10.08.2009

creative juices flowing

It's been a busy year. So busy, that I just didn't update my blog since January 1. That is either a) a very busy year or b) a very lazy blogger. We'll just chalk it up to very busy, right? ;) (wow, i just checked, and I had 3 posts I never actually posted...)

My job is going strong, and I am very grateful to be working; especially as people around me are worried about dropping like flies. My husband is doing well, and his shoulder injury has been completely healed. (His depression too!) We have moved to a wonderful 3.5 bedroom apartment with two full bathrooms and a full sized kitchen! I love it. Our kitties are doing well, and the knitting is going well too.

A few weeks ago, I decided to dye my own yarn for my very own Shawl That Jazz. Now, before I tell you the about the dying process, let me tell you about the yarn.

After buying the much lusted over pattern, I pondered what yarn I would use. The biggest difficulty in this decision being that the sock yarn the pattern calls for is probably between $10-$15 dollars a ball, depending, of course, on where I buy the yarn, and what colorway and so on and so forth. I figured that I couldn't afford the called for yarn, but substituting would still cost me $50+. I just don't have that kind of money for yarn investing right now. But I woke up early on a Saturday morning yearning to cast on for this lovely knit.

My fate was sealed, it seemed, a yarn store must be visited, and my husband would have to be convinced that this yarn was a *need*... Then it occurred to me that we have a lovely, amazing, and inexpensive craft store in the area I live in.

If you click on the link, you can read all about the store.

While this store has never disappointed, finding a sock weight wool would be iffy, at best. They depend solely on donations to stock the store, and when the product is sold, it is gone for good. This is good and bad. It's easy to walk away if they don't have exactly what you want, but it's hard to walk away if you don't know what you want.

I found 10 skeins of a nice light weight yarn that is probably an icelandic wool... 100% wool, but I paid a mere $16!!!
I was dumbfounded.

I had to protect it, as some other dyers spotted it in my arms, while i was in line and tried to wrestle it away from me.They were of course, rather unsuccessful, but turned out to be very nice, crazy knitters and dyers, like myself. (Kindred spirits, perhaps?)  I, of course, would never try to wrestle someone else's good find out of their arms in a store.

My husband made me a simple warping board, and I warped this yarn to a full 8 feet. After warping all 10 skeins (several nights of internet tv later...), I gathered all the skiens and tied them together in the same places. I then put 3 pots of dye on my stove, and dipped the yarns in several places.  I am absolutely floored by the results.

My wonderful and caring husband helped me deal with separating the skeins after dying. My techinique was designed to make all 10 skeins close to identical, so I dyed ALL of them at once. While it worked fabulously, the skeins became tangled with each other. We had to take them outside, hang them on the fence, and untangle each 8 ft skein one at a time. Fortunately, the skeins were individually tied, so it wasn't too bad.
We hung each skein separately to dry, and waited.

I finally got to de-skein a few, and I was so happy with the results. I started knitting on my shawl, and it is the prettiest shawl I ever did see. I am very pleased with it. :) 

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