Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Food Coloring Dyeing and a Creative Farm Sink

Since I started knitting again, I've been hanging out on Ravelry. What a great site....full of fiber goodness. That's where I met Tracy of Stringativity. She and I met Tuesday to so she could teach me to dye with food coloring. I had so much fun. I never thought I'd even want to dye yarn, until I saw the wonderful things people were doing with kool aid and food coloring. It sounded doable and like I would have the things right in the kitchen to get started. Tracy was so nice to invite me over to learn how she does it.

First I have to show you Tracy's great farmhouse style sink. Do you know what it is? It's a mop sink....I love it when people think outside the box! They purchased it new and Tracy says it weighs a ton. So if you think you might like to do something like this, just know moving it is a real experience. Tracy and her husband are renovating an lovely old home and it's full of great, creative ideas. If she ever became a house blogger, we'd all learn a lot. But the woman has a ton of fiber to keep her busy.

She showed me how to soak the yarn, mix up the food coloring dyes and then the fun began.

Apparently the the only limit is your imagination when applying the dye. I mostly spooned or poured it on in sections. I tried to pick colors that would look good if they ran together, and I'm glad I did. It did run together, and I love how it turned out.

We wrapped them up and cooked them in the microwave. It wasn't nearly as messy as I envisioned. I guess all I had to go on was memories of tie-dye t-shirts in grade school!

Here's the pink, yellow and orange. It's an eye popper isn't it?!

Blues...this is an alpaca yarn. Nice and soft.

And here's some sock yarn, because I'm kinda hooked on learning to make socks right now.

Here's Tracy working on putting some black dye over some previously dyed wool. She purchased a ton of wonderful fiber at an estate sale...I've never seen so much wool! Some are colors she doesn't really care for, so she's dyeing to change that.

I can't wait to see how this looks when she spins it up. I'm guessing it will be a beautiful earthy tweed.

And I've finished the first sock in my second pair. I knit one up almost to the toes in a different pattern before I realized I disliked the pattern. Yeah, I know. I'm kind of slow. I couldn't face the idea of knitting a second one like it, so I ripped it out and started over. I like these very much. I think I'm going to have to get over my impatience and start knitting the leg a little longer though.

Thanks so much Tracy for lunch and the lesson and the good time! I'm looking forward to doing this again!


We're trying to get in some priming and painting during hours that it's not raining or too cold.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Not Again!

Today I came home from a meeting to find this. Yup, Hawkeye got into my knitting again. What is it he likes so much about yarn?! He hasn't chewed up other things, but obviously I'm going to have to get myself a knitting bag that closes up tight. This time he mangled the cast on row too, so I couldnt' just rip it back a way. I was going to have to start over.

I decided we needed to get out and run off some energy, so we went to the farm. It was a cool, crisp, beautiful evening.

Look at him. He's so cute. He can't be ornery, can he? Nah.

After we had run off some steam, I went home ripped it back and started over. I spent a pleasant couple of hours talking about the presidential race with Margaret at Fabrics & Fibers & Frills while I worked on reknitting. I'm now back to where I was when I started out this morning.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Paint, Paint, Paint.........

You won't believe what I did today!

That's right, and if you know me...you know how odd this is. I hate heights. I don't do heights. But, I'm determined to get this garage painted! If you could see my feet you would see my toes are trying to curl around the ladder...my feet were so tired when I got down! Last time I tried something like this I ended up in tears. So maybe I'm making progress, but I don't think I'll ever like being up high.

Here is the view from the neighbor's house....looks better, right? I still have a second coat to go on the side with the doors. And we need to do the other two sides. But the worst part is done...DS scraped them down and started priming them. Just in the nick of time, since he goes back to work tomorrow.

Here's Joe working on the front of the house again.

He's very safety conscious...I'm glad he wears the mask. We want to keep those lungs healthy for a long, long time.

Making progress on DD's sweater. Tomorrow I have to go get more paint and I'm going to go by a yarn shop in Btown. I'm hoping to pick up some more colors of sock yarn-maybe one of the self striping ones.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Joe is 50!

My hubby turned 50 this week. We had a birthday dinner for him last night where he took a lot of old age jokes in stride. I think he's pretty hot at 50!

Check out that cloud of smoke!

I started a new project tonight. I'm trying to knit a sweater for DD. If she doesn't like it, I'll have to make sure I lose enough weight to wear it. It will remain to be seen if either of us will like it though...I've knit sweaters for babies, but not for grown-ups.

Are you tired of my socks yet? I promise this is the last pic of them you'll see!

We just had an elevator installed in our building at work. Hawkeye loves to ride it. ...no matter who is going up, he will try to ride with them. He's a stitch.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My First Pair of Socks....Done!

Yup, they're done! I suppose I should throw them in the wash and dry them flat....I don't have any of those fancy sock blockers...yet.
It's so cool. They fit. And I figured out the Kitchener stitch on the second sock. The first one...not so much. But that's OK. No second sock syndrome here. Not this time anyway. I've already got the yarn to do my next pair. This time with some kind of pretty pattern knitted in.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Painting, Painting, Painting.....

Here you can see why it takes Joe a long time to do a paint job. He is a perfectionist. And he does do a great job! It just takes a long time. We have literally painted somewhere on this house every year for 10 years. Arg. Joe also works a ton of hours at high stress job to support us, so this gets done in his spare time. Sometimes I wish I could convince him to hire it done, because I'd like to see him spending his spare time doing something he likes...like biking. The man is a cycling machine. But he isn't sure we could find someone to do this good of a job. Well, he has a point there. LOL

And of course he is doing the gingerbread...the hardest part for sure. He's a good man.

Usually I'm a perfectionist too...although through the years I've been learning that sometimes done really is better than perfect. Because of housework, kids, shopping, working, and balancing so many different things, I think most women come to that sooner or later. And besides I painted the garage last time the same year we painted front of the house, and it lasted just as long. So see, both ways must work. Anyway, he does it his way and I do it mine. And we are still together 26 years later.

Maybe it's partly because we are both the oldest child....we're used to being the boss. Here's how we compromise.....we usually work on a completely different areas. We both do it the way we want and we still get along at the end of the day! That's why you saw that I did the inside of the porch and now I'm working on the garage. DS got some more of the garage primed so I'm working on getting some top coats on. As you can see we are not doing the garage doors in two colors this time. That's because the doors are on their last legs and will be replaced next year anyway by solid white doors (that you don't have to paint!).

And here is the sock update...I finished all the decreasing and now I'm knitting the foot. I'm trying to lose some weight and think getting back into knitting in the evening is going to help. Keeps the hands busy and I don't want to get that pretty yarn dirty.

It's funny to see the reactions of people when they find out I'm knitting a pair of socks. Most of them look at me like I've lost it. And I can see their point. I don't know why I'm driven to make some things that you could buy for very little. But I am. Everyone has their quirks!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Second Sock and Painting the House (does it ever end?)

I think I'm on my way to avoiding "second sock syndrome." Today I finished the ribbing on the second sock, knit the heel flap and turned the heel. It's all coming so much easier to me on the second sock. Short rows for the heel turn and all the decreasing and picking up stitches, etc. is new to me in this project. In the future I can use these techniques to make sweaters that fit a woman's curves. That's the hope anyway! LOL And they are a small project that I can finish relatively quickly.

Now, on the house. Joe and our son fixed our garage door (again) and hopefully it will make it through one more year. Then DS worked on priming some more. He had to quit for a while there because it rained for a few days. Now he's gone for the rest of the weekend visiting some friends at the university. Tomorrow I'm going to put the first coat of paint on the first side he primed.

Joe got back up on the scaffolding to scrape the gingerbread on the last bit of the front of the house that needs painting. I'll have to take some pics tomorrow. It's supposed to be nice this week and we have to make hay while the sun shines. Or I should say we have to paint while the sun shines. Then we can pack up all the paint for the winter. I sooo hope we get this last bit of the front finished and the garage all nice and freshly painted. Then I will feel good going into the winter.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Painting the Garage and Fireball Run

I painted the garage about 8 years ago. It was definitely time to do it again. Our son has been home lately because he is laid off from his job for, hopefully, just a few weeks. He is an apprentice pipefitter and the slowdown in construction in this economy is coming home to roost. Here the garage is...he has already scraped it.

This is the backside which never did get painted the first time. We keep ladders stored by hanging on this back side.

He's got it this side primed today before he had to leave for school. It's looking so much better already.

Tonight Joe and I gave Hawkeye a haircut. We clip him short...and then he gets more and more lamb like as it grows back. The haircut lasts longer this way, and the burrs are a lot easier to get out after romp in the country. I hate using a flash on dogs....you always get that doggie "red" eye.

Here's another fun thing we did lately. The Fireball Run stopped in our town for lunch. It's a scavenger hunt done by people who have some really awesome cars. It's kind of like "The Amazing Race" but across the US and done to publicize the plight of missing children...and hopefully find them. One of the goals is to pass out flyers with missing children's photos in as many places as possible. This is my son and Dot's son by the car from the movie Back to the Future II. Our little town was full of Jaguars, Lamborginis, Ferraris, and all kinds of cool vehicles.

Just a profile pic change...pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

This is just a post to change my profile pic....hope it works.