay attention to it to make sure my twist is getting up there before I roll it on to my cop. Sort of irritating to me. I like to mindlessly spin. I tend to spin while watching movies because I don't have to pay attention to it if I don't want to. I can feel the work getting done and that's good enough for me. Not so much with this. That's ok though. I'm hoping it was jsut a fluke thing last night. I can't wait to finish up the first 2 bats (2 per skein) and ply. I'm debating how to ply. I think I'll do a two ply and start at opposite ends. So a red end on the first ply and then ply that to the purple color on the end of the second ply. Make sense? Probably not. :)

Friday, September 12

It's genetic...

and I should give credit where credit is due. At least that's what my dad said the other night when I proudly proclaimed my cleverness with the craftiness. :)

First up is some yarn I dyed recently. This is some of my licorice twist from Catnip Yarns. To say I was dissapointed in it the first time around would be true. To say that again this time around would be a gross understatement. For the unaware licorice twist has a strand/ply that holds dye darker than the rest. Little Turtle Knits has some gorgeous skeins of it. I bought this undyed so I could play around and get results that, while not exactly like LTK, would remind me of them. I have yet to get that. The ply that holds darker hardly holds it. In fact unless you hold this up to your eye you cannot see most colors. I am able to see it more on the red but other than that it's a trick to see it. I have now done 7 colors (pink, green [the first two skeins of this], goldish, orange-red, red, purple, and navy blue) and the only time it's been a noticeable difference is on the red. I'm very ornry about it all. Overall though I LOVE how this skein turned out. I originally was only going to do the gold, red, and blue (which was actually supposed to be a purply color) but after I dumped the gold/yellow color in I thought doing some transition colors would be a good idea. So I mixed the yellow and red and then the red and blue. I was hoping to create smoother transitions. I haven't started knitting with it yet but have some plans for it. I did a huge amount so that I could do longies but I'm not sure I did enough. We shall see.

And here we have proof I really am working on the Feb. Lady Sweater. I finished up the second arm this morning. Well I finished up the redo of the first arm. It looks like I'm doing the shortest arm length out of everyone on Ravelry and what not. I'm still up in the air about this. The original reason was due to laziness...I just didn't want to do long arms since I wanted to be able to hurry and get this done with (ha! This has proved to be a long project). I asked the husband today as he snapped the bottom pic what he thought and while he wasn't announcing his absolute love and adoration at the state of my sleeves he didn't say they were bad either. I did 10 repeats and then 2 garter ridges (3 technically if you count my bind off). I was browsing through the ones on Ravelry and saw someone mention they decreased out the picked up stitches. I tried it out on the second sleeve and loved it which is why I redid the first arm. I decreased every round down to the original 56 stitches. I just k2tog on every one so I think it only took 4ish rounds...maybe 5. On the last round I k3tog. I didn't write it down so I can't be sure. The sleeves are not the same but I was too lazy to care by the time I noticed. The first lace repeat (the one done before you section off the sleeves) is off to the side. I'm not sure how it happened but as I was counting up my repeats to see how many repeats I had left I noticed it looked off. Being the optimist, I've decided it's that first repeat that is off and not the remaining 9. :) I'm ok with it. Once on you can't really tell and since the yarn is black it's even harder to see. It's just me and the wee ones home this weekend so I'm going to be working on this...I might work on a sock as well but my focus is going to be this. All I have left to do is the body and it should be easy enough to whip out some decent length

Thursday, September 4

Hot diggity dog!

As of midnight last night I have finally finished the blasted swatches for the TKGA's master handknitters program! I am working on bloking them (no pics right now sorry!) and then onto the written part and then a simple hat! WOO HOO!!!!

Wednesday, September 3

Hey look! A non-yarn FO!

And no mention of fiber either! (unless you count that one :) )

A little bit ago my sister sent me a box with some yarn in it. she had attempted to learn to knit but in the end it just wasn't for her. So she sent me her supplies and asked that I finish up the pair she started and then make a second pair. So I said sure. So here they are.
Unknown heathered yarn (the color is NOT true in the pictures)
Elastic wasitband
Increases and short rows (size small)
Picot cuff
7 inch inseam

I'll be adding a couple stars on there somewhere, to liven it up a bit. Although I do like them as is. I tried them on the hulky wee one and they fit so these will definitely fit her wee one...with some room to grow. The second pair is in a red tweedy yarn (again unknown brand). I love it so far. Nice and smooth. I'm already past the wasitband and increases (same format as the pair above). The husband is gone for a few days so it's likely the red pair will get finished quicker.

I need to get them done and a coupe other small things and then I can focus on me stuff again. I am going to be picking up the Feb. Lady Sweater again (possibly tonight) though! Part of the supplies the sister sent was a pair of DPN's. That makes for 2 pairs in my possession, only one of which is needed to knit longies. I had to sneak out my 12 inch circ. from the arm on the sweater when I got her stuff and it has been sitting in the corner ever since. I cannot wait to pick it back up. My short sleeved lace sweater will be done in time for fall! :)

Monday, September 1

A yarny FO- a spinning post :)

I recently organized a fiber swap over on mothering. It was pretty small since there aren't a lot of spinners on there. It turned out pretty well I think. There were a couple glitches but one was the post office mis-directing a package. I think there is only one or two more left to be delivered, one of which is headed to England. Mine came from there. It was/is lovely! :)

This is my first skein from some of my swap fiber. It's an alpaca and tussah silk blend. I enjoyed spinning it since it's new to me but I don't think I'll spin either of these again. The alpaca sheds like crazy and is sticky and the silk reminds me of hair. While it was enjoyable there were plenty of moments of frustration. Not with the fiber but with the inherent qualities of the fiber itself. A big change from the basic merino I have been spinning. The bat came combed so all I had to do was start the spinning (the white is the silk). It's about 2 ounces with 20 a lace/baby weight. I'm thrilled as all get out that I managed to do a THIN 2 ply. I can spin a thin single just fine but once I start plying I get a much thicker (and usually not wanted) yarn. Not sure what I'll make with it yet. I had been thinking of something for the mother in law since she was really taken with it while I was spinning but nothing is screaming at me yet.

I have more pictures but for the sake of blog fodder will spread them out. Each thing of fiber I got deserves it's own post. :)

Saturday, August 16

Goin' natural

This is a fiber post but not part 2 of the original fiber post. This is new. This has to do with food. :)

The other night I was making a salad for dinner and had to set aside various chunks of spinach and a lettuce mix. Our fridge isn't set correctly so we tend to get warm and cold pockets. Since these had been shoved to the back they had been frozen and thawed more than once and ended up slimy and not useable. As my pile grew, I grew more and more irritated. It was such a waste! And something easily fixed. I didn't want to just toss it so as I continued to make the salad my mind went crazy figuring out what juices I could put the better stuff in and still be tasty. That's when my moment of genius hit! Green juice! Natural fiber! I had dye! I hurried and finished what I was doing, cleaned up and set to work.

That, dear readers (going clockwise), is a pot of tea (it had been simmering for a long time by the time I took this picture, a pot of spinach, and a pot of spring greens mix lettuce and spinach.

The tea one I have done before. For some reason doing raw fiber, it takes longer to exhaust. By the time this picture was taken that pot had been on the stove for at least 3 hours. I'm glad I had patience for it though because I ended up with a much deeper brown than I expected to get (even after rinsing). What I do when tea dying (I have yet to find a good set of instructions I like) is combine water and vinegar in a pot and dump in lots of tea bags. I don't pay attention to what kinds go in but in this case it was an entire box of Pau de Arco. Then I bring it to a boil and then turn it off and let it cool. Once cool I stick my fiber in (sometimes I presoak and sometimes I don't regardless of if it's yarn or fiber...this time I didn't) and bring it to a boil slowly and then slowly reduce it down to a simmer. I have yet to get a clear exhaust though. I think it's just a tea thing.

The next pot is the spinach. When I started juicing everything down I started with the lettuce mix and got a dark green. I wanted to lighten it upa bit (I figured I'd get more of a brown if I didn't) and added a bit of spinach. I wish I hadn't but only because quite a bit rinsed out. My color is still nice but I think had I done the entire bag of spinach on this pot there would have been more depth. Same process as the tea (minus the initial boil and cool down). I dumped the juice into a pot of water and vinegar and stuck in my fiber. I brought it up to a boil and then down to a simmer (as always, if you need to get the fiber moved around POKE it, do not stir as you could agitate it and end up's agitation that felts, NOT just heat!). The fiber sucked this up fast! In fact, I had reached exhaustion before I was even to a boil. I did go through all the steps though so that the heat would set it.

The next pot is the spring greens mix. Same as the spinach. The fiber sucked it up as well.

Ater I let all the pots cool down I rinsed and was surprised at how fast the greens rinsed clear but how much they lost and long the tea took. The tea lost the least amount oddly enough. The two greens are similar in color when combed out but spun up they are just different enough that it makes you squint and turn it over to see if you are imagining it. I bet if they were combed together you could get a somewhat heathered effect. Spun together I think all three would look very nice. I did spin my test pieces and all the colors are nice and even (i.e. no sudden dark splotches) and none comes off on your hands (or spindle).

So there you have it. I am either very frugal :) or think a bit too much about dyeing fiber. Either way it was very fun and interesting. Oh and a plus was that my house DID not smell any worse than wet sheep. You couldn't smell the greens or the vinegar. You smelled more of the tea than anything else. I am wanting to dye with more foods but that will have to wait (mostly because I need to wash more fiber). This was a huge experiment. When I googled it that night I wasn't finding anything. All I was getting was how to grow certain plants specifically for dyeing. That's not what I was going for. Luckily, this isn't rocket science so I just winged it and it turned out very well (I think). I have more pictures of the individual pots but blogger isn't behaving for me. I don't have any of the dried result but I will get pics of that soon enough. I didn't want to take too many and then post them all since these actually went to someone else. Hopefully they like it all as much as I do. :)

Tuesday, August 12

This'll be fast...

since the smallest one is asleep and I have a feeling it won't be for much longer. It's a lot easier to blog when she's not in my lap trying to eat my hands. Small details.

1. I managed to work on some more masters swatches. I had to do laundry the other day at my sister in laws house and since her dryer sees fit to take its sweet time I had a good chunk of nothing to do. I got 3.5 swatches done. I would have done more but a.) I needed clarification on some so I skipped those (I hate skipping....makes me all antsy for some reason) and b.) swatches are only entertaining for so long. I was tempted to start my question portion but that required measuring tools and blocking. Neither of which were available at the time.

2. I got the second sleeve of the Feb. Lady Sweater done. After browsing through the finished ones on Ravelry I noticed someone decreased out all the picked up stitches on the underside of the arms. Her's looked awesome and fit great. I decided to go ahead and try that. It turned out great! Fits much better and looks less boxy on me. As a result it makes the top pull differently and it actually looks like this is going to fit me! What does that mean? The first sleeve has been frogged. That was a pain in the ass actually. Why? Oh because I tend to not use lifelines when I frog so I had to go back and pick up the 56 original LACE stitches done in black yarn. Hindsight is always that....hindsight. Note to self: black=bad knitting mojo.

3. I finished up a skein of yarn! I started a fiber swap over on MDC and in my new found enthusiasm I started spinning. I got my first single done (and lots more than usual as I figured out my preferences for spinning...note to self: it helps to know what you're doing and why) and posted about it on the spinners thread. Someone mentioned Navajo plying and while I am against it (finished yarn is 1/3 of the original length.....seems like you're getting screwed there :) ) I decided to give it a go. I have been curious about it and I had a finished single and I didn't want to spin a second single since my fiber swap will be here soon (from England!). I wanted my spindle to be open. It's fun. It's easy and you get a skein very fast (and I had a ton! so the end yardage isn't horrible I guess). My only issue is I do not like thick yarns. I did a quickie wraps per inch measurement and mine qualifies as very bulky. I am NOT happy about that. I know it's because my spinning on this single was inconsistent at times and a Navajo ply equals out to a 3 ply but still. Now that I know how to do it though I'm going to try and spin a super thin single with the intent of Navajo plying it to see if I can't get a thinner yarn. It's difficult to see the real color since it's red but this is the best shot I can get. It has golds and blues in it too although the gold tends to get swallowed up. The last part of it I paid more attention to how I was drafting and was able to get longer chunks of the colors I wanted but the gold still disappears. There are a few spots where you can see it but it is always combined with one of the other colors so it gets muted. In some spots it looks green. I wish it were more dominant as it's a very pretty color of gold.

Perfect timing to be done. I just heard a cry from the bedroom.

Friday, August 1

More cuteness!

I got two emails the other day with pictures of soakers in use!

First up iss baby K. I thought these would be too big but they turned out perfect! I'm glad I did the newborn size...she's 3 months old here and barely a bit more than a newborn weight wise so these really do fit well.

And now we have baby A. Who is actually more like a toddler. Remember this soaker? Still not a fan of it and actually tried to convince the mama to send it back so I could make her a better one. She likes it. It's almost too small (as you can see) but is still working. This is one kiddo who looks just like her daddy!

I promise the next post will be about fiber. I know, contain your excitement.

Wednesday, July 30

What to do? What to do?

1. Finish second sleeve of Feb. lady Sweater and work on the body more. I would love to finish this up by Sunday.
2. Start second plain sock
3. Work on Master swatches....I bought a new skein of yarn so I have no excuse....except my needles are missing...that's a good one.

Nap time cannot come fast enough.

Teeny stuff

I know this post should be the second half of my fleece cleaning but I'm the blogger so I'll do what I want.

A week ago a friend had a baby. A boy to be exact. I knit him a diaper cover remember? I harassed her a few times (I know...nice friend I am I demand modeling pictures at less than a week old!) and she finally obliged. :) sweet. I was worried it wouldn't fit. Silly me. He has some growing room (the waist is folded down). I'm liking it....mostly the baby though. ;) Go now and tell the mama he's a keeper. We like to hear things like that. :)

Monday, July 28

Gettin' dirty

**This is a spinning/fiber post...nothing knitting related. Just a warning for you non-spinning/fiber folk.**

The Tour de Fleece recently just ended. For those not in the know it's like the Tour de France...but without bikes. You set yourself a personal goal and then try your damndest to spin up that much fiber. I didn't do it this year because 1. I have a 1.1 oz. drop would take forever to get anything decent and 2. I didn't find out about it until I read about it on Yarn Harlot's blog a day or so after it began. I'm not that ambitious. :) It did get me motivated to haul out the fleece from a couple yeas back and get some cleaned up. I thought I'd take some pics of the process and since there are so many this will become two posts.

Here is the fleece in the box I store it in. MAJOR amounts of vegetable manner. Super thick and tangled. I have yet to take it completely out of the box and lay it out flat. I'm going to give it a try here in the next little bit but for now I just pulled out a bunch. Nice and gooey with lanolin (natural sheep's what water proofs them for those who aren't in the know).

Next I stuck it in the tub (warm water with a tad of dish soap..not too much). I set it on top of the water and let the water naturally soak through everything and really saturate it. After it had really soaked in I turned it over and moved it around and seperated it up a bit. I also removed the larger pieces of vegetable matter at this point.

Here it is after a bit of manipulating.

This is the second rinse. During this one I put more focus into the ends and inner most pieces of the thicker locks.

I'll post more pics tomorrow and more info. Blogger is being stupid right now and it has taken me two days jsut to get this much up.