Monday, September 24, 2007

out of the doldrums

well, my last post was a little bit whingy, wasn't it? it just seems to have been that sort of week, & it carried on into the weekend as well. but i'm determined to do better this week.
and, perfectly timed to help me cheer up, this arrived in the post from germany...


what could it be??


ooooh.... lovely, lovely wollmeise sock yarn (left to right, in colours drachenblut, dani, zenzi, lowenzahn, and poison no. 5). i've heard great things about this yarn, and as soon as i unwrapped it i could see why. it's soft, strong, & squooshy with a nice tight twist, and the colours are amazing!! definitely as good as (& possibly better than) some of the other high-end sock yarns kicking about, and waaaay better priced. plus claudia (the wollmeistress) is very helpful & friendly.
i haven't wound any up yet to cast on for anything - i'm a bit overwhelmed by the state of my WIP basket (which, at the moment, consists of a shawl, two pairs of socks, and three sweaters!) so i need to clear at least one of those projects before i start anything new, but the RSA has already requested that a pair of "zenzi" socks be the next in the queue.
& in the spirit of having a cheerful & energetic week, i've managed to get two new skeins of handspun up on the old maiden aunt site...

bad pennylavender blue


"bad penny" (left; 70% bluefaced leicester & 30% silk, 100 grams & 330 yards) and "lavender blue" (right; 70% merino & 30% silk, 85 grams & 225 yards). "bad penny" was especially difficult to photograph - it's a changeable colourway, depending on the light, with shades of purple, pale blue, and coppery lights. "lavender blue" is a bit simpler - pale blues, silvery silk, and deep purples. there's still 200 grams of this colourway waiting to be spun, so if you're looking for more yardage for a bigger project, drop me an email & reserve it now!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

my days are numbered

number of loads of laundry i managed to wash & hang out before work this morning: 2
number of mental back-pats i gave myself for being so "organised": 1
number of minutes i ended up running behind, directly related to that second load of laundry: 20
number of miles per hour i averaged above the speed limit in an attempt to make up the time: 10
number of minutes i was late for work: 5
number of customers whose requests involved searching through eleventy-billion patterns & pulling twenty-seven types of yarn off the shelf: 14
number of above customers who then left the shop without buying anything at all: 14
number of sweet wee ladies looking for knitting to keep them occupied while their husbands were in the hospital, & who were so lovely that they made the entire day completely worthwhile: 1
number of stitches i knitted on my newly cast on tangled yoke cardigan: 2500
number of inches of sweater that translates to: 1
number of times i wished i was knitting something other than garter rib on 3.75mm needles: 8
number of times i had to hunt down my ball of yarn, which had, unnoticed, trundled off to some hidden corner of the shop while i was knitting with it: 7
number of times i wished i had taken the time to wind the yarn into a centre-pull ball, instead of starting to knit it straight from the ball as sold: 7
number of minutes wasted on yarn-hunting: 25
number of minutes it would have taken to wind a centre-pull ball: 3
number of expletives that this day has involved: 342
number of these that i have actually uttered out loud: 9
number that have been uttered within hearing distance of another person: 0
number of cups of coffee drunk in an attempt to fortify myself: 3
number of hours of sleep i can expect to get tonight, as a result of over-caffeination: 3
number of strong alcoholic drinks drunk in an attempt to fortify myself: 0
number of strong alcoholic drinks wished for: 4
number of completely random & bizarre questions i have been asked today: 1 *
number of times that i thought, "i should have just stayed in bed this morning": 27

* american tourist: "wow, how come you speak english so good??"
me: "um... i'm canadian".

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

to re- or not to re-

re-skein, that is. i'm talking about re-skeining yarn after it's been dyed, to "juggle up" the colours. i know a lot of dyers don't do it - even a lot of big name dyers - and when you buy a skein, you get it as the dye was applied - that is to say, with distinct sections of the different colours.
personally, i'd rather see a skein that has been rewound - i think it gives a better idea of how the yarn will knit up, as you get to see smaller sections of each colour blended together throughout the skein. plus, it looks prettier. want an example?
here's one of the new old maiden aunt laceweight colours, before re-skeining:

hello. i am blotchy.


and after re-skeining?

neptune's daughter


see what i mean?
the only problem with this is that it means re-skeining all the yarn i dye, by hand. with the sock yarns, that's not too ardous a task. but the laceweight? oy. 1600 yards of fine merino laceweight, wound round a niddy-noddy by hand, takes quite some time. which is why it's taken me so long to update the shop site. i wound the last skein up today, so all the new yarns are up - have a look & see what you think!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

a good day to dye

it was a perfect, sunny, brisk fall day today. autumn is definitely here - leaves fell overnight & the air suddenly became crisp & cool. it's my favourite season - jeans & sweater weather, not too hot, not too cold, and sometimes, like today, it's even sunny.
with the sun & the cool breeze, it was perfect drying weather; which means, perfect dyeing weather! & with the arrival this morning of a new little shipment of sock & laceweight yarn, it was perfectly timed.

new yarns!


a productive afternoon - three skeins of lush, soft, merino laceweight, and four skeins of smooshy superwash merino sock.

merino/silk roving


and, a pot full of roving - 300 grams of merino/silk blend, to be spun up later this week! after all that hard work, i deserve a reward... a glass of wine sounds good right about now.
check the shop site for an update in a few days!!

Monday, September 03, 2007

shut-in

there were a few things i was going to do this afternoon, all of which involved leaving the house. alas, my plans were foiled...
...by the fact that when i went to go out & do said things, i discovered i was locked inside my house.
yes, that's right - somehow, i've locked myself in.
i'm not entirely sure how this happened. the locks were fine when i went out this morning with the dog, and fine when i came back. then i locked the door behind me, did a few things in the house, and when i went to unlock the door to leave, it just wouldn't (unlock, that is). & despite my well-known hermit-like tendencies, i can assure you, i haven't done this on purpose!!
luckily, the RSA has been able to arrange to leave work early, & should be home fairly soon - hopefully she'll be able to work the lock, or failing that, call a locksmith!
& in the meantime...



the newly purchased colinette cadenza (from my bargain-filled trip to their mill shop) & one single, beautiful skein of handmaiden silk/cashmere that has been hibernating in my stash for ages. the handmaiden is so lovely i've been afraid to use it, plus i only have one ball of it & it's been hard to find a project for it. but i think i may have figured out how to use it - contrasting hems (neckline, sleeves, and body) for the cadenza sweater i'm planning.
so since i can't go out, how about a dvd, some coffee, some biscuits, & a few swatches?