Sunday, December 27, 2009

an exciting Christmas

Christmas was much more exciting than we intended this year. J's brother and family were in Spearfish (about 50 miles away) with Grandma and Grandpa. On Christmas morning they drove to our house, and from there we went to J's cousins house nearby. The weather was lousy when they arrived at our house. it had snowed Christmas eve, light fluffy snow. On Christmas day it was snowing and blowing, but the roads didn't seem to bad on the way to J's cousin's house. OK, they were probably pretty bad, but we decided we would be sure to leave early, before it got dark and things would be fine.

We left the cousin's house and quite quickly encountered a drift all the way across the road about 3 feet deep. not surprisingly we got high centered. J's brother had gone the opposite way to go back to Spearfish with G&G. J called them and they headed back to help us get unstuck. a fab Fire Fighter happened by and pulled us out about the time the J's brother arrived. However, in the meantime the interstate had gotten bad enough so that the highway patrol closed it. This meant that G&G and J's brother and family had one place to go (since they couldn't get to G&G's house)--our little 3 bedroom trailer.

Christmas evening and the day after Christmas we had 13 people (3 were quite small ones) in our little 3 bedroom trailer that our family have 5 has pretty much outgrown. :-) Funny part? it was actually quite fun! I'm sure we all would have preferred it otherwise. our unexpected guests had no change of clothes, no toothbrushes, etc. BUT, kids slept all over the living room and on several bedroom floors and the couch. G&G took my daughters full size bed. Brother and family took my 2 son's bedroom--no full size bed, but a biggish room. and we played games and watched silly Christmas movies, and waited out the storm.

The interstate was open this morning. and now we are back to just our 5 selves... it's awefully quiet already, and the house feels huge. :-)

All and all i can only be thankful that we were together, there was food and heat and electricity, and good company! Just so there's a bit of yarn content here... i spent a bit of time teaching my SIL and niece to knit! passing on the addiction. :-) Life is good!

Hope your Christmas or other Winter Holiday was the best. Hope that you had time with family. Hope that you are now getting back to normal and the quiet is a blessing!

MERRY CHRISTMAS and for those friends who celebrate: Happy Boxing Day!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Northanger Abby & Dragons

This really isn't like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies... there'll just be a bit about each.

So... Northanger Abby yarn will be going out on Monday... if you haven't read it, you should know that the main character, Catherine Morland, is a teenager who loves Gothic novels. so i concluded that she is clearly the basis for current Goths. :-) or not... but one way or the other, the yarn is very Goth looking... dark and rich and romantic... totally my kind of colors.

In other news i've been working on a shawl pattern. this is my test of the idea... it's supposed to be a dragon tail and wings... we'll see how well it blocks out!

Monday, November 02, 2009

new blog announcement

i've started a new blog specifically about my designing. you should check it out!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

apple jelly and sauce

So... I spent part of today making some beautiful jelly. a customer gave me some gorgeous apples at sock class on Saturday, so i chopped up, cooked and drained apples, then i made jelly. it is the most beautiful pink champaign color. and the taste? well, i can't describe it....

before i've always put the remainer of the apples out to the compost. i felt a bit guilty about this. it's perfectly good apple pulp, just a little lacking in juice. so today, i tried something. i took the lovely apple pulp, ran it through my food mill twice (first time through on big chop, then on really find chop to get rid of all the apple peel). When i got done i had about 1.5 pints of pulp. i added about half a cup of white sugar, cooked it until it was had boiled for a bit. I felt like i needed to boil it since it had hung out in open air for all day, collecting little bacteria. i came away with a pint and a half of apple sauce. it'll be rather tart i think. hopefully it won't jell. that would be so ironic.

last week i made what i hoped would be peach jam, which turned into peach sauce, because it didn't jell. at all. not that it isn't yummy. we've already eaten a couple pints of the stuff--it delish on toast, or ice cream or cake... mmmm BUT, if my peach jam turns out to be peach sauce, and my apple sauce turns out to be apple jam, that would be a bit funny!


Friday, October 23, 2009

so.... i've been dyeing my fingernails funky colors--ok, that's just an interesting side effect!

i'll be updating my website tonight, so... if you're chasing Castle Fibers Yarn, tonight's the night!

Monday, October 19, 2009

goodness, it's been too long

i've been super distracted by the shop... i've gotten lots done lately. from indigo dyeing to designing patterns, i've been busy!

here's the results of a natural dyeing weekend... from coreopsis to black-eyed susans to purple logwood the colors were great

this is from my indigo dye pot. it was amazing to watch the color go from sort of greeny yellow to BLUE.

this is intended for socks... it's naturally dyed with chamomile, (for the yellow) and blackwalnut and purple logwood (for the black)

these are the socks... i'm loving them, but the heels are not happening like i'd like.

i've also been designing too... these little fingerless gloves and matching cowl came out really well.

a super lovely friend made this for me for my birthday... it matches the sheep on the sign for my shop. i love it!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

more natural dyeing results

i inadvertantly let a whole bag of onions go bad, so before i threw them out i pulled off all the outside skins, threw them in the dye pot and cooked for a bit. i left the yarn to soak overnight. got a lovely golden yellow.

i picked all the black-eyed susans from my garden. i had about 35 blossoms perhaps. i cooked them for about an hour, then saved them for further solar dyeing. put the first, alum mordanted skein in the pot. after about 20 minutes i pulled out this amazing green. it is absolutely lovely. i then added a new skein since there seemed to be a fair bit of color left.

after a three hour soak (without continued cooking) i got a soft green that was much less yellow then the first skein.

finally i cooked about a quart of peppermint plants for an hour or so. i was expecting a buttery yellow since that's what i got on silk, two years ago. i was hoping for a little darker yellow so i cooked it for an hour, then turned off the heat and let it sit overnight. in the morning i pulled out this amazing green-y brown.

i'm loving the results.

Monday, July 27, 2009

yesterday's final results

1. coreopsis tinctoria (with red centers) cooked for an hour–yarn dyed for 20 minutes
2. same dye pot as above with some ammonia added–yarn dyed for 20 minutes
3. same dye pot as above–3rd skein–20 minutes
4. same dye pot as above–4th skein–overnight
5. dye pot 2 coreopsis tinctoria (with red centers) cooked for an hour very low simmer–added ammonia–yarn dyed overnight
6. solar dye–coreopsis grandiflora (a LOT) soaked for about 2-3 weeks in the sun–yarn dyed for about 20 minutes
7. same dye pot as #6–yarn dyed overnight
8. dye pot next–coreopsis grandiflora (yellow petals only) cooked for an hour–added ammonia–yarn dyed overnight
9. dye pot last–virginia creeper berries soaked whole all winter–yarn dyed overnight

Sunday, July 26, 2009

natural dye colors so far

click for details.

almost magic

today, i'm spending my day creating magic. (or at least almost magic). all summer i've been picking saving up various plants (mostly flower blossoms) to dye. today is the day! I've taken about a quart of these:

coreopsis tinctoria, a lovely littel garden flower,
and cook them like this:
i've now added some freshly mordanted wool yarn... i'll be posting pictures of what i get later on! after the coreopsis tinctoria comes some other variety of coreopsis and some evening primroses. i've no idea if evening primroses dye... but why not try?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

lace weight is finally listed

I brought a bunch of lovely lace weight back from Knitter's with me, and i finally started getting it listed today. My FAVORITE is called Maui Waui:
the colors are actually a bit more saturated...
but VAMP is also fun...

Pretty as a flower...

this is listed yet but it's called Citrus Grove

and this has the palest hints of pink, blue and purple and called Ice Princess!
mmmm... maybe i should keep some and make a shawl myself!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

well.... it's been too long

I got back from knitter's connection and immediately started dealing with other issues... June was a busy month. the unfortunate result is that Jane Austen yarn is just shipping this week. it is almost dry and lovely. We have switched books and are doing Persuasion next, which is a neat lacy fichu, in shades of blue.

i brought lots of lovely yarn back from KC...

from Jack Pumpkinhead in his purple pants...
to this natural looking "log cabin"

and Dorothy (in oz) in pastels... it's awesome being ahead for once!
check out my flickr page for more!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

at knitter's connection

knitter's connection was a blast.... it was fun to put faces on names....
hang out with new-ish (people i've known from the internet but not in person )

and old friends...

got lots of knitting done....sold lots of yarn... it was fabulous! can't wait for the next show.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Cityscape socks

between dyeing a ton of scab (and other yarn), planning for Knitter Connection, running the shop and starting a new exercise routine, i've hardly had time to knit lately. BUT, i'm working on a new sock pattern/kit that i hope to have done before KC, so i can take kits along. what do you think so far????

this is the top. i had to rip it out once, and reknit a bit bigger around since colorwork takes up so much space.

But now i've made it through the skyline and am moving on the the reflection on the heel flap.

I'm not exactly certain how i'll proceed from here. I need the blue on top for the front reflection, but i'm not certain what i'm going to do with it across the sole of the foot. I'm thinking a really simple colorwork pattern, so i don't have to carry it so far. not sure how i'll deal with gussets... i might try Daria's theory so i can get through the gusset more quickly, and move on.

anyway... ready to turn the heel! HURRAY!!!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

it's PROM!

excuse the off-topic post...

it's prom night...

That's my oldest daughter. I feel a bit like that scene in Fiddler on the Roof. Where have the years gone? i don't feel old, but somehow, somewhere along the way, she is almost the age i still feel. What happened? She looks beautiful. I have yet to convince her that her make-up could be just a touch darker. i guess pale is in?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

spoiler alert

so, while i've been madly designing the S&S and P&P socks, Daria has been working on the next project. It is LOVELY. I asked for a capelet because of Jane's comment about her cape making it home and here following the pattern for her lace. Unfortunately that was not a knitting pattern, so Daria designed this beautiful lace capelet.

i love how the bottom has all the little falling flowers!

and i really love how the little fall lines and the increase lines echo each other! ok, i love the way it looks. everything is wonderful.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Baby Bonnet for a sample

so i needed a sample of what SuperLamb knits up like and had bits left to play with. here's the little bonnet that i came up with. I LOVE it. I would have taken 5 when amanda was little. Brenden did not appreciate me trying to take a picture of him in it tho! hehe
Amanda and I decided that i needed to design a matching set of booties... and maybe even a baptismal gown.... too cute!

Monday, March 23, 2009

SPOILER ALERT sock... sleeve... one down, one to go!

clearly, i should have been a hand model! hehe
or perhaps Vanna White!

or perhaps i should be a foot model!

i just have such cute feet!