I would say the Dye Workshop was a great success, even though I wasn’t in tip top shape. I’d like to thank Mary, Amy, and Jasmine for helping out so much!  I couldn’t have done it without all your help!

First off in the wrap up, here are most of the DK skeins.  There were 13 DK skeins dyed in all.  The two purple skeins on the right were two of my skeins.  The two skeins that are missing in this photo are the other two skeins I dyed as demos, which I will show you in the next two photos.

This is the skein I dyed as a variegated yarn demo in Aztec gold, turquoise, green, and blue.  The Aztec gold and the turquoise blended a little more than I expected, so there’s more green in the yarn than I expected, but I think it turned out nicely.

This is the skein I dyed as a semi-solid demo using a lighter and darker version of Aztec gold, with some other color as a highlight which I can’t recall at the moment.

Next up are the 4 skeins of sock yarn people dyed.  Janice dyed the two on the right.  I can’t recall who dyed the other two.

And here we have half of the worsted weight skeins (orange was Jasmine, green was Pam):

Here is the other half, that Mary (variegated) and Pam (semi-solid purple/blue) dyed, hanging to dry, along with a sock blank Mary dyed and along the right side there are some Knit Picks skeins (6!) that Pam dyed.

And here we have some more orange yarn Jasmine dyed, superwash wool from Knit Picks. She dyed 8 (!) Knit Picks skeins, plus two of my worsted weight skeins. She was busy!  I think that’s Janice’s sock yarn on the far left.

Lastly, here is some bulky Blue-Faced Leicester that I dyed the same purple as the DK you saw at the beginning of this post. I dyed this yarn to design a jacket next month, which I am VERY excited about!

You like?

As always, click on the photos for a larger version. For those who are curious, you can find more photos on flickr here.

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The clouds have finally lifted, and my pain is much better now.  One morning this week, I woke up and got out of bed and I actually almost felt normal.  It was such a huge change from the past six months that a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders and I felt like I could really smile again with all of me in it, if that makes sense.  I’ve smiled in the past six months, but there was some part of me that was in excruciating pain, so I couldn’t entirely smile.  Now I think I can, at least, in the morning.

Anyway, that’s not why you’re here!  You want to see those pictures of Sicily I promised!  R took them on Sunday!  I’ve been lazy about posting I guess. I posted them on Ravelry, as I’m sure some of you noticed.

Sicily

This cabled sweater has a unique construction, similar to Corsica. First the Cable Band in the middle of the sweater is knit back and forth horizontally and grafted together at the side. Then, stitches are picked up along one side of the cable band and stockinette stitch is knit in the round downward with increases on either side for the hips. The lower body is finished off with a hem. After that, stitches are picked up along the other side of the cable band and knit in stockinette stitch in the round upward, with bust dart increases, until the armpits. The fluttery romantic 3/4-length sleeves are knit in the round next, with a complementary cable. They are also hemmed. The sleeves are then joined to the body, and the top of the sweater is knit in the round with raglan decreases and a scoop neck. The sweater is finished off with a reverse stockinette stitch border. Sicily is made to fit tightly with minimal ease.

SIZE
30 (34, 38, 42, 46, 50, 54) (Shown in Size 34)

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS
Chest: 30 (34, 38, 42, 46, 50, 54) inches
Length: 20 (20.5, 21, 21.5, 22, 22.5, 23) inches

GAUGE
23 sts/36 rows = 4” in stockinette stitch

I’ve been working on my nephew’s birthday present. It’s going to be late… He’s turning 1 on Friday. That’s right, he was born on Halloween!  I’m definitely going to finish his present today, but since I don’t think I can mail it until tomorrow since I can’t walk to the post office at this point and R took the car today.

Speaking of birthdays, I have two other recently gifted birthday presents that I can now show you, so I’ll have to do that sometime soon!

I really love this design. I think I already said this, but this is my favorite of the projects I’ve designed so far. I should have time to finish the pattern sometime next week. It won’t take much more work, but I’m trying to get this birthday gift done as well as a few design submissions done in the next week.

The sleeve cable band cable was the hardest part to design, because I wanted you to be able to knit it vertically while having it match the horizontal underbust cable.  The yarn I chose, Jaeger Roma,  is really soft and smooth, but it shows every little bump and join, so I might recommend finding a different soft DK wool/silk (like Zephyr Wool-Silk) or a nice soft DK wool to knit this up in.  There are more photos of Sicily on flickr here.

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I always used to love making snowmen as a kid.  I never get to anymore, since I moved to California.  I still wear mittens in the winter though, when I walk my dogs on a cool evening.  On a whim, I decided I wanted some snowmen I could wear, but I wanted them to be classy, not cheesy or cornball.  I wanted to incorporate my own hand-dyed yarn into the design.  I decided to go with Snowman Illusion Mittens.  I can admire my snowmen while walking my dogs, while I appear to just be wearing striped mittens to the casual onlooker.  Why not knit up some Snowman Illusion Mittens for yourself, to remind you of your childhood days?  Then you can choose who you want to let in on your little secret.  The Snowman Illusion Mitten pattern can be found in my store here.  It can be found on Ravelry here.  More photos can be found on flickr here.

Materials:

  • Fiber Fiend Soft & Sturdy Sock [75% Superwash Wool / 25% Nylon; 382 yd per 100g skein], MC: 1 skein in Seas
  • Rowan Cashsoft 4Ply [50% Extrafine Merino / 40% Acrylic Microfibre / 10% Cashmere; 197 yd per 50g ball], CC: 1 skein in color SH425
  • 1 set US #1.5/2.25mm double-point needles
  • Stitch Holder or Waste Yarn
  • Tapestry Needle

Skill Level: Intermediate
Size: Women’s Medium
Gauge: 32 sts/40 rows = 4″ in stockinette stitch

Skills: Decreasing, Knit, Purl, Colowork, Grafting

A special thanks to Sheetal who modeled a sweatshirt and the mittens in 96 degree heat so I could submit them to the Winter knitty.  It wasn’t accepted, but I was pleased to find out about the Almost Knitty Ravelry Group, where I could post the pattern for people to check out.  It’s nice to check back and see that as of this blog post, 8 people have marked “love” on the post.  It’s nice to get positive feedback.  I also posted Spring Wave on Almost Knitty.  It’s received a lot of positive feedback and a number of people have queued it, although no one has bought either of the patterns yet from the Almost Knitty group exposure…

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If you care about the future equality of human rights, and you have the time and are willing, help out with the No on 8 campaign by volunteering in your community (if you live in California). Click here for more information. (I heard about this on Rachel’s blog).   I would do this if I could stand for more than 15 minutes without severe pain.  I wish I could, and I really hope the bill does not pass.

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I added a few captions and a note to Siena’s Adoption Post, as in one case I noticed her grumpy Christmas hat photo could be misunderstood (it was a set up). I don’t want anyone to think I’m a hypocrite saying my dog is very sweet and nice and then showing a picture of her growling. Mojo was a real pest when he was a puppy, constantly trying to play with her (actually that hasn’t really changed much 2 years later, except now he has Helix to play with, which was kind of the point). Anyhow, he was in her face, trying to play with her and she was just trying to lie on the couch and rest and R put the hat on her and took some pictures. In that one she was telling Mojo to back off. I’ve only ever seen her do that to other dogs. I just wanted to mention that in case that photo put anyone off. =) Happy Saturday!

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Instead of editing the last post, I decided to post about the change of plans.  The prospective home is too sketchy by both my judgment and the rescue guy’s judgment, so he’s not going to check it out, and he was going to come and take Siena tomorrow morning and put her in a kennel until he could find her a foster home because he doesn’t want to have her at his home because he doesn’t think she’d get along with his alpha female Husky (because Siena is an alpha female Husky too), but R relented and said he doesn’t want to see her in a kennel, so we can keep her for one more week while the rescue guy tries to find her a foster home in Sacramento, because he said that due to all of the foreclosures and housing crunch crap, there are no foster homes in the Bay Area.

So, that was a really long run-on sentence.  Siena is here for one more week.  Please, if you know anyone who wants a dog, who does not have any other small animals in the house (fish are ok!, and other dogs are most likely ok, but they’d have to meet, and different cities have different limits on the number of dogs allowed), please let me know.  She is a wonderful dog.  She’s great with kids — she’s very gentle and light on her feet.  She is in great health.  The shedding is totally manageable with the Furminator.  She could be good for a first-time dog owner.  She’s quite mellow most of the time and doesn’t demand much attention, although she loves walks and trips to the dog park.  She needs a good home with people who will love her and take care of her and walk her and take her to the dog park and appreciate her crooked smile.  Did I mention she has a crooked nose?  It’s probably because her jaw was broken when she was a puppy and it healed crooked.  She had a rough life before she was rescued.  I promised myself when we adopoted her that the rest of her life would be good.  So, we just need to find her a good new home…let me know if you hear of any, k?

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I was just looking through stuff on Ravelry, and I noticed that the neckline and sleeves of Wendy Bernard’s Opulent Raglan are very similar to Sicily’s neckline and sleeves. However, I was not inspired by this sweater, as I sketched Sicily in February or March of this year… interesting… Anyhow, for those of you who are wondering what the rest of the sweater looks like… that’s a hint! Hopefully R can help me out with a photo shoot this weekend!

Also, my dad emailed me this photo last night. My mom is a creative genius in many ways. I love her deeply. She is so imaginative! I have a painting in my kitchen of three yams on a sheet laying curvaceously suggestively together, titled “Menage A Trois” (I think). Here she chose a different route. May I present, “Yam Session.”

As always, click on the photo for a larger version. I’m telling you, this photo made my day. Maybe even my whole week!  My new pain meds must be working!

I’d say the pain is now back around a 5, which is on the edge of tolerable, instead of through the roof, which is not.  Whew!  I think it’s time for an ice pack though.  I scooped some dog poop (just a little, or, well, compared to what’s out there, what with three 45-60 lb. dogs running around) this morning with our new scooper (the kind with a long handled shovel and long handled rake).  Maybe that was a bit much.  It’s hard to keep a balance of trying to do something without doing too much without doing nothing at all.  Well, tomorrow morning there will be one less dog.  The man who originally rescued Siena from a shelter, who runs the local chapter of Siberian Husky Rescue & Referral oF California, is picking her up and taking her by a prospective home up in San Leandro, since I can’t drive that far, or really at all right now on my new meds. I don’t have a great feeling about this prospective home from talking to the father figure, but it’s worth checking out.  Here’s her ad, if any of you know anyone who might be looking, I’m guessing she will likely still be available, but who knows.  If it’s not a match, the man who’s picking her up will foster her until we find a home for her, because R needs her to be out of the house.  =/   I trust the man who’s taking her, and I’m sure we’ll find her a good home, no matter how long it takes.  I also put an ad up on Craigslist for her and I’ve received two responses so far: one from a woman wishing me good health and telling me I should try to work it out and keep her, which isn’t going to happen, and one from a man looking for a dog to protect his acre of “plant nursery.”  I told him that Siena is an indoor dog and that I don’t want Siena protecting anything.

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I designed this lace-ribbed tank top, Aria, for Crystal Palace Yarns using two coordinating colors of luscious Panda Silk DK.

You can queue it on Ravelry here.

You can find the pattern free on the Crystal Palace Yarns website.

Aria is knit in the round from the bottom up. The beautiful sheen and soft drape of Panda Silk DK make it wonderful to wear next to the skin or over a thin camisole on a beautiful summer day, or on many days throughout the year in California. The simple lace pattern is easy to memorize. A wide variety of sizes is provided from XS through 3X. The finished chest measurements are 30.5 (34.2, 38.5, 42.9, 45.8, 50.2, 54.5) inches.

You can find more photos on flickr here.

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I had a horrible migraine on Saturday and ended up at urgent care, where they gave me two injections (actually three, one demerol/nausea medication combo injection, and then when that didn’t work, an hour or so later, another narcotic injection and another nausea medication injection).  I was first sick in the lobby, then once we got into a room, I was sick again, then I got up to wash my mouth out and sat down to being continuously sick for about 2 hours.  After the second set of shots, I was sick a couple more times, and then i was really really tired, and I thought I felt better, so they sent me home, and told me if I wasn’t better I had to go to the ER.  We spent over 4 hours at Urgent Care.  I made it from the urgent care room to the car being wheeled out by the nurse at what seemed like top speed with R racing behind, and managed not to be sick on that trip, nor on the car trip home, but once I got home I was sick again.  R put rice on while he went to the pharmacy to get my nausea medication prescription.  The pharmacy was closed, so I called urgent care and asked them to transfer the prescription to a different pharmacy.  I went to check on the rice.  It was on ‘Warm.’   He forgot to push the lever down to ‘Cook.’  I turned it on and hobbled back to my chair to wait.   Urgent Care called back, about 30 minutes after I had called them.  They had transferred the prescription.  It would be at the new pharmacy in about 10 minutes.  Good thing R had brought a book.  Sometime later I heard the rice lever pop up.  I went and scooped myself out some rice.  I sat down and put a super soggy gross spoonful of rice in my mouth, fell asleep, woke up, chewed swallowed, put another spoonful in, fell asleep, repeated the process, trying not to be sick.  It was really really hard.  I made it until R came home with my meds, almost 2 hours after he left to get them.  I took one immediately and let it dissolve on my tongue.  He grilled me some chicken breast meat and cut it into little pieces.  I was so dehydrated I had no saliva to chew with.  I tried drinking a little bit of water with the chicken.  I wasn’t sick.  I was able to take my pain medications, and my migraine preventative.  I let myself go to sleep.  I woke up still with a pounding migraine.  The nausea was better, but not gone.  I took more of the nausea medication and ate a Clif Bar, as usual.  I took the minimum number of medications I could, to try to minimize the possibility of being sick.  Mary came over to wind yarn in preparation for the Dye Workshop I was supposed to teach.  We had arranged it so I would get lots of help from some of the guild members since my health had deteriorated in the past week.  I was really looking forward to being healthy after the lumbar neurotomy made me feel so much better.  The new pain medication I got this Friday has really been helping out with my back pain, which is good.  The migraine was unhelpful.

Sunday was really fun, after I ate the rest of the chicken and rice for lunch and took more nausea medication and pain medication, my headache slowly went away in the afternoon.  The Dye Workshop was supposed to be from 2-4pm.  Mary wound yarn in the morning and mixed up dyes and set up the tables and chairs and we went over my plan in case my headache got worse, but fortunatley, it got better and I was able to give a talk about my dye inspirations and show off some of my hand-dyed yarns and patterns created from my hand-dyed yarns.  I also showed other dyers yarns and talked about how they inspired me and I learned from looking at them.  I talked about the dyeing process and did a demonstration of how I dye my variegated and semi-solid yarn colorways.  Then everyone got to it and dyed a bunch of yarn!  I bugged them about spraying vinegar on both sides of their yarn because we were cold pouring with acid dyes and I wanted to make sure everyone’s yarn set well.  Most people trickled out by about 6pm, but Mary stayed late because she started dyeing last and she did the final clean-up, so I think she left a little after 7pm.  About 2/3 of the yarn steamed last night and Amy and Jasmine came over today to rinse it and hang it up to dry.  The other third is steaming right now and will be rinsed by some lovely volunteer(s) tomorrow!  Here’s a photo of some of the first batch hanging up to dry!

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And I’m not talking about the election! Corsica has been nominated for the Sexy Knitter’s Club 4th Quarter Knitalong. Today is the last day of voting. I just found out because I was reading Ysolda’s blog and I clicked over to see the final top 10 nominees, and to my surprise, Corsica was there!  That made my day!

ETA: You should only vote if you want to join the KAL and knit Corsica with a group of other knitters.  I should have mentioned that earlier.  I’m still a little (ok, a lot) out of it…

P.S. I went to the pain clinic yesterday, got new medication, and initiated another disability leave.
P.P.S. I have a migraine today, and I’m wondering if it’s due to my new medication… that doesn’t make my day.

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