Monday, January 26, 2009


whew! That was one crafty weekend! I actually spent the whole weekend squirreled away at my place, finishing up a couple of projects and starting some new ones.

Here's a quick recap...

The landscape is finished - border is re-hooked, all 106" are whipped and the final pressing is complete. I'll be posting more about it later this week, including sharing my whipping method.

The snow folk are done. I had the best intentions to share the rest of the directions with you...even going so far as typing up the instructions. But before I could organize the accompanying photos, I got distracted. Majorly. (I will work on editing the photos tonight and barring some natural disaster or internet catastrophe, the post you've been patiently waiting for will be live tomorrow).

I've been wanting to knit this Elizabeth Zimmerman knock-off since last fall. I even brought the pattern with me to Nova Scotia, in search of the right wool. And though I didn't find any, I didn't forget about the pattern.

After I'd dyed my latest batch of whipping wool, I was really happy with the new yarn (Cascade 220). I knit up a small swatch...and immediately thought of the February Lady Sweater (free pattern available here). Last week when I was out at Sheep Strings, I picked up 6 skeins (at only $6.99 seemed like a bargain) in a nice purple colour.

On Saturday afternoon, I decided to paint the yarn. Since I'm a relative newbie when it comes to dyeing yarn, I didn't want my plans to exceed my rather than starting too pale, I started with a darker colour, and then added just a tinge of a few other colours . I carefully measured the 4 dyes, the citric acid and the hot water (each time!)...and put the dye on two skeins at a time. I tried hard to apply the colours in the same places for all three batches....and them steamed the whole lot together in one pan in the oven.

(For the curious, I used 1/16 of each of Salmon, Raspberry,and 503 Brown and 1/8 of Colonial Blue (1/16 used twice) for each pair of skeins, with 1/4 tsp Citric Acid and in 1/4 cup of water (twice as much of both for the blue) for each colour in each batch.)

Waiting for yarn to dry is like waiting for paint to dry -- and it takes way longer than you'd like it to. By Sunday morning, I was ready to start winding it into balls. I have a really hard time visualizing how yarn still in the skein will look when knitted, and find that seeing wound up in a ball gives me a much better idea. I was happy with the results and I couldn't wait to start knitting it. Knowing that I shouldn't start on my sweater until I had all of my whipping done (I wasn't even half-way around at this point), I permitted myself to knit a small swatch instead.

Once the whipping was complete, I could no longer resist and the knitting began. I made an error early on - in my 6th row, when I mis-read the instructions for the increases...and I'm so happy that I ripped back and started all over again. It's looking great, but with an extra 8 stitches being added, every other's taking longer and longer to knit across. I can only begin to imagine what it will be like when I have the whole body on. Yikes!

In the meantime, I'm having lots of fun...and can't wait to start the gull lace pattern and see what it will look like....