Thursday, July 17, 2008

When Kool-Aid meets Sock Yarn

Originally uploaded by creativelydyed

This is what you get! Or at least this is what I got when I took Dianne's class at The Yarn Haven on Tuesday. Kool, huh? And yes, the yarn smells like grape and cherry Kool-Aid. Soon it will be a pair of anklets...that will smell better than most socks do ... a lot better !!! ;-D

Dyeing is Kool!

Originally uploaded by creativelydyed

This photo is evidence that I did create my own hand-painted custom-dyed skein of sock yarn in Dianne's class at The Yarn Haven. We learned how to use Kool-aid to dye was fun! Dianne encouraged me to get crazy with the colors, and I tried my best. I thank her for taking this photo and hope she doesn't mind that I'm sharing it with you. I had so much fun! I came away with the itch to start dyeing my own yarn. I also fell hopelessly in love with Dianne's own Creatively Dyed Yarn. Truly no two skeins are ever alike as she paints each one individually. There are no standards shades or stock colors...a unique thing in the dyeing world. I bought one skein of fingering weight alpaca in shades of hot pink and pearl gray. Of all the yarns Dianne delivered to the shop on Tuesday, that was the one that screamed at me the loudest. I just love it when yarn starts talking to me. Thanks ARE the BEST!!!

Creatively Dyed Yarn

Originally uploaded by creativelydyed

It was a red letter day for yarn lovers in Knoxville. Dianne of Creatively Dyed Yarn personally delivered the first of what will be many shipments of custom-dyed/handpainted yarns and rovings to The Yarn Haven. Ohmigosh, the socks yarns were TO DYE FOR delicious!!! Dianne taught 3 classes on yarn dyeing using the Kool-Aid method. I was in the last class of the day and I had a blast. This picture of Dianne (left) and Sandy (LYS owner, right) was taken in back of Dianne's trailer after the festivities were over. Can you believe they were still smiling (and ignoring how much their feet hurt)? I was standing just to the side of the trailer when this picture was I hope Dianne doesn't mind that I'm sharing her picture with all of my knitting friends. I was a great day!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Ketchup??? Fessin' Up!

Now if that title didn't grab your attention, I don't know what would :-) But the time has come for me to ketchup on my blogging and fess up as to what I've been doing for the last few weeks. My last few blog posts were filled with images of my spring garden. I love sharing my garden with ya'll, but the truth is I was working on a Top Secret knitting project so I couldn't blog about it. Why? Because the intended target always reads my blog, of course! Now the the mission was accomplished, I can tell all :-)

Several months ago I sent my dear friend Diana some yarn to finish a shawl she was knitting as a gift. She had that dreaded I'm almost done and the yarn is gone! experience. Fortunately I happened to have the very same yarn from the same dyelot even. Cool! So Ms. Di sent me her snail mail addy and I discovered that she lived in a really neat historic town in West Virginia--just the kind of place I love to visit. I dropped an atom bomb sized hint that I would love to come for a visit and see the territory. Diana figured it out and invited me to come. Oh joy!!!

Now my Mother raised me to be a proper lady and I know how to be a good houseguest (thanks Mom!). I started to think about what I could bring as a hostess gift. The first thing that came to mind was something knitted, of course. I was inspired by some Malabrigo lace yarn at my LYS in Diana's favorite color - purple. I bought 2 skeins and headed home to figure out what to make with it. Then I learned that Diana's beloved Father-in-law Bill was ill and she was very concerned. That's when I knew I had to knit a lace shawl. I scoured my files and the 'net for the right pattern, found one I liked, and cast-on. About 25 rows in to the bottom-up triangle shawl I realized the pattern wasn't right for the task at hand, I frogged the whole thing and started my search all over again. I had 1 month left to knit the shawl.

I learned that Bill's health was deteriorating about the same time that I ran across Myrna Stahman's pattern, Alix's Prayer Shawl, in my files. At last, the perfect pattern! I knew I had the right yarn and the right pattern, but the combo of the two demanded that I add beads as well, and so I did.

Cast-on: May 8th
Knit, knit, knit. Bead, bead, bead.
Cast-off: June 8th
Whew, just in the nick of time!

The scoop:
Pattern: Alix's Prayer Shawl
Designer: Myrna Stahman
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace, 2 skeins (100g) color-Jacinto (~80g used)
Needles: Addi-Lace US 5 (3.75mm)
Beads: Matsuno 8-0 clear silverlined, ~25g (513 beads used)
Knit Main Chart (a-d) + 8 reps of section d = 11 reps + 1rep modified edging.
Final stitch count (before last row and cast-off): 441 sts
Blocked Dimensions: 76" x 38"

I gift-wrapped the shawl along with a lavender "bottle" made with fresh lavender from my garden, packed my car and headed to West Virginia on June 11th. After an 8-hour drive up I-81 and a little jaunt through the country side I arrived at the humble home of Diana and Tony. Eager to see her reaction, I offered up my gift of love that night. The look on Diana's face was priceless. She was almost speechless...almost ;-) I think she liked it... a lot. I was *very* happy.

To be continued...