June 23, 2015

Dye, Part Deux

(most of) What I dyed last week in dye class:

I keep forgetting to steam-set this, but see - I *knew* this sock blank
would look better once I striped it with other colors.
This will make some nice, muddy, masculine socks.

Indigo never disappoints.

Logwood on silk and rayon

Madder never disappoints, either.

These look ever so much better after a trip through to the indigo pot.
The one on the bottom right just got stamped with wax and will
hit the indigo pot next week (no class this week).
Just a simple cotton scarf, tied, then painted with
some (rather old) MX dyes.

I did dye that t-shirt that I had drawn on with resist, but I'm quite discouraged by the results.  Apparently, either the resist was too old, too thinned out, or I didn't put it on heavily enough because the dye soaked right through.  I ended up with just a shirt that looks dip-dyed without any design on it.  Next class, I'll check to see how my classmate Linda's wax-painted shirt fared in the indigo pot, then decide whether I just want to overdye the shirt or paint on it with wax, then overdye it.  Feh.  Pictures coming once I consider it "finished".

June 12, 2015

A Good Day to Dye

Getting my indigo on!

Yupp, yesterday I went back to dye class.  I decided that summer was the perfect time to go back so that the kids and I could get a break from each other every week, and it would get me out of the house.

The ladies welcomed me back with open arms, which made me feel great.  As we were talking about my hiatus, one of them referred to the class as "[her] therapy", and I think that's a pretty good way for me to think about it.

  • A whole semester of four-hour classes costs less than the average price of a therapy session.
  • Buying extra supplies (plus the $25 supply fee) doesn't equal the cost of a second therapy session.
  • It gets me out of the house.
  • I make friends.
  • It lets me play with another way to be creative and gives me something new to learn.
  • I end up with many Christmas/birthday gifts for folks by the end of the session.
Indeed, it's worth every penny invested.

My "parfait dyeing" results
OK, per the Knitmores' "Three Bites Rule", I have now reached a verdict:  I really don't like the results of parfait dyeing.  The next time the teacher says we're going to do it, I will politely bow out.  The only one of these I'm even sort of pleased with is the red one.

As you can see, the indigo pot was kinder to me than the parfait bucket was.

These two smaller skeins will probably be part of a gift
for my friend's daughter, who recently took up knitting.

I attempted a white-grey-black gradient that ended up more dark black-slightly lighter black.  The purple skeins were dyed in longwood.

I also dyed a sock blank in the longwood, but was displeased with the resulting color, so I plopped it in a citric acid bath, which gave a weird, muddy brown with a couple of spots of purple.  No worries, though; next week, I'll put some stripes/splotches of another color or two, and I'll show it to you when it's "done".

June 2, 2015

Scattered Thoughts

Current favorite song:  "Honey, I'm Good" by Andy Grammer.  Why?  It's peppy, happy, and I just love that it's all about celebrating fidelity in a relationship.  You don't get too many songs like that these days!  If the music video doesn't make you smile, you've got a hard heart, LOL.

Knitting:  I'm chugging away on a couple of different designs (one is thiiiiiiiis close to being released).  Since I can't show you those, I'll show you some recent baby hats instead.  The two matching ones were gifts for a family member having twins;  the other two are for a charity donation.

Choir:  I tell ya, my kids are SO much more talented than I am.  Thing Two got to be in the church choir for our annual big service at Shoreline Amphitheatre (service and entertainment followed by picnicking, bounce houses, face painting, etc.).  Being on the petite side, she got to be in the front row (being shortie like her mom has its privileges!).  Watching the video, she's on the far left with her hair in braids.


Busy Summer:  If you've been following me for a while, you know that our summers tend to consist of a whole lot of lying around doing nothing, punctuated by small bursts of activity.  Not so this year.  Thing One has summer school Monday through Thursday 8:15 to 1:00 and Monday and Wednesday 6:30pm to 9:45pm.  Thing Two will be volunteering at the local library.  Both kids will be going to church camp (though T1 will have to miss the first day b/c of summer school).  Since this will be the only year that the girls will be at camp at the same time, Hubby's taking a couple of days off so we can enjoy a kid-free "staycation" while they're gone.  Thing Two chose to sign up for an intensive study program through church that will involve at least three meetings a week in addition to church on Sunday and the teen devotionals on Saturdays.  We will be going on our usual camping trip in July, bringing two of Thing Two's pals along with us.  Since Thing One won't be able to miss summer school for it, her "big sister" Clairese (a twentysomething friend of ours from church) will come stay with her and Jenna for the week.  T1 is looking forward to being immersed in Clairese's wedding plans during that time.  (And I think she has the crazy idea that Clairese will give her a lift to school every morning.  A kid can dream.) With my editorial gig, I expect to have flurries of intense activity followed by stretches of waiting for other people to do stuff (In light of this, I found the theme of last Sunday's service, "Rewrite" amusing.  Hubby asked if I was going to "rewrite", and I answered, "Of course I am; I'm an editor!").  Oh, and I'm heading back to dye class starting this Thursday.  Whew!

Miscellaneous:  Also, we recently got a new (vs. new-to-us) chest freezer for the garage.  Hubby is looking forward to filling it with all manner of meats for him to cook (and meats he's already cooked).  His most recent acquisition was two giant beef briskets. One is frozen now, and the other is broken into three pieces:  one smoked last night; one cooking in the sous vide as I type;  one brining for corned beef.  With his renewed love of cooking, our menu during camping is going to be ever so much more than just hot dogs and sandwiches, LOL.  In true Whovian style, it's bigger on the inside:

Jenna:  Long story, but keep our "puppy" in your thoughts/prayers.  She has to be put under on Thursday to get some issues checked out, and there are concerns.  We're very sad about some of the possibilities.

May 29, 2015


As of yesterday afternoon, our family now has TWO high-schoolers.  HOW did that happen?!

OOPS!  They lost her certificate!

With Nicole and Sam

With her favorite teachers, Mr. Vina and Miss Wong

Dinner at Elephant Bar to celebrate

May 25, 2015

May 16, 2015

Here, Have a Coupon Code...

From today through next Saturday (May 23), if you use the coupon code NEWBLOOM, you can get $1.00 off the price of my new pattern Perennials.

Click here to go straight to Ravelry with the code already added.

Happy Knitting!

May 14, 2015


Even in the middle of a drought, you can have flowers year 'round with Perennials.

Yarn: Cascade Venezia Sport or Venezia Sport Multis, less than one skein each MC and CC.

Needles:  US size 5/3.75mm


(Mille grazie to our friends Cheyenne and Naomi for serving as my models.)

May 12, 2015

Coming Soon

...a little something for your inner geeky fangirl
(yarn = Lambie Toes from Dizzy Blonde Studios).

May 11, 2015

February (yes, February) Socks

Not much knitting that I can show you b/c I've been working on some new designs, BUT I have socks.  My February socks from the Knit From Stash 12-pair mystery sock-along.  Yupp.

I messed up the heel.

I put them in "time out" to think about what they had done.

I left them there too long.

I messed up the heel again.

They were too short.

I messed up the heel AGAIN.

You see where this is going, right?

Friday afternoon, I ran up the white flag and frogged Clairese's socks.  My February socks.  It is now mid-May.  Ugh.

I cast on again on Friday evening.  Here's how far I've gotten.

I think it's time to revise my goal.  "12 pairs in 15" just isn't going to happen.  Four?  Six?  Hmm....

May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

Special love going out to my "comadres" today on Mother's Day, those mentioned by name in "A Mother's Comfort" and the many, many (too many) others.