Daily Archives: June 1, 2008

First Weekend off in a Month, Woo-hoo!

And a beautiful one it was!

Even though it started with opening the door to the aftermath of the intense little storm (and there was another one Friday night, another Saturday night, a tiny one this afternoon):

(look at the leaf stuck to our front door; and we don’t have a tree like that anywhere close!)

it was a lovely Saturday morning Sky!

Lots of the weekend was spent ferrying kids (Nutcracker auditions, birthday parties, shopping, so what’s new?), and there were rehearsals for me and my husband for today’s choral church services, Cantate Sunday. So not as much knitting time as I’d like (when is there ever? Except at Sock Camp! And even then, we were knitting ‘to order’ much of the time — classes etc.).

Here’s a picture of our church choir today. We were dressed in a loose interpretation of 19th century American clothing, as our music was all early American, mostly a cappella, very cool.

(Click to embiggen if you wish; I’m on the far right, just being an alto.)

But despite the busy-ness, I made excellent progress nonetheless on my mother’s second Casbah sock; no pictures, but I’m close to the toe, so should be done very soon.

And the Gothlet and I did a little yarn dyeing yesterday!

She has an extremely cool art teacher who is, sadly for the Gothlet, retiring. I told her teacher about Kool-Aid yarn dyeing once and she was very intrigued. I knew she would really appreciate something hand-dyed and hand-made. And brightly colored, she loves color! Now, if we waited for the Gothlet to knit it, we would be waiting a LONG time; I think she’s finished one out of 20 projects she’s started. (Not that I can point any fingers of blame.) But she can sure dye! So I suggested she dye yarn and I would knit it into fingerless mitts for her teacher. I had bought some Louet Gems sport weight superwash merino in white when I was in Neenah a month ago. I also prepped some other yarn for practicing on; we mixed up some bottles of dye

(there had just been a sale on powdered drink packets a few weeks ago, hooray!), and yesterday, she and I did some dyeing!

Here’s her finished result, all her own work:

And here it is skeined up, and wound up, ready for me to cast on tonight.

She said she wanted blips of bright color with separation, no blending, so I think this will be just the thing.

I did ‘jazz’ up the yellow (lemonade flavor) with food coloring, as well as the blue a bit, based on past experience. But look at the difference between this skein, and a wool-silk natural colored (non-superwash) skein:

See the difference in color saturation? Same dyes, same dyer, same technique. I’m sure it’s the superwash wool: the treatment makes it more permeable to the dye, as I found out to my surprise not long ago (of course, when I was dyeing something for someone else, and it came out much darker than planned; I had to dye a second skein that time).

While she was doing her dyeing, I did a couple small skeins I didn’t photograph yet, and also kettle-dyed the lace yarn below with Jacquard acid dye. (I’d had it partially dyed earlier with the leftover dye from something else, and overdyed it with teal; it’s subtly variegated, and I like it very much. I’m a teal kind of person!)

And I wound up more yarn for Wendy‘s Diamonds and Purls lace shawl. And I wound the second skein for my fingering weight Forest Canopy shawl, also. I am jonesing for knitting lace! And in four days, I am happy to say that I will be getting all sorts of knitting time. I am taking the train to a meeting in Chicago — over 5 hours of knitting time each way, excellent for lace! no need to read maps, carry on conversation since I’ll be by myself, no demands from the children….I can even listen to knitting podcasts on the train trip if I want.

During the meeting itself, I can’t knit lace, but I can knit something simple on my lap in the dark, perhaps the Baby Tomten jacket I started, or some basic socks. (It’s the kind of meeting where there are a lot of Powerpoint presentations.) And, though I’ll just be there a couple days, Friday night there is open knitting at Loopy Yarns in Chicago, my favorite of the three yarn stores I visited while I was there last year, and a short subway ride from where the meeting is, so I have something to do that night. The other two nights, I’ll be happy to stay in and have the bathtub/bathroom to myself, eat when I want, read and knit! Maybe even watch a movie I want to see!

SHHH — they all think I’m just going to a meeting. And I AM going to a meeting — they don’t need to know it’s also a mini-vacation with bonus knitting! Promise not to tell?