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Archive for February 17th, 2007

A Work-Filled Day

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

Finally. I had a full day at home alone, and I was able to get a lot of work, many tasks done during that time.

Samples

I blocked the charcoal Kristi Comfort Wrap this morning (and worked in some ends while I was at it). I shrunk a Watercolor Bag that Diana knit from diVe’ Autunno yarn, it turned out well. I had to spend some time prodding it into shape but it dried nicely. Now I just need to sew some D-Rings into the inner edges for the handles, and it can go to Threadbear for display.

This new bag is really lovely though very different than my normal colors. It’s sort of southwestern sunset colors, pleasing to so many of us. The fabric is dense and soft, too, very nice.

Plugging Along on Patterns

I did some photo editing and a little proofreading on the patterns I’m developing right now. I also touched base with Diana who keeps knitting like there is no tomorrow. She told me she’s a good bit into the Kristi Wrap she’s knitting for me! Oooooh, the suspense!

Dye Up to My Elbows

Then I spent hours in the basement studio making yarn into pretty colors. It is lovely, very nice. My new yellow-green dye is particularly satisfying at this cold time of year. I love spring greens in February!

I finished dyeing at 10:21pm, and stopped to shed the water-soaked clothes and put on the turquoise loungewear/jammies my friend Altu gave me for my birthday. Then I had a nice cup of tea and I’m back doing more.

Carefree Knitting

I’ve knit a bit more on a legwarmer that is intended to become a pattern in the next wave of patterns, mostly because it truly is knitting I need not think about while I am doing it. I can do that sort of knitting while touching base with Diana. So much knitting requires concentration but not a legwarmer! I love that sort of worry-bead knitting, it really makes me happy. I never get bored knitting tubes, though I know many folks do.

Challenging Knitting

Now I am going to get out the new yarn I got to make an adult ladies’ large size Chippy sock. I am curious to see how this works out, because the colors are much lower contrast than I would normally use in a colorwork design. They are nice together, though, and it’s mostly about doublechecking the yarn requirements of the pattern rather than a photography session this time. I hope I can get the right gauge. That may be the hardest part of the project.

I hope these will be able to be retrofitted for Brian after I make them to spec from the pattern. Or that is the plan right now, because his foot is closest of anyone in my family to that size. if that does not work or if he doesn’t like how they look, perhaps we’ll see if they work for Altu.

Resting the Muscles

OK… now I get to work on the couch for a while. The reward of a physical-labor day is to rest the body when it is done. Dyeing is tiring, physically. My back does not hurt but it gets tired from carrying bins of water and yarn. I am very glad I am well again and can do it once more! Count me as one grateful woman.

Good night.

A Heat Wave and Green Dyes

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

It is 37 degrees F (3.7C) outside right now! Oh, My! What luck.

I cooked Buckwheat pancakes for breakfast and the house was full of the related cooking smoke (we do not have a vent fan in our old house). Since I still have a lingering cough from the flu I had last month, the smoke was a real irritant. I wanted to open doors and/or windows. Honestly, I’m big on open windows any time of year and it has been a long time since this house had a chance to breathe.

One glance at the thermometer and I took action. I turned off the furnace, and opened front and back doors. Thank goodness for a really warm alpaca sweater, longjohns, legwarmers and two pairs of wool socks (yes, this is what I often wear indoors in the winter, and we keep the heat at 72F/22C which I realize is relatively warm for many folks). Remember that I’m not truly happy until it is 84F/29C. I like it warm!

That said, the doors did not stay open long. I’ll take what I can get in February.

kristitwo16.jpgI have started a dyeing day. The space heater is making the basement studio liveable right now (I can not wear my good alpaca sweater down there when dyeing, so I need to heat it a bit before I go down there). I got a couple of new green dyes just before I got sick, and I am very eager to play with greens and turquoises as I always do in February.

I’ve already started my workday by blocking the Kristi Comfort Wrap that Diana sent me (charcoal Lamb’s Pride worsted with greens and blues, for Linda at Little Red Schoolhouse). This one is not as soft as the Nashua Creative Focus wool/alpaca (like the purple wrap that is at Rae’s shop) or the Malabrigo merino worsted, but it is every bit as warm and beautiful.

(I can not get the photo to display properly… it is charcoal gray with bits of green and blue peeking out, and this photo looks like the base yarn is green, sigh. The blue one is approximately that color but the depth of the knit-alongs is missing.)

The indigo/purple-blue Malabrigo Kristi Comfort Wrap that Diana knit as a sample for Threadbear was already blocked last Monday. It is ready to take to their shop as soon as I can get enough new patterns ready to print/sell for them to place an order. (Their Party Stole sample in greens/turquoises, just like the one I wear, is also ready to go.)

I hope Brian will be able to take some photos of me in the Party Stole tomorrow when we are both home, because that is the only thing missing in that pattern. Just a full-view photo is the delay.

The Chippy Socks (pattern #3) will wait until I can do one last sock as a test, since all the samples so far were done in tiny sizes. I’m doing a Large sized sock to be as sure as I can that all sizes are on target (especially for amounts of yarn required, since the pattern is a three-color project).

OK, off to exchange an alpaca sweater for two black (un-stainable) cotton sweatshirts and my full-length white cotton lab coat. I’ll pull on my rainbow-striped rubber boots (which are warm, thank goodness). Then I will get down there (just me and the spiders in our humble basement with good lighting) to see what beautiful colors I can pull together.

Photos added later: Two Kristi Comfort Wraps (fringe not showing). Left is Brown Sheep worsted in charcoal with nine knit-alongs from fingering to DK weight in hot yellow-green to turquoise to sapphire blue. Right is Malabrigo merino worsted with nine knit-alongs in mostly greens and blues but with a few sockyarns, a Colinette mohair and some Koigu PPPM adding colorful “pops” of interest. You can see the Koigu cherry red peeking out even in this small photo.