a dillydallyknitter: June 2007

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I'm the Mary!

Jen, of Woolgirl fame recently held a contest called "What's Your Favorite TV Show". To enter, participants were asked to suggest a favorite TV show worthy of its own custom colorway.

My entry came in 3rd place! And my entry was "Mary Tyler Moore" Growing up in the 70's, MTM was one of my favorite shows and one of the few (only?) shows that portrayed a single, career woman who wasn't ditsy or desperately seeking a man to support her. Mary "made it on her own" and, as life has dealt me similar cards, I have too.

Remember the "M" Mary had in her kitchen? When I bought my house, the first thing I hung on the wall was a "C" in my kitchen.

Well, I had no idea when I heard I was a 3rd place winner, that this was my prize! 2 skeins of a custom dyed Mary Tyler Moore tvyarn!

It's got some of that cool 70's vibe:
And the blue from that famous hat she tosses in the air:

Thank you Jen!!

"I'm an experienced woman. I've been around... Well, all right, I might not've been around, but I've been... nearby. " - Mary Richards

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Super Sox Box Swap!

And I mean SUPER!

It's usually after I come home from work that I find a fabulous SP box on my doorstep and then I'm faced with the dilemma of waiting for better light so I can do a proper photo shoot or being too excited to wait and take the photos under the pale hide-my-wrinkles light of my family room.

Well...I was so excited and overwhelmed by my Super Sox Box Swap SP package I couldn't wait! And I wasn't the only one interested in the big box of goodies. I couldn't even get it opened before Mika jumped in:

First of all, I have to say, this was the best scented box of goodies, evah. The lovely scent of fresh lavender hit me as soon as I opened the box.

First up--an adorable felted clutch in my favorite color, red and decorated with a pretty vintage brooch.

Stuffed inside was everything I need to make some fab socks: a skein of, sqeeeeeee, Scouts Swag sock yarn (my first!), some size 1 needles, a cute baby stitch holder and some very pretty glass stitch markers.

But wait! There was MORE!! A key chain sock blocker! Lip balm, my favorite snack of all time, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers, "C" sticky notes, a heart frame, a highly coveted Nancy Bush (Goddess of sock knitters) Knitting in Estonia book and the reason that the box was so lovely smelling, a bar of Blessed Juno "hand knit" soap with a wooden soap dish.

But Cpurl, couldn't you take better photos?

Why yes, dear Reader, I could. But Cary, Head Gansta kitty, has a bionic nose.

A nose so powerful he can smell treats through sealed foiled packages

A nose so strong he can smell treats through sealed foil packages inside a air tight Tupperware containers.

And once he discovered that there were Kitty treats inside the box, all bets were off.

And so was my photo shoot.

Thank you ERIN, aka the Curly Knitter!!!!

Erin was my downstream SP in a previous swap and this time the tables were turned! I had no idea who my SP was and I love all my goodies!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Weekend Update

Sunday Morning, 5AM

This Weekend my Dad & I participated in the Relay For Life by walking a shift on his church's team. If you're not familiar with the Relay, it's a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society where participants walk around a track for 24 hours to celebrate cancer survivors and remember those who have lost their lives to cancer. My Dad signed us up for the 5AM shift, gulp, but, fortified with some strong coffee, I made it to the track of my former Jr. High School.

The night before we attended the luminaria Ceremony of Hope which kicks off with a group of survivors walking a lap lined with candlelit (or, in our case, glow sticks)luminarias; each one bearing the name in honor of cancer survivors or in memory of loved ones. It's an emotional and moving event but concludes on a hopeful notes with a fireworks show.

Luminarias we sponsored for survivors to be: Mal's Mom (breast cancer), my Dad (prostrate) and in memory of my Grandma (ovarian) and Grandpa (lung).

In other weekend news, I went on a last minute dash to San Francisco on Saturday with LCK to pop in Britex in search of fabric for our SuperSoxBox Swap pals. Hmm, is that a cone of yarn I see in there?

My Mom signed up to knit a lapgan for a local hospital but then her carpel tunnel flared up so guess who's pinch hitting? It's an Encore pattern but I'm using good ole' Caron One Pound.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday Vespers

Ever have one of those weeks that's out of control busy? That's been my week. But I'm sneaking in a few minutes to keep up with YPF (can't let my membership in da club expire!). Here is some Vesper yarn I recently snagged from Knitterly Things:

When she updated this was pretty much all that was left:

Merino/Tencel in, ok you guess the color:

But later I went back and there were some updates:



Muddy Waters:

And some merino/tencel roving:

AKA, a Fiber challah*!

*a termed coined by the witty Stefaneener

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

YPF au Naturale

Last Monday:
Cpurl to Colleague: Good morning!
Cpurl's Colleague: Did you have a good weekend?
Cpurl: Yes! I went to Berkeley and took a class on Natural Dying
A look of horror crosses colleague's face
Cpurl: Oh no, no, no, not DYING, Dy-ing.... like Easter eggs
Bubble over colleagues head: She's so weird

LCK gave me some undyed sock yarn so I brought it to the Natural Dying Intensive and dyed it in cochineal. So I present my very first (and maybe last) hank of naturally dyed sock yarn. I'll call it Raspberry Sorbet.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

For Mal's Mom

Mal is dear friend of blogless friend K.
Mal's Mom is undergoing chemo for breast cancer.
I hope this will bring her some comfort while she's getting better.

Pattern: Odessa
Yarn: Rowan Cashsoft DK (57% extra fine merino, 33% microfibre, 10% cashmere), color #502
Needles: US Size size 4 & 6 circulars & US 6 DPNs, all Clover Bamboo
Modifications: I omitted the beads since I didn't want them to bother tender skin


At the Spinning & Fiber intensive we were assigned to knit socks from our drop spindles. I didn't love mine so I made it into a strange shaped kitty toy.

You'd look this sad too if you had to pose with a toy this ugly.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

While The Rest of The World Was Knitting In Public

*LCK and I were at 3-day Natural Dying and Spinning Intensive class at Deep Color Studio. The class started on Friday night plus six hours on Saturday and six on Sunday. There were a lot of interesting women in our class: college teachers, artists, a beekeeper, a woman who studied textiles in Northern India and a former baker at Scharffenberger (we had potluck lunches and she brought wonderful home baked desserts).

You know, I've never even tried dying with Kool-Aid so I'm not sure why I'd jump into dying with natural dyes but I can say it's a LOT of work. Hearing all the ingredients we were to use made me feel like I was in Potions class at Hogwarts.

We started out on Friday evening preparing our fiber strips by mordanting them and leaving them over night. On Saturday we focused on mixing dye stocks using madder, fustic, and logwood grey extracts and grinding cochineal (dried bugs!) We dipped 3 strips into canning jars filled with water mixed with our color stocks. The 4th strip we painted using multiple colors, wrapped it in cellophane and also placed it in a canning jar and left them overnight sitting in a huge canning pot where our teacher steamed them after we went home.

The next day we came in, washed and rinsed out our fiber strips, and hung them out to dry:

LCK photographing the drying strips on the left. The woman on the right is washing her fiber strips.
It was a lot of fun rinsing the fiber to see what happened after leaving it overnight.
The deep red strips are from the cochineal dye. The deep orange strip fifth from the left is LCK's dyed in a mixture of madder, cochineal & fustic and next to that is a strip dyed in madder and next to that is one dyed in fustic (I think). The multi colored strip in the middle is my effort at dying using multiple dyes.

After we finished hanging out strips we prepared the stock for Indigo dying. Because we used lye, we had to be careful with our mixing and measuring and protective glove using.

For successful dying we had to be careful with our dipping so as not to introduce oxygen into the dye bath. It was very cool watching a slimy green strip turn blue as it was pulled from the dye pot and hit the air. The strip on the left is my fustic strip overdyed with indigo.

In between preparing dyes, prepping fiber, dying fiber and sharing our potluck meals, we spun natural dyed BFL on our drop spindles. From this 'energized' yarn, we immediately started knitting socks straight off the spindle. I really wasn't pleased with how my sock was knitting up (destined to become a cat toy) but I'd like to give it another go to see if I can actually knit a pair of socks from hand spun yarn.

At the end of the day, I took home several pieces of dyed roving. When LCK updates her blog, I'm sure she'd love to show you HER dyed pieces but some forgetful IDIOT (me) accidentally left her dyed pieces behind at the Studio.

Drying in my back yard:

Natural dyed fiber is much more subdued than commercial dyed fibers but they're quite soft and lovely.

My indigo strips are still drying but here's my very first wheel spun yarn dyed in Indigo:

It was a fun weekend but all that work has left me quite nackerd.

We had a tiring day too.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Spinning at the Winery

Today I spent a lovely afternoon with LeftCoastKnitter and Ceallach spinning at a local winery. This is an annual event sponsored by Ceallach's Spinning Guild. It was a perfect day, not too hot, not too cold. We staked out a perfect shady spot under a large tree and enjoyed the pot luck, a nice Merlot and, of course, spinning.

Spinners enjoying the day

Ceallach & LCK (smiling even tho' I spilled a glass of wine all over one of her camping chairs)

Yarns and rovings for sale

And of course, lots of food!

Did you know that hand spun yarn grows on the vines in California?

I even won one of the raffle prizes!! 3/4 pound of Cormo roving!!

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