Monday, February 22, 2010

All Kinds of Stuff!

My car wouldn't start this morning. Means I miss school and my smaller ones miss a day of school, too. I drive an old diesel car and it didn't get plugged in last night. When I went to start it, the battery was frozen so it used most of it's oomph in one try. I plugged it on and let it get warm but it still won't start. It's now on a battery charger.

I also told my arm to go jump off a cliff. I have too many fun yarns that need to be socks so I took more meds and started a sock I've been wanting to begin for 2 weeks. It's Sorta-Solid (tm) in Ocean Waves. I had dyed a 12 gram hank of turquoise, so I used that for the toes. I will also use it for heels and cuffs. Pretty, huh?

So far I think it looks pretty amazing. The yarn is so soft, the color so relaxing that I will actually knit this slowly (well my arm hurts so I will have to knit it slowly) to savor the soft.

Another thing I've been thinking of is going to nail school here in CO and getting my nail license again. I was licensed in Texas from 1987 to 1993 but due to carpel tunnel in the left wrist, I had to stop. I was working a lot, had a full book all the time. This was before the Vietnamese took over the nail industry. Believe me, white girls can do nails. I came in second in a state wide nail competition in TX is 1989, thank you very much! :) But I keep coming back to wanting to do that, I even bought a tanning salon with the intention of bringing in nails, but never did. Too many male clients said it would be too stinky to tan there and my salon was one of the few where guys felt comfortable tanning. Ended up closing when At The Beach tanning opened 20 salons around the Denver area in ONE DAY!!! They are in litigation now for lying to clients who cannot get out of contracts.

Hope you have a great Monday, Happy Knitting and Crocheting!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Avatar, this is going to be long.

Spoiler Alert, I'm gonna tell the whole story.

I went to see Avatar tonight with the whole family. I haven't really heard that much about what the movie was about, a lot about what people thought about the movie. Moat I heard like the special effects but thought the story line was preachy. Okay, I'll go see it.

I loved the technology of the movie. This is MY kids Star Wars. Thirty years ago when SW came out, it was the new technology, the movie that would change the way movies were made. This is the new SW, with the new technology that will revolutionize the way movies are made. Way to go James Cameron!

Before I talk about the story line, let me tell you that I am very sensitive about some things. One big thing is that there are times I hate to be human. Humans are bad as a people. We think that since we are the top of the food chain on our planet, we can do what we please, when we please. We should have what we want the moment we want it. We are an instant gratification species. We do terrible things to our own planet, the animals on it and the other humans that we share it with. We don't think about what we are doing TO the planet, we just think about what we can get away with if we do it. We pollute our air, our water and our bodies with toxins and then complain that we have asthsma, must drink bottled water and spend too much on health care. Knowing how I feel will help you understand this review.

The story line in Avatar is two fold, first the US has found this planet which they have named Pandora. Apparently there is an amazing amount of a element called Unobtainium on Pandora. The indiginous people of the planet are 9 feet tall, blue with pointy ears. They are gentle and look like us (bipedal, two arms, etc) and are connected to their planet in a way humans are NOT connected to Earth. The People (who have a name I cannot spell) love their planet, speak to all the flora and fauna. Literally. they can 'jack in' to their planet and speak to it. they 'bond' with their animals an speak through their minds to their horses, the dragon-like things they fly, with the trees, that glow and have 'tentacles' that hold their thoughts and memories. When The People have to hunt, they apologize for killing the animal and thank it for it's sacrifice. They don't kill unless VERY necessary. They don't fight amongst themselves, though many generations ago there was a hero that that brought all the tribes together.

The main guy is Jake Sully, who is an Avatar Driver. He is put in stasis and his mind then goes into the avatar, which is a human made version of the indiginous people. Jake, as a human, is in a wheel chair, but in the avatar he has full use of his legs. His initial mission is to provide security when the scientists (Sigourney Weaver) go on the planet to take samples of the plants. He gets separated from the party and ends up meeting Neytiri. She is one of The People. She is going to kill him but gets a sign from nature that she should not but look out for him. She ends up saving him from some really nasty lion/dog/really big teeth animal in the forest. She gets another sign that he is important to them so she takes him home to meet the family. Neytiri is instructed to teach him the way of The People. The People live in Hometree. Huge tree. Like taller than WTC and wider that it too. Big enough to be the home of a few hundred people.

Meanwhile, back at the Ranch, the scientists and military are bashing heads on how to get to that unobtainium. Scientists want to teach the natives, get to know them and hope they will give up the land so the stuff can be mined. The military leader wants to bulldoze and kill. When Jake is pulled into the 'family' the military leader gets Jake to give reports on where, who and all that stuff to help the military in the future. Jake doesn't stay an avatar all the time, he does come back to his own body each night.

Jake learns about the planet. He learns about The People, he learns to hunt, to feel the planet and Ewya (the goddess, nature, the planet, each and every living thing on the planet). He falls in love with Neytiri (who didn't see that coming) and the way of life. Jake's new mission is to try to get The People to move away from Hometree before the military comes.

It doesn't work. The military comes. They take down Hometree. This is where I start sobbing during the movie. Literally sobbing in my 3D glasses. The teenagers behind me make fun of me. I don't care, it really hurt me to see it. After that it went downhill faster than Lindsey Vonn. Lots of fighting and dying. I just couldn't help thinking about how horrible humans are. I know it's a movie and not real, but I believe this is the way humans would be if we found a planet with something we wanted on it, that also had intelligent life. We would go there, try to teach them our language and our ways, give them our Gods, and then become hostile if they didn't do what we wanted/needed them to do. Just shoot to kill.

So when I was disturbed after the movie, still crying, my family was surprised and distressed that I reacted the way I did.

I know I'm too sensitive.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Little About Sock Knitting

I knit socks. Lots of socks. I don't usually knit anything else, unless there is a need for mittens, scarves or hats. I have had a sweater in progress for so long that I can't get the yarn anymore and I didn't get even half way through before realizing I didn't get enough yarn. I'll end up frogging it someday and doing something else with the yarn.

But I love to knit socks. I knit mostly for myself. I haven't found many others who understand/care about the time and effort that goes into a pair of rockin hand knit socks. I knit socks for my husband and occasionally my kids. I do have a pair of bike socks on the needles for my husband that I work on a few rounds each night as the elbow will allow.

I have a pattern for toes, heel and cuffs that I do with most every sock. I knit toe up, two at a time, on two circular needles. There are plenty of books on this now, though when I started doing it there was only one or two. For the toe I cast on between the two needles and increase as I need to. I do the heel that same way each time, too, the Strong Heel, named after Geraldine Crawford-Strong who is credited with inventing it. It was published in the 2003 Winter Knitter's Mag. I prefer this heel to all other because there is no picking up stitches with it.
On the heel needle I just do M1 at the second and second to last stitch until the number of stitches on that needle is double the original. So if I start with 26, I end when there are 52 and then I turn the heel. Simple and it looks like a regular gusset, but no heel flap. For the cuff I generally do a 2-3 inch 2X2 ribbing. I do different patterns on the top of the foot and leg.

I used to take pictures of all my socks but stopped doing so a few years ago.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Best laid plans of mice and yarn dyers sometimes go astray!

I began dying a hank with long sections of violet and brilliant blue on opposite end of the loop. Between those was going to be a jacquard thing with black and red in one section, black and gold in the other. The sock was going to do two stripes of violet, two stripes of black/red, two stripes of blue, two stripes of black/gold. That was the plan. But plans change. The black spread so fast and long that it enveloped the red. I ended up over-dying the jacquard section with just black. I also left a section the same size as the black in the natural white color and added a section of the red. It's much nicer this way than the original design. I thought the colors looked like jazz music.
I ended up naming the hank Fender Jazzmaster,
after the guitar my husband plays.

I've been doing well selling on Etsy, but i need to get into a store or three. I keep telling myself I need to just make the calls and set up appointments to show my wares to the owners but i never get to it. I know exactly why, if I don't call then they can't say 'no'. I have ideas that make the risk to the owners zero but again, I don't make the calls. Next week.

Happy knitting and crocheting!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines! Slew of New. . .colors and solids.

Happy Valentines Day! Arm is giving me fits. Doc says a few more weeks, but if i keep using it like i do then the few weeks can stretch into months. But honestly, could you go for weeks without using your elbow?? Didn't think so.

I went home early Friday from work because the arm hurt and i didn't want to overdo things. So i went home and dyed 5 hanks. I need to be put in a coma for 4 weeks in order not to use my arm.

Here are some previews, top is called Cotton Candy. Next is Fruit Salad (yummy yummy, The Wiggles).

This is the Melon Sorta-Solid(tm) in salmon, peach, melon, and spots of pink and red. Knits up really pretty.

All on Etsy, go see! :)

Happy Knitting and Crocheting!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Turquoise Sorta-Solid(tm), Ocean Waters

I'm going to make some of this in DK weight. i need sox this color. YOU need socks this color. Your mom and your sister and HER husband do too. Really, trust me, I wouldn't lie to you.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Blue Bayou and Purple Haze

Just a quick peek today of the two Sorta-Solids I did yesterday. I have homework I need to get going on. So here you go!


Sunday, February 7, 2010

New Sort-Solids(tm) Dyed Today.Ask Me About My Yarn!

So, the two I have done so far have been pretty amazing. The green is fabulous and the pink wow! I did a purple and blue today. I think I will also do a yellow, a turquoise and a peach. I have the ability to recreate so they aren't One Of A Kind,
which is good since I can see these being used for more than just socks.

Joins. The wool/silk blend I've gotten from my undyed yarn supplier has many joins. I'm told that 3 is the maximum number of joins acceptable in a hank of yarn. I hope that true since I have several in the hanks. Anyone have comments on joins?

Here is the pink Sorta-Solid. You can see several colors of pink and peach that make up the 'solid' color. I think it's pretty amazing myself, but I am biased you see.

The green is very nice and I love green. I did this in fingering weight which is good because I don't knit in such a light weight. It's difficult to see the stitches with my bad eyes so I stick to sport and larger. I prefer DK actually but my supplier has only 100% Merino wool and I like the added nylon for socks. The blue and purple will be up tomorrow for your perusal. I am really proud of the blue, the purple is equally amazing. Gonna tune in and look?

Happy knitting and crocheting!

Friday, February 5, 2010

New Colors and a new way of dyeing. . .

My hands are green. Emerald acid dye is very saturated. I don't wear gloves when I dye and today I did a lot of squeezing out the dye before dipping into another color, therefore green hands. But I got 6 hanks done today. I have to work tomorrow and I don't like dyeing when the house is full. Too many kids running around.

So I did a new thing today. I was asked if I was going to do just multi colors or will I do solid colors. I don't want to do solids. I like the multis. Well, after thinking about it, I decided to meet in the middle. I will do semi solids. Not just a color that doesn't quite penetrate all the yarn, I am actually using 5-6 colors to get the solid. I'm not going to share this method just yet. It's difficult and takes many steps but the end result is kinda freakin' amazing. I did a pink-ish and a green-ish today. Tomorrow they will be dry and able to be hanked, so I can show the end result. Beautiful.

I also did a couple other multi colors that turned out really quite perfect. I think I'm getting hang of this. :) This one is called Colorado Sunset.

I got an email from another 'indie dyer', that's what we are called, independent dyers, who told me I should consider no longer showing how I dye my yarn on my blog. He said that I was letting the secrets of hand painting yarn out' in the open where any schmuck could copy and paint their own'. He is afraid that if knitters/crocheters could dye their own, then we indie dyers wouldn't be needed anymore. While I am sure there are some knitters who would be happy to only knit what they dye, i'm not sure this is the way every knitting wants to go. It's messy, expensive to get started, and not everyone has an eye for color. Plus there are soo many books out there on how to dye yarn, I don't feel I am giving away any confidential secrets. Anyone can find info on how to dye your own yarn, fabric, batiking etc.

For those in the Mid-Atlantic region, I will be thinking about you and hoping the snow doesn't make life hard for you.

I will hopefully show the yarns dyed today to you all (what 15 people who read this) tomorrow.

Happy Knitting and Crocheting!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

New Yarns Arrived today!

I'm going to dye a batch of Merino/Silk yarns in fingering weight for socks. It's not superwash, which I don't like since it takes a bit longer to heat set, but not too much more work, but it means the knitter/crocheter will need to remember that it has to be hand washed and dried flat.

BUT, I'm anxious to dive in.

I'm also trying to get the DH to let me stop working. I may propose again tonight the 'but I'm barely making anything there and can make more staying home dyeing yarn and it will give me more study time!' Doubt it will work, and I don't need more study time, I'm pretty smart and learn fast. Maybe I will promise to work on getting the office cleaned out so the two younger kids can get separate rooms. That might be a good bribe.

Off to skein the yarns!!

Happy knitting and crocheting!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I wanna quit my JOB!

I need a bigger separate studio. I need to be able to leave all my stuff out and not have to put it all away each day. So I am in search of cheap space. Wonder what I will find.

I also want to quit my job. I like my job, love all the people I work with, but right now with my arm not doing well, working for even 4.5 hours makes it hurt. If I am at home working, when my arm needs a break I can take a break. Not if someone else is paying me. They expect me to work, arm hurting or not, every moment I am being paid for. And I agree. If I'm getting paid, I want to work to deserve it. Last Saturday I hurt my neck because other body parts are trying to make up for the arm I can't use. My neck is still twingy if I move it wrong. So i am a bit afraid of going to work tomorrow.

Yesterday I was going to dye a bunch of new skeins, but ended up just mixing all my dyes. I want to get into some stores and need to be able to reproduce colorways. So the new dedication at imagesinthewind studios is to be able to make the same color way to day and again next week.

I did get one thing done/dyed, an over dye of a couple skeins of Patons Kroy in baby pink. I didn't really do anything special, just dyed half of it lilac. Now it stripes in pink and lilac.
What do you think?
Please comment. I just want to know that people read this. . . :)
Happy knitting and Crocheting!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Humongous Yarn Swift.

In a past post I showed my giant 5.5 foot swift in action in the horizontal position. It was working fine for me but would take up all the space in the room and I had to put my doggies outside to use it. My younger dog loved watching it and would try to stop it from spinning. I had an idea for making it vertical, but when I went to Home Depot, I didn't find what was in my mind to make the whole thing a windmill.

I went to Google for ideas. Google is a great kingdom of ideas and I found someone who had made the same basic swift, though much smaller and had figured out a good way to make the swift spin. I modified it a bit so I could use the parts I already had, but the basic idea is still the same. And it works great. I still have the way to make my giant loops for dyeing (7 feet tall) and can use less space. The whole thing breaks down into three flat pieces that can stand up against the wall til the next day when I need to use it again.

The whole thing is more than 8 feet tall but has a section in the arm that makes it 7 feet tall if I take it out. So I can use it sitting on the floor, or standing up depending on what I need to do. This picture shows the loop I made for the Lime in the Tangerine coloryway I did. After the skein was dry and ready to hank, I put it back on the swift and wound it onto my smaller swift for hanking. Wonderfully easy.

In other life notes, I got an A on the pop quiz in math yesterday. Anthropology was interesting and Political Science was AWESOME!! My arm feels good as long as I'm hopped up on advil. I'm getting tired of taking that much medication, but if I don't the arm hurts so I'm going to be tired of it for a while.

Punxsutawny Phil saw his shadow today, 6 more weeks of winter. We watch the movie Groundhog Day every year on this day with huge bowl of popcorn. Haven't missed a 'Day' since 2002. We bought it when it came out on DVD in Jan 2002, just days before Groundhog Day. We go through a lot of popcorn. . .

Well time to clean so I can dye!
Happy Knitting and Crocheting!

EDIT: okay so I got little dyeing done. Just one hank, an over dye of the pink Kroy 3 ply that I had. I tried to destash it but had no takers. Now it stripes in pink and lilac. Very pretty together.
What I ended up doing was to mix all my dyes into concentrates. I had 23 Ball canning mason jars that I decided to use to make concentrate liquids of all my dyes. I still have a number of colors that I don't use often that I didn't concentrate, not enough jars. But most of them are now in the mason jars. 16 ounces of vinegar water and .5 ounces of dye. That is a load of dye for that small a jar! So now instead of mixing every time I need to use it, I can just take a measured amount of the concentrate. This does two things for me, the biggest being I can measure how much dye I use. In the future I will be able to recreate color ways that people have liked. I've heard from a number of people when both Pesto and Beach Glass sold on Etsy and they wondered if I could make them again. Unfortunately I cannot. In order to get into a store, i will need to make 4-5 hanks of a single color way in a single dye lot to I need to know how much of a color I use in a color way.
The second thing it will do is allow me to mix colors faster. I won't have to do all the water boiling and stirring. I cleaned out a cupboard above my dryer to store the jars in so they are within reach and not cold in the garage.
So, I am hoping this makes things quicker and allows me to get into some LYS in my area. I just need 3-4 that order each month and the Etsy shop to be able to quit at JoAnn Fabrics. Which I like but I love this and it allows me to be creative.

So, I will post the lilac/pink when it's dry and hanked. Oh, and it took 3 table spoons of the lilac concentrate in the dye pot to dye the 50 grams of yarn I put in it. So I have a bit of an idea what it will take to dye 50 grams.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Put The Lime In The Tangerine

Yesterday I had time to do one dye job. I did a cool wide stripe again with Lime Green and Tangerine. Again, it was really difficult to get a decent picture and the pics don't capture the colors right. They go together perfectly.

No school or work tomorrow and not much homework so some good dye time!

Andrea Wulff of Tennessee! Congrats!

I may do another fun contest in the middle of February.

Happy Knitting and Crocheting!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Finally did some dyeing!

Arm felt good and I did some dyeing. Dyed 4 hanks, three are amazing and one is okay. You figure out which is which :)

I did get the green/purple (lime/lilac) done and it's just amazing! I really love how it turned out. The colors are 6 feet long, so the striping will be 4-5 rows of the first color and 4-5 of the second.
I may have to do a full series of fun, wouldn't-think-they-would-look-good-together stripy colors!

I needed a purples variegated, but everyone does that. I did get a purple/blue tweedy thing done yesterday that I really like. Instead of the tweed being darker than the colors, I did it so the tweed is a lighter color. I may be keeping it and petting it for a few weeks before either knitting with it (arm allowing) or putting on Etsy.

Last one for today is a red/gold colorway. I really do love this one. It was beautiful while I was making it and the finished product is really gorgeous. This one is sport weight and though I will put it on Etsy, if it doesn't sell quick I will take it off and save it for myself. The photo shows it a bit brighter than it realy is, it's a bit darker in real life.

Arm is now hurting again, gotta go. Knit and crochet away!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hanks VS Cakes

I was told recently that I could not be taken seriously as a vendor because I offered my handpaints in cakes (yarn wound on a ball winder look like mini cakes) instead of hanks. I found that interesting and did more research on that. I'm part of a large knitting group full of people who are not afraid to voice their opinion. It's one of the things I like most about that group; if I ask a question I will get a real answer.

So, after some back and forth debate of hanks and cakes, it's hands down that knitters and crocheters like their yarn in hanks. So I rehanked almost all the handpaints I have in my Etsy shop for those who like the hanks. I will offer the service of making cakes for those who don't own the more expensive tools of the trade. I think it's a good compromise. And I must agree that the hanks make the yarns look more delicious.

Tomorrow I have off from both work as well as school (with little homework over the week) so I will finally get more dyeing done! If the time ever comes that I can sell more handpaints per month and make more money than I do currently at JoAnn, then I will get to devote WAY more time to dyeing fabulous yarns.

So, GO SEE MY SHOP, :) LOL! and don't forget about the contest! Today is Jan 27 and the contest ends on Sunday. So go look through my listings and find the secret word, it's in parenthases in one of the listings, and send the word to me privately ( Your name will go in the hat and Sunday, Jan 31 at noon I will pick a name. They will get to choose one of the Etsy yarns FREE! And yes, I will send this overseas. So everyone is invited to play.

Update: the elbow is feeling good today even with the amount of notes I had to take in all 3 classes today. That's progress!!! :)

So, look for an update on the new yarns late tomorrow!! I'm thinking of playing with complimentary colors!!! Or maybe a big striping purple/green color way. mmmmm, purple and green. . .

Happy Crocheting and Knitting!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cubital Tunnel Syndrom

CUBITAL TUNNEL SYNDROME (**This is what I have)

(Ulnar Neuropathy)

Cubital tunnel syndrome is compression or traction of the ulnar nerve at the elbow.

The ulnar nerve is commonly irritated at the elbow or, rarely, the wrist. Cubital tunnel syndrome is most often caused by leaning on the elbow or by prolonged and excessive elbow flexion. It is less common than carpal tunnel syndrome. Baseball pitching (particularly sliders), which can injure the medial elbow ligaments, confers risk.

Symptoms and Signs

Symptoms include numbness and paresthesia along the ulnar nerve distribution (in the ring and little fingers and the ulnar aspect of the hand) and elbow pain. In advanced stages, weakness of the intrinsic muscles of the hand and the flexors of the ring and little fingers may develop. Weakness interferes with pinch between the thumb and index finger and with hand grip.


  • Clinical evaluation
  • Sometimes nerve conduction studies

Diagnosis is often possible clinically. However, if clinical diagnosis is equivocal and when surgery is being considered, nerve conduction studies are done. Cubital tunnel syndrome is differentiated from ulnar nerve entrapment at the wrist (in Guyon's canal) by the presence of sensory deficits (on sensory testing or with Tinel's sign) over the ulnar dorsal hand and by the presence of ulnar nerve deficits proximal to the wrist on muscle testing or nerve conduction velocity testing.


Treatment involves splinting at night, with the elbow extended at 45°, and use of an elbow pad during the day. Surgical decompression can help if conservative treatment fails.

So today was the first day of school after hurting my elbow further at work Thursday. Taking notes and doing math are going to be interesting until this gets better. I got numb and tingly even though I am on serious pain medication. I got home from school in a bit of pain. Hopefully a day of rest will make it better. I only got M - W so I have days off in between. What I'm really wondering is what it means for my job at JoAnn? I don't want to quit but I don't think I can cut fabric for very long before I can't feel my hand. Register is fine I think, no heavy lifting, but the management may not need me just on register. Will update.

Will try to get yarn dyed tomorrow. I have some great ideas for some yummy darker tones.

Happy Knitting and Crocheting!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

CONTEST!! Yep, a shameless marketing ploy contest.

I want more people to see my handpaints on Etsy. I want the number of views to skyrocket and maybe even sell one or two of them. I am running out of undyed yarn and am eyeing the lighter colored yarns I have that could be over dyed. The awesome DH has gently asked me to not spend anymore money until March (that's over a month!! yikes) so I need to sell some of my stuff on Etsy. SO HERE'S THE DEAL! If you win you get to choose one of my handpaints on Etsy for FREE! The contest is this: there is a listing with a secret word in it. You'll have to read all the listings to find it. Which means the views will go up. And hey, maybe you find something you like! Prices are in line with shop prices and you'd be helping a fellow knitter/artist. Win/Win as the husband would say! Email me with the secret word and on January 31 at noon I will choose and announce the winner here on the blog. Email me privately, no comments(-or you'll reveal the secret word!) ( your name will go into the hat for a drawing on Jan 31. Here is the link: .

Okay that's done. Check yesterday's blog post, I repriced the stash because I really need to get them out. I have about 50 more skeins to list and I'd rather you all have the first choice and not to go eBay.

So, when we left yesterday I had dyed the pink/white/turquoise. It turned out sweet! I also did Mardi Gras and a Tangled Up in Blue (Bob Dylan, gonna do an MP3 series, yarn dyed inspired by songs on my iPod). They all turned out amazing! It's more turquoise in real life.

The Mardi Gras is dyed to stripe, the favorite way to dye right now. I have a good mind not to list this on Etsy and save it or me. I can't do a whole lot of knitting right now with the arm
(BOTH tennis elbow as well as Ulnar Nerve Compression, can't bend the arm for very long, 3 advil every 4 hours to keep the nerve from becoming inflamed, no bending for long periods of time. It's like carpel tunnel in the elbow) but I can look at the yarn and dream of amazing socks!

The Tangled Up In Blue is a dyed sock blank. Its an easy way to get variegated yarn that won't stripe of pool. Normally the yarn would stay as a fabric scarf and the knitter would knit right from it, but caking it actually gives a better preview of what the sock would look like when done. The blank isn't knit with the number of stitches a sock would be knit with so the design on the fabric isn't what the sock would look like. So winding it into a cake is better in my opinion.
The blank is more expensive for me to buy, so it end up more expensive to sell, too. But worth is really.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Arm feels better, Yarn in the dye pots!

I went to bed early and took lots of pain meds as well as had the elbow on heat most of the night. It helped a lot and today I feel better. Advil is my friend! So I am able to take the day and do some dyeing! Yay!

I used one of the large skeins I did yesterday and looped in in a different way so there won't be the normal striping, but something much more fun.

As you can see there are 6 loops with sections between them. The sections will stay white and the loops will be either pink or turquoise. So there will be some striping but mostly just fin lines of a color and some white. I did this in fingering weight since I don't have that many cakes in that weight. I use thicker yarn but I know most people use fingering or light fingering for socks. I just can't see stitches that small. Gotta get to the eye doc!

The colors I went for are turquoise, dark pink and I left some of the yarn it's natural color. It reminds me of Hawaiian leis. I didn't use the paint chips, I just started with the turquoise and loved that color, then I mixed up that pink and added a bit of scarlet until I got a pink I thought matched the turquoise the best. Then I just lowered the section into the dye pots and let them sit, mixing them when I thought it was needed.

I started with the regular pink and added tiny bit of scarlet until I liked the color. The regular pink was just too 'baby' pink to go with the turquoise. The scarlet really helped deepen the pink.

Here you can see the differences in color with each little bit of scarlet mixed in. I chose the darkest and wen with it.

Yarn is in microwave cooling down a bit and i will rinse it in a little while. Then I will get the Mardi Gras color way going.
Show me your. . .yarn! :)

Some destash yarns, can'tt ake pics of them all, please go to the web and do searches on the yarns. Sorry, just not enough time to do pics too. All are unused, with bands intact unless noted.

1. Meilenweit Cotton Fondo, 45% Cotton, 42% virgin wool, 13% polyamid. 100 gr, color number 8503, self striping, pinks, blues purples, whites. $8 plus postage.

4. Opal ZwergerGarn, 75/25, 100 gr, #3707, can't find an on line pic, forest green, black, white, maroon. $9 plus postage, paypal.

5. Opal, rainforest, papagei (color) 75/25, 100 gr, $9 plus postage, paypal.

7.Opal, denim blues, no band. 75/25, 100 gr. $9 plus postage, paypal.

9. Opal, Elemente, color 1079, 100gr, 75/25, $9 plus postage, paypal.

10.Meileweit Cotton/Wool. 2 50 gram skeins, color 56, matching dye lot. 45 cotton, 42 woo, 13 poly. Both for $8 plus postage, paypal.

11. Patons Kroy, I have four 50 gr skeins, 85/15, color 432, pink. $3 each plus postage. paypal.
two will make a pair. if this isn't purchased I'm going to over dye it.

13. Fortissima Socka. 45 cotton, 42 wool, 13 poly, color 6510 (blues, browns, white), 100 gr $8 plus postage.

14. TWO Swizzle Sock Yarn, Navy blue with puncjes of color, color 4003, 100 gr, 75/25 superwash. $7 each plus postage. One will make a pair of socks.

That's it for now, gotta get some advil for the elbow.

my paypal address is, $50 gets extra fun stuff in the package.

You can email me at that same email address above.
Email me or comment with questions, I will delete yarn that gets sold.
Thanks for helping me destash! Lots of the Opal is not longer available.

Happy knitting and crocheting!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tendonitis sucks! :(

So, I've been battling tendonitis in my right elbow for about 3 months now. I was playing racquetball with the hubby and had to change a swing in mid-swing and the elbow was unhappy with me. I finished the game but lost. We didn't play another and I waited a few days to play again. And that REALLY hurt the elbow. So I took 3 weeks off the game over winter break and thought it was all good. Nope, not good. So I have been playing anyway, one game here, one game there. The last few days it has been really bad; fingers and hand going numb at night and today I lifted a big bolt of fleece fabric and zinged the elbow. For the next 2 hours the hand and arm were hot or cold (it was hard to tell) and the fingers were tingly/numb. I did make it through the whole shift at Joann.

When I got home I couldn't do any dyeing since my hand was still unhappy but I did get a few hanks made into dyeing skeins that I should be able to dye tomorrow. I'm off and after reading chapter 2 in Cultural Anthropology I will be free to dye the hanks. I have one set for Mardi Gras; emerald, purple and gold!! Gonna be amazing. i also have a pink/turquoise/white stripy thing in mind. An orange red variegated is in my mind, too.

Tune in tomorrow!

Oh and my on-line-never-met-him-but-he's-funny friend Colin has been dyeing yarn, too. He sells his over his blog, though he is in the UK so his 12 pound-dollars are actually $21 American.
Check him out at his blog:

I'm woolinthewasher on Etsy!

Happy knitting and Crocheting!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

First Day of New Semester, should be a good one!

First day is always fun. New classes, new teachers, new potential friends. I make friends pretty easily (shocking, I know) so that never makes me anxious. College Algebra makes me nervous.
There was a pop review quiz to 'see where everyone is''. Great. I remembered a lot, but the square root stuff, not so much.

Cultural Anthropology promises to be very interesting. Today was just the first day and I spent 1.5 hours in that class going over the syllabus and being spoken to like I was 6. Instructor spent 10 minutes talking about the evils of cell phone. But the syllabus looks interesting.

Political Science is going to be amazing. I've had that Professor before and I loved his last class, this one is going to rock! Since I'm a political junkie, though not as informed about things as I'd like to be, this class will really help me understand what all the pundits are talking about every day.

I will have some dye-related stuff for you tomorrow, right now I need to watch American Idol!

Oh, and I have a really fun youtube vid that someone sent me:

See ya tomorrow!!

Happy Knitting and Crocheting!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Semester Begins Tomorrow!

Tomorrow the new school semester starts. I have only 3 classes this time. Cheaper and more time for dyeing and studying and working. And dyeing. Wish me luck! :)

Yesterday I dyed a sock blank. If you don't know what that is, it's a pre-knit fabric about 18 inches long and 9 inches wide. Two finger weight yarns held together and machine knit. So you can lay it flat and dye it, heat set it and let it dry, then you can knit your socks right from it. No hanking or caking or winding into balls. It's a very cool way to get just what you want when you dye yarn. If you want the yarn to stripe, you paint stripes on the fabric, if you just want it to be fun and variegated, you do what I did.
Heck you can paint a picture on the fabric, though when you knit it the picture won't come out. I started with a light sage green.
It's actually the darkest green color, but the pastel of it. Which means a lot of water and an ounce or so of full strength dye. That way there is no white showing if I don't get dye all over it.

Then I used the squeezie bottles and dripped, squirted, dribbled the medium sage green (I got that with Emerald and Brown Jacquard Acid dyes) all over the top, turned it over and repeated on the back. The dye doesn't always go all the way through the fabric, so make sure you turn it over if you are doing something like this. I use a LOT of dye to about 1 cup of water when I do this.
That way you don't have a lot of water wandering around the table after the dye is absorbed by the yarn.

This picture shows the back after the first pass of the medium sage green. The nice thing is you can use the fabric itself to wipe up small spills. The fabric will suck it right up.

After the darkest green went on it looked like
I folded it up and put it into a quart sized baggie and did the microwave heat thing. The rinse showed no extra dye at all coming out. Which I really like since the dye that goes down the drain is money I wasted. The dye isn't expensive but I can't get it locally and that means I have to pay shipping and WAIT for it. You're a knitter, you understand how hard it is to wait for a package.

After the rinse, I tossed it in the washer on spin to get all the extra water out and hung it to dry.
Luckily, here in CO, it dries so fast that I could cake it before I went to bed. :)

It's on Etsy now for $20. I named it Pesto.

Well, I will try to dye something today but the DH has me running around getting stuff for him today. And I do have to get ready for school tomorrow.

Go Here and spend 5 minutes. . .

Have an awesome day and Happy Knitting and Crocheting!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fondue Is So Yummy!

We had a great dinner with the neighbors last night. Cheese and broth and chocolate fondue. Tom and I love The Melting Pot (though we don't get there often since it's really expensive) and he got me 4 HUGE fondue pots for an anniversary years ago. We don't use them often enough, mostly because you can't see my kitchen table! You crafters know what I mean. . . but we had a great dinner with great friends last night. We need to make that a once-a-month thing.

I've been working on a pair of bike socks for Tom. REALLY thin yarn, Patons Kroy, and size 1 needles. After I finish this pair I will have one sock to match these on needles so he can just grab two matching socks for his bike shoes. It's hard though. My tennis elbow makes it hard to knit for longer than an hour or so, and the yarn is so thin (I do sport or DK) that I do have trouble even seeing the stitches.

Today I get to reveal the fun pastel stripy yarn that I dyed yesterday. I did lace weight (not caked yet) and a sport weight of the same colors. I had enough dye, since I was doing pastel, to
dye both hanks of yarn. The lace came out even lighter since it's not superwash. For some reason the superwash stuff makes the colors some out brighter.

As usual, I chose colors using the paint samples. It's always nice to have those to compare different hues to makes sure the colors are of the same family and will look good together.

I only needed to make the green and blue dyes, I had the pink already mixed up from the Lisa's Lipstick color way.

When doing pastel colors you need only a small bit of dye. Or you can mix up the dye at full strength and use a lot of water and little of the dye mix. When you add the yarn the water will go clear almost immediately as the yarn takes the dye.
If there is still a lot of undyed yarn, move the yarn into a corner of the pot and add spoonfuls of the full strength dye and move the yarn back into the dye. Keep doing that until the yarn is the color you like. Making pastel colors isn't hard, and it takes less time since the yarn takes all the dye really fast.

I love the way the color came out. This is a terrible picture, the sun was shining in through the window and the camera wouldn't flash.

Here is the finished product:

Tune in tomorrow. I'm dyeing knitted sock blanks today. What are they? :) Gotta come back tomorrow!

Happy Knitting and Crocheting!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Forever In Blue Jeans, Babe. . .

Well, the pure wool is dry and caked. It was supposed to be light blue, dark blue and purple, but for whatever reason the purple didn't take and it turned to an even darker blue. So the two skeins are pretty but all blues. So it's name is Forever In Blue Jeans, Babe.
Maybe it was the wool I used, Paton's Classic
Wool. Maybe it was already dyed and the wool wouldn't take other dye, who knows but I doubt I would use it again. I will just get yarn made for dyeing from my on line sources.

I have lace weight to dye today. Not looking forward to dealing with 880 yards of what might as well be thread. I tied it 12 times around, every 18 inches, to minimize the ability for it to get all tangly. I also have another good hank of the sport weight I love so much and will probably do both of those today.

We are having a fondue party with the neighbors tonight. Should be fun!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Another Day, Another Dye Pot!

Okay, before I start on todays fun stuff I need to rant. Please understand that in life you will sometimes have to stand in line. Yes, that's right, sometimes when you are checking out at a grocery store, a dept store or a CRAFT STORE, you will have to wait in line. Please know that if the cashier, trying frantically to cash everyone out as fast and friendly as possible, could get back up to another register, she/he WOULD DO IT! Calling to them from the line to get more help, yelling at them when you get to the register, asking to see a manager, will only serve to make them less able to do the job quickly and the friendly part will go right out the window. Advice: if you are in hurry DO NOT go into a craft store and expect to get out in 3 minutes. Give yourself 10 minutes to get through the line. Check the line as you walk in, if it's long, choose another time to shop. Ask the employees when the slowest times of day are and shop during those times. But no matter what, belittling someone because you didn't give yourself enough time, if the wrong thing to do. END RANT.

So, today I am trying to dye pure wool. I normally only do superwash, but I can get pure wool at work for a discount (no shipping from on line vendors, either) so I figured a couple skeins of Patons Wool would be a good first try. This cannot go in the microwave! If you are dyeing pure wool, the heat will need to be in the oven. I will heat the oven to 170 (the lowest mine will go) and leave it in there for 39 minutes or so. The yarn needs to be about 170 for 15 minutes to
set the color. I choose a darker, muted color way today, dark blues and purples. I will say that it
didn't look good at last check. Hopefully it will get better as it sits on the dye pot.

In other news, I put a beautiful black and grey net book case on my Etsy shop. It's got fun fur on the flap and a huge button for closure. I think it's really pretty. I have a purple and green one that needs a button and it will be ready for listing.

Friday, January 15, 2010

New Felted Handbags in my Etsy Shop

Over the holiday I made a few more felted handbags. I did some netbook cases too but those will get listed in a day or so. The purses are the same style but different colors. I found wonderful giant buttons at a local yarn shop that were perfect for closures.

I use Lamb's Pride, double stranded, size 15 needles for these. They take about a day including the 45 minutes or so in the washer to get them fully felted. They are almost a half inch thick, put a brick in one and they could be used as weapons!
I made one for myself with lime green as the top color and purple as the bottom color. A giant triangle shaped purple button as the closure makes it look really fun. I get a lot of compliments on it when I'm out.

They're bigger than they look in the pictures.

Going to handpaint some feltable wool this weekend. I usually only do superwash so I don't have to worry about it fulling when I go from hot to cold, but I will just have to have some patience and allow the yarn to get to room temp without cold water help. I'll post the results tomorrow.

Thanks for tuning in and Happy Knitting and Crocheting!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Colorway is DELICIOUS!!! Oh yeah!

It's soo yummy! I love it! I made two cakes, one for me and one for Etsy. I even added a ball of red for heels, toes and cuffs.
LOOK at this!!!

As soon as I get finished with my husbands socks and my daughters hat, I will start on socks with this yarn!!

So, are you dyeing (ha ha) to know about my giant swift? It's really cool though not done yet. I still need to make a stand for it. What you see if actually part of my other, smaller, swift. When I make the stand it will be vertical instead of horizontal like the video.

Please ignore the messy house, I have too many crafts going on in one place. :) The swift is 5.5 feet across and makes the skein 4+ yards long for nice long color sections. The longer the color section, the thicker the stripe, if you're trying for stripes. Email me if you want to know how to make it:

Have a great night and happy knitting!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dyeing Hints and Tips

So yesterday you saw the yarn I did yesterday and are waiting for pictures, right? :)

It is very pretty, though not quite what I expected. I will try using a brighter pink next time. But still a great colorway.

Today I am dyeing a red, raspberry, purple variegated in honor of my friend, Lisa. They are her favorite colors. I put two hanks together
and wound it on my new HUGE swift. It's 5.5
FEET across so I no longer have to wind the yarn around the kitchen table or the bench seat I usually use. Doing it around the seat makes my back hurt and takes 10 minutes or so. It makes me only want to do one skein per day because it's a pain in the back (ha ha).

Here is another shot of the Beach Glass colorway (I don't usually name the colorways).

Todays is in the dye pot and I used only the Jacquard acid dyes for it. When using a purple, I like those dyes better, The Wilton tends to show a lot of pink when it wicks.

I was asked about making sure the colors all match if you are doing a variegated of the same colors, like all blues or all greens. The best way to do this is to use only two colors. If I'm going to do a 4 color of just blues, I choose two blues; one really light and the other dark. Mix up the lightest color and check the color on a napkin. If you like it make sure you know how much water and how much dye you used to make it. You'll make it a couple more times. For the second color I mix up the first color, then add a smidge of the darker blue. Mix and check. If it's different enough from the first and you like it, keep it. Then do the same with the dark blue. Mix and check. If you like it, keep it. The last mix will be just a small amount of the lighter blue and then use the darker to make the third color. Mix and check until you find the right four colors to make your variegation. Using just the two colors and mixing will allow you to make sure the colors are in the same family. Nothing worse than three good colors and one that just doesn't match.

Time to go pull the purples out of the dyepot! Tomorrow i will show you the giant swift. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Quick Yarn Dyeing Tutorial

My Etsy shop is getting new yarns every day. Today I listed that pretty yellow/Orange variegated I mentioned yesterday. In case you're interested:

So how do I do it? Here is a short tut with a few pictures so if you want to try this you can. I use three different types of dye and they all wash and wear the exact same. The food dye doesn't wash out and it just as good as (if not better than) the toxic acid dyes that are twice as expensive and you can't use anything again for food. Keep that in mind. I use the Jacquard Acid dyes (toxic, $3.75 per jar, 40 colors) and the Wilton Icing Gel dyes (non toxic and $1.50 per jar, 24 colors) as well as the McCormick Food coloring drops (non toxic, 6 color with the Neons, $3.50 for the box of dyes).

Another good thing to have is a bunch of those paint cards from Home Depot or Lowes. It's a great thing to have so compare colors and get ideas for colorways.If you aren't comfortable going to the hardware store and taking 50 cards all at once, go a few days in a row and get a few more. I just asked the guy behind the paint counter if I could take a bunch for future reference and he told me to help myself.
So, just ask.I use them every day to make sure my color combinations go together before mixing dye. Then I mix my dye to match the color.

I usually use a natural colored superwash yarn It's a great soft yarn, in
expensive at $6.49 per skein, and 100 grams for a pair of socks. I have a bench seat that I wrap the yarn around so it's about 6 yards around. If I need it to be longer I put a
box on the bench and wrap around the bench and box. I have an idea for a new swift and will let you know if it works. The skein in these photos is about 8 yarns around. This is the yarn in hot water with about 1/2 cup of vinegar, soaking for an hour or so. I found that overnight hasn't done anything different than soaking for an hour.

While the yarn soaks, I figure the colors I want and get out the dyes I think will make the colors I need. Here I use a combo of the acid dyes and Wilton dyes. The green is a combo of Kelly and Emerald (acid dyes). The blue is just Sky Blue (acid). The pink is mostly Rose Pink and Orange (Wiltons) and a bit of Hot Fuschia (acid). The Peachy color is a bit Creamy Peach(wiltons) and Salmon (acid). So you can see that the different dyes can be combined to make all the colors you want. *One thing to remember, the Violet Wiltons has a pink undertone that wants to take over. I'd use an acid dye instead of the Wiltons unless you are dip dyeing. After my colors are all mixed the way I like and I've checked them by putting a bit of each on a white napkin, I get my pots ready.
I put about 1.5 cups of hot water in each and then pour my 1 cup of dye in the water and stir. Then I take out my yarn, squeeze it dry and make four loops all about the same size. Each loop will go in a
dye pot. Make sure you put the dye in an order that touching color will make a new good color. Only the green and orange would have made mud and I made sure they didn't touch too much.

I move the yarn around a little make sure all of it gets to the dye and move the section that are high into the dye for a few minutes, then into the other color for a few seconds so I don' t have too much un-dyed yarn. After the dye pots go clear, the yarn has absorbed all the dye it can.
If there is still a lot of dye left in the pot after about an hour, use less dye the next time. I take the yarn out and squeeze it a bit so it doesn't drip. Then it's time for heat. I usually tuck each color into it's own baggie and put the whole thing on a plate in the microwave for 3 mins on, 3 off, 3 on, and let sit for a while. When it's room temp again, I rinse. If there is no dye left in the water and if no dye transfers to my hands (I don't use gloves) then I don't go through the rinsing. If there is a lot of dye left in the pots, I rinse the yarn sections in hot water until it runs clear. I use the washing machine on spin to get most of the water out and hang to dry.

Tomorrow this yarn will be dry and I will cake it and get pics for you. Check back to see how it turns out!

Later! Happy Knitting!

Monday, January 11, 2010

I know, I know!!!!!

Yeah, it's been a very long while and i'm sorry. Life got really crazy with school and work and all creative processes (except math) came to a screeching halt. But i'm back.!

I've finished a pair of socks made from Patons Decor. It's a home dec yarn, 70% acrylic, 30% wool but the hand is soft and there is a bigger wool content than Wool Ease from Lion Brand. I've got two pair made from this yarn, a brown~lilac~butter yellow colorway and a burgundy~black~orange colorway. Because of the acrylic, they are warm but not too hot because of the wool. so far, I like them.

I've been dyeing for a few weeks too. I've got some really fun color ways, a gradient from green to blue, a yellow to orange 4 way variegated, a perfect Valentines Red/Pink/White color way and the most fun is a green/Purple/orange variegated color way that is amazing! I made a green 10gram ball for toes, heels and cuffs. They will make great socks!

The only skein i will be keeping is a hot pink/salmon/yellow colorway. I am keeping it for me because the colors remind me of tulips so i'm going to make a kelly green ball for those toes, heels and cuffs. Kinda like stems to the flowers.

more soon, and pictures to go with it!

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