Saturday, January 31, 2009

Success - more or less!

Alright, so I think I've dyed my farm fresh egg yarn as best as I'm going to get it! 

 I think most of them turned out pretty well.  The darkest one gave me the most trouble because it was actually a bit of a yellow/orange-ish brown so I ended up using (brace yourself!) 3 bags of black indian tea, two bags of apple cinnamon herbal tea, some tumeric, and a bit of brown, yellow, and red Wilton gel icing coloring!  I have no idea what actually did the work and what was just there at the party, but it came out like this. 

 I like how it looks like the speckles are in the yarn, but unfortunately that's just bits of tea that escaped the bag and stuck to the yarn!  I think when it's dry they'll fall out.  Or rather, I hope they will!  One of the eggs had a bit of a pink tinge and it's not really showing well in the photo, but I used tea and a drop of red food coloring which sort of gave it pinkish tinges here and there, which I really like.  This one is the worst match of the bunch, but it was just straight tea, as best I can remember.  

Or maybe this was the coffee.  It's all a blur now!  The blue will be my main color to replicate the lovely background of the Styrofoam carton.  I think I might have to design my own pattern for either a hat or mittens to showcase these lovelies!  

On a more successful note - a knitting buddy, Ginny, left me a PM yesterday that she'd been to the Treasure Barn, a great antique mall at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, which is like 2 minutes from my house that I don't visit nearly often enough, and spotted a couple pieces of Pyrex, which she kindly even gave me rough coordinates to locate - something like, "in the back of the 1st floor, with lids, and another upstairs without."  It was 4:30 when I read it and they close at 5pm.  Still, I threw on my coat and ran out the door shouting "Pyrex spotting at the Treasure Barn - gotta go!"  Well let me tell you, there was more Pyrex there than I could handle!  It was everywhere and I tried to compose myself and be selective - there are some patterns I like much more than others and I tried to convince myself to be a little picky.  I was hoping they only took cash, because that would limit me to the small bit I had in my purse.  Unfortunately they were all modern and offered to take plastic.  Aaaand there was a leak in the roof, which the lady at the counter needed to do something about before leaving, so I got to shop longer while she worked (I think that just amounted to mopping up and finding something to catch the drips unfortunately.  Had she actually climbed on the roof to really "take care of it" I could have shopped much longer!  again, probably for the best since Ginny also told me there were a lot of old cookbooks and I never even had a chance to get to those.)  So here's my haul:

A 1.5 liter refrigerator dish! 

Two casseroles that were in a 1/2 price booth!  I did find these exact ones in another booth, with lids, but I really don't use lids that much when I bake casseroles so I decided I'd rather get the 1/2 price ones!  I'm not that kind of collector - I'm going to use the stuff!

A lovely 1.5 liter casserole - there are some super cupcake-cute pink and blue pyrex things that I just love!  I need more!

This, which turns out to be a hostess set - thanks to the foks at the Pyrex Love Flickr group!  I thought maybe it was a salad bowl set.  This is a color that I refer to as "happy yellow!" and I needed it!  The big bowl is really big and I think the yellow is even sunnier in real life!

That Treasure Barn is one dangerous place!  It's not incredibly expensive, and they have a bit of everything!  I walked around wanting everything - a little ceramic poodle, a lamp shaped like a mariachi guy, you get the idea! 

Oh, one more success, which I should probably mention since I did intend for this to be a world-famous knitting blog, didn't I?  Or rather, just a place where I could talk about knitting to someone other than the BF, who honestly tries his best, but can only muster so much interest!  (about as much as I can muster when he starts talking about T-85 tubes vs. KT88s in amps or something like that.)  You can't expect the one you love to be everything for you!  So, I choose to talk about things like how much I love these socks here on my blog.  And man, do I love these socks!  Whoa - I shouldn't get ahead of myself - I really mean "sock" - this is just the first one!  It fits like a dream - it's a 63 stitch sock, which is think is pretty typical of what I've done in the past, but there's no tightness at all, just perfectness!  Well, perfectness in the pattern, but not so much in my execution - this shot is unfortunate because it shows all my screwups!  The second shot is a bit too over exposed to show the mermaid tail-like lace pattern, but I'll assure you, it's great!  No SSS here - I'll be casting on #2 tonight because I certainly want two of these puppies!  


Friday, January 30, 2009

absurdly obsessed with...

these eggs: 
 I always try to buy farm eggs - or you know, free range deals instead of the chicken factory kind, but I haven't been to the market much this winter, and the guy at work who used to bring them in to sell transferred.  Maybe it's the fact that I haven't had a carton of these in a while that's making me crazy obsessed with them!  One of my coworkers got two dozen eggs from a guy he traded some venison to and he gave me a carton because he didn't think he'd use two - so nice of him!  it feels kind of pioneer-ish, except that I didn't do anything to earn them!  Because the BF and I love eggs nearly as much as Edie, we had breakfast-for-dinner two nights in a row, then finished them off in a fritata this morning!  It's not just the deliciousness that has me obsessed, it's the COLOR!  I mean geez - just look at that!  The shades of brown/pink/tan against the blue of the carton - it's making me crazy!  I took a picture because as soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to knit something with those colors!  So this morning I divided a skein of natural Cascade 220 into 4 balls and put them in to dye.  I'm not sure how it'll work, but I used coffee for one, a bag of tea w/ a drop of red food coloring for another, 2 bags of tea for the third, and some loose black tea for the last - I'm hoping that the contact with the actual tea bits on the last one might give some speckles. 

 It might all not work at all, but I can always overdye.  It'll be interesting at least!  Oh, I added a little shot of vinegar to each, even though I think both coffee and tea might be acidic enough to not need it.  Results forthcoming!  

Monday, January 26, 2009

Jackpot! or maybe crackpot...

Yesterday my two most favorite people in all of Columbus came to visit me and we thrifted with vigor!  Isn't it always more fun to thrift in shops outside your own town?  Having them with me even made me like my own familiar shops more - even though I'd just been to both of the places less than a week ago.  Before we shopped though I took them to my new favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican place - Taqueria Mixteca on 3rd street.  It's definitely nothing to look at, but it's great authentic mexican food.  Jen's got the mexican "heritage" (um, if having a mexican stepdad gives you heritage - I image it at least gives you "flava", and apparently it makes you cool enough to order your food with the appropriate mexican pronunciations instead of being all like "so, what's in a taaaco?" Despite being able to roll her r's, I think we probably trashed the image by buying all the little Homies we could until Jen broke the machine.  I'm pretty sure doing that makes you look like a stupid american (not breaking the machine, but giggling and feeding quarters into it.)  but they're way sweet so I don't care!)  I have NO idea how we spent $40 between the three of us, since everything on the menu is like $3, but we did.  I suppose the table was pretty much covered in plates! and we ate till we thought we were going to pop.  and despite probably being way too full, we ordered flan at the end which turned out to be fantastic!  Sufficiently fueled for shopping we went to the Village Thrift, then to the Valley - where I found my new best friend:

  Jen and Linette were not nearly as enthralled with my owl as I was.  Make that "not at all enthralled", but after I carried it around for a while, it just felt right and I knew he was coming home with me.  I also scored two Pyrex casserole dishes to fuel my new obsession, which I think Dharma might have been implying I have too many of already...oh my dear, just think of how bad it'll get when I'm an old lady with nothing else to focus on!  My collection obsession is pretty much only going to spiral out from here, I'm fairly certain!  Anyway, here are the beauties - I wish I could have found some other colors, but these are pretty great.  I also found 3 Fire King mugs, which don't make me quite as happy as Pyrex, but are swell nonetheless. 

 Oh yeah, and those two paint-by-number horse pictures in the background - another find that had to come home with me!  admit it, they're fantastic!  And maybe for those fond of the less kitchy, I scored this handful of silk scarves!  

Seriously - I picked up one and it was like finding penny after penny on the ground - there was another color and another color and another color!  There are about 5 that are all the same - 100% silk, hand rolled edges, made in Japan, in various colors - hot pink, purples, and one acid green.  Then there are a few others that just seemed to go with the set that were prints with the same tones in them.  Sometimes I think of making a framed wall hanging of lots of scarves all sewn together like a silky patchwork.  I do a lot of thinking though - not so much "doing".  So those are the highlights I guess - there's more - a giant bag more!  some clothes that need to be altered, a yellow striped scarf from the Gap, an old 70's book about houseplants - you know, the stuff that makes life fun!  And speaking of fun, thanks for coming down, Jen and Linette, and for making my weekend!  I love ya!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I love you apron!

I've said it before, but it bears repeating:  put on an apron and anything you have to do will be fun.  Pop an ipod in the pocket and put This American Life in your ears, and it's even better.  I especially love this green and black apron.  

Speaking of other kitchen-ish things I love, I've been wanting nothing but Pyrex since 2 weekends ago when my SIL got me these two divided casserole dishes. 

 I told her that she couldn't ever go wrong with vintage casserole dishes for me, and she found these beauties which then made me realize I totally need to collect Pyrex!  It's still cheap, and relatively easy to find at the thrift shops (although last weekend's trip to 3 different shop yielded nothing!)  Oh yeah, I'm obsessed!

good morning and I love you Mr. FedEx man!

Ahh, there's nothing like having your morning coffee and seeing the FedEx truck pull up in front of your door!  I run over and open the door as he's bounding up the steps (they're always so fast moving, those FedEx folks!)  Whee!  Yarn!  "what's in the box?" asks the BF.  "Yarn!" I say, then add "but don't worry - it's not all for me!"  Ok, so really like 80% of it's for me, but I keep that to myself.  I had to order it all so we'd get free shipping!  I know, I know, I've said this all before.  I got 10 balls of Ella Rae Classic (and 10 balls is a LOT - nearly 2000 yards here!) in what they called Jewel Green, but it's kind of more blue-ish than I expected. 

 I still like it though.  I also got 10 balls of what they called baby yellow, but it's less yellow than I thought it'd be - like yellow-ish off-white.  

But I still like it too.  These were crazy cheap from Little Knits - like $26 per bag, I think.  Then, because I have no self restraint, I added 10 balls of this Sublime angora merino because it will make the best cardigan in the world, won't it? 

 The part that wasn't for me was 8 balls of Ella Rae Classic for Emily in a really fantastic grey - it's such a great color, I kinda which I'd have gotten some.  what don't I wish I'd have gotten though?  really.  

It seems like I talk way more about new yarn than about what the heck I'm actually knitting!  Well, I'm still working on my Amelia, which I'm loving! 

 I'm adding button holes up the whole front instead of just at the top.  I fear that it's going to be shorter than I expected - when I look at the finished ones on Ravelry, I see that it's coming out shorter than the Knitty pics.  It's probably one of those things that all depends on the ease - the one on Knitty says it was shown with zero ease so there's not going to be any stretching width-wise that would shorten it.  I think mine will be pretty much zero ease, but certainly  no positive ease.  Perhaps if I want my sweater to be longer, I need to stop eating so much fried rice!  This feels like it's going slowly, but maybe it's because it's on size 6's, which is fairly small for a worsted weight wool.  I love love love the way it looks on 6's though!  I so much prefer a tighter knit!  I'm also still plugging along at my Child's First Socks 
I hate that name because I always have to add "but they're not child-sized!" I just love this yarn - it's CTH, which is always  nice, but the colorway is great!  a little variation in tone, but not crazy variegation. It's much more aqua colored in real life - my camera kind of makes it come out on the green side.   I'm on the foot of sock #1.  I guess a did a bit too much talking and laughing and beer drinking at the last knit night, and too little chart reading, because I kind of fouled up the pattern a bit, but eeeh, it's fine.  Yeah, it's on the top of the foot, and yeah, it'll show if I wear them with mary janes or something, but I'm still not ripping back.  I'm just not.  

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Come on now!

How many goddamn Classic Elite pattern books am I supposed to buy?!  They're just pumping 'em out and trying to kill me I think.  I need 9101, 9098, 9097, and 9096.  Oh yeah, and all the new Berroco booklets too.  geesh, I'm gonna have to put on some pumps and work the block to fund my knitting habit!  

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Didn't I tell you that I'd jinx my Selbu Modern by talking about how every one I'd seen on Rav was just perfect?  didn't I?  well it worked.  I hope I'm happy now!  hrumph!  I looove it color-wise, but nice color does not a well fitting hat make.  It's just too slouchy.  too loosey-goosey.  This picture just doesn't even show how slouchy it is - I couldn't capture the crapitude!  I kept thinking that it seemed like my stitches ought to be tighter.  I used size 2 needles because that's what I used for another fingering weight beret I made.  I think I'm much looser in colorwork though.  apparently.  I guess it isn't throw away horrible, but it isn't quite what I was hoping for.  Oh, yes, I did try to shrink it but the damn superwash I used is sort of made to not shrink!  ugh!  once when I want my wool to shrink!  

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Starting 2009 right

My parents came for a visit today - for like the first time in 7 years or something!  They live only 30 minutes away, but for my mother driving to "the big city" is a major deal!  They live in Monroe, which is pretty small, and she's just not very confident with going places she doesn't know well.  My dad decided this morning to come with her, which I think she was a little disappointed about since we'd planned a big day of shopping if she'd come alone.  I know she was pretty relieved to have him driving though!  I told myself I wouldn't freak out and try to clean like crazy - but as I was laying on my stomach over the toilet to wipe built up dust off the baseboards, I realized that I was indeed getting a little crazy!  And stupid - they were certainly not going to notice the yucky baseboards, but were surely going to notice the guitar case laying over the living room chair, and the blanket balled up on the ottoman and other crap that I'm just so used to looking at that it doesn't even seem like clutter to me!  But, just as I was trying to convince myself, they were just happy to visit and definitely weren't there to nitpick or compare my housekeeping to my mothers (which I'd never win anyway - she does things like wipe out the oven after dinner - give me a break!)  I think, if I'm being honest, another reason their visit to my place kind of freaked me out, was because when I go to their house I can maintain the regular me and present the me that I think they ought to see while I'm there.  I mean it's not like I'm cutting cocaine on my coffee table or something, but it's just comfortable privacy,  you know?  But anyway, My mom seemed to love looking at all the stuff sitting around - I'm a nick nack-y kind of person, and her house is much neater and less filled with little things everywhere you look.  For some reason I kind of thought she'd see it as a lot of crap everywhere, but I think she just though it was very "Chris".  I really don't know why I worry so much - I'm nearly 35 and I guess it's time to stop worrying about being who I think my parents want me to be (really, I'm the one who puts these rules on myself - my parents have never given me grief about anything!  I don't know why I do this to myself!)  Anyway, they also got to see my loom, and I warped it last night to show it to them in action - they were impressed.  I used some Cascade Sassy Stripes that I've had forever because I thought it might do some pretty cool things when woven, and I was right - it's neat looking:  I decided just to make a decent sized piece of fabric just for the sake of weaving it, and maybe if I do this several times I can sew them together into a crazy blanket.  Hmm, now that I see in in the picture, it's a little country-ish, eh?  it's really navy and light blue - not blue and white, but I don't guess that makes it any less country, does it?  Perhaps when it's all together with other stuff it'll be better.

 I took them to the North Dayton Garden center and, as I suspected, my mom loved it!  I got a couple new plants for my terrarium (i.e. replacements for things that have died in said terrarium) and this funny owl planter.  All in all, it was a really nice visit, and my mom says she'll come back up now that she sees it isn't such a bad drive.    It was a nice way to start the year!

Another thing I promised myself for this year is to always have a pair of socks on the needles, so on Friday I cast on for the Child's French Socks from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks - they aren't child-sized, but the original pattern was.  She updated all these vintage sock patterns and I really love a lot of them in this book. This will be my first pair, which is ridiculous considering how long ago I bought it. 
 I'm using some CTH that I got at the Busy Beaver - it's hard to capture the color in the picture, but it's very subtly shaded with bright aqua and then slightly darker and lighter variations of that color.  Lovely!  I've also been working on my Selbu Modern which is coming along pretty quickly!  I think it's going to be fantastic when it's done - honestly I haven't seen a bad one on Ravelry yet, so I think it's just a great pattern and a beautiful hat that can't be ruined!  I probably shouldn't have said that - now mine will somehow go south before it's finished!  

Aah - going to go relax and knit since my cleaning is all done and there are none of the usual Saturday chores!