Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happy New Year-Better Late Than Not At All

Hello, remember me? Sorry for having gone missing once again. Life seems to be getting in the way of my blog writing, which is ironic because the blog is supposed to be somewhat of a record of what is going on in my life. I have missed writing and sharing the exciting adventures that have occurred recently. Or if not the exciting adventures, at least the day to day ennui that is my life right now. I love the word ennui, and seldom get a chance to use it in a sentence.

I've only done a little bit of dyeing recently, partly because the basement where my dyeing studio is located has a temperature not much warmer than the outside temperature, which right now is 7 degrees. It wouldn't be so bad if there wasn't all that cold water involved in the dyeing process. I did get my Spindies sample done for the January Paintbox. The color is Silver, and I am looking forward to seeing the results from the Spindies artists. It's hard to believe that we have been collaborating on Paintboxes for five months. I appreciate being a part of such a talented group of women. This is my sample from last month's box, which was the color champagne. I believe all the Champagne boxes are gone, but some of the individual stores still have larger sized batts of their samples.

I am adding a new sock yarn base to my shop. It is Bluefaced Leicester and Nylon. Bluefaced Leicester is my favorite spinning fiber, so I was pleased to find a BFL sock yarn. I dyed some recently in two colorways, but have not yet had the time, or the light needed, to take good photos. When I woke up this morning and saw sunshine I thought I might still be dreaming. It has been so long since I saw the sun, I wasn't sure what it was. Of course, there has to be a cosmic joke associated with this sun sighting. The joke is that despite the sunshine, the temperature is still only 7 degrees.

I was standing out on my front porch in my slippers with no coat on this morning taking photos of my silver Paintbox samples, when the mailman arrived. I wonder what he thought when he saw me with a camera, a white tablecloth on the porch floor, photographing a pile of what I am sure looked like grey fluff to him. It is actually very similar to the color of Gerard's fur, although I promise that there is none of his fur in these batts.

On the knitting front, I am making Conor a sweater from Son of Stitch and Bitch. It is a hoody with a Noro stripe through the body and the sleeves, and I am making it out of the yarn called for in the pattern, something that rarely happens. I was able to get Lambs Pride for $3.00 a skein from The Sheep Shed Studio, and the yarn color is avocado, a color that makes me happy. I think that I am going to use some of my hand dyed worsted weight yarn instead of the Noro for the stripe. I am not a big fan of Noro yarn, although I will admit that the long color repeats are quite nice.

I am making Travis a pair of Striped Mittens from Favorite Mittens by Robin Hansen. I think I have made almost 20 pairs of these mittens and I love them...both the making of them and how warm they are when worn. My sister Jane remembers that when we were young, many of the children we played with wore similarly patterned mittens. The pattern is a one stitch alternation of two colors, one carried ahead of the other, and the carrying of the yarn pulls the mitten fabric up into ridges. This gives the illusion that one color has been knit above the other. My favorite yarn to make these from is Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride. It's also fun to do the main color in a solid color and the contrasting color in a hand dyed multicolor yarn. In these mittens, the main color is ecru color Lamb's Pride and the multicolored yarn is the contrasting color. It's possible to see how the ecru stands out above the multicolored yarn. I have fun watching the striping patterns emerge, which goes to show that I am very easily entertained.

This was the year of the hat for Christmas gifts. I didn't take a lot of photos of the completed hats, but here is Travis' Dred Hat being modeled by Conor, who doesn't have nearly enough hair to fill it up. I think perhaps he has inadvertently watched a little too much America's Next Top Model, or perhaps this is the face of teenage angst.

I made my niece Emma a hat that is a quick and fun knit, with the hat including Basketweave stitch, 3 x 3 ribbing, and Seed Stitch. It is fun to make because it doesn't get boring. The pattern is called Patchwork Hat, and I have also made several of these hats over the past year. It helps to have a daughter who loves hats, and also loses them on a fairly regular basis.

On the traveling son front, Tim is back in Sydney, after having spent a few weeks in Tasmania. He is currently looking for work as he is feeling the need to recoup some of his money spent so far. I am loving reading his blog, which started out as a travel log, but has turned into something much more interesting to me. I am very proud of the man he has become.

It's time to go do some knitting. I am still slogging along on my Girasole, and tonight seems the perfect night to have a nice warm blanket on my lap as I am knitting. The reason I am slogging has nothing to do with the pattern, and more to do with my choice of yarn, which is not at all what was called for in the pattern. This blanket has helped me learn that occasionally, I should pay attention to the specifics of a pattern, but that is fodder for another post.


  1. glad you are back. I've missed you. My blog has suffered as well, the kid home for 7 weeks and his girlfriend here for 3 of those weeks. We thought she had left to return to Hawaii, but, nope, they are on the way home at this moment. Just in time for Colin to have his wisdom teeth out Monday, oh, joy. Lovely picture of Connor. Be sure to save it to show his bride on the eve of their wedding.

  2. Oh Conor! The hat looks just great! I think he's just not into your pictures. Your work is amazing! Love to read your blog. I've been checking and am ever so glad that you're back.

  3. Thanks Susan and Lisa for the comments. It helps to know people are actually reading what I write.

    Having kids home definitely has an impact on life as we know it, Susan.

    Lisa, that was a posed picture. I guess that is Conor's "serious" face. :)