June 2007

dead-fern.jpg, originally uploaded by enting.

Last Saturday was a near-perfect summer day. I went hiking with a few of my labmates, took a lot of pictures, picked and ate some wild blueberries….and got sunburned shoulders.

(I also knit some in the car, but even with the additional knitting at fiber night, my peacock shawl doesn’t look all that different.)

Pretty much none of the fiber I showed you last week still looks like it did in those pictures.  I spent a couple of evenings over the course of the week playing with the drumcarder that Sarah left at my house on Sunday, and now I have these:


Somewhat varied blends of the onion-dyed fiber.  There’s a bit more than will fit in an 8x6x16 plastic bag.  (The three bits that are at least partly in this picture are more-or-less representative samples.)


One green batt, resting on the carder.  This stuff fits more comfortably in that size bag. 

I had hoped to start spinning the freshly-blended wool this weekend, but my hands have been sticky with aloe gel for most of the time I’ve been home last night and today.  I went hiking yesterday with some of my labmates, and it was great, but my shoulders are now bright pink.  *sigh*  Back to slathering myself with aloe…

DSCN3048.JPG, originally uploaded by enting.

Happy summer!

It’s actually not unreasonably hot today, and I’m going to celebrate with fresh, local cherries, black raspberries, and snap peas.

As I said yesterday, there’s lots more freshly-dyed wool in my apartment than would fit in my last post.  Here’s Mel with some of it:


Mel, wool blend, corriedale, white cormo, grey cormo.  Everything but the cat was dyed with red onion skins.


Yarn dyed with red onion skins.


From farther away.

We didn’t just do onion-skin dyeing, though:


Wool blend, corriedale, overdyed leftovers of pine corriedale, habu A-93, light grey elann wool.

This, for the record, is what the non-white base wools look like, undyed:


Grey cormo, grey-brown corriedale.

Despite the interestingness of trying to dry all of this wool while retaining access to my bathroom, this was a lot of fun.  I have two reasons for not dyeing too much more, though–I’m running out of dyeables, and it’s not like I’ve been using up the predyed stuff.  (New plan for future purchases: natural colors of wool.)

Sarah came over on Sunday, armed with her box of dyestuffs (and a lot of wool).  We spent a couple of hours dyeing, with what I think are pretty nice results.  They took quite a while to cool, though–ranging from overnight to ~24h–here are pics of the first batch to cool and dry.



The color is somewhat more accurate in the first picture.  All of these started out as natural shades of wool (some greyish brown, but mostly white), and they’re dyed with a mixture of red and yellow onion skins. 

[The roving in the front is mine, as are the teensy skeins of yarn; the singles and the fleece are Sarah’s.]

I haven’t finished anything (maybe I should’ve focussed on that dratted sock….), but I spent a decent amount of time this weekend on fiberly pursuits.  Here are updated pictures of the knitting.  (Sunny pictures, even!  I’m trying to find a positive side to the icky weather we’re getting this week.)


I am halfway through chart 3 of the Peacock Feathers Shawl.  It’s still lots of fun, but it took me nearly two hours to knit three rows last night. 


This is the mossy-looking cabled scarf that I started in September or October as a mindless-knitting replacement for the autumn sunset shawl.  It’s been hiding in the corner for the last few months, but it grew a bit more yesterday.  I’m liking the ‘cable whenever I feel like it’ pattern; it’s really good for knitting with unpredictable interruptions.

DSCN1987.JPG, originally uploaded by enting.

It’s late for an ECF post, but lab and life have been particularly busy. (There’s fibery progress, and some scientific progress, and some other general, nonbloggable life. I’m expecting there to be lots of fibery pictures by Monday, though. Really.)

And I spent my lunch break setting things up on Ravelry rather than posting here.

Enjoy the weekend!

As promised, I finished something over the weekend.  It just wasn’t a fibery object.  And, as it turns out, the deadline got pushed back ’til tomorrow, so I may spiff it up a bit. 

Anyway, this is my FO of the weekend, a coffee-walnut torte adapted from this recipe on epicurious:


(It currently has a coffee glaze dribbled over the top; I think I’m going to do something buttercream-like when I get home.)  It’s not incredibly pretty, but it smells wonderful, and the bit of cake that was stuck to the side of the springform pan was quite tasty.  (But it did inspire me to have tea (green with rose and lavender) this morning instead of coffee, just for a change.  It was interesting to walk to work carrying both the torte and my tea, so I smelled both tea and coffee the whole way.)

I didn’t finish anything fibery this weekend, but I did do some knitting:


This block of sparkly cabled yarn will be incorporated into the green blanket.


This garter-stitch rectangle of kool-aid dyed wool was originally intended as a sideways hat for Dulaan (really, it was intended as concert knitting a couple of weeks ago) but may end up as a scarf for next year’s Dulaan, since I’m not sure I have anything to go with it as a hat, and it should be easier to fudge for a scarf.


The Tess’s yarn sock that I’ve been working on for a couple of months has been stalled for a while, as I’m both bored with 3×3 ribbing and afraid of running out of yarn while away from the rest of my knitting.  I should be able to finish it sometime soon, though.

I also knit a few rows on the Peacock Feather Shawl, but it doesn’t look all that different from last time.  I spent more of my aware-time this weekend either baking (as seen above) or singing–a couple of friends of mine organized a big group of people to get together and sing madrigals and Bach chorales and Other Stuff, and it was incredibly fun.  I hadn’t sung "real" alto parts in a couple of years, so my voice got pretty tired, but it was wonderful all the same.

curved-tulips, originally uploaded by enting.

This is not a new picture, but I still really like it.

Happy weekend! I don’t know how much fibercrafting I’ll have time for, with the full schedule I’ve got, but I’m hoping to have at least something finished by Monday.

This is the freeform blanket, on my couch.  It continues to grow, albeit slowly. 

I also knit a few more rows of the peacock feather shawl yesterday, while in the car on the way to and from my lab’s canoe trip.  (So much fun!  Canoeing pictures will be up as soon as I finish shooting the waterproof disposable camera and then have it developed.)

And now, it’s time for work!

I’ve been doing a lot of things that preclude knitting (or at least enough and interesting knitting) lately, including eating homemade sorbet and ice cream, helping friends move, dancing, and singing.  What knitting I have done recently has mostly been on my peacock feather shawl, but it’s slow going, especially since I’ve been knitting while socializing, and unblocked lace is not the most photogenic of knitting. 

Still, since I hate blogging without pictures, here is a picture of the shawl.  (It’s not a great picture; I was going to try to take a picture this morning, but it was still overcast.)


I think a lot of why it’s going slowly is that it’s real laceweight, and it doesn’t exactly help that the needles (knitpicks 3s) are almost too sharp.  It’s fun, though, and one of the other reasons it’s going slowly is that I keep stopping to admire it…  Anyway, this is the first two charts plus a row or two of chart 3, and I still really love both the pattern and the yarn.  In fact, I think I’m going to stop typing now so I can knit a bit before bed.