Monday, May 29, 2006

Sock Philandering

I am having a ridiculously hard time working on these Hus-Beastly Stockinette Socks. They are taking FOR-ever. And it doesn't help that I can only work on them in bright light, lest I lose my eyesight before the age of 29. But both heels have been turned now, so at least we are sort of in the home stretch, even if it might be a long one.

So in typical fashion, I keep casting on other, more interesting/faster socks, knitting guiltily on them for a while, and then going back to Jamie's socks.
First there were these, knit on size 3's (!!!) in a pretty, simple, 4 row repeat. Very exciting.
Then this one which, even more thrillingly, is knit on 4's with some merino/cashmere I spun on a drop spindle in my class last year, and dyed with Kool Aid. I found the yarn buried in The Closet and thought, "Socks!"
And then there's this stuff, just beckoning to me from my desk. "Knit with us! Please! We'll make our own stripes and you can just knit along in wonder and amazement!"
But I'm going to finish those brown socks, no more playing the sock field. There is too much wonderful yarn out there (or in my Closet) to dawdle over these any longer.
And plus, Jamie is getting very anxious for them to be done.
One more exciting photo:
That's some merino/silk, still sitting in its dyepot of Quebracho Red and Madder as we speak, which will hopefully come out somewhere in the red/coral/orange family. It's the same make-up as Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb, so I'm much looking forward to using it. Finished photos to come!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Yarnmonster in the Kitchen?

That's right, I've been in the kitchen all week! Anyone who knows me well will tell you that this is not the room I tend to spend my time in, but this week, you couldn't get me out of there! I was like a witch standing over my boiling cauldron.
OK, so I wasn't engaged in any sort of food preparation--come on, as if!--I was playing with dyes!

That's some Targhee roving I want to make sock yarn out of.
I got all of these real dyes (as in, not Kool-Aid) and I was hesitant to just start sloshing them onto my sock yarn, so I decided to do a test run, trying out colors on little skeins of scrap yarn:
Lots more variation than Kool Aid! Now I just have to figure out what combinations I want on the yarn. I was a little bummed about the greens, which all came out looking kind of the same no matter how I mixed them. But hopefully I'll figure out how to tweak them a little more--I do love a nice chartreuse!
Mmm, and then there's this:
That's merino/cashmere, baby. That's going to make some pretty yarn, if I don't overtwist it too dreadfully when I spin it.
Projects for the weekend: 1) Cut out the pattern pieces for my sundress class at Purl Patchwork 2)Spin some of that Targhee
3) Dye some more!
That is, if I can't get Jamie to go to Coney Island with me. It's Memorial Day Weekend, and I am ready to sit on the beach and bake!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Slowly, slowly....

So, we all know I've stalled on the Jaywalkers, though I continue to carry them in my bag everywhere I go, just in case. And I started some stockinette socks:

Which are so mind-numbingly boring, I had to start something else. Enter Rogue:

She's pretty, and interest-holding. My only issue with her is that the yarn I'm using, Bartlett Yarns 100% Wool 2-ply from the Maryland Festival, is, I think, unscoured. And by that I mean it smells like a sheep. This was quaint, charming, when I first picked up the skeins and, feeling the lanolin-y texture of the wool, gave it a sniff to check. So natural! So unprocessed! The charm wears off though, once you start using it and that very distinct sheep smell transfers onto your hands.
But whatever, a few washes in lavender-scented Eucalan should take care of all that, once I'm done, and my hands, thank God, are washable. And the pattern is most lovely.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Weekend o' Wool

I am back! I had such a great weekend, not only at the MD Sheep and Wool Festival, but also hanging out with Michelle and her friend Theresa in DC--which is quite lovely this time of year, BTW. We had a perfect day of cool breezes and cloudless skies--and so did the many, many people who also were at the festival. It is, it seems, a do-not-miss event for all of Maryland, because the turnout was most impressive. We ran into Steph and Christy, old friends from SnB, and Sandra, a new friend from the world of knitblogging--how fun is that?
So first and foremost, here's my yarn:
Click on the photo to go to Flickr and see exactly what everything is. Suffice it to say I've got enough for socks for every day of the week--and some for Jamie!
My companions, looking very happy to be contemplating yarn purchases:
There were none of those troubled, contorted faces that usually go along with purchase-debates. We were easy, easy girls. Can't decide between two colorways? Why not get both? It was pure gluttony.
A particularly lovely stall, full of yarns colored with natural dyes. And we vegetarians love that word, "natural":
Me and Elaine Eskesen, the author of "Dyeing to Knit," which, of course, I had to purchase. She was so sweet, and even signed my book. Nice to meet you, Elaine!
Taking a quick break, examining our initial purchase of Tess Superwash Sock Yarn:
I wanted to take all of the little lambs home with me!
We came home dusty and sneezing (well, the sneezing was mostly me) and very happy. Options of leaving the house were offered, but we decided to stay in and knit socks in Theresa's very pleasant home. A girl can only do so much in one day!
In other, wildly exciting news, my friend Caitlin has just had her baby!
Charlotte was born May 4, the day before I was going to meet her parents out for dinner in DC. I was so confused that Caitlin wasn't on her email! "Going into labor" is a pretty good reason. Welcome to the world little Charlotte! We are so excited that you're here!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Off to the Land of Sheep and Wool

Can this be comfortable?

I haven't posted many pictures of Peru lately, but this position just begged to be photographed. My dog likes to throw herself into "dead-dog" poses, usually in the middle of the floor, which never fail to send me into fits of laughter. I think she imagines that this one makes her look like she took a fatal tumble down the stairs. She can be so morbid!
No new knitting pics today, as the Backwards Jaywalkers are still coming along in much the same fashion as they were last time you saw them. I did finish the Organic Cotton Surprise, and photographed it, but will have to save those pics until after the recipient has received it. It is time to start a new big project (as opposed to socks) but I'm waiting until Saturday so I can play with whatever I get in Maryland.
SO! There are rules for Maryland. The 2005 festival at Rhinebeck was my first experience with these things, and I think I was a little overwhelmed. I had no list, the place was huge, it was too much for me. This time, I plan to be more prepared.

Rule #1: I will buy NO laceweight. I have enough for 4 different projects and have never started any of them. I don't need more.
Rule #2: There are no holds barred on sock yarn. This counts as "research" for my future sock yarn dyeing experiments.
Rule #3: If I walk away from it and am still thinking about it 10 minutes later, I will go back and get it. If not, well then.
Rule #4: I will consult the list, and try to stick to it. You've seen my last list. It's a good list.

All of this combined with the fact that I'm spending the weekend with Michelle and her guru Theresa, fellow knitters AND vegetarians, should make for a fabulous weekend of wooly gluttony. Yay! I promise to take lots of pictures!