Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sunday Knitting

It is spring and the wind has come! But with it, so has the sun. Morning service was rockin' and there was not much time for knitting, but I did get some pictures of Mary knitting a pair of pretty pink socks! Mary says, "I'm blessed that we go to a church that listens to the Spirit and follows Almighty God (and is free enough to allow knitting during the sermon)."

Yesterday we spent the morning hustling from one yard sale to the next in search of books, clothes and various booty (aargggh) to clutter up our respective houses. I was looking for a beach cruiser bike from the seventies and a tea tray since I have officially become hooked on tea time. But, alas, I found only a jean jacket, a sweater, and two cute little tins (all for the lovely price of $2.25!) Mary was in search of a mattress cover, which she found for $2.00 and some wonderful old books, including The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende and The Trumpeter of Krakow. She was also looking for tools and anything else she didn't know she needed.

Saturday night I spent the evening searching for my Kool-aid dyed yarn from two years ago. I never did find the extra bit I wanted, so I unraveled an unfinished sock that I didn't have enough yarn to finish an actual pair in order to make a cell phone cover. It was fun designing it, but I don't particularly like the button and am looking for a wooden leaf instead. I also spent some time with my dad and my stepmom from Federal Way and we had a great time looking through the new yarn shop. And no, I didn't buy anything!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Let There be More Yarn!

First of all: Dear Anonymous Weekend Dyer: I used distilled white vinegar in my Kool-Aid dye, but I didn’t measure out how much. Just dumped it in because I’ve done so much of this kind of dying. I have several different recipets and the general consensus is one cup of vinegar to eight ounces of wool if you’re dying it all one color on the stove like I did. If you do your dying in the microwave or sun dye it in a jar, then the amount changes. And Dear Janelle: I think I’ll make socks out of it, since I didn’t dye a whole lot of it and socks are my favoritest things to knit. :D

Second of all: I took some pics of what Mary’s been working on today. Yeah! Here’s some of the Falkland she’s been spinning. Even I’m excited about this! And also a picture of her Monet’s Garden as she sets the twist. Beautiful stuff! She says she will be knitting a shawl with it. It will be incredible. I’ll post pictures as she knits it so you all can see its progress.

Third of all: I have given up on the We Call them Pirates hat from the Hello Yarns website. Not totally, but my alpaca yarn is far too bulky to knit that hat with, and so I am doing a drop stitch shrug with it. The pattern is a freebie from the Interweave Knits website. I’m excited with how it’s already turning out. Also, I have a picture of the Cashmerino socks I've been working on. Now that my monetary issues have been sorted out, I'll be able to buy the rest of the yarn to complete these this weekend.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Precious Things

I have no knitting or wool related pictures today. But I do have to share some love and beauty with you all. The first thing, is that the peonies are blooming in Mary's yard and they are beyond beautiful! Mary is an amazing gardener and her front walk always look amazing! I am not such a great gardener and my front walk usually is brown and lifeless! LOL!

The other precious thing is a website/store that I fell in love with almost two years ago. It's called Small Meadow Press
( and is operated by a woman named Lesley Austin in Virginia. Her creations always brighten my day. I have several of her products, including the Jane Austen Missives and the Pigeon Holes. One of the things I love about her is that her products arrive at your door in packaging just as beautiful as the product inside. And she's pretty quick with getting your order to you.
In contrast to these two things above, I listened to Deliverance, Vengeance Rising, and Armeggedon this morning before going to work. Nothing like a serious dose of heavy metal to start your morning! LOL! I finished one sock out of the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino that I purchased a few weeks ago and realized that I don't have enough to finish the second sock! I'll have to buy two more skeins. These are some pretty expensive sockies! I also started spinning some Baby Camel Down last night. I'm trying to make it lace weight, using the highest speed whorl that I have on my Ashford, but I'm thinking it's not high speed enough. I'll have to ask for the lace flyer for my birthday this year! (hint hint) :D

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Weekend of Dyeing

My plans this weekend were thwarted by a checkbook error that kept me from visiting my parents over in the Seattle/Tacoma area. So, since I had some time on my hands, I figured that I'd dye. :D

The process went quickly, much more quickly than I anticipated. I gathered up all my dying equipment and my packages of Kool-Aid and my giant bottle of vinegar and went to town! The colors I used? Orange, Lemonade, Cherry-Watermelon, and Black Cherry. The results? Beautiful!

I have a plethora of grey heathery Shetland wool that I bought two years ago (see left) and I was wondering what on earth I could do with it. I had already spun some into a heavy worsted weight 3-ply that I used to knit a shrug. But I still had a pound of it left! So I wound of four sets of fourteen strips (I don't know how much each section weighed, but they were a yard and a half each strip) and started dying, mixing four packets of each color into a pot of almost boiling water with some vinegar.

Once the water was clear of color, I drained the wool in the sink, then hung the strips outside in the wind to dry.

It didn't take very long to dry the strips and by Saturday evening I was already spinning it. I spun several lengths of one color before switching to the next, then Navajo plied it to create sections of color that will stripe when knitted up.

I'm really excited to start knitting this, but I already have so many projects going!

Update on Mary T. She is knitting socks from some gorgeous Romeldale she bought and spun awhile ago. She's also done spinning the Carribbean Delight (which she actually calls Monet's Garden, my bad!) and has only one bobbin left to ply. She says hello to all our spinner and knitter friends! :D

Friday, May 18, 2007

Sarah's Finished Projects

I have finished the Log Cabin socks from the Holiday Handknits book and I wore them yesterday and they are sooooo soft! I really enjoyed knitting them! I thought I'd have to modify the pattern to make them fit my size 6 feet, but I didn't need to at all.

The other project I finished last night was a cabled cowl from the Hello Yarns free pattern website. I used the bulky singles I spun thick and thin and size 11 needles. The knitting went fast and I was able to get the whole thing done in a couple of hours. I wore it to work this morning and it is so warm! It'll definitely be a winter item. And with how cold it gets in Ellensburg, I'll be wearing it quite often. Here's a detail of what the yarn looks like when it's knitted. I like the contrast of the super poofy slubs and the tight twist of the thinner sections. I'll definitely be making more of this kind of yarn!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sarah's First Novelty Yarn

I spent the evening spinning up some thick and thin novelty yarn from the Lorna's Laces that I purchased in the Tri Citites last weekend. It came out quite fun and I think I'll do one more skein like this and then the rest I'll do a thinner boucle yarn. I'm not sure what I'll knit with it yet, though.

I also set the twist in the merino/alpaca/silk that I spun over the weekend. It came out quite nice and will look great with the black alpaca I spun a few months ago. As soon as I get the Log Cabin cable socks done, I'll be starting the We are Pirates hat from Hello Yarns.

Today, I had the fortune of visiting the Brooklyn Tweed blog (see links). Jared's knitting abilities are astounding! Every piece of his work made me drool in jealousy! Someday I hope to be even half as good a knitter as he is! Check out his blog. It's amazing!

I also thought I'd post pictures of the dog I gave Mary (his name's Zeke and is a half beagle, half black and tan coonhound. We call him the stretch beagle, LOL!) and the cat Mary gave me (his name is Gus and he's a massive spaz! He actually fell off the couch yesterday. Didn't even try to land on his feet either!)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Psalm 27:13-14

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.

Sometimes this verse is about all that gets me (Sarah) through the day. Today, I can only want to believe that there will be some goodness for me while I'm alive. Today, despair is trying to win out. Thank God for the prayers and love of those at They have truly encouraged me and helped me through times that I thought I wouldn't get through.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mary's Caribbean Delight

Here's some beautiful green and blue wool that Mary T. has been spinning since we started this blog.

And here's a pic of her Jesus toe ring. I totally love toe rings, but find that I can never wear them without pinching my toe!

Men in Kilts

Mary T. and her husband were looking for a kilt for him and came across this website...

WOW!!! *ahem* I read through some of the product descriptions and giggled like crazy. Last summer Mary, her family, and I went to the Scottish Highlander Games in Enumclaw, WA. It was so fun! The Seattle Knights did an awesome sword fighting show that was very entertaining.

I have finished plying the singles I spun at the spin-in and am anxious to get the twist set so I can begin knitting! I'm making a hat and mittens pattern I discovered on the website Hello Yarn The background will be black, but the white in the picture will instead be pink/purple/white varigated. I'll have to modify the pattern since my yarn is a bit thicker than what is called for.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Tri-Cities Spin-In

Mary T. and I went to the Tri-Cities, WA for the spin-in put on my the Northwest Regional Spinners. Its was so fun! There were eight of us and all our spinning wheels and wool crammed into a Suburban! I haven't done a road trip like that in a very long time. I bought some beautful black and white alpaca to spin and some really neat wool from Lorna's Laces in the color Pioneer.

It also has pink in it, which you can't tell from this picture. And it's unspun wool... But anyway. I got a bobbin and a half filled and knit a beret out of the Twilleys of Stamford yarn. I have pictures of the stuff I'm spinning and the beret, but my laptop won't connect to the internet for some strange reason, whether I use the wireless or the DSL cable. So I'm at the library and trying to do what I can here in the short amount of time I have available.

Also, I received a great cd from the man behind Transfigural Form. Awesome stuff! And I've only listened to some of it!

And it's Mother's Day! So, Happy Mom's Day to all you moms out there! :D

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cable Socks

Didn't get to knit last night due to the franticness at work and getting my Mother's Day cards created and mailed out. But as I said, I'd post a few pics of my progress so far. The pattern I'm using comes from Handknit Holidays, a great knitting book if you're looking for patterns that aren't super difficult. The color of the yarn isn't quite that salmony, but much more pink. My camera does strange things sometimes with the colors and I haven't taken enough time with the manual to fix the problem. Hehehe...

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

TF and a Whole Lot of Knitting

What a day! This is Sarah L. and I started the morning on time (a total miracle!) I rocked out to Transfigural Form this morning while getting ready for work. It's hard to get eyeliner on properly when you're dying to headbang! LOL!

I've almost completed a pair of cabled socks from the pretty pink Cashsoft that I posted a pic of last week. I'll have a pic up here tomorrow of my progress. The yarn is soooo soft! I can't wait to wear them! I aslo just bought some Debbie Bliss' Baby Cashmerino and Twilleys of Stamford's Freedom Spirit (pictured above in Fire). Wow! So much yarn! And I still have POUNDS to spin!

This weekend will be an exciting time for me and Mary. We'll be going down to the Tri-Cities with four other women and a whole lot of spinning wheels for a spin-in and potluck. We had a great time last year and will probably make it an annual event.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Aprons (from the Mary Jane's Farm site)

Aprons by Mary T.

The sign of domestic authority I have noticed over the years that aprons - honest ones - carry in themselves an air of domestic authority. When an apron is worn by a woman who is hard at task, it is like a uniform. Business is at hand and there will be no shilly shallying. There are serious tasks to be accomplished. Fruit to be canned, food cooked, chores to be completed. One does not usually put on an apron just to lounge about or to go on a visit. No, aprons stay at home and tend to the work that must be done to keep the home fires burning.

All her years, my mother wore an oriental apron called a mamason. She always had a Kleenex in the front pocket and other oddities picked up from a days work: i.e. miscellaneous Legos that strayed from my brother's room, or a straggle of old yarn or fabric from some wild project I had cooked up. Sometimes treasures appeared from the pocket, candy or money for a swim at the pool. You just didn't know what was to be found in that mysterious cornucopia.

When I became a wife and mother I sewed my first apron. It took several days to take apart an old momason of mom's and make a pattern from it. After 20 years of washing and use the pieces had fused with the stitching to become what seemed a seamless garment. But patience paid off and I was proud the day I showed off my apron to my mother. I had graduated from girlhood. That winter I sewed a new apron for my mom from the pattern I had made. It must have tickled her to receive that gift. In my teens I was a radical activist, not a domestic engineer. But after joining the ranks, of course ones mind is likely to change. And so I marched into my new life of home schooling and whole wheat with my apron and not a few lofty goals.

I've been hard at work as a domestic engineer for more than twenty years now. I've had several aprons to my credit over those years. At present I'm flush with several high quality aprons. This is an unusual occurrence. I've not had more than two aprons at a time ever. Having an eclectic taste that verges on DID, my present collection ranges from demure to modern chef. From a lovely blue calico to screaming solid yellow. My momason has long since departed and the last apron I sewed lasted some years. It is a bit ragged. It looks like something a Russian Babushka (granny) might wear. Black with red stripes and little beets and yellow corn embroidered in between the red and green pin stripping. Alas, it is at the bottom of the tired apron pile now. Some good friends knowing my .unusual taste. gave me a groovy apron for Christmas. It is covered with VW beetles and peace signs. I wore it like crazy. So this year I had to set out on a search for another serviceable apron. Serviceable meaning: covering you nearly from head to foot. I'm creative: meaning messy. After a lengthy search I came upon a website for modest clothing. It had Amish dresses and bonnets and beautiful aprons. They are handmade and fit all requirements - including pockets. This is the most lady-like apron I have seen. (Donna Reed will be jealous.) A heart shaped neckline and scallops over the shoulder. And an inset waist with white piping covering all edges. Quite lovely. It is now my favorite. Except for those screaming yellow days when I wear my Pike Place Market apron, another gift from a friend.

Your aprons should speak to who you are and what you do. Even eluding to what you dream of. It should be something you are content to be in again and again and always enjoy. I have deep admiration for aprons. Over the years they have been a symbol of femininity, love, commitment, and frugality. Women have gathered food for their families in them and flowers for funerals. Aprons have been cried into, twisted into knots during times of great anxiety. Hidden behind when a new blushing brides dinner didn't quite come out to perfection. I should think there is more than one prairie wife who tore up her petty coat first for bandages before tearing up her apron.

Yes, a useful tool of womanhood is an apron. I think I will go sew one for my only daughter. She will become a mother this winter. How can a woman survive life, let alone motherhood, without a sturdy apron?

The Dancing Ewe!

Yippee! The Dancing Ewe yarn store is now open! This is Sarah and I bought some beautiful Merino/Cashmere blend yarn from RYC and a cute little blue Stump teapot. This store has an amazing selection with prices that beat out even some of the online stores!

I think I'll have a very hard time staying out of there! I'd better start putting a savings aside each month so I can indulge! :D