February 7, 2010


Posted in Journal tagged , , , at 9:13 pm by Jenn

Well today was the day.  No putting if off til tomorrow.  It had to be done.  I got out of bed, bundled up and got ready to shovel….let the pain begin.

It was bad, but not as bad as it could have been I suppose.  Last night we were lucky enough to be visited by a kind man in a front loader.  He dug out our street…..our street that usually doesn’t get plowed.  There were 4 of us out there moving snow today so it only took a few hours to clean off the driveway,  and space for the mail truck to get near the box.

Here’s a few pics of the snow

Max was bored by the whole thing.

So the driveway got finished and Dad ran out to do a few errands, you know….BEER RUN!  He also stopped by the hardware store to pick up a few things for Heather to stain her new spinning wheel.  She bought an Ashford Traveller, unfinished and is now staining it a pretty honey oak color.

She started dying fiber yesterday and that process carried over to this afternoon.  Here’s a pic of what she did yesterday.

Of course I can’t resist dyeing fiber so I got in on the act…..here’s a few pics of the process

It was a very productive day.  I even managed to whip up my borscht.  Here’s a picture of the finished product.  It tasted as good as it looks.  I’m pretty impressed with myself.  Those cooking lessons from Olga paid off!

Now I’m sitting here watching the halftime show and getting ready to do a little bit of knitting.  Back to work tomorrow.  Hopefully the nice front loader man will come and do the rest of the neighborhood tonight.  Dad said 301 was a mess so it should be a fun commute!  Note to self, remember to take some Aleve.


June 22, 2009

Swimming N Dye

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , at 6:41 pm by Jenn

Caution – Lots of pictures.

Saturday was a very eventful day and officially the end of birthday week.  After the accident on Wednesday, I definitely needed a little pick me up and Saturday (and Thursday night crabs with Michelle, Anne, Mike, Luke and Heather) did just that.

The day started off at Zachary’s first swim meet.  He was scheduled to swim in 3, 25 meter races (0ne length of the pool).  This baffled me because just two weeks earlier he had to be bribed to even jump in to the pool and I really doubted that he’d be able to do it.  I arrived at a little past 8:00am to find a large crowed gathered for the meet – Brandywine Wave vs Kingfish Swim Club.  Zachary was scheduled for race #11, #21 and #39.  They were on race 4 and with the gray sky it wasn’t looking too promising.  Then about race 6 the rain started, just a gentle rain but it was raining all the same.  I thought for sure they would stop the meet, but NOPE – no thunder, no lightening means RACE IS ON!  LOL.  So, there I stood with at least a hundred other people. in. the. rain. waiting. for my number to come up.

Finally, the time came…time for race 11, and you know what?  He did it.  He jumped in, swam the 25 meters (freestyle) and finished the race.  I couldn’t believe it.  I thought, “this can’t be the same kid that just 2 weeks ago wouldn’t jump in to the pool”, but it was – my nephew the swimmer!  And here’s a picture or two of the big day –


This is Zachary competing in the 25 meter freestyle. This was his first official swim team race and he finished!


This is Zachary finishing the 25 meter breaststroke.  Now he was disqualified in this race because he touched the bottom at some point during the race, but hey, he finished, which is more than I gave him credit for so I’m super proud and can’t wait to see another meet!  Way to go Zachary!

My sister and I left after this race to head off to a Dye Workshop that Karida of Neighborhood Fiber Co., was hosting at her studio.  We arrived late mostly due to getting lost a few times, but we arrived!  Just as we arrived the rain started coming down in BUCKETS!  It was unbelievable.  I can’t believe the amount of rain that we’ve had here since I’ve been home at the end of April.  If it keeps up we are going to need arks for transportation soon!

There were two other women participating in the workshop – Lina and Jo.  Both were super nice and created some really lovely yarn.  I was so impressed with everyone’s color choices and designs.  Here are a few pictures from the workshop


This is one of Lina’s skeins, it reminded me of a cheetah – it was BEAUTIFUL!


This is Jo painting up a skein of semi-solid.


This is the board that we wound our yarn on to in preparation for dying in the self striping pattern.  Each sideways V makes a stripe.  The board is pretty neat, it’s made with hooks about 15″ apart or equal to one round of knitting on your needles and yarn (width) and 2″ apart (height), the hooks are also staggered by about 1″ from left to right.  Really creative and there is an online tutorial here


This is Heather, painting up some self striping sock yarn.


Some of the dye we used.


A view of the stash in Karida’s studio!  It was quite a sight to behold – and quite dangerous for the wallet.


These are Heather’s stripy sock yarn in brown and orange and her self striping yarn that came off of the board.


This picture is sideways, but…the top yarn is 8oz of Supersock – Superwash Merino, dyed in brown and a tealish green with a splash of purple and a bit of white yarn peeking through….it’s mine and I plan to make some sort of shawl.

The middle skein is my semisolid – Watershed which is Merino 70% and Seacell 30%.  I used a navy blue and then applied a darker ink color blue over the top….I lurv it.  4oz and not sure what I plan to do with it….socks?  maybe.

The bottom skein is Heather’s – for a shawl – a great teal color blue/green with purple dots here and there throughout – I think she was trying to do a Creatively Dyed type look – and it worked!  It’s great….I might have to try this technique soon!


And this is my self striping sock in the same Watershed blend as the semisolid blue – 4oz.

So there you have it.  We each had 12 ounces of yarn that we had dyed at the end of the session – plush whatever we wanted to buy from Karida’s stash!  I’ll save the stash pics for later because some of them were purchased with SP14 in mind!  Shhh.

November 22, 2008

Yarn Party and a Kool Aid Buzz

Posted in Journal tagged , , , at 10:35 pm by Jenn

Today was my “yarn party”.  I invited a few people (I met all of them via Ravelry) over to dye some yarn.  There were four of us and a LOT of Kool Aid.  Each of us dyed 2 skeins.  Surprisingly, we all ended up with similar colors in various shades of red/purple (and a couple of skeins with orange and yellow).

We used at least 4 packs of Kool Aid to 4 cups of water and in some cases a few more packs of Kool Aid for deeper color or another round of Kool Aid plus water to give more color coverage over the yarn.  It was just a let’s see what happens if I do this kind of day.  I think we were all pleased with the results.

I don’t have pictures of all the skeins, but here is what I have (thanks Jess for sharing your photos). 

We let the yarn soak in warm water with a little wool wash for about 20-30 minutes.  While the yarn was soaking we mixed the color and put it on the stove to boil. 

more-pouring1         watch-pot

When the color was ready we removed the yarn from the soak, squeezed out the excess water


and then added it to the pot of boiling Kool Aid water.  It was neat to watch the yarn absorb the kool aid. 


Some of the yarn absorbed lots of color and other pieces didn’t absorb too much…notice that all of the color has been absorbed, you can see that the water is clear.   For some of the yarns if we decided that the yarn needed more color we just mixed up more kool aid, brought it to a boil and then put the yarn back in.  Other skeins looked really cool with the color variations from light to dark so we left them as is. 

Here’s Jessica admiring her masterpiece before we added the second round of color


Then we started playing around with two different colors.


Jen who’s hands you see pictured here was dyeing this skein.  She recommends not using your hands in boiling water.  I think I’d be inclined to agree with her.

Here are a few pictures of the finished skeins with the Kool Aid recipe used to achieve the look.


Skein 1 (far left) – 2 packets Cherry, 2 packets Grape – 4 cups water

Skein 2 (middle) – 2 packets Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade, 2 packets Blastin’ Berry Cherry – 4 cups water

Skein 3 (far right) – 2 packets Lemonade, 2 packets Orange – 4 cups water x 2 rounds


Top skein – 2 packets Black Cherry, 1 packet Ice Blue Raspberry, 1 packet Tropical Punch, 1/2 packet Grape – 4 cups water

Bottom skein – 4 packets Lemonade as base, then 4 packets Cherry – 4 cups water each round

So there you have it.  Lots of fun, lots of yarn and maybe a few ideas for the next party.

November 6, 2008

A Day for Dyeing

Posted in Journal, Purls of Wisdom tagged , , , at 11:51 pm by Jenn

Today I finally decided to do something with all those onion skins I’d been saving for the past few months.  I don’t know if it was because Scott said something (sarcastically) about them accumulating or if I was just ready to do something with them.  Anyway, about 3pm today I decided today was the day that I would try my luck at dyeing with natural dyes.

I started off with this


but in much large quantity.  I put all the skins I gathered into a pot with about 2.5 liters of water and turned the heat on to medium high.  I let the water come to a boil and remain boiling for about 30 minutes. 


I then turned the heat down and got ready to add the yarn.


I let that simmer gently (so it wouldn’t felt) for about 30 minutes….this is the finished product.  I’m really quite pleased with the color.

I still had 2 skeins ready to go, but I didn’t think there was enough color left in the water to do up another 2 skeins.  I didn’t want to risk it so I reached in to the freezer and pulled out a pack of spinach.  The spinach left little flakes of spinach all over the yarn so I didnt’ want to dye the third skein with that color…so I grabbed the Black Cherry Kool Aid (3 packs to 4 cups of water).  What the Hell!  Here’s a picture of all three skeins.


I really love the onion dyed skein which is in the middle.  It’s a nice autumn orange color.  The spinach is on the left and the Black Cherry Kool Aid on the right.  I like the spinach color but once I saw the Black Cherry I thought about adding another color to the spinach….hmmm….what goes good with green?  Purple of course.  I boiled up some Grape Kool Aid (2 packs to 2 cups of water) and this is what I came up with


much better. 

The method I used for the Kool Aid this time was different than last time.  Last time I hand painted the yarn, this time I just stuck it in the pot of water.  The yarn soaked up the color instantly.  That is why the Black Cherry yarn is lighter in places….the light places are the last pieces that went in to the water.  When I took the yarn out (after about 20 minutes) the water was clear.  For the spinach yarn I just dipped the yarn in and held it in place for about 5 minutes….again all the color was removed from the water and drawn in to the yarn.  FASCINATING.  Like magic.

Now all the yarn is drying and I have to decide what to do with it.  Gifts or stash?  That is the question.

I also received two GREAT packages today.  One from my friend Katie in Kentucky!  She is so sweet.  She was my spoilee for the Spring Swap several months ago.  We’ve stayed in touch and she sent me two Webkinz and two skeins of Noro Silk Garden in super awesome colorway.  I’m thinking scarf, but she suggested mittens.  Here’s a picture of the goods


Thanks Katie, YOU ROCK!  The second package was from WEBS and contained the yarn (Queensland Collection – Kathmandu DK in Midnight Blue Tweed)for my next project…Baby Cables and Big Ones Too (on ravelry)!  I’m going to swatch tomorrow and hopefully cast on in the next few days.  I do still have 3 Giftmas presents to start and finish….

September 22, 2008

I’m Into Dyeing

Posted in Journal, Purls of Wisdom tagged , , , , at 9:25 pm by Jenn

You start with this

and end with this

using this

FUN!  Now I just have to wind it in to center pull balls and then turn it in to a pair of socks.  Gee, I wonder how long that will take? 

I’m going to try some other techniques…onion skins and spinach for starters!  : )  Yes I know.  I’m a geek.  I wanted to do wine, but that’s just a waste of good wine…besides, I’ve read the color turns brown with time.  Brown is a nice color, but I’d rather drink the wine I think.

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