Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Whole New Whack of Trouble

I had originally planned to make a much different post today. One that caught up on what I'd been doing as far as knitting and showing some better pictures of the yarn I dyed. That will all have to wait though. For I made a most fortunate discovery today.

What could be in these bags?
If you guessed a whole whack of yarn, you would be right.
I went to Joann's craft store today to buy some white yarn for dyeing. I often stop by on Sunday because they start their new sales then and I like to paw around. Well, I picked up some white Paton's and was wandering around when I spotted some bulky weight 100% wool Bernat felting yarn in a sale bin on an end display. It was kind of hidden in the back of the store and there wasn't any sign telling how much the yarn cost. Well, I for Warm Woolies they ask that you only use 100% wool yarn in a bulky weight. I liked the Bernat colors so much that I picked up 6 skeins that I liked and figured I could justify this unplanned purchase because I was knitting for charity. Besides, I wanted to try a much larger sweater than I had done before and wanted to make sure I had enough yarn. Totally justified it.

Well, I get to the checkout and the lady rings me up and says, "$15.71." I was a little surprised that the price was so low because I know that Paton's is normally almost $6 a skein and even on sale that was still really cheap for 8 skeins of yarn. I mention this to her just casually making conversation. "Well, these were on sale for $.97," she informs me as she picks up a skein of the Bernat yarn. My heart does a little flutter. $.97? Less than a dollar? I take my bag out to the car immediately turn around, come back in, and buy the rest of their stock. You never find a deal that good, on a yarn you need, and walk away from it.

I got 3 skeins of the English Rose colorway.
5 of the Storm Cloud colorway.
5 of the Early Spring colorway (which is in the running for favorite color).
2 skeins of Meadow (also very pretty).
And 4 skeins of Gardenia (I think this is my favorite color).
19 skeins in all. Plus 2 white Paton's skeins, which were also on sale coincidentally.
I effectively doubled my stash in a matter of minutes this afternoon. And to think I was just getting concerned because it was starting to dwindle...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Oh no...

Something is wrong... I feel, peakish. Stuffed up, under the weather, a little flush. Not good. This suddenly came on after I had taught my private lessons this afternoon, eaten dinner, and started to watch a little TV. The longer I sit here the worse it seems to be getting. I don't want to get sick or need to get sick. I have a 3 day weekend coming up and I want to feel 100%! Plus the first University of Georgia game is this weekend! I'm going to take a bath and drink a big glass of Airborne. I hear that kicks colds in the rear. Hopefully I will feel better tomorrow and get around to posting knitting pictures.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dyeing to Show You...

Yes, I'm knitting. In fact I'm knitting a lot. I took the second skein of Artyarns Merino that was going to be the second Summer of Socks sock and finally untangled it. It's not becoming an SoS sock though. Even after I ripped back and re-knit the ribbing for the SoS sock it is still too big. I'd have to go back to the heel to make the correction for the right size. I'm thinking it may hit the frog pond. Before I can bring myself to do that though I wanted to try and knit up the tangled skein into a Jaywalker. It's trucking along at the moment. I'm doing the gusset decreases after the heel. And it's looking a bit better than it's not-even-close-to-twin sock. But really I've been preoccupied with something else. Remember how I mentioned I wanted to learn to dye. And then I got a book. Well, I read the book. And I just got more antsy to start dyeing. So, on Friday I went to Joann's and got yarn. And then I went to Wal-Mart (shudder) and got some Kool-Aid. Saturday I got down to business.
Setting up the materials.
Lots of Kool-Aid.
The canvas. I decided (maybe a little naively) to dye up 8 oz. of yarn. That's a lot. And I didn't double the amount of dye. Which I should have. Because the dye turned out really light on all that yarn and there wasn't enough coverage for my liking. Still. I jumped in with both feet.
Yum! Cooking wool and vinegar.
And the final product. I'm pleased. Not pleased as punch but pleased. And proud. I set out to do something and I did it. All on my own too (just how I like to do it).
And despite my fears the water ran clear. No bleed at all.
A close up. I used purples, pinks, and reds. Obviously the red came through the most. I like how the purple bled out a little and formed streaks of blue. I wish it was more purple/blue though. More red than I would have liked. And more white blotches than I would have liked. Still, I did it. And I will use it. Not a totally failure by any means.
I'm not sure what to call it though. I'm thinking: 1st Attempt, There's a First Time for Everything, or Cotton Candy. The first 2 sound mildly suggestive so I'm trying to think of something else to name this color but I can't decide. Suggestions are much appreciated.

Then today there was attempt number 2. This time with improved documentation skills.
Yarn being wound into a hank (note to self, invest in swift).
Color set up. These colors look gorgeous in the bottle. I used a combination of Kool-Aid and food coloring gels for this set. Branching out a little.
On the canvas.
And drying. Now this, I love. Love, love, love. Pleased as punch and pie. I'm calling this First Autumn Leaves. It's a smaller skein (100 grams) and the dye is much more brilliant. I like bright, vivid colors and I got them this time. Especially the green. Gorgeous. And the oranges and the yellow just go so well. And there is a little bit of brown in there too. So, so nice. Don't know what I'll make from it but the recipe is down and locked in the vault for future use. The only problem? I'm seriously addicted. I want a full set of acid dyes. I want a dye studio. I want to buy yarn in bulk. Must sit down, head reeling from the possibilities...

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I has a wing span.
I has a finished shrug.
Check out all the details on my Rav page.
I'm going to go snuggle up and read a dyeing book.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Where's the Shrug?

Let's a play a game of hide and seek shall we?

The shrug is still lying on the floor of my bedroom. When I checked it was almost completely dry. I could have seamed it tonight but there was precious little time and I want to do this right. Which means I will have to take the time. Thankfully after my meeting after work (again) tomorrow night I do not have to teach private lessons (as I have for the last 2 nights) so I am really hoping the shrug and I will spend some good quality time together.

Also, if anyone reading knows how to upload a Ravelry button to your profile let me know. I tried to save it to my Flickr account and then use the magic formula from the Ravelry wiki page but it's not working. Any help for the technologically ignorant is much appreciated.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Turning of the Tides

Today when I got home I will admit that I was not in the best of moods. I realized that I have 5 meetings scheduled over the next 2 days (this is after already having 2 meetings today), 2 paperwork deadlines that fall on the same day (which is tomorrow, if you were wondering), plus 2 private lessons that would fall an hour later (thanks to the 2 hour after work meeting that I have to attend but am not getting paid for). I'm running on less sleep than I would like and when I laid down to rest today (in the 30 minutes before the first of those 2 private lessons started) it took the cat a whooping 5 minutes to mess something up which prompted me to get up, clean up the mess, try and lie back down again, and have the student arrive 10 minutes early. Then after the lesson I had to go to the post office and mail some packages. Minus the 2 international packages which can only be mailed at the counter. Which means they aren't going to get mailed until Friday because, did I mention? I have to be after work every afternoon until 6!

Just as I was coming home from the post office, preparing myself to retreat to the farthest corner of my bedroom closet with a pint of ice cream, curl into the fetal position and devour some Ben and Jerry's while rocking back and forth, just before that moment arrived, I opened my mailbox to discover this...
Life is good.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I finished weaving in all the ends of the snezi shrug and it got a thorough soaking in some Soak. Now it's blocking in the bedroom. I decided to wait until it's dry to sew up the seams since I hear things can grow in the blocking process and I think this one did. Just check out the size of it on my bedroom floor.
Now the preferred area of drying is not my floor since,as you will notice in the above picture there is a cat dangerously close to the (nearly) finished product. She is refusing to step away though and trying to look innocent about being next to a slightly damp piece of cashmerino.
I shall sit as close as possible without touching it to annoy the human. Ok, maybe just the tail shall touch.

Just remember who feeds you cat.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Brave Sock and the Sprint to the Finish Line

Part One: Braves Game

The fam went to the Braves games last night so I took a (brief) break from my Ravelympics project.That doesn't mean there wasn't knitting though.
I brought a Warm Woolies sock to knit on. I started this one right before the Ravelympics and had put it on hold until later. Considering that the snezi shrug has grown to substantial portions I left it at home for the evening. Above, my Aunt Becky tries to decipher how exactly you work on something that has 5 needles. (P.S. She gets to be on the blog because she was the only willing member of my family to allow herself to be photographed with the sock.)
I finished it just before the 7th inning but didn't have any small scissors or nail clippers to cut the thread and bind off. These are back on hold for a few more days.

Part 2:
This is my Olympic watching set up on Friday night. I was watching a pre-taped version of the women's individual gymnastics and Phelps winning his 6th gold on my computer while on the TV I was watching Phelps win his 7th gold and Dara Torres race in her qualifying round. If you think I'm dedicated you should speak to my friend SM who can give you some of the most random facts about the games from the depth of the pool to the cost of the fireworks for the opening ceremonies.
And this is the snezi shrug almost finished. I have to weave in (lots) of ends and sew 6 inches of seams on both sides but then it will be complete (minus blocking of course). I plan to have the whole thing ready to wear by Wednesday. One day to weave in ends and soak and 2 days to dry. Hopefully that will be enough time. I'm so looking forward to wearing this! And guess what else...I used all 11 balls of the cashmerino that I bought :::heaves big sigh of relief::: I really thought as I got towards the end that I might not have enough but it all worked out beautifully. I'm so proud of all I've done already on this project. I thought that I was crazy for picking such a monster of a piece to knit in just 16 days but the knitting itself took just 9 days! Stay tuned for the finished product in a few days. The next thing I have to tackle is the Slouchy Summer of Socks Socks That Shouldn't Slouch...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 6...Right...?

I'm still knitting on the shrug every night. I have a few pictures from earlier this week but they all look the same. Big and blue. Along the same lines of the big pink thing. Except this yarn is a lot nicer. I started tonight with about 18 inches done. That means I have 4 more inches before I begin the decreases and then it's a sprint to the end.

The variety of Olympic events I have been watching has been interesting to say the least. I usually get stuck watching the recaps since all the good stuff comes on after 10. I'm old and have to get up early for work every morning so I don't stay up to watch. In the last couple of days I've watched women's synchronized springboard diving, some men's and women's beach volleyball, men's volleyball, and women's cycling time trials (riveting). I finished watching the women's team gymnastics finals tonight. My friend AG graciously offered to record the competition to a cd for me since he knew the only thing I really wanted to watch was gymnastics and they weren't coming on until really late. I gotta say that silver is pretty good seeing as how we ended the evening...:::sigh:::

Back to work. Tonight's events are men's volleyball and more women's beach volleyball. I wish I could stay up and watch Shawn Johnson compete in the individuals for gymnastics but again with the being old and waking up early thing. Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Day 3, Day 4 and Day 1 (again)

Day 3 Update:
Total knitting time: maybe a few hours
Watched: women's rowing and the men's gymnastics team finals
Total knitting: 13 inches total length
Day 4 Update:
Total knitting time: about an hour
Watched: men's synchronized diving
Total knitting: 14.25 inches total length (pitiful progress I know)
The reason for the very little bit of knitting I got done today was because I was utterly exhausted. Today was the first day of school. I love my little sweethearts. They are so full of energy. And, of course, at the end of the day one of my babies missed her bus. I felt so sorry for her. It caused me to end up staying at the school to finish up stuff until almost 5:30. I'm so glad that I wrote up some detailed lesson plans last week though. One less thing I had to worry about.

On a different note...
This is what happens when an 8 pound cat decides to "chase" the blind cords off the back of a chair. Luckily only one slat is permanently damaged.
The perpetrator looks strangely unconcerned...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Day 2

Day 2 update:
Total knitting time: who knows, maybe 8 or 10 hours? almost all day
Watched: some beach volleyball, men's gymnastics qualifiers, and swimming (in about 5 minutes), I also watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Total knitting: 9 inches from cast on edge (I don't know how many rows)

Day 1

Day 1 Update (from yesterday):
Total knitting time: About 6 hours
Watched: The entire opening ceremony
Total knitting: 26 rows

Friday, August 8, 2008


I waited patiently as I went to work at 7:30 this morning.

I waited patiently as I went to an unscheduled meeting which caused me to fall a little behind at work.

I waited patiently as I had to stay after work to finish things up for Monday when my little angels arrive for the first time.

I waited patiently as I went to Hell...I mean Wal-Mart, returned some things, and bought some envelopes.

I waited patiently as I came home and actually put things away where they belonged and cleaned up a little.

I waited patiently on my computer to boot up and tried to open a web page until I realized you have to be connected to the internets first for that to happen.

I waited patiently on my very slow connection to download my picture (what is going on computer?!?! Oh right, booted me off for no apparent reason, but of course!).

And now, as I have heard it said...
Let the games begin!

Now if I could just find my row counter...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Unveiling the Surprise

As I mentioned yesterday I finished a pair of Warm Woolies socks.Knit on US size 10 1/2 DPNs using Patons Classic Wool Merino in Rosewood. I really like the girly color. And now for the surprise. As I was knitting down to the toe of sock 2 the yarn in one of the skeins started to show some resistance. I tugged a little harder but it was obvious that there was a huge snag somewhere in the middle of the yarn. This seemed a little odd because I work from the inside of the skein and keep the yarn in a plastic bag as I work. Nevertheless, I stuck my had in to pull out the knot and discovered there was something hard in the middle of the skein. At first I thought it was one of my plastic sewing needles that I also keep in the bag to weave in ends. But as I tugged I realized this was longer and metal.
In the middle of my skein (literally, in the middle) was this tiny little crochet hook. The yarn was getting tangled on it.

Two ends, one slightly larger than the other. Totally random! I thought at first that someone was in the store and was thinking of buying the crochet needle and stuck it in the yarn, then changed their mind and left it. But Joanne's doesn't sell this type or size of hook (and yes, I'm in there enough to know). Maybe someone brought it in to the store, was looking at yarn, stuck it in the skein, decided not to buy the yarn but forgot about the hook, and left? Or maybe it fell in at the Paton's yarn skeining assembly line? I don't know. It was all most intriguing. Has anyone ever heard of this happening before? Maybe I should ask on Ravelry...

And, as further proof that I did indeed do as the instructions directed...

I swatched for my Ravelympics project. I can't wait to cast on! Only 2 more days!!! Too bad I have to work that morning or I could get an early start :(

Monday, August 4, 2008

Well, Phoo...

I finished knitting the Warm Woolies socks from the weekend. But there was a little surprise while I was getting to the toe. In fact it was a most unusual surprise. I took pictures (of the socks and the surprise) but Blogger is not being nice and uploading them :( I also swatched (a little swatch but a swatch none the less) for the Ravelympics. I think I can make the yarn and the needles I have work on the project (yeah, I'm substituting both). Again, there was a picture but they are being held captive right now. Maybe tomorrow...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Litte Catch Up

I need to take a couple of steps back in time to bring everyone up to speed.

On Friday night my parents, my Aunt Becky, my brother's girlfriend BB (but strangely enough, not my brother), my cousin, and I all went out to Stone Mountain Park to celebrate my birthday. It's been a month and a half since my real birthday but since I was out of the country my fam and I decided to celebrate it on Friday, the first time in a month that we weren't all off doing something else. Now, this is in no means a total representation of my family but it sufficed for me.

If you've never heard of Stone Mountain then let me give you a crash course. Stone Mountain is a granite dome that naturally protrudes out of the earth. It's located about 20-30 minutes outside of Atlanta which makes it a pretty big attraction. That might seem odd, that we would make an attraction out of a rock, until you see the thing rising 1600 feet out of the ground. Apparently there is a bigger granite "rock" in Yosemite but Stone Mountain is unique in that, on the northern rock face there is an enormous relief of three Confederate generals: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis all on horseback. It's the largest low relief sculpture in the world and is the size of 3 football fields. On summer nights they use lasers to put on a show on top of the relief. It's really a unique thing to see.

There is a walk-up trail on one side of the mountain that you can take to the top. It's about a mile long but the view from the top is really cool. You can also take a cable car up to the top on the north side that passes very near to the carving. If you know where to look though, you can take little side trails right up to the mountain on the unclimbable sides. It just kind of gives you a perspective of things.

The scenery around the park is beautiful. One thing I always hear about Atlanta is that no one has ever visited a greener city. I've flown in to only a few major US cities but I would have to say, those people are right. There are trees all around. The park is home to the Georgia oak tree and the Confederate Yellow Daisy flower, two very rare plants as well as clam and fairy shrimp that live in pools of water on the mountain face.
There are walking trails all around the park that lead you up the side of the mountain, down by the surrounding lake, and over old covered bridges.

A train also runs around the base of the mountain starting from a place called Crossroads. Crossroads is a little retail and eatery area that also has a theater and some homegrown craft stands. It's meant to help preserve the folklore and crafts of the southern United States.

There's a lot more to see and do at the park. The management is re-doing the water park area so next year it will be nice and new. There is Confederate Hall which is a Civil War museum. There's an antebellum plantation that was actually in use at one point (It was transported from another area of the state to be put on display). There's a carillon, a steamboat, a covered bridge, and a grist mill. Also, tucked away in a little corner is a little homage to the men who used to work the granite quarry. All very interesting.Mom, BB, and I went for a little walk back into a hardly discovered corner of the park where there is a little writers garden (I believe it may be the Daughter's of the Revolutionary War or the United Daughter's of the Confederacy who founded the garden, can't remember which) and up to the side of the mountain. I wore a very special shirt to show my love of both mixed martial arts and crafting :)
And, yes, there was knitting. I started a Warm Woolies sock at my parent's house and knit on it while I waited for my dad to cook some burgers. I finished it up yesterday. I had to go by JoAnn's to pick up some new yarn since, for some odd reason that I'm still trying to figure out, my stash seems sadly depleted right now. I had a dream about shopping at a yarn store the other night so maybe that's a sign...