I am sitting here at my computer, heart beating wildly.  Why?  Because I was once again sure that I had a mouse under my bed.  Little noises of undistinguished things rattling, etc.  I freaked out!

Turned around, and realized it was tissue paper in a shoe box being blown by my heater.

*big sigh of relief*

Mish Mash

I’ve got a bunch of tidbits and no particular order, so here goes.

Knitting news

I’ve frogged SOTSii, because I have seen full shawls and I just don’t like the pattern. It isn’t something I will enjoy knitting, nor is it something I will wear. I can’t think of anyone to give it to, and I’d like to allot that nice alpaca to another project. So that is off my list.

I’ve finished clue one of mystic light, and I am loving it. I am also coming to the conclusion of my grande clapotis. I am looking forward to a finished object post this week or this weekend.

Spinning news:

The orange koolaid overdyed with tea merino roving, hasn’t been worked on much this week. The spinning is coming out a bit more lumpy than I like because I badly felted the roving during its tea bath. To counteract that, I have torn the roving into very thin predrafted strips, and I am no sort of predrafter at all. Luckily I have noticed that a well done navajo ply covers a multitude of evils, and that is what is in store for this roving.


Speaking of navajo plying, have I mentioned how much I love it? It feels like a very active type of plying, and plying has thus far been my least favorite spinning activity. I had heard that you might not even bother with navajo plying if you don’t have a tensioned lazy kate. I had no desire to spend cash on one, so I made my own. I took 2 binder clips and a length of crochet cotton and rigged the lazy kate that came with my wheel.


I just string it up over the bobbin, or bobbins, and make sure it is tightly clipped to the other side of the box. Works wonderfully! I am serious, no need for a fancy one here!

Let’s take a closer look:


This has made plying easier, navajo plying is a breeze, and the bobbin has even stopped overspinning when I load the final product on the niddy noddy, which has been causing me major headaches.  I love my tensioned lazy kate!

I meant to:

Take pictures of my shoes!  I haven’t seen J in about 6 weeks, and so when I visited this weekend, there were fun gifts waiting!  That man just loves to shop and loves to gift people.  He got me a pair of shoes which he thinks have great contrast and will look great with socks.  I am, of course, thinking they will show off my hand knit socks wonderfully!  I’ll take pictures tomorrow and you can tell me what you think.  He had also picked up 2 cabled zip front cardigans deeply on sale, a blue one and a brown one.  I was told to take them if I like them, or otherwise he will gift them to someone else.  He thought I might like them because he knows I don’t like knitting cotton and am afraid of zippers.  How right he is!  $7 each, they were quite a steal, and they are mens sweaters so they have wonderful long arms, yet the cable rib pattern doesn’t look bulky on me.

I also got….something else….but you will have to wait to see it!!!  I just want to know how strange is it for a guy to love shopping so much, and know my sizes and what styles look great on me even better than I do myself?!?!

Speaking of which, I played handy man this weekend.  Yeah, who wears the pants in this relationship?  So he has been telling me for the past year (almost) that he needs a book case.  And boy does he ever!  There are books everywhere, school books, fiction books, reference books, books in english, french, arabic, books of every shape and size, and nothing to hold them.  Well I asked why he just didn’t get a bookcase, and it seems that he doesn’t much like putting furniture together because it takes him an inordinately long amount of time to get it right.  So the idea was that he wanted to get something that was already assembled.  Well that costs more, and then you need a delivery truck, but he doesn’t want to spend more.  OK, so then you have to do the assembly.  So I offered to do it.  I’ve put together more complicated things than a bookcase, and if I put my mind to it and have a cup of coffee and concentrate, it usually goes well.  So I wandered over there cordless screwdriver in hand, to put together a bookcase.  Well apparently both my cordless screwdriver batteries are dead, cause I did charge them but it doesn’t work.  Never fear, I had a back up plan. I began to put that bookcase together with him out of the room.  Fairly soon though, he catches on to what I am doing and wants to come “help.”  Now you have to understand that I work best in complete silence, and he talks…ALL…the…time.  And suggest things.  Which aren’t often right.  His talking is his way of thinking it all through and figuring it out, but I have the directions and I am two steps ahead.  I didn’t get irritated, or show how it wasn’t helping, I just continued to do things the way I knew they needed to be done.  Soon after I hear “Maybe I should just keep my mouth shut, maybe I talk too much!”  I look up and wink.  He shuts up and gets his own screwdriver.  I say, “I need 24 of those shorter screws over there.” and in that instant a new partnership was born.  The rest of the bookcase was assembled, and assembled correctly the first time rather quickly.  Until I sat on the couch and realized that the one thing I didn’t get was the little piece of molding under the top if the bookcase.  It is turned the wrong way.  He doesnt care and wants to leave it, and I have done nothing with it yet, but it is going to annoy me!  I am sure the next time I am there I will have to fix it.

So now I am armed with a screwdriver and apparently dangerous.  Totally on a roll!  For the past 9 months or so, I have been hauling my vacuum cleaner over there when I go because his “doesn’t work.”  Mind you, the roller on the bottom doesn’t turn, and I am pretty sure it is the belt which is broken, but I have never changed a vacuum cleaner belt, always been close enough to get dad to do it, or married in which I got the ex to do it.  SO for 8 months I have not even looked at the thing, apparently thinking it is easier to haul my ever too heavy cleaner over there instead.  But now I have a screwdriver in my hand and I REFUSE to put up with it anymore!  (Yes, it was as sudden as all that!)  I turn over the vacuum, establish where the belt must be, take the bottom of the vacuum apart, and LO and BEHOLD! it has a broken belt.  Yeah, I so knew that.  Take off the belt and one quick trip to wally world later, he has a working vacuum cleaner.  Go me!  Of course, he says “Vacuum cleaner belts shouldn’t break should they?  Maybe I should get a new one, maybe it isn’t a good cleaner, I don’t think it should break like that!”  I show him the package and say “there must be a reason they sell two to a package!”

Oh, and that bookcase hasn’t touched the tip of the iceberg that is those books.  Looks fantastic (except for the molding)  but there are still books everywhere.  He thinks maybe he can get 2 more and assemble them himself, as he watched me do the first.  Now, I think he can too, but I giggled because I want to see if 2 more moldings go on the same way I put the first on.

Teddy bears picnic

“Picnic time for teddy bears

the little teddy bears are having a wonderful time today

watch them, catch them unawares

to see them picnic on their holiday”

We grew up with Ann Murray singing this song.  Now Bug listens to it.  Growing up, my brother always got a giggle because he thought the lyrics were “watch them, catch them underwears.” Today Bug came in the kitchen, heard these lyrics, and says “Yuck!  We don’t talk about underwears!!!”

So the next generation begins!

The light begins

I was discussing today with one of my Ravelry groups how I was having a terrible time starting Mystic Light. Every time I knit to the top of the set up pattern, I would end up with a mess of stitches that I couldn’t make heads or tails of. Finally after sitting with it for awhile, I realized that cables with no anchor stitches on the side twist. So I am going to attempt to explain what happened. I used, for this, larger yarn, and the pictures came out a bit blurry but I think you will get the idea.

At the top of the cable line this is what I would end up with:


Once I realized that I had to physically hold the cables in place, the pattern made more sense.


Then picking up the stitches on the sides made a great deal more sense to me. And it also anchored the cables.


And a quick picture of where I am on the project.


You can see how the initial cable pattern makes the cable line along the bottom which is continued as I work the pattern.  It is very pretty!

Decision made

After working the Kauni farther and still not liking the results, even when cutting and changing the color sequence, I frogged back to the ribbing on the Kauni.  It is early enough in the project that it doesn’t feel too painful, and if I keep going, I will just be annoyed and wonder exactly why I didn’t frog it when I had the chance.  I will restart the pattern yarn in a different spot.  I am happy with this decision!

I have waited a long time now to get my Kauni yarn.  I have lusted over a Kauni project of my very own for quite some time.  I have put lots of thoughts and energy into deciding on a pattern.  If I throw that away because I don’t want to frog a couple rows, it is all for naught.

OK here is what I am talking about


OK, so the background is currently red moving into purple and the pattern is purple moving into red. I do NOT want them to line up so that I am getting a no pattern area. I would be able to avoid that probably by cutting the yarn and moving it ahead a bit. But the next will be a purple background with a red pattern, and I am nervous that won’t look good. What do you think? Shall I keep going and hope for the best? Should I frog now and start in different spots in the yarn?  The idea would be that I would frog back to the ribbing and then start the pattern yarn in a different spot.  There wouldn’t be a difference in the background yarn.

I might…

Frog my Kauni.  Thats right, you heard me!  I might frog it.

Perhaps some additional explanation is required. I don’t like how the colors are lining up.  So I might frog back to the ribbing and then restart the pattern stitches with the colors lining up more appropriately.

Before I frog it, I may decide to try to line up the colors differently by myself and see if that works.

Maybe I need to post some pictures.


Dyeing follow up

 I overdyed the neon orange with a tea bath. It worked well because it took the edge off the brightness but left a very lovely orange.


I also finished spinning the red and navajo plyed it last evening.  This is my first attempt at navajo plying and I love it!  The yarn came out beautifully with lots of loft and no waste.  What more could a gal ask?


Dyeing part II

So the dyeing commenced with orange.


I then tried green, lemon lime koolaid. I put the roving in the dye pot and ended up with a very neon color, it was one dimensional and I wasn’t all that pleased with it. What to do? I added a tablet of green easter egg dye. That added color and dimension and took the edge off the neon.


Adding the easter egg dye gave me the idea to do the same with the yellow that went horribly wrong yesterday.

All of them drying in the bathroom, the whole bathroom now smells like citrus fruit punch.


All the colors together including the base color around the outside. Undyed coopworth roving in medium gray. (Looks more brown to me but meh)


I’ve been spinning the “blue” and have been quite pleased. The added bonus of spinning koolaid dyed roving is the raspberry cherry fruit punch smell. Makes me have this overwhelming urge to eat cotton candy.


Frankly I am not sure what I will do about the orange, it is also a bit bright and neon. I have been contemplating tearing a bit off the edge and submitting it to a tea bath to see if it will tone it down a bit.

Dyeing part 1

I purchased 2 pounds of ecru merino roving for a very nice price. If you haven’t seen 2 pounds of roving all at once, without being braided, you have NO IDEA how much that actually is. I had to use the niddy noddy to measure it all off. I have 5 4oz. braids and 4 3oz. braids. The 3 oz. braids are each being dyed with koolaid to knit the neckline of the bohus style sweater.

I started with yellow.

Looked like this in the pot:


and 3oz. of roving being soaked in hot water awaiting the dye pot


I put the roving in the dye pot:


And WOOSH, the roving first put in the water sucked up all the dye. There was none left for the rest of the roving!

Soaking in a hot water bath after the dye pot:


So you can see how unevenly dyed it was. I used 5 packages koolaid for the first run. I think it would have been OK if I had more water in the dye pot. But I figured spun up it may take on a different hue, and ecru combined with yellow is ok when the base color of the sweater is medium gray with some brown tones. If I don’t like how it spins up, I can over dye it with more yellow after I spin it.

So that brings us to roving #2, which I wanted to make blue.

I decide to use 10 packages koolaid and more water, so that I don’t run into the problem I have with yellow. I pour the packages of blue in the water, and realize that half of them were really a red color. Guess I don’t get blue!


You can see in the second picture that after a bit of simmering, the roving has taken in all the dye and leaves the water a milky cloudy color.

Here it is rinsing in the sink:


Final product before spinning and after drying overnight.   I am VERY happy with the red color, it will spin up very nicely, have some variation in color but it will be subtle and appropriate for colorwork.  I suspect I will have to overdye the yellow once it is spun.


Strangest moment of the experience?  When I was letting the first pot cool I did something completely out of habit borne of making yogurt every week, I stuck my finger in the dye pot to see if it was cool enough and then without thinking about it stuck  my finger in my mouth.  Duh!  Cracked my mom up though.


I showed you a preview last post, now it is time to show you the full finished item.

2 skeins, first is 400 yards, second is 440 yards of sock weight yarn in superwash merino. These will go in the soon to come etsy shop.



I am in lurve!

With my new socks!

So I made these socks to fit my calves. Actually to use a joke Sav filled me in on today, I don’t have claves, I have cows. So I made these socks to fit my cows. And I am HAPPY! picture-088.jpg

While I was taking pictures, I thought I would show you all the first few meager rows of the Kauni sweater. Poor show so far. I have done about 2 rows a day. Favorite coworker told me today “Hm…2 rows a day every day, should be done by fall…of 2012!”


And on the spinning front, here is another sneak peak. We will look at it in more depth later on, it is currently hanging to dry.


It has arrived!!!

The Kauni shipped as fast as it possibly could, I am very impressed. I am now officially getting nervous about this upcoming project. I have chosen something that will be a real stretch for me. A challenge. Colorwork, I am not good at it. Takes mounds of concentration. Steaking?!?! What am I thinking? But seriously, looking at this yarn, how could I resist?


I am going to take this water garden fair isle and use the kauni to make it. It will change the look completely, but I think it will work. The idea is that instead of using 5 different colors, I will just use 2 different strands of Kauni, letting the long repeats of the yarn work the various colors for me. To accomplish that, I had to do this:


One ball has the rainbow colors repeating in the correct sequence, the other has the colors repeating backwards.

This will be exciting!

Moving on…

I completed the clap in less than a week.  That was a record.  I thought it would be one of those projects that would languish, but I had such incentive to get it done, as there will be a few exciting and NEW things seen here in the next couple of weeks.  I wanted the clap to be done before those new things arrived.

You will also be seeing some spinning next.  I basically refused to leave the house this weekend.  I did not even see J, refused to go out, just dedicated my time to knitting.  I did spend time on the phone with J, probably talking twice a day which was great because it kept me in one spot and knitting while I was on the phone.  I had high hopes of finishing the clap last evening, but gave up in exhaustion and pain around 10 PM.  I got up at 6 this morning to give myself an hour to work on it, and it was done within a half hour.  Now I have knitters elbow, my elbow and arm are quite sore, so I am going to take a little knitting break and work on some spinning that has languished on the wheel longer than I wanted it to.  I have 8 oz. of superwash merino from Sakina Needles spun into singles and I am beginning to ply it.  It is looking good thus far!

So much of my spinning has been an attempt to get finer and finer yarns, in the next couple weeks I am going to change that up with a pound of coopworth roving that came with my wheel purchase.  I want it to become worsted weight in order to make a sweater.  It will be bohus style with colorwork around the neckline and the rest will be the natural medium gray of the coopworth roving. If I do not have enough to finish out the sleeves of the sweater, I will make some colorwork around the wrists in order to complete the project.  So basically my first sweater knit for myself will also be my first ever handspun sweater.  But wait!  There’s more!

I purchased 2 pounds of merino roving (has yet to arrive, but maybe by the end of this week) to try my hand at dying fiber.  The first attempt will be semi solids to use around the neckline of the bohus style sweater.  I am hoping to do that when Mom is out here this weekend.  Simple koolaid dying will accomplish this.  Then at a future time, J and I plan to mess around with multicolor roving dying.  This is something that I suspect he will really enjoy, and a way for us to do something together which involves my favorite things!  I don’t think that either of us will be particularly interested in using chemical dyes but I would enjoy exploring more of the natural dyes.

And finally after more than 6 months of lusting over it, I ordered some Kauni yarn.  I had anticipated that it would take quite awhile to arrive, since I had preordered it and knew that it would be coming in from Europe, but apparently they had enough stock to send me some right away.  I was very surprised.  I will be making a pull over with the Kauni, another sweater for me.  Some say that you have to inspect the Kauni quite a bit to make sure the color changes are gradual rather than a knot in the middle of a skein, which frustrates people.  I suspect going through it will be half the fun even before I begin to knit with it.  Separating them out, making the colors run in opposite directions, all that sounds fun to me!  Apparently it is less about the knitting and more about the yarn!

A crying shame

I don’t have a pet. I don’t particularly like pets. I am the gal who pat pats your dogs head politely and then goes to wash her hands. I like cats, and am tempted to own them, but the trouble is that I am sure they will make me allergic. So I don’t own pets, and find the freedom of that very liberating.

I get annoyed by pet owners. I really don’t like it when someones pet does its business on or near my yard. I really don’t like it when a passerby pet owner uses my garbage can as a container for their dog waste bag. The garbage men don’t pick those up, and so I have to dig the disgusting thing out of my own garbage can and place it in my trash bag. AND I DON’T EVEN OWN A DOG!!!!!!!

So, consequently, you can imagine my consternation when I went to pick up my Bug today and saw this:


I was horrified! I asked Bug what happened to her hat! “Dice did that, he ate my hat. You have to fix it.” Yes, Daddy’s lovely roommate dog friend chewed my first colorwork project ever. I am highly annoyed!

My annoyance is two part. Firstly, I am annoyed that once again, a pet that I DO NOT OWN has ruined something of mine. Secondly, I am annoyed with the ex because I am well aware that dice probably did not eat the hat while it was on Bugs head, it is another case of him not being able to take care of things. And I assure you he knows the dogs tendency to eat everything, after all, the dog has eaten his phone among other things. If you ask me, you need to learn from that lesson.

The clap is spreading

Even in my own home! Yes, I have been bit by the bug. I decided to do a project for a friend of Nicks. Another clap. We chose Cherry Tree Hill in Java. I love it, lots of subtle color which works well with the clap.


This one will not be a le grande clapotis, but a normal size one. Especially since I know how much the clap spreads when I drop the stitches (will this joke ever get old???)

I cast on tonight


I have not gotten to the part where I can start dropping stitches, that comes tomorrow. But I am on FIRE! (OK OK! Stop rolling your eyes Sav!)

Recipient would like blue in her clap. There is blue, but not too terribly much, and tends toward gray at points. As the clap grows, I suspect it will pick up more blue as the repeats will line up differently. At least, that is what is happening with Le Grande Clap.

Oh, what came with that yarn order?


I swear looking at that roving makes me weak in the knees!

Today is not my day

Tomorrow needs to look better.

This morning I walked into the office to one of the things that annoys me the most.  Someone, over the weekend, had poured coffee into the industrial size coffeemaker instead of pouring water in.  The only way to fix this is to continue to run water through the machine until the end result again runs clear.  Or as clear as possible.   Now, I understand the need to drink coffee if you are working on the weekend, but WHY, WHY OH WHY, wouldn’t you go across the hall and get fresh water and make yourself a fresh pot?  All the ingredients for a lovely pot of coffee are at your fingertips.  The only thing you have to do is walk 10 steps across the hall to get fresh water.  10 steps is nothing considering that you are going to use coffee that has been sitting on a burner most of the day Friday, over night, into Saturday or even Sunday, and rewarm it by pouring it THROUGH the coffee machine.  The resulting sludge cannot be healthy, and is seriously going to annoy whomever comes in on Monday morning to the resulting mess.  Not to mention, you have just annoyed ALL the tea drinkers because they are not likely to ever again get hot water that doesn’t taste like coffee!

See, this is how I start my Monday mornings.  I walk in the office, turn on my computer, and get the coffee ready to go.  I begin by making the hot water FIRST, so that the tea drinkers can have the freshest non coffee tasting water that I can get them.  Then I proceed to make decaf and coffee.  This morning, I went to make the hot water, but the hot water came out black.  I know it didn’t look like that when I poured it into the machine, so imagine my consternation!  I mean, it is Monday morning, Monday I tell you!  I assumed I had left an old filter in.  I checked, I did not.  HHmm…well looks like I have a problem.  An hour later and 15 pots of hot water turning into sludge later, I have semi clear water.  I proceed to make coffee and decaf, hoping that the water will eventually come out clear.  It does not.  Any further coffee attempts have been fine with an overtone of old weak burned coffee sludge.  A smell that sends shivers down my spine!  Reminds me of a certain family who only drank their coffee that way and I could never convince them that this was not the way to do it!  Why bother?

While I was getting my 15 or so pots of water to run through the gross coffee machine, I noticed that the women’s bathroom sink was running slow.  In fact, it was backing up some gross stuff.  So I thought I would give facilities a call, since I hate it when I, or anyone else, just lets things go hoping someone else will take care of it.  Oh yes, an hour of coffee making was going to make me a proactive worker!  That also backfired.  Plumbing came to fix it, and they broke a pipe behind the wall.  Now we have no women’s bathroom for a few days until it is fixed.  This not only makes it a pain when I have to use the facilities, but it makes trying to get copious amounts of coffee made, as we fill them at the bathroom sink.  Great, I’ve now shot myself in the foot.

Moving on, I needed to process and send out some tissue to another university.  This means I need to print out quite a bit of information from our university system for tracking and informational purposes, as well as overnight it via fed ex because it is on dry ice.  I enter the information appropriately, but cannot get said information to print.  I get annoyed, but I am persistent and try again.   And again.  I ask favorite coworker if she will please check into it, and she cannot print either.  OK, we have an issue.  I call systems guru.  She can print.  That is right, SHE can print on OUR printer from a very remote location.  But she doesn’t print the info I need, she prints a test page, dubs me good to go and I try again.  No luck.  I call her back, I have to leave a message.  I wait for a call from her.  Get said call.  We talk printers for a long time, establishing which one is where and which one we can use.  I try to print while she is on the line.  No luck.  She tries to print.  She can print.  She reads error and says that they have to reboot their servers but in the meantime she will print the info I need.  Great.  Crisis averted as long as I don’t need the system again.  Now, this sounds simple but it was quite a lengthy and frustrating conversation, often involving favorite coworker who, by the way, probably has much better things to do with her time than to trouble shoot printers and look up IP addy’s.

So now tissue is processed and fed ex needs to be sent.  I use fed ex’s handy dandy online shipment processing center, pull up the appropriate address and am all set to go…..except I keep getting errors.  Erm OK, this SHOULD work, I do this often enough.  That is IT I say, this will wait until I get back from lunch.  After all, I have already missed the next mail run due to printer issues.

So off to the local yarn shop I go.  I need to pick up more Noro in a specific colorway because I have 2 more short projects it is necessary for.   I was more than halfway done with the first when I ran out of that specific colorway, and I really did not want to frog it and start over in a new color.  I looked through all their Noro Kureyon to no avail.  I couldn’t find my colorway anywhere.  There was MORE than enough when I picked it up last, but it is gone now and the Noro shelves are looking a little light.  I start to panic.  I think to ask someone if they have more in the back. Of course, I did not bring the label so I am guessing on what I need.  Lucky for them they know what I last bought.  Awesome.  They also have 4 more skeins.  Even more awesome.  Life looks good.  I buy my 2 skeins and guess what?  Their printers won’t work either.  Am I emitting something today that causes everything to fail?

I get back.  Try fed ex.  No dice.  Definitely something wrong with their system.  And at this point, I am writing to you to the sound of the plumbing guys drilling into the cement wall to get at their broken pipe.  *sigh*  Can I reboot?  Should I blame it on the time change?  Will I get my loopy ewe order today to make everything feel better?

Lest you think I have nothing to do

Now that I don’t have the baby blanket hanging over my head, I want to make sure none of you out there think I have just stopped crafting!

No no, I am working on finishing chart D to mystic waters. Hard to show you that one now, since there are too many stitches on the needles to block it all out.

I also got 8 oz. of this:


Sakina Needles superwash merino in color agate.  I am working on the first 4 oz. right now.  I am working the color repeats as they appear on the roving, which gives me very long lines of color:


I don’t think that will ultimately look very good, so I am going to take the second 4 oz. and tear it into strips so that the colors repeat randomly along this base of long color repeats.  Eventually I should have over 800 yards sock yarn.  What might I do with that much sock  yarn?  Well I am going to try my hand at selling it.

Mystic Light

So I love mystic waters, even though I am still working on it.  I joined the designers next knit along, mystic light.  I swatched today even though the KAL doesn’t start until later this month.