Monthly Archives: July 2010

Dyeing Supplies Shopping List

When we sent out last week’s e-mail, I mentioned that summer is a great time to take advantage of all the canning supplies that are available everywhere from Safeway to Target. Here is a list of what I keep on my dyeing shelves.

Hot Water Canner – This looks like a huge soup pot.
Jar Rack – Designed to hold the jars while the water is boiling. I use it the traditional way if I am dyeing small amounts of fiber or yarn actually in jars of dye solution. If I am steaming, then I turn the rack upside down and place the plastic wrapped fiber or yarn on it above a couple of inches of simmering water.
Wide Mouth Quart Sized Canning Jars – Wide mouth is really the only way to go. Easy to measure in dye stuff, easy to put in and take out the fiber or yarn and easy to stir around or poke as needed.
Wide Mouth Rings and Caps – I store solution in wide mouth jars so I need the rings and caps to put on the top.
Canning Jar Lifter – This is an item you might think you can ignore figuring you can use plain hot mitts. Don’t! It is so much easier and safer to use this tool.

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Let’s review, shall we?

One of the benefits of blogging, at least for me, is a certain element of accountability. I feel like I need to keep you up to date on my fiber adventures. That keeps me relatively focused.

I’ve had a bit of a lace revision of plans. I can’t explain it but the Gail shawl just never captured my heart. I kept picking it up, knitting a bit and then setting it down for days. Once I finally accepted the fact that I needed to “let it go”, I went for a bit of a wander in Ravelry and found a new pattern for my beloved Alpaca Cloud in Smoke Heather.



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Design A Sweater, Lesson 5: Planning the Neckline

I am not usually a monogamous knitter, and the recent heat has made my
wosted-wool sweater project even less appealing. So I am a little
behind myself and I suspect some of you are, too! In the next phase of
our sweater designing, we will work the yoke and neckline, which means
two sets of calculations that must be worked at the same time! To make
that a little easier on everyone,and to give you all some time to catch
up, I’ve divided this section into two lessons. This week’s video
covers the basic shaping and construction o fthe neckline, and gives
ideas for how to decide what knid of neckline you want.

Watch the videos below:

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A bit of a photography experiment

I love my Motorola Droid! It’s taken a couple of weeks but I feel like I have apps that will allow me to leave my iTouch behind. I’ve become completely dependent on my little droid. It is always with me!

Now that I’m settled, I want to learn how to take great shots using my Droid camera. This is my first blog photo and I can see that I have a lot to learn. How to focus, for one thing. Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to be sharing my photo adventures with you. Ideally, I would like to become comfortable and savvy enough to pop off shots whenever I want.

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My current “Go To” project

This is the first sock I have made from Camille Chang’s wonderful collection of sock patterns. Camille is a member of our Independent Designer Program. The short repeat in these Tic Tac Toe socks is easy to memorize, or figure out from the row below. That is why these have become my Go To project.

Today is a perfect example. Bob didn’t inform me that we were going out to dinner tonight until we were heading out to the garage this morning. No worries! I did a quick turn-around, went to the living room and grabbed the small Knitting Project Bag holding my socks and accessories.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having this kind of project always ready. Maybe I should change the name to “Marriage Saving” project.

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I am taking a Knitting Day!

Most people would call it a “Mental Health Day”. I am lucky enough to have knitting in my job description so I can take “a day” and still be working.

I can’t explain it but every once in awhile I need to just sit and knit and knit and knit for hours. The urge is irresistible. I have a nice little picnic basket in my office. I am going to take it across the street and settle down on the grass of the office park, in the shade of a big tree and knit. I will take along some water, a new audio book and Xena.

My goal is to get into a nice rythmn with my Gail Shawl. I am at that awkward stage where I am still learning the repeat. I have to think a lot, my hands feel big and clumsy with the fine lace yarn, the bit of fabric is so small and insubstantial that it is almost annoying. The annoying part could just be my mood.

I really need to go knit now!

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Sweater Class Show and Tell

Knitters in our Sweater Class
are doing some wonderful work! I was really excited to see all the
progess and resources that were shared over the last week. Many of us
are discovering that sweater knitting can be easier than we though, and
even those of us who are not ready to knit a sweater have been able to
follow along, ask questions, and bookmark the lessons for future
reference! Follow the link above to view the whole class archive.

week, while we’re finishing the body and sleeves of our sweaters, I
have some reader-submitttedmaterial to share–some progress pictures,
some sweater knitting tools, and some design resources! The first is a
progress shot from Linda (poodlechick on Ravelery.) She’s making a
brilliant red seweater with a seed-stitch hem and swatched, cast on,
and knit through the waist decreases all in one weekend! Linda is using
Comfy in Serrano and I love the way this is knitting up!

Next up are progress pictures of the TWO sweaters that Cellogirl is
working along with the class. I have to say, she is a knitting
overaceiver in the best way! Read on to see what she’s done…

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Socks? Umm, not so much

I love this yarn! I bought it at Sock Summit from Gypsy Girl Creations. The colorway is Mountain Home.

But, I am not thrilled with how it is knitting up into a sock. The color change is too long and I’m not feeling the love. So, I have ripped out the sock and I am going to look for a lacy scarf pattern that will take advantage of the way the colors transition. I have two skeins. Plenty to make a scarf in colors that I will love to wear with my winter outfits.

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Dye Blank Contest Winners

Wow!  A lot of you sent us pictures of your custom dyed sock blanks, and we were really impressed with the results!  In case you’re curious and want to see all of the stunning dye blanks, I’ve made a slide show so everyone can see the contest entries, and it is posted in the Dye-Along group here.

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A long weekend of not exactly crocheting

As an absolute beginning crocheter, I have a lot to learn. This weekend I learned that I need to darn in my yarn ends as I finish each block. Otherwise, I will spend many mind-numbing hours threading the needle, weaving the yarn and cutting the yarn. Threading the needle, weaving the yarn and cutting the yarn. Threading the needle, weaving the yarn and cutting the yarn.

All without the assistance of football!! Well, American football. There was plenty of soccer so I guess I should be glad there was something interesting to watch.

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