April 2006

Flashback: Getting in the Dyeing Spirit

I joined Dye-O-Rama. It’s been a while since I sat down and dyed any yarn, but a few years ago, Jeanne and I and some other friends hunkered down and dyed up a storm one weekend. We wound a lot of yarn on our handy dandy homemade niddy noddies. (Note that Chaos wasn’t even born at the time of this dyeing adventure, but he was more than happy to check out the niddy noddy when I pulled it out for a picture earlier.)

“I think this might be just the thing for my little tool use development project…”
Yikes, you can barely see Jeanne behind all that yarn!

We gathered supplies…

The foaming, frothing pink isn’t something from Snape’s Potions class – it’s what you get when you mix vinegar and lots of magenta Easter egg dye tablets.

Here I am, very focused on dyeing some variegated sock yarn with Wilton’s before popping it into the microwave. You can also use Wilton’s in a dye bath for solid colors. Here’s a color chart with color mixing ideas, plus another mixing list from Wilton’s.

And finally, our yarn drying, as much out of the sun as we could manage.

“I wonder if I can make a spear out of this?”

Those Cats

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My handwriting and signature are somewhat notorious for their inscrutability. But you can judge for yourself via this nifty handwriting meme… I first spotted this at Mim’s, although Julia’s post reminded me to actually do it.

Write a pangram on a piece of paper, sign your first name, take a photo of it, and load it onto your blog or upload into the flickr pool.

“And the yarn and tuna are where, exactly?”


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Hitting the road next week

A while ago, I mentioned that I’m going to the Midwest Master’s in Neenah, Wisconsin. I just realized that I’ll be hitting the road for that a week from tomorrow! Woo-hoo!! It’s been way too long since I took a road trip or took any knitting classes.

I’m taking three classes – two from Anna Zilboorg and one from Merike Saarniit. I’ve taken a weekend seminar from Anna before and met Merike at that. I picked classes that sound interesting and that should also challenge me:

Exotic Stitches for More Than One Color – Anna Zilboorg (3 hours)
“Multi-colored knitting need not be stranded; many fascinating patterns are developed with one color at a time and a few simple techniques.”

  • The multi-colored knitting I’ve done has been mostly self-patterning sock yarn and the occasional strawberry hat for a baby, so this is definitely a departure for me!

Twisted Travelling Stitches – Anna Zilboorg (6 Hours)
“Austrian twisted travelling stitches create patterns in high relief that resemble woodcarvings. They are easy to do with a few special techniques and a little practice.”

  • Again, I’ve done a limited amount of textured knitting. I have a Door County Cable Sweater on the needles… but two years ago I hit a point in the pattern that confused the heck out of me and haven’t picked up the sweater since.

Rainbow Dyeing in the Microwave – Merike Saarniit (3 hours)
“Experiment with making your own hand-painted yarns or rovings in an efficient, no-mess, no felting or fulling, low water use method!”

  • Gosh, does this sound like the perfect lead in for Dye-O-Rama or what?!

If anyone’s going to be at Neenah or is along the route between Minneapolis and Neenah and is interested in getting together to knit, let me know!

“I wonder if I can sucker extra food out of the catsitter… Mmmm… food.”

Those Cats

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Random rambles

Wednesday randomness again, since I have no particular ideas for today’s blog entry.

Knitting excitement of the week was teaching myself Norwegian purling. I’ve been knitting continental and either purling by throwing in my own special very slow throwing method or by “scoop” (aka “combined”) purling. Combined purling produces a twisted purl stitch, so it’s great for, say, seed stitch in the round where you can knit into the back of the stitch next time to untwist it, but pretty much sucks for ribbing. Norwegian purling rocks. I can’t believe it took me so long to try it!

A few weeks ago, I wandered into Tuesday Morning to get some notecards and see what oddities struck my fancy. Imagine my delight at finding this candle:

“Why did you get an icky cookie candle? Didn’t they have a tasty tuna candle?!”

Here’s a shot without the lid – those are little wax chocolate chips that are loose on top of the candle:

Tragically, the candle turns out to be too strongly scented for me, so it’s gone to live with my brother. Maybe the angelfood cake or lemon meringue pie wouldn’t be quite as strong…

Last week, I picked up some Vesper sock yarn in the Strange Little Mama colorway. Fun! I think that covers all the yarns I’ve been craving…

Not to worry about Chaos not being in that picture. It’s a sunny morning here, so he’s busy lying on the floor in a sun stupor. He had a rough night. I pulled out the stove yesterday evening and rescued six or seven sparkly mice. Chaos hopped behind the stove as soon as I pulled it out, snactched SRM, hopped back out, and got busy playing. Some of that busyness included dropping SRM on my face in the middle of the night, trying to get me to play fetch instead of sleeping… exactly as relayed to Chaos from Cricket in the comments yesterday. Thanks a lot, Maeve!



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H is for…


I’ve been 5’9″ since I was in fifth grade. Haven’t grown even a fraction of an inch. This is good, because when I was two and they were estimating my future height based on normal growth curves and my height then, it looked like I was on track to be 6’5″ by the time I was 16! I’m easy to pick out in my class pictures from grade school – I’m the one looming in the middle of the back row. And I played a lot of basketball during grade school and junior high, even though I was terrible at it.

Interestingly, I don’t really think of myself as tall most of the time. I do when I’m shopping for clothes, since womens pants are nearly always too short for me; I mostly wear mens jeans. I also thought of myself as tall when I was doing the internet dating thing – it turns out that most guys might say they’re ok with dating women taller than they are, but in reality… they’d get weird about it.

That second piece of tape in the first picture? I was trying to figure out what Chaos’ Height is. Let’s just say that it’s not easy to measure a cat and this is the best guesstimate:

“Mom! How can I maintain my cat of mystery status if you share all my secrets?!”

“Hey, it’s kind of fun to pull this off the wall.”

Shortly after this picture was taken, this piece of tape became his new favorite fetch toy… No idea where SRM* has gotten itself to.
*Sparkly Red Mouse, Chaos’ all-time favorite fetch toy

Those Cats

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