Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lake Champlain's Quadricentennial

To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Champlain's "discovery" of Lake Champlain, Green Mountain Fibers in Rutland, VT is hosting a "Four Hundred Years of Green Mountain Fibers" event this weekend. I was able to sneak in this weekend and it was lovely to see so many people turn out for the many activities going on. My main interest was the dying workshop, and as I was waiting for the yarn to prep, I was treated to a one-on-one spinning wheel demonstration! Fun, but definitely still frustrating. I haven't taken out my drop spindle in months. One of my options for Christmas is a wheel, and it was nice to get the opportunity to see if it would even be worth it for me. Not sure ... at least it still looked like yarn most of the time!

Once the sock yarn was ready, a couple of us commenced the "class", which mostly consisted of "go at it!" My "lab partner" was a lot more relaxed about it. I like to follow directions, but it was taking forever so I just started splashing dye on and hoping it wouldn't suck. We used dyes from the Ewe Dye It kit from My Favorite Thimble, which GMF is now carrying. It was a fun low-immersion method that wasn't complicated at all. Considering I have never dyed yarn before, I'm pretty happy with how it came out!


Actually, that doesn't really do it justice. This is my favorite shot of all the ones I took:


Isn't that fun? It's sock-weight. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. Maybe I'll actually try socks!

Since I already had the camera out, I decided to take some shots of the Crapghan, which is much farther along than the last time I showed it.


See that greenish strip towards the top? That's the Bernat Glow in the Dark yarn. I think it's seasonal; I found it around Halloween at Michaels. It really does glow, too! Sorry, no night shots.

And, since I'm in a sharing mood, here's a sneak peek at my latest Noro Striped Scarf. So neutral ... so unlike that sock yarn I dyed!


It's been a fun fiber-filled weekend. Have a good one!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Twitter Knitter

Hubs has been continuing to work on the craft room. Today he is (hopefully!) going to paint the closet, which will make it all painted. We do need to rent a rug cleaner for the two spare bedrooms, but we've already moved some stuff into there anyway and I've spent the past few days organizing my big plastic containers. I bought them when I went to college and for the most part all they contain are old bank statements that I'd never opened! Now I'm going through them and shredding them. It's amazing how much space that clears up. I'll hopefully have pictures soon.

In the meantime, I went and got a knitting Twitter account. You can follow me there at norolinde, which is also my Ravelry name. I'm hoping it will encourage me to blog more often, and it's been fun updating it with content that's really too short for a whole post.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Well, no, it's actually not. Not at all. This is the first warm, sunny day we've had in a while. But the title seemed apt for this post.

Since April, I've been working on a surprise present for a pregnant co-worker. This thing got shoved under the bed and forgotten about after we moved in May, and I very recently realized that while the blanket was not even halfway done, the baby was more than halfway done! This has led to some frantic weeks of knitting, but, amazingly, I got the thing done before the baby got here.

Of course, in the moving process, you lose everything, especially if you haven't really unpacked any of it yet, and in my case, that means I couldn't find a single yarn needle to weave my ends in with. I also couldn't find my interchangeable needle set or my crochet hooks, both cases which I knew contained yarn needles. So I had to go out and buy some more, upping my yarn needle count to something like 20,000 or so.

Last night hubs and I went to the laundromat to wash the blanket. I was terrified. I've hand-washed knitted items before, but never machine-washed any. However, I knew the item needed to be cleaned, and if it was going to fall apart after all my hard work, it might as well happen to me. However, my knitting apparently doesn't suck and it came out just fine.


I took some not-awesome pics last night since I knew I had to wrap it up and give it today, otherwise I would have tried harder. But hey, it shows the blanket. It didn't suck. And the recipients didn't seem to hate it, either. :)

Pattern: Reversible Basketweave Blanket by Chrissy O'Malley of Yellow House Designs
Modifications: None. I followed this pattern pretty much to the letter, including number of basketweave repeats: 17.
Needles: Boye interchangeable set, size 5 (I knit loosely)
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease, color stone, a little over 3 skeins. I joined new yarn at the edges of rows and ran out of my third skein with five finishing rows of seed stitch to go.

Opinion: This made a very nice blanket. I had some issues with the pattern, but that's because my brain was not at a problem-solving stage at that point, and I can rely blindly on a pattern even when it doesn't make sense to me. The yarn felt nice and washability was the biggest draw for me. I think it washed and dried very well. I would make this pattern again.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Gotta Love Michaels!

This is going to be a semi-cryptic post, because yet again I'm making something for someone who doesn't know about it.

A little over two months ago I purchased the yarn for this gift at Michaels. I bought 3 skeins of one color and one of another, thinking I was going to make two presents and wanting to give myself options. Well, I decided on one project and have been working on it for ... well, two months. I realized the other day I was not going to have enough yarn in color #1. Even if I went back to the store, what were the odds of them having the same dye lot? I headed in tonight with my receipt and my errant skein, hoping for some kind of miracle.

First of all, Michaels has revamped its yarn section since the last time I was in there. Because I had a time limit, unfortunately I couldn't take my time looking through the aisles. I located my yarn -- only 3 skeins in the color I needed.

I checked the first one. No go on the dye lot. I felt dejected. Seriously, two months later? Who was I kidding? But because it would have been silly not to have checked the other two, I did. Jackpot! Skein #2 was a dye lot match. The lady at the front was quite nice and we did a clean exchange. And now I have enough yarn to finish this project. Now to find the motivation ...