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Monday, September 19, 2005

  Monday Morning Mirth  

it's a Nice Day for a White Wedding!!!

...Everything at this wedding will be knitted, from the cameras, to the dress, the food, the decorations, something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue."

WOOT! I'm there - quick, bring the jet around, Nigel!


Join the fun - use one of Cast-Offs patterns and send the happy couple some lucky decorations!!!

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Bonne Marie & the Half-Blood Prince, part I

That's me in the corner.
That's me with the cauldron.
Stirring up my Potion...

That's right, Professor Snape!
That dark swirling liquid you see NEEDS no flame!
You don't see any steam because my potion doesn't HAVE any vapor!

I've found some new and crafty magic and decided to give it a try - my original stylings were a 50/50 mess and it was time to aim for some SKILL!

My most delightful finds from the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool field trip were two books on dyeing AND a differnt type of dye.

My friend Rachel and I decided we were going to try and *rescue* some fiber she had that was the wrong color - so to get my feet wet, I picked up some Procion MX in several shades to experiment with.

Now this dye is different than the Sabraset Acid dyes I've been using in several ways - it needs no heat (when dyeing with cotton), and can work on cellulose or animal fiber, depending on the pH of the solution used. WOOT!

The other difference this time with my dye trials was that I followed the directions, to the letter.

Advanced Potion Making, by Libatius Borage

1. I weighed the Garment so I'd know exactly how much of the other ingredients to use.

2. I wore a Face Mask and used Rubber Gloves (very good!)

3. I found a beautifully marked container already in my cupboard and measured my liquids to a T.

4. I washed the garment with Synthrapol, rinsed twice, then let it SOAK while I was preparing my other stuff.

OOps - did you say GARMENT?

Why, yes, I did! I decided to experiment on a couple of pieces that were not hitting the runway anymore so if they went up in smoke, it would not matter.

Remember THIS?


a fun color for a season but curiously like a
Love Potion that's faded away...

after a session in the Remedial Dyepot, we have


YIPPEE! OD Green, in a very palatable, clear light shade! This yarn is by Reynolds, called *Navy*, and is a veritable Half-Blood Prince of 50/50 cotton/microfiber. I was really throwing the dice on this - cotton might absorb the dye deeper than the acrylic but it came out clear as a bell...

How about this?


a deliciously tempting shape executed in an infantile shade...

but now, after a Dose of 2xOlive+1xBrown, we have:


a more User Friendly Medium Olive!

This yarn was another 1/2BPrince: Cotton/acrylic blend (Filatura di Crosa *Spongy*) wrapped in a shiny thread. It dyed an even color on the yarn, and a slightly darker color on the thread. Tweedy goodness reigns!

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Thursday, September 22, 2005

the Pensieve of the Lacemakers


At some point in the lace making,
the memories of the ancients arrived.

No longer was I jerking along and bobbing my head reading the charts; my hands became fluid in their movements. I found the areas of pattern repeats by touch not sight and flew...

This enlightened state took place not at the beginning. Not in the middle when tedium and mass crush the spirit, but at the very end, when now, empowered by intuitve understanding, I could've knit forever and a day.

At this moment, 7/8ths of the way, nay, 98? 99% of the way to the finished (and highly desirable edge) I stumbled.

Or more correctly, the Little Bad Muse HOT-5.gif stumbled...

I was almost OUT of YARN and there were 2 rows to go!

Surely my calculations/estimations were correct? Surely the amount the pattern called for was accurate? Sadly, I'm sure, this was not to be...

Desperately, I started thinking about what was to be done.

Tear out my hair! NAY - it was once again growing out from a bad haircut and I could not spare a millimeter.

Rippout the last pattern repeat and repurpose the edge with that? NAY - I was stuck to my proportions of blue to orange like the Super Glue bonding to your finger and the package wrapper when instead you're trying to repair an earring or two...

Rant and Rave and Raid the STASH? LIGHTBULB! But alas, there's nothing there remotely in the dramatic range of your first two colors...

But wait. Look UP. See your Sock Yarn Stash. See sticking out one lonely little ball of Hemp/Wool left over from some socks...


This yarn was not the same color but it was almost the same colors - shades of yellow, rust, brown touched with orange. Applied on the very edge of my shawl, it would make a light little froth of color, maybe accidently banded on the curving edge wherever the darker tones arrived.

It was meant to be... be continued. For the whole shebang read it HERE...

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Friday, September 23, 2005

New Threads FRIDAY!


the Flower Basket Shawl

Pattern: Interweave Knits Fall 2004
Designer: Evelyn A. Clark
Yarn: Dzined *Handpainted Wool/Hemp Sportweight*
Color: Orange & Blue & Yellow
Gauge: 20 sts/28rows over 4"
Needles: #7


Now that I've finished my very 1st Shawl, I'm wondering -
WHY THE H Did I wait so Long to Try This?

1. Was it the thought of having to pay attention to the charting and details? Nope - after several Aran cardies, I should've realized that fundamentally the stitch patterns are etched in the brain after a few repeats.

There were, counting right from the top neck edge, 7 full pattern repeats in Blue; 8 full pattern repeats in Orange; and the final edge chart in Orange, with two rows of Yellow. All yarn was one-of-a-kind handpainted Wool/Hemp Sportweight from Dzined.

2. Maybe it was because of all that skinny, tiny yarn - it might take forever and a day to finish something so small in gauge. But actually, the gauge was really rather large - I was using size 7 needles which resulted in a standard worsted gauge of 20/28...

3. Hmmm... Fear of Blocking? NAY, I was able to score some blocking wires at Stitches Midwest this summer and they were wonderful! I washed the completed shawl (it was filthy - old, stashed yarn & weeks of manhandling - EEEWW) - you just thread the wires through the shawl edges and pull and pin to shape.

The only thing I found out about blocking that was a little scary was I JUST COULDN'T STOP moving the Pins. Pin. Re-pin. Pin Re-Pin. Eventually I grew so weary from the neurotic fussing, I just collapsed on the couch and dozed - good thing too because the damn shawl was TAKING UP THE ENTIRE BED!

4. And yes indeed, my lace making friends - I am HOOKED!

...More Images HERE in the Flower Basket Picture Gallery

...Read the Complete Notes HERE...

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New Threads Weekend Edition!


Chic Knits Twist
Designer: Bonne Marie Burns
Yardage: 1100 (1200, 1300, 1400, 1500) yds Worsted Weight Yarn
Yarn List
Finished Measurements: 36 (38, 40, 42, 44) "
Gauge: 19 sts/24rows over 4"


Shapely Cables? Meet Sassy Fringe...

Get acquainted with some CHIC!

Chic Knits NEW! Twist Cardi shows off your knitting talents with a easy-to-do cabled panel front and is shaped for a modern, flattering fit.

A saucy Fringed & Cabled Collar add to the FUN!

buy the Twist Pattern HERE...

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