shamWOW.

yesterday was a shiny happy day , but today –  a gloomy day in anchorage (imagine that!) so i took today to catch up on some projects that have been nagging at me – some for weeks.

i finished an ipad cozy for a friend, but won’t post a picture until it is in the recipients hands.  hopefully tomorrow if it dries fast.

i finally got the buttons sewn on the mossy jacket.  it was already cute, but the perfect buttons really complete a project.  they are brown flowers.  this is going to a friend who is not super girly so i was a little scared of the bright pink, but i think the brown buttons balance it out nicely.

i have been spinning my specially dyed purple/grey wool from the sheep shed studio:

and my black cherry kool aid dyed mill ends.  they are kind of difficult to draft and spin because they are such short chunks of fiber.  i hate stopping and going so much.

and mr. richard finally bloomed!  though slow, he’s quite the looker (much like my little sister!):

and the title of my post…  buku got some shamwow chamois from a friend for his birthday.

the other day i was looking for a towel to roll up my yarn in after i wet washed it.  then i remembered the shamwows that were not seeing daylight.  it worked awesome.  especially doubled over.  not that it’s much different from a towel, but it definitely took more moisture out of the yarn than a normal cotton kitchen towel (which is saturated after one squeeze and not reusable after that).  i have been using them to get water out of projects that i block as well.  and the chamois he got are not all ‘shamwow’ brand, so this is definitely not a plug for that annoying infomercial!  so fiber fanatics – invest in some chamois (the ones you get for swimming might even work better)!

’til then…

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fiber porn. uncensored.

fiber porn!  as my friend jeanie calls it…

i got my order from the sheep shed studio this week.

the prices are awesome, though the shipping is a little steep and it takes at least a week or two to get to AK.  they use tracking though, so at least i know when it’s time to go check the post office.

when i started spindle spinning i ordered some fiber from the SSS and since then I’ve gone through most of it.  my stash has been fairly depleted (at least in variety of colors) the past month or so.  i ordered a lot of specially dyed fiber, and i love it!  carol sent me so many different colors and you can order in different weights….i am very pleased with all of the purples and blues.

out of the box:

a 1 lb. grab bag (i think i will be kool-aid dyeing a lot of the white):

1 lb. of wool in tahiti teal:

4 oz. of specially dyed superwash – very patriotic!:

another 4oz. of specially dyed superwash (carol always throws in something extra- i got one of these 4 oz.!! )

8 oz. of specially dyed superwash (my fave):

4 oz. of specially dyed wool:

8 oz. of assorted specially dyed mohair (for blending):

thanks carol!

off the bobbins:

2 oz. of BFL – 224 yards ( i have 2 bobbins of this):

a better photo of my 2 oz. of 2-ply romney – 88 yards (i have 2 bobbins of this):

ashley’s mr. richard – residing in california:

after blooming, ms. mary has gotten droopy and will be shedding her petals and getting ready for round 2.

more later…

’til then…

wacky wild kool-aid style.

as promised.

last night i dyed my 6.5 + oz. of 50/50 merino silk batt.

i was kind of nervous because it’s such nice fiber and it didn’t want to ruin it.  i was mostly worried that i wouldn’t like the color, but then i thought, i like bright colors and the flexibility of mixing, i don’t want to work with smelly chemicals, and i like the fruity smell of kool-aid so kool-aid dyeing it is!

last summer i took a kool-aid dyeing class at far north yarn co. so i had a little experience.  the only problem, i don’t have a microwave!  so i did some research and found quite a few sites with microwave and stovetop instructions.

the results of my yarn from class last summer:

i decided to split the batt in half and do two solid colors.  one grape, one lemon lime.

the most useful info i found: click here.

for other instructions and great photos of the many different kool-aid colors, click here.

so, i started with raw fiber above.

you mix up the kool-aid to the shade that you want (the more water, the lighter the shade, duh).

you are supposed to soak the fiber in hot water for 30 minutes or so, but i totally forgot this and remembered as i was starting to pour the purpleness on my dry fiber.  so i stopped and soaked:

this is the biggest saucepan you will ever see and a ton of fiber (though it doesn’t look like it in the picture).  i used 5 packets of koolaid on this fiber.

i could have used more kool-aid to make the fiber more uniform, but this batt is merino and silk.  silk does not soak up kool-aid dye as well as merino- which i really like about dyeing with kool-aid.  i think it gives a more interesting yarn and it will have a better variation of color and white space.

when you have the fiber the color you want, make sure you cover the fiber with water.  put it on the stovetop covered at about medium heat.  as it starts to get warmer, turn it to the lowest setting, or turn it off if you have a gas range that doesn’t allow it to simmer and let it “steam” – DO NOT BOIL.  the steaming sets the color.  you can flip it if you want, but by now the color should be saturated where it is going to stay.

after 25-30 minutes, you can remove it from the heat.  it will be extremely hot, so be careful!  the water in the pan should be clear.

rinse with cold water to cool off the fiber.  once cool, you can give it a light soap rinse (i didn’t do this since i’m going to spin it and i will wet finish once spun into yarn).  hang to dry.

i followed the same method with the lemon-lime kool-aid (i used 6 packets).  and i mixed up one packet of lemon to add some extra color to the white spaces.

the wacky wild results:

you can do the same with undyed yarn (and it doesn’t have to be white).  animal fibers do well with kool-aid dyeing, but plant fibers need a more chemical dye.  i’m not an expert on this, but there are plenty of websites and instructions out there!

i love the vibrant results and the fruity smells wafting through the house and can’t wait to spin it!

oh, i forgot about this in my last post.  last week corinne brought me this:

the lighter color is from nootka (the wolfy one buku is snuggling with) and the darker fiber is from harley (the darker dog on the couch):

’til then…


luke, i am your father.

i have so much to show, so i’m going to get right to it.


on the needles:

i went to Friday night knitting for an hour or so and worked on these.  it’s wise hilda’s basic ribbed sock.  super easy and fast pattern.  i should have the first sock done by tonight.

the project bag above, was made by vegancraftastic.  she also makes bigger bags and small zipper pouches out of really cute fabrics.

off the needles:

i am blocking this and will post another picture tomorrow when it’s dry and the very cute buttons are sewn on.  the mossy jacket:

off the bobbins:

i have a second skein on a bobbin.  a two- ply, new zealand romney:

the results of my handcarding experiment:

and

ms. mary.  she has four flowers that are now fully bloomed.  she is so tall and top heavy (totally opposite of my grandmothers physique) that i had to tie her to our standing lamp to keep her upright.

and ashley’s mr. richard:

buku did some transplanting of starts to bigger pots this weekend.  we are just waiting for it to warm up and get sunny again.  this weekend was horrible weatherwise.  yesterday we played 18 holes of disc golf out at kincaid and it was chilly and windy.  we want march weather back!

today we decided on an inside activity (its windier and gloomier than yesterday) and went to the anchorage museum to catch the Star Wars Exhibit with steve and jenn (check out their blog about their new and very cute australian cattle puppy, pongo).

the exhibit was really cool – i liked all the models and costumes – especially the full size wookies.  there is a millennium falcon virtual experience that we didn’t make it to – the wait was 90 minutes!  but we were able to get a pass to come back later in the week.

oh, and i discovered google reader.  if you like to read blogs and like to stay caught up, check it out.  it’s my new favorite thing on the internet.

last night i dyed some of my fiber that i got from my bff for xmas – with kool-aid!  it will be kind of a long post so i thought i would break it up from this one.  so, check out my next post for some colorful and fun fiber.

’til then…

easter blooms.

today it was not sunny.  it was pretty gray and cloudy and there were even a few flakes earlier this morning.  buster still got out to munch on the expanding grass this morning.

despite the lack of sun, mary did poke her head out a little.  yesterday evening she weighed in at about 20″.

and here is ashley’s little weenie mary.  she finally put her out in the hot cali sun.

i started spinning my blue faced leicester (a type of sheep – you have to click the link!  they have crazy looking heads).

i think its going to be a dk weight single.

and that baby dress i was knitting for my friend here…  i finished the top and it was huge (and i ran out of yarn), like for a 2+ year old.  so, i found an even cuter jacket and am frogging the dress while knitting the jacket.  i think i might put some shorter sleeves on it though since it is coming on summer and trying to get a baby in long sleeves is not fun.  it’s a wool/cotton blend so it should be plenty warm over clothing.

it’s super cute and stylish.  it even has on offset button band down the front!

Happy Easter!

Here is one of my favorite pictures of our very own easter bunny, Buster and his pal mr.gnome (who i got from my sister and some jackass stole out of my fenced in yard!):

’til then…

ms. mary saturday.

i’ve been feeling blah lately so have been posting mostly pictures – which i’m enjoying since i’m getting more posts out.

yesterday mary measured in at 19″. and today, she is starting to open (see the slit at the top – and ignore the dirty window):

it’s not official measuring time (when the sun finally goes down around 9ish), so i can’t tell you how tall she is.

it is super sunny out today (even buster is out enjoying it) so she may be blooming soon!

whoa…i just turned her and i can see a pinkish petal poking out, and down on the bulb end, she’s growing another stalk!

my hand carded, self striping project:

and the nice and fuzzy nz romney that i plied:

and my finished targhee wool:

’til then…

ms. mary thursday.

ms. mary amaryllis is up to 17.75 inches!

i just got this fiber.  it’s lapoli’s fiber of the month colorway for march:

i am making a two-ply.  i experimented and rolled into a ball so i could ply from the two ends – this makes it so there is no yarn leftover after plying.

it was kind of a mess to do as it kept twisting on itself before it got to the orifice of my wheel.

and i’m handcarding and blending my leftovers for a self-striping yarn:

my rolags:

’til then…