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Mama, wife, knitter, blogger, spinner, wannabe something or other. That's enough, right?

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Adventures in Yarn Dyeing: The Second Time

Happy Thursday :) As promised, a new post of my yarn dyeing adventures.

These were dyed on April 9, 2017.

Ever since my first solo adventure, I was itching to try it again so I actually went through my stash (made much easier by January's Organization of the Stash) and started pulling out skeins that were either "natural" or otherwise dyeable. I came up with several but I started with these three.


A skein of Knit Picks Palette Fingering that was meant to be dyed. I picked this up in a destash quite awhile ago, before I was even pondering dyeing...and the thought I had? I can dye it someday.

Yeah, I knew it was going to happen even then.


A skein of Malabrigo Rios. I never really had any concrete plans for this yarn and I know Malabrigo is a good base.


A skein of Nashua Creative Focus Superwash. I actually had this hanging out in my destash but it's been there awhile so I thought I'd try dyeing it.

This dyeing adventure started out the same: mix the dye. I wound up making the four basic colors: red, blue, yellow, and black. I knew one of the worsted skeins was going to have green so I mixed some blue and yellow to get a perfect Slytherin green (don't ask me how it happened because I'm not entirely sure - I mixed until I liked it). I also knew I wanted one to have purple so I mixed the blue and red until I liked it. It's more on the blue end but that doesn't bother me. I still had leftover of the three primaries, luckily.

I started out with the Nashua and wound up with this:


Once it was finished and rehanked, it looked like this:


Since I had to wind this onto the niddy-noddy myself, I know it's not too terribly tangled. It hasn't told me what it wants to be yet but it's leaning toward a hat.

The Malabrigo decided it wanted to be similar to the Nashua but it wanted purple as well.


I had it laid out like this and it was dyed that way (well, mostly that way - you can see some purple on the green side in a few places):


When it was hanked up again, it looked like this:


This skein may be wildly tangled. All I did with it was get it out of the above shape, added a few extra ties, and soaked/dyed it that way. I won't know until I either try to wind it or if I decide to reskein it. It should be okay. I usually don't have trouble with Malabrigo being tangled when I wind it.

The last skein, however........


When I took the label off, I expected it to be tied at the middle around each side and I could just dangle it like any other skein of yarn. Oh I was so wrong. I have no idea how they skeined this yarn so, I just took it out, soaked it as it was tied, and dyed it as it was tied.

It's difficult to see in the above photo so this one gives you a better idea:


It looked like it had been a long loop that had somehow been made into three loops on each side. So, I dyed one side with the black and did a rainbow on the other side.

This one had to be hand wound after it was dry because I had no idea how it was even attached and I didn't dare try to lay it out in a loop of some sort. It turned out to be somewhat correct in how it was dyed. Sort of. I still had to do some work to wind it, though. It basically worked kind of in a figure eight pattern. So, if you start with the end of the purple, it would go over to the black, pick up about three loops of black, then weave back over to the rainbow side and do about three passes of the rainbow (starting with the red) and once you got to the purple, it would swing back over. The only way I can describe the shape is it was like a 3D hour glass shape.


I had a slight mishap at the very end of the skein where there were fuzz barfs and the only way to get them apart was to cut it....but I cut the wrong part. Luckily, it was at the end so there's only that teeny ball that suffered.

It looks much too pastel in the above photo. The black turned into a grey, which was fine, and all the rainbow colors because a bit more muted and faded a bit. I'm okay with that.

I don't know that I'll ever be able to recreate that experiment. Maybe. I could try it someday.


I got everything wrapped up and I did the steamer outside this time. Last time the house smelled like wet wool and vinegar. It wasn't a pleasant smell. So, outside with it. I let it steam for about an hour, switching the containers halfway.

A few things I did differently this time:

1. I worked on plastic bags that I had taped down (white, so I could see splatters better) and wrapped the yarn separately into saran wrap.

2. I dunked the skeins in the vinegar water rinse in a somewhat more logical order: first the Nashua (green only), then the Malabrigo (green and purple), and then the Knit Picks (rainbow). I knew the black was going to slough off quite a bit and I didn't want to cross-contaminate the other two skeins. Neither the green or purple bled when I rinsed, which was lovely.

3. I mixed the dye right into the squeeze bottles and adjusted using the bottles. I don't know that I'll do it again that way but it worked.

4. I kept my gloves on and my hands didn't get as much dye on them.



Since I finished these, I've taken a little dyeing break. I have more yarn I can dye (I found a couple skeins of Malabrigo Twist and I have a bunch of end cones of Bugga and Traveller from the Sanguine Gryphon (which was split into Cephalopod Yarns and the Verdant Gryphon). They run about 250 yds of fingering weight so I could try matchy matchy skeins. Or not.

Anyway, that's all I have for you today :)

Oh, I've since caked the Knit Picks and it might be a self-stripe of some sort. We'll see when I get around to knitting it.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Year SIX: Self-Imposed Year of Projects - Update #17

Happy Sunday :) Happy Earth Day (which was yesterday but, you know, I didn't blog yesterday so...). Happy happy joy joy.

Anyway, let's get going.

Finished Objects (FOs):
1. Pussy Hat: started January 10, 2017; finished January 16, 2017
2. Hermione's Everyday Socks (v2): started November 14, 2016; finished January 28, 2017
3. Frene Creek Farm Corriedale (spinning): started October 12, 2016; finished January 16, 2017
4. Pikachu Hat: started February 3, 2017; finished February 10, 2017
5. Trusty (v2): started December 22, 2016; finished February 24, 2017
6. Pussy Hat: started February 13, 2017; finished February 27, 2017
7. Pussy Hat: started March 2, 2017; finished March 8, 2017
8. Pussy Hat: started March 9, 2017; finished March 21, 2017
9. Pussy Hat: started March 21, 2017; finished March 30, 2017
10. FlockSock Yarn #1: started April 5, 2017; finished April 5, 2017
11. FlockSock Yarn #2: started April 5, 2017; finished April 5, 2017
12. #initiateknitdesign challenge from ArohaKnits: started April 3, 2017; finished April 11, 2017
13. Knit Picks Bare Palette Fingering: started April 9, 2017; finished April 9, 2017
14. Malabrigo Rios: started April 9, 2017; finished April 9, 2017
15. Nashua Creative Focus Superwash: started April 9, 2017; finished April 9, 2017

Nothing new was finished this week.....not that I'm surprised.



Works-in-Progress (WIPs):

1. Wink: started January 5, 2015
2. Oh, She IS a Bad Nut: started August 11, 2016
3. Fall in San Francisco (prototype 3): started October 4, 2016
4. Smooth Operator Socks: started October 13, 2016
5. Stormageddon's Vest: started October 17, 2016
6. Morvarch Aardvark: started January 1, 2017
7. Messed Up Moss: started January 4, 2017
8. Stomping Grounds collection: started February 26, 2017 (no project page)
9. Hat Design: started March 20, 2017
10. BMFA Handpainted Roving: started March 23, 2017
11. Vanilla Socks: started March 30, 2017
12. Pussy Hat: started April 13, 2017

Let's start at the beginning (or, rather, the beginning of things I actually worked on):

Stormageddon's Vest. This is on time out. I tried it on his head and, of course, the single crochet was too tight to go over his head. So, I ripped out the single crochet (which involved plenty of cursing) and it's been on time out ever since to think about what it's done.

BMFA Handpainted Roving. Since this past Friday was Maker Faire at Little Man's school, I got a teensy amount of spinning done (and several kids added a bit as well). I had hoped to have more done but the kids were so interested in my wheel that they wanted to try it rather than watch...and I let them. More on that in a bit.

Vanilla Socks.


I started the second sock...and that's as far as I got.

Pussy Hat: I'm in stockinette hell. I finished up the ribbing, switched needles, and I'm now working in stockinette. Woo.



17 UFOs in 2017
1. Wink: started January 5, 2015
2. Oh, She IS a Bad Nut: started August 11, 2016
3. Fall in San Francisco (prototype 3): started October 4, 2016
4. Frene Creek Farm Corriedale (spinning): started October 12, 2016; finished January 16, 2017 **DONE**
5. Smooth Operator Socks: started October 13, 2016
6. Stormageddon's Vest: started October 17, 2016
7. Hermione's Everyday Socks (v2): started November 14, 2016; finished January 28, 2017 **DONE**
8. Trusty (v2): started December 22, 2016 **DONE**
9. Design: Susan's Hat
10. Design: Little Man's Baby Blanket
11. Design: Paradiddle Socks (aka Little Drummer Girl)
12. Design: Pacific Waves Hat
13. Design: Fall in San Francisco Hat
14. Stash Inventory (photos, in Rav database) **DONE**
15. Dystopian Novel
16. Doctor Who blanket (1)
17. Doctor Who blanket (2)



And in my "OMGLSGWTFBBQ" lists...

Secret Sock Club Bags - Pick a bag at random; do pattern with yarn
1. Scotch & Soda Scarf (using Briar Rose Fibers Wistful, leftover from my Icarus Shawl)
2. Jabberwonky (using KP Felici in Abracadabra)
3. If You Know Where To Go (using KP Felici in Green Veggies)
4. Baby Surprise Jacket (using....htNEVELE something something)

These are the only ones that are currently set up. I have plans to make a few more but we'll see how things go. With all the WIPs and such I have going, this may not be a good idea at this point. Or maybe I'll pull things from the lists below and put them into bags. I don't know.


Stranded Knitting
1. University of Wisconsin Ski Hat (kit)
2. University of Wisconsin Christmas Stocking (kit)
3. University of Wisconsin Button Beanie (kit)
4. Xanadu Snowflake Cowl
5. Unknown Christmas Stocking for Little Man (see also: Designs)
6. Unknown Christmas Stocking for Stormageddon (see also: Designs)
7. Unknown Christmas Stocking for Husband (see also: Designs)


Children's Items:
1. Stuffed toy for Miss C (SIL's foster child)
2. Stuffed toy for Mr. K (SIL's foster child)
3. Stuffed toy for Miss E (SIL's adopted daughter)
4. Stuffed toy for TAZ (brother's daughter)
5. Undetermined hat for Little Man
6. Undetermined hat for Stormageddon
7. Mittens for Little Man
8. Mittens for Stormageddon


Items for ME (selfish knitting FTW!):
1. Park Slope (fingering, specifically Mountain Colors Crazy Foot)
2. Worsted weight house socks (worsted, of course - maybe something like Lumberjack)
3. Classic Silk Mayfaire Camisole (Miss Babs Northumbria with modifications)
4. Evangeline (worsted; solid or semi-solid)
5. Lichen (Aran or Sport/DK; solid or semi-solid)
6. Moyen Age (fingering; one of my Vice Yarns? Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20?)
7. Ginny's Cardigan (DK; solid or semi-solid)
8. Drip Drip Drop (sock; solid or semi-solid)
9. Celtic Myths (worsted; solid)
10. Jag in Garter Stitch (DK; 2 colors)
11. Cobh (fingering; 2 colors)
12. Offhand Lace (bulky; solid or semi-solid)
13. Whitman (DK; any color)
14. Flax (worsted; any color - Misti Alpaca Harry Potter-esque one?)
15. Hoar Frost (Wollmeise that's wound in the bag)


Christmas/Charity Bin:
1. 198 Yds of Heaven (worsted; solid)
2. Comfort Food (Aran; solid)
3. Tombreck (worsted; solid or semi-solid)
4. Premie Spiral Hat (DK; any color)
5. Pumpkins & a Pattern (any weight, any color - gauge doesn't matter)


Designs:
1. Susan's Hat *started* - need new prototype & write pattern
2. Little Man's Baby Blanket *started* - write pattern
3. Paradiddle Socks - need prototype & write pattern
4. Pacific Waves Hat *started* - need another prototype & write pattern
5. Fall in San Francisco *started* - need another prototype & write pattern
6. Stormageddon's Baby Blanket - need prototype & write pattern
7. Cabled pullover (grey look-alike sweater) - need sketch, grading, swatch, prototype, & write pattern
8. Christmas stocking for Little Man - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
9. Christmas stocking for Stormageddon - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
10. Christmas stocking for Husband - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
11. Stomping Grounds collection (everything: charts, prototypes, swatches, etc.) *started*


Spinning:
1. Miss Babs BFL
2. Sandy's Palette Merino/Silk (1)
3. Sandy's Palette Merino/Silk (2)
4. Faerie Mountain Fibers Crazy Batt
5. Wash & start processing Alpaca fleece from Lambtown
6. Wash & start processing Merino fleece from Lambtown


Other:
1. Stitch markers
2. Make sure my vintage patterns are in Ravelry (Workbasket magazines, leaflets, etc.)




This week was an up down all around kind of week. It's why this post didn't go up at midnight, as is customary for me. Too much happening makes Renee a tired somethingsomething.

Anyway, last Sunday was Easter. We had friends over for food and candy and all of that. It was raining so we didn't do the outside egg hunt...which was fine with me. We did dye the eggs with all the kids. We also did a science experiment that was rather impromptu. When we get our orders from Amazon Fresh, we get dry ice packets with our freezer items. Do you know what happens when you put dry ice into a bowl of Kool-aid? Well, the dry ice melts and makes carbon dioxide...which makes a fizzy Kool-aid. Also, really cold. We had to have words about not touching the dry ice because it would give them an ice burn. Unfortunately, none of the kids liked the carbonated Kool-aid. Oh well, more for me.

By the time Wednesday rolled around, Little Man had a fever. It was a low-grade fever (just over 100F) but he had to miss a(nother) day of school. Because he's missed so much school this year, I'm going to get a truancy letter from the district. However, about 7 of the days he's missed have been documented medical (hospitalization, faxed notes from the doctor, etc.) so the school isn't so uppity about them. He had to be fever-free for 24 hours before he could go back to school. I sent him back the next day. In the meantime, he was perfectly fine, other than the fever he had when he woke up. We took Husband to work, I checked Little Man's fever when we got home (it was gone), so we went about doing all the things we needed to do. We went to Costco, the grocery store, and then we took a trip down to Mountain View/Palo Alto to go to the Walmart down there. We get our diapers for Stormageddon from Walmart (cheapest price-per-diaper and they work the best, honestly). Sometimes, we order them. Other times we take the trip down there. In this case, we took the trip down there.


There's a McDonald's in the Walmart and the boys hadn't had lunch. So...lunch at McDonald's.

On Thursday, I sent Little Man back to school. I stopped in the office to talk about what I needed to do as far as the letter that I'll be getting (I haven't gotten it yet) and they said the letter is automatic from the district but they had the documentation in the office. The only problem is that if he misses too much, there's a possibility that he could be removed from his Montessori school and put into a regular elementary school.....and I don't want him anywhere near the school he's supposed to go to. Lowest rated in the district? No, thanks, I'll fight for him to be where he is. I don't think we're going to get to that point though.

Unfortunately, I was also informed that another mom had tattled on me to the office on Thursday morning, basically having a fit about how he wasn't supposed to be at school unless he was fever-free for 24 hours by that point (he had been) so I'm not very happy about that. A simple question to me would have elicited, "he's been fever-free for 24 hours," and that would have been the end of it. But nope, let's go tattle to the office. High school drama behavior. Whatever.

Friday, the school had their Earth Day celebrations. It started with a "walking bus" to school from one of the parks. This was counterproductive for us because we already walk from the opposite direction and in order for us to participate, we would have had to walk the 1.3 miles to the park, then the .6 miles from the park to the school...rather than just walking the .7 miles to school. Or we could have driven to the park, walked to school, walked back to the park, and drove home....which, again, seems counterproductive. Not everyone participates so I didn't feel bad about it. After that, they had Friday Morning Gathering, which happens every Friday but Little Man's class was performing so Stormageddon and I stayed to watch.


They made shirts to wear. Little Man's was oceanless on Wednesday because he was home sick so one of the other moms filled in his ocean for him. I still need to figure out how to wash it. I can't imagine that they would make something that couldn't be washed...but dumber things have happened.

Friday afternoon while Stormageddon and I were on our way to school to pick up Little Man, we came across a snail. I thought it was just the shell at first but it turns out that the snail was still inside. The shell had some damage and he was working to repair it. I thought an impromptu science lesson would be good for the kids. So, I took the snail to school. A few of the kids were fascinated, including Little Man. And then, on our way out, Little Man found another snail so we plucked him from the wood chips and brought him home, too. They were swirling around each other quite a bit, so it was fine.


This is the first snail. If you look on the bottom, you see that whiteish section on the shell is where it was broken and being repaired.


This is the second one. He was a bit feistier than the first one. He kept trying to get out of the cup. But, we got them home and they both found a new home by our rose bush.

Friday night, as I mentioned somewhere above, was Maker Faire at Little Man's school. We had something like 20 different makers at the event, including me. I know there were rockets, an electricity thing (using a battery, some copper tape, and a binder clip with a little light that flashes different colors), someone brought in a raspberry pi with classic Nintendo games, one of the other kinder families had a station to make stuffed animals...and I had my wheel. It was a 90 minute event and for about 80 of those minutes, I had a line of kids that wanted a go on Viktor, my Majacraft Pioneer wheel. I brought the wheel, my unprocessed merino fleece, my unprocessed alpaca fleece, my current spinning project (the BMFA roving), a future spinning project (a ball of dyed, processed merino from Mielke Fibers), and another future spinning project (undyed, natural, processed BFL from Frene Creek Fibers), the full bobbin of the current spinning project, a couple books and a couple empty bobbins. The kids had tons of fun. Some of them even got a handle on the spinning portion. After some frustrations in the beginning, we stopped the fiber portion and just got a handle on working the treadle. Also, the chair I had was an adult-sized chair and some of the kids were tiny and the chair kept sliding backwards. Other than that, it was fabulous. I was so busy that I didn't get to take any photos. Oh well.

Yesterday, Husband took Stormageddon along with him on a Porsche Club drive with a friend of ours (we don't own the Porsche; he does) so I had a date with Little Man. If you were living under a rock in the US, there were hundreds (if not thousands) of Marches for Science across the country. We went to the one in San Francisco. There were six or so speakers, thousands of people (estimates were over 20K), and it was a relatively decent day.

We started out our day with doughnuts....because doughnuts, of course.


After that, we took the drive into the city, parked the car near the Bay Bridge, and walked to the Ferry Building. We took photos along the way, of course. I particularly like this one because you get an idea of just how massive the piece is. We've driven by it many times and we know it's huge...but with Little Man in front of if, you can see just how huge....and he's not even right up against it.


The day started out overcast. The sun did come out for a bit while we were listening to the speakers but then it went away again.


This was the main reason Little Man wanted to go. That is Adam Savage of Mythbusters. He lives in San Francisco and he was one of the keynote speakers. After this, he hopped in a car and went to San Jose for the Silicon Valley ComiCon (where he was dressed in his Totoro costume).

Here are some other shots that I took during the speeches and at the beginning of the march up Market Street.




And this was probably my favorite sign:


By the time we started moving toward Market Street for the march, Little Man was losing it. He was tired, hot, crabby....and the crowd was not moving. So, we called it quits. I know, I know....we had intended to go the whole hog but just couldn't.

Unsurprisingly, this happened on the way home:


Yuuuuuup. He fell asleep in the car. He hardly ever does that. I woke him up to have a late lunch at Heidi's Pies and then we headed home.

It was a loooooong day.


Anyway, I hope you've had a lovely weekend so far. I might be back later this week. Who knows. So many random things happening around here...

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Year SIX: Self-Imposed Year of Projects - Update #16

Happy Sunday, happy Easter, happy whatever and ever amen.

Now that that's out of the way.....year of projects update :)

Finished Objects (FOs):
1. Pussy Hat: started January 10, 2017; finished January 16, 2017
2. Hermione's Everyday Socks (v2): started November 14, 2016; finished January 28, 2017
3. Frene Creek Farm Corriedale (spinning): started October 12, 2016; finished January 16, 2017
4. Pikachu Hat: started February 3, 2017; finished February 10, 2017
5. Trusty (v2): started December 22, 2016; finished February 24, 2017
6. Pussy Hat: started February 13, 2017; finished February 27, 2017
7. Pussy Hat: started March 2, 2017; finished March 8, 2017
8. Pussy Hat: started March 9, 2017; finished March 21, 2017
9. Pussy Hat: started March 21, 2017; finished March 30, 2017
10. FlockSock Yarn #1: started April 5, 2017; finished April 5, 2017
11. FlockSock Yarn #2: started April 5, 2017; finished April 5, 2017
12. #initiateknitdesign challenge from ArohaKnits: started April 3, 2017; finished April 11, 2017
13. Knit Picks Bare Palette Fingering: started April 9, 2017; finished April 9, 2017
14. Malabrigo Rios: started April 9, 2017; finished April 9, 2017
15. Nashua Creative Focus Superwash: started April 9, 2017; finished April 9, 2017

I started and finished three dyeing projects last Sunday afternoon. I'll probably do a write up of some sort later this week but if you want to go peek now, just click on the links. Also, if you're interested, my yarn dyeing adventures with the FlockSock can be found here.

I also finished the #initiateknitdesign challenge. I was again reminded how much I hate swatching and how much swatches lie. ::sigh:: Oh well.



Works-in-Progress (WIPs):
1. Wink: started January 5, 2015
2. Oh, She IS a Bad Nut: started August 11, 2016
3. Fall in San Francisco (prototype 3): started October 4, 2016
4. Smooth Operator Socks: started October 13, 2016
5. Stormageddon's Vest: started October 17, 2016
6. Morvarch Aardvark: started January 1, 2017
7. Messed Up Moss: started January 4, 2017
8. Stomping Grounds collection: started February 26, 2017 (no project page)
9. Hat Design: started March 20, 2017
10. BMFA Handpainted Roving: started March 23, 2017
11. Vanilla Socks: started March 30, 2017
12. Pussy Hat: started April 13, 2017

I feel like I didn't do anything this week but I know that isn't true.

I pulled out Stormageddon's Vest this week. It's been awhile since I worked on it. All I had left to do on it was to start and finish the armholes, do the single crochet chain around the neck, and weave in the ends. Wellllllll......the armholes were finished pretty quickly. I picked up stitches along both armholes at the same time so I had the same number of stitches on both armholes. And then came the single crochet stitch around the neck....which is finished. However, I haven't had Stormageddon try it on yet. I'm worried that it's too tight. It didn't fit over Little Man's head. So, I have a feeling that I'm going to be ripping that out and doing something else. It does need something and a single crochet chain is probably the way to go but I need to do a looser version. We'll see once I try it on the appropriate child.

In addition to that, I started my fifth Pussy Hat. I'm doing a 1x3 rib instead of the 3x1 that I did for the last one. I'm still working on the brim. I'm kind of sad, though. My needle broke so I had to find a new/different one. It was wood and something leaned on it and it snapped.

The only other thing I did this week was I did the cast on row for the second of the Vanilla Socks. I haven't even put it onto two needles. I did that in the car last night on our way to Ikea.



17 UFOs in 2017
1. Wink: started January 5, 2015
2. Oh, She IS a Bad Nut: started August 11, 2016
3. Fall in San Francisco (prototype 3): started October 4, 2016
4. Frene Creek Farm Corriedale (spinning): started October 12, 2016; finished January 16, 2017 **DONE**
5. Smooth Operator Socks: started October 13, 2016
6. Stormageddon's Vest: started October 17, 2016
7. Hermione's Everyday Socks (v2): started November 14, 2016; finished January 28, 2017 **DONE**
8. Trusty (v2): started December 22, 2016 **DONE**
9. Design: Susan's Hat
10. Design: Little Man's Baby Blanket
11. Design: Paradiddle Socks (aka Little Drummer Girl)
12. Design: Pacific Waves Hat
13. Design: Fall in San Francisco Hat
14. Stash Inventory (photos, in Rav database) **DONE**
15. Dystopian Novel
16. Doctor Who blanket (1)
17. Doctor Who blanket (2)



And in my "OMGLSGWTFBBQ" lists...

Secret Sock Club Bags - Pick a bag at random; do pattern with yarn
1. Scotch & Soda Scarf (using Briar Rose Fibers Wistful, leftover from my Icarus Shawl)
2. Jabberwonky (using KP Felici in Abracadabra)
3. If You Know Where To Go (using KP Felici in Green Veggies)
4. Baby Surprise Jacket (using....htNEVELE something something)

These are the only ones that are currently set up. I have plans to make a few more but we'll see how things go. With all the WIPs and such I have going, this may not be a good idea at this point. Or maybe I'll pull things from the lists below and put them into bags. I don't know.


Stranded Knitting
1. University of Wisconsin Ski Hat (kit)
2. University of Wisconsin Christmas Stocking (kit)
3. University of Wisconsin Button Beanie (kit)
4. Xanadu Snowflake Cowl
5. Unknown Christmas Stocking for Little Man (see also: Designs)
6. Unknown Christmas Stocking for Stormageddon (see also: Designs)
7. Unknown Christmas Stocking for Husband (see also: Designs)


Children's Items:
1. Stuffed toy for Miss C (SIL's foster child)
2. Stuffed toy for Mr. K (SIL's foster child)
3. Stuffed toy for Miss E (SIL's adopted daughter)
4. Stuffed toy for TAZ (brother's daughter)
5. Undetermined hat for Little Man
6. Undetermined hat for Stormageddon
7. Mittens for Little Man
8. Mittens for Stormageddon


Items for ME (selfish knitting FTW!):
1. Park Slope (fingering, specifically Mountain Colors Crazy Foot)
2. Worsted weight house socks (worsted, of course - maybe something like Lumberjack)
3. Classic Silk Mayfaire Camisole (Miss Babs Northumbria with modifications)
4. Evangeline (worsted; solid or semi-solid)
5. Lichen (Aran or Sport/DK; solid or semi-solid)
6. Moyen Age (fingering; one of my Vice Yarns? Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20?)
7. Ginny's Cardigan (DK; solid or semi-solid)
8. Drip Drip Drop (sock; solid or semi-solid)
9. Celtic Myths (worsted; solid)
10. Jag in Garter Stitch (DK; 2 colors)
11. Cobh (fingering; 2 colors)
12. Offhand Lace (bulky; solid or semi-solid)
13. Whitman (DK; any color)
14. Flax (worsted; any color - Misti Alpaca Harry Potter-esque one?)
15. Hoar Frost (Wollmeise that's wound in the bag)


Christmas/Charity Bin:
1. 198 Yds of Heaven (worsted; solid)
2. Comfort Food (Aran; solid)
3. Tombreck (worsted; solid or semi-solid)
4. Premie Spiral Hat (DK; any color)
5. Pumpkins & a Pattern (any weight, any color - gauge doesn't matter)


Designs:
1. Susan's Hat *started* - need new prototype & write pattern
2. Little Man's Baby Blanket *started* - write pattern
3. Paradiddle Socks - need prototype & write pattern
4. Pacific Waves Hat *started* - need another prototype & write pattern
5. Fall in San Francisco *started* - need another prototype & write pattern
6. Stormageddon's Baby Blanket - need prototype & write pattern
7. Cabled pullover (grey look-alike sweater) - need sketch, grading, swatch, prototype, & write pattern
8. Christmas stocking for Little Man - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
9. Christmas stocking for Stormageddon - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
10. Christmas stocking for Husband - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
11. Stomping Grounds collection (everything: charts, prototypes, swatches, etc.) *started*


Spinning:
1. Miss Babs BFL
2. Sandy's Palette Merino/Silk (1)
3. Sandy's Palette Merino/Silk (2)
4. Faerie Mountain Fibers Crazy Batt
5. Wash & start processing Alpaca fleece from Lambtown
6. Wash & start processing Merino fleece from Lambtown


Other:
1. Stitch markers
2. Make sure my vintage patterns are in Ravelry (Workbasket magazines, leaflets, etc.)






This week it was back to business as usual. Sort of. I haven't gotten back into my gym routine. I really screwed up my left elbow pulling weeds a few weeks ago. I still can't grip with that hand without pain, nor can I pick anything up with that arm. It's awful. I don't want to go to the doctor because there's really nothing that can be done. I don't think I have a stress fracture based on the location but there's a good possibility that I tore something pretty major. Fortunately, this happened to my non-dominant arm, which is my left arm. Unfortunately, it turns out I use my left arm a lot. So, there's that. 

Husband went back to work this week. So, kind of back to a normal routine. Stormageddon had a doctor appointment. One more ear infection before September and he's probably getting ear tubes as well. Is it wrong that I'm kind of just hoping he gets one so we can get it out of the way? Or that I also want it done now because we've hit our out-of-pocket limit for our health insurance? Yeah.....

After we got home from that doctor appointment, we saw this little guy hanging around. I'm pretty sure it's a bluejay of some sort. He's hard to see. He's right in front of the bush. 




Also, it occurs to me that I took no photos of Little Man this week. All my photos are of Stormageddon. He makes it so easy, though!






Why yes, he is my child; why ever would you ask?! He's also a fan of selfies...lots of selfies. And apparently sticking his toes in front of the camera.



I finally caught his "angry" face properly. He truly can grump but it lasts about three seconds and then he starts smiling.



Once upon a time, Little Man received this Ultron costume (from Avengers: Age of Ultron). He wears it now and then. Stormageddon likes to get into Little Man's room and he put on the costume. It's about five sizes too big for him but he's cute so it's okay. 

The only other thing we did this week was a park date on Friday afternoon with a few of the kids from Little Man's class. We did a picnic lunch and the kids ran around and burned off tons of energy.









I have photos of Stormageddon because I have to keep an eye on him, as evidenced by the first photo. He keeps trying to climb the dome and I have to keep dragging him off. He also had his first go on a swing, sitting properly. I was across the playground, watching him swing on the seat by leaning over it. There was a girl being pushed by her dad in the next swing. He thought it looked fun and instead of coming back to me, he went over to the dad and raised his arms up and started babbling at him. By that point, I was already on my way over. Little stinker. But he loved it. He kept giggling and saying, "wheeee!" I have video but it doesn't want to load properly today. Oh well.



Did I mention he likes the selfie mode on my phone? He has a hard time just letting me take a photo without him seeing it. ::sigh:: Booger.

Yesterday, Little Man and I went to the cafe across from his school for an activity. For the school auction, we have something called "count me in" parties where some sort of activity is set up with a set number of people and you sign up for it and the money goes to the school. I signed Little Man up for an art project at the cafe. The owner donated lunch (sandwiches, juice, and cookies) and the space, a couple of the parents lead the activity. Little Man was the youngest and only Kinder and the oldest was a 7th grader. They did some block printing. 


The theme was either owls or an underwater theme. He obviously chose the underwater theme. Jellyfish, shells, fish, seahorses, and baby jellyfish....yeah, his favorite things. They made two prints. One stays at the cafe over the summer (she decorates the cafe with projects from the kids at the school and in the summer, she has nothing....so, that's why they stay) and the other one came home. 

Once that was over, we took a trip to Home Depot and then to Sears. Husband got a bug in his pants to take care of our disaster of a garage. The first step was to get a proper tool box (Craftsman, almost as tall as I am). We started working yesterday afternoon and we'll do more of it later today. We also went to Ikea to get another shelving unit (which is being returned today in favor of something else that we found after we got home). 

It was all very exciting. My eyes are still itchy and crying. ::sigh::

Anyway, that's about all that's been happening. I hope you're having a lovely weekend and holiday (if that's your jam). Hopefully I'll be back this week with dyeing projects. Maybe even an FO Friday...we'll see. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Adventures in Yarn Dyeing: The First Time!

I don't know how may of you remember, but at Stitches West, I took a yarn dyeing class with Jennifer Vancalcar of Holiday Yarns.

This was my masterpiece:


After class, I tottered off to Jennifer's booth and picked up the dye kit for Strandwanderer. Included in the kit were two bare skeins of her FlockSock base, four different basic dyes (ruby red, sun yellow, royal blue, and black), the Strandwanderer pattern, and directions for how to dye yarn for that project. Now, I'll be honest here: Strandwanderer is a lovely pattern but it's just not something I'm going to knit. What I wanted was the dye kit part.

So, that was the end of February. It's now the beginning of April. Over the last six or seven weeks since Stitches West, I've been accumulating items for dyeing. I know, that sounds kind of weird. I mean, I had the dye, I had the yarn...what else could I possibly need?

Turns out that you need quite a few things, but none of them are hugely expensive or difficult to find. It also depends on what kind of dyeing you plan to do. I was perfectly fine doing a form of splatter/speckle dyeing, which is what we did in class. You can achieve the same goal as immersion dyeing (where you stick the entire skein or half a skein in a dye pot and just let it soak it up) but without having things sit in a pot. A few things we had on hand for the project but there were some things that I needed to get.

What I had:
1. Dye
2. Yarn (I had some in my stash that I could use, as well)
3. Plastic bags
4. Saran wrap
5. Hot water
6. Paper towels
7. Shammy (specifically, I had a ShamWow that I cut in half for this project)
8. 5-gal bucket (Home Depot kind)
9. Vinegar or citric acid powder (you can buy the citric acid powder in bulk from a beer supply shop)


What I needed:
1. 2-cup measuring cup (preferably plastic)
2. Small amount measuring spoons (drop, smidgen, pinch, dash, tad)
3. Squeeze bottles
4. Veggie steamer
5. Funnel (helpful but not necessarily a "need" for this)
6. Mason jars (for storage of unused dye)
7. Spoon (metal, plastic, whatever...)
8. Dust mask (especially helpful if you're doing a lot of dye mixing)

Unfortunately, I had difficulty finding a few of these items. I had to order, the measuring cup, measuring spoons, and the funnel (which still hasn't arrived). I could have just bought any funnel but I didn't want to pay $9 for something I might not ever use except this one time. I also didn't want to go out and buy a brand new veggie steamer (they run about $25 new for a basic one, which is all I needed). I took Jennifer's suggestion and trolled Goodwill and St. Vinny's. I found one at Goodwill that would have been great if it had the steamer portion but, alas, it did not. Good thing because I found the perfect one at St. Vinny's (along with my metal spoon). It's an older Oster steamer, double layer so it has two steamer baskets stacked one on top of the other. And I didn't feel bad for paying $15 for it because it was used and I didn't know if I was going to like this adventure or not (hahahaha). I found the squeeze bottles at one of the grocery stores and a few more at Michael's (truth be told, the ones from Michael's kind of suck bozons so I might swing back over to the grocery store and buy more from there - those ones worked really well). I also found the mason jars and the dust masks at Target; I didn't necessarily want a dozen of the jars but that's what I wound up with. Oh well.

In addition to that, I bought a couple books about dyeing: Dyeing to Spin & Knit by Felicia Lo and Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece by Gail Callahan.




Soooooo, I had most of my items and I pulled the trigger (I was missing a few items like the funnel, the measuring cup, and the measuring spoons but I could get away with not having them for this first round....and I did.

I unhanked the two skeins of FlockSock, made sure they were tied well, and put them into the bucket, which had about 2 gallons of water and maybe a gallon of vinegar in it. Maybe not quite that much. I let those soak for a good half-hour, though many dyers will tell you to just soak them overnight. But, I'm impatient.

While those were soaking, I made my dyes. I was going to go for something blue, maybe something green, yellow, and I made black for fun. I wound up making a deep blue, a dark blue-green, a basic yellow, and black.



L to R: yellow, blue, blue-green, black

I had an awful time getting the saran wrap to lay flat on my surface. It kept trying to stick to me. I eventually got enough down to be able to work. I laid out my first skein of yarn, fluffed it out a bit so I could get at the yarn better, and got myself ready to go.


My first skein I did with the blue and the blue-green. I also striped some of the black in for fun. It actually didn't take me that long to do, once I got going. The hardest part was flipping it over to work on the opposite side. I used the shammy to clean up the spills and I used it on top after I had finished dyeing, to soak up more of the excess. 


I laid that one aside and set up for the second skein. I had no idea what I wanted to do with it. I had used up all the blue on the first skein and most of the blue-green. I had plenty of yellow, and probably half of the black. 


I started with the black on this one. I put the yellow in between the black stripes. It was playing right into my Hufflepuff nature but, alas, it didn't stay that way. When I had my class at Stitches, Jennifer mentioned that the black mixed with the yellow would most likely give an avocado green color where they meet. I was not fussed about that. I like green. I also put the remaining blue-green dye in there, as well.

I dipped both skeins in the bucket of vinegar/water (multiple times). I did the second one first because it had the lighter colors. Mostly the black sloughed off, though there was some green in there, too. Then I dipped the first skein several times. That water was good and black when I was finished with that step. 

Then, I folded up my yarn into saran wrap and stuck them in the steamer for an hour. I flipped them at the half-hour mark, just in case. 


I probably should not have done this in the kitchen. It made the house smell like vinegar and wool. The wool part I didn't mind but vinegar....I might have to go with citric acid. That smell is pretty nasty. 

An hour later, I pulled yarn out, let it cool a little (again, impatient), gave them both a swim in the sink, found no dye leakage, and called it good!


There were a few spots that were lighter, but that just adds to it's hand dyed nature.


This one has a lot going on and I'm okay with that. The black faded a bit but I'm not fussed about that, either.



These have both been skeined up and are hanging out in my stash. I'm not sure what they want to be when they grow up but for now, they look pretty.





Now, as expected, I very much enjoyed dyeing yarn. So, there's going to be a second installment as soon as I get photographs taken of finished yarn....which can't happen until the yarn is fully dried. In other words, I'll probably have another post like this one. 

I probably shouldn't tell you that I've been trolling the Dharma Trading website in search of more dye...and dyeable yarn. Or that I've been trolling Etsy looking for sock blanks, preferably double-strand. Nope. Haven't been doing that.

Anyway, I hope you're having a lovely day :) 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Year SIX: Self-Imposed Year of Projects - Update #15

Happy Sunday :)

Yesterday, I had a Stash Enhancement post, if you're interested. Otherwise, let's get moving...


Finished Objects (FOs):

1. Pussy Hat: started January 10, 2017; finished January 16, 2017
2. Hermione's Everyday Socks (v2): started November 14, 2016; finished January 28, 2017
3. Frene Creek Farm Corriedale (spinning): started October 12, 2016; finished January 16, 2017
4. Pikachu Hat: started February 3, 2017; finished February 10, 2017
5. Trusty (v2): started December 22, 2016; finished February 24, 2017
6. Pussy Hat: started February 13, 2017; finished February 27, 2017
7. Pussy Hat: started March 2, 2017; finished March 8, 2017
8. Pussy Hat: started March 9, 2017; finished March 21, 2017
9. Pussy Hat: started March 21, 2017; finished March 30, 2017
10. FlockSock Yarn #1: started April 5, 2017; finished April 5, 2017
11. FlockSock Yarn #2: started April 5, 2017; finished April 5, 2017

Hmmm....what are those? I didn't spin any commercial yarn. I don't know that I could. However, I did do some yarn dyeing this week and the last two entries are my dyeing projects. I think sometime this week, maybe Tuesday, I'll have my first post about my adventures in yarn dyeing. For now, if you want to see the end result, click on the linky and you can see my pretties. I'll get around to an actual separate post sometime.



Works-in-Progress (WIPs):

1. Wink: started January 5, 2015
2. Oh, She IS a Bad Nut: started August 11, 2016
3. Fall in San Francisco (prototype 3): started October 4, 2016
4. Smooth Operator Socks: started October 13, 2016
5. Stormageddon's Vest: started October 17, 2016
6. Morvarch Aardvark: started January 1, 2017
7. Messed Up Moss: started January 4, 2017
8. Stomping Grounds collection: started February 26, 2017 (no project page)
9. Hat Design: started March 20, 2017
10. BMFA Handpainted Roving: started March 23, 2017
11. Vanilla Socks: started March 30, 2017
12. #initiateknitdesign challenge from ArohaKnits: started April 3, 2017

I've worked on three things this week: yarn dyeing (noted above), the Vanilla Sock, and the #initiateknitdesign challenge. That's it. The design challenge is taking a lot out of me, actually; more than I thought it would. It's taking place over 10 days with five challenges. So, you get a challenge and have two days to complete it (or at least get a good start on it), you post your progress on Instagram with the hashtag, in the Facebook group, or in the Ravelry group. The idea is that you'll have a pattern ready at the end...maybe. She suggests starting with something simple: a scarf, a square/rectangle wrap, or a cowl because they usually don't require shaping elements and while some people are going that route, I've got a hat pattern. I know others have everything from triangular shawls to fingerless mitts to socks and I think I even saw a sweater in there. With that said, after three challenges, I'm going to have to rethink a few things. I have some...well, they look good on paper but when you get around to actually doing it, it looks like a hot mess. We'll see how things go.

I have a HFO, though. I finished the first of the Vanilla Socks.


Yes, I was trying to get caught up on podcasts. The one I was watching: The Yarn Hoarder Podcast (ep. 6). I'm very behind. She's got 12 episodes, plus a few bonus episodes. So....woefully behind. I haven't started the second sock, either. I'll get around to it.

That's about it for WIPs, really. I'm kind of boring this week. Oh well.



17 UFOs in 2017

1. Wink: started January 5, 2015
2. Oh, She IS a Bad Nut: started August 11, 2016
3. Fall in San Francisco (prototype 3): started October 4, 2016
4. Frene Creek Farm Corriedale (spinning): started October 12, 2016; finished January 16, 2017 **DONE**
5. Smooth Operator Socks: started October 13, 2016
6. Stormageddon's Vest: started October 17, 2016
7. Hermione's Everyday Socks (v2): started November 14, 2016; finished January 28, 2017 **DONE**
8. Trusty (v2): started December 22, 2016 **DONE**
9. Design: Susan's Hat
10. Design: Little Man's Baby Blanket
11. Design: Paradiddle Socks (aka Little Drummer Girl)
12. Design: Pacific Waves Hat
13. Design: Fall in San Francisco Hat
14. Stash Inventory (photos, in Rav database) **DONE**
15. Dystopian Novel
16. Doctor Who blanket (1)
17. Doctor Who blanket (2)

Moving along....nothing to see here.


And in my "OMGLSGWTFBBQ" lists...

Secret Sock Club Bags - Pick a bag at random; do pattern with yarn
1. Scotch & Soda Scarf (using Briar Rose Fibers Wistful, leftover from my Icarus Shawl)
2. Jabberwonky (using KP Felici in Abracadabra)
3. If You Know Where To Go (using KP Felici in Green Veggies)
4. Baby Surprise Jacket (using....htNEVELE something something)

These are the only ones that are currently set up. I have plans to make a few more but we'll see how things go. With all the WIPs and such I have going, this may not be a good idea at this point. Or maybe I'll pull things from the lists below and put them into bags. I don't know.


Stranded Knitting
1. University of Wisconsin Ski Hat (kit)
2. University of Wisconsin Christmas Stocking (kit)
3. University of Wisconsin Button Beanie (kit)
4. Xanadu Snowflake Cowl
5. Unknown Christmas Stocking for Little Man (see also: Designs)
6. Unknown Christmas Stocking for Stormageddon (see also: Designs)
7. Unknown Christmas Stocking for Husband (see also: Designs)


Children's Items:
1. Stuffed toy for Miss C (SIL's foster child)
2. Stuffed toy for Mr. K (SIL's foster child)
3. Stuffed toy for Miss E (SIL's adopted daughter)
4. Stuffed toy for TAZ (brother's daughter)
5. Undetermined hat for Little Man
6. Undetermined hat for Stormageddon
7. Mittens for Little Man
8. Mittens for Stormageddon


Items for ME (selfish knitting FTW!):
1. Park Slope (fingering, specifically Mountain Colors Crazy Foot)
2. Worsted weight house socks (worsted, of course - maybe something like Lumberjack)
3. Classic Silk Mayfaire Camisole (Miss Babs Northumbria with modifications)
4. Evangeline (worsted; solid or semi-solid)
5. Lichen (Aran or Sport/DK; solid or semi-solid)
6. Moyen Age (fingering; one of my Vice Yarns? Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20?)
7. Ginny's Cardigan (DK; solid or semi-solid)
8. Drip Drip Drop (sock; solid or semi-solid)
9. Celtic Myths (worsted; solid)
10. Jag in Garter Stitch (DK; 2 colors)
11. Cobh (fingering; 2 colors)
12. Offhand Lace (bulky; solid or semi-solid)
13. Whitman (DK; any color)
14. Flax (worsted; any color - Misti Alpaca Harry Potter-esque one?)
15. Hoar Frost (Wollmeise that's wound in the bag)


Christmas/Charity Bin:
1. 198 Yds of Heaven (worsted; solid)
2. Comfort Food (Aran; solid)
3. Tombreck (worsted; solid or semi-solid)
4. Premie Spiral Hat (DK; any color)
5. Pumpkins & a Pattern (any weight, any color - gauge doesn't matter)


Designs:
1. Susan's Hat *started* - need new prototype & write pattern
2. Little Man's Baby Blanket *started* - write pattern
3. Paradiddle Socks - need prototype & write pattern
4. Pacific Waves Hat *started* - need another prototype & write pattern
5. Fall in San Francisco *started* - need another prototype & write pattern
6. Stormageddon's Baby Blanket - need prototype & write pattern
7. Cabled pullover (grey look-alike sweater) - need sketch, grading, swatch, prototype, & write pattern
8. Christmas stocking for Little Man - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
9. Christmas stocking for Stormageddon - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
10. Christmas stocking for Husband - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
11. Stomping Grounds collection (everything: charts, prototypes, swatches, etc.) *started*


Spinning:
1. Miss Babs BFL
2. Sandy's Palette Merino/Silk (1)
3. Sandy's Palette Merino/Silk (2)
4. Faerie Mountain Fibers Crazy Batt
5. Wash & start processing Alpaca fleece from Lambtown
6. Wash & start processing Merino fleece from Lambtown


Other:
1. Stitch markers
2. Make sure my vintage patterns are in Ravelry (Workbasket magazines, leaflets, etc.)



I'll be honest: this week was definitely better than last week. Spring Break didn't go quite as planned, we didn't do anything we had loosely planned to do, but it was okay. We spent a lot of time at home, doing nothing of real value (iPads, Nintendo, etc.), the boys played outside here and there, and that was about it. Really. That was about it. 




Thursday I wasn't feeling the greatest but Little Man needed to go to swimming lessons so I sucked it up. It was also the day of selfies.


Stormageddon likes to take his clothes off and put clothes on. I've caught him trying to put on Husband's socks more than once, he stole my HFO sock from above and wore it around the house for a bit before I caught him, and then there's this. He is inside Husband's swimming trunks. He got all tangled up in there, was wearing it like a cocoon. Booger.


That same night, Little Man gave him my old Koosh ball to play with. He rubbed it on his face in the same manner he rubs yarn on his face. Little Man also didn't want me to take his photo, as evidenced by the stealth one below.


I caught him mid-sentence. Otherwise, he would run and move so I couldn't get a clear shot of him. I deleted probably 10 blurry ones once he figured out what I was doing. ::sigh::


He didn't notice this one, though. He decided to cuddle with Puppy the other night. I have no idea what they're looking at but it must be something good. 


I finally broke into my Australian Tim-Tams. Back during Stitches West, I had a friend here from Australia and she brought two packages of Tim-Tams that were new flavors. This one is the Black Forest Cherry and they are yummy. I'm kind of glad Little Man didn't like them but shhhhh!

Also, all week it was nice outside and then Thursday night happened:


The blue dot in the middle is where we live, about halfway between San Francisco and San Jose. But, don't let this alarm you. When you see red on a weather map where we're from, it means squall lines, severe lightening, high winds, lots of rain, probably tornadoes......here, it just means some heavy bouts of rain and some wind. Nothing too serious, really. But, given that people freak out while driving in the rain, that part could be pretty bad. This was during swimming lessons and I don't take the highway home anyway so it was more tolerable. 

Little Man goes back to school tomorrow. I hope to get back to my gym routine. And I want to dye all the yarn! I should be back with a post about my yarn dyeing adventures. We'll see how that all goes. I hope you're having a good day. I'm a little late today. I was too tired to finish this post last night so, I finished it this morning :) I hope you're having a lovely weekend :)