Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day

This little strip of earth is a bit cleaner today.
And two bags of plastic bits and pieces are no longer on their way to the San Francisco Bay and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Hope your earth day was a good one!

Monday, April 19, 2010

All about the lace weight

It all started with this test of my weaving skills. It is the first project on my loom that I didn't just use scrap yarn for. Unfortunately, I had almost a 3/4s of a skein on the orange lace weight weft yarn and I didn't want it to go to waste.

So the leftover got tunred into this. It only took me a week to make although it was a week where I had more than average knitting time because we drove down south to Disneyland. Since I didn't have to do much of the driving it allowed for a lot of knitting time.

Here is the same scarf on the blocking wires.

And on to the next lace project...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Passover 2010

Last Monday our family all traveled to the South Bay to David's uncle and aunts's house to celebrate the first night of Passover.

Before we officially began Lauren a Klezmer piece for us to set the mood. It was lovely to hear her play for us.

Lena being the youngest sang the four question for us all.

The most photographically interesting part of the evening, of course, is when everyone loads up their matzah with horseradish and takes a big bite.

Sock, socks all around

I finally finished that socks that I was making for my brother's birthday. They are from Socks from the Toe Up a book that I adore, but whose socks always turn out to wide for the narrow feet in my family. I have yet to find a sock pattern that I don't have to adapt to my families feet to make them fit.
The yarn is just Knit Picks kettle dyes that they discontinued. I think that people didn't like it because they didn't have that much shade variation in the yarn. I hope that they do come out with another kettle dyed sock yarn because I really do like kettle dyed and knit picks prices are great. I have found that their sock yarns do hold up to being used just like commercially knit socks.

Of course, I need to cast on another pair of socks and the Koo-aid dyed socks won the day...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

More on Yarn Dyeing

So here are the results of the Kool-aid dying project. I ended up with more white than I wanted and two purple fingers. It faded pretty quick, but I can't believe that I used to drink this stuff. I mean, if it is strong enough to dye yarn with..It has a tie-dye look to is that is kind of fun. I definately have some ideas on how to do it better the next time around. All in all, because I used Knitpicks Bare sock yarn the whole project was pretty cheap.
Here is the site that I got my directions from in case you are interested in dyeing with Kool-aid.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Going Slow

Things have been going pretty slow on the crafting front. I have managed to finish up a few projects. I don't have photos of them all I have a couple of shots of what I have been up to.

Lena got a simple pair of socks and matching knit cap for her birthday. I will post my toe up pattern on the blog soon. She is pretty happy with the set but says that she needs matching gloves...How fast does this kid think I knit.

I have been wanting to play around with dyeing yarn for a while ant I finally took the plunge and tried dyeing with this stuff...

I am not sure that is is good for drinking, but it sure soaks into the yarn and fingers well. I had set my spoon down and stirred in the purple with my finger. I am not sure what I was thinking with that one. The yarn should be dry tomorrow for a photo.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Monkey Party

The shortest month of the year certainly flew by in a hurry. The highlight of every, for our family, February is Bean's birthday.

This year she wanted to have a sock monkey party that, what is that I can hear you asking?

Well, as it turns out it is sitting around with a bunch of other girls stuffing and sewing sock monkeys while watching I Love Lucy on the TV. All I had to do was sew up all the socks on the sewing machine before the the party.

The star of the party was the sock monkey cake that we ordered. We don't usually buy a birthday cake, so the birthday girl was very impressed by the cake.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Yes, she is 16

Tonight we will celebrate as a family with Asparugus soup, crusty rosemary bread, salad, and root-beer float. My first-born turned 16 early this afternoon. Here she was just a few short years ago.
She has grown has more teeth than she did then, but she is still the same great kid.
only now she can sing....

Thursday, January 14, 2010


"Mom!" my lovely teenage daughter hollers from her room.
Pausing from casting on the front to my Sidelines sweater I rely, "Twenty-eight!"
The lovely teenage daughter pauses and then hollers, "Dad!"

I have done my job. Both my daughters now know better than to interrupt a knitter (me) when she is counting. Now, we just need to work on the hollering from room to room in the house, but truly this does seem secondary to me.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Waxing and waining

This last week left little time for crafting, but I did manage to do a little. I finished my sample piece of weaving on my new loom. It is a bit wonky, but since it it made from scraps of yarn that I had lying around I don't really care that much that is looks a little funny. It is not long enough to make a scarf out of so I think that I will cut it up at some point and sew it into something. I think that if I pair it with a nice cotton canvas I could sew it up into a very nice messenger bag. For now I think that it will just hang around the house for me to admire.

After I finished weaving it I really wanted to warp the loom again with some hemp yarn that I was given as a gift several years ago. I never wanted to knit with it because it is a bit rough, but I think that it will be perfect for weaving. I didn't get around to warping the loom because I decided that the loom really needed to be sealed in someway. The loom assembly directions that I found on-line indicated that the loom should have been sealed prior to assembly.

Here it is in the state that I purchased it in. The wood is Ash I think and totally unfinished.
And here is it after waxing and reasembly. I used some beeswax wood polish that I had around the house and not only did it make the wood look lovely but it smells yummy as well.

With all that weaving a did find time to squeeze in a little knitting. I finished the scarf I started on New Years Day this week and added a few inches to my Sidelines sweater that I am making. I haven't taken any photos of the sweater yet.

Monday, January 4, 2010

This has been looming for some time now

I have wanted a big floor loom ever since I first walked in to Hill Country Weavers in Austin, Texas to buy my first knitting needle and yarn for knitting. Yes, I knew that looms came in sizes smaller than that of a small car, but I wanted a big one. After it I couldn't weave a blanket the size of a king size bed what was the point in weaving at all. No matter that I don't even own a king size bed. Since, having room for a loom that size would have meant giving up one of my children, I always refused to entertain the thought (for more than two or three minutes at a time). I mean, I love my children, but have you seen some of those looms.
Now let me assure you, both of my dear daughters remain in residence at my home, but I have a loom. I broke down and compromised and bought a smaller loom. I only took me eight years to get to this point, but when I did I moved fast. I found this loom on Craigslist and bought it on Saturday night. Warped it on Sunday and have been playing ever since.

Here is my Ashford 24" Rigid Heddle loom. I have already learned so much, like how I much I want a second heddle, some more shuttles and maybe a stand for my new friend.

Lena not wanting to be left out broke out the Harrisville Easy Weaver and has been busy making a pink and brown scarf.At least when she is not playing Rock Band with the family.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hoppin' John

I always have Hoppin' John (black eyed peas) for New Years Day dinner and always will. Growing up my Grandma, who was from Oklahoma, used to serve them as a side dish. Now in my house hold they are the main dish. Hubby and I have Californiafied them to some extent. We serve them over brown rice and top them with plain yogurt, cheddar cheese, green onion and avocado. Why is it that if you add avocado to anything it becomes a Californian?

I also made some progress on my New Years Scarf. I decided to add a bit of Knit Picks organic cotton to the Noro yarn to ad some more white to the color mix.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A new year...

And still blogging. I have not been blogging much over the last two months. I think that my attitude toward my blog needed to change, so I took a break to decide what I really wanted my blog to be about. When I started my little blog I really just thought of it as a place to show off my finished projects, but now I want more than that. I would like to post more knitting patterns that I design on my blog and I would also to document my creative process more. What this means is along with the pictures of cats, dogs, chickens, and daughters I will be posting more pictures of works-in-progress. I have discovered that I really enjoy "watching" other people projects progress in their blogs.

Today is a gray and cold New Year's Day here in the S.F. Bay Area so getting a decent photo was a challenge that I just wasn't up to.

This afternoon I finished knitting the second strip for throw blanket. This Project it really about using up some of the yarn that I have laying around the house, but it is making me a bit nervous because several of the people on Ravelry have said that it took them a decade to finish it. I really hope that mine is done by the end of the year not the end of the decade. Here is the Ravel link for this pattern.
Since it was a New Year I decided that I also should have a new knitting project.
I picked this single skein of Noro Cotton up in San Luis Obispo last year. The bright greens and yellow really remind me of spring, so I thing I'll whip up a skinny scarf to wear this spring. I'll post a pattern and the results later.

On the non-knitting side or life. Here is the new love of my life, my electric kettle. Hubby got it for me as a gift and I just love it. The water for tea heats up so fast and it never gets too hot. It also works great for Hubby french press coffee. And in case you might think that this is just a one-trick-counter-hog. I have also used it for blanching and quick soaking dry beans. Just heat the water and pour over the beans and did I mention it is very energy efficient.