Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Yarnarian has melted down.

WIPs (aka Works in Progress)

I've had a 3 year melt-down. When I retired 3 years ago in March, I decided to do what I want when I want, and how I want. Sounds good, no? NOT. Hedonism, as much as I like the idea, is not what I do best. I'm at my peak when I have a list of "what's on tap for today", aka wotft.

I my youth, way back in the middle ages, whenever I had a vacation day, or when I was home with the kids, or whatever, I'd start off the day with the wotft. And it worked beautifully. At the end of the day, I could point to some accomplishment and feel very good about myself. Some people are naturally organized; I'm not one of them. Any organization in my chaotic life is amazing, and wotft is about the only way I can accomplish it.

So, the last few days, I've been back to wotft, and I'm a much happier camper. And today's wotft is the following:

1. Update the blog. Check, am doing that.

2. The never-ending laundry. Where does it all come from?

3. Mail out yarn packages. I hate doing this only because it's boring. Necessary but boring, but I can be adult sometimes and just do it.

4. Make phone calls. Ditto on the boring stuff. Plus I hate talking on the phone. I won't even keep my cell on. Never did like it and never will. I miss facial cues.

5. Dinner! Something with tuna fish. Maybe a casserole. I haven't made one in a long time, and it's cool today, so I can do it without the sweat factor. And anyhow, I love tuna casserole.

6. Fun stuff: Work on a forgotten lace shawl, because I love it, and really would like to wear the thing sometime before the end of the century. Work on the Linus blankie, the new den blankie, and such. Work on a little scarf that I started, and that I think I like a lot. Work on the secret project.

7. Read my book and drink tea.

Does that sound organized?
wotft, here I come.

andrea - If I can remember what I did there. It was a while ago.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Deep, gorgeous yarns! (except for one light one)

Yarns, beautiful yarns.

I did promise you yarns yesterday, and here we are. All are very rich and one is pastel, just because I couldn't bear to toss away the pretty dye solution.

Two are sort of repeats of last week's Night at the Mooseum. Sort of because I have no idea what went into the various dye solutions I used. Yep, I remember black, and a brown, and a secret color, but I think they are pretty close. Anyhow, you are not going to match them to last week's yarn, so it doesn't really make a difference. Not the prettiest of pictures, and the color is a bit off. Think black and gray and such, even though it wants to look like dark blue. It isn't.

Two are spoken for, so if anyone wants one, tell me now. I'll pick which one at random; they are pretty close.

Here are the rest. Brownstone:

Dark Gems (Benji bamboo/merino yarn)

Cool (the pastel yarn)

Moody Blues:


Sapphire and Amethyst (Bambi merino/bamboo yarn)

All the yarns, except for Sapphire and Amethyst, and Dark Gems, are Penny yarn. Next week I'm dyeing something else.

The two non-Penny yarns are overdyes. I love to take skeins I've dyed up in the past and then overdye them. I don't use just one color to overdye, either. Each of these has 3 colors used in various solutions. You would never believe what they looked like initially. And they are simply beautiful! Very rich and complex and beyond wonderful. I'd keep them for myself except that I need more yarn like a hole in the head. So, I'm letting you have them. The pics do not give you the complete idea of how lovely they are. Uh oh, I'm beginning to think I might need them. HELP! Please buy them and save me some space in the bulging yarn storage tubs.

Plug: There is a lovely young lady on Ravelry and on Etsy with the name of Ibunnysavetroy. How can you possibly resist such a moniker? Anyhow, she's in college, I believe and is selling adorable bags on Etsy for next to nothing. i picked up a couple because I couldn't help myself. These 2 are unlined, but they work just fine, and at approx $6 apiece, how can you go wrong? Give her a look-see and go treat yourself.

You know where to find me: fritzL234 AT yahoo DOT com.

Dark Gems is captured!

Sapphire and Amethyst is grabbed!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Yarnarian has a nice weekend.

Boring? Nah, just pleasant. Went to lunch at a Turkish restaurant on Sat. This is now the cuisine of the moment. First we hit Anatolia in Waterbury, CT and then Sat we went to Bosphorus in Lake Hiawatha, NJ. And what is the highlight of all this tastiness: Shepherd salad! Cut up tomatoes, cucumbers and red onion. Splash a bit of olive oil and either some fresh lemon juice or balsamic vinegar on top. That's it. Perfect for the hot, humid weather we're having.

Last night's dinner was great: Black bean veggie burgers on top of rosemary bread, Shepherd salad, fresh corn on the cob, iced tea, and later, for dessert: Trader Joe's chocolate sorbet mixed with a tad of Ben and Jerry's Marzipan ice cream. Mindlessly simple and truly great!

And that's it! Today I'm dyeing more of the Night at the MOOseum colorway. At least, I'm going to try to emulate it. It can't be the same because who remembers what went into the dye pot soup, bit it will be good nonetheless.

And then enough laundry to choke a horse! I forgot to pick up the Mommie's laundry and had bags of it on Fri. So I have to make a dent there.

Is this not the most boring blog post ever? Even the labels for the post are boring! So it goes. We can't always have wild excitement here. It's too hot and sticky for excitement. Global warming is back, unfortunately. Pics of yarn tomorrow.

The Yarnarian is off to dye.

tsJUSTme - The food is amazing. Fresh Mediterranean cuisine, and you have to try the sigara boerek, and the Turkish coffee, and the stuffed veggies. And speaking of restaurants, have you eaten in the Moosewood Restaurant? I'm dying to try it out but it is a major schlep from here.

itsJUSTme - The Hubbo deals with little phone companies in New York State and PA; maybe your town is one of his. Message me on Rav, and I'll chat with you there.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tikvah Shawl and NAMI! and other stuff, of course.

Tikvah Shawl

Wow! You are amazing people! I now have $180 towards my NAMI donation. Isn't that wonderful? Knitters and crocheters, and spinners and weavers are the best people.

Minneapolis NAMI is featuring me on their blog, and will also feature me in their next newsletter, so, Minnesotans, buy a pattern and help out. All my profits are going to NAMI; I'm not keeping a cent for myself. I have to pay Ravelry and PayPal, of course, but everything else is a contribution. And you don't even have to be from MN. I'm from New Jersey, but I have a connection with the MN group. So that's why my donation is going there.

Do you suffer from a mental illness? Do you have friends and/or family with mental illness? This amazing organization not only provides support to those suffering from this disease, they also give amazing help to the care-givers, and the families, and anyone else who needs or wants it. They advocate in all our legislatures for better mental health support. This is a top of the line charity!

And what do you get for your $5 purchase? You get the Tikvah Shawl pattern. "Tikvah" means "hope", and I hope you will donate your hard-earned dollars to this organization. AND, YOU DON'T HAVE TO BELONG TO RAVELRY TO BUY IT, EITHER!

Crocheting news: Yep, I'm still into it, but the knitting might be calling me again. It's fun to have so many choices. One of the gazillion crochet projects I'm working on is the crochet bag from Attic24.

I'm doing it in good old Encore worsted. The stuff wears like iron, it has lots of colors, washes and dries in the machines, and is about the fattest yarn I can work with. I think it's more of a heavier worsted than Cascade 220, but I could be wrong. At any rate, I've used it for kids wear, afghans, baby clothing, and such, and it is perfect. Lots of folks are using worsted weight cotton, but my hands wouldn't tolerate it, and besides, I want this baby to be light weight, and cotton is heavy. And since this is a schlepping around bag, I'm certainly not going to use merino or silk or any other lovely fiber. This demands acrylic, and Encore is very nice acrylic. So stop shuddering, you yarn snobs, acrylics can be lovely yarns too.

So I'm crocheting it and crocheting it and it is ginormous! The thing looks like a basket. I was going to try to line it (without a sewing machine since mine is dead), and make handles, but now I'm thinking that it works so well as a couch basket. It's soft and clean and won't hurt the upholstery, and it holds all those pesky balls and cakes of yarn that want to run away. And all in one spot. And since I typically have at least 5-8 projects going at a time, I can haul out the ones I'm working on and plop them into this bag/basket.

Here it is, upside down, and filled with a couple of Encore skeins. See what I mean? The thing is large!

And here it is, holding a little bit of the ongoing, never-ending projects in space.

And, see those adorable little crochet hexagons in the top photo? Those are the African Flower hexies and I made them out of Mandarin Petite cotton, which I can work with provided that I crochet slowly and kindly with those pesky wrists. The strange yellow and green mess in the upper left hand corner is a shawlette, and I think I might have lost my charts to it. If so, I'll either have to punt, or frog. Doesn't matter either way, I just like to start projects.

The second photo has the yarns I'm using. Doesn't my bag make a great couch basket? The Hubbo claims that the colors are blinding, but he is not using it, so there. That's what's neat about making these goofy projects: you can pick whatever yarn hits you at the moment. It's all about fun.

And now I'm seriously looking for smaller bags to either knit or crochet. Who knows, I might even felt one, although the thought of working with very large needles puts fear into my heart.

I've babbled on enough today. This is one prolix post! unduly prolonged or drawn out : too long2 : marked by or using an excess of words

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

MOOs of a different color.


Poor MOOs. Boring colors and no excitement in their lives. What if we had moos of a different color?

Here are 10 moos, all happily chewing their cud, and quite contented because we have moo variety!


Dappled MOOs:

Grazing MOOs:

Many MOOns Ago:


Minnie the MOOcher:

MOO River:

MOOving Along:

Mountain MOOma:

Night at the MOOseum:

All Penny yarn: 75/25 SW merino/nylon, approx 450 yards, and softer than you can imagine!

Want? email me at fritzL234 AT yahoo DOT com or wait until they appear on Etsy.

IMPORTANT!!! A number of people have expressed an interest in Night in the Mooseum. I'll do another edition of it on Monday, so if you want, please let me know by Sunday night.

Jen - MOO to you too. I have to listen to your podcast!

Malinda - Aren't they fun? Moo!

Dappled MOOs is grabbed.

Night at the MOOseum is also grabbed!

MOOving Along is grabbed.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Happy Summer Solstice!

Today's dyeing inspiration: Moo!

tsJUSTme - Moos like you can't imagine. Minnie the MOOcher, Bullish, Grazing Moos..... I might even change the names. I had such fun doing this. Who knows if any of them will sell. I hope so, but I had a grand time playing with moos.

Sharon - They are going to surprise you. Some are obvious, but others are not. I think they belong in the "interesting" category, although I do like them. tee hee, yet again!

Henya - Mostly they are confused.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Where did the Yarnarian go?

Who knows? I can't even tell you what I have been doing, but somehow I've been busy. Just to make you happy, I'll share some pics of the strangest piece of driftwood I've ever seen. It looks like the head of a very odd creature.

It's just me... - It really is creepy, isn't it. From the front, it looked like a cow's skull, then something else. And it's large, too.

Sharon - In real life, it's even more bizarre!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Yarnarian chits and chats.

Katie Kindle (yep, that's her name) got a treat yesterday: She got her brand new cover and she's so excited. She'd jump up and down but her mean mommy won't let her. Kindles are not meant to go sproing sproing.

Now little Katie Kindle is anxiously awaiting the new update, but at least she's happy in her new home. Her new cover is from Elizabeth David on Etsy. Very well made and I'm most pleased with it. Now, do I need seasonal covers?

Yarn everywhere I go: Got another shipment of undyed yarn yesterday. I now have close to 300 skeins of yarn to dye. No, I'm not doing this all at once. Geez! I'm a low-volume theoretically retired librarian. You think I'm going to become one of the big guys? No way. I like puttering along.

So what's in all my boxes and tubs: over 100 skeins of lace yarn, lots and lots of Penny yarn, new Bambi yarn, more Gina merino/silk yarn, and some DK SW merino for moi to dye up for some crochet project to be determined. And that doesn't even begin to count the Rachel yarn, the Karen Cashmere, and lots of other stuff. I'm awash in it. And where to put it all? I didn't think of that when I ordered it.

Some projects in the works: crochet is driving me nuts. I can't seem to get enough of it. Not my fault. Blame my sister and Lucy. This is the latest crochety thing going, and I have to admit that I could do this for hours at a time. It's so smooth and easy to work, and mindless and I just keep repeating the same row. The yarn is good old Encore DK. I much prefer crochet in skinnier yarns. Not fond at all of worsted afghans. Somehow they remind me of all those horrible bubble gum pink afghans that everyone's grandma made a half century ago. Not my grandmas, however. They were much too cool ladies for bubble gum pink. OK, don't take offense. Just my opinion. Encore has some advantages: inexpensive (hey, don't knock it), easily available, lots of color choices, AND you can toss it into the machine. You think I'm ever going to hand wash this thing? Never! If it doesn't survive the washing machine, then it gets tossed and another one is made. It's that addictive. Besides, if I want elegant, then I have my Ten Stitch Blankie out of Silk Garden. THAT one will never see the inside of a washing machine.

I started and almost finished a crochet hat, and then the Hubbo looked at it on me and burst into laughter. Frogged it immediately.

There is some knitting on the needles. I started another shawlette in the shape of Tikvah, and made up a crazy impossible chart, and I actually have to pay attention to what I'm knitting. Dummy me. So much for auto-pilot, but I think it's going to be lovely. The yarn is Penny and it is in one of those linen colorways from last week. In the hank, it looked like lots of colors, but it doesn't knit up that way. I'm very pleased with how it looks, and i do like how I dyed it. The great joy of pastel shawls is that you actually see the stitches when worn over something darker, and since I tend to wear lots of black in the winter, the pattern will really show up over it.

And finally, Wed I decided it was time to learn entrelac, and wow, is this addictive. Between all these fun projects, I barely have time to dye yarn. The yarn I'm using is the new Bambi, and I dyed it as one of those weird colorways I love to play with. The trouble with those kinds of yarns is what do you do with them. Yep, I suffer with that also. But look at entrelac done in it. Cool, huh? Ignore the wonky edges; it will all look good after washing. I'm using a size 4 needle because I want lots of drape, so it does look somewhat holey, but that's what I wanted. Such fun.

Tikvah Shawl update: I'm up to $140 so far. Best Friend (you know who you are, my dear) donated $20, and everything else is from all of you. Such a joy! Please tell all your knitting friends. I'm donating my entire profit of each pattern to the Minnesota chapter of NAMI, National Association on Mental Illness. Please, please, please mention this to your S&B groups, forums on Ravelry, and such.

And now I need to mail off yarn packages to all my lovely customers, the best cussies in the world!


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