Tuesday, February 28, 2012


What fun we have been having here.  Around all the snow, colds and general malaise we have been having a ball watching old movies and spinning!  Here we have the 13.5 ounces of very fine merino I dyed that I'm calling Grapevine as it reminds me of grapes.

Above you can see it on two bobbins and here on the right you can see it in the ball.  Below is my project I'm making from it.  It screamed that it wanted to be a shawl so shawl it shawl be {PIN}.  ;-)  I needed something plain due to the great variation of colors in the ball, knew it wouldn't translate into lace very well. 
Mom calls this a dragon, it's where the merino braid landed.
You can see the cable up the side and just barely see the p1 I put in the center of each triangle.  There will be more and I'm wondering if it wants me to add more further on to make an hourglass shape in and out as it goes along.  I love the back too, so pretty with it's one knit stitch on a knit background.
 Another lace weight for you.  This is my turquoise on merino again, very easy and comforting to spin.  This has yet to speak to me but I'm enjoying the spin.

Quick update on my Vernal... just finishing clue 4, another comforting project.

Then there's my baby Suri alpaca.  Remember I told you about the dirty fleece I rinsed and popped into the pot?  The natural brown in it works perfect with the other colors I added to it.  Due to the fact that it's Suri I have an extremely lovely, soft, lofty, nummy yarn.

It's really a lofty nummy bulky yarn which was screaming to be a shawlette even though I have over one pound of this dyed up.  My instant thought was of a pinwheel which I have written up so that others can work this lovely with their big bulky hand spun.  DD is working on the test knit now.  Her's is a much more balanced yarn, I wanted a thick thin for mine and this is what she wanted for her's, this pattern will work for many yarns.  We plan on putting one of the new lovely hook clasps on the front at the neck when we are finished.  It will be a lovely warm shawl perfect for my InValid self in my chair or even bed.  For all others it will go anywhere and be just the right amount of coverage to keep warm.  This could even be used on top of a trench coat if you had to go out in the rain.  I can think of so many uses, the best use... for your hand spun yarn.
 Our long gloves are coming along too... least you think we forgot about those.

I will leave you with some photos of our only real snow of the year.  I hope you are well and more important, happy and at peace.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Show and Tell

  Happy Day to one and all.  This week just a bit of show and tell.  Here's my latest pattern the ADOW bag, on the right you can see the verbiage for which I give a color graph and alphabet for you to insert your own words.
     After listening to a pod cast I realized I wanted to join a roving club... after seeing the prices I thought I'd dye my own, ;-) especially what with the entire corner of the garage full of totes full of fleeces.  I'm sure DH would appreciate my savings, right hon?

On the left is a brown and white alpaca fleece that I didn't bother washing much, we rinsed it a few times them plunked it part and parcel into the vat with a bunch of different colors and I really love the way this came out.  I will be taking you through my journey with this from paca animal through to the finished product, at least that's my goal here.  There's about 1 pound or so here I believe, will have to weigh and measure as I go.  I'm hoping it will tell me what it wants to be.  On the right we have a very pristine merino roving 13.5 ounces which will be lovely spun.  Not sure what finished product either will produce but I'm happy with my "purchases" and hope to take you along with me in my spinning journey which commences today. YIPEEEEE I'm so ready for my long weekend.
DD and I played with sock blanks.  Her's is on the left and mine on the right.  You can see the beginning of this project... about elbow (above?) length gloves is what we are shooting for with a design on the fly method instead of using a pattern.  I have a bit of a border there and I'm going to (hopefully) branch off into twisted stitches with lots of definition.
Here we have some reclaimed yarn and needles!  UFO's which have been ripped after being OTN for FOUR years!  After ripping a bunch of the Pi on the right I b/o and am gifting a shoulder shawl to DD for her upcoming b-day.  The Aeolian at the bottom was in sock yarn and the needles were WAY too small.  On the left the turquoise red and orange was some roving I spun from a club, tried to make a shawl out of it which was a no go.  The purple was a silk top but it was just too large and not happy so along with the rest,,, frogville was happy that day.  And I'm happy to have some size 6 needles back in my needle cases ready to use. ;-)  Out of this I only c/o the purple silk again and have done the border for the top.
On the left, 2000 yards of fingering weight yarn from pale to black in shades of blue with meldy deep between in small skeins to make the transitions.  I'm designing The Black Dahlia which will have torquing flower petals!  For the center we have little seeds then the flower petals start in the middle with twin leaves after them who go from small to large.  Finishing off with an alternating mesh and petal border still knit in the round.  SWEET!  Can't wait to get this OTN so you can see what I mean.  On the right in the Poisen (my hand dye) is my first tomato heel by Cat Bordhi, if you look closely you will see that my problem wasn't learning to make the wedge but rather to CEASE and desist LOL as you can see FOUR wedges instead of three. They slip on and off like a dream!  Love this new heel.  Since that photo was taken I have them both back OTN (2 at a time for me no SSS here) and I've got about 2" of ankle done on them.  I have about 920 yards and hope to make some long stockings from them.
      Another little sneak peak into the future... here we have a few of The Raven stitch marker sets.  As you can see birds are the order of the day.  Each set will have enough markers to work the KAL in.  7 divider markers and one lobster claw to mark the front side for you.  YES we have verbiage. I can't wait to share more with you.  I couldn't sleep last night for the stuff I had rolling around in my pea brains for you all.  I have been looking forward to this shawl for years.  Did you see there's a moving coming out!  The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe taken to new heights with a murderer emulating the stories he wrote, twisted.
      I hope you all have a GREEEEEEEAT weekend.  Do something nice for yourself.  Enjoy the day, Carpe Diem and all that rott! Hop a ride on a unicorn and enjoy your knitting or FROG IT!

Monday, February 20, 2012

What a great day

      I'm so happy and excited!  My creativity is HIGH today and I'm just thrilled with the progress de jour!  ;-)  So far I haven't been able to leave my bed ....   "yet!" yet cause as the meds build up I will be able to here after lunch... when I'm heading for the pots!  I'm so excited as I'm going to pull some roving out and dye up small (8 ounces or so) batches of multi colored lovelies.  I decided (if you saw my post on Rav) to do a blog along of all my clubbing... instead of clubbing it though (hand painted roving club) I decided to paint up a few months worth today and work through it on my blog.  Start to finish,,, dye pot, through spinning, through a pattern!  YUPPERS!  For all those peeps who join clubs (like me!  {hangs head}) then tosses the parcel into the fiber pile after petting it a bit never to pull it up again.  LOL course that said the last roving club I did resulted in a pair of socks and a frogged shawl... hey I tried and it was only 3 months so I did pretty good.  Here's some inspiration for a handspun project I would like to do with one of them.
        Ok this is so not what I wanted to come and tell ya'll.  The thing is I FINISHED the Spring Has Shawl pattern for the KAL.  YIPEEEEEEE!  I HAD to stay ahead of the TKers and what with having worked on that last chart for so long and knit it so many time,,, it just FELL INTO PLACE!  sweeeeeeeeet!  I'm so very pleased with the finished product.  So now I can hit the pots today with a light heart which will make all the dyeing AWESOME!  Normally does anyway.  I told you all the stuff I'm dyeing right?  Other then the KAL I have 2 shawls... one a color gradient masterpiece for Marios new Gethsamene.  I can't wait!  That's for tomorrow... I reskeined all the yarn up into smaller bit sized pieces and they are all tagged and ready for Meldy paints.  Then there's the roving and the Vernal E we are KALing on my IcelandicLaceShawl group here on Yahoo. In the photo below you can see my Meldy in light blue.  I LOVE this yarn, it's neat watching the blips of color come through.  You wouldn't know it but there are FOUR dyes on this yarn, there's even a bit of purple.  ;-)  you know me, purple, green and blue.  Over and over, how many different ways?
      SO!  This all FREES MY MIND!  and The Raven has been cawcawcawing loudly in my ears.  He's screaming to be made into a very simple pattern in order that a beginner to lace would be able to work it and those of you experienced knitters might be able to call it TV knitting.  Course what with it being massive we need to have some interest (beads and theme) in it in order to keep from being bored but it's time for something more simple.  You know that it's a circle that's cut up (not steeked, worked back and forth) the center right.  This way you can hold your hand on either side of the front slit and work your "wings" and CAW at peeps! ;-) HAHA ok so you might not but I so will! 
      There are beads, lovely beads that I picked out ages ago and there is yarn already as some of you know who already have the sample (shhhhhhh) no it's not for sale YET!  I emphasis YET as it will be shortly... see all that to say it's up next!!!!  SOOO EXCITED!  I need to pull my SM fixings out again as I have a few to make for this KAL's orders so I'm going to play with his birds and letters to!!! YIPEEE SKIPPY!  Yup, letters, thinking of different words.  Help me brainstorm... I can't use the same letters over so they have to all be different words,,, small so they don't get in the way.  I have been buying supplies for this KAL for such a long time it will be so nice to pull it all out to play!!!!  SO EXCITED!  LOL like you couldn't tell. For sure:
K2tog (if I have any numbers)
      See what I'm asking for?  Hit comment if you can think of stuff you might like to have on your shawl.   The knit, while being TV knitting, will HAVE to have some of the themed stuff and umph that I have been playing with all this time... but I'm going to try (operative word TRY) to keep it simpler.  Nothing too fancy, no borders (other then the few garters) no panels, no nutin but the bird.  OOOOH He's so pretty in my head.  sigh,,, happy and content what a great day to be alive.  Aren't you happy today?  How can you be anything but with a nut like me at the helm.  Oh dear, can't think of being at the helm without feeling so much dunno,,, responsibility... which I take very seriously... too seriously perhaps, ok downer.  His beads are the seed bead iris black rainbow... so that they look like all colors but subdued so like copper, purple, blue green but they are that iris black, KWIM?  I can't wait to buy them and show them to you... not too many on the shawl and probably only the one size throughout.  Unless his blink, blink, oh shiny screams at me.  You know ravens they love the bling and will steal anything shiny that comes across their path.
     So the other thing I wanted to let you know is that I got the samples in for the silk.  Not liking the one 100% so much since the talk I had with (oh dear have I forgotten? Patty?) I realized that they were passing Tussah off as the real deal... or perhaps I just assumed it was going to be the real deal what with the price point being so high.  Anyway, we have her to thank for saving us over that.  Then .... the others, the camel and yak,,, wow!  I don't even want to dye it!  It's gorgeous in the raw, or perhaps a dark color like a bit of blue or purple?  Will have to buy some samples and figure out what it likes.  Lately I have been wanting more natural stuff.  Been thinking about a color work sweater in all shades of undyed through browns.  Plain stuff has been calling me lately... more plain then my normal neon's and rainbow brights that I have been using for an eon.
      Anyway, just really happy, content and wanted to share.  Hope you are having the best Monday ever... normally I'm depressed on Monday's but this is a GREAT DAY!Can't wait to come back for my next post as I have stuff backing up here ready to share... UFO that are reclaimed along with a pile of needles and how to care for Kauni and other "itchy" yarns.  Then there's lining a bag simply and easily.  So many posts.  ;-)  So much to share.  I will return soon.
 Did you know that June 24th is National Fairy Day?!!! You have to love a Nation who celebrates their fairies!

Friday, February 17, 2012


Check it out!  a contest for my Knit Sibs, go fill her out! via Storey Publishers.
     Well I'm not sure which is more satisfying at this point:
Castitonitis where I go round finding these lovely patterns or am tempted by 5 KAL's all at once and cast them all on or;
Finishitupitis where I have this burst of finishing items up and getting them where they need to be.
Which is more gratifying to you and why?

This is a pair of thigh highs I bound off last night, this is my reading knitting.  I have a Lucite book holder which keeps my book open, a reading lamp with a flex stand thingy so as not to disturb DH and I just crank out the knitting.  Most of this is k2p2 at the top to keep them up.  Why thigh highs?  Arthritic knees LOVE them some thigh highs.   
     Here we have Dolce Vita by Bridget which is I'm currently half way through clue 3 of 4,  it's a long strand Kauni and I wasn't planning on beading but SHAZAM do they ever work!  I had this tube of a variety of large beads, rectangles, rocacille, seed in various sizes that I mixed with some 6/0 in green/teal and they are PERFECT for this shawl.  See all the different ones!  You can barely see the tiny bit of beading I have done so far.  The last clue will be out next Thursday, this is a banana shape shawl, my first.
     Then I have a test knit who's border I need to wait for, it's cream fingering with golden sparkly beads PERFECT!  Then I'm sorely tempted by Gethsemane by Mario, that's coming out on Tuesday.  I love me some big shawls and I think one of the test knitters for that shawl mentioned that it was large.
   Oh that's right I'm c/oing on Moni's KAL on the 24th in fingering.  I was going to do it in Kauni but it's SO primitive and two shawls in this yarn back to back is TOO much!  I'm going to sell off some of it as I have a ton! Anyone interested?  Thinking I might dye for this shawl on Monday when we dye up the rest of the Spring KAL.  Or I might just work it up in cream for a dip or accordion dye. 
    Then my own list has Vernal Equinox starting for Spring, we KAL 4 times per year, join us!   I'm going to work this shawl up in DK weight and then dip dye it after the fact.  But that will make 3 shawls OTN in cream and I'm not sure that's a good idea.  Especially not all at once.  ;-)
     Last week I c/o the Spring Has Sprung KAL (see page above) and got half way through the first clue, it's smashing I can't wait to share with you.  The test knitters started their race on that one just yesterday.  With their help we nailed down the start up chart.  It's a faux faroese shawl with borders to add zest.  I tried to make a less intense shawl but somehow I keep ending up with this real involved ones.  When I get the silk in I'm going to make something plain, geometric and symmetrical which is so me.  I love all the themes that I get into but I need to make a plainer shawl now.  Yeah a plain triangle with just 2 inserts of the pattern for a simple knit.  Enough lace to keep you knitting sub simpler to make it TV knitting.
     Finished that pair of thigh high's yesterday, well late last night and I dug out my poison socks (my hand paint) that I already had started.  Finishitupitis is soooowweeeeeetttt!

  Did you finally get your weather?  We did it's been so nice to see snow on the ground again.
      Even though everything's been growing and we will loose half our landscaping it's been really nice. 
      I read all the comments and  appreciate the feedback as this weather has me at odds.  It's really strange right!  Have you gotten any weather?

Monday, February 13, 2012

SHS KAL Sneak Peek

SHHHHH don't tell anyone,,,, it's a sneak peek of the KAL we are doing on the Yarn Fairy Mystery list.  This is a free KAL just sharing the love.  This is a tiny portion of a part of the shawl which I wont tell you where or nutin honey... you need to come out and play and have fun.  
     See Spring Has Sprung page for info regarding yarn, this is DD's shawl in our Golden Yellow.  She keeps saying I LOVE this shawl, it's soooo soft!  Like warm butta I tell her, she agrees.  I can't wait to start on my shawl!  I got a teal out for me as that's the most popular color, I figure with so many peeps ordering it I can't go wrong.
     Don't forget, if you order a second skein of cream for $35, you can send it back for a FREE dip dye!  LMK if you have any trouble ordering and I can send you an invoice.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sherlock in London

What with all the dyeing I did yesterday you knew I'd be dyeing something further didn't you?  :-)  See the Spring Has Sprung KAL page and the ADOW page for the latest dye crazy day we had.

Here is SHERLOCK!  Have you seen him?
     Shortly I will be working up a DK knit scarf and a color work pair of sock for our beloved boy.  I have had much influence from a brianstorming muse session with DD and we have some terrific ideas.  I have only one male pattern so far, it's in my book.  Matthews socks will be my second with Sherlock following on his heels.
You may even see some aspects of this wallpaper in an item.  ;-)
      Of course he had to have some yarn!  What would life be like without yarn eh?  For a knitter who's artsy, very dry indeed.
London Ala Sherlock

See the pigments on the yarn?  This is so indicative of his nature, here there and everywhere and all really rapidly.  This is how I see him, brown and grey with high spots of multiple colors... they will not detract from the knit and in colorwork SHAZAM!  You will have blips of the different colors coming through.

Sherlock in Brown

You have heard of the Woman in Red (and for that matter the Woman in White for that matter), The Lady In Pink was an episode so here we have Sherlock in Brown an oh so moody brown for his depressions! ;-)

     These are both dyed on my super wash merino 80/20 nylon sock weight yarn but can be done on any of my base yarns.  E-mail me for a list of them, meanwhile they are $20 and $3.00 for shipping.  To order go to Paypal and send funds to wmdress@sbcglobal.net CLICK GOODS (very important so I can ship to you) make sure the e-mail and address is correct and into the comments put what you would like on which base.  All yarns are special order and take time to dye but orders are pushed through pretty quickly.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What's with the weather?

So tell me... is it unseasonably warm in the world where you live?  I can't believe this weather.  Christmas came and went never feeling like Christmas due to the 70-80 degree weather we had,,, least that's what we believe.  Take a moment, leave a comment with your location and tell me if your weather is as it's supposed to me.  

I'll start, we are located in the mountains between LA and Bakersfield in Southern California.  We normally have had several snow storms by now as well as a number of rain storms.... what have we had?  It has only rained twice here, normally we are socked in with fog like San FranciscoIt snowed ONCE and it was just flurries at like 40 degrees that melted in the air.  Really people, come on, where is my weather?  The garden goes dormant and many plants need that rest.  We have a rose that's bloomed and we have surely lost the peaches again this year.  Bummer as I love me some organic peaches.  Take a moment and let me know what the weather is doing in your neck of the woods.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Current Project

      Well Kiddies I just couldn't NOT share even though many of these are under wraps and you can't see them I had to share them.  Here's what I have that I'm currently working on and I do mean working as there are deadlines.
     Left to right, ADOW bag, no you can't see it as I will be publishing that one.  But it's in the brown bag there on the left,,, it's mostly blue and black, looks like the cover of the book.  I need a test knitter for the large size still.  It's small when done in fingering and large when done in worsted LOVE IT!  The box of thread in the center is the Niebling Trollblume KAL I have been telling you about.  The black maze sweater there on the right is my challenge and it's due 2-29.
     Here we have on the top left in the basket, the Dolce Vita KAL which is finished and waiting for the next clue. Bottom Left are the Bronte Mitts which we are KALing on my KnitTheClassics group on Yahoo we only just today decided to do this KAL.  Yesterday over lunch I asked DD what she wanted for her b-day that I could knit for her and she said gloves she could work in (meaning type) as her thin long hands get cold.  These are very lovely, delicate and look so much like her.  I'm going to hold both the gray and pink together, it's baby alpaca.  Also for her b-day she's getting a beaded bracelet.  I had her pull her favorite yarn and she came back with the yellow green and turquoise there on the bottom right, I pulled some beads to subdue it and will make my standard beaded bracelet.  She will love it.  I love working for her as she's so easy and so very thankful.  Just above that is my Spring Has Sprung shawl I'm swatching... no you can't see more!  ;-)  We will be KALing that in silk (see page here on this blog).
     Here we have 2 more hush hush projects.  Top left is a test knit for Mario shhhhhhhhhhhh.  The turquoise is for a book.  I have to finish them right away so this is my priority project right now.  This one is due to the Pub 2-15... I have to finish them this week.  I'm about half way through the middle chart, there's only one after that and when I get going on them they go fast.  What are they?  LOVELY gloves! 2 at a time so when I'm done I'm done!  Course there are 3 more ruffles which take a day a piece but I'm confident I can still get the work done. 
     My knitting is the only thing that keeps me from going overboard.  It's something I CAN do in a world where there are so many things I CAN NOT DO.  I'd rather focus on what I can do and in making others happy, then focus on what I can't: can't walk, cook, clean and I'm taking up space.  Someone wrote me and said I take on too much, that I'm scattered, making myself sick and dropping the ball.  I don't drop it, some times it just takes me longer then an able bodied person to pass it, but I do get things done.  Without having purpose in my life it would end.... fast, I know that about me. I have to feel needed, wanted and worth while.  This is how I accomplish that.  It doesn't make me sicker, what makes me sicker is for someone who doesn't understand to be hurtful by telling me I'm spread too thin.  Or moving too much, knitting doesn't require that.  Trust me... if all you could do was knit, you'd do it too.  This would look like a lot of stuff to someone who's not disabled.  It's not for me, it's the level I feel most comfortable with and where I need to be for now.  
Do you understand?
     I finished BSG and the funny thing?  One part of my ailments that I love is that you can tell me the same joke over and over and I will laugh just as hard the last time you tell it as the first time.  I didn't remember that the Cylon's got together with the humans!  It's fun watching something again and seeing it for the first time.  Only thing is now I miss it and I wish I were watching it again. ;-) Until next time, knit on!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Dolce Vita

I had fun with this one, it's interesting to work on different designers shawls.  Each designer has such a different take on lace, construction and motif that it's been more interesting for me this year.  Last year I made like 13 shawls... around all the work I did!  LOL This year so far I have 2, Dolce Vita will be number 2 hopefully.
You can just barely see the colors changing,,, dark to light... it will begin to go back to dark again now.  This is clue one which was completed in a few hours yesterday.  I'm on to Trollblume which is a Neibling doily we are KALing.

Friday, February 3, 2012

How to block a large knit garment with limited space

     Well Kiddies I finished my MMarios Queen Of Heaven.  Started 1-12 and ended 2-3 AND I started 2 more shawls and a doily in that time as well as started and finished Nug socks and did up 6" on a 2 at a time pair of knee highs!  Designed a shawl in there as well.... just for good measure.
     We have a fairly large bedroom and normally I just block my shawls on my California King sized bed... this one, not so much, as well as the last one.   So I have had to come up with some creative solutions. Items that go from the top of my head to the floor must needs be blocked differently, even though I'm only 5'2" tall. :-)
        Here's my Queen of Heaven blocking.  This is "supposed" to be a shawl... got a little to large for that and I have been wanting a hefty afghan that I could toss in the washer so it's three fold wonderful for me in that it's gorgeous as well.  Leo suggested that I use 2 strands of superwash sock yarn on a larger needle so that's just what I did.  I worked this pattern up with about 2.5 POUNDS of sock weight yarn on US size 10 needles. I didn't like all this green sock yarn I had, one was just whack with peach and navy in it and it was the one I had the most of so that one was the main yarn, the carrying yarn was all other greens in my stash.  Sad to say I will have to dye more if I need green in the future but how can I stay "sad" with so much loveliness before me.
     In order to block in this manner place the shawl wrong side up.  Lay blocking wired up the middle, carefully so you don't pick up any strands of yarn.  Fold it on these wires.  Pin the middle down as straight as you can.  Then weave blocking wires through the front AND back of both points you need to pull out.  Pin out from the very center first leaving the fold free to be pinned last.  I have a really strong fan that we put on my stuff or even two on it or if you have a thick item it will be drying forever.  Try this next time you are challenged for space.
     To get this one wet for blocking, we ran it though the rinse cycle of the washer.  Not sure I will EVER put  it in the dryer even though I know it's all superwash, just not that daring.  I can't recommend this knit enough I really enjoyed it.
     Dolce Vita Clue 1 came out yesterday and I'm half way through the clue, not sure if she's skipping the next weeks clue or not.  I don't speak German and so much is passing me by.  So long as I can knit I'm happy so I don't really care.
     Trollblume comes out tomorrow, can't wait! After I finish both of those I'm going back to designing my Spring has Sprung KAL.  While I'm designing this I'm going back to my lovely colorwork sweater I'm making.
   My KAL is a triangle shaped shawl with cables, lots of lace, texture and SILK!  Yuppers 100% silk thread, just a shade finer then my Pixie Paca.  I can't wait to get this one going.  Everybody who buys at least 2 skeins (dirt cheap I might add), one undyed has the option of sending me back their shawl for a dip dye!  FREE!  I did a draft of the pattern in my chart maker, thought it was a go, slept on it and my Muse came up with so many great ideas that I have to redo the entire thing... well all but the last as the last is PERFECT!  It's lovely.  I can't wait to get you a sneak peak.
My idea for this shawl was as a lapghan and a coat.  It will reside on my bed between wearing it.  See how the 1920's coat is sort of slung low on the model on the left?  Well when they wore that model in the movies they would some times walk with their shoulders uncovered and the sleeves caught up, held and folded at the waist.  That's what this will do.  For size,,,, my DD is modeling and she's 5'4"!!!!
Here she's got it folded back from her face, more coat like.  She kept saying it's so nice.  It's a snugglehug!  We love it.


P.S. I was just on Rav in 12 Shawls in 2012 group, I have NEVER received so many loves,,,, 43 on my post there to enter this shawl!  WOWSERS loves at rav