Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What happened to June?

Good grief! No wonder I'm being chastised for not blogging lately. I thought those last 2 entries were in June, but noooo, they're from May! I lost a month, oh dear.

Well, Black Sheep Gathering, of course, eats up a lot of June, what with ordering for it, packing for it, loading the trailer, being there, unloading and then figuring out what we have after all is said and done. While packing the trailer I thought a picture of the STUFFED TO THE ROOF trailer would make good blog fodder, but of course it didn't happen. Maybe for OFFF I'll remember! Oh, and a pic of the booth might be nice too.

Black Sheep was, as always, a lot of fun. It was a little hot on Friday but we tried not to whine too much, knowing it was still nearly 20 degrees cooler than it was my first year as a vendor there (talk about your trial by fire - a gazillion degrees and I had the worst cold I've had in YEARS, ugh). There were many fabulous and wonderful things to see and touch and dream about, and friends to catch up with and hug, and things to learn and teach. Ahhhh, and soon it will be time for OFFF, and more of the same! Life is good.

I do have some pictures of some dyeing I did recently. We have this new cool Seacell/Silk blend yarn and I wanted to see how well it dyes. I'm not the least bit scientific - measuring is not my forte, repeatable will never be on the agenda. I greatly admire all those dyers who can make a consistent product! I dyed with both Landscapes, and with Procion - and used heat with the Procion, rather than doing the maybe more expected cold batch/soda ash routine. I would like to know how that works on this yarn too, but there wasn't enough time really that day. I dyed with my sweetie's daughter A, who enjoyed it too I think, though the gloves were not a good fit! A is 9, and has small hands.

Anyway, I like to dye using a couple of spaghetti jars with different colors of dye in them, inside my dye pot with water, acting as a double boiler. I drape the skein of yarn across and into the jars, and move it around a bit to get all of it dyed, and maybe mix some colors together.

Below is the yarn getting rinsed - I didn't have much dye wash out (I didn't use much dye either for one skein of yarn, maybe something on the order of a 1/4 teaspoon of each color). Looks like I didn't get quite as much coverage between colors as I might have liked, but I think it will be fine.

And here are the 2 completed skeins - Procion on the left, and Landscapes on the right. The silk gives it a nice luster! Interestingly, the Seacell when wet does indeed give a bit of a whiff of the sea! It goes away when it's dry, but it's definitely there when wet. I was surprised!

I'm going to knit a lacey scarf for A with the Procion version - feather and fan, should be fun.

One of the perks of Black Sheep is that all of us that work the booth hang out together in the evenings - go have dinner at Thai and Indian places (YUM!), and then knit and gab usually entirely too late into the night. I talked Anita into teaching me to knit the "other" way - picking, rather than the throwing I've always done (self taught). So I'm trying really hard to continue that and make it be the way I knit, cause it certainly looks like it's a lot faster. My poor unsuspecting skein of Seacell/Silk was my guinea pig (I had this crazy idea I could learn the technique while knitting the scarf, but GOSH my tension looked horrible!)... so I can also report that the yarn stands up fine to being knit and frogged and reknit. Really - learning a new technique should be done with a nice worsted weight wool instead of a slippery lace weight. Character building. You'll notice there is no picture of the scarf in progress. It's not! Yet anyway.... but it will be.

I uh, found another pair of sock needles at home and started another sock too. Not that there's been any progress on the socks OR green sweater written about in May... But I've finished my 2nd Jaywalker sock, and I'm about done with the Balance tee shirt I knit, except the neck thing has to be changed. I do adore starting things.

Happy 4th of July!!


1 comment:

fiberjoy said...

The Landscape yarn is stunning!