Sunday, May 31, 2009

From the Dye Pot

Last year I purchased several colors of Pro Chemical One Shot Dyes. Well 26 colors to be exact. I experimented a little last year, but this week I decided to bring the dye pot out again. I had accumulated several skeins of undyed sock yarn for this purpose namely Trekking XXL and some Henry's Attic Kona Superwash from Miss Babs. I was planning on using the Henry's Attic for a guild project but given the tough economic times I wasn't in the mood to be asking for a reimbursement or figuring out a charge for the cost of materials so I dyed 4 of the ten skeins.

I focused on solid/semisolid colors. Each skein was dyed a single color with the exception of the one skein which was an electric Wild Iris. This skein was overdyed by sprinkling the Deep Purple powder directly on the skein.

From left to right the colors are Pine Green, Autumn, Desert Rose, Raspberry, Key Lime and Cornflower using Trekking XXL Undyed. The remaining colors are Teal, Turkey Red, Gold and Wild Iris overdyed with Deep Purple using Henry's Attic Kona Superwash Fingering. The Cornflower blue is deeper than the picture depicts. It's closer to a Royal Blue and Raspberry is a gorgeous deep berry color. Overall I am very pleased with the results and the little color nuances that some of the skeins contain can only be appreciated in person.

I have a tendency to purchase variegated sock yarns and dyed these to add a few solids to the collection. There are several Cookie A patterns that I plan to knit and due to the heavily textured patterns they look best in solids or semisolids.

I'll be exploring this craft more this summer along with picking back up some former hobbies that have languished for a while. It's time to branch out a little once again. I'll still be knitting but in the process I'll take a little time out for something else.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I joined a Cookie A knit-along on Ravelry and each month starting with May we have the choice of knitting two patterns. One pattern is from her book Sock Innovation and the other from her individual patterns. This month's choice is Kai-Mei. At first I didn't plan to knit this sock, but as time went on and I saw the beauties knitted by others I gave in.

Pattern: Kai-Mei from Sock Innovation by Cookie A
Yarn: StahlScheWolle Socka in Red
Needles: Knit Picks 1.5/2.5 mm 6-inch dpn's
Size: Women's 9.5
Started: May 14, 2009 Finished: May 25, 2009

The pattern is is very basic until you reach the foot then the fun begins. Once I sorted out what was going on with the panel the sock was a breeze to knit. I increased the number of stitches to 72 instead of the 66 given in the pattern. The toes end in an offset slope which worked perfectly for my foot since my toe next to the big to is longer than the big toe. I would knit these again. The pattern is well written and I didn't encounter any errors.

And just to round things out, a little more of the beauty we are experiencing here in South Carolina.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Socks Again and Flowers

Yesterday was an unsually cool day. A perfect springtime day for wearing cotton or cotton blend socks. I didn't get to wear these but they are ready for the next time in a lovely spring/summer green.


Pattern: Generic 3 x 3 Ribbed Socks
Yarn: ONLine Supersocke Summer Color
Needles: Knit Picks 1.5 6" dpns
Started: May 1, 2009 as Kai Mei repurposed on May 4 as 3 x 3 ribs
Finished: May 11, 2009

Today I put the squash and cucumbers in the ground. Some of the tomato plants are off to a good start and others will need a little more nuturing. We had some good rain the past week which helped out tremendously with the watering.

I spent time cleaning out some of the flower beds until I disturbed a very large ant pile. I was lucky and was bitten only once by a rogue ant that managed to crawl up my shirt and bite me by my bra strap. Tomorrow after giving them sufficient time to calm down I'll put down the ant killer. The one bad thing about living in the south is that you have to deal with the dreaded fire ants.

Gladiolas are some of my favorite flowers and they have been growing and spreading like wildfire. The calla lilies keep coming back bigger and prettier each year. I'll be cleaning out both of these beds and getting them ready for re-planting. The Asiatic lilies will also need to be dug up and re-planted to make the beds more pleasing.

The Lady Banks roses along the fence line need to be cut back and room made for the three new rose bushes mom purchased. The hibiscus on the deck both needed to be repotted.

I think this is the most yard work I've had to do in a while and it's all a labor of love. I can't wait for the finished results.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Slowed Down

I've spent the past 3 days reloading and installing the software on my laptop. For 3 1/2 years I didn't have any problems until I installed some software from my internet provider. I've learned that I have to do a better job of backing up my data. The portable hard drive I purchased made that job fairly easy, but I still need to make sure I do it more often. It's the locating and reloading some of the software that has been a problem. I've been unable to get my Knitable app to sync with the data on my Palm. It's frustrating and aggravating especially if I have to end up entering this data all over. Hopefully by the weekend I'll have it all sorted out. In the meantime I've been slowly knitting on a pair of basic 3 x 3 socks.

My neighbor who lives two houses down from us has the most beautiful Clematis surrounding her mailbox.

The first year she had it I thought it was artificial. Each year it returns more beautiful than the year before.

It's the time of the year for gardening and planting. So far I've planted tomatoes, bell peppers and banana peppers. Mom picked up some cucumber and squash plants for me today. I'm going to plant the cucumbers along the fence line so that they will run and grow up the fence. I don't have any idea where the squash plants will go. If it was up to me I'd plant them in the front flower bed that needs to be redone.

The season of flowers is in full force and we have a lot of work to do. It will cut into my knitting time, but it always takes a while to get the front and back yard into shape especially when we've been a little neglectful. I'm finally in the mood to do something in addition to socks namely a shawl. I have one in mind and when this computer mess is fixed I'll start on it. It's back to the knitting groove and welcome to the good fresh air and evenings on the porch.