dear sunday

i’m willing to share a good deal of my dyeing and spinning secrets once and for all!  ha!  most of them are dirty ones so if you’re a dyer or spinner by trade you may want to brace yourself.

sunday morning dye pot.  hot pot.

i turn on the heat and in go the first bits of merino to become the dark wool.  then a few minutes after the pot begins to steam, in go the second bits of merino to become the light wool.  laziness brings forth many of my happy accidents so i’m learning to fine tune the art of corner cutting.  

sink dump and i thorough hot rinse.  now to cool.  i squeeze the wool gently, then jelly roll it in a towel and stomp out the excess water and straight to the wheel we go.

singles.  dark and light.  lovely on their own actually. and yes, you read correctly.  i spun the wool while still damp.  it’s one of my greatest dirty little secrets.  i was impatient once last year and began spinning before the wool was completely dry.  it didn’t bother me in the least and i felt like i had more control over the fiber.  when i plyed the singles and let it dry it became a smooth, bouncy, soft yarn.

i thought i’d give it another go to see if i could get the same result.

here the yarn is still wet.  it seems stiff and has almost no spring to it, but late last night i checked on it and it was dry, smooth, bouncy, and soft as can be!  i actually knit a swatch, too which i forgot to take a picture of - and we’re looking at size US4-5 needles making this a sport weight.

i hope that wasn’t too terribly jarring.  hee

it was good to get that wheel out, tighten it up and watch the flyer whirl.  i needed that break in routine.  i needed to remember what it was like to sit quietly and draw.  inching and pulling and working those legs.

mae and i did the hard work of weeding in the afternoon.  with the warmth and the rain and the fresh soil i laid down, our seeds weren’t the only things springing to life.  it seemed over night our entire garden was overrun with weeds.  the dandelions.  so bittersweet pulling them, yanking and breaking them.  i hear my liz in my head telling me how much good they can do and in my untainted soil they’d be perfectly medicinal.  maybe some day i’ll grow a dandelion patch.  wouldn’t that be something?  beans and corn are making their way out of the soil now.  we found so many of them.  i think all but a few of the corn have come up now.  march.  woah.  

sunday dinner.  my mother has been making artichokes this way for as long as i can remember and i’m sure i was the only kid in second grade who not only knew what one was but had it at the top of her list of favorite foods.  i remember going around the room on the first day and having to telling the class your name and something about yourself… what your favorite foods and colors were, etc.  i said artichokes and my teacher gasped.  she asked if anyone knew what an artichoke was and no hands raised.  then she asked my to share with the class about that “unique vegetable”  how horrifying.  ha!

my alizah loves her artichokes, too.  she was squealing with delight when she got home from her dad’s and the house was filled with the thick odor of garlic and greens.

and now for the SURPRISE!

saroyan is DONE.  perfect.  it’s cooling a bit outside and now is the time for it.  


spin, dye, ply, tra-lalalala

lemonish + ecru = corn i’d say.  the ecru is well, ecru dye rather than undyed fancying itself as such.  

this was yesterday’s yarn.  i was thinking about naming it “sunday morning” and it seems fitting.

today was a complicated melody.  purple rain maybe?  how about wild berry skittles?  

these pictures are so deceptive!  the yarn looks so thick and bulky when really this blue is easily dk & the yellow sport.  i should work on my photography skills i suppose.  they’re both 100% merino and deliciously soft.

the gray anklets in the SUN!  much cuter than those gross pictures from the other night.  the other anklets are finished, too.

i’m really liking the look of these.  they’re slouchy and cool… too bad i only have a wimpy ball of this yarn left.  i spun it from some pre-dyed corriedale that i’m pretty sure i’m out of now.  oh well.  these were worth it!  

i’m considering posting a free pattern of these anklets but only considering for now.  poor mama is having a harder time adjusting to the school schedule than the kid!  at least mae was more than cooperative in the footsie photo shoot today.  wow.  i’m looking at the above picture and realizing she has my mother’s feet for sure.  HA

so, speaking of my mama… she stopped by the house over the weekend and dropped of a BUCKET of blackberries.  i mean, it’s one of those giant icecream buckets!  crazy.  someone gifted them to her so she gifted them to me because she’s a terribly busy woman with no means to wrangle such a mass of berries.  the girls and i tried our hand at jamming.  canning?  no.  i like jamming better. or smashing and splattering, plopping and glopping.

we got 8 jars out of only half the bucket.  the girls and i are SO excited to see how it turns out!!! i’ll post a review of course - even if it’s a complete disaster!   and of course, mama came by during one of her impromptu visits today and snatched up two jars just like that.  

oh!  i nearly forgot.  i knit a swatch of cupcake…

mmmm 5sts/inch on US6 needles and so so so soft.

this is the problem with spinning yarn and being a knitter.  i always think i should sell it or gift it to my fiber loving friends but i really just want to knit it all!  such a selfish girl.  bad!

well, i think that’s all for now.  i have a pile of dishes waiting for me and little girls to tuck in for the night.


back on the wheel!

remember this yarn?? gorgeous.  i knit (one) sock with is and it was absolutely delicious!  i had fully intended on knitting another to complete the pair, but i plyed the rest with this instead: (it’s my artistic a.d.d. kicking in…)

the result?

it’s all that beautiful gray bfl i’m so very fond of but about half way through plying - most likely when the coffee kicked in - i realized the brown (olive) was spun in a z twist.  what the smack??? i remembered that i had actually spun that bit on my drop spindle back um… last winter?  oh well.  what’s done is done.  i will say this though, it made for some highly energetic yarn.

after that mess, i decided to spin some singles of pure merino and kettle dye each separately, then ply them.  spin, dye, ply.  salmon & olive (i know.  i can’t get over it.  i’ve tried different amounts of dye, different dip methods, dry wool, soaked wool.  WHAT’S THE SECRET???)

keep in mind, both hanks were still damp in the above pic.  hubs took one look at the pair and nearly lost his breakfast.  horrid combo!  well, i did my magic twist-the-two-hanks-together and voila!  cupcake! he agreed much to his surprise.

so… that was my morning.  spinning dyeing and plying.  all done before i had to pick alizah up from school.  i also knit the most darling “tip-toe” anklets you’ve ever seen for mae but we never got pics.  she’s passed out in my bed next to the dog and as far as i’m concerned, she can stay there.  i’m beat!