July 2007

Can you hate dislike a yarn shop?  My town has one LYS downtown (I am being a good girl, no names!).  It has been there for ever (one summer when I was a kid, I think I took crochet lessons there- it didn’t stick). 

Last week, as you know, Zae and I painted some yarn.  I have been turning it into a purse.  I have been having trouble with the yarn requirements of the pattern (due to the inconsistency in the colors, I found a green wool that helped pull the yarns together). 


I am pretty sure the problem is that I bought the first skein without a plan, then picked a pattern and realized I would need more of the green.  I thought I would just need 1 more.  The shop was supposed to open at 10 on Friday, I went by at 11:30- still closed.  My mom works nearby and was willing to swing by on her lunch . . . it was open.  Discovered yesterday that I needed more green (I know, I should stop guessing).  The store was to open at 11 this morning.  I was there at 11:20- still locked up.  Back at noon, still locked up . . . 1:00 still closed.  The sign on the door (not that it means anything) says they are open till 9 tonight.  I am going to try to swing by this eve.   Maybe I should call first.

I love the idea of supporting my local LYS . . . but . . . this is NUTS!  The problem is I know they have the yarn I want.  I saw it through the door this morning.  And it is not like they have much turn over.


I really want this purse done before Sweetie and I leave for Ashland on Thursday.  We go to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for my Birthday every year.  I get to spend my Birthday (this Saturday) seeing 2 wonderful shows.  The purse is almost done; I just need to knit the flap- in green- which I am out of!  It will take NO time to finish the flap, maybe an hour or so . . . if I can get the stupid yarn (I think I might be a bit bitter about the yarn).  The purse is all together, except the flap. . . I just need the yarn!

AHHHHHHH . . . I am going to call the shop, if they don’t have it I think I will start calling around to other stores.  Thank Heaven for Ralvery . . . I had already put the yarn in my stash!

Wish me luck!

UPDATE: The posted hours for Monday were 11-9pm.  I called at 5, no answer. but the owners daughter is sometimes the only one working there and she has developmental delays (if she is the only one in the store, you have to figure your total and tax for her) so I thought well maybe she doens’t answer the phone.  I hurried dinner and popped down to check- still not open.  They are supposed to open at 10 in the morning.  I will drive past before Zae’s swim lesson at10:30, by again when we are done at pool a little after 11.  If not open, I am going to call every yarn store in the area and find it!  None of my normal ones carry Ella Rae Classic (I called to check this afternoon), but rumor has in there is a store in Berkely.  I don’t have time for this!  Sweetie and I have our romatic Birthday/Aniversery No kid trip this weekend, there is a lot of prep to do.  But I WILL GET THIS STUPID YARN IF IT KILLS ME!

Please send good yarn thoughts!


Ok . . . I have a plan!  I want to knit something for myself out of the 220 yards of wool Zae and I painted yesterday.

 I LOVE the styles of purses in Eva Wiechmann’s Pursenality Plus book.  I bought it last year and have read it, dreamed about it since then.  It is now time to do something about it.  I am going to do the “Designer Bag.”  The plan is to try to stay as close to the pattern as possible (but we know how good I am at that).  I am, however, ignoring the color ideas.  From reading the pattern, it looks like it takes 3 or maybe a bit of a 4th of Cascade 220.  That is about 660 yds.  I have 220 of the handpaint and have found an Ella Rae wool that matches well (two skeins will give me WAY more than enough).  I will use this for the base and handle and all trim as well as holding throughout during the knitting of the body.


As I was winding, it became clear that I couldn’t just run one into another (I have been deluding myself since last night that this would be possible).  I am going to use the green in order to blend them more.  I am also thinking that in the middle of the purse I will alternate the handpainted row by row so there is some of the orange and the blue mixed together.


I am not worried about them going together, after all, they were made with the same colors, just in different patterns.  I only mixed four things of color; I used the same four colors on the skeins, just in different patterns.


I shall keep you posted . . . it is kind of fun and exciting . . . this is either going to be REALLY REALLY REALLY cool  . . . or. . . REALLY REALLY REALLY bad. . . we shall see

Today was a craft day in the house . . . Zae and I dyed some Knit Picks Bare yarn that I bought myself last fall.  I have wanted to try dying for a while, so I bought this yarn for myself in my Christmas Knitting order and a reward for getting it all done!  I just haven’t done anything with it.  I got my invite to join Ravelry earlier this week (OH MY GOSH WAY TOO COOL FOR WORDS!) and was putting my stash in over the weekend.  When I came to the Bare I thought “well, that is just sad, we will have to do something about that.”

bare Bare

This morning, Zae looked at me with those HUGE brown (almost black) eyes and asked, “Mom, what are we going to do today.”  So I came up with doing the Kool-Aid dye thing.  We went to the dollar store and got a bunch of those picnic condiment dispensers and the grocery store to get kool-aid.  The Knitty website gives the ratio 1 oz fiber to 1 oz kool-aid.  There isn’t much powder in a packet . . . so I used a lot of them.  If you are thinking about doing this . . . use the Knitty article . . . really easy!


Zae and I had a great time squirting the dye on the yarn.  He was pretty set on having a pattern (that is his dad in him!).  He didn’t want to put dye on the first one, he was afraid he would mess it up, so he told me where to put the dye and I did his bidding (nothing new there!).  On the second one, we put the pattern on the yarn, and then he was comfortable enough to fill in the spaces with the dye. 

ready to go in the sun

There are three options for setting the dye.  I picked the easy one (so I could still watch Days of Our Lives . . . one must have standards- I have been an adict since I was 8- my granma was my babysitter- and it was on EVERY DAY!).  Stuck each skein in a plastic zip-bag and stuck them in the sun (like you would sun tea).  I then told Zae that the yarn had to sit in the sun until after his nap (about 2 ½ hours, until the water coming out of the yarn is clear).  I flipped the bags half way through the time, but I don’t think I needed to.

the yarn gets a tansweating in the sun!

A few hours later, we brought the yarn in the house to cool down out of the sun.  Many of the websites I checked made a HUGE deal about not shocking the yarn with cold water as it could cause felting.  They all seemed to recommend cooling the yarn and then rinsing with water the same temp as the yarn.


I had expected to have much brighter colors, but I like it.  The plan is a bag for me.  I have 220 yards, which is enough for a Sophia purse (this is SUCH a fun pattern) .  I am also thinking about free forming a small bag to keep my Weight Watchers books and tracker in.  I use the bight blue starter kit bag right now, but it isn’t really me.  We will see what I think of.  Maybe a smaller Button-hole Bag?


I swear, I used the same dye on each skein . . . really I did!  Both have a similar purple color, I think I will start with the not so orange one, then when I need a second skein, try to start with the purple on the orange.  Not bad for a first time, if I do say so myself!


I am not sure if I will carry a purse this colorful in my real world.   However, there is something really cool about having something that Zae and I created together.

Ok, I think I have told you that I am doing Weight Watchers.  I love it!  I am trying to work out more.  We keep the Gazelle Edge up in the front room in case I get motivated at any time to exercise.

But I have found a problem  . . . 


In a pinch the Gazelle does a GREAT job of holding yarn skeins as you wind into balls. 

I don’t think is what they mean by using the machine daily is it?

Sorry this has taken so long to get posted.  I have no excuse . . . simply lazy!


Here is the low-down on the web-shower we had for my sister-in-law and brother in Germany.  They are due with their first child (a GIRL) in early August.  It has been odd and exciting knowing we were getting a new baby in the family, but not seeing it the way we normally do.  In order to help both families bond over the baby, we had a web shower.


It was a total success!  The web cams worked for almost 3 hours (we turned it off, not the net).  It was a total family event!

  •  Bro and Dad did a Great job getting everything set up!

  • Mom was responsible for getting all the gifts together and to Germany.  She also sent some decorations so we would match on both sides of the world.

  • Step-Mom set a wonderful German breakfast/brunch for us. 



It was really cool to have all the American Grandparents working together for this baby!


In German, it was Brother J, sister-in-law K, her mom and an aunt.  They don’t do baby showers in Germany, so it was interesting on both sides.



We had about 10 folks there, all family or might-as-well-be family.  Both sides of the family were there.  My folks have been separated since the early 80’s, I think it is VERY cool of all the family to still get along when it comes to things for my brother and me.  No one fights or gets in a wad . . . everyone was there to see and celebrate the pending birth.  Most of the party was spent sitting around, staring at the computer talking and eating.  It was great to get a chance for everyone to catch up face to face.




Of course, you can’t expect everyone to want to watch . . .




Then we got to the gifts!

Everything was very cute.  J did his best to show us what they were getting.  Those here helped him describe what was in their packages.




And here is the picture you have been waiting for . . .



The sweater in Germany!  It made it and it went over well (you gotta love J . . . I think this is a great pic of him too!)

OK- we have had the shower . . . I will blog and post about the web shower later- I need to get the photos on my computer.


NOTE:  Did I tell you . . . IT IS A GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!  That makes one of each for the grandkids for my folks!  YEAH! 


Here is the set of goodies I made for the brother and sister and one on the way in Germany.  I figured that these guys needed a cool box, it has the cutest zebra on the front . . . I didn’t think to get a picture of the lid . . . oh well . . .


set boxed


Yarn: Shine Worsted in Grass

Sweater Pattern: Mason Dixon Dishcloth sweater

Sock Pattern:  Something I found on the Lion Brand website (I can’t find it now)

Hat Pattern:  a mix of the Ken’s Dulan Pattern from Yarn Harlot and the Sock Monkey hat, and a lot from my own head.


The Germany set in Grasshat and sockssweater by self

The yarn was fuzzy to knit with, and didn’t take ripping very well (after the 3 or 4th sweater pattern I started).  It lost a lot of fiber as I was knitting (I hold my yarn really tight and this is a problem for me often).  However, it is the SOFTEST thing ever.  I will use the yarn again (dude, the price is great!) and I want a summer tank or sweater for me from this yarn in a different color (grass is VERY green, I am not a green girl).

The shower was great!  I will share the pics and stories soon.  I promise, I will post more often- I have gotten caught up in the fun nothing that is summer vacation . . . I have to blast, got to get ready for another shower type thing tonight (a Pleasure Party for a friend who is getting married soon. . . It should be something fun!  I don’t know if there will be posts about that or no; Mom, Dad, in-laws, Grandmother and others read this blog too after all!)