Of midnight silk

Home dying of yarns has become my newest passion.

I still like to knit stuff, very much so, and frankly, if I dyed at the rate I knit, I’d need to move into a  barn fairly soon, but it’s a great way to experiment with different yarns and colours.

Mostly, my results are totally unpredictable somewhat different from what I planned, but except for The Poison, so far I really love them all.

Still, my latest experiments with darker colours (is winter coming or what?) have been the most satisfying so far, since they turned out close to what I had in mind to begin with, but different enough to provoke some ooh-ing and aaaah-ing.

This is a skein of baby alpaca and silk, a combination I just love for lace shawls, and which is hard to get in the darker colours for some reason. It’s also pretty pricy, and the undyed version is less than half the finished product. Win, I dare say – I’m entertained, I save money and I get to work with a gorgeous fiber.

Meet Midnight Silk:

Midnight Silk
Midnight Silk
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Of feet and pirates

Pirate socks, still sans pirates 1
Pirate socks, still sans pirates 1

That (points up) was the plan: my first color work socks. In green and blue, with a lovely gruesome pirate motive.

So I cast on, knit happily along, shortly pondered to swap my usual short-row heel with the Sweet Tomato heel by Cat Bordhi, decided to just carry on, finally hit the color work rows.

That’s where things got interesting. Firstly, I decided that I wanted a different yarn, so I swapped the blue for my hand dyed The Poison. Which was a bit of a mistake, as it’s slightly thicker than the green base yarn I was using.

Ah, well, not the end of the world.

I fought my way through the pirates pattern, with some trepidation … old, long forgotten memories of crumpled color work kept popping up in my mind. I did, however, finish the chart.

Only to find out that the pirates looked alright, just had zero stretch. Now, that is a bad thing in a sock. They would not go over my heel (yes, I tried. No, I did not take photos.)

So … I frogged the pattern, decided I need a bit more practice, and finished the sock with a simplified pattern:

Sadly no pirates
Sadly no pirates

Apologies for the abysmal photo … it’s winter. This was the sliver of daylight I could catch today before I left for work. I’ll try again, one of these days …

Of broken slippers and anteaters

This is NO KNITTING. Shocking, I know. Occasionally, I try to crochet, too … and I really need a pair of new slippers, as my trusted and beloved fake-leather-fake-fur ones are coming apart:

Poor, old slippers
Poor, old slippers

Continue reading “Of broken slippers and anteaters”

Queen Anne’s Lace cardigan

This project I started in early September, as a welcome opportunity to use up some Rowan Classic Fine Merino yarn that had been gathering dust in my stash for more than a year.

It’s a top down, all-in-one pattern, which is something I meant to try for the longest time. Did I mention that I’m not a huge fan of sewing things together by hand? Well, meet the unremarkable sweater – it’s been sitting on my table, patiently waiting to be joined together for about 6 weeks now. Seriously. That’s how much I love joining. Not.

Unremarkable sweater
Unremarkable sweater

However, the cardi is coming along nicely, I’m working on the arms now and should be finished within the next week or so. As usual, work may interfere … as our project is soon to be launched, and things usually get a wee bit crazy around launch dates.

Queen Anne's Lace cardigan
Queen Anne's Lace cardigan

Sunday Shinies: none.

It appears that the Sunday Shinies don’t draw a lot of attention.

I can only guess that you’re just not as interested in buttons as I am … well, truth be told, I thought there would be more other stuff to post, but being on a serious budget right now doesn’t really help. And since that is not likely to change anytime soon, I’ll drop them as a regular feature.

In case you are heartbroken, and did in fact enjoy my button show-off – leave a comment! If you guys convince me the Sunday Shinies should stay, they will return. Promise.

In the meantime – sky over Brighton:

Sky over Brighton
Sky over Brighton

The KAL is dead, long live the KAL …

Fickle-Zen clue #2
Fickle-Zen clue #2

Clearly there is only one thing better than knitting – knitting in a group!

And since my job and it’s sometimes crazy hours, in combination with my general tendency to be a bit shy to just show up for meetings, make it difficult for me to join an actual knitter’s group (though I haven’t quite given up on it yet), obviously a virtual knitting group is the next best thing.

And by “next best”, I mean absolutely bleeping brilliant. I had such a blast with the Susanna IC KAL that even while it was still going, I started looking for another one.

Enter stage left: Roxanne from Zen Yarn Garden, who generously offered for me to join the Fickle-Zen KAL very last minute. The yarn, travelling all the way from Canada to the UK, took it’s sweet time, but arrived in time, and is absolutely gorgeous.

Choices were between Lemongrass green, Marigold yellow, and Raspberry purple … I was in the edge to go with the Lemongrass, as purples seem to be taking over a bit at the moment, but then couldn’t resist the stunning colour, and I lurve it!

The whole project, so far, is just a joy – the group is great, the chatter pleasant, the yarn a joy to work with, and after the latest fine lace, knits up quickly, and the pattern looks great and is easy to follow.

I == happy bunny.

Fickle-Zen close up 1
Fickle-Zen close up 1