Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I just came back from an absolutely wonderful weekend in Chicago with my sister and several of her friends. We shopped, ate and drank--all were done to extremes. Although my sister and her friends are not fiber freaks, they were tolerant of my need to knit and to seek out the nearby yarn stores. I managed to hit three shops, picking up several skeins of yarn at each. The 'moment' of the weekend was during dinner at SusiSamba. My sister and her friend were getting a little heated talking about politics, it was getting a little tense. I, in a slightly drunken stooper, decided to pull out my knitting. THis elicited screams of laughter from the other two women at the table who thought I was making a statement about the political converstation. I just wanted to knit, but it ended up breaking the tension and was really quite funny.
With the flights and early morning awakenings, I managed to cruise along on a sweater for E. She chose the yarn and pattern, but I don't think she will expect the FO as a present under the Christmas tree.
This is a pic of the back. The front has lots of bobbles but I did not think those would be comfortable when sitting in a chair so I omitted them from the back. I am almost done with the back. Then there is a wide ribbing at the waist and a large turtle neck. The body is knit side-to-side. It is going quickly, I started it last Thurs and expect the back to be done today.
The other pic is a little dark but it is a closeup of the Florin vest I knit for a friend's son. A quick, easy knit. This was done in Halcyon yarn's Botanica. I want to do one for me, perhaps in Cascade 220.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We ARE a country that can put aside our fears and our prejudices. WOW!
A finished Christmas present. Okay, almost finished. A few ends to weave in and loopy detail to add at one end. This is the Stone City Scarf from the most recent Interweave Crochet. I used Noro Silk Garden Sock, about 1 and 1/4 skeins. It is destined for my friend Doneka. A quick and satisfying project, great for dragging to E's after-school activities.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today is the long-awaited end to the election season. I've voted, and am so glad to be done with all of this that I really don't care who wins. Two years of campaigning! There ought to be term limits on a campaign!
Time flies between posts, as usual. I've had a lot of fiber fun over the last several months. I spent several days in both Sept and October playing around with natural dyes. I pulled my recipes from various books, mostly relying on Trudy Van Strachen's book and was (mostly) delighted with the results.

These are various skeins of handspun shetland, in various natural colors, that I started throwing into the exhaust baths of various dyes including cochineal, and logwood. I love how many colors you can acheive by varying the mordant or the after-bath. I especially love ammonia dips, probably because I like the whole red-blue-violet spectrum.

These are the mini-skeins of Belle yarn, several dyed with cochineal, one with logwood, and one with weld. I am very happy with the results and am planning to knit these mittens with this yarn.

This very dark picture shows mini- skeins of merino lace-weight yarn dyed with Brazilwood, with a number of different mordants and afterbaths. Each skein is about 200 yds and they look beautiful together. I have no idea what I will do with them. I also managed to spend some time at the Textile Center and carded some of my Shetland-Border Leicester fleece. I spun this beautiful worsted-weight yarn that is soft and spring-y. I can't wait to get back to carding somemore of this fleece so I can really get going with the spinning.

I have been surprisingly productive with knitting and weaving for Christmas presents as well. I am well into my list of projects and may add a few more if this pace continues. I need to get pictures of the WIPs for my next post.