Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Making new neural pathways and mittens too...

Oh fun fun fun...first taught myself to knit continental and then once I had accomplished that all of a sudden knitting stranded became wanted inspired by the interweave knits mag for boot toppers, I proceeded to make those into cuffs with variations, and then wanted to do some real latvian scandinavian mittens, and voila found the pattern Bird in Hand, merely 5.95 on the next on and before I knew there I was downloading and knitting the mittens...when I was stuck last night, never having done a braid before, along came ravelry site, and there was a kate gilbert group, so I posted my dilema and within moments a woman replied, clarifying the pattern for my novice self...and haven't look back, so there is the mitter so far, and the name of the pattern. I am doing it it two ply merino, that I had sprinkle dyed dark purples, and white, and learned how to carry the prominent yarn in the same hand at all times, which clarifies the pattern edges better, so that the yarn coming from underneath is always in my left hand...that would be the white yarn in this case...Then had to Ml left and Ml right which I went to and there was a live video. Make it the internet, I am learning so much on this knitting path and its a new trick or two every day, not hard to do if you are a knitter with a small "k" to quote the I am truly making new neural pathways and have the mitts to show for it. I love this part of knitting.

These are the latest fingerless gloves found in the interweave gift mag . Made from merino sock yarn which I dyed with mushroom dyes (except for the blue) haven;t found a blue dye yet beside indigo, but I have heard there are some Hawk Wings, and other Polypores that will give me that color...I do love the tone of thedyes...
So back to the mitten, and oh, also learned the picot edge, that is folded traditionally and looks great..

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

sanguinea or not sanquinea that is the question

Another round of mushroom gathering today, and a feast of Chantarelles, we keep thinking it will be the last feast but still going into December, what a treat. Gathered more northern red dye, top, and what I think are californicus on the bottom, but I am definitely not sure of that, are they western red dye, phoenicea , or californicus...they have very orange gills, and aren't nearly as red as the sanquinea. Hopefully someone , somewhere can answer this question. Perhaps Leena the queen of mushroom dyeing, in my mind, who lives in Finland, and is a great dyer.. can help me out. Even with three mushroom books in hand they are so close the two californicus and phoenicea, that it is hard to tell for a novice like myself. Also found what I think are Jack O'Lanterns Omphalotus olivascens, which I have cooking away on the stove as we speak...and the liquid is slightly orange, sort of like a pumpkin, thus its name, but gives a purple dye, mystery of mysteries....what I did get today was Carol Lee's mushroom dyeing book, and that will be helpful. Already is helpful and I just opened it. Now I think I will try and dry these new mushrooms in the picture today, as I don;'t have enough pots to put them in, and I did hear that drying is the best way for color, and Color says that the older the mushroom the more color, which is news to me...of course, its all news to me. Will post some Omphalotus olivascens tomorrow .....and perhaps wool dyed with it.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

more shrooms

Colors of the day, bfl roving today, with northern red dye, and sulfur tufts...the last tufts of the year. Next fall I will collect early and freeeze them for use later, or dry them I have to research which way is best. The colors are brighter as I think the roving as opposed to the spun silk/wool, takes the dye more as the fibres are open so the dye seems brighter, used alum cream of tartar and a glug of vinegar in these baths, and this was the second bath of the apricot color. I am milking it for all its worth. Snow on the ground outside but it is melting. My kind of snow, beautiful then gone...yes!!!!!!!! that is why I live on the west coast, I definitely am into grey and rain more than snow..snow in my mind, means work...frozen pipes, frozen truck, frozen me...but luckily dh is home still and keeping us very warm and toasty...
Found a great site the other where there is so much fabulous information...she is a brilliant, sharing knitter, and is answering all of my unanswered novice questions...I love this woman, and great diagrams and pics to go along..she is a definite must for my knitting, between her and my friend a I am knitting my way through the back to spinning this roving...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

ah the bounty of nature

Snowed a bit last night and then was frosty this morning, which for a shroomer can be a bit depressing, as all I could think was of those mushrooms turning to off we went again and surprise surprise chantrelles and hedgehogs still abound and so did manage to collect some and have a small feast. The northern red dyes were not so abundant, but thought I would show you the latest of the mushroom dyes...these are cuffs made from three mushroom dyes, polypores, sulphur tufts and dermocybe californicus...I love the dark brown from the polypores and that was an incredibly concentrated dye...I can see that after dyeing with washfast and kiton and gaywool, that my eyes have to settle down to the subtleties of mushroom dyes...and the differences are subtle but so soft and user friendly...still reticent of selling any mushroom dyed wool as I just want to use them all or at least have them around, as I realize it will be a long time before I can collect again...especially the sulphur tufts and red dyes, as they won;t be back until next I am hoarding for now...

Friday, November 23, 2007

northern red dye/ cortinarius sanguinea

Awoke this morning to frost on the roses, a sure sign that we had better go mushroom picking before they were all mush....pardon the pun...dh took the rose photo, so beautiful with that frosty edge...then off gathering for a couple of hours...didn't find much at first and were on our way back when we strolled into a field of chantrelles.Now that is sweet...
More dyeing and getting a slightly darker colour this time, need even more concentrated dye bath...these were cashmere silk, and silk/merino and the cashmere in the center and the silk/merino on right were put in a dye bath and left on the stove for about l5 minutes, then lifted and poured in alum and cream of tartar. The skeins had not been premordanted...after a half hour on the stove they were removed and the one on the left put in to exhaust the rest of the dye.. even though they are very muted the nice thing about natural dyes is they are all very cohesive shades and work well together...I love this feature.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

off the cuff and more

This is the latest mushroom dyeing, the silk really loves the dye doesn't it. I have polypores and western red, and some exhaust red.
What I am learning is more mushrooms less water if I want intense color, so will try again tomorrow with much less water. Still using only alum and cream of tartar, but I can appreciate the subtleness of it...

These are the latest off the needles, and on to the Xmas market on Saturday...all but the pale pink which I have claimed as they are the ones that are totally mushroom dyed...the others have some mushroom dyes in them but not much...I love the total mushroom cuffs...and so warm

Now I am making felt boas with wensleydale curls for the market also.

I am running out of wensleydale curls so if anyone has a sourse I would be grateful.

and more mushroom hunting this morning where we found a good feast of Chantrelle and hedgehog mushrooms.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

treasure hunting for mushrooms

Here are the latest colors hot off the stove. All mordanted last night, and cooked today...the two yellow in the front are sulfure tufts, one kid mohair and silk and the other 50/50 silk and merino, the greyish, is the hydnellum fungus thanks to dh who came home with a bagful which I was at work, sweet!!!! and the fleshy pinkish is the Western Red dye or cortinarius dermocybes ...sound like I know what I am talking about, big deception
the orange is the western red dye, and a lovely warm orange, its lovely out there in the woods gathering and the whole process I love doing...out in the woods its like a treasure hunt, slow and in the miniscule world, very green and generous.
The only part I have to adapt to the the many pots for many different shrooms, all very busy to keep track of and then the mordanting too, what a pain, but the results so far are worth it, although I would be reticent to part with it yet as it is so labor intensive to me , although I am sure if I continue to do it, the process with the refined some making it easier...this even has me taking notes, which is a first and not really what I like to do, but there are so many part to it I need notes and samples, bleedy frightening, like I don't have enough to do already which I love doing , now I have to stop and take notes off to take notes....

Monday, October 15, 2007

Shades of summer

New Tulip baby sweater, done in sws soy merino blend, and the 6 to 12 month age...sweet pattern from dreams in color, which I am apparently addicted to... No seams to sew and knit from the neck down. Followed by my mushroom dye cluster. We were out mushrooming this morning and now dyeing some wensleydale locks for boas..although am using the fibre reactive dyes. Will cook up more polypores and save the liquid today. Obsessive would be a great description of me when it comes to fibres. Just can't seem to get enough play time with this medium.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

polypore dyes

More dyeing taking place, yesterday did this batch and today am experimenting with new doing sulphur caps and will take pictures later. Seems I am into the yellow warm shades because that is what I am getting...tried to dye with the coral fungi yesterday, and ended up putting them into a polypore bath as they just didn't take any color from the coral fungi. Perhaps I used the wrong mordant, but I am flying by the seat of my pants, and need to get the mushroom book...I am tracking "Mushrooms for Color" by Miriam Rice but haven;t received a copy yet....Finishing the larger size of the Tulip sweater, and a pair of socks... pics to come

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More mushroom dyes

This is the latest mushroom dyeing although I realize I didn't have enough of the mushrooms to get the purple color, but did get a lovely taupe which I do love, so not a bad failure. I will have to gather more next time. It was called Strawberry and Cream, and is a small toothed fungus which bleeds red, but apparently is to dye purple. I don't really have the scoop on this yet, and couldn't find any data on this particular mushroom except that it is a dye mushroom, so I used the alum and cream of tartar hoping for the best...and like I said not bad, of course, it is pure silk boucle so it is hard to wreck that fibre, you could drag it through manure and it would probably look lovely I will try and collect more... am working on a sweater, larger size, Tulip and just finished a's that Dreams in Color, same designer as the Tulip and same award winning feature for me, no seaming.....

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

red brown butt rot

Snappy Title eh? which is to say it is really Dyer's Polypore, or uncommonly called Phaeolus Schweinitzii....and is a fungus found at the foot of fir trees, and is a fabulous dye. My dh and I have been mushroom hunting in the woods and eating chanterelles, and picking red brown butt rot, after hearing it would be a good dye. Dh convinced me to try and dye with it, so under his tutelage I commenced at first dragging my heels, because of course it meant mordanting, then dyeing and generally taking part of my day, but we looked up instructions for mushroom dyeing on the net, and so with a mordant of 25 grams of alum, 10 grams of cream of tartar, and 100 grams of sock wool, voila....and do I love is such a wonderful rich color and is drying by the woodstove as we speak, not to mention it gave me something interesting to blog about.... and not to mention completely free...and there is more out there. We are going to try and experiment with younger fungus and older ones to see if we get different colors, plus changing the mordant. On a totally other front, I have just felted a beret which was out of soy wool and turned out quite was a quick felt, I pulled it out after a few minutes in the wash cycle and it was already felted, also have been making some peruvian hats which I will take some pics of also and having fun this week with lots of projects...

Friday, September 14, 2007

frog off

Yes tonight will be a frogging kind of Friday night, and the main thing I must remember is to simply stop when I am not doing soul feeding knitting. There I was knitting with some wonderful "bokesburg" two play mohair, nylon, wool, lovely sheen, fab dye job, even if I do say so myself, should have knit up beautifully into a tulip sweater, but wasn't quite cutting it...thought, oh, I will just knit a little longer and it will be okay, oh, its just the light and night, I will see it in daylight, well, it was none of the above, it was definitely the gauge thing, and I should have realized that right away but I wanted to knit I have learned a valuable lesson and in future, if my soul isn't singing , I will stop. Tonight I will begin again, reduce the needle size and see if I can get this to sing to me.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

More beaded

Silk and mohair boucle and beads, and I do like this combo...haven't taken any pics lately but I always have preferred blogs with photos so like to provide one when I write...
Have finished the dishcloths for Rabbitch, and now just have to bleedy mail them, such a procrastinator, but have everything ready to go. Have been finishing socks, and just bought some more sock wool, and silk and merino to dye so will have something to show shortly...also just purchased felted Stained Glass Fan bag, for eight dollars from Madelaine at Knitted Dream. I have been looking at this for awhile and wanted to try out my new pay pal, and voila, I am now the proud owner of the that will be the next project I try. Off to knit socks as this was my long day at the library so have a short knitting night..

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

over stuffed chair

Here is the view from my knitting chair of my ufo...we have a few dishclothes waiting to be mailed to rabbitch for donation, a black and green silk scribble, a white scribble shawl almost finished and a make waves afghan just started, plus a cashmere/silk scarf, and a tulip sweater, not to mention the two pair of socks that are lurking under the mass of fibre.
So the next project is to finish the ufo's, have you heard that before?
I will post pics as I complete, ever hopeful

Thursday, August 23, 2007

sock it to me

Some three ply merino sock yarn, washable, or superwash, who can say...I would like to know if there is a difference and what it is, and I would also like to know the process of making it washable, like it is chemically stripped of its scales, or is it coated with polymer? these seem to be the two options and I would like to know which I am working with, not that either sounds very desirable. I do knit socks with this, and they seem safer from shinking but I really don't like the idea very much.

And on a completely other front, I have been spiral scarfing (hat the word scarf) for the obvious reasons, but like the spiralling. I did one with fine kid mohair and on the last two rows added silk and mohair plyed with turned out very small and delicate and I quite like it, pictures to follow later. Now I am casting off on a 50 50 silk merino in bright blue and it is totally other. Might be a little too soft a spiral we will see and I will take pictures.

Another three markets to go before the end of my marketing season, and I will miss talking to all the knitters and fiber fiends that I meet weekly, we have such fun talking about all this, very addictive personalities. So onward to casting off those 800 stitches of the spiral.

Monday, August 13, 2007

ravelry ta da...I'm in

Yes, finally in to ravelry and now to figure out how to make the most of it...I can already see that it will suck up some knitting time just perusing all the goodies that are there, not to mention getting some of my goodies into it but it looks like a good winterly thing. Marketing still and selling wool, and scribble lace kits, and baby sweaters and people are definitly thinking winter knitting here in the northwest, and of course, the weather is helping this cause as it has been shitty weather here for the past weeks or so and the morning dew is thick. I also got my new knit picks metal small needles, as the harlot recommended and they are divine, a little sharp but divine...I am knitting up a storm of socks, and now don;t have to worry about bending the bamboo, which I am apt to do and get a wow in the needle, the metal are definitely heavier but very secure feeling to me, I have poked myself rather severely on the left index finger so am working around that so I don't jam the sharp needle into it, a small drawback to having such fine needles in a little case, all very organized compared to all my other needles, definitely need a needle case just looking for the right one. I have several ufo`s on the go, a cashmere silk old shale scarf, a baby sweater, some jaywalker socks, all in lovely clear plastic zip bags, also from knit picks, which I thought were a great idea for kits, and now have about 10 beside my knitting chair full of work to be done, which I can clearly see, unfortunately, but maybe this will encourage me to work at them before starting a new project, which I am keen to a pictureless post, but I will take more photos for the next time...

Friday, August 3, 2007

colours of the week

These are the latest colours of the kid mohair which I sell for the scribble lace work, and I am loving the way kid mohair takes the dye...these are apparently known as "semi solid" which I think means they are from one dye bath, and may be slightly varied in depth of colour....but these are very regular as I have been dyeing other fibres in the vats, and then once the sprinkle dye is dispersed I slip in a few skeins of the kid mohair to suck up the rest of the dye in the vat...thus exhausting the dye bath completely and getting some tonal similarities to the batches....I love the semi solid word, allows for a lot of still knitting away on the baby sweaters, I make one as a sampler of the wools and voila, someone must have it, so onto another, have made four so far with many combinations...even the silk /merino ones which are so so sooo...and made for baby Jesus, or at least a similar non drooling, non messy baby as they have to be hand washed...but they are so irresistable to make and quick, and so doing one now with silk/merino, and soywool combos, so much for using up the ends of balls, these sweaters seem to be sucking up the best of the wools...
Mid summer here on tourist island and as I am trying to get to the gallery and following a 10 mph tourist, Im chanting "we are all tourists on this bus" ...a good reminder to myself, as we'd all be pretty up tight be the end of August without a mantra or two.
So to the beach to sit on the sandstone and knit in the cool of the evening, slightly overcast

Friday, July 27, 2007

Acquiring aqua

and it was an aqua moment...always fun to see how the different fibres absorb the dye differently..this is 50/50 silk/merino and two dye baths both with aqua as a main color..and the background in a mohair. I love these colors. I think I may be turning the peach corner.

After sorting out my knitting and project chair, I discovered I have eight clear plastic knitting bags, with eight different projects...and although I tend to feel a little guilty for not finishing one at a time, I realize that I like switching from one needle and fibre to another throughout the evening depending on my mood and my finger I am working on a second jaywalker, socks on two circs, a cashmere/silk shawl, a baby sweater, another pair of socks and a scarf, and a dishcloth from mason dixon which I hope to donate a few to rabbitch's charity, but handling the cotton is a bit shocking and not too pleasurable for me so I have to actually take a silk break from it every once in a while.

So what's with my knitting bag with all the bits and pieces, needles, darners, measuring tape, all jammed in one container, I definitely need some needle holders or something as it is driving me nuts having it all in one bag, even though clear it still is a mess.. need to make some cases, and containers to hold and separate things....any ideas on this would be appreciated.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

decadence and alpaca

And went toVancouver Island yesterday and had one fibre filled day there. What fun fibre friend and I happened to see some alpacas in a field and that was merely the beginning...stopping to look and then of course, wondering, and then talking to the son of the alpaca owners, and then being shown the fleece and you know what happened next, so now researching alpaca...I have never had a fleece and it is sooooo soft...and now to see how to process the fleece, I will take a picture later today and show and tell...that wasn't the end of the fibrous day, as we also managed a lys in Parksville, which is tiny and sort of out of the fifties, but did have some lovely soy and wool dyed beautiful colors, like I need more dyed wool, but it was irresistable apparently because it is now sitting in my knitting basket, and is wonderful to knit with...just couldn't wait to get started. Am making a new baby sweater with the new colors in soy...and have spun some alpaca and plyed it...spun straight out of the locks but am now considering washing then carding all in all a very exciting day and I definitely had my fibre today!!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

finished goodies

Here's the latest in the scribble lace shawls, done in honey colored silk/merino and kid silk...this is an adapted pattern from that wonderful knitter, Debbie News and her book, Unexpected Knitting. I love doing the scribble lace and it has so much just for the time to realize the potential...also finished a silk/merino dream in color baby sweater , very dreamy in soft peachy pinks. Its been raining here for five days, all the garden is waterlogged, so nothing to do but work in the fibres...not a bad alternative lol

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Went to the market today, and thanks to the grey skies, wool was in everyone's mind...lots of knitters and especially loving to see the young boys knitting. It seems Waldorf schools teach knitting in the primary grades to help with the coordinating of fingers, and later on four needles as a tool for teaching math. So sane and what a great school for kids to go to, I wish I had had one available for my child and grandchild. It is also fascinating to see the colors that the kids are interested in, usually bright, they love the neon greens and bright florescent pinks..Myself I am still obsessed with the pale corals to peach tones...a good day for spinning at the market and lots of attraction for the wheel workings...I love to spin at the market as I don't have to really pay attention to the crowds until I see someone who is obviously a fiber freak, and then we can have at much interest and connection with fellow fiber freaks...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

More color, and a that is the scribble lace in the background, in a pale honey color, and a pure silk boucle in the left corner next to the kid mohair...I am presently in love with these is always amazing how my love of a certain color happens, and then eventually moves to another..what is happening there? It seems to fill my soul and is needed therapeutically, then another color feeds us....

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Ah, love those new tangerine peachy colors...this is the silk boucle with the 50/50 silk merino and so yummy . This was today's dye project and I called it a huge success being as I love orange and pink tones and especially on for some eye candy it really work.

Friday, July 13, 2007

New fibre just arrived and its been incredible fun...just received a kilo of black fine kid mohair, and am plying it with silk thread and stunning, tomorrow I will take it to market and hope to take some photos of the beaded black and soothing..I love the beaded yarns, everything about them is just yummy, texture, color, sheen...fibre heaven

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I have to say how much I love fibre people and the instant rapport felt when connecting with them..I have been doing the local market here twice a week, and even though it has been incredibly hot, wool is selling. If there is a fibre person in the crowd it is the fibre is like a magnet, it allows me to continue to spin and when the magnet grabs a fibre person, they are sucked into the swirl of color and it is so natural and easy to relate. This week I looked up from my spinning and there was a woman, just standing there feeling the fibres and smiling like mad, so sweet to see such pleasure and even though not everyone is into buying they all have a project or a fibre story to tell or a memory to dredge up about fibre, grandmothers , spinning wheels, and all bring good feelings to everyone. How generous is amazing and refreshing to see and feel, I feel honored to be in the loop with all these people.

Beaded yarns

Here's my new hot off the wheel beaded, mohair boucle, and so fun to do..a wonderful accent to what you are knitting and gives a little sparkle to your work...I love the beaded yarns...
New sock yarn and just discovered how to post a picture...tried the other day, to no avail, but think I have it now....this the the three ply, superwash merino, so soft, and loving these colors...great for socks, baby clothes and anything you want to wash. will post more pics later

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Saturday July 7th

This week, I swear, I am taking photos to post of the dyed until then..