Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Whew! It's Been Awhile!

Recently, I made my first tentative steps into the world of dyeing. It was surprisingly easy! I used Kool-Aid and followed a couple of online tutorials. I'll post the links when I find them.

First I soaked some handspun:

While that was going on, I mixed the "dye" (pronounced: Kool-Aid). As always, I was shocked that people actually allow their kids to drink this stuff. Digital photography does not capture the un-natural (and unholy) colour!

Then I put the thoroughly wetted yarn into a large Ziploc bag and dumped in the colour. After squishing it around a bit, I stuck it in the microwave for 2 minutes (I didn't completely seal the bag...didn't want the thing to explode, after all!). Then I let it rest for 2 minutes. I repeated this process --heat, rest-- a couple more times until all of the colour was exhausted (which was cool!).

This is the finished result...a very pretty (and nice smelling) shade of blue). Once it cooled down, I rinsed it in warm water with some dishwashing liquid, then hung it up to dry.

Just in case you're interested, I used two packets of "Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade".

It was really fun! You should try it!

On a separate note, today I came into the possession of 2 beautiful alpaca fleeces! What a fabulous way to start the morning! Fresh coffee and 2 giant bags of fibre! I love it!

The darker of the two came from an alpaca named Casey and it has almost a reddish tint to it. The lighter one is from Princess. They're gorgeous!

Over Christmas, my fabulous mother-in-law gave me 4 pounds of kid mohair...you read right...4 pounds! I've been washing, picking and combing it and the final result is glorious! I've never much cared for mohair. Turns out that the cheap "mohair-like-fibre" in the bargain bin is NOT mohair at all! The real stuff is so soft and shiny!

And some close-ups:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Short Row Heel

I've been knitting socks for several years and only use the short row heel. I guess I just like the look and the fit better than a square heel. I've been asked about this heel many times and because I do it without thinking, I have a difficult time explaining it! I think saying "wrap the next stitch" confuses people. It's not really difficult, it's just a matter of seeing it and understanding it.

I decided that it might be helpful to demonstrate a wrapped stitch. This demo heel was knit in contrasting colours, so the wrapped stitches would be visible.

So let's see how this goes!

Knit to the last stitch:

Bring yarn forward:

Slip next stitch as if to purl:

Move yarn back:

With left hand needle, slip stitch back:

Completed wrap:

Turn your work:

Completed heel:

Voila! It's as easy as that to wrap a stitch!

Next I'll try posting a whole pattern!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hmmm...It's been awhile!

I hadn't realized that I haven't posted in so long! This post if for all the people pestering me! You know who your are.

Here are a few photos from Knitting Night:

First and foremost, Ms. KW learned to knit socks! For someone who wouldn't even finish a leg warmer, this is a huge step! She even has a STASH! Pretty good for someone who said they'd never knit again. Now if we can only get her short row heels in order!

Second, I'm sorry to say that poor Ms. VI had to be enrolled in remedial knitting. :( There were a couple of "incidents" that had the rest of us thinking that tape and glitter glue were more her speed. However, she surprised me by agreeing to knit a mitten. I'm a firm believer in having beginners knit mittens. It's a small project so it moves along quickly...and you learn almost everything you'll ever need to know! There's increases, decreases, stitches to pick up, knitting, purling and working in the round.

Well, Ms. VI dug in and worked away! Here she is knitting in the round for the first time and she even looks like she knows what she's doing! Next week we're gonna make her drop a stitch...ON PURPOSE! Bwa-ha-ha-ha!

Ms. DC has been working away on mitts. To my great pleasure, she has thrown out the acrylic crap and gone back to using wool. Thank god! Here she's working on a pair of mittens for a Calgary Flames fan. How nice is that? Perhaps we'll get a photo of the finished project because they're pretty cool!

Ms. DP has been working away on a beautiful sweater in some kind of delightful yarn. I'm sorry I don't remember the name, but I think it's the yarn made from recycled Indian saris. So pretty! She's been alternating between this sweater and a lovely pair of socks made out of Kroy Stretch. I'm looking forward to the finished products!

And finally, there's me. Someone took my picture while I was knitting my lovely alpaca lace scarf...and because I'm vain, I'll include two photos!

I'm over coming my fear of lace knitting by forcing myself to just do it. So far I've chosen simple patterns with a maximum four row repeat. Anything more and my brain starts to melt! Anyway, this yarn is Alpaca Sox. I love it. It's soft and fuzzy and a beautiful colour!

Finally, we have two new additons to our little group of knitters. They're not particularly accomplished, but they're always entertaining!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


2 pairs of mens' socks: done

3 pairs of ladies' socks: done

assorted mini socks for the Christmas tree: done

1 silk lace scarf: almost done


And not a moment to spare! Christmas starts tomorrow with my family, while Hubbo's family starts showing up Christmas Eve.

It should be noted that my fabulous Smooshy, Lorna's Laces, and Alpaca Sox yarn showed up two weeks ago and I've managed to ignore it...except for the occasional fond glance and gentle squeeze. Once this lace scarf is complete....look out!

Picking up my yarn parcel at the post office is a story in itself! I received a notice in the mail and knew my yarn was finally here! I had to wait an entire work day, but finally went to pick up my package. When I ordered this yarn, it didn't occur to me that the busiest post office week in history would soon be upon us.

I arrive at the postal outlet and there before me is a line of people a mile long, all looking decidedly unhappy. The poor girl working behind the counter looks tired and frazzled and she's practically standing on today's delivery of packages.

No problem, I think. A little quality "me" time...I'll just admire their fine assortment of cleaning products and fragranced bathroom sprays (it is a drug store, after all) and besides, there's YARN at the end of this line! After about 45 minutes, it's my turn and I hand the poor frazzled girl my postal notice. "Do you know how big this parcel is?" she asks.

Hmmmm...well, let's see, 6 or 8 skeins of yarn....ummmm..."No." is my reply. Of course, I'm Canadian so I add an apology in there somewhere.

The poor frazzled girl now has a young man helping her fetch parcels and she sends him off with my notice. Again, being Canadian and pathologically polite, I move to the side so others can continue with their pressing postal matters.

The now frazzled guy has been digging for my package for about 15 minutes...which is a long time when you're waiting for yarn and have a lot of grouchy people staring at the back of your head. I'm trying to read package labels which are upside down and fuzzy b/c I don't have my glasses...meaning, I'm no help. I know this poor frazzled guy wants me to say "Don't worry about it. I'll come back after Christmas when you're not so busy." However, there...is...YARN...involved! I'm not going anywhere! But I'm polite. "It's probably a really light package" I say helpfully.

At this point I run into my neighbour and we make polite small talk while they search for his package. His is located quickly and he looks at me, squeezes my arm and solemnly wishes me "Good luck" and walks away into the chilly evening.

I'm starting to get a bit worried at this point. The line behind me is getting longer and more restless and now both frazzled people behind the counter are looking for my yarn. Maybe it didn't make it to the postal outlet? Maybe the mail carrier noticed the shipping address and took it because they are a knitter too! Maybe it fell out of the truck and got run over and dirty! OMG!!!!!

"Found it!" says the frazzled girl! Yeah! All crazy thoughts leave my head as joy floods my psyche. I cuddle my package and shuffle out into the cold evening and head for home.


I love new yarn.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My New Favorite Sites...

Just like everyone else, I have a list of sites and blogs that I visit every day or so. Well, I've just added this one:


They have lots of cool craft postings on their blog. I love it!

I also love Instructables. It's fantastic with tons of cool projects and how-to's!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Time's running out! Must knit faster!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

So Happy!

I just purchased Dream in Color Smooshy sock yarn from Simply Socks Yarn Company! Yeah! I've been drooling over this stuff since someone used it in a sweater pattern on Craftster.

Here are the colours:

Chinatown Apple

Flamingo Pie

Giant Peach

Of course I also had to order some Lorna's Laces, which I've been eyeballing for YEARS! I thought it only fitting to order two colours especially made for SSYC and they just happen to be really fun! (Images courtesy of the SSYC website)

I'm also trying out some Classic Elite Alpaca Sox in Tango Red and Watercress:

And some Malabrigo sock yarn in Boticelli Red:

Hope it come soon! I can hardly wait!

It's not like I need more sock yarn...wait...I can always use more sock yarn! Sorry, my brain just rebooted there.