Wednesday, March 24, 2010

3.24 Overdyeing results

'Member when I was fussing about the lightest one of these?

I dragged out the dye pot for a shawl I wasn't happy with the color of (more about that later), and while I was at it, I threw the pinky skein in. It's still in the same relative position, next to the medium colored red.
I don't think it's too pink any more.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

3.23 10 signs of spring

1. Obligatory crocus pictures from those of us in the northeast.

2. Robins have been spied flitting about and listening for worms.
3. Our precipitation has changed from snow to rain.
4. The incredible 7 foot snow mountain in the front yard has dwindled...
5. ...and the grass is starting to green-up.
6. Indoor track practice has given way to outdoor track practice.
7. Being much more opportunistic, the weeds have started sprouting, although it is still too cold to spend a lot of time eradicating them.
8. Seed and flower catalogs are arriving weekly.
9. Planning for summer activities is starting to kick into high gear.
10. I'm waiting somewhat impatiently for the notice that a particular fleece is available for purchase, although I have no need whatsoever for a new fleece and am not at all sure I'm going to buy it.

(all right, who was that in the back going 'liar, liar, pants on fire'?)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

3.17 Add another way...

I've been getting bored with cooking and tired of the complaints that I fix the same old stuff - both of them probably stemming from the fact that I have been in a cooking rut. So, I've been looking for new things to fix. This one was labeled "Bangers and Mash Slimmed Down" but the text of the article says it is similar to "colcannon". Ok - we'll call it bangers and mash since I'm not acquainted with colcannon.

Chicken sausages, split and browned, with a light onion/chicken gravy, served with red potatoes mashed together with kale.

A big hit with everyone, and much to be preferred to corned beef and cabbage, which seems to be the local push for St. Patrick's Day.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

3.15 10 Ways...

to celebrate St. Patrick's day. Hmmm....

I've never been one to celebrate St. Paddy's day, as it wasn't particularly a big deal when I was growing up. However:

1. Wear green. This was important, particularly when I was in elementary school, as those who didn't wear green on that day were fair game to be pinched. I wound up with bruises one year...
2. Wish my friend Happy Birthday as her birthday is the day before and I will probably have forgotten until the next day.
3. Listen to one or more of my cds of Irish folk songs, or
4. Put one or more Irish folk song seeds in Pandora and let it roll.
5. Drag out one or more of the Riverdance DVDs.
6. Avoid the St. Patrick's Day parade (although this mostly happens on the Saturday, rather than on the day).
7. Laugh at the guys who bring the green food dye into the German pub to make sure their beer is green on St. Paddy's; laugh at them again when the dye makes the beer go flat; and laugh at them a third time as they try to explain to the English speaking restaurant owner what they are doing so that he can explain to the thoroughly confused waitress. (A five minute explanation on the Americans' part boiled down to a one sentence explanation in German to the waitress: It's just one of those weird things that Americans do sometimes.) (I only did this one year, but it was memorable.).
8. Knit one or more of the green items I should be working on.
9. Dye some more yarn and/or fiber green.
10. Find green clothes for my offspring to wear (see point 1 above).

Friday, March 12, 2010

3.12 Oh, my

After seeing references to it sporadically over the years, I finally requested "Three Men in a Boat" by Jerome K. Jerome from the library. Oh, my. If you need a good belly laugh, I strongly recommend this one. Three men (and a dog) going off on a boating holiday on the Thames. I'm only a little bit into it and I keep having to put it down because my sides hurt so much.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

3.11 Spring fever

After all that snow we had just a bit ago, the temperatures this week have been in the 40s and 50s.

I have a serious case of Spring Fever.

That is all.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

3.7 More spinning

And, some of you may remember this...

a different dyeing experiment. I like this one a bit better, as there's more variation in the color. After flailing a bit, trying to decide how I like it spun best, I settled on this:


this is a two ply from the lightest end of the fiber. I'm working on the middle section now,with the darkest end yet to come. I'm thinking of something like Girasole, but am still pondering the question of whether it should be center light, edge dark, or center dark, edge light. Opinions?

Thanks all of you for your congratulations on our anniversary. We had a nice dinner out last night (through circumstance, we wound up at our favorite local Chinese restaurant, which seemed fitting as the first time we met, we ate lunch at a restaurant in Chinatown, SF.)

Saturday, March 06, 2010

3.6 Bright spun

Remember this?


It's turned into this:


The change in shade is not an artifact of the light - it really does change in shade from dark red to peach. The red will be good for Red Scarf Project, but I think the peach end will be too pink-y. I'm really not sure what I'll do with the pink end, but I suppose something will come to me.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

3.4 Happy anniversary to us...

21 years ago, J and I were married. It's been a good ride.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

3.3 And last but not least

of the wips I finished off during the Olympics:
One Artisan's Vest from the Green Mountain Spinnery Knitting Book. I really like the color, I liked knitting it, I wanted a vest to keep my shoulders cold (we had just moved to NY from Oregon - in January). I got it all finished, just needed to tuck in the ends, and realized that the mohair content in the Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride is too much for me. The ends go straight through whatever I put under it and give me a prickly rash. That completely dampened my interest in finishing it off and there it sat.

It's been an ongoing source of irritation for me, sitting there in the drawer and being useless (because unfinished), when there must be people who could and would wear it just fine. Now I can send it on its way, somewhere, anywhere, and let someone else enjoy it and be warm.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

3.2 Wips smackdown the fourth


One baby surprise jacket (complete with cat head, because she just can't leave it alone). This was knit from some DHF that I dyed in the bump and then spun about worsted weight in a chain ply. I have finally crocheted the edging, tucked in the ends and washed it. Pre-finishing it looked like this:


and you can see how much it grew with a dunk in the water. The picture post washing is still wet and the colors are much more true in the second picture. Since I have no immediate need for baby clothing in my own family (thank goodness) or in my extended acquaintance (how did that happen?) this one will probably be turned over to Warm Extremities. I knit it to figure out how it was done and I cannot imagine how someone could come up with this. I have a decent two-D visualization, but I just don't do the three-D stuff.

Monday, March 01, 2010

3.1 Wips smackdown #3

I got to the end of the wool peddler's shawl and had a bunch of yarn left over (not surprising since I had started with a little over a pound of finished yarn). So, I knit a scarf. This was the second time I knit Sylvia's cabled rib scarf and I still like it. The cables don't show as well in the variegated yarn (surprise surprise!) but it makes a soft cushy squishy scarf anyway. And then, still having more yarn left over, I knit a hat to go with it. (Why do I never notice things like photographing the hat with the seam side up, which wouldn't be all that bad since my seaming has gotten a lot better, but it is noticeable that the stripes stop and start at one place. This is the back of my head when I wear the hat and I don't care about it then, but it looks funny in a picture. However I am lazy and if I wait until I get another picture, you won't ever get to see it.)


The hat is my standard mindless knitting hat. I cast on a random even number of stitches (wrap the yarn around my head, then triple that length. Cast on an even number of stitches using long-tail cast on until I have about 4 inches of tail left.) Knit in K2P2 rib until the knitting is as long as my middle finger. Put a purl welt on the right side of the turn up. Continue in K2P2 rib until the part above the welt is the length of my hand. Start decreasing (1st decrease row: K2P2tog across. Knit in pattern for 3 rows. 2nd decrease row: K2togP1 across. Knit in pattern for 3 rows. 3rd decrease row: K2tog across. Knit in pattern for 1 row. Repeat 3rd decrease row and return as needed until somewhere between 10 and 15 stitches are left.) Sew through remaining stitches to pull into a circle, sew up side, remembering that the right side will change at the welt for the turn up (something I don't always remember to do).

This leaves one with a seam, but on the other hand, since all the measurements are off my own body, all I need is a ball of yarn and a circular needle, with no switching to DPNs necessary at the decrease.

Since I knit the scarf and then the hat immediately after the shawl, they've all three been sitting 'round waiting for ends to be tucked in. Consider it done.