Saturday, August 29, 2009

All's Quiet on the Western Front

I have finished the large green and multi socks.
I used Cascade 220 Heathers in a light green held double for the cuffs, heels, and toes. Then I held one strand of the Cascade with a strand of Di'Ve Butterfly in a green and orange colorway for the leg and foot if the sock. Knit on US size 8 DPNs. A very quick and satisfying knit (only 2-3 days of real knitting time) and I love the colors. I bought three balls of the Di'Ve and 2 skeins of the 220 so I should have enough for another pair. We shall see.

I have finished the collar on the Mystery Sweater #3 for Warm Woolies.
Not really a huge feat considering I only had about 10 more rows to do before I knitchenered the sides together. It's an interesting construction though where you knit up the side then around the back and graft to the other side. I couldn't work it out in my head but it came out just as it should have. I haven't picked up stitches for the arms yet because I'm not in the mood. My knitting mojo has taken a brief hiatus so I'm waiting for it to return.

With the knitting mojo out to lunch the Rivulets socks looks pretty much the same. I feel as though I've been knitting on them forever. Really any time I pick them up I may do a row or two and then have to put them down again. Not terribly exciting but I am ready for them to be done. Nevermind that after I finish the first sock I have to make a matching one.

So the knitting frontier is pretty quiet. Watch out for tumbleweeds.

I am dyeing though. In fact, I've been trying to get my store looking a little nicer and my products listed a little differently (tell me what you think, please :)).

Last night I needed to do some dyeing for a function at Rare Purls on Sunday. I had a volunteer appreciation dinner at my church to go to first but when I came home I jumped right in.
What's that I spy with my little eye? Could it be...?
It is! Black, superwash roving! For free! I've been wanting to try mixing in some long lengths of black with some punchy colors but I figured it would be awhile before I got around to it. Then my roving supplier sent 5 oz. of it to me for free. I've got two colors that I dyed last night that I'll be mixing it with.

It was a late night when I got started working
so I fortified myself with a tasty beverage
which kept me going all night and into the wee hours of the morning until I finally crashed at 2:30 (a.m.). It was worth it though.
(Sorry for the poor lighting. It is a bathroom after all.) This is my first time dyeing a large quantity of superwash roving and I know I still have a lot to learn: 1. Superwash falls apart if you soak it for too long. So I didn't soak it for more than 2 minutes before applying dye. But since I soak my pre-dyed fibers in vinegar I must remember to add adequate amounts of vinegar to the dye before I apply it or the color won't take (because a dunk in sythropol and vinegar isn't the same as a half hour bath in the stuff). 2. Brown is a very splitty color. I'm going to try and heat the dye before I apply it, especially if I hand paint (it doesn't split hardly at all if it's kettle/immersion dyed). Since my hot water comes out scalding from the tap (ask me how I know) I'm hoping that will be enough of a boost to get the colors to all take at the same rate (on a side note: Did you know in England that hot water out of the tap is supposed to be hot enough to steep a cup of tea? And the hot and cold water comes out of separate taps? So if you are in an English hotel, and you need to wash your hands, turning on the hot faucet full blast isn't a good idea. Ask me how I know.). 3. Superwash will take colors very vividly but in order to get full saturation from one side of the roving to the next I really have to turn and paint both sides. But not too much or the colors bleed together.

This is all experimental right now and I'm hoping that at least some of my stuff is ok. This is all a learning process so it will only get better (and hopefully easier) as time goes by.

The dyeing frontier is a flurry of activity and it would be great if I could keep it that way.

Other than no knitting and lots of dyeing today I took a little trip out to the local Barnes and Noble to see my friend Amy.
Amy is kind of a big deal because she wrote this book called As You Wish (P.S. Jackson Pearce is her pen name). Back when I taught drumline at the local high school (and I was still teaching middle school band), Amy worked with the color guard. In fact, she still does. But she also wrote a book.
Which is pretty awesome. And she signed one for me.
And I didn't even have to print my name on a little post-it because she knows my name (and even how to spell it, not that it's really hard. But you'd be surprised...). Because, dudes, we're that close.
And I feel pretty confident that when (not if, but when) this book sells a billion copies and becomes a movie and Amy becomes a big, big star, as big as J.K. Rowling or Stephanie Meyer or Michael Crichton (different genres, I know, so sue me), she will still grab a pint with me at the Loafing Leprechaun. Because she's pretty cool like that.

And now I have something on the reading frontier as well.


DragonsChest said...

I love that new sock and it's color combos. How pretty! It's way cool you know a real live author. Also makes for nifty dinner party convo, lol!

Jackson said...

Thanks for posting :D Also, there are gift certificates to the Loafing Leprechaun on right now. $25 for $12.50. Which means we can have $25 worth of fiesta for $12.50. We should do this immediately.

kadezmom said...

I CANNOT wait to see how that spins up.

Great job on the warm woolies stuff. I ordered a bunch of yarn for it....and then I got distracted. Imagine.

I can't imagine how you know that your hot water is scalding! *wink* gotta hate the reality that accompanies stories like that