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October 30, 2008

Finished: Yum Yum Cookie Socks

Thanks for all the cashmere love, guys! I'm still not exactly sure what I'm going to do with the yarn, but you can be sure it'll be colorful! Also, if you think you'd like to try the sweater-unraveling thing, make sure you poke around online and read a tutorial or two. There are lots of useful hints out there.

Now! On to some finished knitting:

get your shoes and socks on...it's time to roll around on the lawn!

The Specs:
Pattern: My normal toe-up version of Priscilla's Dream Socks by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, from the Fall 2000 Interweave Knits; also in the book "Favorite Socks." {ravelink}
Yarn: Cookie A. Handpainted Sock Yarn, 1 skein
Needles: Bamboo dpns, size 1
Start to finish: Fall of 2007 - Fall of 2008
For: Kricket, on the occasion of her 25th birthday (Gifted in late September. On time!)

Another pair of plain old socks! This time I shook things up a bit and did a plain stockinette leg with a rolled top. As usual, I will refer you here if you are curious about the conversion to toe-upness.

The Yarn:
This Cookie A. Handpainted seems to be a pretty rare breed. Nice though! Squishy and lovely, and the colors are even better in person (these photos got a little washed out).

The Funky Thunky pose (I don't ask questions. I just do what he asks):
yes...I will be dressed as the Corpse Bride this Halloween. why do you ask?

Final Verdict: Faboo! Time to cast on for the next pair.

October 28, 2008

Cashmere Recycling

Over a year ago I unraveled most of a thrifted cashmere sweater. Hooray, right? You'd think I'd be all over that yarn. Not so. I'd pull it out occasionally, but my love was still poisoned by thoughts of the unremarkable bag of a sweater that it started life as. So this weekend I decided to change things up a bit.

hello. we are impossibly soft (and not entirely color-accurate).

Once I got the whole thing unraveled and wound into balls (I heart you, ballwinder) I assessed the situation. I had about 150g of laceweight-ish yarn. So I rewound 4 strands of the yarn together, into 25g hanks (I heart you too, niddy-noddy). So! Six, 25g hanks of approximately fingeing-weight yarn ready for the dyepot.

the end of the unraveling job

I dye fairly infrequently and, like most of you, I don't have the tools or the setup for the fancy stuff. So, once again, I pulled out my trusty bag of KoolAid packets and got to work. 12 flavors (and three empty vials of food coloring) later, I emerged on the other end of a Sunday afternoon with six little bitty bundles of colorful cashmerey goodness. I have to say, I'm rather pleased with the outcome.

this is a more accurate representation of the colors

I got my best results when I dyed each skein multiple times with different (yet closely-related) colors. It gives a bit more depth of color. Also, the original aqua played a bit of a role in the final result. You'll notice that my attempt at yellow came out as more of a chartreuse, and the orange has some greenish notes to it as well.

That's it! Reject sweater + fruity drink mixes = vibrant yarny love.

October 25, 2008

Happy Saturday Rundown

Things that make me happy today:

1) Finding another antique bone crochet hook at the thrift store yesterday

2) Surprise gifts in the mail from across the Atlantic

3) Another surprise gift! This one reminding me to read my Tintin.

4) Knitting with my own homespun

5) My new Amy Ruppel

6) Glass birds. Not just for Christmas!

And to make it an even 10...
7) Realizing that there is lasagna in the fridge that we can heat up for dinner
8) Watching Saturday afternoon home shows on PBS
9) Weather that is just the right temperature to not run the AC or the heating (if I wear wool socks)
10) Knowing that this blog turned three yesterday. Wow!

Hope your Saturday is as lovely as mine!

October 20, 2008


'allo mate!

Saturday I was feeling a bit lurgey, so I figured a little spinning was just what I needed to perk me up. Turns out I was wrong about the perking, but I now have 2 more skeins of yarn and a little more spinning experience under my belt!

The Deets: 100g Wensleydale from Gwenyth Glynn Wensleydales, Navajo plied. A little unbalanced, but aren't we all?

How this is better than the last yarn
- I split the fiber in half before prepping it so I'd have two 50g skeins (so much more satisfying than my normal big skein and little skein).
- I used better-quality fiber. Funny how that makes a difference.

Up until recently, I thought that Wensleydale was a variety of cheese, but it turns out that wherever in Britain it is they must make a few sheep too. My inexpert opinion of the Wensleydale wool is that it's nice and foofy. I'd say it scores about a 8 on a scale from scratch-tastic to soft. Definitely knitable.

Speaking of Spinning...
Does anybody have any recommendations for good websites or books that can instruct me in the ways of plying? I seem to have the basic single down, but plying gives me hives.

In other news
We're doing a little maintenance around the blog these days. Seems things need a little spiffing up. Rae, you'll be pleased to hear that I've updated and straightened out my categories. Hopefully you can find stuff now.

*Continuing in the tradition of naming my handspun, beginning at the beginning of the alphabet. I haven't gotten too far yet, have I?

October 13, 2008

We all have to start somewhere

Hello there! As you may have guessed, I've been tending other (metaphorical) sheep in other (metaphorical) pastures. Nothing earth-shattering...just a bit more design work. Fun for me, but dull as tombs for you guys since I can't show you anything yet. Sorry 'bout that.

The problem with the whole not-being-able-to-show-you-my-latest-and-most-exciting-knitting thing is that the blog topics are a little thin on the ground. So today I thought I'd crack open the vault and show you some of my early work. Not because it's particularly impressive, but because it's October and everybody likes a good pre-Halloween scare, right?


These projects were unearthed this summer by my sister Rae. The purse on the right is the earlier of the two attempts (early 90's). A dismal failure since the purse was unlined and it stretched vertically if you so much as looked at it with the intention of putting anything inside it.

The backpack/messenger bag (it's convertible! tie straps into any number of hideous configurations!) dates to sometime around 1995. I have distinct memories of sitting in Rae's bedroom after she moved out, listening to REM, feeling maudlin, and knitting her (what originally started as) a rug. Somewhere along the line it became a bag. Probably because I was too lazy to knit a whole rug.

look! it's lined!

Important conclusions that can be drawn from the above:
- I have always been drawn to bright, possibly obnoxious colors. I like to think my color sense has improved.
- Garter stitch rules! Acrylic yarn...not so much.
- Burying my family under a pile of knitted crap isn't just a recent phenomenon.
- We all have to start somewhere. Yes indeed.

I know I can't be the only one with a history of hideous early knits. Fess up peeps. What frightening knits lurk in your past?