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August 2010
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October 2010

September 2010

Good Luck, Pt. 1

R will be home in about 15 minutes and V is playing on the computer. So I go and sit in my room where it's quiet and get out my knitting.

Eighth row, the only row I can remember the whole way through without looking at the pattern. Fingering weight rust, teal, pumpkin, brown, in the round. Love. Purl one, knit three, yarn over, slip a stitch, knit two together, pass the slipped stitch over, yarn over, knit three. Then eleven more times.

As I near the twelfth repeat I hear V going downstairs, wondering where I am. I call to her and she comes and snuggles up next to me. I show her what I'm doing, knowing she doesn't exactly see it but that one day she will.

I start the first row over again, knit knit knit, R comes in. Hugs and kisses and a little girl jumping around, always happy to see her daddy. Time to make the dinner - something quick & easy - so I hurry, knit knit knit, back to the beginning of the round.

Autumn snuck in

Did you know it's autumn? I didn't know. R told me. How did I miss that? So I made pumpkin pancakes this weekend.


After bemoaning the hot weather all summer (never my favorite, but also kinda bad for a wool pusher), I feel woefully unprepared for autumn. I need to wash the woolens, finish the cowl I'm making. I need to clean the entire house top to bottom in preparation for V's birthday party next month. Don't see that happening, though.

Do I do another November in B&W? I'm not sure.

Because I would love to do it up right, but haven't had time to figure out what doing it up right would entail.

R got a new job. He started last week. We're already miles happier.

There's a photography project that I have in mind for next year. I really really really want to do it. But to do it means that a few things have to change. Like I need to have some time to shoot photos. I need to go places. I need some money for it. It feels like I have fallen and I can't get up.

How do I get up?

Bamboo Field Mitts - FO! Yay!

I'm trying to knit more and also to knit with my own yarn. It's so easy for me to put it off because of all the spinning. But I miss knitting. So I've got three project bags that I'm trying to keep at the ready with pattern, needles, and yarn so that I can knit in the car on the weekends.

I decided to do the Bamboo Field Mitts after I saw that they were part of a KAL in a Ravelry group I'm in. The KAL was for July, but I finished in August. Oops.


But the important thing is that I finished, right? I'd dyed this wool up in my Honeycomb colorway but the green was a new batch of dye and it really didn't take well. Gotta double-strength that one! So I figured that was a great opportunity for me to spin myself some yarn.

Bamboo Field Mitts

I love the mitts. I used one size bigger needles because my hands are not small, and they fit perfectly. I'm ready for chilly days!

bamboo field mitt 075

Next up is the Good Luck Cowl, I think. I'm using some lovely mixed BFL that I spun too overtwisted because I was trying something new. I'm super excited about it, but I've already frogged it three times - I keep messing up! But I'm trying again because it's so pretty. I think this is a nobody's-around-but-me pattern.

What about you? Knitting or crafting something wonderful for fall? Do tell!

Dye night

V is fast asleep in her bed. R is downstairs playing his guitar. I'm in the kitchen with four batches of wool and all sorts of colors. It's 9pm and the house is quiet.

I fill the sink halfway with warm water, add a few drops of soap, submerge two batches of wool. I put water on to boil in my special dyeing teapot, which I don't use for any other purpose. I turn on the oven and wipe out my pans to make sure that old colors don't mix with new. I've culled a list of color combination ideas down to four. I put on my protective gloves and gather the colors from my boxes of dye powder. I have two boxes, over 100 colors, to choose from. Sometimes choosing them is as easy as falling off a horse, sometimes much less so.

The kettle just barely begins to whisle so I turn it off. After a good day with the 4-year-old, I don't want any loud. I squeeze the water out of one batch of wool and use it to line a roasting pan, then the other. I'm  impressed with how dirty the water is as I let it drain. I put my measuring cup in the sink. I pour boiling water into the cup and then sprinkle dye power over it and stir for two minutes. Looks like cherry Jello. I fill a squirt bottle with the red dye and then do this twice more with olive and orange. Looks like autumn.

People call it painting. Hand-painted wool. When you find out that really it's just colors splashed on the wool and baked you might think well, what's the big deal? But it really is painting. Because you've got to know your dyes and what they're going to do, though sometimes not knowing is half the fun. Some separate no matter what I do, but that's ok because they separate beautifully. Some reds separate into gray and red. I don't like that much. Purples often separate into blue and purple and I don't like that much either. Sometimes you pour on three colors and end up with six when they separate and they all go together fantastically. Sometimes I mix the dye with just hot water instead of boiling because it's the only way I can get that blue I love, even though it comes attached to the olive. I love the olive too, but I'm still searching for the perfect blue. There are lots of colors I'm still searching for.

Dyes mixed and ready, I put one of the roasting pans over one side of the sink and start squirting dyes onto the wool, being careful to get the dye all the way through it as best I can. I use one hand to sop up the color with the wool. When I'm finished, I put the pan in the oven and start mixing the second batch of colors. The kitchen is hot.

I've got two pans and two pots. Tonight I'm using the pots for semi-solid colors. Quick and easy. Someone would like a pale lavender yarn. I've been searching for just the right lavender for over a year now and haven't found it. I have a new dye that I'm hoping will be it. I measure what I think the right amount of powder will be and mix it with the boiling water. I pour the dye into the pot of water I've filled and stir it. I push the Merino under the dye water. Grape. I'll use this one for a Halloween yarn I have planned and try again for the lavender next time.

Two pans cooling, two pots cooking, I put away all my dyes and other supplies. I scrub the kitchen and my hands. I write down exactly what I've done in case I need to do it again someday. When the pots have cooked long enough, I turn off the heat and cover them. It's 10:30.

Tomorrow I'll rinse everything out and hang it to dry. I turn off the lights. I want a shower, a little knitting, and bed.