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.  


it's love

it’s valentine’s day… right?  

i’ve been longing for birds.  years and years i’ve pleaded with hubs.  no way.  he had a laundry list of reasons why we would not have birds in the house.

this year he surprised me with zebra and elephant as we’ve been calling them.

the first business we needed to handle was introductions and mae was the one that pointed out our little food chain.  in mae’s words, fish eat snails, birds eat fish, cats eat birds, and dogs eat cats.  so i think she was telling me someone was going to die.  HA!  evel kitty did keep a close eye on the tweeters all day and i’m quite certain through the night, too.  captain jumped around with his ears perked up for a few minutes but i think he’s taken to guarding rather than harming.  he likes to shoo the cat away.

so, i’m tickled.  i love to hear them chirping and squaking and occasionally singing.  best valentine’s ever.

being valentine’s day, i think i’ll gush a little about hubs who i don’t really gush about because i’m not the type, really.  i know i’ve posted about our weekend morning routine.  hubs makes coffee. hubs cups coffee, hubs adds fixings to coffee, hubs serves coffee.  i lay in bed and moan and the dog licks me and the kids yell and run around downstairs and i try to keep the sheets over my face for as long as possible.  it’s a good routine, ya know?  it works for me.  so, the other day i get this series of texts while sitting in bed:

he was luring me from my cave and i guess he should have considering it was almost nine!  ha!  it’s the little stuff that makes every day good.  he’s a funny guy and to be quite honest, his humor and patience (with me) are the reasons i love him so and have stayed with him all these years.  having someone who continually surprises me, who is not afraid of changing, and who i can stay up all night talking to in the dark like we’re having a slumber party is the bees knees, babe.  


now, on the knitty front i only have one project on the needles.  i know.  weird.  i mean, mare had nothing and she looked like a doe lost in the forest.  she just flailed her hands around saying, “i don’t know what to do with myself!”  it’s a terrible feeling for a knitter to have nothing to work on. 


i’m half way through at this point but man, i’ve been terrible about taking pics.  if all else fails, i’ll take pics when it’s done.  the pattern is saroyan and it’s free so how could i resist.  and i’m using that fantastic malabrigo worsted i posted pics of back….. here.  the colors are so much.  i have a way of avoiding color and this little bugger is gonna tip the scales.  hubs coaxed me along saying that the colors are muted and all ones i wear so i guess i’ll quit the bitching and keep on stitching.  it’s going to be stunning when it’s finished.  

OH, and how could i forget!?  HA!  i love my duffers and mae has been asking me to make her a pair so i picked up this pattern and got to work.  i was having one of those days where i was in a crappy mood and mae was working my nerves and knitting seemed more like a chore because i was so distracted…. obviously.  you know, you really should read patterns before you begin knitting.  i know this is common sense and all but i’m gonna say it anyways because clearly i have no common sense.  you should also put down your knitting and check the pattern (you didn’t read) when you think to yourself, “i know i’m supposed to felt this but, DAMN! this is a big slipper.” so…. i bind off and finally snap to.  holy hell this is a BIG DAMN SLIPPER!  i laugh and then inspect it and then make that confused face so… hubs says, just seam it and felt it and go from there.  like, don’t make two.  finish this shit now, woman.  good advice.  i seam, i felt, i felt, i felt, i realize hubs is going to have a new pair of slippers!  isn’t he lucky?  it’s a good thing it was gray and not hot pink because he’d be a hot pink slipper wearing papa.  ahhhh.  knitting fails.  i’ve been full of them.  that super amazing brown and gray sweater i knit because i loved the yarn and wanted to try that shaping and yadda yadda - i finished it.  it fits alizah.  i think i’m loosing my marbles.

i suppose i’ll work on saroyan now… or that other slipper for hubs (HA) or make some that actually fit mae….. or we’ll go play in the SNOW that we finally got.   have a super fantastic valentine’s day, all! xo