Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Sunday, January 28, 2007
I had two things that I wanted to get done yesterday. One project was to dye up a pound of handspun yarn that I found in a bin upstairs. I woke up thinking about it – that’s scary. I had six skeins and ended up dyeing five colors. The purple and lilac were Gaywool dyes in Hibiscus and Mulberry and the rest were hybrids that I couldn’t possibly reproduce. The gold is simply school bus yellow dye stock that Amy left here with a glug of black to sadden it. I’m still undecided on whether to purchase more Gaywool dyes or Landscape dyes. They’re both products of
These are ready to be knitted into hats. I was out of hat yarn so am glad to replenish my supply.
After my foot surgery on Wednesday, I’m not going to be mobile for a while. Anticipating that, I decided to get knitting projects together and evaluated my stash and patterns until I had three projects. One project will be from the Blue Sky Organic Cotton which I bought from Amy. It didn’t work for the baby sweater for which I had bought it, but after seeing the Jimmy Beans buttons and putting one together with one of Diane Soucy’s vest patterns, I had one project down. The second one was harder. The yarn is a worsted weight, rag wool from Bartlett Yarns that I bought when Diane was still running the wool room at the Truckee Variety Store – oh, about 15 years ago. It’s dingy and not all that interesting, but it takes up a ton of space in the studio. I made a pattern from Sweater Wizard and melded it with one from Vogue. Two down. Should it need a third, I made a side-to-side pattern from Sweater Wizard to knit from superwash Merino, in my stash that I bought from Diane’s stash – oh, 15 years ago. That’s three. And of course, there’s that box of one-balls of Shetland jumper weight that I bought from Allison's stash in a moment of temporary insanity. I found a pattern for it today while I was at work. So no spinning, just lots and lots of knitting – and books.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
I stopped by Jimmy Beans to get a button for my squatty fat bag. I made some i-cord for a closure and needed a button to finish it off. I found the abolutely perfect button for the bag, and fell completely in love with their button selections. It’s of fused glass with all the colors of the bag, like I had made it my self. When Amy gave me the dichroic glass button and said, design something around this, I was not prepared for the energy that one button can generate.
I finished up a couple more bags. The green one is spoken for. Chrissie came for our campus KIP lunch – she gets to come because she brings my beautiful Allie – and she saw me knitting on it. She reminded me that her birthday is coming but I worried back that I thought I had a buyer, to which she replied – I wish I could type it like she said it – Motheeeeer, I’ll pay you money for it. So the green one is a birthday present.
I love the way different wools felt. The blue bag on the left in the first picture and the green bag - Chrissie's bag - are from Coopworth. The felt is almost a fabric. The top part of the bag on the right is from luster long wool – Romney or Border Leicester – can’t remember but I love the way it looks, kind of bubbly and hairy. I'm trying to get some spun into yarn before the enforced spinning diet.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
I finished the socks from the yarn that Amy dyed and spun but didn’t like and gave to me. The socks only took 2.8 ounces and the leftover yarn weighed 4.4 ounces. I took it back to her when we had a YIP lunch on Friday. She didn’t like it as yarn but liked the way it worked up into socks. I think she has enough for a pair and a hat.
Speaking of dye – I am at a huge standstill. This basket of locks is the last of things that I dyed earlier this year - I guess I mean later last year.
I think it looks great on the bobbins but there's too much flash - sorry. The colors in the basket are more true. I don't know how I do it - brag - but I'm very often able to eyeball my bobbins and come close to dividing my fiber equally. In this case, my leftover single was a mere 12" long.
The fiber is Border Leicester and I love the way it felts in the Booga Bags - or doesn't felt. It more or less forms lumpy bubbles and looks great. I am liking the bags from luster long wools more than with the wools that are considered feltable. I started spinning Romney this morning. I found a whole box of silver Romney in roving in the garage. I can't make a cool bag with silver Romney. It needs to be dyed and that brings me back to being at a dye standstill.
I am completely out of anything from the different dye days earlier this year. I have a few colors of Gaywool dyes, and since it has been cold and I’ve been limited to dying in the kitchen, these dyes are all that I feel safe using. This means that everything comes out in the same color hues. I am absolutely in love with the colors on the cover of the December issue of American Style. https://www.americanstyle.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?sid=DFD66508141B4DE5A40522CCAACD718E&nm=&type=Publishing&mod=Publications%3A%3AArticle&mid=8F3A7027421841978F18BE895F87F791&tier=2&did=ECA7561935B444AD8F4D6848B257318D&dtxt=December+2006
So I started to hunt online for the colors in that issue. Initially, I limited myself to Gaywool and Landscape Dyes, both products of
Monday, January 22, 2007
More live and learn - I tried dipping the natural-colored square on the left into the three colors I was using, but the solutions were too dilute to produce colors of conviction. The already periwinkle square on the right looks like something got spilled on it. Disappointing, but at this point, I have enough recovered yarn to make bags and that's more than enough to make up for the let down of the dismal dye results. I have more skeins to dye and this time will follow the rules.
Amy tells me that today is the most depressing day of the year, according to NPR. They claim to have factored in weather, holiday bills coming due, and a number of other factors. It's dark when I leave the house for work and dark when I get home. Tonight when I closed the gate my car thermometer read 25, which is ten degrees more than it was a week ago though the air is still achingly dry.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Years ago Allison developed a program to develop our knitting skills, modeled on one the Foothill Fiber Guild did. We would use the book, Learn-to-Knit by Barbara G. Walker, to teach us stitches we would never try otherwise. In the end the sampler of squares would be assembled into an afghan. I found the schedule in my book today. The first squares were due on June 2000 and the last on September 2001. It’s a good thing this project was in a box because the yarn would have been as dusty as the box lid.
I completed 30 of the squares with a growing uneasiness at the accumulating weight of the project. I stopped when my squares filled a Xerox box and I wasn’t done. Part of the problem is that I selected Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted. It’s a great yarn, but not for an afghan. I spent the better part of today frogging 14 squares, starting with the ugliest and then ending with squares with purple. I realized that I hadn’t purchased the colors evenly and I have a definite shortage of purple. These are my worms, which I soaked and hung up stairs to dry.
I decided to try dyeing some of the knitted squares as well as some skeins of the natural color. I used Gaywool Dyes in cornflower, hibiscus and mulberry. I applied dye to the two squares and steamed them, though so far I can't see that the dye affected the periwinkle square at all. I dipped the natural square into the three colors and it’s pretty, but a little pastel. I hot-poured the rest of the dye on the skeins, and the pot is sitting in the garage overnight with the dyebath. Tomorrow~
These are two of the ugliest squares left, if that gives you any idea how ugly the ones were that I have already undone. Granted, it wasn't the best color selection. I called Kate Painter who owned Paradise Fibers at the time and we did it over the phone. I was limited because I was buying whatever she had as seconds.
On the other hand, these are two squares that I think are really pretty. As for their application to wearable garments, I'm thinking, not so much.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Can you see the ice on the stream? This is what the guardrail is guarding against. And if the road were wet, it would look just like this. I guess I'm just dreaming of wet roads as it has been dry to date in January and December wasn't much better. I start to fret about this time when the jet stream pushes storms past us. I am reminded of Edmund in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when he complains that it's always winter but never Christmas. I feel like it always winter and never wet.
Entering the canyon from the other direction is this personal warning, delivered up by a resident sculptor/artist. He means it.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
And I have - also some that I didn't care for so much. Here are a couple that I enjoyed as part of my book group. I discovered this one from the website of Nancy Perl, the NPR famed librarian from Seattle Public Library. She is a prodigious reader and it would be a huge challenge to read a fraction of what she reads and recommens.
Mountain city, a small boom-and-bust mining town in northern
The group was split in half on The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elizabeth Robinson: Olivia Hunt is unemployed, living alone, and working on the fourth draft of her suicide note when she gets a phone call that lets her know what real trouble is. Madeleine Hunt is her younger sister, the annoyingly happy one who married the hometown guy while Olivia set out to conquer
The story is told through letters that Olivia has written to different people in her personal and professional life. I wasn’t sure I liked that style of story telling, and those who didn’t like the book said that was the reason they couldn’t stick with it. I didn’t have that option. I facilitate the book group – its part of my job. The question is, would have I continued reading if I didn’t have to, and the answer is I don’t know the answer to that question, because I did. The further I got in the book, the more engrossed I became. I found myself actually liking Olivia. I thought it was a stroke of author genius that the movie Olivia was producing was Don Quixote, a story seemingly paralleled in her own life—her quest, the impossible dream. I laughed, I cried, I loved it.
Monday, January 15, 2007
And today, two days later, the snow is gone and the sheep and llamas are venturing out. I took the dogs for walk this afternoon. It was above freezing this afternoon, bundle-up time for me, but these guys have to coats for it.
What to do indoors - I dunno. Knit? This is the reincarnation of "the" hat. I lost the acorn tip. Sometimes I like it, today I didn't. I have some purple and more the multi-colored yarn so think I'll give the hat another go, substituting purple for black. Then I won't want to see this yarn for a while.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
He has a unique talent, besides being king of the house and bossing the dogs. He knows which pile of laundry is the dark load and climbs into that basket. I hide my black things on the bottom of the load, and even though my black pants are underneath Ian's shirts, I know that when they come out of the drier, they will have orange cat hair on them.
And this is the hat, or what was the hat. I couldn't see any alternative to frogging and reknitting. I thought about Sara's suggestion to toss it the washer and drier, but the black is Shetland and the multicolor is Brown Sheep wool/mohair blend. They would felt at different rates and the hat would be warm enough for Arctic wear. I really really love the colors in the yarn and want to love the hat as well. Years ago I knitted a sweater with a huge neck and was looking for a quick fix. I decided to crochet around the inside to snug it up. Diane Soucy asked me if I really thought I'd be happy with that after a couple of wearings. I thought, oh probably, but she was right. I still have the sweater and it's been years since I've worn it. I'm going to felt it and cut it up for a bag or slippers - maybe mittens. I knew I would never be happy with the hat either. Not all shortcuts are shortcuts.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
I really like this hat too, and best part is that it fits me. I have to tear out the first one because it's just not functional. I just haven't been able to make me do it.
You can see the problem for yourselves. If the hat right the right fits, then the much prettier hat but huge hat on the left must be redone - sob.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
The rabbits have eaten the perennials down to sticks. The two little pines are inside rabbit guard to protect them, so I think it’s ironic to see this little guy is munching the fallen bird seed, next the rabbit guard. I guess that shows it works. It's also ironic that he's behind what's left of a lavendar plant that the rabbits have pruned for me. And they fertilize while they work.
I tapped the window to see if he'd move so I could get a better shot and he obliged me.
This morning he was back at the base of another feeder, this time sharing the seed with doves. This is all the snow left, after a storm to remember, just the day before yesterday.
The newspaper today said there were 95 reported accidents, one fatal, from the frigid temperatures that followed pouring rain. Both Ian and my daughter called me to report the road conditions from where they were, and even with their help, it still took two hours to get home from work. I passed a single car rollover at a curve on our two-lane road just as the ambulance was leaving. Several times I was the only car able to negotiate through the mass of stalled vehicles. Even at 20 MPH, my car would slide when I applied my brakes, so I quit using them. I liked my Subaru Forrester before, but now I love it. It needs a name.
Monday, January 01, 2007
Hilton Als, a reviewer for the New Yorker writes, “What draws the viewer in are the stories around what we cannot see: Miss Beale lamenting the loss of a scarf. The suitors turned away. Mrs. Beale's infatuation with a man whose minor musical talent is better remembered than heard. Money spent. The dream of
Not only did I watch it, I watched all the supplementary material and found myself completely captivated by Little Edie, mentally unstable but absolutely charming. And her clothes! Two of the men interviewed were designers who had created lines of clothes influenced by the way she put clothes – make that costumes – and colors together. And then there's the headcoverings and accompanying jewelry.
The Maylses brothers made the documentary in 1975, so it has the grainy quality of film and you can hear the clicking of the projector in the background. I
It was written into a musical which opened Off-Broadway in October and On Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre in November. It is scheduled to be filmed later this year, starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange. Finally, I looked up the film in Wikipedia and learned enough factoids that I have decided to order the double disk set from Amazon. It will go in my small movie collection, next to my other fan movies like Young Frankenstein and So I Married an Axe Murderer