Glad I Had The Blanket

I think I jinxed summer. In my last post I mentioned how hot it was and that I didn’t want to pack the extra pair of jeans or a sweatshirt. Our Memorial Weekend Camping trip was freezing. It never even reached sixty degrees and most of the time it hovered around forty. We didn’t  let the weather ruin it for us though. Aunty Rennatta and Rosie played peek-a-boo with a snuggie.

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I was making great progress on the Blanket.

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I was even glad of the extra W.I.P. to hide my hands under. Progress slowed when went yard saling (I’m not sure if I spelled it right. But then again it really isn’t a word). I found The Devil in the White City, the book I have been wanting to read for several months. It was only ten cents.

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My knitting time decreased as my reading time increased.  Rennatta also got some craft time in too. She’s learning to loom knit.

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That’s going to be a sock for Rosie. I learned through the grapevine (aka a seventh grade boy who was also camping with us) that the local middle school is offering two knitting classes. He and several of his guy friends signed up for “knitting 102 ’cause 101 is during band.” This is the kid who spends twenty minutes getting his hair perfectly in place. He’s all about his image. And he’s learning to knit. I’m so proud of him.

I can’t let today’s post go without saying a few words to our servicemen and women. I would like to thank all of you for your belief that America is worth defending. You are some of the bravest people I have ever met. I have had a family member serve overseas so I have a relative understanding of the sacrifices everyone makes. Which is why, once again, I want to say thank you.

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This is one of the grave stones in a small graveyard in the campground. I was happy to see a flag and a plaque honoring his service in the Civil War.

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Summer and a Blanket (What could go wrong?

Summer is here. With its sweltering temperatures and the box fan in my bedroom window running a marathon to cool me down. It makes a rather peculiar clicking sound unless turned up to three. Which it is.

As I pack for our annual Memorial Day camping trip I’m hard-pressed to imagine needing the jeans or sweatshirt I tossed in.

I’m hoping to get some knitting time in on my new S.S.P. (Super secret project) or maybe the Blanket over my extended weekend.

I took the Blanket to work today even though it is getting too big to be a travel wip. I managed to knit up my first border block.

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And I got a square done a while back with the Patons yarn. I just forgot to show you.

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I’ve also been working on the fingers of Podster 2.0 and I am on the pinky.

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Before I head out for work, I have some news. I’m going to be doing a demonstration of how to dye yarn with Koolaid. I can’t promise anything, but depending on the results there might be a giveaway in the near future. So stay tuned.
(By the way: Sorry about the crappy photos. The iPod is hosting this post, my camera is mia. I really need to get more organized.)

Alpaca

Yesterday afternoon I returned home to see this.

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This loveliness is 2 ounces of a Silver Alpaca/silk blend. I also received a bobette of and a sample of fleece soap.

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(Now would anyone mind explaining what a bobette is? :)) The person on the other end of this wonderful purchase was Miss Babs. I bought this fiber off of ebay  but if you go to her website you can buy some there too. If you’re interested, ya’know?

Anyway, I wanted to try spinning it as soon as possible. I wound up what I had been spinning (some of that leftover wool I’ve shown you before… It’s not all that great. But it works for practice) and let it soak.  (more on this yarn later)

I immediately tried out the new alpaca, like supper can wait immediately (It was hamburgers but no tomatoes… yet) lol. Spinning this alpaca after only ever spinning scratchy wool was like spinning clouds. It was so easy too.

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I dug up a mint plant the other day and transplanted it into a pot. I got the mint from along-side the road so the ground was very rocky. That being said, I was unable to dig up nearly as much of the roots as I had hoped to. It was looking rather wilty so I put a shish-ka-bob skewer down next it (away from the main tap-root; think dandelion root) and loosely twist-tied it to the skewer. It survived our first thunder-storm of the season last night and is looking considerably better. Here it is amongst all of the Mother’s Day flowers.

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Ok back to the wool yarn I was spinning. I hung it up last night to let it dry. I ended up with 19 yards (20 grams, about one ounce). The thickness ranges from fingering weight to worsted in some spots. I guess I need more practice. I am planning to dye it with Dandelion leaves and roots that I collected and dried out. Right now the dye is still cooking So I’ll update you on that next time.

Birch Bark: Day 4

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I let the birch bark yarn sit all weekend and this is what I got.How anticlimactic. It went from white to off white. I’m not sure if I’ll over dye it (I probably will) and with what. Maybe onion skins if they ever grow. Or fennel, my sprouts are shooting up.

Remember that thing? What was it? Oh yeah. it’s called knitting. It was the whole reason I started this blog. This weekend I actually managed to do some of that. Over the weekend I worked on Podster 2.0.

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I am about 1/2 way through the palm. I’m a few rounds away from getting the hood stitches marked. Not much longer now and I’ll be on the fingers!

Today my friend Lissa gave me a souvenir from her trip to boston about two weeks ago. (This is a record for her; she can never remember to give souvenirs to anyone after she gets back from her trips.) She bought me some wonderful 100% wool yarn.

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I’m thinking another hat or some gloves. There isn’t a lot to work with. 100 yards.

Birch Bark: Day 1

With my day off I decided to dye my cotton yarn with the birch bark dye I have been letting sit over the past month.

Please ignore the kitty who wouldn't listen to me and stay out of the frame.

Please ignore the kitty who wouldn’t listen to me and stay out of the frame.

I was surfing around and found a post about another blogger’s experience dying with birch bark. She says: “It is said that if you boil this dyebath, you will hate your life.   Boiling is bad news for bark.(Grackle & Sun) If you remember back to when I started the dye bath I did boil it. I’m hoping letting it sit for a few days will help. I also shredded my remaining birch bark and ended up with 35 grams. Not a lot, but it’s a start.

The Chamomile seeds I planted last Saturday have started sprouting. Like crazy. Two days ago I noticed four. Now there are about eight to ten.

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They’ll definitely need a bigger pot soon.

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These Dandelions have appeared, literally, over night. Yesterday afternoon; not a single flower anywhere. This morning; BAM! They’re everywhere. Not that I’m complaining. I spent a good portion of them morning picking Violets and Dandelions.

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I’m ready for round two with the Violets. I’ve been picking them all week and letting them dry. I’m going to try it with different fibers and mordants. I want to get that green.

Note: The post I referenced in the first link is almost a year old. If you want to read her current posts click here.

May Flowers

I don’t know about you, but we have had more than our fair share of showers this April. So I thought it would be a good idea to show some of the rewards we’ve received for putting up with all of the sogginess there was this past month.

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I’ve started to make some headway into Podsters 2.0, it’s a perfect travel W.I.P. I am not quite off of the cuff yet because I’ve been super busy.

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The K1 P1 ribbing is simple, one would think, but apparently it’s still complicated enough to be royally screwed up while I’m watching The Hobbit. I did manage to fix it but, not all that neatly. So if you see small lumps or bumps in the cuff, that’s why.

Once again I seem to be having issues with the picture uploader thingy (I’m sure it has a name but I don’t know it). It randomly decided to not post the picture of the Blanket. I inserted it back into the last post but I figured I’d post it here to. So here’s my progress on the Blanket (as of Sunday).

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I’ve started taking pictures of Kumple, but I have yet to find any I really like. Here’s one.

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What do you think? Any suggestions for backgrounds? I am truely at a loss they’re so floppy when they’re not actually being worn.