This is a much less romantic view of my hand-dyed rovings but I thought it would be good to record the process. Notice how I have already started "fluffing" up the golden roving on the right. Once the tops of the dangling rovings were dry, I couldn't resist!
With Bob and I leaving for Australia this Sunday, we coordinated an early Christmas with Matt, Jessica, Walter and Fritz. My apologies in advance, this post has absolutely no knitting related material. I had taken along my Stonington shawl but I was busy with my camera until Walter and Fritz were tucked into bed.
Xena loves visiting the boys!
Bob was an impatient elf regarding Walter's gift! So, Matt annd Walter got to work digging into the Wall Street Journal wrapped package.
The rest of the evening degenerated into a juvenile car-fest! And, I'm not just talking about Walter!
I know I've talked about Spin-Off before, but Winter 2008 is a particularly appealing issue. You don't have to be a spinner to appreciate the fiber information, excellent patterns and inspirational articles. This issue focuses on color. The article on managing color as you spin was particularly dangerous! The basic concept is how to work with two colors of roving, as you spin, to design wonderfully dynamic yarn.
I read the article on Wednesday and spent the entire evening dyeing four colors of roving. I knew all the roving, that's been sitting in a bin in my closet, would have a good purpose. If you are interested in dyeing roving, here is a fantastic tutorial.
I used only one color for each group of my roving. I started by laying out the dry roving on the living room floor. I kept rearranging it until I had 8 equal lengths. I folded up each group of two strands and wrapped it up into a white cotton kitchen towel. The kind I use when I'm baking bread. I put the four towel sausages into a warm bath of water to soak for an hour. The towel wrapping was necessary to keep my four sections seperate. And, they allowed me to spin the four bundles in the washing machine to get rid of excess water.
After that, I followed the tutorial instructions except only using one color. I used Jacquard Dyes in Teal, Chartreuse, Gold Ochre and Emerald. I still plan on working with only two bits of roving colors at a time but I'm going to mix up all four colors into combinations. I won't get started until January. It will be nice to have such a colorful, stimulating project to begin in the New Year.
Last Sunday I laid out clothes for our trip. Having gotten the "boring" task out of the way, I enthusiastically contemplated what fiber-related projects to take with me. I knew I wanted to take my Spinsanity spindle and my Golding Aromatherapy spindle. I have bright, colorful rovings for each spindle.
I also wanted a very low-key knitting project. A Moderne Baby Blanket fits the "easy" requirement but the yarn takes up a lot of room and, once the blanket gets going, it isn't really portable. Then I remembered my long-neglected Stonington Shawl from Knitting Workshop by Elizabeth Zimmermann. I had made a good start but then was sidetracked with Prayer shawls and baby blankets. The yarn is Shimmer - Bayou.
What a perfect travel project! Lots and lots of plain garter stitch with a lacy edge to entertain me on the long flight back home. Elizabeth provides an edging in her instructions but I don't like it. I want something very dramatic to balance out all of the simple garter stitch fabric.
Don't worry, I'm not stepping up on a soap-box! But, I couldn't resist sharing this discovery with you.
A couple of months ago, our local Whole Foods had an eco-friendly display just as you came through the door. I bought this eating utensil set from To Go Ware that rolls up for portability. I've just kept it at the office to use for breakfast, lunch and snacks.
The chopsticks are perfect for fruit snacks like cut-up apple, banana, etc. The knife is actually very effective for cutting up most anything I pack for lunch - pasta, lettuce leaves, etc.
After sleeping through the worst part of my cold on Friday, I knew that my focus for Saturday should be re-hydration. Now, I'm very good about sipping through lots of water during the day but it is hard when it's cold outside. I would much prefer a hot cup of cocoa! While I was grabbing a few ice cubes for my large glass of water, I noticed a bag of frozen raspberries. Umm, I also had a lemon left over from the Thanksgiving cooking.
I used the frozen raspberries instead of ice cubes and dropped in a couple slices of lemon. Absolutely lovely!! The water looks inviting and there is just a hint of fruit flavor. I simply drank the water with the fruit floating in it. After the berries thawed, I ate them and dumped some new frozen berries into my glass.
This is a photo of my improved fruit/water drink. I went to Safeway on Monday morning and bought some more frozen raspberries, blueberries and fresh mint. At the office I found a wide-mouth quart canning jar and made up my concoction! Yummy!
We have had a very predictable cold making its' way through the office. First day - sore throat. Second day - very tired. Third day - still need some rest. After that things improve quickly. I had the sore throat on Thanksgiving, slept all day on Friday and then very happily sat on the sofa all day Saturday finishing these socks.
They are my first pair of Imagination socks. The pattern is the Faceted Rib Socks from The Little Box of Socks. It is designed to use with hand-painted yarn. The slipped stitches break up the color segments nicely. Charlene has four other sock patterns to use with hand-painted yarns - Slip-Stitch Cable, Basket Check, Scandinavian Pattern and Zigzag Slip-Stitch socks.
I've been wearing my wool, hand-knit socks but I'm looking forward to slipping these Alpaca blend treats on this evening. I used sock blockers to set the highly textured fabric. Sock blockers are one of those pesky personal preferences. I love using them because they set the shape of the sock nicely.
The weather in the Pacific Northwest is wet during the winter. Low hanging clouds dropping lots of rain. So, even though the sun set much farther south in the horizon, we rarely get to enjoy an impressive sunset. All day Sunday there was a thick fog in the valley below us. As the sun set, I grabbed my camera to capture such a rare beauty. You can see the thick clouds below the tops of the trees.
After a few minutes the color of the sunset drew my eyes away from the tops of the fluffy clouds.
When Jonathon was visiting last month, Bob took him off for a day of Christmas shopping. They were exhausted and quite pleased with themselves when they got home late in the afternoon. Now, Jonathon is at Camp Pendleton training for his assignment in Iraq. That leaves Bob as the "wrapper". Sustained with plenty of Thanksgiving leftovers, he tackled the job with enthusiasm. The larger gifts, not in the photo, were wrapped with old copies of the Wall Street Journal!