Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The view from the floor

If I could spend the rest of the week face down on the first horizontal surface I come to then that would be awesome. I didn't get anything done yesterday. I'm filling in a the shop today for a few hours today and going to Hot Topic tomorrow (you have your priorities....) but that's it. I'm supposed to have the BFL photographed and listed by now. Not gonna happen today for sure. Turns out falling down the stairs, even just one stair, doesn't really hurt that bad. It's actually hitting the landing that's the crappy part.  I'm not usually grateful for chubby knees and a fat belly but it totally saved me from blogging Monday from an ER waiting room.

I feel a lot better than I thought I would, so that's great. I really thought I would be at the doctor by now begging for a pain pill but really, I hate even taking OTC pain relievers so why bother with the big pills. My instinct is to push the pain down and to the sides so I can get work done but that way lies madness and a fibro flare up. Can't have that so I'm doing that taking it easy for the rest of the week.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The view from my couch

My big plans for today was to knit, pattern write, photograph and label the BFL and get some cotton dyed up. Then this morning, on the way to the car, I walked down stairs 1-9 and missed the 10th stair entirely. I'm fine, but sore. I'm happy to know my body still knows how to take a fall, but really, is there anything more irritating than skinned knees? They are a little stingy but strictly speaking skinned knees are rarely painful. The main injury from skinned knees is the hit one takes to their ego. I know I'm feeling a peg or two lower than how I started the morning.
I'll still knit and pattern write, but I doubt anything else will get accomplished today. I was really looking forward to getting the BFL up, too. It's all braided and everything. See?

Stupid stairs.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fluffy Roving Clouds

This week I dyed up a few pounds of superwash wool top from British BFL sheep. They are finally dry and ready to be braided, photographed and listed.

3 braids braided...

15 braids to go...


Monday, February 15, 2010

Knitted Footstool!

A year ago my friend Natalie was making knitted blocks for a mutual friends baby. They were dense little suckers. I should know because she beaned one at my head. I said then that they would make great footstools if knit larger and snarkily suggested that she make one for me knowing she never would. I should be more careful what I say to Natalie because sometimes she likes to prove me wrong for my birthday.

Isn't it amazing?

Every side is different.

It is soft and sturdy...

..comfortable to prop your feet on....

Cat and awesome knitted footstool
..and in case of Cat-astrophe, the panels can easily be replaced.

I LOVE IT. I LOVE IT. I LOVE IT. Thank you Natalie!

Knitting Olympics, Project #2: Doublethick Potholder

Like yesterday's bib, this potholder was already halfway done before the Knitting Olympics commenced. I crocheted the second side today and attached the 2 sides together this evening. Once again, I used my Cotton Warp yarn doubled up.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bibbity bibbity

My goal for 2010 Knitting Olympics is simply to knit the things that need knitting. This means, for the most part, knitting samples from my own yarns. First up, the Mason Dixon bibb made from 2 strands of 5/2 Cotton Warp held double in Firefly.
Yes, I held the yarn double for yet another project So why not just dye up a thicker yarn to begin with? I'll tell ya why. My supplier doesn't make a thicker cotton warp yarn. This yarn is designed ot be a weaving yarn. Weaving yarns are traditionally thinner than knitting yarns. So while I'm using this for knitting without any problems, this is the thickest cotton warp yarn my supplier makes and it is intended for weaving. 
So why not use a different cotton yarn? I'll tell ya why. This stuff is cheap. Dirt cheap. It is so cheap that I can sell a skein of it (yarn, dyes, labor and all) for less than $7.  It is cheap, it is absorbent and it machine washes. Note: Wash it on cold to keep the color from fading, just as you would a brightly colored t-shirt or jeans. Alternatively, wash it on hot like I'm doing and deal with any fading. It's a bibb or dishcloth forgoshsakes.
Is it the nicest cotton in the world? Nope. Is it interesting to knit with? Yep. I like the hand of it a lot better than I do most of the kitchen cottons, too. It is thinner than a regular aran-weight kitchen cotton, which means it dries faster. Single-ply works great for crochet, weaving and fine knitting. Doubled up, the 5/2 Cotton Warp knits to a fine worsted weight. Coincidentally, this bib made a great swatch for the Baby Surprise Jacket. The gauge is spot on at 5 stitches per inch.
Deborah says this color knits up to look like linoleum. Crafty and Crap thinks it would look better with a solid-colored border. Kara doesn't like it. Blogless Sharon likes it. Blogless Sharon is my new favorite. *grin* The color has grown on me as non-traditional baby colors. Plus, the colors kept me much more entertained than the subtle and tastefully dyed kitchen cottons would have. Tasteful yarn? Bah! Who needs a tastefully colored dish cloth? Not I!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

And here's the yarn!

Thursday the dye arrived. Yesterday and today the yarn came! This previously clean table is full of cotton slub yarn, roving, sample packs of possible new yarns and birthday presents (a new roaster! yay!). Also pictured, the best skein winder ever. Not pictured is a new giant wire shelf from Target to hold it all. I'm just waiting on the Strong Arm sock yarn base to come in and all the "must dye" bases will be here. I can't wait to get started with new bases and new dyes!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Behold! Dye!

All my dyes have arrived! Now I'm just waiting on the yarn and the dyeing can begin!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

February Lady Party

The Knitorious Knit Nighters are getting together for a February Lady Party Wednesday night. Ahem, I mean a February Lady Sweater Party. FLS is our sweater theme. Our food theme is My Bloody Valentine, because we The Knitters At Knitorious are all about crazy food themes and not so much about Valentine. Bring yourself, your knitting, your February Lady Sweater and a snack to share. I know there will be at least one dessert that oozes tasty oozings when you bite in to it. We would love to see you!

Dyeabolical's Cotton Slub will be well represented at the 'Lady Party with three FLSs made out of 3, 4 and 4 skeins of yarn respectively. $30-40 for a lightweight FLS isn't a bad price if I do say so myself!

Deborah's FLS in Peculiar Purple:

Ann's FLS in, uh, dang it. Ann, what do we call this color?:

My own short sleeve, no button, summer FLS in Jamie Green, modeled next to a February Baby Sweater. Is it just me or does that tiny sweater make the hanger look fat?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The world according to dots

  • One of my early colorways was "Derby Girl", which I colored hot pink and black in honor of St. Louis's Arch Rival Roller Girl (ARRG) league. Last season I made a pair of armwarmers from Kara's Rockstar Armwarmers pattern and loved them. I never wore them to a game but I have worn them at home all winter while I am working at my chilly desk. Somehow they ended up in the laundry tonight and I inadvertently washed them on hot. Oops. I went ahead and threw it in the dryer because in for a penny, in for a pound, right? I only pulled one glove out of the washer. A thorough search of the laundry area and I came up literally empty (and cold) handed. I pondered the absurdity of twittering "I've lost my Derby Girl fingerless mitten. ARRG!" but then I came to my senses and realized a) that's what I have a blog for; b) I'm the only one who would think it was funny except maybe the 4 other people who both have purchased Derby Girl and are also ARRG aficionados and c)by the time I could sit down and blog it I had found the second one wound up in the blankets. What, you don't wear your fingerless mitts to bed? 
  • Last year I pondered doing more colors inspired by derby teams but then I ran out of time. I still want to do derby colors, but my current obsession is with Alice in Wonderland. I haven't quite yet committed myself to dying up new Alice-inspired colors but I'm *this* close to giving in. Two things I will be dyeing up as soon as yarn gets here are older superhero-inspired colorways that I haven't done in a while and a whole lot of one super secret color way for a super secret project that I am not talking about yet.
  • I did my spring ordering this weekend. I have 50 pounds of yarn and fiber on it's way to me. I was seriously low on dye and chemicals so I placed a mondo order for that, too. When did dye get so expensive? I am shocked how some of my materials have gone up in the last year. I've got more Strong Arm on its way. I've got some new colors for Cotton Slub, plus a few favorites. I have a 75/25 sw merino/nylon top on the way that is perfect for spinning sock yarns. I'm also getting in an old favorite, superwash BFL spinning top. I think I have found a supplier for corrie cross, too. I'll know if it will work for me once the samples get here. I ordered two new potential worsted weight yarns and a potential new superbulky. Part of me is really looking forward to getting all this new yarn in. Part of me, mostly my back and neck part of me, hopes that the order gets lost in the mail so we don't have to sling heavy pots of water and yarn around. 
  • Don't tell the previous bullet point but my back didn't care about slinging heavy pots of water until about half an hour ag when it seized up and nearly went out because I sat up. Okay, so 10 minutes previous to sitting up I had been carrying laundry back and forth and up and down the stairs all evening so it wasn't just like I injured myself sitting or anything, just sitting up. I'm sitting up against a heating pad now with a 30 pound cat draped around my neck and purring in my ear  and I'm feeling f-i-n-e, and talkative, with half a darvocet down my throat. The f-i-n-e part is how you can tell I'm really hurting. Usually darvocet just makes me unreasonably tired and cranky. I'm wide awake and only moderately cranky. Mainly because the other half of the darvocet is way over there and I'm way over here. Um, what? I think I probably ought to stop blogging now.
  • Geaux Saints!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Self-Made Man Exhibit

I know this is short notice for tonight's event, but Mark Newport's Self Made Man Exhibit opens this evening with a special reception from 6-8pm at Laumiere Sculpture Park and runs through May 9. My plan is to go tonight and then go again on April 3rd for a Knit-In with the artist. He's the guy that did the knitted superhero costumes. I hope to see you there!