Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Beautiful Necessity

I finally finished these - and I love them.  That Girl wants to steal them, but I don't think I will let her.  I knit them and then I embroidered them - that was a fair amount of work.
A Beautiful Necessity by Anna Zilboorg - another free-sole sock pattern.  This pattern is available through Blue Moon Fiber Arts.  


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Calling my name

I just finished a big sample and now I am trying to finish up about ten rows on a sock, about half a shawl and the edging on another shawl . . . But these two yarns just won't stop teasing me! They want to be cast on . . . They want me to knit gauge swatches . . . They want new projects to start . . .

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Dyeing yarn . . .

Dena and I are going to make Anna Zilboorg's Carved Kimono.  We are testing the pattern so it can be added to Ravelry as a for sale, downloadable pattern.   But we didn't have yarn - well, Dena did but not quite enough.  So we ordered the yarn that Anna probably originally used when she first knit it (which is not what is shown in this photo).
We got lots and lots of yarn - five pounds of it - all in it's natural state.  So we decided to dye it.   
We went online and looked at all the dye colors and picked two that we thought would look great in a tonal yarn.  I had a small hank of the same yarn, so as soon as the dyes arrived, I did a test.  

Um, it didn't turn out very well.  The photo barely shows it, but the lighter area which is supposed to be tan is pretty green in spots.  So, we decided to eliminate the tan but then we didn't have enough of the toffee color to dye all the yarn.  So we went through the dyes I had and Dena picked blues for her yarn.
Then the yarn arrived on Wednesday afternoon - Finally!!!

So, first I gave it a good soak.  Now that sink is not all the yarn, that is just half of it - one person's portion.  

 My normal dye pot wasn't big enough for this much yarn, so I hit goodwill and got this roasting pan - it is HUGE.  I also tossed that test hank in to overdye the green sections.  That green pitcher was supposed to be for mixing the dye up in, but it was plastic and didn't hold up too well to boiling water . . . oops!

First batch was the toffee yarn - my yarn.  Sadly, I didn't stir the pot enough and so the bits of yarn that were nearest the heat absorbed a lot more dye than the rest.  So my yarn has some really dark spots - they don't ruin it though as shown in later photos.

Dena's blue dye being added to the vinegar water - loved how the dye slowly spread into the water.

 The blue dye bath . . . The blue yarn got a lot more variegated than I intended.  Thank goodness I'm not trying to make a living dyeing yarn!

 The toffee yarn drying in the sun.

Close up of the dark spots.

 The blue yarn which was supposed to be tonal but ended up being pretty variegated.

How the blue knit up - and these colors are pretty accurate - it is a bit more turquoise than blue.  It knits up nicely - a larger piece will yield less striping.

The toffee knit up.  You can see bits of the really dark on the left hand side and the bottom.  It doesn't look bad at all.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Azalea Poop

This is what happens after my favorite azalea blooms . . . 
It's the last azalea in the yard to start blooming at the very end of May.  It opens up with blooms in both colors (yes, same plant - same branches even sometimes).  The bush is large (actually there are two like this and one is large the other is in the shade and not so large) and there are hundreds of flowers.  The flowers start opening one or two a day and then suddenly the bush is covered.  Until it's not.  Just as suddenly, all the flowers fall off at the same time and the pine straw beneath the bush is covered in this petal profusion.  

In my yard I also have at least a dozen hydrangea bushes.  I have more than one type, but most of them are this plane jane kind - standard all over the south.

And, in the south, they flower blue.  A really pretty blue, but always blue.  Landscapers love to pair them with Stella d'oro day lilies because the blue and yellow look so good together.  And that is the case in my yard.  I have dozens of beautiful blue hydrangeas.

 Except that this year, some of them are pink.  That's kind of odd for Georgia given the acidity of our soil.  But one bush is giving me mostly pink flowers this year.  Different, and I like it!

 Another bush is giving me lavender flowers - now I really like that.  Aren't they pretty?

And that same lavender bush is giving me these half and half flower balls!  (And see that blue flower ball - yep, same bush.)

I love this.


Monday, June 9, 2014

New Pattern

This is Anna Zilboorg's September Sock pattern.  It will be going up for sale on Ravelry sometime today!  It is a free-sole sock pattern so the sole and heal are replaceable should they wear out.  I love knitting this type of pattern - they seem to go much faster than regular socks do.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Red Rock Canyon Mystery Shawl

I actually finished this more than a week ago but it's been crazy busy.
I would have finished it long before then but I got sidetracked working on a sample that had a short deadline and had to put this down.  It wasn't a difficult knit at all - it looks much more difficult than it really was.  As for the sample - won't be able to show that off until next fall.

This was a fun knit.  Normally I wouldn't even consider knitting a two color shawl, just because of the extra work of carrying the second color.  But this was a mystery knit along with Romi (Rosemary Hill) and for some reason that appealed to me.

It is now called Red Rock Canyon shawl and the yarns are A Verb for Keeping Warm's Annapurina which is 80% merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon.  The colors are Sound of Cicadas and Au Lait.  


Wednesday, May 28, 2014


This happened almost a week ago, but it's been busy.  First, let me say that Graduation at Miss M's school is very different.  Nobody wears a cap or gown, guys generally don't wear ties and girls don't wear shoes.   There is no valedictorian or salutatorian and any senior who wants to can participate - write and give a speach, read from a book or poem, sing a song, play an instrument, dance, etc.  There are time limits on speeches and reading but no limit on the number of students who can participate.  And creativity is not just allowed, it is encouraged.

This is the vase - it starts out empty.  Each student brings a flower to put in the vase when they go to the stage to accept their diploma.

Miss M chose this lovely, different hydrangea.  I bought the plant because I love it and so we get to keep a small remembrance of her graduation.

This is Miss M and a classmate getting ready to walk to the stage.  They stop under the arch to be introduced - she and her classmate stepped through the arch and then set off poppers with streamers.

When they got to the stage, each pair of seniors took a selfie with the the teachers doing the name calling.  Each year the students do something or give something to these faculty members.  One year it was stickers on one and forks for the other.  The students come up with it, coordinate it and do it.
(There are only 70 seniors graduating so this part of the ceremony doesn't take long - there were 21 students either reading, speaking or singing/playing and that part took a while.)

Then the two put their flowers in the vase - it creates the greatest bouquet.

Then, one at a time, they each walk over to the Head of School to get their diploma.  Again, every year they do something else at this point.  When Miss S graduated, they handed the Headmaster (a man who is now gone) a book for the library.  The students hoped the books would get in the Headmaster's way but still wanted to leave a nice mark for the school.  That Headmaster left at the end of the next year because the students weren't the only ones who disliked him.

Of course Miss M had to be different - she gave the Headmaster a Hat - which stayed on for most of the rest of the ceremony even though every other student was putting a lei over it.

These are the two shortest students in the class - they walked through the arch and then climbed ladders so they could be seen!  Two other students, both known for their acting abilities, mimed a closed door halfway down the aisle.  

This is the bouquet at the end of the ceremony - beautiful as a hole, but no two individuals exactly alike.

And the Headmaster gives the girl a hug.  Notice the girl has changed out of her dress?  That happened long before the ceremony was over.  She was running the lights and sound and in charge of the tech crew so was up in a balcony where it was warm (well it was warm everywhere, but warmer there).  She is back at school this week, not as a student but as an employee.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Under the Bush . . .

It was a lovely day yesterday, so I went walking out in the garden . . .

and I saw something strange under a bush.  It was brown, like everything else on the ground, but it was a different brown.

A pair of Acorns!?!?!

One acorn still had its 'cap' on and the smaller one had lost its cap.
There they were, just lying there . . . until I bent down for a closer look!!

As I got closer, the 'cap' started to separate from the acorn and out came this little face with bright blue eyes!

The longer I stayed, the farther out the little creature came . . .

until the little darling was sitting beside the acorns.  Now neither of them have their caps!

Meet Purl, the Little Knit Girl
pattern by Cid Hanscom.

She has fingers, toes, a nose, a belly button and butt cheeks - how cute!