Monday, October 31, 2011

Dyeing for a party

Yes, that has an 'e' in it.  The weekend before last some of my knitting friends got together for a yarn dyeing party.  With this group, that included good food, lots of laughs and some knitting thrown in.  I didn't take any pictures at the party, but here's what I came home with.

First up, a pre-knit, two-strand sock blank that started out a cream/natural color.  I dyed it using Easter egg dye (2 tablets each of orange, red and yellow).  I mixed the dye in a Pyrex dish, put the damp blank into the dye all at once and microwaved it to heat set it.  My original plan was to go back and add black stripes for some cool Halloween socks.  But I love the orange so much, I can't bring myself to add the black, in case I screw it up.

Before and after

Next I had a couple of balls of Red Heart's Heart and Sole sock yarn, also in a cream/natural colorway.  I was having trouble deciding what color to dye it, then Tina had some extra Jacquard Acid Dye in the Chestnut colorway mixed in a squirt bottle that she was just going to throw out. 

Rather than let it go to waste, I put the damp yarn in the dish, squeezed the dye on one side, turned it over and squirted the other side. Then I added some water and poked it around with my (gloved) fingers.  I added some extra in the places that looked light and nuked it to set the dye.  It looked kind of purple while I was dyeing it, and it still has some purple shades to it.

I hadn't intended to make Cleveland Browns colors, it just kind of worked out that way.

And in keeping with all the stores, just in time for Halloween - CHRISTMAS! socks.  A couple of my friends and I ordered this yarn and started the socks in February. Julie finished hers first, I'm second, and Ann's in the home stretch.  We'll all wear them for our holiday gathering this year.

They just scream CHRISTMAS!, don't they?

I've made progress on a couple of my other sock projects.

Mystery Socks by Antje Gillingham

Spring Fern by Susan Lutsky - These are farther along now.

And finally, I bought a hank of merino/angora (rabbit) yarn at a fiber event this summer.  Every time Max finds it in the sewing room, this happens.

"I think I'm in love"

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Where to begin?

Okay, I've been MIA for quite a while now, so I'm not really sure where to start.  I guess I'll start with the house.  You saw the new chimney mortar back in August.  After that, the mason came back and built a step by the side door.

Now people won't feel like they're falling out of my house.  I just hope the plow guy doesn't destroy it this winter.  I'm thinking of getting some kind of pot or statue or something to put in front of it as a marker, but I have no idea what.  Thoughts?

Then I got a new, non-leaking roof on the house, along with new gutters.

The last house thing was some painting.

Wrought iron railings on the front porch.

Garage doors and trim.
My friend Beth did most of the garage painting.I just did the trim around the side windows and the 2nd coat of trim on and around the doors.
At the beginning of September, I got ready for quilt camp.  This crappy old pillowcase was the carrier for my sewing machine extension table for a loooong time. It also carried any long rulers I wanted to take to camp.

Sort of  functional but not very interesting.
So before camp this time around, I dove into the stash and made this:

The outside is a home dec remnant, and the lining (not shown) was a piece of fabric from my neighbor's garage sale - fill a grocery bag for a buck. I had to buy the blue strapping. In hindsight, I should either have had a longer piece of strapping, and/or put the straps closer together. It's a little awkward to carry the way it is.  But I wasn't about to take it back apart, since I use it maybe 3 times a year. The brown strip covers the seam in the strapping. 

I made it big enough to hold my 18" x 24" cutting mat and 20-1/2" square ruler
While I was at quilt camp, I worked on a couple of  quilt tops that I didn't take pictures of, as well as my Dear Jane.




When I got back from camp, I took this stuff:

Comfy plush fabric, flannel and assorted ribbons and trims
and made three of these little tabbed baby blankets

Cute, isn't it?

Two of them have solid orange backs, but I had to piece one of them.

There has been knitting. Some of it is stealth knitting, but I don't have good pictures of any of it, yet, so more on that later.

The cats have been busy bird watching.

Some of them anyway.  Max was napping.

More later....