Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Who Woulda Thunk It?

I got this from Beth at 3 Sheeps to the Wind:

hesira zoysia --


A hard-core grave robber

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Dye Lot Problems

The vintage baby jacket has problems. Dye lot problems.

Here's how it goes: The pattern called for 3 oz of yarn to make the jacket. I had 4 oz of Cherry Tree Hill Sock yarn that fit the gauge, so I thought, plenty-o-yarn. After finishing the back, and the 2 front pieces, I could tell I wouldn't have enough yarn to finish the project, SO,

I ordered another hank of the CHT yarn. I knew the dye lots wouldn't match. I figured, the color repeats would be different lengths, or there would be some difference in the darkness or lightness of the yarns, but what I didn't expect was this:

The left side is the original yarn, the right is the new hank. I ordered this yarn about a year ago to make socks. When I got it, it was so cotton candy, baby colored that, I didn't want to make socks out of it for me. I was expecting something subtler, grayer, something like, well the stuff on the right. The yarn sat in my basket all these months, just waiting for the right pattern.

Recently I decided to bust some stash. I also had these vintage pattern books that weren't getting much action. I figured I'd make some baby clothes, and have ready made baby gifts when I needed them. I found this pattern, and it seemed to be the right one for the yarn.

(Don't cha just love fat babies. I wonder where she is today. The copyright on this is from 1942. The book is Woolies for Babies, Book 178, Chadwick's Red Heart.)

Now we're back to, I didn't have enough of the original yarn. I wondered if the original hank was short some yardage, so I did some knitting math. I counted up the stitches in one of the pieces and divided the weight of that piece by the number of stitches. Then I figured out how many stitches the entire jacket contained, and figured out how much yarn the entire project SHOULD take. 4.3 ounces. That's 1.3 MORE ounces of sock yarn than suggested. That's a lot of sock yarn. That's 2 sleeves worth.

What to do, what to do. Well, I wasn't going to frog it. There's a hellova lot of stitches involved. The colors were too different to leave, and I didn't want to do the gradual incorporation of the second color, so I got some advice from a friend at an online knitting group about dyeing. I thought, maybe if I soaked the 2 yarns together, they'd bleed and transfer dye, creating some kind of equilibrium. My friend suggested reeling off 3 yards of each yarn, making tiny sample hanks and first soaking in hot water, to create a bleed, then boiling with vinegar together to set the transfer.

Here are the little hanks waiting to be abused:

Here they are soaking in a white bowl, so I can judge the amount of bleed. Not much, huh?

I boiled them for 20 minutes , with fears that they would felt. They looked pretty awful when I pulled them out, but I hung them to dry overnight. This morning I was pretty pleased with the results. No felting, but quite a bit of fading, and some transfer. Again, left side original, right side new yarn:

Now the plan is to sew the jacket together, and make a bonnet with the remaining yarn. The bonnet and 2 sleeves use the new yarn, and the rest of the jacket is from the original. That will be approximately half & half old to new yarn. Once the bonnet is finished, I'll put the jacket & bonnet through the same treatment as the sample hanks, and see what happens. If the sleeves still look too different, I'll over dye the whole project with Koolaid.

Whew. Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Mine started with breakfast in bed. There were a couple of gifts and flowers, too. Check out the swank salt & pepper grinders DH got, along with the bamboo tray.

We had a great day. Went out for lunch and took a drive. Got home and chilled out for a while, then DH made me dinner:

All in all a great day.

A few days ago I received this in the mail. It's Hand Maiden Sik & Cashmere. I have no idea what I'm gonna do with it, but I like to pet it every now and then.

I've been knitting on the baby jacket, but there are some dye lot issues I'll have to figure out. I'm going to do some swatching and maybe some over-dyeing this week. More later.

I hope all of you had a great day yesterday!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Saturday Morning

Hello Friends,

I'm sitting on my porch having my decaf and listening to the birds sing. Sometimes a distant dog barks or a car passes, but mostly it's quiet with birds and crickets. The sky is hazy and there is dew on the porch screens.

I've been working on the little baby jacket. I'm almost to the second lace insertion panel on the right front. It's supposed to be the left front, but I put the garter stitch button band border on the wrong side accidentally. No harm no foul. And I can't find either of my measuring tapes. I'm the kind of person who loses small objects ALL the time. I lost my measuring tape, so I bought another one. I lost the new one, found the old one, lost it, found them both, lost them both...I think I've knitted about a half an inch too much. I have to measure this thing before I can go any farther.

Next comes some decreasing and then the lace, then the neck line shaping. It will all go pretty fast once the decreasing begins, so I'm ready to get at it. WHERE'S MY MEASURING TAPE, DAMMIT? Wait, knitting supposed to be relaxing, right?

OK. It's 2 days later, and somehow I found both of my measuring tapes. It's a sickness really. I tinked the overshot knit rows and worked out that problem, and now am into the neck decreases. I should be able to finish this side of the front tonight. Then I get to weigh my remaining yarn and see if I can start the left front side, or wait until my second skein of yarn comes in.

Saturday we had 3 birthday parties and 1 cookout. At the first birthday party, I met this absolutely gorgeous woman. Here is another image of what I think is beautiful:

Finally, food. Has anyone tried the South Beach Diet? We did a couple of summers ago. It really worked, but the veggie chopping and carb deprivation were just too much for me, The recipes however, were surprisingly good. I bought the South Beach Diet Cookbook, and here's the Portabello Mushrooms stuffed with goat cheese and pine nuts. This was so delicious!