Thursday, April 11, 2013


I have a ridiculous amount of stuff to talk about, and I don't want to bore you, so it's going to be mostly pictures today.

I have been a busy little bee the past week. I am going to start with finished projects this week.

Finished Objects

These might be my favorite socks yet! I am using Wendy D. Johnson's Toe Up Socks with a Difference pattern for the sock, and Emily Locke's Vanilla Bean recipe for the stitch pattern. I am using Jo-ann Sensations Truly Pattern yarn in color 2280, and am using size US 0 (2 mm) needles (wooh, these are tiny!).

2) I finished my Zu Zu's Petals with my hand -dyed yarn.

I have crazy alien eyes...

I loved knitting this pattern, and I was very happy with my yarn, but I'm not sure how I feel about the finished product. I think that I may have pinned it out too tightly after I washed it, so it might be a little less stiff if I wash it again and don't block it as strongly. 
I used Carina Spencer's Zu Zu's Petals pattern with, size US 9 (5.5 mm) needles, and Malabrigo Merino Worsted yarn in Natural, which I dyed with Kool-Aid and food coloring.

5) I dyed some fiber with Easter egg color pellets!

I split it into three strips for easy spinning

This is the faux cashmere (100% nylon) fiber that I purchased from Yarn 2 Spin on Etsy. I have been collecting Easter egg dyeing kits since after the holiday (at 25-50 cents a box!) and I used 3 pellets of blue and 2 pellets of purple (which was really more of an indigo), which I mixed with a couple drops of red food coloring, and quite a few drops of blue food coloring. I added 3 tablespoons of vinegar to each cup, and filled it up the rest of the way with water. I soaked the fiber in water and a little vinegar, put it in a large baking dish, and poured the dye mixtures over it. I then baked it (lol) in a 200 degree oven for half an hour. It is beautiful! 

4) I finished spinning and plying my BFL roving.  

As mentioned in previous posts, I purchased this roving from Three Water's Farm on Etsy, spun  half of the undyed fiber on my drop spindle, dyed the other half with Kool-Aid, and spun the colored fiber on my spinning wheel (except for the first few dozen yards, which I did on my spindle). I then plyed the two colors together. I had quite a bit more of the colored singles, so I plyed them from a center pull ball (so that I could ply the two ends together). I ended up with a small skein of around 83 yards and a large skein of around 283 yards of a fingering/sport weight yarn. I loved it so much that, after washing and drying it,  I immediately had to cast on a project!

Works in Progress

1) I cast on a beautiful shawl today.

This is the Cassiope pattern by Alexandra Beck. I am knitting this with the hand-dyed, hand-spun BFL yarn that I mentioned earlier. I cannot express how awesome it feels to create something beautiful from start to finish. I sincerely recommend anyone that loves knitting to learn to dye and spin. It makes me feel like such a Renaissance woman!  I AM SO HAPPY!

2) I started knitting a cotton tank top

I am using a GIANT (400 grams) skein of Bernat Handicrafter Cotton that Brandon bought me from Jo-Ann's. I am using Jennifer Miller's Pixie Vest pattern and size US 7 (4.5 mm) needles. 

3) I have the toe of my second Vanilla Bean sock done, that I mentioned above

4) I started spinning the Faux Cashmere that I talked about above, but I haven't gotten very far yet.

Stash Enhancement

I got a few new yarn that I forgot to mention last time, and one gift from someone on Ravelry!

Bernat Handicrafter Cotton in natural

Lion Brand LB 1878 in Claret

3 skeins Queensland Sugar Rush in silver

I am a member of the Random Acts of Kindness group on Ravelry. Each month members post a wish list of yarns, patterns, notions, treats, etc and other member send them or buy them something, without asking anything in return. I usually buy patterns for other people, but I will occasionally also send yarn that I don't want. This month someone (I don't want to link her, in case she is sensitive about her privacy) sent me three skeins of this beautiful Knit Picks Gloss yarn in Scarlet. There is nothing like the kindness of strangers to brighten your day!

Other Stuff

I also baked some delicious chocolate chip and coconut cookies this week with Molly, but we ate all of them before I could take any pictures.

Brandon and I made some AMAZING ground turkey shepherd's pie this week, as well. AMAZING!


We used this Easy Shepherd's Pie recipe, but used turkey and chicken broth in place of the beef in the recipe. We also added garlic, cinnamon, and cumin to the stew, and sour cream to the mashed potatoes. 

Whew, I think that's the longest post I've ever written! It is rainy and cloudy outside, so I believe it is the perfect time to relax on the couch with my knitting and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (this is the 8th time I've read it....sheesh)

Wishing you a happy (and dry!) weekend!


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