Tuesday, May 27, 2008


In my last post I mentioned a trip and now I'm gonna tell you all about it. Boston was great. Mr. Z had a business trip he had to make, and it just so happens his grandmother and several aunts and uncles live in the area. So we decided it would be a good thing to take the kids out of school the week before the LAST week of school to visit their GG, Great Aunts and Great Uncles, and various cousins however many times removed.

First we stayed in Boston for a few days and saw some sights. There were swan boats, Paul Revere's house, the Science Museum and some really awesome cemetaries.

Here are they boys on a Swan Boat

And here they are messing with electricity at the Science Museum

#'s 1 & 2 were all business. If they were walking on the Freedom Trail, they were really ON the Trail, mowing down any stationery tourists in their way.

I really liked this tombstone. While the motif is similar to most of the others, it was more intense.

After Boston business was completed, we went to Nahant, where the paternal relatives live. We stayed with them and went to the supercool pebbly beach nearby. There were great skipping rocks, and sea glass and all kinds of other beach debris.

Nahant Rocks

Beach Pebbles

We made a day trip to visit the maternal relatives in Plympton. The boys loved Great Aunt H and Great Uncle D. Aunt H had chickens for them to feed and frogs and tadpoles.

Feeding the Chickens

Both boys ended up waist deep in frog swamps with nets. All frogs captured were released no worse for the wear.

Aunt H is holding the creature, cuz I really had no such inclination.

We also visited the Frank Gehry Building on MIT Campus. It's totally nuts:

When faced with so much reflective surface, the only thing to do is take a picture of yourself

And of course I must speak of food and yarn. We ate very well in Boston, and photographed several meals, but my favorite was the Eggs Benedict a Charley's on Newberry Street. If you're ever in Boston and looking for a reasonably priced, kid friendly restaurant, with a great wine list, this place has it all.

While on Newberry Street, I found Newberry Yarn, a little LYS. The boys were patient enough for me to choose this yarn (did I mention that while Mr. Z was in meetings, it was just me & the boys in Beantown?) Froehlich Wolle Camel. 70% merino, 30% Camel. I got 2 skeins at 200 meters per. I am going to make myself a special pair of socks. I've never seen this stuff before, so I don't know anything about it. It's Swiss, and was pretty cheap, around $7.00 per. I'm just excited I finally get to try out some camel.

That's enough for now. I'm just trying to catch up and lay it out there for you.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Kool Aid Dyeing

This spring was busier than I can remember. I travelled a lot and the boys' sports seemed to take up much more time than before. School is finally out for me and I have a week before the boys are set free. Perfect time to try something I've been wanting to do for a while. So I jumped on the Kool Aid Wagon.

The yarn is Knit Picks Bare Superwash Merino DK. The flavors are grape, black cherry, fruit punch and orange. I basically followed the Knitty instructions for Kool Aid dyeing. First a soaking bath for the yarn, then highly concentrated drink mix/water mixture applied to the hank using cheapo mustard and ketchup dispensers.

I'm pretty pleased with the results, but they aren't perfect. The grape wasn't as strong as the other colors and kinda looks washed out. Also, there are places in all the colors that didn't get saturated with dye. You can see the whitish spots here and there.

This picture shows how I wanted the whole hank to look:

And here's another close up of the colors. It's a little blurry, but the colors seem the truest in this one:

I think I'm going to reapply the dye tomorrow to saturate the weak spots. I am trying to decide whether I want to reapply each color as before, or over-dye the whole thing with pink lemonade. It's light enough that it wouldn't cover the other colors, and it's a hue that would blend will them all. I'll sleep on that one.

This was a great learning experience for me. I was surprised that the excess water that flowed from the hank was CLEAR. Then it occurred to me that the yarn absorbs the dye like a magnet. I know that sounds obvious, but my water was crystal clear.

There are lots of better blogs out there about this process. Sorry I'm giving such an abbreviated account, but I've got all kinds of things going on right now, and I'm trying to catch up. I just wanted to show you what I've done. I've got other posts for the near future. A recent trip to Boston, a meeting of a bunch of MS Ravelers, several FO's and WIP's. I hope you'll come back and check things out soon. I will try not to let so much time pass before I write again.