Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Yarnarian Posts the Mitered Scarf!

TADA! Here we go. Please feel free to comment here, remark on the Ravelry forum,wherever, especially if you notice a mistake.

I'm correcting mistakes/confusing directions as I get feedback from you, so if you've started and it doesn't make sense, ask, and I'll post up the better directions. I'll post the clarifications/corrections in italics.

This is so much harder to write up than a sock pattern. Or maybe it's that I'm used to doing sock patterns. Well, whatever, if I have goofed or you don't understand, let me know. And if you are on Ravelry, which you better be already (!), join the KAL and then we can all discuss until the cows come home.

Origins of the pattern: I was inspired by Shelly Kang's awesome Blankie, and by Vivian Hoxbro's patterns. I claim little or no originality here, just the desire to share a pretty pattern.

Diamonds Modular Scarf

Size: Approx. 5.5” x 45”.

Material: Sock yarn, approx 400 yards or more if you want a longer scarf.

Needles: Size 6, or whatever you prefer. You don’t want this to be tightly knit; drape is important here.

Gauge: My diamonds are approx 3.5”. This is not critical; if your diamond measures 3 or 4 inches, it’s not a big deal. Just as long as you know that the size of the scarf itself will be determined by the modules.

First module: Loosely cast on 25 stitches. Pay close attention to the purl and slipped stitches; that’s what’s going to give you that nice place to pick up stitches.

Row 1 RS: Slip the first stitch as if to knit, k 10 sts, sl 1 purlwise, k2tog, psso, knit 10 sts, purl the last stitch.

Row 2 WS, and all wrong side rows: Slip the first stitch as if to knit, knit until the last stitch, purl the last stitch.

Row 3: Slip the first stitch as if to knit, k 9 sts, sl 1 purlwise, k2tog, psso, knit 9 sts, purl the last stitch.

Row 5: Slip the first stitch as if to knit, k 8 sts, sl 1 purlwise, k2tog, psso, knit 8 sts, purl the last stitch.

Continue in this pattern until there are 3 stitches left on the right side. On the wrong side, slip the first stitch as if to knit, k1, p1.

Last row: Slip the first stitch as if to knit, knit 2 tog, psso. Do NOT break thread since this last stitch will be the first stich on the pick-up row.

Left end module: Turn your work so that it looks like the third picture above ^ with the right side of the work facing you.

With the point of the right hand needle, pick up and knit 12 stitches through those nice edge stitches that you made with the purl/slip stitch combo. You already have that first stitch on the needle, now you are adding 12 more to it for a total of 13 stitches.

When you have picked up and knitted 12 stitches, dig your needle through the end of the cast on row (middle picture) and pull a stitch through it. See the last picture.

Turn your work and slip the first stitch as if to knit, and knit to the last stitch and then purl that last stitch. Recognize the pattern?

Row 1 RS: Slip the first stitch as if to knit, knit until 3 sts from the end, ssk, purl the last stitch.

Row 2 and all wrong side rows: Slip the first stitch as if to knit, and knit to the last stitch and then purl that last stitch.

Continue in this manner until you have 3 stitches left on the right side. Slip the first stitch as if to knit, p2tog. Turn your work, slip the first stitch and purl the last stitch. Turn your work back to the right side, slip the first stitch, knit the last stitch, psso. Pull your thread through, and cut it. This is what your piece should now look like:

The first picture shows how it looks after you’ve pulled the thread through. The second picture shows how it will look as your scarf. You can cut your thread now, but leave it long enough to weave it through.

This little triangle is the final module that you will do on every row.

Second Row

From now on, you will be working your rows on the diagonal. Trust me, it's very easy!

Second Row. Cast on 25 stitches and work as first module. You will have 1 remaining stitch on the needle.

Turn your work as you did on the first row, but instead of knitting a triangle, you will now pick up the following stitches: Pick up 12 sts on your module, and then pick up 12 sts on the very first module you made for a total of 25 sts.

Turn your work so that the wrong side is facing you.

Turn your work and slip the first stitch as if to knit, and knit to the last stitch and then purl that last stitch.

Row 1 right side: Slip the first stitch as if to knit, k 10 sts, sl 1 purlwise, k2tog, psso, knit 10 sts, purl the last stitch.

Row 2 and all wrong side rows: Slip the first stitch as if to knit, and knit to the last stitch and then purl that last stitch.

Row 3: Slip the first stitch as if to knit, k 9 sts, sl 1 purlwise, k2tog, psso, knit 9 sts, purl the last stitch.

Continue in this pattern until there are 3 stitches left on the right side. On the wrong side, slip the first stitch as if to knit, k1, p1.

Last row: Slip the first stitch as if to knit, knit 2 tog, psso.

This is what your work will look like at this point.

Next module, another diamond, pick up and work the module just as you did the one before.

After you’ve worked this module, you are ready to do that left triangle again.

That's all for today. We'll continue either tomorrow or Tuesday, depending on how many questions you need answered.


MaryAnn - didn't I tell you it was easy peasy? Just remember to always slip the first st as if to knit, and to purl the last stitch. Otherwise picking up the stitches is a pain in the keester.

Ilene - where on the scarf are you? Are you at the point where you are about to start the second row? If you are, here's what you have: 13 sts on the bottom module that you just finished and then picked up and knit. You need to pick up and knit 12 sts from that original module to get the 25 sts. I know this seems weird, but it actually works. Try it.

Friday, February 27, 2009

A very important question!

People have been asking me how to join the KAL. You don't have to join anything. Just knit along. You can leave comments and/or you can join the Ravelry group.

Consider it a March present.

DragonYady Hosts a Ravelry Forum for the KAL!

Is she not a wonderful person?

On Rav, it's called "mitered scarf kal or ruth's creation" and found here.

If you haven't joined Ravelry, would you puleeze do it already. Pretty please. Pretty please with a miter on top!

Cathy - Thanks. Pick a pretty yarn and knit.

Dobarah - me too.

Anonymous - DragonYady is in reality a most ebil woman. Be careful around her. She makes me do the most outrageous things.

Jo - the Yady is a dangerous, ebil woman, and this is all her fault. I'm so perfect that it couldn't be my fault!

The Yarnarian Starts Another Mitered Scarf!

I couldn't help it. The Hubbo made me do it! This was a yarn that was unloved. No one wanted it. No one even gave it a heart. But I knew that it was a winner, and so did the Hubbo. When he mentioned that he wanted a mitered scarf, I hauled out all the yarns, and this is what he picked. Smart guy!

This is Shelley yarn, and the colorway is Papa Bear. Here's what it looked like without being reskeined:

OK, now here it is reskeined to see the color interactions:

And now here it is, as a scarf in progress:

Nifty, no? The Hubbo, who is a most conservative in clothing guy, likes it and said he would wear it.

Mitered Scarf KAL coming on Sunday, March 1. Right here on this blog. All details on the Mon, Feb. 23 posting.

And as a very special treat for you, here she is, Lilith Grace at 4 days old.

The Benster seems to be handling a baby sister fairly well so far. Of course she's been home only a day, so we'll see. Mommie and Daddy are exhausted, naturally, but doing well. At least they know the baby routines. We had such a lovely time visiting them. Went for a walk, ate a bagel, walked back with them. Sigh.

Jen - Thanks.

Jen - Nobody wanted that poor yarn. So I grabbed it. you going to knit along with us?

Carolyn - I love your typo! Miss Lilith is beyond delicious!

Cathy - I just might have to borrow it from the Hubbo!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Yarnarian Dyes in Neutral Mode

I got hit by the neutral bug yesterday. It must have been the influence of my waning cold (yeah, waning). So here's what I did. The bottom 2 are Emily lace weight yarn, 100% merino, 1200+ yards and soft as a baby's bottom. All available gradually in my Etsy shop, of course.

And speaking of babies' bottoms, I'm going to meet little Lilith later today! I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. I'll admire her, give great praise to her parents, and then play with poor little Benster, who has been demoted to big brother status. giggle.

Bishop Stone - It is quite a wicked yarn. I'm posting it today and its name is Purple Grackle after a most evil bird!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Yarnarian Blathers On!

Are you getting ready for our mitered scarf knitalong? DragonYady on Ravelry said she would start a forum for us. I was briefly thinking about a Yahoo group, but folks, I just don't have the time or energy for that. So, if you're not on Ravelry, sign up already, or you can ask me questions here as we go along.

Are you thinking about what yarns to use? Anything goes here. Lots of leftovers, whatever you like. You could even do it in a solid color, although I think that might get boring by the time you hit the 5th miter. ;-)

You can use other yarns besides sock yarn, too. It depends on what weight you want and what you want to do with it when you're done.

Dyeing news:
today I'm going to dye up 6 yarns in various forms of brown and neutrals. Why? I got the latest catalog from the Company Store, and they have some of the prettiest sheets in colors like that. I don't need the bedding, but I bet colorways in these families would be very pretty. I'm going to mix up chestnut, and toffee and caramel and any other color I have like those, and play with them. And in a day or so, I'll show you the results.

Etsy Shop: So here's what I listed this morning. Chocolate Mint Ice Cream in Shelley yarn. It's mighty delicious and not one single calorie.

I still have my cold, and I want desperately to meet Lilith Grace, our new granddaughter. It's just not fair! And I can't go visit the Mommie; who wants to give a cold to a 94 year old woman? So brand new and very old, and I'm stuck here sniffling and honking and wiping. Yuch.

CathyR - It is yummy! And in real life, it's a mighty tasty yarn!

Jen - You've gone over the furry edge. ;-)

Cyndi - It sold just about an hour ago! I'm going to do more of this kind of dyeing; I like doing it very much.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Yarnarian Plans for March.

Well, you know the old saying: The best laid plans..... (Robbie Burns, I think)

But still, hope springs eternal so here is a plan for you and me:

Beginning of March: the mitered scarf and variations. Yup, I'll show pics and give instructions and you are invited to knit along. Here's what you need:

1 skein of variegated sock yarn, or a solid or semi-solid.
2. Leftover sock yarn
3. a solid and a variegated that lives with it.

4. Size 5-6 needles, any kind, whatever makes you happy.

5. Nerves of steel, hands of iron, and a willingness to laugh at our mistakes. OK, this part's not necessary. But bring along a sense of fun.

6. A pair of scissors.

When? March 1 or thereabouts.

Here are some ideas of what you can do with this. I have to give you a warning: this kind of knitting is addictive. Everything else falls by the wayside. Just telling you.

Pattern News: Available today! The Judy Sock Pattern! On Ravelry.

New yarn on Etsy: Abiding Love.

Sue, Bishop, Cathy - Wait until you see how delicious a scarf made of just one skein of sock yarn can be around your neck. You'll end up making these things for everyone for nex winter and for presents.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Yarnarian is a Grandma Again!

Lilith Grace, aka Lily Grace, was born at 3-ish this morning. 8 lbs, 14 oz. Mom and baby are doing just fine.

The Hubbo is going into Brooklyn to see them; I have a cold so I don't want to inflict it on anyone.

Babies, we have a new baby.

Hi, Lily Grace from Grammie and Grandpa!

Thank you all for your congratulations. I've kvelling. Yiddish word for bursting with delight. Try pronouncing the k and the v together. Babies!

Grace - Talk about 6 degrees of separation! Isn't that a wonderful coincidence!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Yarnarian Reads!

Libby posted the big BBC list of top reads on facebook, and I was fascinated to see how many I had read. So, here's the list. I've stolen from her notation devices to mark "x" next to the ones I've read. Cool, huh?

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien x
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen x
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams x
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling x
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee x
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne x
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell x
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis x
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë x
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller x
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë x
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier x
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger x
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame x
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens x
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott x
19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres x
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy x
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell x
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling x
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling x
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling x
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien x
26. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck x
30. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll x
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez x
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett x
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens x
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl x
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen x
39. Dune, Frank Herbert x
40. Emma, Jane Austen x
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery x
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald x
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell x
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens x
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy x
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher x
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett x
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck x
53. The Stand, Stephen King x
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy x
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky x
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden x
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens x
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough x
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles x
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding x
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding x
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt x
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens x
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith x
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley x
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons x
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist x
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo x
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel x
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett x
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho x
95. Katherine, Anya Seton x
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez x
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot x
100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie

So what have you read and loved? I can't say that I've loved a lot of these, but one author I return to over and over and over is Jane Austen! I read her many many years ago, long before Masterpiece Theater started showing her stories, and I continue to read her.

Libby - I noticed no Shakespeare. That was a stunner.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Yarnarian Gets Laced.

Some lovely new lace yarns are up and ready for you. I'm thinking spring, and lace yarn always seems springtime to me.

Pretty Pastel:


English Garden:


Before Dusk:

Spring Pink:

All available here in my Etsy shop.

So now I have 11 brand new lace yarns in total, and I still feel like dyeing more. But instead, I'm working on some new springtime sock yarns.

I have such a case of spring fever, and March, that most dreaded month, is still ahead of us. By the time March rolls around, I'm thoroughly sick of winter, and March here always comes with snow storms and such. Blech. Still, we get a nice reward afterward.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Yup, I'm having a sale! Most sock yarns and a couple of patterns, too.

When? Today, Feb. 18th. All day. Go get 'em! I extended the sale another day since I had such a good response. Thank you all!

Where? Here:

Why? I need to make some room for spring yarns and more lace yarns.

How much? $2 off the yarn, and $1 off the patterns. That plus cheaper shipping makes for a tidy savings.

So, go get 'em while they're hot and available.

And then stay tuned for new ones, 'cause I have some already lined up.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Yarnarian has a Cute Story.

Our DD is learning how to knit. One of her nurses decided to teach her how, and she's been on the phone with her mom and with me for help. I haven't seen the knitting yet, but I bet it's looking good.

So here's the story: She came back from the yarn shop the other day with yarn to make doll blankies for Princessa Rose. Rosie grabbed the yarn and showed every one of her dolls (and this child has a gazillion dolls) the yarn that Mommie was going to use to make her (the doll) a blankie. She thinks that Mommie is going to knit an entire wardrobe for her 4 AG dolls. Poor Mommie; ah the pressure of a little kid.

We're going up there tomorrow to help out while both parents are on call. The Hubbo has orders to take the kids out and disappear so that DD and I can knit together. I love it. I feel the wicked enabler coming on bigtime! Happiness is a daughter who wants to knit. My two gave up on it, so all the burden is on Dr. K.

Our DIL knits, yay her, and she is due for her baby in 7 days. We're starting to sweat the birth date. Grands sometimes make grandparents very nervous.

Knitting News: I've been playing around with a new dyeing method, and while I love the results, it presents an interesting challenge with finding a good pattern. Sometimes what looks so easy to knit up, is in fact, difficult. Why? Because you don't want to loose the pattern and yet you love the yarn and want to show it off.

So here's the conundrum sock. This is the latest in my sotm yarns. Sotm members, your yarns are all individual so they won't look like mine. And here's the challenge. There is this gorgeous brown that doesn't want to look nice in a purl pattern. And here's my old standby of a pattern: the one and only Roundabout pattern. It's perfect! No purling, and it torques and it breaks up the yarn so that it zigzags instead of going straight. This is THE sock pattern when you want to highlight variations in color.

And here's another sock, with a similar issue except that the featured color is closer to the background in value, and there is more of it than the one above. This is a pattern I wanted to do with the teal and brown yarn. It looked beyond awful in it, but look at how nice it works up with this yarn. Yarns, where the values are not too far apart, can knit up into almost anything.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Yarnarian Makes Progress.

I finished the first Judy Sock. I did this on 64 stitches for my narrow foot and leg, and believe me, the cables really drew it in. When I write up the pattern, I'm going to do separate patterns for medium and large, I think. Cables are warm, beautiful and cuddly, but they really require lots more stitches. My fits perfectly, but wider feet need a bigger pattern written up.

Judy, my cable-loving friend, these are named for you.

The color on the lighter one is more accurate than the bright one. Photography is a pain in the keester sometimes.

And because I'm into picture sharing at the moment, here's a pic of my gansey in progress. You know what a mess sweaters in progress look like, so use your imagination on this one. I think it'll be fine when finished and given a bath.

The top one is closer to the actual color.

I did a bunch of dyeing for my sock club yesterday. I'm so pleased with how they came out. They all dried, and one of them is for me, and I can't wait to knit with it. So, to add to all the wips, I'm going to cast on for a new sock today. I don't know what kind of pattern to use; I'm thinking a knit/purl pattern. I need a break from cables, and am not in the mood for lace. Maybe something with a twist stitch? Well, I'll play and show you some results as I go along.

Rubicon - maybe the early part of next week, or if I'm really ambitious by Thursday night of this week.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Yarnarian Aids the Economy.

I helped out the economy yesterday! Armed with 3 coupons, worth $20 apiece, the Hubbo and I went off to Coldwater Creek yesterday. Shall we say that I made a major killing here?

One coupon was a birthday coupon. Yay, getting older. The other 2 were $20 off $80 worth of merchandise. The Hubbo took one and I took the others. Yes, it's perfectly legal, so if you go to CC, take a friend, the Hubs or a significant other.

And now I'm all set for spring, should it ever appear. Hasn't this felt like the longest winter on record? And we still have March ahead of us. OK, back to clothing: 3 pairs of light cotton pants, casual but not jeans, in navy, light brown and off-white, the usual spring colors. I can easily wear these in spring, summer and fall. All on sale: buy 2 or more..... Then 4 t-shirts, also buy 2 or more....Red, navy, grass green and blue. And the prettiest floral print blouse that has all the t-shirts colors in it and can be worn as a blouse or a jacket. It sounds boring, but it has been years since I wore red, white and blue. I'm quite pleased with my purchases, and believe me, the price was right.

No knitting to report on; I knit maybe an inch on my cable socks. No dyeing, no nuttin'.

Food news: We ran all over the joint yesterday, and after we had a nice Mommie visit, we went off to the local kosher butcher. Bought some chicken and some chopped meat. And I bought cold cuts! Stop laughing! It's hard to find freshly cut kosher cold cuts where I live, so I rarely have them. Turkey and salami. Mmmmm. You're laughing; I can hear it. Supper last night was sandwiches. Cold cut sandwiches. I loved every minute of it.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Yarnarian Changes Shipping Costs!

Enough with the Priority Mail option. It's gotten very expensive and why should you pay all that money! So, as of immediately, effective right this minute (but not retroactive), I'm mailing First Class. $3.00 for the first skein and $.50/skein afterwords up to 3 skeins in a pkg. Isn't that much nicer? Hey we have to save where we can.

International, unfortunately, has to stay where it is. I know; it's a lot of money, but packages go by weight, so when I tack on an extra yarn, the cost doubles. I wish I could change this, but I'm not in charge of the Postal Service.

Jen - Be my guest! If I ship a $20 yarn + Priority postage, it comes to $25/skein, which I think is a lot. After all, the extra money is not in the yarn but in the postage. And first class still gets there pretty quickly.

Judy - I want to see pics of the socks. Not that I'm nosy or anything. Hah! I am now also reading your blog. I'm not a quilter, the sewing machine is kaput, but I so admire them.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Yarnarian Gives a Few Good Plugs.

Whoa, that sounds lascivious. Nah, business plugs.

I love to find new places to spend money or to recommend to you, so here's what I've got:

THE most beautiful wood needles, crochet hooks and shawl pins I've seen:

The cutest project bags around. I love so many of them, but these are my latest loves:

Miss FiberFox
The one and only ZigZag Stitches!

Buttons! I think I need all of these.


Soap, both funny and pretty:

MollyCoddle Soap

SeaSprite Soaps, my very

favorite. They last forever and smell wonderful!

What are your favorite Etsy stores?

And a plug for me!

My latest sock pattern, Winter Wonderland! Available now on Ravelry and on Etsy in a few days.

Jen just mentioned Polpette Clay. You have to check this out. The funniest magnets I've ever seen. They are adorable! Thanks, Jen.

Look at this one from Catherine of ZigZag Stitches:

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Yarnarian Has Too Much of a Good Thing!

I have so much yarn for sale. Where have all the buyers gone? Long time passing? ...
I think this is going to be a very turbulent ride in terms of yarn sales. Why? I'll tell you why:

1. The economy, the economy, the economy: When you or your significant other have lost your job, you certainly are not going to spend your very precious money on yarn. Well, I wouldn't.

2. Saving money: People seems to be tightening their belts, even if they are fully employed and in no danger of being laid off. Given the rate of debt in this country, this is a good thing.

3. Stash. Every sock knitter I know has enough sock yarn to knit for the next 27 years. We've all reached the explosion stage.

4. Competition: There are so many indie dyers out there now, plus the big online yarn shops, that little dyers like me can get lost in the confusion.

But, this leaves this poor lonely dyer with an excess amount of yarn to sell. What to do? I love dyeing, so I'll continue to do so. If people buy, they buy. If they don't, I'll swipe yarn for me. I may dye at a slower rate or not. I think I'll just continue as I have been doing. I like it, and why should I stop? It's fun. So I won't get rich? Who in holy hell gets rich in this business? Nobody I know. We do it for the love of it. Otherwise, we'd all go out and get a 9-5 job someplace. Not me, though. I'm lucky to be retired, so whatever I make on this (at a rate of about $2/hour!!!) goes towards whatever I want or need.

I hear more people say: I want to quit my job and do this dyeing full time. Um, maybe not a good idea. It's physically hard, the rate per hour is dismally low, and you get no benefits. No health plan, no sick days, no vacation. You go away for a week or two and close your shop, and then you worry that people will forget about you.

And the glamour of the job? Are you kidding? You should take a look at us when we are in dyeing mode. The grungiest clothing, the respirator. Ah beauty. The dyeing is the fun part of the operation. But you have to do the business end too, which is necessary but not great fun.

So why do I do it? I love to play with color. This is like a kid getting a brand new box of crayons. You have to try them all out. You have to mix and match and play and play some more. I never get tired of it. The result is that I have way too many skeins of yarn, and so I sell them.

Well that was a major ramble into something or other. Anyhow, I have lots of pretty yarns if you want. And if you don't want, I still have lots of pretty yarns. ;-)

And now that I've put you to sleep, let me wake you up with a cooking story. The Hubbo and I love Indian food. I can eat it at least once a week. Give me cilantro and I'm in heaven. Bring on the biryani, the tandoori chicken, the masala dosa, the malai kofta, the kheer, the carrot halwa. I get hungry thinking about it.

So the other day I wanted to make plain old spaghetti and sauce for dinner. Nothing beyond that because I was tired, and anyhow, we had been eating out a lot. The cupboard was bare, and all I had was a jar of Trader Joe's organic spaghetti sauce. the one with no salt and no flavor. Blech. So, I diced an onion and sauteed it, added some balti masala (from scratch no less), mushrooms, cut up cherry tomatoes, and cooked that for a bit. Then I dumped in the boring sauce, cooked it up while the water was boiling for the pasta, sprinkled some garam masala (also home made) on top of it. Tossed in about a ladle of the pasta water with all its starchiness, and then mixed them all up. Topped with cilantro, and we had a wonderful feast. It's amazing how you can doctor up the world's most boring sauce and turn it into something wonderful.

Go look at the comments on the post of January 27th. Allison has an hilarious posting of the letter X!

Ria - I just got started on it, and then it just flowed along. I must have gotten my second wind. I told the Hubbo that he can buy more of that blah sauce just so I can doctor it up. Or else I could just use diced tomatoes combined with tomato sauce and then blend it together in the blender, etc, etc. Nah, the boring TJ sauce works well.

Jen - Let's hope he can do something with this mess.

MamaMay - Thanks for the information.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Yarnarian Has a Visit from the PQ!

In case you were wondering, the PQ is the Pastel Queen, aka my alter ego. Yesterday she came out with a vengeance and I dyed up 4 stunning pale pale lace yarns, all in Zephyr. I love doing yarns like this. They are pale enough so that any pattern shows up, but they still have some color. The PQ was most gracious about my dyeing efforts. Here they are:

Cameo, Violet, Mint, and Blush.

And then, much to the Pastel Queen's horror, I did a couple of much darker sock yarns:

Canyon and Walk in the Woods:

These goodies and more will arrive in my Etsy shop over the week.

Off to the gym. I really need it today. I'm loggy and have no energy. Off to tread on the treadmill and lift those weights.

Jen - I'm glad you like the yarns. I was just working on the sock but have to take a little break and do some laundry.


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