Friday, March 30, 2007

yay!! I did it!..

for many knitters, i know this wouldn't seem like something to crow about, but i've had such a hard time wrapping my mind and yarn around the entrelac thing that it seems quite appropriate to me. i even made it harder for myself by trying to get a sample started while i was visiting my son's family where the grandkids keep the noise and activity level at high... making it pretty challenging to concentrate on knitting anything but the most basic knit one row, purl one row thing. but the real break-thru came during my 3 1/2 hour train ride back home, when i put on my headphones, listened to Cowboy Junkies and just look what i did!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

dye-along yarns

here's the array of yarns i spun from our dye-along superwash corrie roving. gotta confess i spun more than 6 ounces as i dyed 3 different batches and probably kept more than 2 ounces
of each. anyway, here they are and i absolutely love every bit of 'em! am thinking maybe i'll knit something entrelac and see if i can remember the lessons from Lynne last June at our twisted friends reunion in Alabama. that was fun to do and i ended up with a cute little bag that Lynne bailed me out on at the finish, when i got bogged down and frustrated with just how to finish it! maybe i can remember to take a photo of it and put it up here! what i love about these yarns is that we all 3 started with the same 3 colors, each added a fourth.... and there is such variety! we did, of course, each add our touch in how we combined all these rovings, and separated some sections of color out to get various effects.

these are some of Pam's that i spun and plied by themselves. what is so frustrating to me is that the camera just doesn't show the subtleties of what i am seeing. these are deep and glowing colors with a lot of life in them!!

and these are 3 of Lynne's. top and bottom yarns were spun straight from the roving, and the middle one i separated out some of the colors and spun them by themselves. I love how that bright orange gives such attitude to the skeins.

I wanted some of the yarn to be soft and pastel and be a contrast to the others, and here's what i got from some of my rovings.

Monday, March 19, 2007


well, i've got the dyed rovings from Pam and Lynne and spun up a wee bit... but lovely warm and sunny days came around, and i gave in to the pull to be outside. so spent a couple of days having quality time with my clippers and some bushes (pardon the expression) and massive overgrowth in my queendom. and clouds have now returned, so am happy to be inside... however, am trying to banish some of the dirt and dog hair that messes with the innards of dome central! Pam and Larry fly in tomorrow from Malaysia and will stay with us for awhile til they get ready to move on in their adventure. and it's always a good thing to have someone visiting as it does motivate me to do my cinderella chores. i'm getting pretty annoyed with the maid service around here!!... there isn't any!!!

so, will do some spinning tonight and work on getting some photos of yarn from the dye-along posted here and prob. also at

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

yarn from dye along

I spun a sample from each of my 3 batches:

-at the top I spun random lengths from each, then
put in center pull ball and plied from both ends.

-next is from the full strength dye, poured in color bands on the roving, 2 ply
-and the dilute in color bands, 2 ply
-bottom.... dilute random pour,2 ply
and for the next installment, i'll spin up yarns from Pam's and Lynne's dyed roving samples which came in the mail today!! yippeee. can't wait to see what combinations of all the combinations look like!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

dry dyed fiber

dilute color bands
#3 dilute color bands

more intense color bands
#2 color bands

dilute random pour
#1 random dilute

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Long Distance Dye-Along

Well, Pam already has blogged about her gorgeously dyed superwash corriedale at the Twisted Friends blog, so here's mine! I used the same 3 main colors as Lynne ( and Pam (, and for my 4th i chose Lanaset yellow. For both i used cold pour on wet fiber, then steamed it.

(left) i layed the wet fiber out on plastic wrap, poured on bands of colors, some of which i had
mixed together before pouring (the ivy and scarlet to get the aubergine, for instance) The fiber was quite wet, so the dyes ran together more than i would have liked.... but, oh well... Then wrapped and steamed for about 30 t0 40 mins. For pouring on of dye, the fiber was actually layed out straight, but i kind of pulled one end around so i could get it all in the photo.

(right) I pulled the fiber around into an oval and then started ramdomly pouring diluted dyes on it, wrapped and steamed.

all the fiber is on the drying rack now, and maybe will be dry enough to spin by tomorrow.

stay tuned....

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Zylie in the snow

They got a lot of snow in Duvall, WA recently, and Kate took a photo or 2 of Zylie posing in the newest sweater i knitted for her. It's a wee bit big for her this year, which means it will be good for at least 1 more year, maybe 2. And the left sleeve is really not longer than the right, tho it looks that way.... i think she's just keeping her hand warm.
And now... here's a Zylie story that really makes me smile. I want to write it down so i won't ever forget it! At the time, she was about 3 and 1/2. Background information: she adores Dora the Explorer and i think she has all the videos of Dora's adventures... and the videos teach kids things, besides entertaining them. So, on one occasion that Kate and the kids were here visiting, we also invited some of the relatives to come over to eat/play/visit, etc. When we told Zylie that "Big Papa" (her great granddad, my father) would be coming over, she got all excited.... and finally she saw him getting out of the car and went running out to meet him, grabbed him by the hand, and beaming up at him started leading him to the house. She looked up and saw her mom standing on the porch. She stopped, turned to him and said proudly: "Big Papa, I want you to meet my new friend... Mommy". So, thanks to Dora, Zylie very often will graciously and politely introduce people to each other... including at times introducing her daddy to her mom when he comes home from work! i suppose it's good practice!
seems i've done a lot of writing the past few days. i blame it on the sinus infection which keeps me from wanting to be any more active than applying fingers to keyboard. after the meds finally took away the headache from hell, i'm just tired and snotty (TMI??)

long distance dye-along

last week as i was out here in my queendom in NW Oregon, my friends Lynne and Pam in TN were in Lynne's studio having a dye day and emailing me about what they were doing. i got all "poor-me-out-here-and-you're-having-all-that-dyeing-fun-together" whiny... and decided we should have a long distance dye-along. Here's what we're going to do: each of us will dye 6 oz of superwash corriedale (because that's what we all have some of and won't have to order it and then wait). We will use stock colors of Lanaset and/or Pro Washfast acid dyes... orange, scarlet and teal, plus each of us will pick our own fourth color to use with the other three. We will use stock colors so that we start on an even playing field, rather than doing our own mixing to get those first 3 colors. We can use any method(s) to apply the dye and "fix" the colors, using any dilution of strength we choose. After the fiber is ready, we'll each send 2 oz to the others, then spin it however we want.... mixing them together, separately, or any combination, and at least knit a swatch... or better yet, socks? mitts? hat? or whatever. And, of course, pictures must be taken of every step along the way and posted to our blogs! So... stay tuned and see how our long distance dye-along works out.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

LV Ltd handspun yarns

Today, on her blog, Lynne Vogel is talking about her newly launched line of handspun yarns!! Yay, Lynne!

Also... mentions her newest book The Twisted Sisters Knit Sweaters, A Knit To Fit Workshop which is due out Sept. 1, 2007.

And... also.. later today there will be a free pattern for my multicolor fingerless mitts on her blog.

wow! lots going on there... see it at:

Friday, March 02, 2007

merino/bamboo fiber

this is the merino/bamboo top i recently dyed. if you look closely, you'll see the shiny streaky places where the bamboo doesn't take the acid dyes. i think it will look more blended in after it is spun.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

the end

I finished the third pair of mitts (except for the dreaded weaving in of the ends!) and now i'm thru doing mitts, i think! they make a nice small take-along project, but are kinda boring. unless maybe i'll do a pair and try out something nifty from my new Barbara Walker book. next on the agenda is a pair of fulled slippers. I haven't been at all drawn to doing any of the knit-it-then-felt-it patterns of any kind, then i saw the Fireside Footies at Pippikneesocks ( and printed out the pattern. they are really cute and look warm and toasty. i might even have some wool yarn in the stash that would work!

and while i'm putting in links, check out Lori Lawson's new blog ( the dyeing and knitting that she (and also Lynne) do is truly inspirational.

on the dyeing and spinning in my life... i recently bought a couple of pounds of merino/bamboo fiber to see how i like it. so far, i've spun and then dyed some yarn. haven't knitted it up yet, but it's a very soft and drapey yarn, took the dye and seems washfast with acid dyes. the colors seem to be a bit muted, even using some of the WF turquoise which i love for it's in-your-face color. the dyed top is hanging on the rack drying, and those colors seems a bit muted also. another thing i noticed is that where the bamboo is not well-blended into the merino, it has only a bare hint of color. i think it's like the tencel and rayon, doesn't really take the dye, but when it's well-blended with the wool, adds sheen and doesn't have an undyed appearance. as soon as the top is dry enough (tho i have been known to spin damp fiber when i just can't wait), i'll spin some up and maybe even get around to knitting a swatch and taking some photos.

Son Chris is leaving Sat. for a Microsoft trip to India. i've been trying to think of how i can prepare him for the experience of landing in New Delhi. it's been 8 years since i was there and the memories are still clear of the extreme culture shock of that city and being driven around there!!