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Monday, March 31, 2008

Finished Sweater

Finally!! Finally!! I finished the vest and blocked it, is so hard to take a picture in the house but we had a snow-thunder storm whatever going on outside today so I had no choice. I love the way the colors faded one into another, the only place I manipulated the color was on the right front trying to match it up a bit with the left front. I was knitting off the knit tube I had dyed, it was a light grey to start with and I thought the colors would have been muted a bit. I think next time I will put the vinegar in the water I soak the knitted tube in instead of the dyes as I found the dye was grabbed too fast, had a hard time getting the colors to overlap creating another color. The biggest problem with the vest is there is too much yellow, anyone that knows me knows.....I really....really do not like too much yellow. I do not mind a bit as it sets the other colors off. I never wear yellow and I would probably be physically ill if I had to....why?? I do not know. So what am I knitting now.......a scarf that is knit in short rows, I just got the new Creative Knitting Magazine today and I loved the scarf pattern in it, in the magazine it is knit in reds and blues and I loved it......what color am I knitting it in?? I only had one skein left of wool I dyed so am using it and has too much yellow in it!! Next dye pot will not have yellow in it unless it is mixed with blue....creating green. Spent the afternoon potting up some of my plants, they were getting pretty sad, now I have a problem with the rest of the house plants, they want new soil too and are threatening to toss leaves all over the place if I don't so better have another potting up day tomorrow.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Another Snow Day!

We had a beautiful day yesterday and the snow from the night before melted away but this morning everything is white again and it is still snowing with a strong is cold out there!! We really need the moisture as it is so dry but for goodness sake just get on with it....all this fooling around with a bit of snow one day and a bit the next....just give it to us!! I am e-mailing Mother Nature with a complaint! Well am off to pot up a few plants, they are looking pretty sad so I think they need new soil, then I better get the vacuum out and do some cleaning. Knit on the vest some more yesterday and hopefully I can have it finished and blocked today. Then what should I knit?? really should knit a few more pairs of socks and put them in the stash for the fall sales. Meanwhile let us all think of the spring flowers that will eventually come our way!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Well we had a mini snowstorm last evening and although the ground is white this morning the sun is shining and the sky is clear. RH had some business out of town and he was going to be near the mill I wanted to process some of my alpaca and llama fibre so I spent the week sorting again and he took five bags up and dropped them off this morning. So that is done. I ordered my garden seeds yesterday so hopefully spring comes pretty soon, I can see some little plants coming up in the front flower beds although the main garden still has snow on it. My Aunt living near Seattle has a pen pal in Russia and her pen pal sent her some tomato seeds, my Aunt had sent me some pictures of the tomato's she grew from the seeds and I said next time you write me if you have a couple of extra seeds I would like to try growing them..............well she sent me some seeds..........seeds from thirteen different varieties of tomatoes!!! My word!! We garden in raised beds around here as the soil is not great and the four legged garden pests are too many. Looks like we should put in a couple more raised beds this year!!Now on the knitting front.....things are not going any too fast......I am knitting but I am ripping out and reknitting alot!! I am knitting a vest from the last knitted tube that I dyed and I have had to set it aside a lot and get back to it and sure enough when I pick it up and get knitting again......I find a mistake way back it is and knit...knit. I was really getting sick of the is not as if it is a hard pattern?? The back knit up so fast, the left side knit up why was the right side giving me so much grief!! Because I would only get a couple of rows knit and I would have to put it down again!! So yesterday I decided that I would finish the right front if it was the last thing I did...I said I would not answer the phone...I would not talk to anyone in the house and I warned the cats and dog far as any living breathing thing is this house...even if they could see me...I WAS NOT HERE!! So the vest pieces are finished and I just have the ribbing down the front for the buttonholes to knit and I better find some button's from my stash before I knit the buttonholes...good thing I remembered that!! Am off to find some buttons!! While I have been trying to write this post I have had at least ten phone calls......the dog made me get up and let him out...and when I got up to let him out...the cats were in the computer chair...Grrrr.. Thought I would get so much done today. Don't have any pictures of the vest but do have a couple pictures of the llama girls I took the other day. Am off to get at the rest of the day I have left!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Another scarf finished

Just finished the handspun merino scarf I was working on, the roving was dyed before I spun it so has a mixture of colors and I really love it. Was worried about it as there seemed to be so many colors in it but it worked out great. Maxx even liked it and offered to model it for me. Still have to work the ends in and decide if I should put a fringe on it. I had dyed the grey knit tubing and found the vest pattern I was thinking of using it for. When I started knitting it I really did not care for it but forced myself on and now that the colors are worked and are fading into each other I love it and can not stop knitting. As soon as I finish the back I will post a picture. We have had a couple of snowy, cold dull days but today the sun is out, hope it stays for a bit. Off to figure out what to do next, have the knitting on the go and am spinning up some of the mohair/merino roving I just got back from the mill but I really should do some house cleaning. The fireplace stone is all up finally, just needs a few finishing touches but the really good news is the sand is pretty well all vacuumed off the floor and left over stone is taken downstairs and it looks like we have so much more room after living with the stone laying all over the floor for a month and a half. But there is dust everywhere so I think the job of the day is get some dusting done!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

More Dyeing

All of our snow pretty well disappeared, mainly from the winds we have had and now tonight it snowed a bit and has turned colder. I went out and checked the flower beds the other day and the iris are coming up. The most exciting thing for me in the spring is when I find little plants coming up. RH had a meeting in the city the other day so decided to dye a couple of the grey colored knitted tubes and they turned out so great I can not wait to start knitting something with them but have to finish knitting the scarf I had started with my handspun rainbo dyed merino first. After having to rip it back a bit, could not figure out where I went wrong but it just was not working out. riped it back a bit and reknit and finally have it finished, will have to get pictures tomorrow the way it worked out. Now I can start knitting on one of the other dyed tubes tomorrow.......have to decide what?? I have a vest pattern in my mind but can not remember where I seen the pattern, hopefully it will come to me tomorrow, have had such a sinus headache all week I am almost brain dead, hopefully next week will be better.Posting the pictures of the knitted tubes I dyed.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

More Knitting

Took a picture of the scarf I started with the merino I just finished spinning. I dyed it in the roving and although I thought it was a bit busy I thought I would try a scarf with it and I love the way it is turning out. I love this scarf pattern but you sure have to make sure you get the purl rows where they should be and the knit where they should be as it isn't until you are finished a diagonal piece that you realize you could be out a row and then it is pattern needs to be enlarged so it is easier to read but for some reason my copier does not want to do the job so hand printed it out and it is working better. Had a cleaning attack this morning...wonder why with all this sand all over the floors, we are still putting the stone up on the almost almost done, my patience is wearing thin. I had bought a throw blanket a bit ago in a tan color almost the color of the couch in the family room and have used it as a cover on the seat to help with the dog and cat hair, it was really large and was folded in two on the seat. This morning as I was taking it off to wash I had this great idea that if I cut it up I could have a piece to cover the bottom, pieces to cover both arms and another piece that would fit on the chair seat of the leather recliner. Everything worked out perfect and there was not a scrap left over. Sheba, one of the cats just has to sit on the arm of the couch as I sit and knit at night so the cover will save the arm and covering the recliner seat will make it more comfy for the cats (as if they need more comfort)Am off to knit a bit!!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Finished Scarf!!

Finally got the scarf finished, it isn't that long, she only gave me a small piece of knitted tubing to experiment on, wish I would have measured it before I started knitting. Have to dye a larger piece and make a longer scarf. The tube was knitted so densely that it felt harsh but after I knitted the scarf and washed it, it is nice and soft. Forgot to ask what wool they used but it feels like Merino. I had some merino roving that I had rainbo dyed in the roving and I finally spun that up, there was about 200grms so made two good sized skeins. The spun skein colors looked so busy but I started a directional scarf with it and it looks great. Will get a picture tomorrow. We have had great weather the last few days so the snow is disappearing and I am starting to think about ordering seeds and planning where to plant what and of course planning the strategy for keeping the gophers out of the garden. they are out and about already.Spring must be on it's way, a pair of Bald Eagles have been flying around lately. I also better get the bluebird nesting boxes up, they are probably already here.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Neat Stuff!!

When we took our fibre up to the mill for processing the owner of the mill was telling me about a class she just taught, she said she took a knitted tube of fabric and they dyed it and then knit it up as they unknit it off the knitted tube???? This took a while to soak into my brain.....sounded weird??? You knit up some fabric and then you unknit it (or rip it out) and then you reknit it into something else?? Finally I sort of got it and she gave me a small piece to try out. Well the piece of knitted tube sat around for a couple of weeks and I would look at it from time to time. Then last week they phoned to say my processed fibre was ready to pick up, I thought I better do something with the piece of knit tubing before I went back up. So I went and unearthed my dyes that I had tucked away during Christmas and thought I would just use the dye colors I had mixed already. So Soaked the knit tube in vinegar and water and got the dyes ready. Put down a length of plastic wrap and lay the knitted tube on it and proceeded to apply dye, turned it over and added a bit more dye as it did not seem to soak through enough, then I remembered reading that if you took a rolling pin and rolled it over what you were painting with dye it would set it in better. So I put another piece of plastic wrap on the top of the knitted tube and proceeded to roll it across........ALL THIS BLUE DYE RAN OUT THE END!!!! I grabbed paper towel and soaked it up thinking I had ruined the whole thing......but o.k. better carry on. Since then I have been told you do not ROLL the rolling pin across you use the rolling pin to put weight on your dyed piece in a up and down motion, you are not making a pie!!! I sealed the sides of the wrap and then folded the package in half and then rolled it into a roll sealing the end. I had a pot on the stove with some water in the bottom and a rack about an inch above the water and let it steam for about twenty minutes. Now usually I would leave it overnight and give the dyes time to set but I was in a hurry for I carefully lifted the roll out and sat it on a rack to cool. As soon as it cooled I rinsed it a couple of times to get the extra dye out of it and laid it out to dry. All the time I was doing this I was thinking about what pattern would work the best with this and remembered a multi-directional scarf pattern I had so thought I would try that. The next morning I started knitting the scarf pattern getting more excited by the minute, now there was knitting....and there was ripping out...and there was get the picture, there are alot of rows to this pattern, it is not hard but you have pay attention to what you are doing. And the pictures will tell you all!! I was so excited!! Now I was going to pick up some more of the knitted tubes when I went to the mill and my head was full of all the ways I was going to dye them.......when I got to the mill....My friend Catherine had been there before me......and bought all they had knit up. Grrrr Grrrrr. But they did have a few of the light grey ones knit up that their dye person was getting ready to I bought them. I like dyeing the grey as the colors come out in muted shades, so that will keep me happy until the mill can get more of the white knit up. Now I think what they do is knit them on the sock knitter but just make long tubes, I am going to ask if I took some alpaca up would they knit me some alpaca/wool mix tubes??? It would make great scarves??? Right?? I better finish the scarf and then get another tube dyed.

Snow Pictures

Blogger has been having issues again and for some reason it would not put my snow pictures on the last blog, for some reason it is running very it can not decide whether or not to co-operate with me. I will try again!!

The Last Big snow???Hopefully

Here is hoping this is the last big snow and spring is around the corner. We had the wind move the snow around and almost bury the barnyard. We had moved all the goats into the barn except for the bucks and when resident husband went out in the morning after a howling wind all night long he found the bucks standing in their shelter with snow halfway up their sides so he shoveled out their gate and moved them to the shelters we had freed up for the male Alpaca's and Llama geldings to use....which they didn't want to use. They preferred to stay out in the corral with their big hay feeder. When resident husband went out he said they were covered with snow except for their heads. By the time he told me about it,it was too late to get a picture.I went out later and took some pictures. Resident husband spent two days moving snow with the bobcat so we could get the truck in to deliver grain. Now the last couple of days we have had warm winds blowing so a lot of the snow has disappeared. Animals are all out grazing after having to stay near the buildings for the last couple of weeks. While all that was going on I had a hat attack and knit eight hats. I had bits and pieces of my rainbo yarn left from knitting slipper socks and wanted to use it up so knit some hats up with stipes of the rainbo yarn. The first three I knit were great, the next two were very large so decided I would toss them in the washing machine and felt them. They came out great, a bit on the small side but they will fit someone, then I decided I would knit some on the large side and felt them. The first hats I knit the main color was a natural grey and the last ones I knit were wool yarn that had been dyed at the mill...........they did not shrink like the others did so while they were o.k. for width they were extra long so was a good thing they were made for the bottom to roll up, it just has a bigger roll. I had put them in mesh bags before I put them in the washer and one of the bags broke open a bit on the bottom and when I took it out here was some of my hat hanging out of the bag!! So that hat is a bit lopsided, I gave it another wash and while it is still a bit lopsided I think it is wearable....a lot of thoughts running through my head on how to embellish it. Will maybe be the best hat of them all. Note to self....the natural colored yarns felt better than the ones that have been through the dye process....specially mill dyed yarns.