your dyeing inspiration is the Limited Too catalog.
Archive for January, 2008
your dyeing inspiration is the Limited Too catalog.
I am very happy to report in this TYC project update post that I have nothing to report. As a matter of fact, TYC and I are best buds. Tomorrow we are going out together for a spa day and then we may indulge in a little ice cream or maybe even a margarita and we’ll talk about DV behind his back.
So far, TYC is a joy to knit and even portable because I was able to knit a couple of rows while waiting for the band concert to start last night.
So, I’m off to lunch and then to work. Wednesday nights I work at the library so I am out of the whole 3 to 6 loop. It. Is. So. Nice. I love it! I highly recommend it to all you 3 to 6ers out there! If you can find one night for your other half to be the 3 to 6 person, it is just awesome. IHA does a great job with his 3 to 6 too. Well, usually he just works through it and I leave dinner in the crock pot, but today he has a whirlwind of driving and activities. Good luck IHA, I know you can do it!!
3 to 6 doesn’t have to suck and so I keep telling myself. I’d actually love to get beyond the sucking part and maybe move into a little having fun, but baby steps, right? Baby steps…
Getting through my 3 to 6’s without completely losing my mind is one of my New Year resolutions. I’d thought I would give you all a brief update so I can share some of my strategies.
The first thing that I’m doing to get through 3 to 6 is to prepare. Good preparation equals a good week of 3 to 6’s. I have been printing out our schedule on Sundays and writing a menu and corresponding grocery list. I then take the grocery list to the store and shop for all the food we need for the week. I know, nothing too earth shattering there, but it really helps to not have a 3 to 6 creep up on you and not have a clue what to have for dinner nor the actually ingredients to make dinner. I have also been asking the family to come up with menu ideas. The first couple of weeks this was great as they came up with the menu for a certain night and then the menu’s creator would help make it that night. However, they have suddenly figured out that picking the food meant more work for them, so that idea has to go back to the drawing board (plus their food choices tend to be very high fat).
The second thing that I’m doing is not waiting. I’m just making dinner and we are eating it. If IHA isn’t home yet (like tonight) then he eats when he gets home and cleans up what is left to clean up. I was trying really hard to have as many family dinners during the week as possible, but it seems like it is inevitable that whenever I time dinner for 5:50 p.m., at 5:30 I get the call that he is still at work and is going to be late. So that means no more waiting. It really helps and we just have to have more family dinners on the weekend.
Croppy is going for the gold in her 3 to 6 event and has her children actually doing the ultimate crafts for technical merits such as painting! I don’t think I’m ready to take off my training wheels and try that stunt yet, but maybe soon…
Thanks for “listening” and have a great evening!
In parting, a weekend shot…
The junior agents watching the eagles in Southbury on Sunday morning.
Background: In December I ordered a new type of fiber to dye to sell in my Etsy shop. It was described as a 50% superwash merino/50% tencel blend with a bouncy springy merino with more body than the typical superwash merino you see in such blends. It is a very lovely fiber and I dyed a few rovings. I treated them just like I treat my superwash merino and my other superwash merino/tencel blend. I was very surprised, however, to find that they did not act like my other superwashes, while they did not actually felt, they compacted quite a bit which made me really worry about how I would advertise this roving. It is supposed to be superwash, but it is really?
So now I present to you “A Fiber Tale: Superwash or Not Superwash.” You can be the judge.
Exhibit A: The new blend of roving in the Iris colorway. Left is split from main roving but not drafted, right is pre-drafted and ready to spin. Note that on the left side, the fiber is a bit compressed, but it was easy to draft and showed no signs of real felting in the roving.
Exhibit B: Plied Iris on Bobbin. Please note this photo shows no evidence, but I like it anyway.
Exhibit C: Swatch knitted from plied yarn after the twist was set. Swatch measures 5.5 by 3.75 inches.
Exhibit D: Swatch goes in the wash. Regular cycle, cold, with like colors. Please note that I have a front loader which is already gentle on clothes. When I try to felt on purpose, it takes several cycles.
(look mom, no hands!)
Exhibit E: Swatch after wash. The swatch now measures 5.5 x 3.25 inches for a vertical (row) decrease of 13%. Also please note the condition of the ends of yarn at the edges or the roving. The fabric also feels much denser.
Conclusion: I do not find sufficient evidence at this time to be able to label this fiber/yarn as superwash. I think that 13% is a significant amount of shrinkage especially in a fiber that is only 50% wool (as an aside to my non-knitters, tencel is not an animal fiber and does not felt).
I do, however, think that this is a lovely non-superwash fiber. It is very soft and easy to spin. Because the merino does have more crimp and springiness, it makes a yarn a little more elastic and a fabric with some drape but more body than the regular superwash merino/tencel blend.
In case you are wondering, I have e-mailed the vendor of this fiber for more information on the merino in this blend but I have not heard back yet.
So what do you think? What do you look for in a superwash fiber/yarn? Have you ever bought something that you thought was superwash and it turned out not to be? Is there such a thing as a semi-superwash fiber/yarn? Do you handwash your superwash garments anyway, just to safe?
Tuesday’s Connecticut sky photo:
I say, brrrr, it’s cold in here. There must be some huskies in the atmosphere!
I say, brrrr, it’s cold in here. There must be some huskies in the atmosphere!
That is another way of saying that it is freaking cold outside. Also, it is fun living with with a 13 year old cheerleader when the cheers get stuck in your head. I guess it is better than the Barney songs from when she was 3. Maybe?
Now will someone do something about all these darn dogs hanging out in my sky?
Jan 19 2008
Hello and happy Saturday! I just wanted to write a quick post to update you on some really exciting things in my life like my new super pointing Knitpicks Options needles. Love them! Here they are in all their pointiness:
I know, I a little late for the Knitpicks Options boat as I’m sure you have all been there and done that, but I already had so many Addi Turbos when they came out that I didn’t buy any. I’m only on my 4th row of Tangled Yoke Cardigan (whensforth to be known as TYC) but I really like them. Did I say they were supper pointy? Also in the spirit of full disclosure, I have yet to use Addi Turbo Lace needles, but I may never really get around to that as my budget loves these!
I also have their 6 inch metal dpns for socks. These are sharp sharp sharp too. I started my Fiesta Boomerang socks last week and I have one done already. Love them!
I haven’t been keeping up with this dear blog as much as I resolved to and I think one of the reasons is that I have been trying desperately to restock my Etsy shop. I’ve been working on it for the last 3 days (and my poor family has been suffering a bit from lack of Cherishing). Agent B came into my office last night and brushed my hair. She said that I looked like LFG from the back and wanted to show me so she took some photos. So here is what my family has seen of me lately:
my back and a table of fiber and paperwork.
I’m trying out some new things at Etsy. I listed a couple of knitted hats and some dyed scarves. For some reason, for me, things I list that are finished products rather than supplies like fiber and yarn do not really sell as quickly. I don’t know why, perhaps more marketing is needed? Speaking of Etsy, I found the coolest shop today when I was playing with Pounce. I can’t mention it now because there is a surprise for someone in my order, but as soon as I can, I will be posting about it!
So what else? Oh yeah, for a while now I’ve wanted to tell you about a good book that I read and highly recommend.
It is called The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt. It is a Young Adult book but almost all the library staff and even some husbands have read it and it seems to have universal appeal. It amazes me how the author incorporates so many facets of life including history, sports, politics, religion, friendship, romance, parenting, theater, and literature into an already interesting story line. It takes place during the school year of 1967 -1968 and since I was born in 1968, I’m always interested to read about all the things that happened then when I was alive, but too young to understand. 1968 was an especially busy year. It was probably a turning point in our country’s history which makes it an interesting year for our main character’s (Holling Hoodhood’s) story to take place as he comes of age. I guess that is about all that I can say about it without turning into a spoiler, but seriously, if you get a chance, give it a read.
In closing, I’m going to post a sky photo as it is a very popular trend now with the blogs I read. This is my yesterday’s sky:
Have a great weekend!
I just finished painting my first coat of paint on my canvas per the instructions of Croppy. We are doing a project with our One Little Word and that was the first step. Now, I’m not sure if this is really a mystery project to all her participants, but it is a mystery to me as to what this is going to turn out to be. Here is my canvas so far:
Remember my word? Cherish. I think that is why I haven’t written here that much this week. I was too busy cherishing my laundry. Hehe – sorry I couldn’t help that one. Ok, while, I wasn’t really cherishing my laundry, I did cherish my children a bit and my husband from time to time. I also cherished Rollie Pollie Ollie and rubbed his tummy when he did an especially good job on the living room carpet.
I spent pretty much the entirety of today working on my Etsy shop. I had some new things to list and I did some dyeing. I have a new fiber that is also a 50% Merino/50% Tencel blend but it is not as drapey as my normal Merino/Tencel. It has more spring and bounce. The only thing is that I’m not sure if it is superwash because although it was listed as superwash, it is not acting like superwash so far thus I think to be careful, I will just pretend that it is not superwash. It is very pretty though and the tencel does a nice job of adding sparkle.
I am very excited to be starting Tangled Yoke Cardigan soon! Here is an interesting piece of data. There are 520 Tangled Yoke projects currently listed in Ravelry with 1831 people listing it in their queues. Compare this to Dark Victory that has 6 projects and 28 people listing it in their queues. I think there is going to be plenty of info out there! I just have this thing that I love to read about the project that I am making. I like to see as many as I possibly can and find out what everyone thought. Also there are 2 Mad Knitters also making this for extra Knit Along fun! Cast on is soon, right Cheryl?
Um, yes, this post is really called signs of spring. I’m counting down, you know, for solar dyeing season (T minus 4 months?). I do have a sign of spring though… The sap is a-running:
This is a maple tree at White Memorial. Where the woodpeckers drilled the holes in the trunk (and they really went to town on this tree), the was sap running down and even dripping from overhead. A sure sign of spring, don’t you think? While Agent B was at her Jr. Audubon animal tracking program, I had a couple of hours to myself. I resisted the urge to drive down the street to the Village Sheep and I sat in my car and chatted with my sister (on the phone) and I read and I knit. After a while I got out and took a stroll and some photos. One of the photos became my new blog header. I was just wondering what you think of it? Do you think it is too hard to read the words? Do they blend in too much?
(eta: If you have any ideas of what I can do to make the wrods stand out better, please let me know – I use (very inexpertly) Photoshop Elements 3.0.)
Of course, that was Sunday and this is New England and we are back to winter. It is a very pretty winter though as the snow is very sticky and the trees are snow covered and wonderlike. When the sun comes out, it is spectacular. This is the view of my front yard this morning though it is difficult to truly capture the sparkle.
Here is my tiny little knitting content before I go off to watch NCIS. I’m gearing up to start Tangled Yoke and I needed some new needles*. Do you think I got a bit carried away?
Have a great evening!
* And btw, I take all my needles on the bus.
Last night, Agent K and I attended her high school orientation. Yesterday, if I had written to this blog, it would have been a vent post about scheduling and conflicts and such. Today, I’m not going to let that bother me and I’m going to write about my word. There was a group of current high school students who got up on stage to talk to the 8th graders last night. They emphasized 2 things. First, that doing homework and being organized are supremely important for high school success. Second, that TIME FLIES. That one was for the parents, I think. Only 4 more years until K sprouts wings and flies away from home. Only 4 years. How can that be? Just yesterday she was that baby that we brought home. We placed her in the middle of our bed and just looked at her; amazed that she was ours. She is in transition now. During the next 4 years she will become less and less our and more and more her own.
On Wednesday, Jenny posted her One Little Word on her blog. (The idea is from Ali Edward’s blog and her post can be seen here.) Since Wednesday, I have been going through words like candy. I explored and rejected quite a few words (like Freedom, Pure, and Quest) because even though they seemed to be me, they just made me feel stressed. Quite often people tell me “enjoy your girls now as before you know it they will grow up and be off on their own.” So maybe this is the year to start doing that; to stop and finally say, “This is what we have and it is good. ” Maybe it is time to just stop everything and CHERISH what I have, what we have as a family…
This morning Jenny sent me the link to a blog with the most delicious header that I have ever seen. This blog is called Altogether Too Happy and I bloglined it immediately. I loved her entry for her word. I loved the quote from the book On Becoming An Artist by Ellen Langer. I loved how she used her word as a starting point for other words/actions (and I’m going to do a little copying…)