Monday, March 30, 2009

Roseville String Ensemble

I feel serious guilt about being a lapsed viola player. Maybe when I'm done with my current time/life sucking project (can you tell I'm in the home stretch) I can consider focusing on something like music.

Meanwhile, Orinda5 still plays her viola! She is currently holding a drawing on her blog. The drawing is free to enter, but she is hoping to raise money for the Roseville String Ensemble, the community orchestra that she plays with. Leave her a comment to enter her drawing, and consider making a donation to the RSE.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


My son and I went out to Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, MA to check out Woolapalooza. It was a great event for kids--but I was hoping for a bit more vendors selling their fiber/yarn.
We got to practice our hand carding skills. We saw a bunch of spinners with a variety of spinning wheels and drop spindles. We saw some yarn dyed with plant material that was very lovely, and we also got to play with a loom. We missed all the sheep shearing. The baby lambs were very cute.

It was a lovely warm and sunny day--but by the time we got home the temperature had dropped and it was overcast.
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My crocuses are starting to open up though.
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I received such a lovely package from my sock yarn swap partner Amy. Snuggled amongst the lovely tea and chocolate and other goodies was a hank of Wollmeise merino sock yarn. Here is a picture of the contents of the package.
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The yarn is a beautiful colorway called orient and it smells delicious.
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The hank is 150 grams and had 574 yards! I'm thinking this yarn might not end up as socks, but rather something shawly or scarfish.

I also really love these buttons. I'm wondering if I will need to do a February Lady Sweater so that they can be shown off properly.
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sock Blank

I'm participating in a sock swap. We create a package for our partner and the only thing we need to include is enough yarn to make a decent pair of sock--all other things are optional and for fun.

After much thought about whether I would find some nice yarn in my stash or purchase some new yarn, I decided I would send new yarn, and I would dye it myself. I wanted a certain look. Big blocks of color with a transition to another color--only 2 or at most 3 colors. To achieve this look I decided what I needed was a sock blank.

Having never used one before, I only had the info I had heard about them. I ordered one up from Knit Picks (as well as some other goodies for myself), and I went out and picked up some Kool Aid.

Here are my results:
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I used:
2 Lemon Lime
2 Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade
1 Black cherry

A splash of the black cherry was put into the lemon lime and the ice blue to mute those colors a bit. Normally I would use grape, but I was surprised to find that I didn't have any--must have used it all the last time I dyed. But I was pleased with how the black cherry worked.

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I mixed the colors, the poured the green in to a small pot with some just boiling water. I held the sock blank and dunked it almost all the way into the pot, pulling it out slowly and putting the hot yarn into a Pyrex dish that I had next to the pot of boiling color.

When all the dye was absorbed, I pulled all the yarn out. I then put the blue into the boiling pot. I put the other end of the blank into the boiling pot and repeated the process. When I was done I found that the blue was a bit paler than I had expected, and I still had a good amount of black cherry left. So I put the black cherry in the boiling pot and dunked some of the blue end back in the pot.

I was pleased with the how the color turned out. As I was rinsing I found that some of the end to knit from had come unravelled. Taking a closer look I found that the dye had not completely penetrated the yarn.
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I think this look might have interesting results though, so I chose not to overdye.
I hope my partner likes the yarn as much as I do.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Monkey complete

Proof that I could knit a sock a week, if I were so inclined. I started the second sock last weekend and I grafted the toe this morning. They are now taking a soak.


Last week I was asked how many hand knit socks I possess, so I just had to count. Really, not very many. This is my 8th pair. I have also made some as gifts for others, mostly infant and children sizes, and one pair for my husband.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Could it be?

Just when you think it could never possible arrive. . .

Spring pops up and surprises you.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fetching complete

What a great instant gratification project. This was my first time knitting with Malabrigo, and I really enjoyed it. I will have a hard time giving these away--but I know how quick and easy it would be to make more. Maybe everyone will be getting them for Christmas next year (maybe not).

Needle US 6 / 4.0 mm
Yarn Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted
I used just 1/2 a skein. The mitts weigh 44 grams (with ends for weaving snipped) and I have 50 grams left--should be enough for another pair.

Monday, March 9, 2009


I still have not looked at the lace--it is in the naughty corner until I cheer up, or the snow melts--we'll see which comes first.

In the meanwhile, I decided I could not slack on the gift knitting, even if the lace has to take a break. So I started with Fetching. Over 10,000 knitters can't be wrong--what fun this pattern is. In a few hours you have a lovely fingerless mitt. I made a few minor modifications, but now that I have a feel for it, I may make a few more the next time I do this pattern--next time I hope to make it for myself! I've got one done, but I expect the second will go quickly enough.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Shawl pins

I was looking through completed projects a while back, and hannah8ball's office cardigan caught my eye. It wasn't just the sweater, but the closure that made me stop and look. I have trouble with buttons--finding just the right ones, making button holes just right, etc. The funky flower pin that Hannah had used worked perfectly with the chunky sweater. Lucky for me, she also posted a link to where she had bought the pin. So off I went to check out Nicholas and Felice on etsy. And I didn't leave the site without a few purchases.

My pins arrived a few days after I placed my order, and they were just as advertised. I liked the flower, but I decided to go with the dragonfly. I have my hand in the pictures to show the size.

I also bought a hair pin, even though my hair is still to short too use it. I will use it when my grows longer, but I can also use it to close a chunky cardigan too.

I'm really happy with these, and I may have a chunky cardigan in my future.

On lace progress. . .

A few nights ago I was on a roll. I had gotten the hang of the pattern and I was nearing completion of chart A. It was midnight and I just couldn't stop with row 22 on a chart that has 24 rows. I start row 23 and at one of the last markers I realize my count is off. I tink back and knit forward for an hour before I give up. The later it got, the worse I got. It is likely that my mistake happended on the last pattern row, row 21, but I just couldn't tell without tinking all the way back, and I just didn't have the brain power. So I put it down, and I haven't looked at it since.

Where is my last lifeline? Rows 1 and 2 are repeated 16 times. My lifeline is at row 3. So I will try the tinking back--but those "slip 2 as if to knit, knit 1, pass slipped stitches over knit stitch" are tough to undo. So we will see. I may just need to rip it all back. This is what happens and you don't put a lifeline in often enough.