Thursday, May 31, 2007

Ravelry... I think I am in love...

If you haven't had a chance yet, go check out It is a really cool website that allows you to share pattern info, yarn info, projects, knit-a-longs, etc. I started using it today and it is really neat! I posted a few projects, recent and not so recent just to test it out. I really like it. It will eventually be a good database of knitting patterns too. A good place to go to see what something might really look like if you attempt to make it. Heck, you might even happen upon something that I made!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Finished socks!

These lovely socks are finally done! They have been my "car project" for quite a long time. I actually worked on them on trains on the way to and from NYC over spring break and quite a bit last weekend at the "Relay for Life" event. They were very good company in our tent between laps on the track.

They are Mountain Colors Barefoot, my favorite sock yarn of all (of course, I haven't knit up any of my home dyed stuff yet either...) They will have many friends in my sock drawer. They will also enable the retirement of some of my first Barefoot socks that have gotten a bit too felty through years of washing!

I started on a new pair of socks for the kiddo. He chose the yarn on our last trip to the yarn store in Fredericksburg. It is really nice, cotton, bamboo, and lycra blend. So far it is knitting up nicely, but the socks look big to me. Kiddo will have to try on the cuffs before I go too much further!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Introducing... The cardigan...

It is all finished! I finished tucking in all the loose ends last night while watching Grey's Anatomy (a guilty pleasure...) The knitting gods must be smiling because today it is 55 degrees out and a perfect day for a cotton cardigan! The fit is just right although I suspect that the sleeves are a bit too long. We will have to see how it does after a washing or two!
Of course, the big question is... What next?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Confessions of a food coloring addict

Today I dyed more yarn... This is getting to be a habit. I picked up some copper colored wilton icing color and was dying (pun intended, of course) to try it out. It yielded a really nice terra cotta reddish orange yarn and then I used the basically spent dyepot with some moss green color. That skein ended up with a small section of orange and the rest a deep olive green. Should knit up really pretty! I can't wait. The best part is that I still have 6 more skeins of sock yarn to play with... The postman was kind on Monday! So far the blue is still my favorite, although it is a very bright blue...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

New Dye Job

Yesterday we dyed more yarn. This time, we did a cold pour method and the kiddo handled the dye very well. He even wore latex gloves (which were really too big) for the process. I am sure that we will do this again. It was was really fun, and the yarn is really pretty too!

This will be hats and mittens for the kiddo next winter (or maybe something else if we make a better batch of yarn next time!)

Monday, May 7, 2007

The bag is finished!

The recycled bag is complete, and the kiddo has claimed it as his own! It works well for him. I think I will make the next one bigger now that we have proof of concept!

Now I just need to buy a lot more stuff that comes in plastic bags... Wait, that's not the point! I guess I will have to wait for natural accumulation!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Beautiful Sock Yarn!

I got a splendid picture of the hand dyed sock yarn all finished and ready! I can't wait to make more... And make the socks from this one!

Home improvement!

Today we replaced the very large, slightly ugly, definitely broken ceiling fan in our kitchen. The new one looks really great. We even replaced the bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs! If you ever need them, Ikea sells CF chandelier bulbs! The room definitely looks bigger!
I made some meager progress on the plastic bag bag last week, but now that I have some more material, I will probably get it all finished!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Great sock yarn!

I am so pleased with how the sock yarn ended up that I can't wait to try it again. Unfortunately, I only ordered one skein of it! At least it is easy to get more. I can't wait to try some other colors too. I think burgundy would be awesome, and maybe brown too! The kiddo's green stuff may not have fared as well... I fear that we stirred a bit too much because the yarn looks slightly felted. Plus, I didn't tie the skeins in enough places so they got really tangled up. I will be able to tell more as soon as they dry out! The nice thing is that they were only $4 each, so if they got fried, it isn't a big deal!

After watching the neighbors out with their bottles of Roundup spritzing the weeds that grow in the cracks in the sidewalk, I decided to try a little experiment in organic suburban gardening... I poured boiling water on our weeds in the crack in the hope that they will curl up and die. It smelled pretty good when I did it... Kind of like the smell of cooking greens. If it works, I will chalk one up for the chemical free lifestyle. If not, I will have to get out the weeding tools! Everything certainly looked like it had been blanched when I was finished, but there is a big difference between blanched and dead...

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Dye Job!

Today we dyed the wool from KnitPicks. Here is the kiddo's green in the dye pot... It almost looks like we are boiling up a muppet!Here is some lighter green in the bucket after the dye pot... The goal is to knit a striped sweater with two shades of green for the upcoming winter.
This is my sock yarn working in the crockpot. I love this blue!!! I can't wait to start knitting this stuff up!
The finished product hanging up to dry in the shower. Look at those shades!

And... The cardigan as it progresses. Look... It has sleeves!

The knit group that wasn't...

Last night I was very excited to go to a local knitting group that meets at the library. I got there at the appointed hour with my knitting in hand. I walked in the room, it was empty. I turned on the lights and sat down, alone. I waited for half an hour... Two other people came and asked if it was the ESL class, it was not. Then another person came and asked if it was the library friends board meeting, it was not. I left, sad and dejected... Maybe it will be better next month...

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Fun with food coloring...

A big box arrived yesterday from KnitPicks with a bunch of undyed worsted wool. The plan is to have the kiddo help dye it using food color. He picked out kelly green food coloring (Wilton's) at the store yesterday and perhaps today we will fire up the dye pot before violin lesson. We did some Kool-Aid dyeing a couple of years ago and had a great time with that. This time, I think we will do less dipping and more pouring...

There was an article in the most recent issue of that talked about this and I got inspired!

I also ordered some undyed sock yarn. I really like it as it is VERY soft! It is 75% superwash Merino, 25% nylon and the plan there is to dye it with royal blue food color. If it dyes up relatively easily, it may be the new sock yarn of choice because it is so soft!

We also got our meager garden started this weekend. So far the plants are doing quite well. We planted cherry tomatoes (Supersweet 100), Brandywines, and one called Mr. Stripey, which I mostly bought because of the name. It is an heirloom variety that is yellow with red stripes in the flesh. We had a hard time trying to find a place in the yard that would get full sun, but settled on this spot close to the house. I hope that the reflected heat from the house will do the plants good. You can see the results of last weekend's digging project in the background, if you look hard. The pipe that goes underground used to be a long piece of black flex pipe that we tripped over almost every day! This looks much better and my muscles are finally beginning to get back to normal after lots of shovel work!

We also planted a few cucumbers that the kiddo picked out. I am not sure that they will do much since they are planted underneath the day lilies and roses in a flower bed, but who knows!
The herb pot on the back porch looks great and is almost ready for kitchen use. We have basil, chives, thyme and cilantro. Yummy! I will probably get some more basil plants to plant near the tomatoes next week at the farmers market!

Last night we ate sausages from the farmers market and they were okay, but not great. We also had panzanella (bread salad) with olive bread from the market, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella. It was delish!