Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Spining and dyeing

For the knitters on my list we dyed yarn using egg dye.  The girls are making a pink and purple yarn we gave to two aunts.

Butterfly Dyeing the yarn Pink.  Everything is pink to her.

My Mom stayed with us for a few days and took this picture of Badger, me and the purple dye.

I promise it looked pretty when it was done. Much more pink than purple, but I have now pictures. We also made two skeins of green and yellow, one for Great grandma and one for my mother.  She was very surprised to open it!

Most of the yarn we dyed was store bought.  But not this skein.  My sister received homespun & home dyed. Beaver helped dye this one, but as it was dry on Christmas day I did not get a picture.  I am hoping to con my sister into taking a picture of the yarn and of whatever she makes and will post it if she does.  

Same yarn soaking in vinegar bath.  We dyed this Blue-green. In the upper left corner is the shawl I made for my Mother in Law, which I also forgot to take a picture of.  
My husband figured out what was wrong with my wheel and I no longer need a second person to hand spin the wheel.  Now I just need to convince my body to move three limbs independently of each other. Sigh.  I'll figure it out.  My Mother & Sister in law went to a spinning store hours from here and got me wool and dye and books on spinning and dyeing.  My nieces got to play with the sheep and alpacas. I am very excited to get started spinning like crazy - I just have to find my studio, I think it is under the Christmas madness.

Yarn along - bored hands.

Okay I fell into a giant hole titled crazy crafting Christmas despite my intentions not too.  I enjoyed knitting like a manic and read blog posts while doing it.  I got most everything done on time and had the sense to cut items and give up when it was time.  This did not stop me from knitting a scarf for my dad while at my in laws get together or knitting one for my sister's husband while hanging out with them yesterday.  Then, hours before I planned to go home.... I was finished. He liked the scarf and joked about me making his present while talking to him. 

He a Jess are only home for a few days but while he was home he found out that he got a job in his field. He has been cutting produce for like a year now just to have a job and while thankful to have employment was really down about spending all that time and money on college so he could chop cauliflower all day.  So Congratulations and we believe in you, Jake!

Back to my empty hands.  I sat for a while. I fidgeted, then I begged Mom for a ball of yarn.  Any yarn, whatever she didn't have a plan for and could toss at me. She laughed and then as I got closer to her stash looked vaguely worried.  She handed me a skein of I Love This Yarn in a bright red, but kept the band so she could get another, so I am not sure what the color is called. I am becoming a yarn snob, but my hands needed to knit...

I cast on from both ends of the skein (without doing anything but grabbing the ends) as many stitches as I could fit on the circular 17's I had with me.  Happy hands.  This morning, I have:

I must admit the yarn is well named. I have not hit a snag (knocks on wood) it is much softer than a cheap acrylic has any right to be and is very very nice. I am knitting a shawl (largest side to smallest) and doubt it will be complete on one skein.

I have baby showers for two cousins coming up so the rainbow shimmer blanket will be back in my hands later in the week.

I am reading Kim Harrison's A Fist Full of Charms, but mostly trying to clean up and catch up on things from Christmas.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

what I have done and ready.

A shawl for my Niece with a apple wood button my Dad made.

Scarf for my Cousin in green Peruvian wool.

Cowl for Jim's cousin.

Flourish-y scarf for my sister, got her some sipping chocolate to go with it.

Scarf for my cousin's daughter.

hats for the kids like the ones I made for japan.

Shawl for my other Niece, another of Dad's cool buttons.

Cowl (neckwarmer) for my cousin's son, with Dad's buttons.

Crayon case for Mouse, so he can take art everywhere.

I have another cowl, like the three button one down that escaped being pictured and am working on one in blues.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Yarn along - fingers on a fingerless glove.

Hello everyone, it's Wednesday and I am mostly with it and that means - yarn along at Small Things with Ginny and the rest of the yarn and book loving blog-community.

  Look, look it has fingers!!!  One more and tucking a few tales and the first glove is done.  Actually, it knits fast but requires (or perhaps I require) all my attention on all the little dpns.  Hoping to not get the second sock syndrome on these gloves.

I am reading, How to Knit a Love Story by Rachael Herron.  It was sent to me by Emily from Today I am... It is traveling around the blog world enjoying visits in peoples homes.   

Looking forward to seeing what you are all working on.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Julia and the dress of doom....

So this dress is what I was aiming for and after sewing, frogging, and re-sewing 9 times.... I got it.  Here are some pictures along the way, my husband estimates my time into the dress around 80 hours.  I think that is high but not terribly high this was a lot of work.  Come to find out none of them have made the dress, I am writing up notes so the next person has an easier time. 

Muslin work up first run, this clearly doesn't fit or line up.  In full panic mode I posted for help and several dear friends offered advice.  including your building a dress that was worn over a corset - you need to wear one to fit it.  So I ordered on from  and it arrived early and was wonderful, strong and pretty, even comfortable (unless you try to bend at the waist.)

7 re-sewings later.  The pattern is a bit out of order and assumes you will do things that are the opposite of how you would do it in a modern pattern.  The arms are too long.

This is the first day of the event.  I borrowed the apron, day cap and petticoats from the museum to finish off the look of the dress (which is about 1 1/2 inches too long) We demonstrated hearth side cooking and the different tools that would have been used. In the tin reflector oven is a roasted whole chicken, then a loaf of bread baked in the bee hive oven, red cabbage in a dutch oven, bread pudding in a dual heat dutch oven, clockwork spit is also in the picture.  We also made ginger bread cookies, schrewsbury cakes (rosewater flavored cookies,) Kentucky fried apples in spider pans, corn bread and rib eye & pork chop combo on the bedside/room spit.

My bread from the bee hive oven, gingerbread cookies and the chicken from the second day. I also got to feed the animals on the farm and make vats of 'tea' for the event.  So far I am enjoying my internship.  I will be making some costuming for the men, they have lots of stuff they made back when they would get Americorps volunteers, but it is sized to fit a young college kid.  This will also allow me to earn some of my internship hours while at home as the museum is about 2 1/2  hours from my house.

I hope you find as I did a revitalized commitment to something you care about, a new view and appreciation of a person you had discounted and the determination to keep going no matter how many times you have to frog it.  ~ Julia