Lost & found

My keen-eyed husband did help me find that lost sock needle the day after I had lost it.  There was more daylight, but I probably still wouldn’t have spotted it myself, because it was sticking out of the ground directly towards where I was sitting to look.  Thus, it was nearly invisible to me, a tiny chrome needle projecting straight out at me as it was.  My husband had a different angle on the scene, and thus found it.

But it got me thinking about lost tools.  The Yarn Harlot often makes light of losing tape measures, and I know lost DPNs are common enough being small and roll-inclined.  I certainly never seem to have enough stitch holders, but I think this is a factor of my many works-in-progress more than an indication that I’m really losing stitch holders.  Stitch markers are easy enough to misplace, but not having worked any enormous lace shawls yet, I’ve never run out of the little implements. 
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Breaking the Black Dye

The steampunk swap wrapped up last week, the box of goodies is even now wending it’s way through time and space to it’s recipient.  So this is a back-dated adventure from when I was in the thick of it.

Still hard at work on the steampunk swap, I had an inkling that my spoilee might appreciate yarn in a  colorway that resembled crow or raven feathers.  Blue Moon Fiber Arts has some amazing “Raven Clan” colorways that were the catalyst for this idea.  They are beautiful blacks with dashes of color, almost iridescent.  But alas, I’m on a credit-card diet for a while, so I could not indulge my spoilee’s and my desires for this particular yarn.  It’s not that it’s over-priced or anything, it’s just that I knew I would not be able to stop myself from buying several beautiful colorways, and that it would quickly get out of hand.  Sometimes it’s best for me just to not buy anything, rather than let myself get tempted to add just one more thing, and another, and another.

But I felt that I might be able to achieve something inspired by the crow feathers and the Raven Clan yarns with a funky dye technique using Wilton’s cake frosting tints and roving that I have at home.  I had wanted to do this technique for a long time, and my spoilee was giving me just the excuse I needed.

Wilton’s icing colors, like KoolAid, can be used like real yarn dyes to permanently (usually) color mammal-fiber yarns (ie. wool, alpaca).

Dye Day Adventures in KoolAid

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Mystery swatches

Back in June sometime, which was the last time I worked on the Master Hand-Knitter Level I swatches, I finished swatches 7-12 (3 decrease swatches, 1 yo’s swatch, 2 eyelets swatches) and half of 16 (colorwork swatch).  The trouble is I didn’t wash or label any of them, and apparently thought I would remember what my system of knots and stitch markers meant in terms of which numbered swatch was which.  (stupid. stupid. stupid.)  Now I have to sort out 7-9 and 11-12; the swatches within those two sets look distressingly similar to one another.  Please don’t tell me I have to reknit just to identify them!?!?! Continue reading


Dye Day

This Saturday, the lovely ladies of the Spinning/Weaving Guild  that my Mom belongs to (name withheld because I didn’t think to ask if they were ok with me name-dropping them online) held their annual Dye Day.

One of the members volunteered her garage (located on a lovely 12 acre farm with sheep), and set up tables and tents.  They had a very cool 12- or 16-burner pot-boiling contraption that was ideal for a dyeing extravaganza, but it’s a mystery to me what the normal purpose of such a device would be.

Dye Day Pot Burners

Dye Day Pot Burners

Various guild member had charge of different pots and recipes, and all I had to do was show up with some 50-yard skeins for myself.  Continue reading


One less albatross

I often overcommit myself.  This was one of my concerns when starting the TKGA Master Hand-Knitter program.  I tried to clear a few gift-making projects (that were gravely overdue) early in January before I got my Level I instructions.  But as I have gotten into the heart of the Level I tasks, I have started getting more involved with Ravelry as it is a great resource for TKGA discussions and information.  I have also been using Raverly to organize my stash and get serious about a queue of projects that should help me through some extreme stash-busting.  There are a lot of vests and shrugs on my queue because it seems I almost never get a whole sweater’s worth of yarn.

But this queuing has lead to some extreme stash-guilt.  I hadn’t realized how much stash I had collected that was intended for some project or another.  I hadn’t realized how much stash I really had until I moved last year!  Now all of the craft resources are in one place, and rather than inspiring me, I feel like they are all mocking me.  I am being taunted by my foolish good intentions.  Continue reading