Archive for July, 2010

What to do when it’s too hot to go outside

1. Find all the heavy rug yarn from the stuff Grandma gave me.  Wind into balls and arrange in a somewhat symetrical pattern.

2. Make a rug.  Yeah, still working on that one.  I can’t decide to crochet it for speed, cause if I do it’ll most likely be done by the end of the week or knit it to make the yarn go further.  Found a cute entrelac rug pattern I may try.  Honestly what’ll probably happen is that I’ll try one and not like it and then switch to the other.

3.  Make muffins.

I have a fantabulous cook book that we just call “The Gray Cookbook.”  Cause it’s gray.  It’s from the 1950’s and has directions for everything you could possibly think of.  Head cheese, salad dressings, pancakes (or griddle cakes as they’re called in there), hard boiled eggs, muffins, finger sandwiches, etc.  You name it, I can almost guarantee you that there’s a recipe for it in there.  I mixed up a double batch of their Twin Mountain Muffins, and no, I have no idea why they’re called that, and divided up the batter amongst 4 bowls and let the boys each add what they wanted.  We had blueberries, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and craisens, and super chunky peanut butter ones.  Very much yum.

4.  Eat muffins.  I’m trying to decide if I like the blueberry better, or the peanut butter.  I probably should go and get one more of each before I decide.

Magic Treehouse?

Anyone ever read that series?

My boys now have their own, thanks either to the storm on Sunday or perhaps just a rotted out trunk.

Here’s the boys doing some constructive trimming:

More tomorrow; they’re stopping now cause it’s just too dang hot.  We can’t set up the pool, or rather I won’t, cause our back yard is still very wet.  We have  a great yard, but very poor drainage.  Whenever it rains, the ground is wet for 2 days, minimum.

One last thing, completely un-related:  I finished a scarf on the way up to IL.   The yarn was given to me by a dear friend who had spun it herself.  Now, I’m all about using up every little spare yard of pretty much most yarns.  I take a skein of sock yarn, most around 220 yards or so, and divide it in half and knit the socks toe up from either end until I run out of yarn.  Pictures of some of the best ones, in terms of using up the most possible yarn are here and here.

Silfert will be very pleased to know, I think, that the scarf using her yarn beat them all.  Not only beat, but completely left them in the dust.

That’s the completed scarf, but this one here, this is impressive, if I do say so myself…

The end on the left is the cast on edge.  You can see there’s maybe 4 or so inches there.  The end on the right is the bind off edge.  There might be 2 inches of yarn left.  And yes, I was sweating it.

Dyeing with my sister

I think she’s hooked.

Or I suppose you could also argue that I’ve created a monster.

She decided to try her hand at painting as well…

See these three colors up there?  Remember those for a later picture.

We even did the sock blanks.

That’s the one we forgot to take any pictures of the during.  We took royal blue, teal, and some pink/rose color (all Wilton’s), and first striped it, then did some diagonal stripes, then we got tired of all the pushing down of the dye for the striping, so we started sort of flecking.  We dipped the brushes in the dye, and sort of threw the dye off the brush onto the yarn.  It’s hard to describe, but I sure could show you.

The sock blanks are 462 yards, and since I only need about 200 or so for a pair of anklets, I knew that I could get 2 pairs of socks out of each sock blank.  I had planned on one pair for each of us.

With the way we had just dyed that blank, if I just went and knit up 2 pairs, one would be from one half, the striped half, and the other pair would be from the speckled half.  The 2 pairs of socks wouldn’t match.  Then we realized that since we used the same colors for the stripes and the speckling, we could each take one sock from one half of the blank!  We’d each get a striped one and a speckled one!

This next one, we did something totally different.  Can you read what it says?

My name is in green (of course) and my sister’s is in purple (of course).  We then speckled it some more. Russell helped.

Ok, remember those dyes I told you to remember from up there?  My sister had some leftover.  There were 3 colors, so I sort of divided my hank into thirds, and tried to dunk each third into the bowls of dye.  It took me a minute to figure out why they wouldn’t sink  into the water like the other ones we did.  I never pre-soaked it.  I stuck the yarn in there bone dry.   It sucked up that dye like a nursing baby, let me tell you.  And after nuking, I got the most brilliant vibrant colors!  My oops is fantastic!

If I remember right (why don’t we take notes or anything when we do this?), this was done with burgundy Wilton’s.

And then the best one of all was this.  I had gone yarning with my sister the day before or so, and bought 2 big things of Cascade Eco-wool.  I wanted about 700-800 yards of chunky to make myself a Shalom cardigan like the one I made my sister.  All the chunky in the yarn store we went too was either out of my budget or had not the colors I wanted.  Then the light bulb went off.

Duh, we were going to be dyeing yarn!  Why not just get something plain, natural or whatever, and then I could dye it myself?   I had plans of using various shades of green, but when I mixed them up, I changed my mind and went with purple, teal, green, and royal blue, and one other green we made up by mixing some other colors.

Here’s what the yarn looked like before we got busy.  It’s one of those twist ones, where one ply is natural and the other ply is a darker color.

Here is it after we poured on some of the dyes.  I poured and my sister tried to separate out the yarn so that it could get all the way through into the bottom part.

Uh, sorry about the towels, Dad.  I think your saran wrap is leaky.

Here is the yarn on the drying rack.  I can’t wait to see how it knits up!

And a picture of the birthday boy with his newest grandson.  My dad’s birthday was the 4th of July, and I wanted to thank him for letting me and my sister mess up the driveway for 2 days with all this.  And thanks for letting us make your microwave smell like vinegar too.  I hope it doesn’t mess up your popcorn too much.


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