Thursday, October 26, 2006


I usually have really groovy evocative names for colors but I just can't think of anything more suited to this yarn than "Happy". It's my favorite colors all blended together in a sunny, cheerful mix.

As you can see, it's still horrifyingly tangled. But when I looked at the wound ball I had, I decided that the colors were shown to better advantage in the tangled wad than they were in the ball. You also get to see what a disaster I've made of it :-)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


My knitting buddy Lucia was nice enough to volunteer her house and garage to hold a yarn dyeing party for our knitting group members. Believe me, this is an extremely messy process and she and her husband Jim went through an awful lot of work and hassle to set this up for us. It was definitely worth it in my opinion because I had a wonderful time!

I dyed three skeins of yarn; two worsted weight skeins of Cascade 220 which I dyed hot pink and orange, and this skein. My inspiration for this one was a pansy; the ones that are yellow and purple with green leaves. The spaces between the green and purple turned a nice shade of brown which adds the pansy's little brown throat. I am very happy with all of my skeins, but you only get to see the Pansy one.

Why? Because the pink and orange ones are horribly tangled! I tried to wind them up and ended up making a bigger mess than I started with. I even had a swift to use and I still messed it up. Thus, I need to bring them for an appointment with Dr. Doree, Yarn Untangler. She loves to untangle yarn, and I can certainly do a job of tangling it up so we make a good team :-)

Friday, October 13, 2006


Completed at long last! Look close and you can see the squirrels looking at each other on the bottom part.

For this project I used leftover Lorna's Laces sock yarn (the pink) and some sock yarn that had been ripped and saved just because I really liked the color. I forgot what it was called, but it's the orange yarn.

The original pattern had much more Fair Isle; making it squirrels in a snowstorm. These squirrels are out and about on a sunny winter day, when just the last few snowflakes are falling. I am calling them Squirrelly Sunrise.

This project actually was a voyage of self-discovery. I attempted it because a) it was a free pattern b) I love squirrels c) I had the yarn already d) I wanted to try Fair Isle. Alas, I discovered that I do not like doing Fair Isle. I did these mittens at the same time on Magic Loop, which meant I had 4 different balls of yarn twisting all over the place. I had to stop and untwist after every half-round. I had to use a very complex system to keep my yarn balls in order, and if one hit the floor and rolled under the coffee table a lot of cussing ensued.

I just didn't find the process relaxing. Once I had gotten to the end of the squirrels, I made the decision to modify the pattern. For one thing, the pattern did not involve any increases for the wider part of the hand, which even on my small hands was a problem. And secondly, I was just plain sick of stranding and untwisting. I am a huge supporter of the idea that knitting is a *hobby*, and hobbies should be fun. If you are not enjoying what you are doing, you shouldn't be doing it, if it's a hobby.

And thus, after completing the squirrel part I took off on my own design and simply allowed the self striping yarn to create its own pattern while I incorporated some increases for the thumb gusset. Once I dropped that strand and untwist business, I completed the hand part in a weekend. For an extra touch, I sucked it up and did one row of Snow Stars at the top before decreasing for the tip and finishing off my mittens.

I really like how they turned out and don't think I would have liked them as much if they were totally Fair Isle. These sunny warm mittens are a reminder on winter's darkest days that Spring will not fail us, it will come again. The sun will warm the Earth and the snow will subside, save for a few last sparkling jewels, and the squirrels will come out of hibernation to play in the sun.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Bad, bad blogger

I have been such a crap blogger lately. I'm sorry guys!

I really haven't had a lot of finished objects lately. Usually I come running to the blog to post a finished item, but I really haven't finished much lately.

Yesterday, while waiting in line for tickets to a Texas Chainsaw Massacre evening (no, I did not actually attend) I finished up these darling and super soft convertible mittens for a Christmas gift. They are Malabrigo worsted. At first I set out to testknit a pattern for my online friend Alison that she wrote. The pattern she wrote was for either mittens or fingerless mitts. I, of course, couldn't just follow a pattern or anything so I turned them into convertible mitts.

For some bizarre reason, however, it seems other folks, when waiting in line for horror movies, do not knit fuzzy pastel mittens. I am not entirely sure why.

To top things off, the pattern was written for Malabrigo Bulky, which I failed to notice, and bought worsted weight instead, and so I had to refigure the gauge as well. At the end, it barely resembles her original pattern, so I don't know if I can really say I actually *test knitted*.