Sunday, February 27, 2011

You Can Keep Your Germs, I'll Take Your Socks Though

After a bout of sick kids and a sick dog, I have finally found some time to be back on. After some TLC, a few hundred dollars later (thank you stupid medical insurance) and lots of disinfecting, we are back on track.  Sadly enough, the roughest to care for was the dog.  Although we were up every couple hours making sure Danny got his meds and James got a nebulizer treatment (of course they didn't coincide) the dog was tough. Without getting graphic, he couldn't hold anything in and was not able to make it outside in time.  He had to be crated at night and spent most of the day outside which he hates.  The routine resulted in constant barking and whining.  Constant barking and whining in my opinion is one of the worst forms of torture.  You can't reason with him and tell him he can't enjoy his normal routine because the last thing I need is the kids running through his messes.  Or that I particularly don't enjoy cleaning his messes, especially when the kids are making enough of their own.  He's very old, and very needy.  A giant, stubborn, thick-headed big baby.  He also suffers from some type of entitlement delusion.  He thinks he's the boss.  No matter how many times you try to prove to him that he isn't, he will bark and whine till he can get his way.

Mmmm merino becomes....
 Naptimes around here where when I could finally find some sanity.  I would get my downstairs picked up and work on whatever project I could that is more dangerous or time consuming to have out when the kids are awake.  My favorite would have to be dying and painting roving and yarns.  To me, it's like an addiction.  My methods are not calculated exactly, so it's always a great surprise when I'm finished.  If it's roving,  I find myself extremely antsy to get it on my wheel to find out how it looks.
This.  My Tin Signs Merino
That's also another surprise.  I've found myself with a wonderful braid of roving thinking, "This is going to look amazing."  When it's one the wheel sometimes it doesn't appeal as much to me.  I've had others that I would set aside with no desire to get to my wheel immediately.  A lot of those end up becoming my favorite.  I love the way the colors take shape and compliment each other.  I think that's why I seem to prefer to spin mostly two ply yarns.  It doesn't seem to matter the amount of color you use, or what colors you use together.  When it's plied correctly, it can be wonderful.

This sunny skein!

This mottled hank became...
I also love surfing around and checking out other peoples blog for hand dyed roving pictures.  I think it is fascinating to see the roving and then see the spinners final product.  Colors that are extremely unappealing that you would never want to own or pair together find a way to live in perfect harmony with each other.  So, in honor of my addiction, I will share some of my most recent work myself.  Just so you can see how it evolves.  I drive my husband crazy whenever I am working on something and I am running around like an idiot taking lots of pictures.  I always regret when I don't have pictures.  They not only give you a simple satisfaction of watching your own work evolve but it's a handy way to keep reference notes.  It makes every artist more efficient and cuts out a lot of the guesswork. 
This is the yarn I spun from it.  By far my favorite colorway. 
Who would have thought?  A gift for my mom.

This is the roving Zeke hand dyed all by himself

Very pretty BFL skein

Wonderful BFL





Handspun waiting to be painted.
Notice my trashed socks from last post
in the background!

Haindpainting the yarn.

Harvest Tomato Hanpainted Yarn

Corridale for socks!
I think since my last post, you got to see me knitting those damn socks.  Well, if you check out one of the pictures of hand painting you can see them in the background.  I gave up on that particular sock officially.  The first pattern I had on it, the further I went the more I wasn't impressed with the pattern itself.  Made the sock start looking generic.  The second pattern I got, it was written out much better.  However, I missed the type of ribbing from the first sock.  So, I plan on combining the two eventually, the top of the first and the bottom of the other to get the sock I want.  In the meantime, I have started a new pair.  I have not taken liberty to take pictures yet but I will once they are done.  I decided to go with a worsted yarn because I wanted more of a house sock, or "footie" as we call.  It's an equivalent of wearing your shoes in the house.  They are coming out beautifully.  Now I feel my sock confidence rising and I am finding myself looking at yarns much differently.  So has my husband...he now despises yarn even more (if it was possible) and hates socks.  I find myself going over everyones socks while I am doing laundry now.  I never paid attention before but now I am amused.  Eventually I will get back to the stripey pair, if I can restrain from buying more yarn and fiber.  I got a new shipment of corridale that I intend on keeping for myself just to make socks.  I always spin two ply but love the way it looks spun single ply.  Being this is only for socks, for myself, I think I will stick to the single ply.

 Well, my small blog break is over.  I wanted to share more but honestly, this auto save stuff is for the birds when you are trying to place your pictures where you want them.  Sorry for the poor layout but my patience are maxed!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Birthday Socks

The current (and maybe permanent) status of my sock
So, this past weekend I celebrated my birthday by buying more yarn.  "Yes, I know I make yarn!" I told my husband as he grimaced at the idea.  "It's just nice to have more for my stash."  The idea of adding more yarn to my stash turned his grimace into a scowl.  He should by now know that these facial expressions are quite useless when I have my mind put to something.

One thing I have never done is knitted a pair of adult socks.  I've done infant booties, but never socks.  The idea of using three or more needles intimidate me.  I'm comfortable just using a pair, cable needles or cirucular needles.  I would have never intended on doing socks if it weren't for the yarn I came across while shopping.  It was Patons Kroy Sock Jacquards but I loved the colors in it. It was my most favorite colored skein in the whole store.  Well, if I was going to buy it I needed to make what it was intended for.  Along with the socks I purchased my first set of sock needles (which I prefer bamboo if anyone needs to know).  I came home and got the kids settled and started away.  I casted on the number required once, messed it all up and took it apart.  I stared at it starting to wonder if I really could do it.  Then I decided to start again making sure my investments went to good use.  Sure enough, I got it!  I did the simple rib stitching for about 8 inches like the pattern said (or so I thought it did).  When I was ready to proceed further I noticed the patten only called for the ribbing to go three inches.  No biggie, I figured I would just make them longer.  So I trudged on and now the pattern I'm using makes no sense at all.  It's a Paton's pattern from online and I either should not be making socks or I accidentally have been checking between two different patterns.  The pattern keeps telling me to slip last st onto next needle.  Okay, first there is no last st.  There are about 8 of them.  Secondly sl onto what next needle?  The next set that needs knitted?  That's what made sense to me and that's what I did.  At the end I had 8 stitches sitting on the fourth needle of my three needle pattern.  I would assume this is part of the heal and I would ignore it and flip the thing over and work in rows for a bit but it's still telling me to work in rounds.  I found a helpful website and kinda left it at that.  We'll see if I decide to pick it back up or if it's going to end up in my RIP project pile.

Creek Stone Merino Yarn
Other than that, things have been humming along with my other projects.  The creek stone merino was spun and listed.  I debated on keeping this hank because it came out so squeezy.  I reluctantly parted with it knowing I would be sorry if I kept every skein I make.  I didn't have time to show you the regular, "Here it is, it's finished!" before it was sold.  I shipped it out this morning and I hope it's new owner enjoys it along with the other goodies sent.  I really do enjoy putting a package together.  I like to make it a present for whoever is going to open it.  Oddly, I hate wrapping presents.

Zeke's hand dyed yarn, single ply

Zeke dying his merino roving

I also got a couple more batches of yarn dyed, and some spun.  Zeke actually helped me dye one night.  I gave him four ounces of merino to do whatever he wished with it.  I personally liked the colors in his the best. I've spun one batch up that I did and I have his on my wheel.  I have the first ply done and I'm almost halfway through the second ply but it's been a little too busy for spinning.  I also think the very cold weather and ice outside has to do with it too.  I can't seem to get myself motivated.  Hmmm, now to think of it a fresh pot of coffee sounds great right now.  We were almost out of coffee this morning so I didn't get to brew much.

Well, I should go see if the hubby needs help putting away the groceries he came home with.  I noticed he got a box of chocolate donuts in which my reply was, "Why do you always get food that makes my butt grow?".  His reply was to hand me two donuts, one for each cheek.