Thursday, December 25, 2008

christmas socks

Route 66 socks for Brenden

and Americana Flag socks for Sandi

and Black Hills Sunrise shortie socks for Amanda

They were all well received! Glad they're all done... now for hats!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Jane Austen Yarn Club

If you have not yet purchased your Jane Austen Yarn Club membership... don't miss out!

But more importantly... tell me, what is your favorite, favorite brand, type of the following:

acrylic yarn

wool yarn

other luxury type yarn

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My cloak is come home, and here follows the pattern of its' lace

--from Jane Austen's letter to her sister Cassandra of Sunday, 2 June 1799.

Jane Austen. I love her books. i am inspired by her books. so I'm doing a Jane Austen Yarn Club for 2009! I am very excited about it. this club will be different than any i've done in the past. rather than selling it all the time, there will be a limited time and a limited number of memberships.

Here are the not finalized details:

Sales of The Jane Austen Club would run from Dec. 15-Jan 15

Sense and Sensibility Socks-- Shipping Feb. 6-9 ($27 retail)
Pride and Prejudice Socks (two colors)--Shipping April 6-9 ($40 retail)
Not sure which book Shawl lace weight--Shipping June 8-11 ($45 retail)
Not sure which book Dk Gloves--Shippping Aug 5-8 ($27.00 retail)
Not sure which book hat--Shipping Oct. 6-9 ($27.00 retail)
not sure which book socks--Shipping Dec. 7-10 ($27.00) ________________________________________________

retail purchase price over $200.00
Regular purchase would be $175.00
(shipping is about $20.00)

The payment plan will be $65 due Jan 15, Feb 15, March 15

We'll do a read/knit along on Ravelry! let me know what you think!

Monday, November 17, 2008

back to knitting

so, i'm still working on various projects for christmas. i'm starting to feel a bit like i'll never get them done. two pairs of socks are moving along slowly but surely. i haven't figured out what to make for a 14 year old boy. maybe i'll do a hat. maybe. and i also haven't figured out what i have time to do that i can get done by Christmas for Jeremy. hmmmmmm.

BUT i have big plans for next year when i want to knit new christmas stockings for everyone. Brenden wants one with a bear, stephen wants one with santa in his sleigh, amanda will love whatever, as will jeremy. maybe if start on dec. 26 i'll get them all done by next christmas.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

shrug done!

and it is beautiful. too bad i am fat. i am going on a diet. now. totally. i was looking at pictures from 2004 and am horrifed at how much fatter i look.



Sunday, October 12, 2008

Driving in the Rain

... the weather was wet and grey, but the colors were in certain ways more amazing than any i've seen out here on the prairie!

So... expect to see some autumn prairie colorways soon!

Monday, October 06, 2008

christmas socks

not to be confused with christmas stockings... which i am not doing this year, altho i might sometimes. this year i am making socks for my youngest son for Christmas. Last summer, if you were following along you know we drove Route 66. (half of it anyway) and Brenden was in love with it. Every morning he woke up to say "are we still on Route 66?" Also, everytime i dye new yarn he tells me I should knit him socks in "those colors". (especially if there is any red). so... i am knitting him socks for Christmas. eventually they will have more stuff, but for the moment this is where i'm at. the shaft is supposed to look like neon lights. then i'm going to knit in the Route 66 sign into the heel flap. I know, i graphed the entirely wrong shape and have since regraphed it. ... the heel flap will be black with this white sign. the foot will also be in black (which isn't quite solid so it should look a bit like old black top i hope) will have white stripes down each side with a broken yellow line down the center, like road. I'm having great fun designing these. maybe if they turn out well enough i'll sell a kit.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

.... and the winners are...

Alaska Rose and That's the Ticket

Fun fun fun!

I'll be drawing one more winner for free yarn...

Monday, September 29, 2008

OK--so vote!

I've picked the following 6 options for each yarn--

please vote ONCE for each... I will be sending out 2 free skeins of yarn --one to each person who suggests the winning name--and one more skein to someone randomly drawn!

Primary Colors
That's the Ticket
Winning Ticket
Hero Hues

Alaska Rose
Simply Sarah
Pale in Pink
Perfectly Palin
Rink Pink
Mrs. Palin Goes to Washington

Thursday, September 25, 2008

name help!

by the way, to purchase yarn below: check out my etsy store!

OK--so i have this lovely yarn...

the following name suggestions:

Lipstick Pigs

Pretty in Pinks

Piggy Goes Out

Lipstick Dreams

Pitbull Pink

Trig’s Mom’s Lipstick

This Little Piggie goes to the White House

Pale in Pink

Hockey Mom

The Pink House

The New GOP

Palin Pride

Rink Pink


Sara’s dreamway

Alaska Rose

Piggy goes to DC

Pink Elephant

Simply Palin


Palin Pinks


hockey mom

Putting on the Ritz

Palin Pink

Maverick 2.0


Lipstick on a Pit Bull

Lipstick on a Pig

Perfectly Palin

Pink Passion

sassy pink

pink politics

pink confidence

White House Pink

Sarah’s Choice

political in pink

Please vote below--just leave a comment voting, or suggest a new one! either way, the winning name will get a free skein!

NOW... i also dyed this yarn...
It is McCain/Palin yarn --his color blue and gold, the alaska flag is also blue and gold and red, because well, she wears red...and the red fades to pink a bit, lipstick pink, i think... so i'm also looking for name suggestions for this! so...
suggest me a name for either or both or vote--
the winning names will get a skein of the yarn!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Onions....they're not just for yellow anymore

I've been told for years that dyeing with onions skins would produce, well, just more yellow, so i never did it. But last night out of sheer boredom i peeled some onions and tried it...NOT YELLOW!

I mordanted with alum and cream of tartar and...

Orange! Yes indeedy...a lovely orange. This was the first soak for about 20 minutes i think.

Second soak...a bit lighter...

Third soak overnight, we're getting somewhere close to yellow.Still much more gold than yellow.... I have one last bunch from a second cooking of the onion skins... i'll post pictures tomorrow!

here are all three...

Coreopsis and stuff

Last evening i decided I had enough coreopsis saved to try a bit of dyeing. I did not have much but i was in need of stuff to do. I'm guessing there was a total of 30 small flowers was all. So...almost as soon as I started boiling them, the water turned really bright red!!!!
Yay! I decided to try dyeing some without adding ammonia, which one of my books says will make the color more red. In the past adding ammonia has made a lovely orange but nothing even close to red. Since i had such a tiny amount of dye stuffs i put in a small amount of silk. Just 5 grams. AND

WOW! RED! or at least very dark orange. When this was done i tried adding some ammonia, which did not make the dye more red at all. it made it more orange. I stupidly then thought maybe i'd add some vinegar and it'd go back to what it was...but it didn't. OOPS!

So here's what i got. On the right is the first soak, then after i added ammonia/vinegar, then i reboiled the flowers for a much weaker bath.

This morning while out trimming apple suckers i saw this little lady and couldn't resist taking a picture.
Upcoming--onion skins. They're not just for yellow anymore!

Friday, July 04, 2008

I'm Lichen Dyeing

and i'm liken it too...

FIRST: a comment on collecting lichen. Do not collect it in National Parks or State Parks. It's illegal. When you do collect it in a legal place, do not ever collect more than 10% from any given spot. Lichen grows very slowly, and if you collect more than this you may permanently damage the ecosystem. If you are particularly interested in collecting lichen that dyes purple, which contains orchil, take a long a small jar of household bleach and Qtips. After scraping the top off of the lichen, if you dab bleach on it and it turns, red/ have orchil containing lichens.

I have yet to find orchil lichens but i'm collecting what i find, because well, i'm obsessed with natural dyeing and lichens are the newest thing for me...

anyway, so i have a variety of jars on my back porch (which gets extremely warm in the afternoon sun) filled with lichen soaking in ammonia and water. I haven't actually tried dyeing any silk yet...soon, i hope, soon. I understand that they need to sit for weeks and weeks. I'm not very patient, but i am seeing some color already, which is exciting!
This is the first jar, i started a couple weeks ago. It first turned somewhat orange-y brown, then got darker and darker and darker. Today, i diluted the dye by half and am still completely unable to see what color it is...either extremely dark brown or maybe almost black.

These two i collected last weekend, near Badland National Park...not in that would be illegal. the one on the right is from bright orange lichen growing on rocks, the left is green lichen that grows on cedar trees.

(if you click on the picture you can see it much bigger and see colors better)
Today, we went out to a campground in the Black Hills, outside the National Forest, and behind the campground was a big hill and ton of different kinds of lichen... from left to right--
1. some moss that was growing between rocks
2. greyish green lichen that grew on boulders
3. greyish purple flat with occasional spots of black on boulders
4. orange lichen on oak trees
5. neon green lichen from boulders
6. dark brown on boulders
7. orange on boulders

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Badlands Wander

Last Saturday my family and I wandered through Badland National Park... taking pictures and hiking...

The Haystack Mounds (these yellow and red striped mounds are my very favorite part of the Badlands...normally the Badlands are very dry, so the green is quite unexpected.

The prickly pear cactus are blooming insane amounts this i grabbed a few pics of those too.

This lovely little guy has the auspicious name of Gumbo Lily...much prettier than it sounds!

These rounded tops and sides are what give the Haystack Mounds their names.

I was enthralled with the watercolor like valley here...I've never seen colors like this in the badlands before.

The yucca are also in full bloom

with all the rain the striations are more visible than usual.

my little guy said he was airbending...with gusts of 60 MPH was exciting.

my 14-year-old was loving the climbing at the end here...

and my 6-year-old had to follow suit.

Here's all three of my wonderful kids...
It was beautiful and wonderful...and new Badlands Yarn is around the corner....