Sunday, February 24, 2008

You Can Tell a Dyer by the Purple Fingers

Careful as I can be, occasionally my gloves get hole in the fingers. So after a weekend of dyeing roving and sock yarn, the holes in the fingertip of my gloves have left me with 3 fingertips that are a lovely shade of red violet. I knew it was time for a bit of nail care.

On the other hand, my productive streak has kicked in with blues and greens that will be showing up in my Etsy shop. Happily everything came out beautiful and clear, so the 'Moody Blues' won't last forever.

I also started something I've wanted to do for a while: The Feltmaker's Paintbox - color-toned 'grab bags' that provide a range of colors. The first one is 'The Blues' - also in the shop. Greens are still in process with chartreuse still cooling in the dyepot.

My Sweetie and I started the garden this weekend by planting peas, radishes, beets and arugula. The overwintered greens were thinned (yum!) and the leeks and onions look good. Crocuses are blooming; daffs up but still only green.

The ColorJoy Waffle socks are coming along, with one sock completed, the other mid-gusset.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Dyeing in a Minor Key

Recently my dying work has taken on a darker tone. The bright, clear, vibrant colors have been replaced by shades that some might call murkier (?). Sounds so negative! I'm my usual energetic self - happy, feeling positive about life and love. Only a wee bit guilty about things I don't seem to get done - housework, early gardening chores, the bathroom floor. But this version of 'Plums and Berries' is definitely different.

As in my earlier post I talked about having all my creativity sucked into my work life and I wonder if that's not finding its way into my dyeing work as well. I like what I'm doing. It's just different. I am drying some killer blue/green/yellow roving that I dyed last evening, but it's not the clear colors I so often make. The greens are mossy, the yellow is bronze. That's the way hand dyeing is a lot of the time, so it's not scary!

In Sockworld, I finished the toes of the Knitpicks Parade and wore them to work today. I finished the first ColorJoy sock and started the second.

Plans for the weekend: Dye, spin, knit and build the quiz for Tuesday's class. Maybe read a book. Right now, I'm off to Sit 'n' Knit with the other sock!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Productivity vs. Creativity

When my mother died a few years ago, I found myself creatively stuck, but with an amazing productive energy. I knit sockaftersockaftersock. Eventually I found my creative energy and continued on my way- designing, dyeing, spinning, and knitting all kinds of different things.

This winter I find myself spinning white and beige yarn from prepared roving and again, knitting socks. I finished 2 pair that have been on the needles for a very long time, then knit another pair of KnitPicks Parade striped yarn, recently started a lovely pair in ColorJoy Creamy Seaside.

This time I see it happening and know why. I am currently building and teaching a new class - Computer applications for education - a skills and integration course for education majors. This is the class that all teacher education majors take. My job is to design and teach the class - I outline the class sessions, design the assignments and activities, make up the quizzes. The course is on the college's course management system (CSM), so I have to manage that as well. So today, a Saturday, I'm off to a workshop to manage the csm portion of the class better - and to put together next week's assignment and quiz!

So, the class gets my creativity these days. I get productivity - and warm feet.

Happily for my Etsy customers, dyeing is still hugely fun!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The answer is: Spinning!

The question is: What have I been up to lately? Watching the Superbowl, watching Super Tuesday election returns, and (I admit it) watching American Idol auditions, I have been spinning up a small storm. Last fall I sent a white Romney fleece and a Shetland lamb fleece to Zeilingers for processing, since I appeared to be in no danger of carding it myself. I had them mix the fiber and card it and it came back quite lovely and ready to spin.

I also came into a decent quantity of white roving with a lovely luster that I have begun to use for my dyeing I also purchased a really sweet fawn/beige (Corriedale blend?) roving. The fawn is really pretty. I have not dyed it yet, but that's on the short list for this weekend. I have dyed some of the lustrous white and spun a bit, but I have not washed or swatched it yet. The yarn is plied, but still on the bobbin, but it looks good.

After a healthy start on the Zeilinger's white, finishing up some roving ends of dark brown and grey, and test spinning a black/white 'beasty' roving, I have started spinning the fawn. Extremely sweet! I've plied 3 big bobbins and plan to wash it tonight, do a bit of knitting over the weekend. I think I love this yarn. Because spinning was so psychically healthy in the last days of grad school, I am using it to keep me sane in this first semester of teaching.

On the knitting front, I have finally kichenered the toes of 2 pair of socks that have been long on the needles and started another pair as 'lunch hour knitting.' I have been slipping though and have been knitting on them in the evenings. More minor cheating - I'm knitting the leg on size 3's and using 2's for the ribbing and foot. Should be fast, particularly after 2 pair on size ones!