Project Spectrum

Not quite a dozen…

I totally miscounted – I had ten bibs finished for the baby shower on Saturday and decided that was a very good number indeed. Whew! (Ok, yeah, so I sewed on the last button about an hour before the shower started – what’s your point?!)

As soon as I had the bibs on the floor for a photo, Chaos took matters into his own paws.

“Ha!” -Chaos

“Give it up, Mom. I’m not getting off these bibs.” -Chaos

“No way, no how. I’m wise to you and your little bib racket.” -Chaos

“Well, crap. Since when do you hold another bib in reserve?!” -Chaos

“I can’t believe I fell for that one. I’m so ashamed.” -Chaos

Project Spectrum
Tales of the Neighborhood
Those Cats

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And finally, some knitting

How perfect is this? I Can Haz Cheezburger is having a caption contest! C’mon, u noes u wantz to. Contest ends June 6, 11:59 pm – and it’s a black cat you’ll be captioning. You know you can do it!

Aw, Mayhem really appreciated all the sweet birthday wishes yesterday! For those who are wondering where the heck the year went, I didn’t get her until September last year. Whew! No lost summer of 2006 for y’all.

A few details I neglected to include in my dyeing post earlier this week… I used an assortment of base yarns – some left over from last year and some I was just curious about. I had a lot of Kona fingering superwash, some Schoeller Zimba Top (picked up on Destash from Jennifer), some Kraemer Jeannie, and a random skein of Malabrigo donated by Yarnzilla. So far, my favorite superwash fingering sock yarns to dye are Louet Gems Pearl, Wool2Dye4, and Treadsoft.

We use Country Classics acid dyes, which have citric acid mixed in with the dye – much less stinky than using acetic acid (the acid in vinegar). Our technique is pretty fancy – we mix the dye in plastic cups and pour it onto the yarn, trying to use the minimum amount of water that we can. Then wrap the yarn in plastic wrap and nuke the yarn to set the dye. Make sure you use dedicated utensils and containers for mixing the dye and nuking the yarn! You can use use your regular microwave, but make sure the yarn is well-sealed in plastic wrap and air out the microwave afterward. Wearing gloves is a really good idea, too, unless you want to be mocked at work for your technicolor hands. Right, Jeanne?

Knitting *gasp* Update
I’m part of Sockamania, and we’re supposed to be knitting a pair of socks each month. I loved May’s pattern, but I got distracted by other things and didn’t get very far. I got a lot less far than it looks in this picture, actually, since I’ve decided the heel is way too tight and I need to rip back and start the gusset earlier.

The yarn is Regia Bamboo, color 1072 – I picked it because it had the April-May Project Spectrum colors of pink and green. This sock is probably on hold until after I knit the June Sockamania sock.

I started another, simpler sock, which fortunately covers one of the April-May PS colors and one the June-July colors.

“Hmph. So what if it wasn’t my birthday? What am I, invisible?!” -Chaos

Nope, I didn’t dye that yarn – I picked it up before we really got into dyeing. It’s from ebay seller lotusblossom, but it doesn’t look like she has anything now with Treadsoft superwash as the base.

“Teeheehee, big kitty! I am the cutest!” -Mayhem

Project Spectrum

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Iced java jacket pattern and Project Spectrum mix cd contest!

Project Spectrum
Last year, Anjo the Crafty Modster made and gave away awesome mix cds for each month/color combination of Project Spectrum. Alas, Anjo hasn’t posted since October (I hope she’s ok!), so Heather made the first two PS mixes this year and I will be making the second two.

The colors for June-July are red, black, and metallics – each song or artist will have one of these colors in title or name. If you are interested in receiving a copy of the cd, please send email to my contest email address by 6 pm CDT, June 1. Three winners will be randomly selected. Only entries sent to my contest email address will be included in the drawing! You will not receive a confirmation email back. You do not need to be participating in Project Spectrum to win a cd.

Curious about what music will be on the cd? Some of the artists include Okkervil River, the Builders & the Butchers, the Mountain Goats, Blue Skies for Black Hearts, Joseph Arthur, the Sad Little Stars, Pete Yorn, Joseph Plunkett & the Weight, Thin White Rope, and Radiohead. Hey, I have notoriously eclectic and obscure taste. 🙂

Knitting: Java Jacket Pattern
To avoid having cold, soggy fingers when drinking iced coffee drinks in the summer, I knitted some java jackets from leftover Cascade Fixation. I have one at home, one in the car, one in my purse – you get the idea!

It’s a quick pattern for those of you who drink iced coffee or 20-ounce bottles of soda. For cans of soda or beer bottles, I would recommend casting on fewer stitches.


  • Cascade Fixation or Elann Esprit
  • US size 4 dpns/long circular/two circulars, depending on your preferred method (or size to get an approximate gauge of 5 st/in)
  • Beginning of round (BoR) marker
  • Darning needle

Cast on 36 stitches for seed stitch border or 37 stitches for ribbing. Join by knitting the first and last stitch together and place BoR marker before this stitch: 35 stitches (seed stitch) or 36 stitches (ribbing) remain.

Knit 6 rounds of seed stitch or 2×2 ribbing. Knit 20 rounds plain. Knit 6 rounds of seed stitch or 2×2 ribbing. Bind off and weave in ends. My bind off edge is a bit tighter than my cast off edge, which works well with a tapered cup. If you are planning to use these on cans or other non-tapered beverage containers, make sure you bind off loosely.

For a change, the cats were completely uninterested in all of this.

“Birds!” -Mayhem

“Darned screen. We could so get those birds… although since we are on the third floor, maybe the screen is a good thing.” -Chaos

Project Spectrum

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Please put on your sunglasses

Many, many thanks to everyone who sent such kind words yesterday. I hope that Mayhem responded courteously to you all! I’m feeling about the same – wiped out. Hopefully the lab work comes back soon so we know what sort of anemia (iron, B-12, folate) this is.

Trek has had a lifelong dream of reaching 145 comments on a single post. Toward that goal, leave a comment for her before June 1 with a suggestion about fun things she and her daughter can do over the summer. When lucky number 145 is reached, Trek will draw a random winner who will receive a mysterious but sure to be fabulous prize!

Brenda moved her blog and is having a contest to celebrate! Leave her a comment about what you named your blog and why. If you’re blogless, leave a comment with what you would name a blog. She’ll draw two winners on May 8 (also her eighth wedding anniversary) – you could win some Schaefer Anne or Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn.

KitKatKnit is trying to find the lentil soup recipe she and her college roommates used to make. Leave her a comment with the recipe by noon PDT, May 3 (when she has to shop), and you could win a hat pattern and the yarn to knit it with.

Reading Update
All Shall Be Well, Leave the Grave Green, Mourn Not Your Dead, and Dreaming of the Bones by Deborah Crombie. Continuing on with the Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Sergeant Gemma Jones mysteries. These are very well done and I will continue to read them – in order. 🙂

Knitting Update
I finished my Bird of Paradise slip stitch rib socks! These are from Sundara’s yarn, colorway Bird of Paradise (from her sock club). The stitch pattern is one round of K3, P1, followed by a round of K1, slip one as if to purl, K1, P1. The slip stitch ribbing makes great vertical stripes in yarns that have two colors alternating rounds. I had to tweak the colors a bit because it was very dark when I took the pictures – however, the colors are accurate. Hence the need for sunglasses…

“What, you don’t think I have better things to do with my time than sit here by your socks?! I have fan mail to answer, Mom!” -Mayhem

“Hee hee, May – better you than me! I’ll just lurk here unobtrusively in the chair… wait, was that the flash?!” -Chaos

Project Spectrum

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I was awakened yesterday by…

…Mayhem chasing her tail on top of me. *oooof* Today started out inauspiciously when my espresso maker gave up the ghost…

Looks like the Yarn Harlot got a not-too-bad picture of me… If you’re looking for the Twin Cities “linkorama” Stephanie mentioned, here you go. Hey, our singing “O Canada” is available on You Tube! And here’s a link to the Strib article about the event.

Jenifer’s having a contest – guess what one-skein project she’s knitting and then share what your favorite one-skein project is (not from any of the one-skein books). Submit your entries by midnight, April 14, and you could win a mysterious prize.

Reading Update
Um, I haven’t apparently done a reading update for a while… Brace yourselves.

Maggie Needs an Alibi, Maggie by the Book, Maggie Without a Clue, and High Heels and Homicide by Kasey Michaels. Maggie Kelly writes mysteries set in Regency England. One day she turns around to discover that her hero, the dashingly handsome Alexandre Blake (the Viscount St. Just) and his amiable sidekick Sterling Balder have come to life and are standing in her living room… These aren’t terribly well written, but they are light and amusing.
Ready or Not? by Chris Manby. Light chicklit about a British radio producer who isn’t sure her fiance is right for her as the wedding approaches.
Out of this World by Jill Shalvis. More light chicklit (although significantly steamier than the previous title – *fans self*) about an LA muralist who inherits a mysterious B&B in remote Alaska.
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews. Quite possibly inspired or at least influenced by Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series, this book (possibly the first in a series? It has that feel) features magical mercenary Kate Daniels in an alternate future in which tech is in decline and magic ascendent.
Whiskey Sour by J.A. Konrath. Book one in a (so far) short series about insomniac Chicago police lieutenant Jacquelyn “Jack” Daniels. Sufficiently entertaining that I’m reading the second book and have the most recent book queued up. Please note that these are pretty gory at times.

Knitting Update
I finished my Regia Crazy Colors socks yesterday for my first completed Project Spectrum April/May project. Although it was a struggle, I resisted doing the Ms. Matchy Matchy thing.

*sniff sniff sniff* -C

*sigh* “She’s still not making the tuna and catnip socks I requested, May.” -C

“Ok, big kitty, then I won’t even bother to stop and check them out.” -M

Project Spectrum

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