Thursday, February 28, 2013

More fun with Kool-Aid

I don't know why, but I really haven't been feeling like knitting lately. 

I will start knitting, and then put it down after ten minutes because my hands start to hurt, or I get bored, or I get frustrated. I don't know if it is just that the project I am working on is a little monotonous (I have been mostly working on my striped shawl), or just that I am a little knitted out, but I have been wanting to work on other crafts instead.

So the other day I decided on a whim to dye some yarn. I had a skein of undyed Malabrigo Merino Worsted lying around, so I mixed up one package of Lime Kool-Aid and one of Blue Raspberry, plus one tablespoon of vinegar, one tablespoon of blue food coloring, and a couple of drops of red food coloring in my crock pot and got to work.

I soaked the yarn in the sink with hot water while boiled some water in my tea kettle.

Then I mixed the hot water with the dye mixture, gently squeezed out some water from the yarn, and dropped it in the dye.

After half an hour I filled the sink with hot water and Eucalan wool wash. I gently pulled the yarn out of the dye pot and let it soak in the sink until the water cooled down. Then I rinsed the yarn and hung it on a hanger to dry. 

After drying for about 24 hours it looked like this:

I was trying to get a sort of greyish blue, and I think it worked out pretty well. I really like how the color turned out.

I have also been spinning a lot the last couple days. I decided to predraft all of BFL wool that I have been spinning, meaning that I went through all of the wool and separated and pulled it apart so that it is easier to spin. I then made tiny little balls with the roving. 

Doing this makes it a lot easier for me to spin because I can spin an entire little ball of roving and then either keep going to easily set down the spindle without worrying about losing the end of the single or having to draft more fiber. Plus, I like to pour out all of the little bundles and smoosh them because they are SO PRETTY!

In other news, I just got my tax refund back and, after putting a large amount in my savings account, I am going to use some of the money to BUY A SPINNING WHEEL!!!!! I can not even express my excitement.
After doing a lot of research, I have decided to buy a Lendrum Single Treadle spinning wheel. I will let you know more as this story develops.

I hope that you all have a wonderful and productive end of your week!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

No update this week

My knitting mojo has left the building this week

I have not been knitting, crocheting, cooking, spinning, or sewing hardly at all this week, unfortunately. I have not been feeling great, and I have mostly been watching shows on Hulu or reading. 

The only thing I have worked on this week is my Striped Shawl for Sad People, but I keep getting frustrated with it, because the yarn is very slippery and I can't seem to keep my tension even. 

Hopefully I will feel more inspired next week, and will be able to get more done. 


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Monogamous Knitting

I can't believe it's halfway through February already!

I hope that you all have had a fun and warm month. The weather has been very bipolar and crazy here in the midwest this winter, and last week we had a couple of days that it was in the forties and fifties, and then today we had gusty winds and snow all day. Make up your mind, Indiana!

I also hope that you had a good Valentines day if you celebrate that. My boyfriend and I don't do anything crazy for Valentines, but we did go out to dinner to my favorite sushi restaurants and bought each other yummy chocolate goodies. 

I have been very monogamous in my knitting these last couple weeks, and I have pretty much been knitting on one thing exclusively until I finish it. Because of this, it does not look like I have gotten a whole lot done, but I have actually finished two large projects, and made a lot of progress on a couple other ones. 

Finished Objects

1) I went a little crazy knitting on my Color Affection shawl. I knit like a maniac and finished the whole thing the day after my last post. I seriously knit this whole thing in 12 days, which I think must be some sort of record. Due to my slightly tighter gauge and running out of yarn (I had one foot left of my yellow yarn when I finished binding off) the finished dimensions were 74" wide by 19" deep, which is 20 inches shorter than the pattern size, but still plenty big. 

Blocking was extremely important to this shawl. Before I washed and pinned this out it was really small and wrinkly. So here is a before and after.

I used Veera Välimäki's Color Affection Shawl pattern with Knit Picks Palette in an entire ball of Turmeric, almost one ball of Clemantis Heather, and one and a quarter ball of Whirlpool, and knitted with US size 6 needles.

2) I finished Brandon's stripey socks!

These are knitted with two balls of Knit Picks Felici Sport in Stream Bed on size US 2 needles. I used Wendy D. Johnson's Sport Weight sock pattern , but I added a broken rib pattern on the top of the foot and up the leg. The second sock is slightly bigger (by about 1/2 an inch) than the first, but they fit Brandon's feet perfectly and he loves them.

Works in Progress

1) I have started working on my Striped Shawl again. 

The color of the purple has a lot more red in it than is showing up

I am using Sylvia Bo Bolivia's Sunlight Shawl for Sad People pattern  with's Peruvian Baby Silk in Parchment and Aubergine on size US 4 needles. I am striping the two colors every 12 rows. This looks much better in person, and it is so deliciously soft that I have just been snuggling it against my neck when I'm not knitting on it.

2) I also started a baby blanket for someone very important in my life. I'm not going to say who it is for, because this person has not announced it publicly yet. 

I am crocheting this with a size H (5 mm) hook and am using up some of my stashed acrylic yarns (most of in Caron Gold brand, which was discontinued forever ago) striped with Lion Brand Pound of Love in Pastel Yellow. I'm not sure how much I like it yet, but I think that once I start adding more of the colors I will like it more (the colors are not as dark as the picture is showing, by the way). 

That's all for me for now. Have a wonderful rest of your week, and I hope that you find something creative and fun to do to keep your mind off the cold.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Invasion of the stripes!

I'm back! 

I'm sorry that I haven't posted in such a long time. I have been working like crazy lately, and when I am home I have just wanted to relax and read or knit.

I have been reading a lot lately, which has cut into my knitting time a little, but that's ok with me. I finished reading Contact by Carl Sagan earlier this week, and then I read all 500+ pages of Kim Stanley Robinson's 2312 in two days, because I am crazy. I really loved Contact, and 2312 was all right, but not one of my favorites.
I started reading How to Be a Woman by Cailin Moran yesterday, and I am about a quarter of the way through it and loving it. That woman is HILARIOUS!

Work has been crazy stressful ever since we had a server quit, but it's been getting better now that we are training a couple more. These last few weeks have assured me that I NEVER want to make serving tables a lifetime occupation.

As far as my video blog goes, I am still undecided on whether I want to continue. I liked making the video, but the uploading, editing, and hosting issues were a nightmare. I will let you know what I decide to do.

But anyway, let's get onto the knitting! I have been up to a lot since my video

Finished Objects:

Only one finished project right now, but it is wonderful

This is my Squidoo, made for my lovely nephew. I used Stacey Trock of Fresh Stitches' Otto the Monster pattern and Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn in Peacock. I crocheted this with a size 4.5 mm crochet hook. It was very easy and fun, and I think that the method that Stacey uses, of crocheting in the back loop only, and assembling the monster BEFORE stuffing it, makes the process quicker and easier. I love this pattern, and I will definitely be making some more of Stacey's animals some time soon (perhaps her adorable new Flavia the Unicorn pattern?)

Works in Progress:

I have a TON of things on the needles right now, and for some damn reason they are all striped projects. I HATE knitting stripes. I have a mental condition, obviously.

1) The project I am the closest to finishing right now is my Palette Affection shawl. 

I love this shawl!! I am using Veera Välimäki's Color Affection shawl pattern with Knit Picks Palette yarn in Whirlpool (2 balls), Turmeric (1 ball) and Clemantis Heather (1 ball). This is not the softest yarn, but I really like the way it feels and knits, and the colors are GORGEOUS! I am using size 6, 4.0 mm, needles. I am almost done with the third section of color repeats, and I will definitely be happy to be done with juggling 3 balls of yarn at once. Again, I am really not a fan of knitting stripes, and here I am knitting a 90 inch by 22 inch stripes shawl. I'M CRAZY!

2) I am halfway (ish) done with the foot of my first boyfriend sock

I am using Knit Picks Felici Sport in Stream Bed on size 2, 2.75 mm, needles. I am using Wendy D. Johnson's Sport Weight sock pattern as my basic formula, but I added a broken rib pattern (K1, P1 across half of one row, k across one row)on  the front of the sock, which will continue up the leg. I love this yarn, but I hate these colors. I have been knitting in short bursts of "UGH I HATE BROWN" until I get to the blue or grey sections, and then I drop the sock in disgust when I get back to the brown. These will get finished eventually. My boyfriend has Fred Flinstone feet, so these are going to be huge. 

These next two projects have not gotten a lot of love, but I have basically just started them so that I don't have to cast them on when I want to start working on them. I hate casting on. 

3) I am loving my Striped Shawl for Sad People, even though it is a tiny little thing right now

I am using Sylvia Bo Bilvia's (which I am suuuuure is her real name) Sunlight Shawl for Sad People pattern. This is a pretty basic shawl pattern, so I am mainly using it for the pretty edging and garter rows. I am using size 4, 3.5 mm, needles  and Peruvian Baby Silk in Aubergine and Parchment. This yarn is WONDERFUL! It is extremely soft and silky, so I am very excited to wear this once it's done. I plan on just using up all four balls, so hopefully it will be decently sized

4) Finally, I am making a hat that will (hopefully) fit Brandon. I am calling it Boyfriend Hat 2.0

Since the hat I made him for Christmas ended up so big (although I did wash it and dry it on hot and it shrunk up quite a bit!) I am trying to make him a hat that he will actually wear.
I am using Jared Flood's Turn a Square pattern with I Love This Yarn in dark olive and light gray. UGH SO MUCH STRIPING!

5) I have also been working on spinning up that BFL wool that I dyed with Koolaid.
Since this was the first roving I have ever dyed, it got a little bit felted, but if I spend a little bit of time drafting it it is fine. 

Stash Enhancement 

Please don't judge me. 

Valley Yarns Charlemont in Dusk

Ice Yarns Silk in Blue (?)

Yarn Place Basic Fingering in Eggplant (5 skeins)

Sensations Little Treat in Green Yellow

Sensations Truly Pattern in Black and Purple

Deborah Norville Serenity Garden in Gem

Sassy Sheep Decadence yarn in Vineyard

Sassy Sheep Merino Sock yarn in Pumpkin Spice

I would say that I am ashamed, but I am not. The two yarns from The Sassy Sheep I got in her Mystery Grab Bag sale on Etsy, and I am thrilled with how gorgeous and soft they are. The colors are much more beautiful in real life. The Ice yarn and the Yarn Place yarn I got from destashes on Ebay, and the Charlemont yarn I got from Webs on sale. The yarns from Joann's I have no excuse for. I went in to buy safety eyes for stuffed animals and I left with 16 dollars worth of yarn. It was all on sale! How am I supposed to resist!?

I am planning on making a baby sweater with the Little Treat yarn, and I have some lovely shawls and socks in the works with some of the others. 

That's all from me for this week. I have some delicious turkey meatloaf in the oven that my wonderful boyfriend made and I want to eat it RIGHT NOW!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Hi there! Sorry that I have not posted in a while. I have been really busy with work. I will post a full sized video/blog post again soon. Please vote and let me know how I should proceed with my blogging adventures. I was a little discouraged by how difficult it was to edit and upload my video, and if I am to continue making videos I need to know that they are being watched and are worth the effort.
I will try to make an actual post tomorrow.