Friday, June 27, 2008

mustard pickles

I dyed some of the mountain of superwash merino I have hiding in my closet. I actually dyed this about a year ago with PAAS Easter egg dye tablets and it was gross. The pinks and blues ran together and made a muddy lavender--and I mean MUDDY. I decided to overdye it with a huge dose of yellow. The yellow turned out--as perhaps you can tell--not ochre, not sunshine, but rather PEE yellow. The splotches of green might save it, though. The color name for it shall be Mustard Pickles--either that or Poopy Diaper. Well, at least I had fun with the dyeing process.

I sent some to a friend and I'm going to spin the remainder soon (after spinning the Toxic for the Snaky Blanky, of course!) and see what happens. This could be very exciting. In my world, yes, this is big excitement. Shut up.

My mother made the best mustard pickles when I was young. I need to find her recipe and make some this year. Did I mention the ravenous bunnies in my back yard? I have no more carrots. The beans are gone. They don't seem to care for the zucchini, onions, or tomatoes. My kids have named the rabbits. So much for the tragic and horrible fate that I had planned for them to meet (the rabbits, not my children). There's one named Mr. Cinnamon Boots. See my problem?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Snaky Blanky startup

I spent the past month gradually spinning up my November subscription to to the Hello Yarn Fiber Club. This is superwash Corriedale wool in a colorway called "Toxic". And in a cosmic turn of events, I hurt my back again last Tuesday--So I spent the following 3 days lying down and swatching crochet patterns out of a Reader's Digest knitting and crochet stitch pattern book that my children gave me for my birthday. (It's not Barbara Walker, but it's okay.)

It started out innocently enough: I just wanted to do something mindless. Swatching crochet stitches goes so fast that you can work, hate, and rip out a stitch pattern in a matter of minutes. Wouldn't you know it, I happened on a stitch that I LIKED! I was just a wee bit loopy from a pain pill, so I messed up the directions and came up with my own version of the stitch pattern. I have decided that I must make an afghan with it. The original stitch pattern is called "Long Waves", but it looks more snaky and sinuous to me, so I shall call it the Snaky Blanky. It's a Poisonous Snaky Blanky because it's made out of Toxic materials. Har har. I love this yarn--what's not to love about handspun in these colors?

I started out with 8 ounces of this fiber and got about 310 yards of 2-ply aran weight yarn. My calculations yielded the somewhat discouraging news that I'll be able to make a itty-bitty afghan of about 36 x 14 inches with this amount of yarn. If there weren't already enough reasons to love Ravelry, I have been rescued by the Hello Yarn group there. I went fishing for generous souls who might be willing to exchange any of their Toxic fiber for some of my other hoarded Hello Yarn club installments. I had two takers on the trade (Bless you Vickie and Felicia, if you read this) and Adrian (Hello Yarn, herself) let me know that she still had a pound of Toxic in storage. It's a Ravelry Miracle!

All together, I'll end up with 36 ounces, which should be enough for a 36 x 63 inch afghan. I might end up blocking it into the more conventional dimensions of 40 x 60--or I might just leave it long and skinny...snaky. (Hmm. I have a tendency to get caught up in themes.) The first batch of traded fiber arrived today, and I'm going to try really hard to let my back finish calming down before I start spinning it. I predict that I will last 2 days.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

some summer spinning

Spun on my Schact Matchless using long draw!!! (I love long draw.) It's dreadfully underspun and SO fuzzy. It was a bit of a fight to spin because it was a barely-blended batt and the chunks of silk, mohair, wool, and soy silk didn't always want to get along while drafting.

Kind of a boring post, but there we are. Maybe I could add in some personal details...things like: We have rabbits in our back yard and they ate my eggplant plants. I'm peeved. They haven't touched the tomatos yet, at least there's that. I hurt my back again. I'm infatuated with crochet; it's fast. I tried to knit a baby sweater for a new little niece while I was on a 10-hour road trip to a funeral a couple of weeks ago. It was a dismal failure. I backed into a parked car last night. PeeWee is piteously proclaiming, "I need foooooood!" So is Joe. So is everyone. I've fallen out of love with food. I used to love food. I used to love to cook. I'm tired of it. I think I need a private chef. Yeah, that would do it. Maybe Bob will do it... Okay, enough of the daydreaming, they're starting to gnaw on my ankles.