Almost Ready

With Saturday being the first show of the season that we are taking tie trailer to, this week as been a mad rush.

In addition to printing magnets for the newer paintings that my husband finished, I also had to pick up my new glasses today.I did get all my labeling/inventory finished for my knitting and yarn that has been accumulating. At least now I can see what I am doing better πŸ™‚

The trailer is loaded with the exception of the candles, which I will finish organizing tomorrow! I also have to pick up the shrubs that I ordered through our local conservation department and probably stick them in some dirt to hold til we can plant next week.

The SUV is in bad need of a bath after all the muddy and dusty roads and also needs loading! Saturday set-up starts at 7:00am, so at this point I’m wondering what we are going to forget πŸ™‚ Wish us luck!

Reset

Today we started to do a reset on our trailer! We’ve only done one small show so far this year, so had just pulled out the necessary things that weren’t already in the house for the winter. That left the trailer disorganized and messy when I finally was able to move it to the driveway.

trailer view before reset

left in from last year

We were lucky enough to purchase some used grid-wall and additional shelving this Spring, so that had to come out of the garage. Of course we had to decide how many and what to take. Next Saturday is a one day show, with my husband having one booth to display his art (the reason we really needed the grid wall πŸ™‚ He will be across the aisle from us to have electric to show his black-light paintings. And our son and I will share the second booth in our regular spot.

grid-wall

new grid and old candle shelves

Working out the things we need, we started loading. I’m excited to see how everything will look when it’s fully merchandised. Yes I am claiming some of the grid and the wooden shelves! The grid will be attached to the two heavy shelves and have about 4′ between! Did I mention we also bought some hat stands that clip to the grid πŸ™‚ And the shelving should work well to display my yarn. Yes I will take pictures.

heavy shelf

one of two new shelves

We still have at least 4 or 5 more totes to finish re-packing and load, as well as the boxes of candles to be loaded last minute. Canvases and easels will go in the vehicle as well as my spinning wheel and an ice chest for snacks.

beginning to reload

trailer partially filled

I’ve more things that will need to fit for the next shows on our list since those will involve craft tents, sleeping bags etc. Will need to pack a lot tighter and more efficiently, or not carry such a large selection? I like having back-up even when I can’t display it all, especially for the multi-day shows.

 

Finally!

Finally the crocus are in bloom!

a true sign of Spring

crocus, a true sign of Spring

And soon it will be time to take a walk in our woods πŸ™‚

still snow April 16th

Snow is leaving fast!

Have a nice week-end everyone! I need to do some yard work. What are your plans?

FO’s and New Beginnings!

Four finished hats, the beginning of two new projects, plus the proof that I did manage a little picture editing on myΒ  new tool toy. Thank you for all the encouraging comments on my last post. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in this over-wired world πŸ™‚

The first hat, finally felted, is the one shown unfelted in a post last month. As I was taking the picture, that old song with the lyrics “bend me, shape me” popped into my mind (and is still floating there πŸ™‚ and these are only two of several shapingsΒ  I tried. Felted hats can be worn in many different ways.

felted bucket hat

green felted bucket hat

The other finally finished felted hat, is shown unfinished here.

bulky knit hat

hand spun ribbing and thick and thin crown.

The next two hats are from the spun and dyed yarns shown here. Both knit from the same basic Ravelry pattern,Β  but varying how/where each yarn was used and throwing in some random purl stitches. (Plus with editing I was able to white out half of the background πŸ™‚

another bulky hat

hand spun ribbing with both yarns alternated in the crown.

The new beginnings include a cowl from hand dyed yarn, some more snow dyeing(yellow,orange,and blue), and lots of computer work!Β  The dyeing is now hanging to dry (a softly shaded pastel), the cowl is finished (I tend to knit a lot when frustrated!), another hat has been started, (no pictures yet) and learning the computer is going to be a long work in progress πŸ™‚

snow dyeing

snow dyeing

cowl started

beginning of cowl

 

 

More Challenges

Today is a day of no pictures. I am facing the challenge today of setting up and learning to use a new computer.

No, my other one hasn’t crashed, but I have been using it for about 10 years, with only one major crash in that time. Luckily I was able to have it fixed and save my pictures etc. So we decided that it was time to update.

You may have realized by now that to say I am technically challenged is a huge understatement. I’m sure the very patient Dell tech support person who spent hours walking me through things and doing some of the downloads and connections remotely knows just how much I don’t know!

Now my challenge is to learn how to move all of my pictures from my old computer, plus learn how to use the new picture editor program that I now have. I did move some pictures from my camera, but the dates are wrong on them and I haven’t learned how to put them in proper folders. Also have found the crop function but not how to resize them…..it’s been a long day, maybe things will be clearer tomorrow! or I may switch my monitor back to the old computer and fix some pictures to load πŸ™‚

Wish me luck! With two keyboards set up right now, I keep trying to type on the wrong one!

Spinning vs Other Chores

I’d rather be spinning, but some other necessary things were competing for attention this week. As tax day looms closer I had to prepare the things for our accountant. As a business owner, I trust a second opinion when dealing with red tape! And it’s a relief to have that finished.

To motivate myself, I gave myself rewards of spinning time, and then knitting time, between organizing receipts and totaling columns of numbers.

spinning snow-dyed

on my wheel

 

First I spun the merino top that I snow dyed last week. I planned a heavy yarn that would match the gauge of the commercial thick and thin that was dyed at the same time. It pleasantly surprised me to see how the colors arranged themselves to mimic the first yarn.

thick and thin with handspun

colors aren’t quite true but you can see the pooling

Of course I needed more breaks (and chocolate) so I also cast on a hat to see how the yarns worked together! That finished I had just enough yarn to make a second slightly different one πŸ™‚Β  Pictures of those tomorrow if the light is better.

balls of yarn

wound into balls ready to knit

Lesson of this post, work a little and play more, don’t be a last minute person πŸ™‚Β  To add to this years goals…Keep current on paperwork! So today we dropped my car to the garage for a little fixing, did some shopping, and tonight I finished 4 batches of magnets for the shows. Tomorrow maybe some more snow dyeing…it’s supposed to be gone by this weekend!

When Life Gives You Lemons….

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” is something we have all heard I think. But I prefer lemon pie!

So when life gave us snow yesterday (about 8 new inches after having almost all bare ground), I decided to try some snow dyeing! I’ve done it at guild meetings on silk and cotton(using cool temp dyes), but decided to try it with my wool dyes on wool yarn and top.

I pre-soaked my wool in warm water with vinegar added, then lifted on a mesh to drain in my colander.

ready to dye

yarn on wool top

Meanwhile I gathered a bucket of snow, then froze my hands carefully packing it around and on top of the wool, to a depth of about 3 inches, then sprinkled a little more snow on top.

I sprinkled powdered dye carefully on top of the snow, using magenta, teal, and yellow.

They looked so pretty as they started to melt into the snow.

snow dyeing 2

dyes beginning to migrate

The science behind snow dyeing is that as the snow melts, the different components of each dye dissolves and spreads at a different rate,remixing and being carried into the material below it. (Of course there is a pan underneath to catch the run-off.)

snow dyeing 3

After the melt and before hot water bath.

The results; The snow (in the house) melted πŸ™‚ The resulting wool didn’t look anything like I had envisioned (I had gotten carried away and sprinkled way too much dye for the amount of wool I was using.) Since this dye is heat set I placed my lump of wool into a pan of hot water and heated it for about an hour. Lifted carefully by my trusty mesh I then put it into two rinse waters.

drying dyed yarn and top

Actual yarn colors are deep red/burgundy, dark purple, and high-lights of blue

Looking at the dyed snow water drippings, I added those to my heating pan and placed more wool top in to heat. I always try to exhaust all of the dye from the water and sometimes get some interesting shades.

the results of dye exhaust

dye exhaust is a soft purple/mauve

Snow dyeing is fun, but I have more predictable results with my rainbow dyeing and kettle dyeing (unless I’m in the mood to play “mad chemist”, then any unexpected color may appear πŸ™‚

Three in 3 Days!

Three knit hats

Three knit hats

One each day for the past three days, I started knitting and completed a hat! No I’m not going to keep up that pace as I have other projects to work on too. But it was a nice challenge to myself and a way to see how the new yarn that I dyed last week would look in a project. I’ll be dyeing some more before too long!

hand dyed thick and thin hat.

Thick and thin yarn plus sock yarn

For Wednesday’s hat I used a pattern found on Ravelry written by Carol Tyler. Instead of using the thick and thin wool by itself, I combined it with some of the leftover (shawl) sock yarn that had been the inspiration for the dyes I had used for this skein of lumpy. It was a quick fun knit on large needles, so to keep the fun going I finished by adding a tassel of sorts!

knit from hand spun

brown hand spun hat

Thursday’s hat was another sample of a pattern that a friend designed to go with my hand spun. The pattern will be given free with the purchase of 100yds. or more my yarn this summer. Plus I wanted to make a hat that wasn’t specifically for a woman. (The brown color is more realistic in the first picture than this one)

knit hat

lumpy, slightly slouchy hat

Today’s hat was another of the skeins I had dyed, using the same pattern as Wednesday’s, but making some modifications to the straight stockinette stitch by throwing in some random purls and using a solid hand spun for a more stable band than the thick and thin gave on the first one.