Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Knitting Detective

The Knitting Detective

Monday, November 19, 2007

First Snow

We woke up Friday morning to our first snow, always a special day.

We went out on Saturday and bought feed to fill the feeders. We keep them filled all winter and attract all manner of birds and a few squirrels, my favotire is a tiny red squirrel who has been visiting us for the past few years.

The maple trees were covered, the snow was a great help in bringing down most of the remaining leaves, another week and we will be totally free and clear for the fall.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I still knit

In case you think I have foresaken knitting in favor of swaps and exchanges I wanted to prove that my needles have been busy. The waving lace socks from 25 Favorites, are in VanCalcer yarn I think the colour is bricks. It's actually a little darker in colour and has a wonderful sheen, this a very pretty socks and I like the pattern so much I may knit myself a pair.

The sweater and hat are a from a kit I bought from Morehouse Farm, I had enough yarn left to knit another hat and pair of mittens in a smaller size for a baby gift. I also finished a cardigan, hat and socks for the baby of my hair stylist but I forgot to take a picture. I used the Shibu Vintage pattern, using All Things Heather Strawberry Surprise colourway, it turned out better than I had hoped and will be doing this again - one skein for a baby gift (about 550 yards) of sock yarn.

The "we call them pirates" hat is for a great-neice, she is into goth and I never know what to give her for
Hanukkah this is perfect, I used KnitPicks Palette in black and white and the free pattern from Hello Yarn. I am also knitting a pair of socks in the new Socks that Rock Raven collection, I have choosen Rauen which as deep wine and brown mixed in with the black.
I have lots of socks going at one time, at the present I have five single socks waiting for their partners, I have to stop jumping from pattern to pattern it's making me dizzy. We are off to Colorado next week for Thanksgiving, I should have lots of time to knit on the plane both going and coming.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Trying my hand at dyeing

Yesterday was the monthly meeting of the Fibre Artists, the knitting and stitching group from school. Even though two of us are now retired, the five or six regular members, try to meet once a month to show finished projects, new projects and learn a new technique. Pat was our instructor yesterday in the art of Kool Aid dyeing. I was a spectator yesterday, but was spurred on to try my hand at home today. Pat used the canning jar, hot water, and microwave method. I switched it up a little and eliminated the canning jars.

I had a skein of Bare from Knit Picks, superwash sock yarn, at $5.99 for 460 yards this is a bargin. I had four different packages of Kool Aid in the closet, not something I bought but packets that were gifted in various swaps and exchanges. I had Lemonade, Tropical Punch, Pink Lemonade, and Orange. It has to be the regular Kool Aid the one to add sugar to not the kind that already has sugar added.

I tied the yarn skein into six sections and then soaked itin warm water and a slug of champagne vinegar for about 30 minutes, I would have used regular white vinegar but was out, champagne seemed the next best thing.

I mixed the Kool Aid in four separate plastic cups, with hot water. I used 1/4 cup of water for the lemon and the pink as they were the lighter colours and 1/2 cup of water for the orange and the tropical punch (which is a red colour). I wanted the depth of the colour to be the same throughout the skein.

Instead of putting the dye in the canning jars, dipping in the yarn and putting it in the microwave, I hand painted the yarn section by section using a stencil brush. I placed each tied off section in a small plastic container, poured a little of the dye on top of the yarn and began to dabb with the brush. I turned the yarn over and seperated it in order to dye the entire section.

I did this with each section, after I had four sections completed I began to mix and match the dyes and added a little more hot water. When I had all six sections dyed, I placed the yarn in a large round ceramic dish and microwaved it for 2 minutes, I let it cool for two minutes, then microwaved again for 2 minutes. I let the yarn sit for about 30 minutes to cool off, rinsed in warm water to rinse of the excess dye, of which there wasn't any.

I squeezed out the water, it ran clear, and I placed the skein on a clean town (an old one just incase any dye came out - it didn't)

Then I hung it up to dry over the bathtub. The colours are wonderful, vivid, strong, and very appealing, it reminds me of Starburst colours. The entire process took about an hour, I used no harsh chemicals, I had everything on hand, yarn, Kool Aid, plastic gloves (this is after all dye), old towels, plastic garbage bag under towels, plastic cups, plastic fork to stir with, plastic container, and stencil brush. The entire process cost under $7.00, am really looking forward to seeing how it turns out when it's wound into a ball and I begin to knit with it. I will definately try this again, using purples and greens or orange and turquoise next time my favorite colour combinations.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Harvest Sock Swap Package

My Harvest Sock Swap pal went overboard, and really spoiled me this Halloweeen. Missy, who lives in Florida, wanted me to have a Spooktacular Halloween, and when I opened her package I did.

A cute little Halloween bear from the Diabetes Association.

The sock yarn is Trekking 110 (teal/rust/orange), and I love it It looks like a cute little pumpkin of yarn waiting to be knitted.

The solo sock, waiting for a mate, the pattern is "Charade" (yes Audrey Hepburn) by Sandra Park. (It's available in a pdf)

Missy found these wonderful stitch markers, that match the yarn colours.

Treats for Noir, who cannot thank you enough.

Treats for me, who also cannot thank you enough.

The dogs were not left out, a squeeky pumpkin bone, and a great "tug-o-war" ghost.

As you can see Noir and the catnip duck became quick friends.

Miss Islay has taken the ghost and won't give it back.

This was a wonderful swap to participate in and Missy was a wonderful downstream pal. I am really looking forward to starting the "mate" when I finish the two pairs I have on the needles at present.
Lee in California (my upstream pal) is unfortunately waiting for her package, I left out a number in her address and the post office (after three weeks) returned it to me on Friday. She has asked that I wait a few days to mail it so on Thursday I will take it to the post office and remail it, this time with the correct address.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Monkey See...........Monkey Wear

On Monday the postman delivered my Monkey Socks from my Monkey Pal Claudia.

The pretty card and tissue covered a wonderful treat.

My monkey socks, which I wore yesterday for Halloween.
The socks are knitted in Posh Yarns "Lucia",
which is 70% merino and 30% cashmere.
The colour is Bergamot.

Claudia was very generous and included sock yarn
from The Yarn Yard in Souk.

Also, Posh Yarns "Helena" in Purple Rain.

The Cookie A Flicker Pattern.

Monkey Treats

I love the "monkeys" on the cover.

Monkey Key Charms.

I can't thank Claudia enough for being such a generous swap partner. This was a wonderful sock swap, the Monkey Pattern is terrific and a great knit if you haven't tried it you have to.