Jun 29, 2006

Warping Bored

Warping Bored

Now that my pal Debbie has finally received her Dye-O-Rama yarn, I will post a few more details on how I colored it.

Last week I listed my starting materials. Per Ysolda's instructions, I made my own warping board with a spare piece of plywood and some small nails. Like her, I crossed the board 14 times. Each row was 2" apart and the two columns were separated by 2' (24"). I wrapped it in her style ten full (down and back) times.

Warping Board

I tied every crossover loosely with some spare cotton yarn and removed the long, tied-up yarn. I dyed it in sections so it would become self-striping.

The 1/2 pound of supersock ended up making two ~360-yard skeins and one ~270-yard skein after all the wrapping.

I only had one non-food pot that met the requirements (enamel or stainless steel), so I did the colors in batches.

Soup's on!

The big stainless steel pot is for food but I used it to rest the inactive yarn so it wouldn't catch on fire. I'm crazy like that.

The Country Classic Dyes are so easy to use. Per the instructions I presoaked the yarn in hot water with a little dish detergent for 30 minutes prior to dyeing. The water clears up during the 20-30 minutes that the boiling yarn takes to soak up the dye. These were relatively small dyelots so I used ~1 tsp dye per ~6 cups of water per color. I dyed all the superwash merino at once and I wanted the colors to be fairly subtle, so I didn't worry too much about measuring.


I orginally designed a complicated stripe pattern for my pal but accidentally dropped the white into the green, making a bit of a mess on the white. I kept this skein for myself and made a sock out of Wendy's Toe-Up Sock Pattern.


Debbie's yarn should have wider stripes of more uniform thickness. For perspective, I knit this sock on bamboo US1s (the 0s were making the fabric too tight) out of half of the 360 yards I kept for myself. The other sock might be finished in time for fall. I'm just not sure, because I have lots and lots of other fun sock yarn to knit up.

If you're interested in more dye-your-own links (Catherine!), check out the sidebar information at Scout's Dye-O-Rama page.

Jun 28, 2006

Today, I'm One

Guest reappearance of a birthday cupcake from Ashley because it's so cute and this anniversary snuck up on me!

I just realized that my first post on this blog was one year ago today. Wow, time sure flies when you're having fun.

Jun 26, 2006

Funk City

Oh man, malaise is still hovering over us at Chez Amandamonkey. We tried to shake it off by meeting Amy, her boy, and their new puppy - Truffle - at Wicker Park, but Barley was too shy around the other dogs and just paced around self-consciously.
Meet Truffle

Truffle has enough self-confidence for both of them and this is one of the few photos I snapped of her that is actually in focus because she also has lots of energy.

We headed over to the Pontiac Cafe for some snacks 'cos they let us park the dogs to the side of the patio. The nice thing is that it didn't smell like dog piss like the park so I could enjoy my yummy crabcakes with chipotle mayo.

Yesterday Beth and I were supposed to sling beers here, but somehow found ourselves in Chinatown which was just fine. Here're a couple of views from the Chinatown el stop:
Chicago Skyline from Chinatown
Chicago Chinatown

One very fun find is the illustrated geologic time scale in the tunnel between transfers at the Roosevelt stop:
Roosevelt Station

She's coming over tonight to eat some spa food from Canyon Ranch Cooks and watch Honey, We're Killing the Kids because she just cancelled her cable. We both love to watch the melodramatic kids vomit the first time they have to eat vegetables.

Still? I'm meh.

This morning's mail drop helps a little. I received both my yarn order from Dani's Sunshine Yarns (the 'Beach Day' is what I ordered and the partial skein of 'Raspberry Limeade' was a toss-in because I know her IRL. Aren't you jealous?)....
Sunshine Yarns

...and the new Wee Wonderfuls Put-Together Book.
Wee Wonderfuls Put-Together Book No. 1

Jun 25, 2006

I've gotta get out more

I thought I just heard Madeleine Albright say 'I have no beef with Kim Jong Il' on CNN.

Jun 22, 2006


Storms are rolling through this morning. That suits my mood just fine.

Here are the people who are not afraid of storms:
Barley the Great Sock Wrastler
Barley the great dirty sock wrastler

Here are the people who are very afraid of storms:
Hmmm.... where is that damn cat?

Anywho, I cast on a toe-up sock last night with my hand-dyed. It's my first time using 0s and I am sure I will drive myself blind or batty before I even start turning the heel.


Jun 21, 2006

Dye Job

Here I present a couple of small hanks I dyed for myself during Dye-O-Rama.

I dyed Wool2Dye4's Supersock, a 2-ply superwash merino, with Country Classics dyes from Halcyon Yarns in Kiwi, Chestnut, and Teal. The Kiwi didn't look very good with the other two colors after all, so I ended up adding a little Teal to the dye pot.

I wish I were as inspired to write my least favorite diss chapter as I am by fiber.

Jun 20, 2006

I'd been avoiding it...

...but I finally have the Clap after all these years.

Guarding Clapotis

Yarn: Brooks Farm Duet (Good eye, Janna!), purchased from their booth at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. 55% kid mohair/45% fine wool
Pattern: Clapotis
Needles: US8s, bamboo
Recipient: Me, Myself, and I!
Mods: There was a little less yardage than the pattern called for so I made it one repeat less wide and one repeat shorter.
Thoughts: The yarn is different, but the color is scarily similar to what Steph chose.

Clapotis detail

I looooooooove it! So does Barley:

Still Life with Clapotis

I See a Mango Moon a-Risin'

Mango Moon Scarf Close-up

Yarn: Mango Moon recycled rayon (viscose), purchased at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival earlier this spring.
Pattern: none, just increased the first few rows and worked in a K1 P1 rib until I was almost out of yarn, then decreased for a few rows.

After adding a few pieces of short fringe, I had nothing left.

Dye-O-Rama swap received and LOVED!

Dye-O-Rama Yarn from Big Geek Beth

Big Geek Beth was my secret Dye-O-Rama pal. It's hard to believe she was in the WTF?! group with me because the yarn is just beautiful.

It was accompanied by a personalized card...

Personalized Card from Big Geek Beth

...and some SWANK handmade stitch markers.

Stitch markers from Big Geek Beth!

Thanks, Beth!

In which I further fracture my personality

I'll be posting most of my future gardening ramblings to Dig? since this is supposed to be a stitch blog. Just so you know.

Rock Star left Sunday for the field. Speaking of which, honey? If you're reading this from a far-flung internet cafe, HI! WE MISS YOU! Keep yourself safe, please. ... Also, did you take my toothbrush?

Jun 12, 2006

Hey Dumbass

Yeah, you - the one who stole all our seedlings from the community garden plot. Did you know that you took them from an UNEMPLOYED PERSON who was actually banking on EATING this summer?!

I hope your face is horribly, irretrievably disfigured in a fiery accident.

Really. Fuck you.

Jun 7, 2006

Birthday Love, East-Coast Style

Sweet Basil has really outdone herself. I was completely speechless and in tears when I opened my gift from her when I arrived home last week. It was a hand-made needle case and some yummy Korean and Japanese snacks.

Needle Case from SweetBasil

She wrote, "I had one rule making the knitting needles case - that was to use only the items that I already have." It turns out that many of the materials were recycled from thrifting and crafting trips we've taken over the years. I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT and I really love that she stitched together so many of our shopping adventures into one beautiful, gorgeous piece.

Needle Case - Revealed!

The quilting classes she's taken have really paid off, as you can see in this detail:

Needle Case Detail

I am so very fortunate to have such a caring and thoughtful friend. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, Sweet Basil.

I do have one question. What's up with sending me an ass-coffee cookie?
Ass Cookie?

Birthday Love from Michigan

This is a long-delayed, but very heartfelt THANK YOU shout-out to Ashley. We haven't yet met IRL but she knows me so. well.

Happy Birthday from Ashley!

A knitted cupcake and Mason-Dixon Knitting! Yay! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, Ashley (and also Bailey - did you pick out that cute dog card?)! The tale of two blog friends is the perfect gift from my blog bud.

I love every project in this book, especially the bench cover, whose colors and geometry reminds me of hooked 'footstool' covers of my dusty memory
Mason-Dixon Knitting Bench Cover

and the bedcover, whose simple morphology and colors make me very happy (tho' I have to admit that I will probably quilt this pattern/color combo if I make this project.
Mason-Dixon Knitting Bedcover

Even the dishclothes are so very dear.
Mason-Dixon Knitting Dishcloth

I don't know what to make first.

Thanks again, Ashley!

Jun 5, 2006

The 411

Ouch. Sorry I've been so out of touch - it's ironic that, when one has the most to say, life is moving at such a fast pace that it's difficult to take the time to really put down. I have over 150 unread Bloglines and I expect that it will take me until next weekend to finally catch up with all your lives.

I finally arrived home a day late and a dollar short. Moving is so very painful for me and I just couldn't get out the day I wanted to. I stopped off in western NY to pick Barley up - he'd been staying with his 'grandparents' since before my brother's wedding.

We had our first party when my parents came to town the next afternoon.
Summer Party

We went to our community garden plot.
Garden Plot I
Hmmm. 'Nuff said about that right now. Soon I'll post some photos of the results of the work Rock Star and I did this weekend on it - it's already looking muchmuch better.

Since then, I've been eating lots of good food...

... taking naps in the sun with Teak...
Window Nap

... and waiting on flowers to bloom.

And then I was reminded that my body likes to get sick when I finally relax.

In the meantime, Rock Star gave me a birthday gift! Her name is June and here she is on her ride home, all shiny and new:

This is how happy I was, even though I was sick:
Happy but Sick Girl

I took her to the garden plot on her maiden voyage.
Let's Go!

Thanks, Rock Star! I love her!

The following posts will showcase two of my other favorite birthday gifts - one from a dear pre-blog friend and the other from a new friend that I've met through this great forum. For now, I should get to work blow my nose.