Time Crunch

Asย  I warned in an earlier post, craft shows and gardening would be cutting into my blogging time. I hate to admit, I’m not even able to keep up with reading all the wonderful blogs that I’ve marked to follow, but will try to catch up this fall.

Between the last two shows I caught sight of this rainbow in our back yard.


back yard rainbow

The rest of the pictures are some of the things I’ve been up to between shows, the latest dyeing hanging on the line.

wool yarn ready to ply

orange and leaf green now plied with the black and ready for the shows to find a new home

dyed wool top

dyed wool top, will be my demo spinning at next show

dyed yarn

thick and thin wool and nylon when dyed gives the most wonderful jewel-tones

hand dyed yarn

close-up of colors in bright sun-shine

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer!


Apple Blossom Time

It’s apple blossom time and the petals are just beginning to fall.

apple tree in blossom

full bloom

With only one tree, we still might get a fair harvest, depending on what the deer and bugs decide to leave alone:)

closeup of apple tree

petals are beginning to fall

And I am enjoying the fragrance and beauty of lilacs that a friend gave me yesterday ๐Ÿ™‚ Put your nose close to your computer screen and take a deep breath! Can you smell them?

lilac blooms

beautiful lilacs

Have a great Memorial Day weekend as we remember and thank all who have sacrificed for our country.


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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 myย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ and these are only two of several shapingsย  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,ย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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!ย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚ย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Wondering Wednesdays #9

I started Wondering Wednesdays, because I was wondering what other people wondered about. Now I’m wondering if my title was wrong, if instead of locking myself in to a certain day to post on whatever subject I might think/guess is on your minds, that it would be more freeing to write a weekly post or two on whatever I am thinking or doing. So this is my explanation. Don’t want anyone wondering why Wondering Wednesday is disappearing, at least for a while.

But I will join the masses and for tonight wonder if anyone is going to win the BIG Powerballย  Jackpot tonight? (It won’t be me, I didn’t buy a ticket, knitting needles were more useful.)

wildberry handspun marian cowl

New needles and a cowl half knitted

I wonder how it might change someone’s life? Would it be a good change? Or bring more problems than one could ever imagine?ย  My hope is that it would have a positive effect on the winner and those close to him or her. That they would have the wisdom to use it for the best benefit to themselves and others. It’s nice to dream about, but most people’s needs are much smaller than the amount of the jackpot.

I wonder what would you do as a winner?