Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Yarnarian Has an Idea.

As you know, I'm been noodling around with the modular scarf pattern, and some adventurous folks on the PennyRoses Forum on Ravelry want to do a KAL on Ravelry when I write up the pattern. (And they know who they are!)

So one of these days, when I get through knitting and photographing each step of the process, I'm going to post these steps, perhaps one at a time for your enjoyment. I'm not sure when I'll begin. You all can be my test group with my very informal pattern.

Interested? Stay tuned.

Are you all sick of winter? It's cold here in NJ, not bone-chilling cold as in the frozen northland, but cold enough for here. We had some snow last night and this morning, and then it turned to rain, and now it's busy freezing into black ice. I'm going to try to get to the gym tomorrow provided the roads are ok. By the time I get out, they should be fine.

And then I think I ought to bake something, maybe bread, just because I need a cozy break from this weather.

Knitting News: All of a sudden I want to put cables on socks. So today, I poured over all my Japanese books to fine something to play with. I found a lovely cable and proceeded to design up a sock using that cable and other patterns. Knitted about 2 inches of it when I decided that I didn't like it. Frogged, recharted, frogged, recharted, etc. etc. And each time the stitch count changed so that I had to start from scratch again. Finally I found the perfect form of this cable, knitted yet again, and now I think I can connect the cables together. So tomorrow I rechart it again. I'll post pics if and when I'm happy with it.

CathyR - I spent about an hour redoing the chart, and then tonight while I was working on the sock, found a bunch of mistakes. so guess what I'm doing tomorrow?
It's really turning out nice. This one is a winner. I would like to do a sweater with this cable.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Yarnarian Gets the Letter "M".

Natalie, my fellow Fiber Barista and the wonderful dyer from the UK , sent me the letter M today.

Here's how it works, and I stole this from Natalie's site.

"The idea is that you ask in the comments for a letter and one is sent to you at random. You then blog about ten things you love beginning with that letter."

10 things about the letter M:

1. the Mommie! Of course she's first. How could she not be? The Mommie is 94 years old and is the most amazing lady. She's tiny, not that she was ever big to begin with, but now she's smaller, and still quite capable of putting me in my place, thank you very much. I have never, ever won an argument with her, and never will.

She can't live alone any more, so she is in a small residence for seniors within a larger senior apartment house. The is not assisted living; she has her own apartment (with the stove disabled so that the residents can't accidentally start fires), and just outside her door is the dining room. I've hired a lovely lady to help her get showered and dressed in the morning. Well, actually the lady is there to get her up because otherwise she'd sleep until 2 PM.

She is very very independent. If she doesn't want to do something, she doesn't, and no amount of pleading, cajoling, or even forcing will get her to do it.

In short, she is The Mommie, a force to be reckoned with!

2. Mate! He who is known as the Hubbo, my mate, my love and my bad one. He can get into more mischief than anyone I know. He gets this gleam in his eyes, and you know he has something ebil planned. He's famous for meeting me on the street, opening his arms wide and yelling my name. It's a sight to behold.

3. Munchies! I love to snack on bad junk food. Give me a good munchie of a Devil Dog or Wise Barbecued potato chips and I'm a happy camper.

4. Madeline. "In an old house in Paris, that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines..." One of my favorite children's books. Madeline is adorable and funny and full of my next M word:

5. Mischief! Mischief, the good kind, not the bad kind. The kind that makes you giggle. We have a lot of mischievous folks in the family: the Hubbo, of course, the grands. Well 3 out of 4 of the grands. Principessa Rose is not the mischievous kind of kid, but she is a cutie anyhow. The other 3 have trouble in their middle names.

6. Miss P! That most wonderful grand. The one that yells with me: "Iron Chef", the one who calls me Gram or Grammie or Grammie Whammie. The one who owns me every time I visit. The one who lives in Minneapolis...

7. Minneapolis! The home of younger DD, SIL, and the most charming Miss P. I love this city. Unlike New York City, it's not overly frenetic. It's full of culture and wonderful things to do, from museums to the Metrodome. Parks, wonderful shopping, nice people which leads me to:

8. The Midwest! Being an east coaster, living an hour by train from The City (NYC, of course!), I have the Metro-New York area's total ignorance of the middle of the country. Surprise! The Midwest, particularly Minnesota, which is the area I've come to know, is a wonderful place to visit. People don't rush from one place to the other, they tend to be nice (well, they admire niceness), they just might be civilized (hee hee, don't throw bricks at me! I'm being mischievous!), and I could easily live there. But I would miss New York, where people are curmudgeonly nice.

9. Marriage! It's a strange institution, quite imperfect. When it's a good marriage, it's wonderful. When not, yuch! I'm quite fortunate to be married to that Hubbo, but I still think that the idea of marriage needs to be worked on. I have no different ideas on how 2 people can live together bonded by law and love other than marriage, but if I ever come up with one, I'll let you know.

10. Me, Myself! OK, this is weird but only in my 60's have I come to like who I really am. I'm Me! I'm imperfect for sure, but I'm still Me. I like Me. It took 60 years to come to that conclusion. A lot of travail, a bit of therapy, a wonderful Hubbo, great kids and step kids, adorable grands all make up the Me who is today. And I like her. Not that she's perfect by any means. I can probably out-fault anyone reading this, but I am just comfortable being whoever I am. And that, boys and girls, is the joy of getting older. Yeah, the body and the face are not what they were, so what. The head is good, at least for the moment. ;-)

This was fun. If you want a letter, let me know, and I'll give you one. Thanks, Natalie for a wonderful idea!

KV - You're no fun! ;-) I'd be willing to give you the letter "X". Can you imagine finding 10 things about that letter? Size 6 is about as large a needle as I use, so next Rhinebeck, I'm getting some Duet!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Yarnarian Gets Lacy.

I'm back into dyeing lace yarn, Zephyr to be exact. I took a long break from it, but Sunday the mood struck and I did 4 skeins. I forgot how lovely it is to dye this yarn. It's such a dreamy yarn.

And since you asked (!), here they are:

Blue Diamond, because it almost has a blue sparkle.

Sweet Love:

Sea Breeze:


I have a whole bunch of pretty new sock yarns to list during the week. Instead of doing them all at once like I did with the Fairy Tale Collections, I'll be listing them maybe 1 or 2 at a time. No good reason, just for the fun of it.

Not much is new here; everything is quiet, thank goodness. I'm not fond of excitement. Give me boring peace and quiet any time.

Miss P did call up the other day to tell us a tuna fish joke. She's so much fun to talk to. Once she gets going, she carries the entire conversation. Her questions are: Guess what? And you know what? Guess what else?

So all I have to do is answer "what" and she's off and running. She's such a character!

Exercise News: We're still at it! Neither of us wants to give the other the $25 owed if no exercise is done. I have to tell you that negative rewards/punishments work much better than good rewards.

Knitting News: I may do a KAL of my modular scarf. My lovely group on Ravelry, PennyRoses, is interested. I just have to figure out how to present the instructions, which are all written out, and not in graph form. I suppose I could do a graph; it's easy enough. Well, I'm working on it and will let you all know if and when it's on.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Yarnian Is In Love!

With a scarf/shawl pattern. Yeah, I know that I wrote about this before, but I cannot tell you how delightful it is to knit this pattern!

This one:

The middle one is true to the real color.

This is like eating peanuts. I can't stop doing this. Talk about mindless, yet interesting. I used my Alexa yarn here and a size 6 needle, and it came out so soft, and drapey and silky and warm. I want to make a gazillion of these.

So the instant I finished this, I wound up a ball of my new Shelley yarn that I dyed just for me, and started another one. I have to either dye up some almost solids, or buy a couple at Judy's, to play around with solids and variegateds.

Let me tell you about Shelley yarn. It's amazingly lofty and looks more like a sport wt yarn until you start knitting with it. And then you realize that it has wonderful stretch and makes cushy socks. It looks and knits like K...u, but the base is not the same. However it has that nice twist and is sproingy. and works up so nicely.

So the new shawl is also on size 6 needles and has a different feel than the one out of Alexa.

The Alexa one took a little less than a skein of yarn. It's about 5.5 inches wide and about 45 inches long and is enough to wrap around my neck and fling over my shoulders. Indeed, if I fling carefully, I can drap the flung part over my shoulders and it helps keep me warm. I love it to pieces. I might just have to actually write up a pattern here.

I think I have post Inaugural blues. All that excitement and now we're back to the humdrum of daily live. On the other hand, we could have excitement that we don't want, so I'll happily take humdrum.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Yarnarian, the Inauguration and Goldilocks.

well, that's a strange combination but the Goldilocks Collection has made its debut on Etsy. I dyed most of it on Thursday and finished up yesterday, and listed just before all the inauguration festivities.

Reading from right to left: Goldie, Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Baby Bear, and then Papa's bowl of porridge, Mama's and Baby's. Click on the picture to see the yarns in a larger size.

Did you watch the Inauguration? I did and I cheered and waved and cried. About 2 minutes into the speech, the cleaning team arrived and proceeded to share their joy with the election with me. And so, I missed most of the speech. I'll have to catch it later. bummer! I really wanted to see it in real time.

Weren't the little girls cute? And Michelle was no slouch herself. I can't wait to see what she wears tonight to all the balls.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Yarnarian and Vacations.

I'm been quite remiss in my blog posting. I've been so busy what with dyeing and shipping for the sock club, and dyeing for the Etsy shop, etc, that I don't know which end is up. It's time for a vacation, that's for sure.

So here's the deal with vacation time. When you have a "regular" job, you get vacation time and if you have any brains at all, you take it. Yeah, there are those fools out there who think they're going to heaven if they don't take vacation; we're not talking about them.

I'm a great believer in time off. It clears your head, gives you a well-needed break, relaxes you, and is just plain healthy.

OK, but now I'm self-employed at in in-house career. Sure I go on vacation to visit Miss P and family, and to venture forth with the Hubbo. No, I'm talking about taking time just for me. How do I do it? I have this little voice at the back of my head that says: thou shalt dye and thou shalt advertise and thou shalt ship, yada, yada, yada. But I'm tired and really need a break. So, I have to figure out how to do this.

Here's my solution: Sometime in the next 4-5 weeks, I'm going to take a week off. No dyeing, unless it's for me (and that's another topic), yup, I'll check on Etsy, of course, but I need to play. I need to wander through the Short Hills Mall all by myself and look at all the stuff I don't need and won't buy. Maybe I'll treat myself to some makeup. I need to sit down and read in the afternoon and not fall asleep over my book at bedtime. I need to knit for fun.

What do you think? Can I really pull this off?

Knitting News: I have a new obsession: modular knitting, or domino knitting or whatever you want to call it. Here's my silly scarf that I've been working on every second of free time I have (which is not much).

This is a case where the whole is so much better than the parts. I'm using Alexa yarn with a size 6 needle, and the scarf is so cuddly and has so much drape. I'm busy thinking of all the possibilities that I can do just using this simple module. How about mostly solid, with the point in a variegated yarn, or the opposite? How about doing it in solid yarns in different colors? Or doing it with some stockinette rows? Or in stripes? And easy knitting doesn't get any better than this. Talk about autopilot. I just love doing it. Hey, when I take my vacation (yes!), I could start another scarf.

We finally saw Sweeney Todd last night. I saw it on Broadway with Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou and it was one of the best shows I've seen. He was so malevolent, and she played Mrs. Lovett as a really crazy, dotty character. The movie seems a pale imitation of the play. For one thing, where was the song "The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"; they left it out. I liked the movie well enough, but the play was 100 times better.

I've also been watching reruns of Boston Legal. Somehow we missed the entire series. So now it's in reruns, and I'm just loving it. I walk around saying "Denny Crane".

Yarns and Odds: This week I'm presenting Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and maybe also Little Red Riding Hood, if I have time to dye her up. And that will probably be it for The Fairy Tale Collection. You know what comes next! Romance and love, at least for the first couple of weeks of February (and maybe the last week of Jan also). What to dye for the last 2 weeks? Maybe a fairy tale or two that I didn't do in Jan, or maybe something else. See what I mean about taking vacation when you're self-employed and love dyeing? It ain't easy, boys and girls.

Skepweaver - I put the Cariou/Lansbury production in my queue. This is the one that I want the Hubbo to see! Denny Crane.

KV - You've figured it out! I'm impressed, but then you've been doing this for a long time and I'm a newbie. The trouble is that I have all these ideas in my head for dyeing and for projects. I can't keep up with it all. Tomorrow I'm taking off to go to the gym and watch the inaugural proceedings. But that doesn't count as a vacation day. The scarf looks so much better in real life.

Sonia - I thought I'd take today off to watch the inauguration festivities, but I have to prep yarn and list it, etc, etc. I figure that by the time I get this vacation thing, I'll be retired from retirement!

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Yarnarian Writes a Long Post!

Yeah, it is a very long post. So it goes. I have lots to catch up on.

We went into Brooklyn on Sunday for the Benster's 3rd birthday party. There were a ton of little kids, most 3 and under, all their parents, 4 grands, and Ralph the Dog. It was wild and crazy and such fun. You had to keep looking down to make sure you didn't run over a little munchkin. I noticed that the 3 year olds have grown a lot since last year. They still don't share. Much squabbling and shrieking of toys and we grands just giggled. We let the parents do their thing. Ah, the joys of being a grandma: you get to watch and not discipline.

Let me tell you about Ralph the Dog. Ralph is our canine grandchild. He's a large furry Portuguese water dog, and he is a lovable pain in the butt. A true doofus of a dog. So, I'm happily eating a couple of pieces of dried mango, and wham, the fool dog grabbed a piece and scarfed it down and got his doggy slobber on the second piece. So I just fed it to him. The hubbo got a leash on him to keep him from grabbing everyone's food, especially the little kids. At the end of the party, when no one was looking, he knocked over a plate with carrot cake on it, and managed to eat half of it before anyone noticed. Next year, he's going to be banished. Poor dog.

Yarn news: I have a brand new yarn that I'm calling Shelley. It's 100% superwash merino fingering weight with a wonderful twist in it. Very lush and delicious to work on. Soft, and makes wonderful socks and scarves and mitts and anything fingering weight. I'm currently making a pair of socks out of it. Since it has no nylon reinforcement, I probably won't wear them as often as my usual socks, or I may knit along a bit of reinforcing thread on the heels and toes. Nah, forget it. I can't be bothered with all that extra work. A pair of socks it will be and I'll enjoy wearing them.

It dyes like a dream and I like it very much. 3 of the yarns in the Rapunzel collection are done in Shelley. I'm charging a tiny bit more than my usual: $22/skein, but it's well worth it. Here's a picture of the sock in progress. It's the same colorway as Rapunzel's Tower.

And speaking of the Rapunzel Collection, here's what is arriving on Etsy tomorrow: 7 skeins (I stole the 8th one because it was Shelley yarn and I wanted to try it out), and a brand new pattern: Rapunzel's Braid!

So, to tantalize you, here are some pics. Rapunzel's Braid is on the previous post, so go look there.

Yarns: Rapunzel's Mother and Rapunzel herself.

The Tower and The Wicked Witch:

The Handsome Prince and the Rape Leaves that Rapunzel's mother craves.

And finally, Rapunzel's Palace (where she and the prince live after being reunited):

So why these particular colors? I based the colorways on a children's book called Rapunzel. The author/illustrator is Paul O. Zelinsky, and he sets his story during the Italian Renaissance.

And, because I have nothing else to knit, I was forced at needle point to start a new scarf. I swiped my Frog Pond yarn because I wanted a nice bright set of greens and such. The pattern is a simple modular pattern and because I'm just doing it in one yarn, very few threads to weave in.

And that's it. I'm done. I have nothing else to say. OK, that's not the truth but it will have to suffice. ;-)

Melissa - Thanks! I kinda like that Tower too. And I have a great fondness for the Wicked Witch.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Yarnarian Has a New Sock!

So here's one left foot with the new sock on it:

And not only do I have a new sock, I also have 2 left feet!

I saw this great deal on Ebay for 2 left feet, so I bought them. I only need 1 left foot, so if anyone wants a left foot, let me know. Remember the guy in Best of Show with 2 left feet? Hah!

The sock is called Rapunzel because of the braided cable and the lacy braid down the center front and back. The yarn is Rose, which shows off patterns very well. Nice and crisp, which is how I like to feature cables.

I have to write up the pattern, and when I do, it'll be available both on Ravelry and on Etsy. It would be nice if I dyed up a Rapunzel Collection too. Well, I have other yarns to dye first, but I'll put them all up together.

Exercise news: I went back to the gym yesterday and had a nice workout. I did it very low level, and today I don't ache. Every other time I've tried to start over, I thought I was Wonder Woman, and overdid it, and ached for days afterwards. So this time I got smart, and kept it down, and I can easily go back on Friday! Yay, powerful woman!

Jen - Rav me and I'll give you the details.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Yarnarian Dyes the Little Mermaid!

I have had a wonderful couple of days of dyeing, and here is the Little Mermaid Collection. None of these yarns are repeatable, so if it's gone, it's gone. I'll start listing them tomorrow.

Here they are! First of all, The Mermaid, a generic mermaid flapping her tale, and then The Ocean.

Next, The Tropical Fish and The Lobster.

The Sorceress and Neptune:

Sand Dune and The Rock (the one in the harbor in Copenhagen)

And finally, the Little Mermaid, with her long reddish-brown hair and fancy scales, and the Royal Prince in all his princely finery.

Sand Dune and The Rock are already promised!

Ria, Beth, Melissa, and Jen - They're up for sale tomorrow. I'll post all day long.

Tamar - These are all sock yarns, fingering weight.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Yarnarian Checks In.

Did you have a good New Year? It seems so long ago, and it's only Jan.3!

Our dearest friends came over for chicken chili and brought 2 wonderfully dopey movies to watch: Best in Show and The Producers. Lovely, relaxing day.

I am stunned at how quickly most of the Snow White collection sold! Who'd a thunk it?

So tomorrow I'm getting busy on The Little Mermaid, and might finish dyeing it either tomorrow or Mon. and listing it hopefully on Tues.

I've done a lot of knitting the last couple of days. I'm working away on my Gansey and my Rapunzel socks. I started a new shawl on New Year's Eve, and today I played with a new lace scarf. I'm not sure about the scarf. I like the pattern, but the yarn might fight it. Well I'll post a pic and you can give me your opinion.

Sock Club sign ups are almost over. Monday is the last day to sign up. Just saying.....

The Fiber Baristas sock club sign-ups began on Thursday, and are coming along nicely. It is not inexpensive, but you get 9 months of yarn, each month from a different dyer; every dyer is top-notch, so you're getting awesome quality here. And someone on the Ravelry forum suggested people sharing the cost. So 2 or 3 people could go in on one membership and split the cost and the yarn. We cannot possible manage that, but you all could do it on your own.

And on a heavy note here: Did you know that you can freeze from-scratch lemon-ginger cupcakes and you can eat them frozen? I swear I've eaten a dozen of them all by myself. This is not conducive to a diet! ;-)

Hi, Jen - What are you dyeing these days?

Ria - Frozen cupcakes are wonderful! All the spicy taste comes out. I'm afraid that this is not a viable diet option. You can eat them right from the freezer. (and the paper peels very easily when frozen.)


Related Posts with Thumbnails