Monday, September 20, 2010

Spinning in the sunshine!

Sunday afternoon in Anchorage was beautiful! Just absolutely gorgeous. So I had made arrangements on Saturday to do some spinning with a few friends. We wavered between coffee shops and decided on Starbucks. Who knew that coffee shops were so frigging busy on Sundays. It was CRAZY so we decide to sit outside on the patio and set up our spinning wheels.

Zaynab and I surrounded by fiber, drinks and sunshine. My mom is in e back trying to get her camera up and running.

Cathy gets her spin on. Check out the onlookers. We had a few of them. Even one lady asking all about the process and asking about classes.

Here is what I worked on. Beautiful faukland wool from Fat Cat Knits. I love the colors and just wait till you see it all plied and washed!

How yummy is this! I have no idea how much I have since I have not counted yet. But I love it.

And look how much the puppy loves me! He loves me so much he even loves my stinky gym shoes. I caught him napping.

So I have a very nice pink color that is going to be spun up next! It was paired by Ginny at Fat Cat Knits to be used for color work. I am not sure what will be made but I know it will be wonderful!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Knitting weather, ready, set, go...

This week has been incredibly weird.  It started out or rather ended last week looking quite promising as the sunshine had finally decided to show its face here in Anchorage.  We had a marvelous weekend with warm temperatures and the beautiful bright blue sky!  The moisture dried up a bit and everything was looking up.  Along comes Tuesday, the day the FOG blanked Anchorage.  And not just a little FOG, this fog was thick and heavy and everywhere.  You couldn't even see in front of you when driving.  What we heard was that if the fog had lifted, we would have had the most beautiful days of the summer Tuesday through Thursday as there was not a single cloud in the sky.  I should have become a mountain climber at some point so I could have enjoyed that sunshine up there!  Friday is here and the clouds have rolled in, the cooler temperatures are definitely here and it is feeling more and more like knitting weather!  
The weekend before last I posted about our trip to Big Lake to dye yarn.  What fun we had.  I came home, rewashed my skeins as they still smelled of vinegar and I took some close up photo's of them so you can see the colors that we worked with and how things turned out.

This is my Faukland dyed yarn.  This is the yarn that was dyed using the one color and gradually dyed from dark to light .  It is a very nice purple color.  It is very hard to take photos with true color represented.  I love, love, love it!
This skein is Bamboo and Merino and was dyed using a hand painted technique similar to how I dyed my sock yarn.  It is in shorter lengths though.  I went from Orange, Darker Orange to a Pinkish Red.  Unfortunately this skein has a couple dark splotches from me being careless.  Hopefully when knitted up they will lend nice to the design...(I am allowed to hope)
This is the Bamboo and Merino yarn that was dyed using the crowded pot method.  I did not initially choose the colors on this one but was lucky enough to leave with it!  It was an extra, score me!
Here is our Silk and Wool crowded pot skein.  I love this one, in fact it is half knit up for a cute lacy beret, pictures coming soon...
And last but not least, my self striping sock yarn.  I am not totally in love with this yarn but I have been given orders to move forward with these toe up ribbed socks.  They are a little to Christmasy for my liking but I will work on them, slowly, I think...  I had a vision, it did not turn out the way I wanted it to!
Last but not least I would like to share a project that I have been working on.  It is called Basque Hat (ravelry link) and is a Norwegian design Tam.  I am using my Qiviut that was given to me for Christmas almost a year ago.  The yarn was purchased at the Anchorage Museum. 
There have been a few struggles along the way with this Tam.  I love the design, the chart is easy and really the floats are all managable.  The struggles I have had have nothing at all to do with the pattern.  They have to do with my evil, yarn hating dog, Sterling.  I went to the gym the morning after casting on this hat, knitting bag was on the floor (my fault) but in my defense, the project was buried under 3 books and all of my knitting "stuff" bags.  BURIED.  I received a phone call after my very relaxing yoga class from my 11 year old informing me that Sterling had "hog tied" himself in my $80 skein of green yarn.  Yep, I pretty much have had to piece that one back together, I have to rejoin every so often as my knitting progresses.  After I wound it all back up with loose knots I set it on the couch ready to knit, ran to the restroom, came back to the ball, in the dogs mouth, as he was bolting under the dining room table (his clever hiding place).  BAD DOG.  To further this story along, a week or so later I was working on the Tam from hell.  Set the project on a TV tray away from anything the dog could climb on to fetch the project and EVIL YARN HATING dog managed to get ahold of the whole dang project again and proceed to do the exact same tangling mess he did with the green to the PURPLE.  YEP, now he made a mess of the second color.  Well, I managed to untangle that one without scissors all while staring with daggers at the evil yarn hating dog.  We have had a few more run in's with yarn.  I obviously have not learned a good way to store my projects.  Ziplock bags may be the answer in this instance.  Long story short.  My new puppy Sterling LOVES yarn.  I am sure he fantasizes about clever ways to get ahold of my projects and rip them apart.  (I found him on the dining room table yesterday)!  All this said, I need to find an even more clever way to keep him out of it!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dying in Big Lake

Yesterday was a fun and eventful day as we traveled North to Big Lake. Big Lake is about an hour and a half drive and we were headed there to dye some yarn. I have dyed yarn once before in my own kitchen and had a good time but by going to Big Lake we were learning from the pro! Denise Morris of Fiber-N-Ice dyes yarn for a living. She has a beautiful new workshop and store addition that we were able to work in! We learned a few different techniques as well as worked with several different different fibers and yarn types.

Here we are getting ready to dye our hand painted sock yarn!

Here I am painting my yarn! I used Steel Gray, Vermilian, and Teal.

Zaynab stuck with two colors. Golden Ochre and Steel Gray.

Nannette spent a lot of time working out her colors. Her sock yarn turned out beautiful.

Cathy is working on our second hand painted skein. This time a thicker bamboo and merino blend. It feels yummy.

Here is an example of crowded pot dying. We made four skeins of silk and wool singles. Purple, gray and teal.

Caiti is demonstrating the gradual dying process. Using one color the yarn starts out dark and gets lighter and lighter.

Here is all of the yarn hanging after being rinsed and quickly spun out in the washer.

Here we all are (Caiti is taking the picture) after a long fun day of "dying".

Sara showed up for just a while too and she and Caiti showed off some of the yarn.

I ended up bringing home:
1 skein of sock yarn
2 skeins of bamboo merino
1 skein of silk wool blend
1 skein of faukland

I also got to sneak three short skeins in that were used in the crowded pot.

Dying yarn is fun. Can be time consuming and it takes time to think about the outcome. I am excited to knit something with my new yarn.