Sunday, December 30, 2007

Dyeing for Norwegian Sweater KAL

Almost Done << Main >> The Dyeing's Done

Hi all. I hope everybody had a good holiday.

I have been resting up so I could tackle the dyeing of the contrast color for the Norwegian Sweater KAL. Things take me three times longer to do these days. I thought I could call my friend to see if she wanted to come by and do some dyeing while I had all the stuff out, but the times I felt up to doing it were in the middle of the night. It took me an entire evening just to wind of the one pound of yarn into 4 hanks. That took me out of commission for a couple of days. Then, it took me most of yesterday just to get set up.
I stared playing with the colors around 6 pm and it was 4 am by the time I had painted the skeins and had them wrapped for steaming. I was toast and I slept all day today until 5 pm. I'm not sure if leaving the "uncooked" skeins full of acid will be good for the yarn, but we'll see. I finally was able to get them steamed by 9 pm. I'm letting them sit until tomorrow and will wash and rinse them then. I'm hoping to have gotten the jewel tones I was looking for. The color on the bottom photo look pretty close to the actual colors. I think they will look good no matter what color they turn out to be. I did take notes, so I should be able to recreate it if I want.

When I first started dyeing, I made 64 half-ounce samples of the mix ratios of my three primary colors and their values. It sure has helped me when I have wanted to do dye certain colors. Saves a lot of time and supplies. I still want to take the time to do more samples. The basics are good but not near enough. That might be a good summer project so I can do it outside. Right now, my worktable is the concrete floor, which isn't so bad, but all the cups of dye just wait to be kicked over while I'm working. I lucked out last night.

I'm hoping to hear about the loom I was looking at first thing on Wednesday. I left another e-mail of questions, but they are on holiday until the 2nd. I'm really excited and impatient. I will post pictures and info as soon as it's "mine". I don't want to jinx it. :)

Well, I hope all who celebrate New Year's Eve have a safe and happy time and to all, have the best year ever.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Almost Done

I Have Returned << Main >> Dyeing For Norwegian Sweater KAL

Well, the holidays are almost over for me. Nothing fancy this year. The only holiday cooking I've done is making a few batches of my nut brittle. Everybody I know loves it, so I love giving it away during this time of year. I've just been too sick to do anything more. I'm on my third bout of antibiotics and I am hopeful that this will be the last. Neither my doctor or myself are into taking antibiotics, but I've been sick since the beginning of September and the infections just keep moving around but not leaving. I'm really sick of being sick.

Since my grandkid's mother is doing something on both Xmas Eve and Day, I had my son and grandkid over for the big feast tonight(Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn, and cottage cheese with oatmeal cookies for desert). We watched the Simpsons Movie after dinner while my husband slept. It was a nice evening. Tomorrow morning I will bring over some presents for both of them. My step-dad is off with his care-taker, so I will go into town and see him on Thursday and bring him a couple of presents.

I couldn't finish the grandkid's little purple hoodie in time for Xmas, but I'm getting there. I have the fronts and back done. I may get it done by next weekend when I'll see her again.

I'm gearing up for the Norwegian Sweater KAL. I've pretty much figured out the colors that I want to do, so I just need to take a day and dye the yarn. I'm really looking forward to doing this sweater. I hope to get that done this week since I think we are going to knit a headband/swatch the beginning of January and I need the yarn done by then. Plus, I need to go through my two Fair-Isle books and start picking out some patterns to use. I love the design part of any project the best.

I'm seriously looking at getting a different loom. My old one has gotten kind of trashed from being stored way longer than I had anticipated. Also, I'm not sure if I can manhandle it any more. I've gotten so wimpy and I'm not sure if I will ever get all my strength back so I'm looking at a loom that will be easier for me to use. I've been doing research and talking to other weavers about the loom and I think I'll be happy with it. I'll be contacting the company after the holidays. I'm pretty sure I will be telling them to send the loom my way. I'm pretty darned excited about it.

It's snowing again today. According to NOAA, as of today, we've had 30 inches of snow this December and 3 feet for the season so far. It's definitely a white Christmas here. I love watch it blow. It's so bright outside, even at night. Lots of reflection from even the smallest light source. Helps to keep my spirits up even though the actual daylight hours are so short.

Hope all are having a safe and warm holiday season. Take care.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I Have Returned

Rambling Again << Main >> Almost Done

It feels good to be back. I have been buried here. I haven't even caught up on reading the blogs I usually read. My aggregator says I have 2258 unread blog messages. Well, I'll get around to them.

When last I wrote, I was in the middle of moving out to my pole barn. Well, that has happened, but after a 5 week hiatus of being really sick. I'm still sick, but I seem to be able to do a few more things. Also, hubby came home from his 5 week hiatus, so there was a lot more progress. I won't go through the gory details, but things are looking up a bit.

The move from the house is 90% complete. All I have left to move out here is my yarn stash (at least 200 pounds, no lie) and my books (too many to even think about counting). We're still trying to organized stuff, but it's slow going. That's okay because I have new appliances to play with. I have a new smooth-top convection range. It only cost about $150 more than the non-convection, so I went with it. One thing nice about the oven part is that the bottom heating element in under the oven floor, so I can clean up spills without fighting with the element. Also, there are no buttons or dials to clean around. That's one of the things I look at when buying stuff. How easy it is to clean is right up at the top of my requirements. I have a new front-loading washer and dryer, too. My old ones are over 32 years old and need fixing. I LOVE these things. I can have it spin only for when I wash fleeces and I can stop and check stuff when using it to felt. I am very pleased.

I've built us a new king-sized mattress from 2 king-sized 4-inch Memory Foam toppers and a good mattress pad. It is the best mattress I have ever slept on. My husband had built a platform for a Sleep Number bed, but I needed some relief before I had the money for it. I think we won't be needing it now. I got 2 toppers and 4 pillows for $300. I just hope it lasts for a while. We'll see. I can still get the "Sleep Number" bed if it doesn't. For now, it's bliss.

On the knitting front, I got 1/2 way through the Secret of the Stole KAL, but I just hated the fabric. I have since pulled it all out and next time will use smaller needles with that yarn. There is another "Secret of the Stole-ii" KAL coming out in January. I may use the yarn for that. BUT, I may not participate in it because there is another KAL I really want to do and I can only work on one at a time. The one I will most likely do is from the Ethnic Knits yahoo group. The owner, Donna Druchunas, who wrote "Arctic Lace" and "Ethnic Knitting: Discovery", is doing a design to finish KAL of the Norwegian Sweater from the "Ethnic" book. I have the yarn and will be dyeing the contrast colors for it. I'm pretty sure that this KAL is where I'll be spending my time this January.

I have knit a 6+ foot scarf for the man who has been taking care of my step-dad. He's a tall guy and it looks great on him. He's happy with it.

The pattern is called the Cabin Cove Journey Scarf by David Taylor Daniels. I loved knitting it. Easy, yet elegant.I've started knitting a cute little hoodie for my grad-daughter from a pattern in the November 2007 Creative Knitting magazine. It will go fast, so I think it will be done long before I start my Norwegian sweater.

Speaking of my step-dad, I finally got an apartment for him at this great assisted living place. He'll be able to move into it the middle of January. He's been packing to go "home" for the last few months. I don't know where home is to him, so maybe it will be easier for him to move to this place. I hope so. The last thing I want to do is upset him. He and his care-giver have been going to this place for social activities every week and he really has a good time. Things are looking good on that front.

I haven't done much spinning in the last 2 months. I spun some Black Diamond fiber at my September spinning group. I think I liked it, but I didn't spin much and messed it up trying to Navajo-ply it. So I tossed it. I was too sick to go to the October group but I did manage to make it in November. I have actually spun for a day here at home, too. Amazing.

I LOVE spinning this stuff. It is from a neighbor's first batch of commercially processed rovings from one of her alpacas. Her place is called StoneCroft Alpacas. I've only spun raw alpaca that I had cleaned myself. Nice to spin, but not as nice as this. It's gorgeous. I'm spinning some pretty thin singles to get a 3-ply DK weight. Navajo plying has it's place, but when I'm not trying to match colors I prefer plying with 3 bobbins of singles. It just works out better for me. I have around 2 pounds of this color. I think I will probably work up one pound for this batch of yarn.

Well, that's all I can remember at this point. I've been sitting here since 3 am and am finally getting tired. Take care, All.