Friday, November 30, 2007

Daily Chum is featuring my yarns today! I'm pretty excited about it, as you can tell.

I dyed up a batch of new yarns just for this occasion. I like them all, no modesty here, but 2 in particular are my favorites: City Socks and Rainbow Green.

I started the Rainbow series a couple of weeks ago. I pick a beginning color, and then I work around the color wheel and meet up at the end. Everything blends into each other so that you get lots of color happening. I mix the colors as I go along. It's very labor intensive because all the colors need to blend seamlessly, but so fascinating to dye. I made myself a pair of socks out of a rainbow blend, and I love them. Here's a picture of Rainbow Green before reskeining and afterwards.

City Socks was a neat experiment,totally out of my comfort range, and I like the process so much that I'll use it again (if the yarn sells). I first wrapped parts of the skein with ties made from plastic bags. Then I dyed the entire skein in black. Afterwards I removed the ties, and dunked those spots into red, yellow, and blue. In the dunking process, lots of the black also got colored, and so now the skein is black with areas of reddish black, etc. and the tied areas are bright with color. It's pretty neat.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lime & Violet's Daily Chum!!!!

Wow!!!! I'm going to be featured on Lime & Violet's Daily Chum as their "Etsy site of the week" sometime soon. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. I can't blog. I can't knit. I've got to DYE! Lots! I'm practically jumping up and down.

Otherwise life is peaceful and calm. Which in my stressful family is pretty good.

Yesterday was take MOM to physical therapy day. She's 93, a bit forgetful (sometimes a lot forgetful, other times, right on the money), and is wobbly. Age and osteoporosis have dropped her height down to about 4'8". At her tallest, she was 4"11", never a big lady, but a powerhouse! All she had to do was shake her finger at you, and governments toppled. What she lacked in height, she made up for in strength. What a woman! She's my hero and role model in almost everything. And I find, as I get older, that I'm more and more like her, good points and bad.

So now she goes to PT twice a week, a minimum of a 3-4 hour excursion on my part as the schlepper. She doesn't like it because she would rather sit, but she really needs it to help her balance. When she walks in, everyone greets her, the podiatrist on staff gives her a kiss. All that attention can't hurt. One day the elevator wasn't working. So her doctor came downstairs and scooped her up and carried her up 2 flights. Everyone, including the MOM, howled with laughter. She's still talking about it.

I've got to go dye yarn. There will be no living with me for the next few days. My poor Hubbo.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

More excitement that I needed!

Well, I had my excitement of the month today. I got into a minor accident about 1 house from where I had to turn. It was kind of like a no-fault fender-bender. But now I have to contact the insurance company and deal with that kind of stuff. Which I hate, with a passion. I'm ok, the other party's ok, the cop didn't seem particularly bothered, but still, I didn't need this. Oh well, you are entitled to a couple of accidents in your lifetime, so this was one of them.

Remember that list I made yesterday of what I was going to do? I did it all except for the cake for Hubbo's party. And my Honey made the soup. We now have more turkey soup than you can imagine.

I have new yarns coming. Probable names are: Jeans, Melons, and Princess Rosey. I have a strange feeling when it comes to certain colors: I can almost taste them. Certain colors are evocative of taste in my mind. "Melons" is one of those colorways that make my mouth water, and not because I like melon. Other than watermelon, I don't care for that fruit. But I can taste this yarn. It's almost as if the sight of these colors triggers something in my brain. I'm almost tempted not to sell this one, but I have no space for it.

The other 2 yarns are also lovely. Jeans is guess what, dyed to match a pair of my jeans, and Princess Rosey is for a munchkin who loves pink and purple.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Stuff, or what I want to do today. Hah!

I did nothing yesterday but lounge on the couch, knit, eat (but just a little), and nap. Today I could climb mountains.

So here's what I have planned: dye yarn, go to Michaels to buy crafting supplies for Miss P, Barnes & Noble, lunch out with my Honey (aka Hubbo), make turkey soup, bake a cake he can bring in to work for his birthday, knit, laundry. Do ya think I'm maybe overdoing it a bit? What are the odds that I'll get it all done? What do you think I actually will get done? I think I'm in a manic phase.

On a more intelligent note:

Would you be interested in a sock club? I'm thinking of starting a small one with 10-12 members. If that one works, then I can go larger. This would run 3 months and cost $75, which includes shipping. I'm hoping to make it somewhat interactive, in that you can customize your yarn to a certain extent. More on my plans to come. I'm just trying to gauge interest.

By the way, I'm on Ravelry as Ruth. Come say hi to me.

Dyeing by book

Take a look at this book I just got in the mail!
We are talking one awesome book! Loaded with pictures, dye tips and patterns! The author talks about food coloring, Ashford, Kiton, Jacquard, Washfast dyes. She interviews major players in the hand dyeing world, with tons of pictures, presents patterns, shows you how to dye the yarn for those patterns, etc. If you don't want to dye your yarn, she gives you the commercial equivalent. You could order from Amazon or Knit Picks to get a good deal, but if you don't want to do that, it's worth paying full price. And I'm cheap.

I'm having a lazy day today. Hubbo rides in the local rescue squad, and it's his turn to ride today. So I'm a free agent. What to do with all that lovely time? I think I'll go to Michael's and buy some crafting supplies for Miss P. That's her Chanukah present: a box of crafting goodies. 5 year olds love this kind of stuff, and it lends itself to good mommy-daughter time. Plus, when I go out there, I'll have something to do with her. Not that that's ever an issue; Miss P manages to monopolize my time anyhow. And she's a lot of fun. Full of mischief, bright, and imaginative. What a kid. But then, all 4 of them are delightful. But I only get to see Miss P occasionally. She's just told her parents to go away for a while so that we can play together, just us.

I want to post a freebie sock pattern on this site, so I'm happily knitting one up. Knitting with variegated yarn is often a challenge: you don't want to do stockinette, but you don't want either the yarn or the pattern to be lost in all those colors. I have a few patterns that are standbys for this kind of yarn. And this is my favorite one. It's so easy to memorize, and it works on any kind of busy yarn. This is as far as I've gotten in my knitting.


I ate too much, laughed too much, ate some more, laughed some more, and now I'm seriously zonked! Hubbo's birthday was on Thanksgiving day, so I stuck some candles on the cake, and we all sang Happy Birthday. He was a happy camper.

Yesterday we went into Brooklyn for a kid and grandkid visit, went for brunch at Bubby's, where I ate too much and laughed too much.

That's it. Banal posting, I know, but being zonked does not lead to interesting posts. You get what you get.

Good night!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

'Twas the day before Thanksgiving

'Twas the day before Thanksgiving
And all through the land
Everybody was cooking
Food, delicious and grand.


'Twas the day before Thanksgiving
And all through the house
Everybody was cleaning
Both husband and spouse.

Take your pick. In my case, it's both cleaning and cooking. When you're married to the Schmutz Meister (master of junk, loosely translated), you have a lot of stuff in the house. Hubbo and thrift shops go together, like a horse and carriage. It doesn't rhyme, but so?

We have multiples of everything, from the world's largest flashlight collection to a serious collection of wrenches. The latter is for real. He loves antique tools, and has amassed quite of group of then, But, the flashlights are all over the house, cars, etc. We have a part of the garage where a car would ordinarily be. Do we have a car there? What, are you kidding? We have an archeological dig, a veritable midden of whatever. I have no idea what's at the bottom of this pile, and I bet he doesn't either!

I'm not a neat person, but the Honey has dragged me down to his level, and now comes the crunch: we've got to make a stab at cleaning up the house of piles of boxes and mail (his) in the dining room, yarn (mine) everywhere, and joint crap. It's a good thing that we have company now and then, because it makes us get our act together. That's why they invented beds: so you can shove stuff under them. Oh, wait, there's already stuff under them.

It's gonna be a long day.

I'm having a very small group for Tryptophan Day - the 2 of us, my best friend and her husband, and my mother. For that I'm truly grateful. In the olden days, I had 17-22 people for the Eating Day. And the ex never helped at all, so it was all upon my head.

The year I had 22 folks, I made the usual large amount of food, plus 2 turkeys. I couldn't lift a giant bird, so I opted for 2 smaller ones. This was a crowd that ate me out of house and home. But this year, everyone was on a diet! So nobody ate much of the appetizers, and only one turkey got eaten. I had an entire bird left over. They didn't even scarf down the desserts. And here's the kicker: I'm a from-scratch cooker, so everything was homemade and delicious, everthing. We enjoyed leftovers for days.

So what are you grateful for? Here's my list

My husband, children, sister and mother; my steps and their families, and my grandkids!
My ability to see color in everything.
The wherewithall to be retired and live comfortably.
The joy of daily living.

Happy Thanksgiving from my house to yours!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Two l llamas

I love looking at other yarnies' blogs. It's so neat to know that there are other obsessed dyers and knitters out there. Occasionally I'm going to talk about other blogs, not the big guys because everyone knows them, but the smaller and newer ones. Some of these have been around for a long time, but they're new to me. Of course there are a gazillion fiber blogs out there, but these are my faves. If you want to introduce me to yours, please send me a comment.

Today's favorite blog is:

Carolyn is a super spinner, and I'm jealous because I don't know how to spin.! Plus a super knitter and dyer. And, get this:
she now has 2 llamas, Sweat Pea (yup, the spelling is correct) and Sugar Magnolia. Take a look at these babies. Have you ever seen such long eyelashes? I can see it now: llama yarn spun from the girls and then dyed. Take a look at her site and fall in love with those cuties.

I can't help it; here's a poem by Ogden Nash:

The one l lama, he's a priest.
The 2 l llama, he's a beast.
And I will bet a silk pajama,
There isn't any 3 l lllama

I dyed 2 yarns yesterday. Possible names are "First Snow" and "Rainbow Brown". Final decision when they are reskeined. Here they are.

Ravelry Sock Knitters Anonymous folks: I'm donating a skein of my hand dyed yarn to a winner of the November KAL. Winner gets to pick a yarn from my etsy site, and I'll take care of the rest. I'm not knitting socks for the November KAL; started the mystery sock, and then decided that I didn't like knitting it. No good reason; it just didn't speak to me. It's just as well since I am donating that skein for one of the winners.

I just listed an etsy treasury:
Take a look at all those pretty pink yarns.

I finished a sock. This one is done toe up with an easy lacy pattern. I used one of my hand dyed yarns called "blues". This is one of those yarns where all the colors are in the same value, and they are also next to each other on the color wheel. Probably my favorite yarns to dye. I love them because they are subtle yet have a certain "flimmer" and because they take patterns so nicely.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Waffle waffle! Dip dip!

22 month old grandson discovers that he's going to have waffles for breakfast. Whoa, such excitement. He gets plopped on a chair, and starts yelling: "Waffle! Waffle!" OK, that's easy to figure out. So Hubbo cuts up a waffle and puts it on his plate, whereupon child starts pointing to the maple syrup and yelling: "Dip! Dip!" So, then Hubbo puts a bit on the plate, and the munchkin proceeds to dip his waffle into the syrup. Well, as doting grandparents, we thought it was hilarious, and the entire trip home we kept yelling: Waffle Waffle. Dip Dip." Uh, you had to be there.

Grand time was had at the family get-together. There were 16 of us, including the little kids, all crammed into my MIL's tiny living room. BIL hauls out his mandolin, and soon everyone was singing the ABC song, and Teensy Weensy Spider and other classical music from the preschool stage. And the kids behaved.

Still, it's good to be home in the peace and quiet of no kiddle land.

Remember the yarns I previewed on Friday? Well, I just posted them to Etsy. It always amazes me to see the difference between the original skein and the reskein. And it's the same here. I'm putting them to the right here under my etsy sign.

I really like how they came out. Sometimes you start off dyeing something that turns out completely diferent from what you had envisioned. But in these 3 cases, what I wanted, I actually got. That's the fun of never repeating your colorways: you just never know what the final result will be. No matter what, however, you almost always get something very pretty. And if the yarn is ugly, you can always overdye it blue! Or navy or black. And it will probably be quite striking.

Minneapolis GD loves Hanna Anderssen dresses. Miss P is a very elegant young lady. You know what those things cost new? Way too much for growing kids. But, you can often find them on eBay for lots less. So, that's this week's mission: Hanna Anderssen dresses sent to her mom, to be doled out as she wishes.

I think I like blogging. I resisted it for so long, and I'm beginning to get hooked.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I dyed and went to tropical heaven.

What do you do when it's dark and rainy and really really gloomy? You dye. That's what I did yesterday. I dyed 3 bright, cheery tropical yarns. You think my brain was telling me something? Here they are in original skeined form.

Temporary names are Island Beach, Sherbet, and Canary on a Branch. I say "temporary" because after I reskein, the yarns often tell me something different. Canary on a branch because somewhere on the web I saw a picture of canaries sitting on a branch with a sort of bluish/turquoise background.

An epiphany of sorts: When you've retired, visiting your former workplace is like visiting grandchildren: You go, you enjoy, and then you get to leave. A few days ago, i had lunch with a former co-worker. I loved where I worked, and the staff is so professional and fun to work with. So I really like to visit. Anyhow, we had lunch, went back to the library, I got to see everyone's new kid pics, wedding pics, lots of hugs, etc. And then I went home. Ah!

We're off to a family reunion this weekend. Hubbo's sister and nephew are flying in for the weekend, so everybody's descending on MA. Afterwards, we're off to our kids, and we get to play with 2 sets of grands: ages 7, 3, and almost 2. So much fun. They're all characters. And next month, I fly out to see the 4th grand, 5 years old. Also a character. Most of the time I'm on the floor playing with them, and then I come home and can't move for 3 days. I ain't as young as I used to be.

I dyed and went to tropical heaven.

What do you do when it's dark and rainy and really really gloomy? You dye. That's what I did yesterday. I dyed 3 bright, cheery tropical yarns. You think my brain was telling me something?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's a good day to dye!

It's pretty disgusting today: rain, fog, the whole shebang. As a refreshing woman, I've opted to stay indoors most of the day. It's a good day to knit and maybe even dye.

I've been knitting socks from the cuff down for 20 years, and never needed to change direction. But then I bought Cat Bordhi's new book, New pathways for sock knitters, and I got hooked on toe-up socks. She has great diagrams for Judy's magic cast on, and that convinced me to try this. So now, just because of the cast on, I'm doing toe ups. And loving it.

Plus I modified the gusset increase and now the whole sock forms organically. EZ would have loved this method.

So here's what I'm working on: a pair of socks for my purple-loving niece, a pair of socks for moi, and a sweater that I started last February.

It would be nice to finish the sweater: I mean, it's getting chilly here, and besides I really like it. I used a soft gray merino in a lacy pattern. Started the sleeves, top down, in stockinette, and I don't like it. I'm going to rip out the sleeve, and put in some lace. Otherwise it looks like it's been tacked on. Dopey, IMHO.

Are you on Ravelry? I joined back in June, and it's so much fun. It's like a giant stitch 'n bitch. I've learned so much from it, and now my Guru, Jen ( is helping me with this blog. So if anything looks good, you can thank her; if it looks weird, that's me. Like how I uploaded my pictures. Clearly this looks odd. Help!!!!

Here's what's wrong with Ravelry: I futz around so much with it that it's cutting into my knitting time. It's amazing how much time you can waste ( I mean play) with it. And talk about inspiration! Holey moley, you should see the projects posted!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Good Morning!

This is my first blog so I'd like to tell you a little about myself.

I'm a newly refreshing librarian with a passion for knitting and dyeing. Why am I refreshing? Because retirement means retiring from the world; refreshing means diving into new things. I've been knitting for over 40 years, which makes me a well-seasoned knitting broad. I started dyeing sock yarn this summer, and am totally obsessed with it.

I see color everywhere. When I go to an art gallery, the first thing I see in a painting is the overall picture, and then immediately I notice the colors. When I'm outside or driving, I see color. Now that I'm dyeing yarn, I get to play with my color interactions. My poor husband gets to hear me say: "Oooh, look at those colors. I bet I could reproduce them in yarn."

The dyeing has gotten to the point where I can't keep up my knitting with my dyeing. So, I opened an Etsy site:
to deal with the overload. This way I can dye as much as I want and someone else can knit the yarn.

I have to tell you that I'm emotionally attached to the dyed yarn. Those skeins are my babies. Hey, we all have our weird moments.

What do I like to knit: Socks, sweaters, lace shawls. I like everything except intarsia. That I hate with a passion.

Please join me as I embark on this new, exciting time of my life.


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