Archive for September, 2007
I’ve been busy working on my dyeing this morning. I know, I should have been organizing my hall closet, but I just can’t stay away from the colors. I have so many ideas and so little time, but that is how it goes with everyone, right?
The plan for this post was for it to be mostly a knitting update but after I took photos of Shedir, I started wandering abound my house to see what else looked pretty or interesting. I have a few photos that I would like to share and then I will get on with telling you about my progress with Shedir.
This is a photo of one of my fall mums. I love this reddish violet color with the light green background; definitely a dyeing inspiration:
I took my life into my hands when I took the next couple of photos as my Terry’s Tubs are sitting out under the killer acorn tree. The top photo is yarn from my natural dyeing project in a goldenrod dye bath. The lower photo shows some rovings that I painted this morning, baking in the sun. They will be ready to rinse tomorrow.
At the beginning of this month, I did some natural dyeing with purple basil. The dye bath was such a nice purple-y pink, but mostly the color that I got was tan with a hint of pink. I used quite a bit of vinegar to get even that little bit of pink.
I’m also happy this year with the way my hanging baskets turned out. Every year I go to the nursery up the street and pick some plants that grow mostly in the shade as my baskets don’t get a whole heck of a lot of sun. I usually aim for red, white, and blue as I think they go nicely with my white house and red roof. After 4 months they are still going strong (though they need to be watered every day):
Well, now that I have that all out of my system, I think I’m ready to talk about the knitting!
I’ve been working on Shedir by Jenna Wilson for my mom. She is really at that stage in her chemo where wearing a hat is a necessity and I told her I would make one. “Whip one up” is what I think I said. Well, frankly, Shedir is not a “whip it up” type of hat. It is more of a “simmer and stir” type of process. I am finally at the decrease part of the hat. I’m on row 53 out of 83. I would have been further but I got to row 54 and I had some issues. I spent about an hour on the internet trying to figure out what I was doing wrong with row 54, but it turns out, I think, that my issue was row 53. I did two times as many double decreases as I was supposed to do. I had to tink it back so I’m ready to attempt row 53 again. If I knit it correctly this time perhaps row 54 will be all fine and dandy. Maybe after a couple more Dancing with the Stars episodes I’ll even be done!
Killer oak tree has been pelting acorns at us all week. Evil tree.
Seriously, it hurts us. Agent K got hit on her toe. Agent B got hit on her head and had a bump. We all say “ow” when we hear one fall. We keep clearing them off the grass and they just keep falling. How many can be up there we wonder. That is just a small amount of them in the photo — just what fell overnight until morning. Is this a sign of a horrid winter to come and why does our tree hate us so?
Other trees were much nicer to us today. Like apples trees…
(looks like a little temptress lurking in this tree)
We went apple picking with some friends today. Can you believe that I spent my childhood at a cider mill but this was my first time apple picking? It doesn’t take very long to spend quite a bit of money but it was fun and we picked slowly and lingered. The girls climbed and played and we strolled and sampled a bit. Fall is a great season.
Well, no, this post is not going to be about food. It is about reading and finding the right fit; or rather, drawing a parallel between eating and reading and what is comfortable. Sort of like how some people consider Beef Stroganoff or Shepard’s Pie to be comfort food and I prefer Baked Macaroni and Cheese and Beef Stew as my comfort food.
I finished reading my Janet Evanovich book this month and right after I finished it, I picked up an Anita Shreve and fell right into it. Apparently, Anita Shreve* is my comfort writer. While the Evanovich book was just fine to read – it wasn’t pure torture or anything, I don’t feel particularly compelled to read another. Janet’s writing is a bit plain for me (perhaps it needs a little parsley or paprika?) and if you ask me there was way too much description put into St. Bernard poop in the particular book I read.
As I find fun to do, I’ll present 2 quotes for comparison:
Motor Mouth page 275: “All eyes focused on Beans. He was sitting on the grass not far from us. He was drooling, his eyes looked droopy, and there was a piece of the cardboard prune box stuck to his lower lip.”
Body Surfing page 46: “The announcement of Victoria’s arrival can be heard throughout the house. Raised voices. A call. A greeting. Sydney is contentedly hulling strawberries in the kitchen.”
So what do you think? Do you have a comfort writer? Who is the author you turn to when you need to fall into a good book?
*Except for Weight of Water. Oh man. (If you click on that link you have to scroll down a bit to get to the reading content.)
And now for a little bit of a spoiler on Body Surfing so if you plan on reading it, don’t click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link (if you are reading from the main blog) or read below this line if you are reading from a feed reader or just this entry. If you have read it and would like to discuss it, please continue…
It has been such a lovely day today and it just got even better. I took a leisurely stroll out to my mail box and what did I find inside? The new issue of Spin-Off, that’s what! Just from a quick skimming, I can tell that there are some fabulous articles. I think the first one I will read will be Spun 2 Ways by Ann Budd which is about turning 4 ounces of fiber into a pair of socks. How cool is that?
I was considering making a cup of tea and getting comfy with my new magazine, but, alas, the troops are due to start arriving home soon and I’m sure all chaos will start to break lose… I better batten down the hatches instead. Ahoy!
Many of you probably know what comes by Royal Mail.
To the rest of you, I have one word, MOO!!!!
MOO is the nicest company, they sent a nice little note that says that I’m their new best friend. There is a Big MOO and a Little MOO and an Uncle MOO and they all work together to get out your order (and they send you nice messages along the way).
I have 100 MiniCards. They all say “Dyeing to please you, www.spincerely.etsy.com” on the back and on the front are photos of my dyed fibers and a few with flowers (because I just wanted some, I couldn’t help it).
Now I get to give them away. I will be sad to part with them, but I can always buy more (and I sort of want the stickers now too…).
Pattern: Montego Bay from Summer 2007 Interweave Knits by Amy R. Singer
Needles: Size 8 Addi Turbos
Yarn: My handspun from fiber purchased from Spinning Spider Jenny a couple years ago at Rhinebeck. It is natural, solar dyed silk with Osage Orange and Pomegranate. The plan at the time I spun the fiber was to make it into a lacy vest, but apparently that was not meant to be because it was so meant to be this scarf.
Date started: June 2007
Date completed: September 8, 2007
Projects mods: I changed the fringe because the braids were making me hyperventilate and I thought I was going to pass out. The yarn is so tiny and my hands ached so much! I made twisted cord instead and slid a bead on each end before the knot.
Thoughts: This did take a long while to knit. I spent quite a bit of time unknitting and at times I felt like there was more unknitting going on than forward progress. I stopped at just under 80 inches becuase it just seemed long enough already. I spent quite a bit of time looking for matching beads for this project and it turns out that they match so well, you can barely see them. Next time I have to remember more “Ommph” in my beads.
Additional thoughts: This scarf will alway be one of the those special knitting memory projects for me because I spent time knitting it while my mom had her first chemo treatments (I don’t think I’ve mentioned this yet, but she was diagnosed with lymphoma in July. She is doing very well with her treatments though and you would never even know she was ill as she seems to be more active than ever.)
This is a close up of the stitches. Also, when I was spinning this yarn, I separated out the colors of the silk roving to spin long sections of a single color so the resulting scarf has pink and yellow alternating sections.
Here is a close up of the twisted cord. It really shows off the luster of the yarn.
This is what the fringe looks like when it is hanging. Due to the stitch pattern then scarf hangs at a diagonal. This photos shows both scarf ends hanging at different diagonals.
Finally, we have Fifi!
Yarn: Rowan Calmer in Vintage #490 purchased at Webs in Nothampton, MA
Needles: Size 7 addi turbos
Gauge: I think I was close to gauge. I bet my row gauge was off a bit though as I feel like I had to knit tons and tons of extra rows.
Date started: About July 15, 2007
Date completed: September 3, 2007
Pattern Mods: I did a few extra increases before separating for the arms. I also added a few inches to the length but wish I had added one or two more.
Sizing: I knit the small size and it turned out pretty nice. I bet the medium would have worked as well.
Thoughts: This was not a quick project for me. The cable section was fast and I wish I had continued it further, but the ribbing section took so long that I thought I was going to die. Really. I’m not exagerating. I think the sweater makes me look even shorter than I already am and maybe having a bit more length would have been more slimming. I have more photos over at Ravelry – my screen name is Spincerely.
I am SO happy to have finally finished a project this summer. I thought it would never happen! I’m also extremely close to finishing Montego Bay. I’m just fringing now. I changed to the fringe from braid to twisted cords with beads at the ends. I made 2 braids and almost passed out. It was way too tiny for my achy fingers and they looked all wonky anyway. The twisted cords show off the shine of the silk much better anyway. Photos soon! I promise!
* Title of post courtesy of Sarah who described Fifi as such in an e-mail today. Thanks Sarah!
We did so much this weekend. There is no way I can possibly get it all into one blog post, so I will just try to hit on some of the highlights.
The girls and I started celebrating a bit early with trip to the mall on Friday afternoon. Now, those of you who know me, know that that mall and I are typically not good friends. Friday afternoon, however, we put our differences aside and had a ball! For a birthday treat, I let Agent K pick out an entire outfit at The Limited Too and, of course, having her in a good mood is always a plus. Then guess what the girls decided to do?
It might be hard to see in this photo, but they each had their ears pierced and they were brave about it too. (It is actually really hard to believe that they are the same girls who just a month ago freaked out in the doctor’s office while getting their shots. Please note that when I say freaked, that is a rather large understatement. There was hyperventilating and screaming involved.) They saw the store with the sign for free piercings, and there weren’t too many people around, so I let them do it. This is Agent K’s second try as the first time she had a reaction to the ear rings. Supposedly, these are hypoallergenic studs, so all should be fine, right?
Saturday, we did a lot of yard work and I started dyeing my new batch of rovings. I bought some merino/tencel blend for my Etsy shop. I LOVE merino/tencel rovings. They are my favorite spinning fiber. I think I’m going to have to write a post about it soon. This one I actually dyed in the crockpot rather than in the sun to see how that would come out. I love these colors SO much! I can’t stop looking at it. It actually makes me hungry, like I really want some fresh, hot, buttered and salted corn on the cob!
On Sunday we went to the Goshen Fair. We had a great time there too! We let the girls go on more rides than usual (4 each instead of 2) which was the reward from the film festival that they held for us last weekend. Here they are on the Sizzler:
Here they are all smiling after getting off the sizzler:
The hardest part of the whole fair was getting through the bunny barn without coming home WITH a bunny. Some of the girls (Agent K) also have a bit of a thing for watching the ax throwing which is rather worrisome if you ask me.
Today, the girls worked on woodworking projects that they started yesterday. Agent J is making a sunroom for a dog, Agent B, a mini-tree house, and Agent K, a home for chickens or rabbits. They also went swimming and got things ready for school tomorrow. (Yes, you read that right! School is TOMORROW!!! ) I took photos and entered things into my Etsy shop for pretty much the whole day. I did set a few more rovings out in the sun to cook too. The sun is amazingly hot at this time of year and temps in the Terry’s Tub are still going through the roof.
At bedtime tonight, IHA finished reading Harry Potter 7 aloud. It was a very nice ending to the summer that as the Potter and Weasley children head out to Hogwarts, the girls get ready for another year of school here.
Dave has actually read all the Harry Potter books aloud except for the ending of Book 6. Some he has read multiple times. I think that is rather impressive as reading out loud is not something that I find particularly appealing.
Well, that was the weekend. I have so many other things that I NEED to write about. For example, I finished Fifi last week and I have no photos yet nor have I even updated my Ravelry about her. I also have natural dyeing to write about and just so much more! Let’s hope there will be more time when the girls are at school…
I have a hard time naming pink and green fiber. First off, I think it should be called “Preppy,” but how unoriginal is that? Then, I want to name it “Hoops and Yoyo,” but IHA said that would not be such a good idea with Trademark Law and all… So what did I do? I asked Agent K and she said “Green Apple Bubblegum” so “Green Apple Bubblegum” it is. Trademark law does not preclude fiber frolicking, however!
They think llama clouds are heavenly.