Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Yarnarian Dyes for You.

'Tis true, I dyed for you. Lovely new yarns to be added gradually this week and next. First up are Andante and Aria:

Flamingo and Cheery Dearie:

Lady Jane and Flying High:

Royal Purple and Nymph:

Tickle, Sunny Day, and Rubies and Amethyst:

Fiber Barista news: The Fiber Barista ladies are at it again, only this time they're doing fiber. "they" because I don't dye fiber, only yarn. But we have some very, very talented dyers here. Go check out all the info at http://fiberbaristas.blogspot.com

And speaking of the Fiber Baristas, check out the latest shawl design by Deb of Fearless Fibers: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/whisper-of-spring-lace-shawl Is this pretty or what!

Tooth News: I just got back from having root canal, and NO PAIN!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Yarnarian and Chickens

Yesterday was Chicken Soup Sunday! Twice a year, before Passover and Rosh Hashana, the Hubbo and I go into chicken soup mode. We make tons and tons of chicken soup, and then when the holidays are done, we have enough leftover for cooking and colds, etc.

So yesterday we hauled out the vat, dumped in lots of chicken parts, plus a leftover roast chicken carcass, and all the wonderful ingredients that make this soup, and cooked it until the chicken had no flavor left at all, and the broth was mighty tasty.

Here's what goes into it. No specific amounts, just whatever lands in my hand:

chicken parts
water (duh)
carrots, celery, onions, parsnips, garlic, fresh parsley and dill. How many? Lots, and nice big handfuls of the herbs. The dill is pretty critical to give it that soupy love.
Peppercorns, whole cloves, bay leaves, ginger (either fresh or dried)

That's the basis. If I have almost dead mushrooms, I'll add them.

Cook forever, season with salt, and freshly ground black pepper, taste. If it seems weak, remove all the ingredients so that all you have left is broth and boil down a bit. Strain, and then strain again in a very fine mesh strainer to get rid of the goop and scum. That's it. Freeze. Enjoy.

I put the carrots, celery and parsnips into separate containers and freeze those too.

And now you have my secret recipe for Jewish penicillin. Works like a charm.

What else did we do? We started the clean-up process for Passover. Being confirmed sloppy people, we do not do the whole clean the house from top to bottom thing, but we do engage in our once a year putting all the crap away activity. Holidays and company keep us honest: we have to clean-up, a most stressful activity! So I worked on the yarn mess in the living room and guest room. The Hubbo began the den clean-up. The Schmutz Meister (loosely translated: the master of dirt) has a lot of serious junk all over the house, but especially in the den and dining room. And you know that there is no place safe from yarn in this house. I need a studio!

Then I did my bills, which I hate with a passion, laundry, which I don't mind doing, worked on designs, etc, etc.

By 3:00 we were tired and grumpy. Cleaning doesn't come naturally to us; we fight it tooth and nail. Living in chaos doesn't bother us much, but every now and then, ya gotta clean the mess up. So at that point we said enough. And then we hit the highlight of the day: We walked the Traction Line past Fairleigh Dickinson University. The Traction Line is part of the Morris County parks system. It's a walking, biking paved road that parallels the train line. No cars, just bikers, walkers, runners, strollers. The part of the line we walked has a very gentle slope downwards, and when you walk it, you think how nice it is. Ahem. What goes down, must come back up. So the gentle decline becomes a not-so-gentle incline. We did it to the tune of over a couple of miles including our walk from and back home. Such good exercisers. Watch out, Biggest Loser, we're exercising too!

And then we came home, futzed with the soup, made our own individual suppers and enjoyed 2 episodes of Boston Legal.

Denny Crane!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Yarnarian and Hubbo Take a Hike!

Yesterday, in a moment of total madness, the Hubbo and I set out for a walk to downtown Madison. It's a bit over 2 miles up and down hills, but mostly down. Of course the walk home is mostly up. Duh.

We put on sneakers, light weight jackets and set off. Made it in about 45 minutes, and then had dinner at a great restaurant, From Scratch. What I like about this place is that not only is the food good, but you can really watch the calories. What's hard about a salad with dressing on the side, topped with grilled chicken? You just dip your fork into the dressing, and that's the end of the serious cals. We did share a brownie for dessert, so that took care of the calories lost by the walk, but it could have been much worse! And then we walked back home, up the hills, and down a few, and then up again.

Are we virtuous or not? All this because we watch the Biggest Loser, and I'm so impressed with the people on it. Now, I do not watch my weight 'cause I don't need to. I wear a size 6 pr of jeans, so I'm not overweight at all. But I need exercise, so that walk filled the bill.

and today I'm sore. ;-)

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Yarnarian Adds Important Info To Her Blog:

Do you want to do some important charity knitting? Here are two groups that do afghans, one for the Pine Ridge Reservation here in the US, and one for all those thousands and thousands of orphaned children in South Africa.

The first one is for the African kids, who have been orphaned by the AIDS virus that's sweeping South Africa. There have been lots of reports on the effect of AIDS on children on the news on PBS, and I just found this group on Ravelry. Here's the important info on the web, followed by the Ravelry group:



And here is the information for the Pine Ridge Reservation Group:



Caffeine Girl - When I was watching the PBS news, I kept thinking of what I could do, and then today I found the Ravelry group. And Pine Ridge is such a poor area, and needs our help desperately. So, I'm very pleased to get involved.

The Yarnarian Has More Yarn!

All of this posting! I seem to be making up for a week of no posts.

Here are some more pretty yarns that I dyed up on Tues. They are all Penny yarns, and one is more fun than the other: Twinkle, Candy Land, and Twirl. All inspired by new greenery and spring, of course.

As usual, if you want and it's not listed on Etsy, let me know.

Knitting news: I'm working away on my secret mitered project, and I am beginning to think that it will work out. If not, I have a lot of miters! I started a new sock pattern yesterday in one of my pastel yarns, and it looks so pretty. It's wasted as a sock; it should be a sweater! Here's the yarn, Alexa, and pale and lovely and shows off the pattern beautifully.

I know, all these pastels, but folks, they really show off a pattern. And no pics of the sock yet, because I want to work a bit more to show it off. ;-)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Yarnarian Blathers On!

Ah, the trials and tribulations of designing a mitered scarf in another pattern! Yesterday, I knit and frogged more times than I can count. I want to do another mitered scarf and I don't want to have to cut yarn at the end of every miter, but that seems to be the way I must go. and then, I tried so many different variations that my poor head was spinning. I'll have another go at it today, while I'm fresh and not zonked.

The yarn I'm using was dyed up months ago, and held in reserve just for a moment like this. First I tried it on a new sock pattern and you couldn't see the pattern for the yarn, and the yarn for the pattern. In short, a mess. But this baby will be wonderful in a garter stitch mitered something-or-other. Sigh, now to work on it again!

So, here's my conclusion, yet again, for sock patterns and variegated yarn: YOU HAVE TO LET THE YARN TALK TO YOU! You may blithly go ahead with a fancy yarn and a fancy pattern, but if it looks crummy after a couple of repeats, rip the fool thing out and find another pattern.

Dyeing news: Here are some purty yarns I dyed up on Tues. Not all of them because I want to keep you tantalized by what's coming. Such an evil woman! Here they are: Pastel, Crocus, Woods and Tree Bark. I'm keeping Pastel for me for that new sock pattern.

As usual, if you see a yarn you want, let me know and I'll reserve it for you. Shameless commerce, of course.

Linda - I can't tell you how many times I've knit a few inches of a project and knew it wasn't going to work, and then convinced myself to knit another few inches, only to rip it out. It is good yarn! I knit with it and wouldn't sell it if I knew it was crummy yarn.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Yarnarian Goes Half Way!

Whoo hoo! Half Skeins of Penny Yarn! What could be more fun (other than bonbons and potato chips, of course)? These are so cute, and they're perfect for when you need some color to add as part of a pattern or trim or whatever you want for your projects. Each skein is over 2 oz, and approx 200 yards, and I'll make adjustments if the lower weight means lower shipping costs (mostly for international customers, probably)

And more pretty full skeins of yarn coming all week. They still are a bit soggy from yesterday's dyeing.

Now I need to do a sock pattern using half skeins other than rib, heels, and toes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Yarnarian Presents the Ahava Sock Pattern!

Here it is, the Ahava Sock pattern, one of my all-time favorite socks to knit. The chart doesn't look anything like the knitting, and that's what makes it so much fun!

Available right now on Ravelry! Yay, Ravelry!

I wonder what the effect of Ravelry and on-line knitting magazines have made on pattern sales in local yarn shops, as well as hard-copy magazines?

I dyed up a bunch of yarns today, including 4 half-skeins of Penny. They are steaming as I write this, and if dry, I'll start to list them tomorrow. I was in full spring mode until the last 3 yarns, where I went into dark, saturated colors. Well, saturated for me; you do know that I'm the Pastel Queen!

Ria - I have a dark brown combo that will knock your socks off. And a dark green that looks like the inside of a forest, and a lighter one, sort of medium rather than really dark, of violet and purple.

Henya - It is such a delight to knit. I can't tell you why, but it just flows along.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Yarnarian is Back, Pooped, But Back!

Let me tell you that playing with an energetic 6 year old can pretty much zonk out a Grammie! Just in case you didn't know it.

I had a wonderful time in Minneapolis. I helped out DD, who is recovering from a very successful surgery, and is doing just fine, chatted with DSIL, and played with Miss P.
Am I pooped? You betcha! Did I have a good time? You betcha! Am I glad to be back home. Yup!

Miss P is a killer Monopoly player. She destroyed Grandma Kathy, and wiped me out.

I walked over to Needlework Unlimited, which is an awesome needlework and yarn shop. Yarns of every type and tons of patterns and books. I did not buy yarn, because it's bringing coals to Newcastle, but I picked up a charming hat pattern and a book, and managed to fit them into my little suitcase.

So, what's on the agenda now? I have to get back to my dyeing, and I have some neat ideas which were inspired by an artice in a Better Homes & Garden magazine. I need to work up the Diagonal Mitered Scarf into a good pattern, write up the pattern for the Ahava socks, etc, etc. And I need a root canal. This I could live without.

And I have to do the Passover prep. Tonight we shop and spend a fortune on kosher for Passover food. Good thing, I like to cook from scratch! And the MN crowd is coming east for the holiday.

Dyeing news: I wind Penny yarn up from cones, and always have yarn leftover, too short yardage for a full skein, but plenty for a half-skein. I want to dye up some of these and sell them just for the fun of it. This way, people can buy whatever they want for trims, scarves, etc. It'll be a bit more work for me. OK, a lot more work for me, but I think I'll have fun with them. And then comes the really fun stuff: I have a number of Gem skeins by Louet to dye up. They've been aging nicely in my yarn storage, and it's time I dyed them up. Such fun!

And very important news!!!!! A bit of grass is coming up in our yard! Yes!

And because I don't want to leave you without eye candy, here's a yarn that I dyed up before my trip, and just reskeined this morning. It's called Wood Grain, and is just lovely, and if someone doesn't grab it, it's mine, all mine. Ha! Original and reskeined:

Ria - Yeah, I'm kind of excited about dyeing them too. It's fun to find small skeins for all sorts of things. It's a great way for me to use up all that extra yarn that's just hanging around all over the joint!

Hey, just before I flew out to MN, we did a field trip to Lake Hopatcong. what a neat area. I don't think I've ever been there before. Talk about boulders!

KV - Didn't we just go through the matzo ball stuff? We did our Passover shopping tonight.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Yarnarian Chats.

This is going to be a chatty post, full of yarn, plugs, secrets, what-have-you. It has to last you for a week because I'm off to Minnesota for a few days of kid and grandkid doting. Miss P and I rule.

So, yarn first. Here's what I dyed up yesterday. Lace yarn, all 100% merino lace with over 1200 yards: Springtime, Orange and Magenta.

Isn't that orange wild? I love it; it's in your face orange tempered with a little bit of brown.

Springtime is the first really variegated lace yarn I've dyed. I think it will work well on the right kind of shawl. And if it's too scary for the world, I'll either overdye it or steal it for myself. It's that pretty

Magenta is magenta, and almost solid and really gorgeous! What a change from my usual pastels!

Here are the sock yarns I did: Minuet, Love Me, Cha Cha and Wood Grain.

This was supposed to be a red dyeing day. NOT, don't even ask how I get from red to these colors. I swear the dye does what it wants; I have no control!

All these treasures will be listed during next week on Etsy. Yup, I'll be away, but you can order and I'll mail out when I come home.

By the way, did you ever wonder how Fritzl came to be my Etsy monniker? When I first registered on Etsy, I was a buyer, and I became Fritzl in honor of my poor little cat who had died. Then I became a seller, and it was just too complex to change everything around. So now on Etsy, I'm Fritzl Presents PennyRose Yarn. ;-)

Plugs:: As you know, I'm a member of the Fiber Baristas and we are a consortium of dyers, both fiber and yarn, and some of us spin also. Alas, not me. Not at this busy stage of my life. But there are serious spinners and fiber dyers in the group, and I can buy already handspun yarn! Hee hee!

Look what I bought recently from Whimsy Pinzy: Sport weight and beyond gorgeous!

And if you go to her blog, you'll see an announcement for a really neat sock club she's starting.

Natalie. who hails from the UK, is involved with a wonderful charity, p-hop Go take a look at what they are doing to aid Medecins Sans Frontieres;

"P/hop is a fundraising knitting project for the humanitarian medical aid organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres

Over the coming months, several generous designers will be donating free knitting patterns to the MSF p/hop project. These patterns will be available to download here and on other knitting blogs and websites such as ravelry.

P/hop stands for pennies per hour of pleasure. The idea of p/hop is to donate based how many hours of pleasure you got from knitting your free pattern. There is no set price for a pattern; you can donate 50p or £50. It’s entirely up to you!"

More plugs as I go on. I don't want to overwhelm you in this way-too-long post!

If you want to know what other Baristas are doing, click on the Fiber Barista Ring over on the right. Lots of things are going on with our members, and I'll try to post them as I go along. What is so lovely about this group, other than everyone here is wonderful, is that we are all competing with each other in our sales, and yet we support each other and have become close friends.

On the needles: my new sock pattern, Ahava (which means love). It's almost ready to be written up. I have enjoyed knitting this more than any other sock in the last few of months. It just flows:

And one last picture as a teaser: My new mystery project, to be revealed sometime in the future. And, no, it's not a scarf!

AND THAT'S IT! (long enough to last a week?)

Ria - Want me to reserve them for you?

Jo - as if I'm going to have time to knit those socks! Not with Miss P! These are not the parents of the new baby. That family lives in Brooklyn, NY. Nope, this is the Minnesota crowd. We have them all over the country.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Yarnarian Loves to Dye.

Here's what I dyed yesterday. I'll be listing them all week in the Etsy shop.


A flock of pastel Penny yarn to celebrate the coming of Spring (eventually!)

Pinks and Flower Dreams

Delicata and Dreamscapes:

A new Rose Yarn: Early Greens.

A new Alexa Yarn: Dangerous:

And my favorite of all, a most complex and awesome Shelley Yarn called Night Blooms:

Cathy - An ebil laugh here. Mwahahaha!

baby face - message me on Ravelry and we'll chat. I'm ruth there.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Yarnarian Checks In.

How are you all doing with the Diagonal Mitered Scarf? Any corrections before I write it up into a PDF?

If you're on Ravelry on the scarf forum, take a look at the pics of various scarves people are knitting. It's just amazing how different this looks depending on the yarn.

I did a lot of dyeing the other day, and today I listed the last of the new ones. I'm calling this one Baby Lily in honor of the latest member of the family.

I clobbered my wonky wrist the other day, so not much knitting has gone on here at Chez Yarnarian, but my little brain is obsessed with a possible new project. I'm dyeing up yarn for my mystery project today. I'm really excited about this, and if it really works, I'll eventually post pics. Don't hold your breath, though. This will take some time.

Sock Madness Forever! Have you joined in the merriment? There are just a few openings left. This is the most lunatic fun going. Last year, I made it to round 2. This year, who knows? It doesn't matter because the cheer leading section is a riot.

I had an epiphany the other day! I've thought of myself as a retired librarian dipping her toe into the yarn dyeing and pattern designing business. Nonsense. I realize that I've basically moved into a new career. So, now when people ask me what I do, I won't say I'm retired, because I'm not. Not that anyone, ever, ever asks me what I do. You get older,they assume you're out to pasture. Dummies! What do they know?

Life is short; go enjoy it.

CathyR - Isn't it fun? I should be knitting so many other projects, and I keep going back to the 3 of these in process!

Bishop - Isn't dyeing fun? It's like play. Oh, it is play!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Diagonal Mitered Scarf, Part 2

Here it is! The last part of the scarf.

What's being added this time is the right triangle and how to finish it off. Easy as pie!

Right triangle:

Join yarn and pick up and knit a total of 13 stitches from the first module of the second row. You'll pick up the stitches from the right side, of course, and at the right corner of the module. Look at the picture, and you’ll know immediately what I mean. Turn work.

Slip first stitch as if to knit, knit until last stitch, purl the last stitch.

Row 1 (RS): Slip first stitch as if to knit. Knit 2 tog, knit until last stitch, purl that stitch.

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

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until 3 stitches remain on the right side.

Sl 1 knitwise, p2 tog, turn work.

Slip one, p1, turn work.

Slip one, k1, psso. Do not cut thread.

Work the next modules just like you did in the second row, ending with the left triangle.

From now on, you will work the scarf exactly like this:

Knit right triangle, Knit 3 modules, Knit left triangle. Cut yarn.

Ending the scarf:

Work as long as you wish, ending in the following way:

Knit right triangle, knit 3 modules, do NOT knit the left triangle, end thread.

Knit right triangle, knit 1 module, end thread.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

That is it! Now isn't this a lot of fun?

Variations? Stay tuned and I'll give you some ideas either tomorrow or Thurs.

Reminder: if you have questions and have asked them here, you'll find my answers at the end of the post in italics.


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