Thursday, August 30, 2007

Alpaca Felted Bag and Stash Transformation

This is the felted (technically, fulled) bag that I sent to my Fiber Frenzy pal, Melanie of Dandelion Spinnery blog. She loves alpacas. So the bag uses the alpaca motif from Knitting in the Old Way.

The handle is braided roving, also fulled. A lining of striped cotton duck.

I don't even remember what needles I used any more, but I used some leftover alpaca blend yarn from Knitpicks for the motif, and for the body of the bag I used Bruce's Granny's yarn which stars in the photo below. Remember all the ball bands?

Well, one day this spring I was surprised to find a large box with my name on it left by the postman. Opened it up, and it was crammmmmed full of 100% wool yarn. Yes, I know this only happens to you in your dreams, but this really happened. It was all from Granny, who bought it years ago and has decided that she will never use it now. She used to knit, but in recent years her energies have gone into her garden. So she sent it on to me, and it is a sweet reminder of her to me.

They were all the pastel shades that are shown at the top of the picture, which left me wondering what to do with it all. The colors seem like baby colors to me, but in this century I hate to give baby gifts that aren't machine washable, and there was a whole lot of it, too.

So every time I have done my natural dyeing, I have put a few balls of the yarn in the dyepot after I am done with my wool, and I am so pleased with the colors I have now. And some of it was perfect for the felted bag!

Stash Transformation!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


when faced with a deadline that seems impossible to meet, some people buckle down to work and get the job done. I just start new projects, and hang them in trees. (See above)

There, in pink, is Verity's hat. Chapeau Marnier, from Knitty. But you can't tell yet!

The linen colored yarn is 100% linen that will become a cover for the couch cushion that has suffered the most at the hands and backsides of the six little ones. Eventually in my dreams I will lovingly swathe the entire couch in tough-as-nails handknit covers, and for this crazy thought I blame the heady concepts in Mason Dixon Knitting. Plain knitting, in the round, perfect mindless knitting.

I have succumbed to the soothing Celebration colorway, as spinning continues for Mercy's hat/scarf set. I decided to go for a barber pole look on this yarn, and I am pleased with the many interactions of the muted tones in this colorway.

But the Nightshade socks have not been entirely neglected. This one nears completion, a different kind of socks on 2 circs, courtesy of the delightful resoleable sock pattern in Favorite Socks. I plan to make the toes match the leg of the sock, and I think that despite my fears, they will be quite handsome. This picture----at last!----shows the sock's true colors.
Last but not least, here is Verity's little doll-sized scarf she is making in garter stitch.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

finding some gumption

I have had a hard time bringing myself to finish the Nightshade socks after I realized that I have nowhere near enough yarn to finish....I am working on both socks in tandem to ration the yarn that I have....ready to start the instep, but there is not enough Nightshade to finish the instep....You can see where they are now above, with some of the lovely brown-grey GCNI from Running Moon Farm that I have spun up to finish off the whole thing. I need to do some more spinning for it, and a good deal of knitting. The birthday is next week! So I need to get some gumption. If they end up looking funny, then I will provide you all with a chuckle, and that is good for your health, right?

The GNCI wool is from Amber, and it is great fun to spin. The yarn is not exactly what I would call soft, but it is spongy. I love squishing it. Elastic is its middle name.

My dyeing has been put on hold, as we are planning to move at the end of next month so I need to cut back on the fiber stuff jeest a leeetle.

I finished Verity's scarf, and am about ready to start on her hat. I will show you all the set when they are finished.

The project for the Fiber Frenzy pal is done, and I will show you when she gets the package.

What can I show you now? A Cute Picture. Benjamin loves to help feed the babies. He calls them both "Charity" (or "Cherry" is more what it sounds like from his lips)....what a silly! This is truly Charity in the picture.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thoughts on Time and Productivity

I believe life is not merely a process; it has a goal. And production is the same....not merely a process. Nevertheless, I like this quote by Ed Franquemont. People often wonder how I have time to do handwork....and this is is the ability to use bits and pieces of is habit....

"Production, like life itself, is a process and not a goal to be achieved; the bursts of occasional but intense and directed energy associated with wheel spinning do not fit well into this process. Habitual handspindle spinning meshed into a daily routine is indeed slower by the hour, but faster by the week."

Or, slow and steady wins the race.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Secret Kept and One Revealed

All projects have been put on hold while I work on something for my Fiber Frenzy pal. I can't wait to send out that package. No, no.....I can't tell you what it is.... What if she has discovered me? I only will say that it has something to do with the picture above; and the picture above has a story of its own, as well.

But there is a secret that I have been keeping that I can finally tell you.....

Look up on my sidebar....See the link for "Garden and Hearth Knitting Articles"? You do?

Well, guess what? The knitting guru who writes those articles is MY SISTER! I found her out one day as I surfed around.....hee, hee. She wanted to surprise her husband with it, so I couldn't tell you until now. But go check it out....there are new articles now and then, educational and sometimes entertaining, too. Check out the article "Knitting Basics: Yarn War" if you want to know how infuriating I was when I was younger.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

What have I been up to?

I gave Verity the Vogue Stitchionary so she could pick out a nice stitch pattern for her scarf....and what did she pick??? Why, feather and fan, of course! Why mess with a good thing? So her angora-merino yarn is turning into a very soft and fluffy scarf. I have more of the blend to spin, and when I am done spinning that I will be spinning......

Sock yarn! Remember the undulating rib socks that I love knitting so? Well, it has become painfully obvious that there will not be enough of the nightshade yarn to make a pair, even with different yarn for the heels and toes. And so....they will become....two-yarn resolable undulating rib socks! But I need to spin more yarn. This also means that Bruce will probably only get two pairs of hand-knit socks for his birthday, poor man. He deserves better. Well, there is always Christmas.

I threw some acid dyes in the pot and came up with this pretty roving for Benjamin's hat/scarf set. I simply love these golds and blues and mossy greens, and can't wait to have at it. But I have a good bit of spinning to do before then..... sigh. Little by little.

Natural Dye Reds----Lac

The lac finally came this week! And so finally the Natural Reds series is completed.

I was most disappointed in the lac because the dye took so unevenly. Some spots were a lavender shade, others a more satisfying burgundy. I am lacking in good instructions for dying with lac and maybe that was part of it. If it had all come out the burgundy color, I would have been delighted.

I will be adding some osage orange to the lac dyebath early next week to see if I can get a nice orange for the present Project Spectrum. Then I will play with Logwood and Indigo to see if we can get some nice purples.