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Pat's Knitting and Quilting

September 24, 2010
Some Natural Dyeing

I am growing a variety of dye plants in my garden - here are pictures of a few of them taken today. Some will be ready soon, but the rest won't be ready until next year. Most of what I'm growing are reds and blues, since yellow is so abundant and easy to find in nature (as you'll see below!)

Japanese Indigo
Japanese Indigo
Lady's Bedstraw
Lady's Bedstraw

While I'm waiting on these, I decided to experiment - First with some Brazilwood. These shavings, that I bought from Aurora Silk, are recycled from violin bow makers .

Pre dyed fleece
corriedale fleece from Octavia

brazilwood chips
brazilwood chips (soaked them overnight)
extracting dye
extracting the dye (put chips in nylon stockings to lessen mess)
dyeing fleece
dyeing the fleece (premordanted with alum/cot)

brazilwood dyed fleece

combing fleece
brazilwood dyed roving
ready to spin

Yesterday I went on another dog walk and this time there was Goldenrod everywhere, so I gathered a bunch and immediately cooked it up when I got home.

Goldenrod flowers
5 ounces of fresh Goldenrod ready for dye extraction

after dye extraction (simmered for an hour then left to cool)
In dye
drop the premordanted (alum/cot) yarn in dye bath - simmer for 1 hour
Fresh wet yarn
new wet yarn (next to original for comparison)

Quite possibly the prettiest yellow yarn I've ever seen :-)

Goldenrod dyed yarn


September 17, 2010
Handspun Finn Hubby Socks

Finn Roving
Beautifully dyed Finn roving from Crown Mountain Farms

Finn Handspun
420 yards (105 grams) of fingering weight 3 ply yarn

Handspun Finn Socks

Somehow it took me almost 5 months to make these socks. Probably because they have been my "take along" project and I just haven't had a lot of take along opportunities. I promised Dave they would be done by hockey season (he wears hand knit socks for coaching) and luckily they are done in time for that.

Handspun Finn Socks

These are the first handspun socks I've made for Dave - he likes them :-)
I LOVE the subtle gorgeous color flow in these socks. Each time I pick them up, I just stare at them for awhile looking at the beautiful colors - One of the many joys of working with handspun yarn.

Pattern: winged it - 5X1 ribbing with EOP heel
Yarn: 3.1 ounces handspun 3 ply Finn in Peace of Mind from Crown Mountain Farms
Needles: 2 socks on 1 2.25mm circular needle
Size: Man size 8 - 72 stitches around

I added a bit of nylon reinforcement yarn in the heel just to be safe.

This might be the last picture in green grass until the spring, so I had to include it!

Handspun Finn Socks

Even though I only spun one little braid of fiber for Tour de Fleece, I was a random prize winner in the Ravelry FiberOptic Spinning Group and won a $100.00 gift certificate for anything in Kimber's Fiber Optic Shop. Now THAT is a generous prize!!! My plan is to slowly use this throughout the winter whenever I want a fun fiber package. Kimber's dyeing is spectacular (I still have 2 gorgeous braids to spin from the last club.) Check out Fiber Optic for a peek at all of her gorgeous stuff....I made these pretty green Hedera Socks with her Foot Notes sock yarn and can't wait to try the Foot Notes pencil roving.


September 7, 2010
September Startitis

It happens every year - just when I think knitting is going to fall by the wayside and quilting is going to take over... a little hint of September coolness comes. I've started 3 projects in the last week (and finished a pair of socks - waiting for husband feet photo opportunity) and started spinning again. Here is a quick photo tour of my new (and 1 old) works in progress.

Magnificent Mittens Start

It was a rocky start with Anna Zilboorg's Magnificent Mittens - I had to hunt down a pair of circa 1965 dpns (it's been many years since I've used any double points - a fully converted circular girl). It took forever just to figure out the starting page and then there were several rips and restarts...but I've "got it" now and feel like this whole beautiful book is open to me - At the moment, I want to make every pair.

Magnificent Mittens Tips

I feel much more comfortable now that they are on a circular needle. The yarn is all leftover Elann Peruvian Highland Wool - there will be 5 colors. I'm knitting these for the Fall Stranded Mitten KAL on Ravelry (knit any stranded mitten pattern). Marcy and Linda are knitting the exact same pair - our own little KAL.

Knotty Gloves Cuff

I've never made a pair of gloves and decided it was high time to give it a go....So Knotty Gloves in beautiful Spirit Trail Fiberworks “Frija” (merino/cashmere/nylon) - pure knitting joy so far….

SKA Mock Sock

oooops - started mystery socks too - I can't seem to resist. I've already learned a new cast on (Twisted German) and am starting my first beading in a few rows.

Suri Lace Shawl

Handspun Suri Silk Peacock Tail and Leaf is about 1/2 done - a few rows every day.

Julie Spins Rambouillet

and last, some beautiful Rambouillet hand dyed by Julie Spins - I'm going for 3 ply sport wt. with a mitten knitting plan.

That's all for now - next up - man socks.. when I can get to his feet for pictures...



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