This And That

Just as the title says. First up is knitting. No photo, but I’m almost done with the second sleeve of the Faery sweater. Then it’s the hood and the button band, and it will be done done done, probably just in time for summer. There was a brief dust up with the second sleeve. I sat down last week to start working on it, found the finished first sleeve and all of my very cryptic notes, and found a ball of yarn to cast on. As I was doing so, I had the distinct feeling of deja vu. I almost chalked it up to the fact that this was in fact the second sleeve, and I indeed had done it before. Some little voice in my head made me go upstairs to my disaster of an office. I hunted through about six knitting bags before I found it. Not only had I cast on for the second sleeve, I had finished the cabled cuff and about eight inches of sleeve. Sheesh. I need a better organizational system. Either that, or I need to cut back on the vodka martinis. The theory* that the alcohol only kills the weak brain cells, leaving me smarter, may be wrong. Sorry, Cliff.

Next is the dyepot. I did some fiber prep last weekend, and did a bit of dyeing this week. Here you go.

That is undyed wool yarn, pre-mordanted in a copper sulfate solution. The pretty blue crystals in the jar are the copper. I liked the color so well that I almost left it like that. Almost. Here’s the dye stuff.

That is a bowl full of mostly marigolds. I had topped all the marigolds in our pots last fall when they were at the very end of the season, and spread them out to dry. I got a little paper bag of more mixed flowers in my last CSA dye shipment, and mixed the two. Here is the dye pot simmering.

That simmered away for about an hour, then I let it sit overnight before straining the flowers out. Then the wet yarn went in, that simmered for an hour, and again sat overnight. Here’s what I got for my trouble.

I think that is just the most gorgeous bronze color. I put a bunch of alum mordanted Polwarth top in the same dye pot yesterday, It is draining right now. It’s a bit hard to tell when it’s wet, but I think it will be a paler less vibrant version of the same color. So far it is exactly the color of something Lucy might hork up, so it might get overdyed. We’ll see. I’m pretty pleased with the yarn, though.

Next up is food. Tuesday of course was Mardi Gras, and we celebrated in style at the Knitting Doctor household.

Yum. The dinner was shrimp etouffee, rice, braised kale, and bread. And wine, of course.

Last but not least, you might notice that sweatshirt that I am wearing up there. This is Wintergrass weekend, and we are off later today for the festival. We have tickets to hear Itzhak Perlman at the symphony tonight, then the rest of the weekend is all bluegrass, all the time. I have my knitting and spindle packed and I’m off to follow the call of the banjos! I’ll update as I can!

*”Well you see, Norm, it’s like this . . . A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the heard is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first . This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Now, as we know, excessive intake of alcohol kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. And that, Norm, is why you always feel smarter after a few beers.”



This And That — 10 Comments

  1. I laughed aloud at the second sleeve de javu. That is so exactly my sort of thing to do. The yarn is lovely. And the dinner lookes super! Have fun at the bluegrass festival.

  2. The yarn is beautiful. Have a great time.

    Your sleeve experience was somewhat less catastrophic than mine. I was knitting sleeves where there was a difference between the left and right, and my deja vu moment arrived when I realized I was knitting another left one.

  3. LOL about the sleeve! At least you went and checked and didn’t discover the sleeve after you finished the second one!

    Oh, your Mardi Gras celebration looks fun – and tasty.

  4. I’m not sure I’ve ever actually forgotten a knitted piece, although I’ve lost quite a few. So glad your remaining brain cells kicked in. I have the pattern, but after your experience have decided just to live vicariously through you.

  5. I am delighted with your results! Hope you had a grand time celebrating Mardi Gras and Wintergrass! Thanks for the beer tip; hubby will especially appreciate it:)

  6. Love that Cliff and Norm story! I was just thinking about it a couple of days ago. Glad you checked on your knitting before you got any more done on that 3rd sleeve! Your Fat Tuesday meal looked pretty good!

  7. Good thing you listened to yourself and found the already begun 2nd sleeve. To cast on and knit a while on a new one before finding the old one would be rather frustrating to say the least.

    LOVE the yarn color! Do you have plans for the yarn or are you just messing around with dyes? Hope the Polworth works out okay.

    Thou dost provoke me to jealousy, dear lady!! Tickets to see Itzak Perlman? What a treat! Enjoy him and all of your beloved bluegrass. I know you have such a good time every year.

  8. I love the yarn color! Great job on that dyeing project.
    Your story of the second sleeve had me lol. Too funny, and you made me feel a whole lot better about some ‘stored’ projects of my own.

    Have a wonderful weekend listening to all that fabulous music!!

    P.S. Your Fat Tuesday dinner looked delish!!!

  9. Glad you remembered about the 2nd sleeve. Can’t imagine you needing three sleeves! LOL

    Definitely going to have to steal your theory “that the alcohol only kills the weak brain cells, leaving me smarter”.

    I keep asking for a wet bar at work but my boss keeps telling me she can only order it if it is in the Sammon’s Preston catalog. Sigh

  10. Wow, I have missed a lot! The sleeve ordealas all to familiar….perhaps the martini brain cell theory is flawed. Dinner sounded wonderful!