Monday, December 06, 2010


A month of Glam

Well hi! Still here, still yarning. I've gotten so much into Facebook and Twitter over the past few months that my blog is starting to fall by the wayside. However, when you want to say all of what's on your mind without worrying about character count and put up a mess of snapshots, there's nothing quite like the blog.

A couple of weeks ago I finally received my eagerly awaited shipment of base yarn for Glam Sock, and was able to finish and deliver orders that were open since July and August. My customers were infinitely patient, and since I've improved my dye techniques and skills since the last time Glam was in, (at least in my humble estimation), I got some great feedback!

Since I had a whole case to play with, I came up with some new colorways.

Victorian Christmas

Black Magic

You'd think black would be a no-brainer and I'd have figured it out early on. Not so! For me it was a matter of finding the right dye. For much of my black dyeing I use Country Classics Raven, which is more of a charcoal gray than true black. Trying to get the right black for my textile artist friend was a challenge and forced me to experiment (which was a good thing). Next I tried Ashford black, but that wasn't working either. Finally I used Jacquard jet black, and voila - that seemed to do the trick. It works great on Glam; usually I double dye it in a pot for developed and even color. For handpainting a variegated colorway, though, I still use CC Raven, because the Jacquard tends to separate into brown at the edges of the dyed area.

The Mulberry's a challenge, too. To make this color I combine 2 dye shades, and can never seem to get the ratios exactly right from skein to skein, session to session. Usually they come out so much prettier than my camera can show, that if there is hue variance it's slight and not much of an issue. As for Victorian Christmas - this colorway danced in my vision like sugarplums for months. Finally got to do it, what fun! It's just a little twist on a Christmassy silver, red and green.

Didn't think you were gonna get a dyeing tutorial, did ya?

Socks Are Not For Suckas

Shawls in hand dyed fingering weight are awesome sauce, yes they are. However, I still love sock knitting. One at a time. Top down. On dpns. It takes me immediately to my happy place!

I love the Nutkin pattern, and have been itching to knit it and drooling over the skein of Madelinetosh in Baltic that was percolating in the stash. I then proceeded to change just about everything about the design, except for keeping the beautiful (and easy) stitch pattern on the leg.

Finally there's a blue pair in my sock drawer!

Not an afterthought...

I got my spinning wheel! It's a beautiful brand new Lendrum that works great, but we haven't exactly bonded yet. There are a few issues with me, spinning, my house and pets. First of all, I'm not as consistent a spinner as I thought I would be - and it will take lots of practice, not only to spin uniformly but also to build those leg muscles! I went to a spin session, and it was more of a workout than I imagined. However, those things aren't really obstacles; I shall overcome. The biggest issue is keeping my wheel safe from dog whiz. To Toki, it's just another piece of furniture to lift his leg on, so I've got the wheel put up out of reach. I also need to be sitting in one of the kitchen chairs when I spin; my knitting chair won't work ergonomically. Holy cow! Over the next year one of my goals is to work out all these bugs, so I can spin as leisurely as I knit.

Look out, it's Christmas

Without sounding like a bah humbug scrooge, I really, really don't want to do much for Christmas this year. I don't want to put up lights or spend $60 on a tree that we'll throw out, although we will do these things for Michelle. I guess the reason I don't want a tree is because I can spend virtually zilch on gifts. So while it'll be simple holidays for us, I'll do what I can to make it decent looking around here. My objective for the coming week, along with keeping Stitchjones going of course, is to transform the clutter of a business office, warehouse, winding station and mail room - along with a music room - back into what they started out as, our dining and living room. I put away a lot of stuff today and did some cleaning, and although it'll take some doing, I'm in a "believe and achieve" frame of mind. That means the psychoactives must be working!

I promise not to be absent from here for so long, and am about 3/4 done knitting a sweater. I'm eager to finish it, do a photo shoot and blog it, of course, so I'm off to knit more on the sleeve. Hope you are all finding ways to stay warm and happy in early December!

It's like Meatloaf's song: Two out of three ain't bad. Blog, Facebook, Twitter: I can only manage two, and that's blog and FB. I have a hard time remembering Twitter! Sounds like you have your two picked out, too...

The Victorian Christmas is very pretty.

I'm a little grinchy this year. Just not ready to prepare for Christmas. But the lights are up! We haven't had a tree in years; the kids don't care if we have one or not, so I'm going for simple. I have a wire tree that sits on the piano with my favorite ornaments. That's it.
Beautiful socks!! Love your yarn colours too, very swish! I think the general consensus on Christmas this year is bah humbug, so don't feel bad. We aren't doing much in either the decorating or gifting thing this year.
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