Monday, July 31, 2006

Dyeing to knit a blankie

Since Princess Daisy refused to express an opinion regarding the yarn for her mitered square blankie, I decided to use the sock yarn. I decided that the garter stitch squares are plenty thick, it's easier to work with than the hemp/wool, and it comes in more colors. However, while it may come in more colors, that doesn't mean I have more colors. In fact, the only washable sock yarn in my sock yarn bits box was the Kroy I used for the test swatch. I knew I had some orange Kroy somewhere (inexplicably, not in the bits box where it belonged - somewhat less than astonishing, I'm afraid). While searching for the orange Kroy, I found this:

A bit of uneven pink sock yarn that was a failed dye attempt. I was trying to dye up some washable wool yarn for a project I had in mind, but this yarn just wouldn't take the dye evenly. No good for the intended project, but it would be just fine for Daisy's blankie. And that reminded me that I had three more skeins of this white yarn that dyes up splotchy. Finally, a way to use it up!

I've been dyeing half a skein at a time, to get the most variety. The skein on the left was dyed as evenly as I could get it; the one in the middle I went for a kettle-dyed look. The skein on the right is my first attempt at self-striping yarn; I'm looking forward to seeing how it knits up.

I think I'll dye up some red/yellow variegated yarn next. After that, I have yarn enough for two more colors. Decisions, decisions...

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Stormy weather, part 2

The day after my last post, we got another storm. I was at the doctor's office when all the lights went out. A bunch of us gathered in the waiting room, watching the storm's ferociousness. It was amazing; wind driving sheets of rain, and you couldn't see more than a few feet beyond the windows.

Of course, everyone whose power had been restored after Wednesday's storm was powerless again, including us. AmerenUE was back to half a million customers w/o power. Fortunately, this storm cooled things off for a couple of days. We borrowed a generator, so we could at least keep the refrigerator going. Sunday evening, our power came back on. Unfortunately, our Internet service did not. It stayed down until yesterday afternoon.

We were really quite fortunate. No damage to our house, cars or trees. The tree damage in our area is really amazing; branches torn off, trees split in half horizontally and vertically. Anyone interested in some free firewood just needs to take a short drive through the neighborhood; everything from kindling to 12-inch-and-more diameter logs piled at the curb waiting for crews to carry it away.

AmerenUE finally announced yesterday that everyone had power again. Some poor folks were w/o power for 9 days, during some brutally hot weather. Like I said, we were lucky.

BTW, I knitted up two mitered squares to help me decide what to knit Pricess Daisy's blankie with. The one on the left is hemp/wool yarn, which she has expressed a liking for in the past. The one on the right is some leftover Kroy sock yarn.

Does she look like she's the least bit interested in this question? I didn't think so either.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Stormy weather...

Such a storm we had last night. I was coming home from getting a haircut, and the wind was blowing something fierce. Apparently, it didn't like what lane I was in, because it kept trying to push me into another. Dust and all manner of trash were blowing across the highway, and highway signs were lying in the road. The rain started shortly before I got home, and the power stopped shortly thereafter. No A/C, no lights. We had telly for a while, because the entertainment center is connected to a UPS (we get a lot of power outages). But that didn't last very long. Ditto with the computers, so no Internet. Not enough light to read, but I was able to knit for a while. But then, I got to a point when I needed to start decreasing, and I needed to be able to see better for that, so no knitting. And the worst thing was, I couldn't look at this:

Yesterday I received this lovely pile from a fellow member of the CIC-Knit group. Bunches and bunches of soft tapestry wool, to be knit up into socks. I just had a few minutes with it this morning before I had to go to work; just a few minutes to enjoy the softness, appreciate the colors, and ponder the possibilities. Then I had to tear myself away and go earn a living.

BTW, the power came back on in the early a.m., and the food in the fridge looks OK. We were lucky; lots of people still w/o power, and today promises to be another scorcher. We are under a boil order, however, so I had to heap praise on the b/f because he stockpiled a small amount of drinking water some time back. So we were able to make coffee this morning, and the cream is still good. We got off easy.

After my last post, Diane asked if I dyed the handdyed yarn. Yes, and thank you for your kind words. I enjoy playing around with different colors; I think I have enough of the red variegated left to make a vest. After I finish the vest I'm working on now, I think a red one is next. I'm working on another pair of red socks, too (different yarn); I seem to be in a red mood lately, at least as far as CIC is concerned. It's so much fun choosing colors as my whim directs.

Today at work I'm mostly checking on the stores w/o power to see if they have power yet. One nice thing about power outages; it's hard to mess up your computer if you can't turn it on.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Three more pair

I've completed three more pair of socks for CIC's Summer Sock Extravaganza. Now that I have this pattern well and truly memorized, I decided to write it down (yeah, I know, it generally works the other way around). Anyway, should you care to take a peek, and maybe even give it a whirl, it is available here.

I'm working on one more pair, which I expect to have done before the mailing deadline (end of this month). I've been neglecting my own summer anklets, since it's much more fun to watch the toddler socks grow so fast on my needles.

I'll leave you with a pic of my cat, Yitzhak, finishing up my apple. No matter where she is in the house, she will appear in front of me within seconds of my first bite. I don't know if it's her ears or her nose tipping her off, but it's infallible. Odd little beastie, but she's mine.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Blanket for a princess

The b/f's cat Daisy, aka Princess Daisy, likes to sleep on our dresser. We keep a towel there for her, but I have been thinking that a princess deserves a little better (and a knitted cat-ghan would look a little nicer, too). But what to make? Nothing really grabbed me.

Now, however, I am thinking about making Shelly's mitred square blankie. I just can't decide what yarn to use. I like the crazy quilt look of using lots of sock yarn scraps, and using washable wool would certainly be wise. But I think Daisy would like a little thicker blanket. All the vermin cats like the hemp/wool yarn that I use for potholders (they always seem to want to get in my lap when I'm working with it, and knead it with their paws). The stuff is certainly durable, and I have found that I can put it through the gentle cycle on cold. Not so many colors available, tho', although I could dye up some of the natural to expand the pallette.

What to do, what to do? The b/f just got a delivery from Amazon today, and we're planning a double feature tonight: The Wild Bunch and A Boy and His Dog (how's that for a combo?). Maybe I'll play around with some sock yarn to get a feel for how thick a blankie it makes, and see if Daisy seems to approve.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Silly girl

Shelly is making a blankie of sock yarn leftovers. Problem is, she doesn't have enough. So, she asked the Yarn Harlot to put out the word. How many pounds of sock yarn bits d'ya think she'll be inundated with? I have some leftovers that just don't sing to me for CIC socks, so I'm going to contribute. Looking forward to seeing the finished product; I may just have to try it myself!

Speaking of sock yarn, I'm working on a vest for CIC that is made with two strands of sock yarn held together. Pattern is adapted from a WWII "knit for the troops" book. I'll share the pattern if I like the way it turns out.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Bye, bye, box

Time to say goodbye to the Traveling Stash. Just before taping up The Box, I decided to add one more item: a skein of hemp/wool yarn. I enjoy this yarn so much, I thought I'd give someone else a chance to try it.

The original box was somewhat battered from its travels, so I carefully removed the postcards that marked its stops, and transferred them to a new box, ready for new adventures! Added a postcard of my own, and its ready to go; here you can see the parrot bidding it a fond farewell.

I'm looking forward to seeing what the next recipient does with it. I'm sure she'll enjoy the experience every bit as much as I have.

Bon voyage, Box!