Wednesday, May 30, 2007

More knitting kids....



and Madison (who has finished this scarf and started a hat to match)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Knitting Club

My grade twos have been knitting up a storm! Allow me to introduce.....



Nicola (notice her completed scarf around her neck!)


Meagan (who is almost finished her scarf and it's made of 100% cotton which is not easy on the hands!)

and Britlyn.

There are a few more knitters in our club and I hope to have pictures of them soon. I'm so proud of these kids! They've been staying in at recess and using every spare minute in class to knit. They've even been learning to spin on my drop spindle!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Kool-Aid Experiment

I decided to try Kool-Aid dyeing today. I used the above four flavors of Kool-Aid and a skein of Briggs and Little Durasport natural wool. I soaked the wool in hot water and a little Orvus paste for about half an hour and then rinsed it and squeezed most of the water out, leaving it damp.

I put the damp skein on some sheets of plastic wrap then diluted the Kool-Aid with a bit of water.

Here's the skein after I used a baster to put the colors on in a sequence (sort of, it was a pretty loose sequence). I then wrapped the wool with more plastic wrap and microwaved it for three minutes. It didn't seem to have absorbed all of the color yet so it got zapped a couple of more minutes. Then I dropped the hot wool into a sinkful of cold water and rinsed it well.

After a good squeeze to get out most of the water, here is the skein drying in the sunroom. The cheap knock-off Crocs are hanging there to keep out of the mouth of a little Dachshund who finds them quite irresistible.

My initial impression of Kool-Aid dyeing can be summed up thusly - Tie Dye circa 1968. I wasn't all that impressed by the result but admit that it's growing on me every time I look at it. I'll reserve judgment until it gets knitted.

Overall, this was not difficult to do although the kitchen had an interesting wet-sheep-mixed-with-fruit smell for a while. I'll probably try dyeing wool again in the summer but I think that I'll use professional acid dyes so that I have more control over the shade and intensity of the colors.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Bentley and I are tired! Bentley had his first dog show this weekend in Moose Jaw. He and Chloe are 6 months and 2 days old today and Bentley has 3 points toward his Canadian championship (they need 10 altogether) and Chloe has 2 - not bad at all. Darcie handled Chloe in the ring for her owner Daphne Bowering, who bred the litter. Bentley and Kai showed very nicely. As for Chloe, let's just say that she is a character who kept many people entertained! She certainly has attitude! Darcie also had her 8 month old sheltie Kai entered. The Dachshunds and Shelties were judged at opposite ends of each of the three days so we were up very early and stayed until late afternoon. I'm a night person by nature and there are very few things in life that will prompt me to voluntarily get up early in the morning but I will for dog shows. I need to get back to the work week to recover from the weekend.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Two Too Cute

Sorta like that Doublemint gum commercial with the twins, we have twice the pleasure, twice the fun - at least for a couple of days. Meet Bentley's sister Chloe. She is staying with us to be shown at the puppies' very first real dog show this weekend. They will be six months old on Saturday, the first day of the show. Notice that both puppies' ears look rather chewed. That's because they are. They have been having a wonderful time together. Daxie play is different than Sheltie play. The Shelties love to chase each other and, while that is fun to a point for a Daxie, it is much better fun to have another Daxie to wrestle with and bite ears.

Speaking of cute, I made this sock for my niece Katie using some stash yarn in Knit Picks Parade. It didn't look nearly this cute in the skein. The bright stripes were a fun surprise.

Friday, May 11, 2007

odds and ends

I've got several knitting things on the go and seem to be spinning my wheels a bit lately about working on them. It doesn't seem as if I'm getting much done.

I frogged the Monkey sock (Lisa Souza Sock! in Delft) and redid the heel flap in a slip stitch heel instead of the stockinette heel in the pattern. I have skinny ankles and I think that this will fit better. I'm also purling the sole for my big-baby feet that get irritated by every little bump. I have done this before by purling all of the gusset as well as the sole but got tired of all the SSP decreases. It occurred to me that I could still do the purled sole but leave the gusset in stockinette so I'm trying it.
Close-up of the start of the foot.

Just a few more rows done on the not-much-loved (by me, anyway) Inside Out! sock from the Socks That Rock Club for Geoff.

I've decided that I like plain vanilla socks. I'm not saying that I'm never going to knit patterned socks again but it's comforting to have a plain sock to work on. This is Regia Cotton Surf and I love the subtle blue stripes. I haven't made any socks with a cotton blend yarn before and it seems that you either love it or hate it. We'll see.

I had some Sea Silk in the Nova Scotia colorway in my stash and cast on for the Tuscany Shawl in No Sheep For You by Amy Singer, an excellent book by the way.

I still don't have a voice and sometimes feel like the congestion is choking me. Maybe it's loosening up. About time. I missed four days of school this week.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A Knitting Glossary

I've been home sick the last couple of days. It started with a sore throat and has now become laryngitis. I started watching "A Knitting Glossary" with Elizabeth Zimmermann and Meg Swanson on DVD. As strange as this may sound, my favorite part is their hands. They are women after my own heart. In spite of being filmed close-up doing various knitting techniques, their fingernails are not manicured and look like mine. I respect their honesty and unpretentiousness. Of course, there is a lot of great information on the DVD too and I'm sure that I'll be referring to it for years.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

yarny goodness

A western Canadian product, yarn from Wild Geese Fibres. If you haven't had a peek at this website yet you should. I like the philosophy and the yarn is lovely - quite raw but still soft, it smells of all things sheepy and has lots of lanolin to soften my hands while I knit. The one on the left is rare-breed blend of Rideau Arcott, Lincoln, and Alpaca. On the right is Alpaca and Merino. I haven't decided yet whether I will try my hand at dying it or knit it in its natural color.

The dogs were quite interested in it, of course, as it smells of the pasture.

I have found that I get the best yarn pics on my Lazy Boy under the Ott lamp. The colors are more true than even in the sunlight. Bentley has decided that he must accompany the pictures. Honestly, how many puppies do you know that would lie quietly and leave the yarn alone? What a good boy!

This is the Silkie Socks That Rock that came in the latest sock club shipment. Note the cute mini-skein key chain that always is part of the package. This is a new yarn for Blue Moon Fiber Arts, a merino/silk blend, in the colorway Walking On The Wild Tide. It's very soft.

I saw the Hand Maiden Lady Godiva silk/wool blend at Golden Willow, local yarn store extraordinaire, and it called to me. I don't yet know what it will become but it will tell me when it's ready. I also got the Sea Wool in the same colorway (Glacier) to make matching socks to whatever the Lady Godiva becomes. Beautiful, sensual, luscious... yes, I'm the crazy yarn lady in love with wool.

Geoff's Inside Out! sock from the last Rockin' Sock shipment. I just can't get excited about knitting this. I think it's because of the color.