Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dye to the Extreme

I'm in a dyeing mode. I am LOVING all of the indie hand dyers & I secretly (or not so secretly) long to be able to create my own works of art. I doubt very seriously that I could ever sell any of it just because something in my genes won't let me part with yarn of any kind, much less the kind that I created.

A few weeks ago a handful of friends & I went over to our friend Lise's house & had a dye day. Here are some of the results using Koolaid or easter egg dyes. All of it came out lovely.

My final result

And as if that wasn't enough! This past Sunday I attended a class at Simpatico which is a lovely shop & if you ever get to the DFW area I highly suggest visiting there. My dyers in crime were Liz, Manda (who also did a podcast about our dye experience), Dawn, & Lise. Some of our friends thought we were nuts for taking a class (read: paying for a class) when we already knew how to dye. I am a firm believer in that you can always learn something else & during the class we used 100% Wilton's icing dyes & the results were fabulous.

Here is my Wiltons / Simpatico yarn

Needless to say, I'm (im)patiently awaiting a 50% off cake supply sales at Hobby Lobby so I can stock up on every single color of Wiltons. Loved this method.

Lots to say today. And very picture heavy

I have no one topic to speak of for this post, so here is my mis-mash.

I don't believe in posting in progress pictures because quite frankly when I read someone's blog & have to see their sock/scarf/sweater/blanket in 14 different stages it bores me to tears. So unless a WIP is important to a story I try not to show them much. Here is my exception - My So Called Scarf - how pretty is this? I swear I think it's one of my favorite projects ever. The Manos was a Christmas gift & I love it!

A finished object for a change - not many are done this month! This is a throw I knit on size 50s for my Grandma using Homespun in Regency.

This was the view into my knitting bag on Sunday. I thought it was beautiful & it made me so happy that I took a picture. I realize that's pretty indulgent of me to think anyone else cares, but hey, it's my blog!

Inside of that bag is some yarn that I dyed & then this Cherry Tree Hill mill end that I found on ebay for a little of nothing. Really a great value. I know I'm not supposed to be buying yarn, but come on! It was cheap & it's gorgeous - it is screaming to become a lace shawl of some sort.

I fell in love with this yarn when I was digging around on other knitting blogs & found this picture I was in a panic when I quickly discovered that the yarn had been discontinued. Naturally I went to ebay where sellers were getting ridiculous prices for it and I seriously couldn't justify the price for Trekking - even if it was Brach candy colored. I obsessed over it for days & found a little hope when I saw a comment that they were reissuing the color since there had been so much interest in it. I promptly found an ebay buyer with a reasonable Buy It Now price & scooped it up.

That's all the new yarn I'm buying - I swear. Well, swear seems a bit extreme. It's just yarn. I am going on a knitting retreat here in a few weeks & it is dangerously close to Rose Path Weaving so I can't be held responsible for what I buy there. It's a lovely little shop with tons of naked yarn & I am on a dyeing frenzy. Dye post to come.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

"I'LL NEVER KNIT SOCKS" - did I say that?

I have a love-hate relationship with knitting socks. This is my story.

I started knitting in August of 2005 & really hadn't bothered knitting anything other than scarves for the first few months. I was at a knitting get together in November and a few of my new friends were taking a sock class at our LYS. I was intrigued because I saw those Pipi Longstocking knee socks in my Stitch N Bitch book & thought they were the cutest things ever. On a whim I signed up for class too. Keep in mind - I had never knit on DPNs or knitted anything but a rectangle. Plus I didn't know how to purl. It didn't occur to me that knitting socks might be hard or that at my skill level I probably shouldn't be in that class. You can imagine how thrilled the teacher was with me and it showed.

I ended up not being able to sit near my friends during the class- it was packed & seating was limited. The only DPNs I owned were size 5 - I didn't even think about buying a different size. I picked out a pretty yarn that I liked that was worsted weight - what the heck did I know? Do I have to tell you how awful this turned out? I am a tight knitter anyway & knitting worsted on size 5s was pure hell. Here was the other issue: homework. I really hate knitting on a deadline / being told what & when to knit. So the homework aspect of class didn't thrill me & I attached that to the project.

So I finished sock number one & told myself that was it - I was done. I met several other knitters that didn't knit socks & refused to knit socks (you know who you are) and we all talked about the sock knitters. We said that sock knitting was like a cult. All of the sock knitters want all other knitters to knit socks & we wouldn't be sucked in. We wouldn't drink the spiked "sock knitter" kool aid. Now, I say all of that in jest because some of my best friends are pure sock knitters. I have 3 friends that amongst them have enough sock yarn to open a store, a really really good store too! I just didn't get the appeal and I threw out all of the objections that I'm sure every sock knitter has heard more than they care to:
* You can buy socks for $2 a pair at the store
* They are knit on double points
* Those itty bitty needles drive me nuts
* My personal favorite - I don't wear socks

Fast forward to this past November, a year after my first nightmareish sock class, We got a group of local knitters together & asked our resident teacher for a socks on 2 circs class. I could see the benefit of knowing how to do this for sleeves, hats, and many other circular projects so I signed up. One of my friends pointed out that if I knit the same sock from my beginner class that I’d end up with a pair and be done with socks forever! During this class I figured out all of the problems I listed above with the original class. Everyone else in the class was using pretty sock yarn on smaller needles & I was jealous. I vowed to knit ONE pair of socks on appropriate needles & cool sock yarn. Coincidentally I had some Sock that Rock in Mist colorway in my stash. So here is my progress so far. Then Patrick whined – something about me knitting for everyone but him & not having any house socks, so I started these basic socks for him in Wool Ease, but on appropriately sized needles.

So, after that super long story - I know you are wondering, why did I fall under the sock spell? Did I drink the Koolaid? Have I been brainwashed? Was it peer pressure? Welll.....probably a little bit of all of those things mixed with public enemy #1 - THE YARN IS GORGEOUS. It's just beautiful. There are so many main stream & indy sock dyers that it's insane. And you can get a yarn fix for $20. Way cheaper than yarn for a sweater, shawl, or in a lot of cases even a scarf!

So that’s it! My very long & highly uninteresting sock story. To be honest I was just tired of answering all of my peers giving me shit because I am knitting on a sock at meet ups so I figured I would explain myself. As for my objections? Let me help you out….

* You can buy socks for $2 a pair at the store – You can also buy a sweater for $10 on a sale rack & a scarf for $5 at Walmart – what’s your point?
* They are knit on double points – ummm, no they aren’t, they are knit on circulars.
* Those itty bitty needles drive me nuts – yeah, well, get over it.
* My personal favorite - I don't wear socks – I’m currently rethinking my fashion plan. And I can wear them with my ugly Birkenstocks. And I’ll be making some that I can wear with my flip flops pretty soon. So I COULD wear socks if I wanted to.

Damn the Koolaid!

More new yarn?

The one thing I really hate about my blog is that it makes a liar out of me. I mean, I could use it to keep me accountable. I could also just stick my head in the sand and pretend that I haven't been buying new yarn. But then you wouldn't get to see the beautimous yarn that I've been squandering and you'd question my sanity. After you see it, surely you'll understand. Sometimes I feel like I'm more of a yarn buyer than a knitter, but I swear I'm knitting too. Look at my OTN list - it's growing.

Socks That Rock pile:

Pucks Mischief, Barney Rubble, Carbon, Downpour

January One for a shawl

Lime & Violet Room with a View - I lucked up & bought it probably an hour or two after they posted it. It's so freaking soft.

Yarn Pirate - Hydrangea & Dogwood. The other 2 are Online supersocke that I bought with a WE gift card.

I know - pretty, huh?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Secret Pal Loot

I participated in a secret pal swap & I got my loot this weekend. It is so good you are going to be jealous!

* Yarns Ahoy yarn in Berry Sour
* Cairi's Sweetheart Sock pattern
* an ADORABLE bag from Etsy.com
* D'vine wine
* 2 wine glasses personally embellished with copper wire
AND she hand made me:
* stitch markers
* row counter
* row counter bracelet
Can you believe it? I love love love it all. And it was color coordinated. In my favorite colors ever. Sigh.
Thank you Ronda, you are the best.

Monday, February 05, 2007

January wrap up

I'm doing this for my own benefit so I'm sure everyone will find it boring as hell, but here is what I finished in the month of January:
Texas Square for Elizabeth's grandbaby
Bernat Chunky chemo cap
Mardi Gras scarf for Tiff
Noro Fetching
Caron Simply Soft chemo cap (pink)
5 Fun Fur chemo caps

Yep - that's it for me. I started a Fast Finsih throw for my Grandma in Homespun Regency today - it's knit on 50s! That is just insane - I can't go from the sock project on size 2 to the size 50 - my hands are confused. I got some new yarn - I'll try to post some pixs tomorrow.