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Chemistry. She’s a fickle bitch.

Sometimes she is good to me. She often likes it when I acid dye.

before reskeining

before reskeining

And while I’m usually pretty meticulous with my measuring and addition of citric acid to dye powder to yarn weight ratio, sometimes I just throw all that crap out the window and slap shit together.

after reskeining

after reskeining

I hand painted some Kona superwash fingering for my Weenie swap pal on knitty last weekend. Nicole and Kalani came over, and we had ourselves a little dyeing party. Nicole brought along some of her Jacquard dyes as well, so I played with those, mixing them haphazardly together with my ProChemical dyes. The result? Not bad.

special SP yarn

I’m not so sure about adding that fuchsia, but I think I like it. And I’m pretty sure my Weenie pal will too.

So yay, we had a fun day. But Kalani had grading to do and had to run away, so I didn’t have time to pull out the indigo dyeing kit that I’ve had hanging around for eons. (The instructions are in hieroglyphic, I’ve had the thing so long. I had to dig out my Rosetta stone to make sense of it all.)

So I decided to do that the next morning. I started early. And maybe this was my problem. I don’t think Chemistry is a morning person.

implements of destruction

I added all the bits carefully, like a good little scientist. I stirred and waited and checked and measured, until finally my dyebath was ready.

blue scum

the package instructions literally called this the ‘blue scum’

So then I carried the pot inside and added my yarn. And here’s where things got a bit tricksy for me. See, the instructions said to keep the dyebath at 120 F during the dyeing process. (At least that’s what I think they said. It was a picture of a standing guy, a sheep, a sun, and a portrait what I think was Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit. But it could have also been Abe Lincoln.)

And this was tricksy because, as I had discovered the day before, my thermometer was broken. Whups. Oh well, I thought, I’ll just keep the burner on low, and everything will be hunky-dorey, yes? Sure. Although, I did realize when I checked on my pot later that the top was steaming. Since water boils at 212 F and simmers at 190 F, I probably oops-a-daisy may have gone over 120 F. No biggie. the instructions didn’t really make a big deal out of this, so it should be okay, right? I took the pot outside and pulled my yarn out.

(This was the really cool part too, since indigo is yellow until it gets oxidized. As you expose the yarn to air, it goes from yellow to blue pretty damn quick. I was going to do a whole post on the chemistry of this, but as she’s bitch-slapped me with a wet herring, I’m not feeling too enthused. Maybe later.)

beautiful blue, crunchy skein

Beautiful, beautiful blue!

A little too blue for my sock blank. I wanted to do a dip dye, so it would be light blue on one end and dark dark dark blue on the other. Oh well. So I left one end hanging out in the pot to get darker.

attempt at dip dye

And now. This when Chemistry dropped her proverbial pants and showed me her ass. Because when I pulled out my second skein of sock yarn, it was a bit tangled. So I gently began teasing it apart with my fingers. Have you done this before? Untangled wet wool? It’s weird; when I do this, it’s like my brain is tangled as well. And as the yarn begins to come apart, my brain gradually relaxes too, until both yarn and brain are happy and untangled and ready to knit.

So as I was gently (gently!) pulling apart this second skein, my brain noticed that it seemed to untangle rather quickly. It went, “Hey! This is coming apart really…GASP!!!!!!”

Because that’s when my yarn broke.

broken skein

As I’m sure you can imagine, I cannot even begin to describe the horror of this moment. It was like my brain kind of broke as well.

Oh well, I thought. (I get over stuff fast.) I still have one nice skein! And a nice sock blank, kind of. Let’s look on the bright side of life!

But Chemistry wasn’t through with me yet.

I let the yarn dry overnight. And when I checked it the next day, it seemed…odd.

crunchy yarn

Like it looked still wet. And it felt…crunchy.

And it, um. Stood up by itself.

it stands on its own

So I did a little researching. And I found out that when you heat wool in a lye solution too high, the yarn can break. Lye is sodium hydroxide, and it’s used in an indigo bath like mine to keep the overall pH high so the reducing power of your reductant also stays high.

(Again, I will explain this sometime in the future. It’s cool, trust me. Oxidation and reduction have to do with the addition and removal of electrons, the currency of chemistry.)

What it can also do is eat away at the cuticle of the wool, making it not-so-wooly. Crunchy. Generally gross.

So in short, I killed it.

Here’s how the sock blank turned out, anyway.

crunchy sock blank

Not so great. So Weez, you should be glad you’re not getting this after all. (Even though it was made with soft-and-squishy ivory colored Shibui sock yarn. Sob!) Because it looks like poo. And it feels like…well, not poo unless you have something terribly wrong with you. It doesn’t feel nice, let’s leave it at that. So that’s why I’m sending you yarn that somebody else dyed instead.

The dyepot is still sitting on my porch. I think I’ll let it sit there for a bit. But then I’m going to have another go. Because that’s what Chemistry and I do. She trips me. I get up. She sucker-punches me in the solar plexus. I barf on my feet and then stand up for more. Over and over and over again.

But someday, I’ll have a PhD.

And maybe some nice, blue yarn.


Me love you long time.

clappy on chair 2

Pattern: if you need to know this, please do yourself a favor and crawl out of that cave. How do you get internet access in there, anyway?
Yarn: Zephyr DK, chemified
Needle: KP options US 7
Started: June 6
Finished: June 18
For: me, and I completely and utterly 100% super-duper big heart it
Mods: barely

Oh, the Clap. I’ve caught it, and I’ve caught it bad. I LOVE this thing! And I actually documented the entire blocking process this time. Um, as exciting as that is.

it bleeds!

Clappy’s first bath

So yes, I mentioned before that I dyed this yarn myself. I was kind of disappointed to see that it bled a bit when I popped it in the sink. Cuz I rinsed it about sixteen times after I dyed it. Really. I think it was actually sixteen times. And the water still turned pink. Well. I’ll never be irritated again by commercial yarn that bleeds on the first washing. Because sometimes there’s nothing you can do.

no more bleedy

Clappy’s second bath

The second time proved the charm here. No bleedy after bath number two. Hurrah! To the floor we go, then.

clappy blocking on floor

My room’s a bit small. Good thing that Clappy dried really fast. I had to step over it every time I wanted to move that day. It was worf it though. See how pretty?

clappy 1

I started Clappy on the roadtrip out here. And I knitted it through my icky debacle and adjusting to temporary Life Without Blubbster and I guess I kind of think of it as a sort of security blanket. When I get lonely at night, I wrap it around my shoulders and knit, even though lately it’s been hotter than Hyperion’s left butt cheek around here.

clappy in the sun

Plus, I don’t know–I guess I feel extra proud because I dyed the yarn myself. And it turned out pretty well! I deathly was afraid of pooling, but really only did it in one spot in the middle and even that is hardly noticeable. Like a child with a lisp, perhaps. A flaw yes, but a somewhat cute one.

clappy on chair 1

I was also afraid that I would run out of yarn. I knew I only had about 600 yds, and I’ve heard tales told of needing four skeins of LL Lion & Lamb, which chilled my little bonesies cold. So I made my Clappy one repeat narrower and one repeat shorter. Did the trick I guess, since I have about four feet of yarn left over. Yay for close shaves.

I don’t actually have any pictures of the whole thing laid out flat. Silly me, why the heck would I want that? But I do know that my pre-block dimensions were 17 x 53.5 inches, and my post-block size is 20.5 x 62.5 inches. Plenty big for me.

oswald with clappy

Plenty big for Oswald, too. My photographer is in Indiana, so no posed shots for now. Oswald kindly modeled in my stead. It does look smashing on him, you have to admit.

You can have it when you pry it from my cold dead hands, little bear. Mine, mine, mine.

You wanted ’em. You got ’em. Here’s what I got at the Fiber Event.


Yarn, yes of course. I got a big bag ‘o yarn (well, not huge, but big).

Two skeins of some green stuff.

green stuff

mossy greeny goodness

As you can see, I already started swatching with it.

green stuff los stitches

los stitches

This yarn was labeled “sport weight” which I’m having a hard time believing. It looks kinda like a light worsted to me. Plus, it’s a little scratchy, so I want to feel how it will wash up. Hence, the swatch. I’m not done with it yet, but I’m knitting it on a US 7 and I feel like I could have gone up a needle size. Sport weight. Right.

(That flower, by the way, is a wood anemone. Pretty, yes?)

I also got three skeins of a creamy lovely white.

three little maids from school

three little maids from school

This is much softer than the pretty green. And it’s so squarshy and springy! I couldn’t stop squeezing it. That’s a sign from the knitting gods that you need to buy something, you know. Am who am I to deny the knitting gods?

And the last, a pretty pink.

pink stuff

delicate. lovely.

This was a free skein with purchase of the other ones. I do like it very much, especially paired with the green. Maybe another pair of mittens?

So all this wool came from a small spinning company in Michigan called Zeilinger Wool Company. And it was CHEAP. Seriously, I don’t know how they make any money off of it. It was all $1.20 an ounce. So all the wool up there? Six skeins–approximately a pound and a half of wool? Twenty dollars and seventy six cents. That’s with tax. That made my broke ass very, very happy. Nice wool, too. They do take phone orders…

Um. Not Yarn.

All I have to say for myself is, it was Huan-Hua’s fault. She was having a really hard time deciding what fiber to buy in this very nice booth that had all naturally dyed and handspun stuff. So she asked for my help. We spent about 20 minutes squeezing and looking and comparing all this lovely fiber in this lovely booth. So when she finally made up her mind and took her choices up to the cashier, what could I do but grab my own favorite off of the wall and follow her? I had no choice, really.

Um. Did I mention I don’t spin?

the trouble with tribbles

Just look at it, sitting there all fluffy and cute, like an innocent puff of cotton candy. I think it’s Corriedale with silk noil bits in it, but I don’t remember for sure. The point it, it’s bloody gorgeous. And my downfall. Obviously. Here’s a close-up.

silky pinkyness

Oh yes, it was also dyed with Cochineal. So it’s (part) bug fiber dyed with bug dyes. Yay for our little insect friends.

So after I bought that fiber, I decided to go back to a booth that had this other fiber I was drooling over earlier. What the hell, I thought.

oooo fiber


It was hard to get a good picture of this, since I didn’t want to take it out of its little plastic bag housing, but it is so effing pretty. I don’t remember all of the fibers in here, but it did contain Wensleydale, bombyx silk, silk noil, Corriedale and merino. I think. Anyway, it contains many nice things. And it’s pretty. Did I mention that it’s pretty?

*happy sigh*

So yeah, I need to learn to spin now.

I did get one other thing. Bugs!


say hello to my little friends

More Cochineal (Dactylopius coccus), but in the raw form this time. Whole. To get the dye, you have to grind them up. I asked the guy I bought them from about that. “With just a mortar and pestle?” I said. “Sure,” he answered, “or you can just use your coffee grinder.”

Heh. I don’t think the blub would be very happy about that. Although cochineal is quite commonly used for food dyes. Think of that the next time you eat something red.

So I will turn things red and pink with the bugs. Maybe even the creamy yarn I got from zwool. Maybe some sock yarn I’ve been saving for interesting dyeing. Maybe just my cats. (Do you think they’d dye well?) Anyway, I’m looking forward to playing with my new things.

Oh yeah, but I need a drop spindle. Where can I get a nice, cheap drop spindle? Anyone?

So I’ve got two Christmas presents done, and I’m almost done with a third.

scholar collar

It looks all innocent, like a simple garter stitch scarf, doesn’t it? Ha ha! It is not! It is a Scholar Collar!

Well, it will be a Scholar Collar, once I get the button on. The Scholar Collar is beautiful in its simplicity–a garter stitch scarf that wraps around and buttons in the front, like an ascot. (Well, kind of. Ascots don’t button, but they’re sometimes held in place with a dapper pin.) I’m making this for my FIL for Christmas.

I started this out of my walnut dyed yarn. I showed it before, remember? But although it’s a very beautiful color and it was knitting up so nicely, I frogged it. My FIL’s favoritest color in the whole world is red. So I wanted to make his scarf red. The walnut one was very nice and all, but I want to make him something that he absolutely loves, not just something that he likes a lot. So I ordered some new yarn.

The lovely and wonderful yarn I got instead is this Morehouse Farm Merino Bulky. It’s very nice and sproingy–kind of like knitting with a sponge! (Well, the yarn is spongy. It’s not like knitting with sponges for needles. That wouldn’t be nice at all.) I ordered the burgundy color, and I was actually quite disappointed when this appeared on my doorstep.

pre dye skein

I mean, I guess that’s burgundy. But it’s not really what I was expecting. It’s kind of pinkish-grey burgundy, not the snapping dark red that I wanted. So I overdyed it.

new color

This is really, really close to the color is actually is. And it’s perfect! I do heart it so. A lovely, bright and dark snapping red! Yay!

Just for reference, here’s a bit of the old yarn on top of the new color.

old color on new color

Quite different, isn’t it? I also tried out this new ‘pour’ method when I did the overdye, so some of the original color peeps through. Not too much, but just enough to be interesting. I think that it’s the first time ever that a dye job has come out exactly how I wanted it to. I’m very, very happy with the results.

I’ve actually gotten much more done on the scarf since I snapped the above picture over the weekend. I’m up to the point where I have to make the buttonhole, where I’ve had to come to a screeching halt. Why? I don’t have the button(s) yet.

So my FIL studies Goethe. He’s one of those silly academic types. ;) So I thought it would be really cool if I got Goethe buttons to go on his Scholar Collar. Well, it was easier said (thought?) than done. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find buttons with Goethe’s image on them? Let me fill you in–it’s hard. But I did manage to find these on ebay:

goethe's farewell to frederique buttons

I know it’s kind of fuzzy, but it’s an image of Goethe up on a horse saying goodbye to his first love. According to my MIL (whom I asked about their authenticity before I bought them), Goethe left her behind when he went away to university, but without telling her he wasn’t coming back. Nice. Well, whatever. Beggars can’t be choosers, I guess. So I got them in the mail and everything was hunky dory until I needed them for a buttonhole size reference.

Um, I can’t find them.

I swear I put them on my desk when I first got them. The problem is, my desk is a cluttered mess. I about ripped the whole thing to pieces when the buttons weren’t where I thought I had left them, but to no avail. I think they are lost (and think they may have had some feline intervention in that respect, if you know what I mean). In all honestly, I think they might have been too small anyway. They are 9/16″ buttons, which probably would have gotten totally lost in the big bulky stitches. Sigh. So I looked around on ebay again and found this:

goethe coin

It’s a German coin, with Goethe’s image on the front. It’s exactly what I was looking for in a button–Goethe’s profile. Plus it’s clean-looking, you can actually tell it’s Goethe, and it doesn’t have that icky connotation of Goethe being an asshat about it. It’s a little bigger than a quarter, or so the seller told me. I don’t have it in hand yet.

But the problem: it’s a coin!

I figure I can make it into a button somehow, and it’s large enough that I’ll only need one button, instead of two buttons like on the original Scholar Collar. I’ve gotten this idea in my head that I can glue it into some kind of bezel-type thingie, preferably with a border around the edges so it doesn’t look so much like a coin. The only thing I can find so far it this (scroll down, it’s the gold one right after the doll buttons). I think that it might work, but it definitely isn’t ideal. I’m going to ask a woodworking friend of mine if he can make a nice one out of wood. Until then, I’m clean out of ideas. Anyone out there have any?

Holy schnikes, that was a long post. Sorry. Chocolate and starry things to you if you made it to the end. And buttons. Lots and lots of nice buttons. :)

It’s finally behaving like fall around here.


That was taken standing at my mailbox, looking west. I took tons of pictures over the weekend–you can see them all in my flickr set here.

I finished the pumpkin hat, finally. I decided to leave off the leaf. It’s funny what a deadline will do to you. Baby J’s birthday is Wednesday, so I had to send it off.

two pumpkins

Pumpkin hat with inspiration.

What do you think of the tops? I don’t know about the authenticity.

pumpkin stemknitted pumpkin stem

Eh, whatever. Like he’s going to care.

I also finished another stupid sock creature.

Lopsided Lou

I’ve tentatively named this one Lopsided Lou. Like the Weenie Monster, he is for someone else, so they will give him his final name. This person also has a little one, hence the safety eyes. Those things are a bitch to get in! I had to have the blub do it, and even his muscularness was cursing and sweating.

Lou stands up on his own, though. Look at his tail!

Lopsided Lou's little tail

He was made out of a two pairs of fuzzy ankle socks. I do like making these sock creatures. I have some old knee-highs picked out for my next ones, which will be for niece and nephew E for Christmas. I think Nels might get one, too, as he was very taken with the Weenie Monster.

I’ve also been working on getting that walnut dyeing tutorial together. I repeated the dyeing this weekend–maggot free! I’ll give details when I post the whole thing. That’s going to be a little later than I thought, as I’ve had a little setback.


Note to self: don’t throw yarn in the washing machine. Oy.

Who knows what evil lurks inside of black walnuts?

walnuts in a bucket 2

The chemgrrl knows!

Yes I know, in great detail. The dyeing of wool with black walnuts can be summed up quite succinctly: it was icky.

So to do this, first you need some walnuts.

Check. I gathered the fallen ones from my yard. I guess that was my first mistake. The directions I was following said to get them from the trees, but that proved difficult, seeing as my walnut trees are about 20 to 30 feet tall. So, the ground it was.

Secondly, you need to separate the nuts from the hulls. The hulls are the green and/or brown outside layer, and the coffee-ground stuff inside them. The hulls of black walnuts are pretty hard, so I cracked them with a sledgehammer.

It’s lucky for you guys that I did this at night, with a headlamp. Otherwise I might have taken pictures of what resulted.

The walnuts were full of maggots. After the first couple, in which I dutifully picked the nuts out of the squirming hulls, I decided to chuck it and threw the whole things, nuts and all, into the pot. I did give each one a good whack beforehand, to make sure that it was open. Only occasionally did I send maggots flying everywhere with the force of my blow.

Yeah. Icky.

So then I filled the pot with water (maggots and all!) and let it soak overnight. Then I went and took a shower. With lots and lots of soap.

In the morning, I boiled the mixture for about an hour. Then Huan-Hua came over and we fished the walnuts out of the mixture, then strained out the protein and goo with an old pillowcase. Well, it’s an old pillowcase now.

Here’s what was left.

what was left

Ick. Fortunately, that was about the end of the gross part.


We dyed about seven skeins of yarn. I dyed some KnitPicks bare DK weight, and Huan-Hua dyed some handspun she had, plus overdyed some purple Lopi. I diluted down the walnut juice a bit, then we popped in our pre-wet yarn. Simmer for ~and hour, viola! Brown yarn.

walnut yarn in the big bucket

Can you spot the knitter in this picture?

We pulled it out of the steaming walnut-ness so it would cool a little faster.

After a rinse, it looked like this.

walnut dyed yarn all

It’s funny how much darker my yarn came out. Huan-Hua’s was kind of a caramely brown, where mine was a medium chestnut brown. The purple Lopi took the dye pretty well, and became dark brown.

still life with plug

After drying:

walnut dyed yarn

Walnutty goodness. The yarn took the dye really evenly. I was kind of bummed by this, as I really like the tonal quality of kettle-dyed yarns. It still smells like walnuts, too. I kind of liked the smell as I was boiling the walnut mixture, but it became more and more unsavory as the day went on. Now it kind of makes me want to yak.

walnut dyed yarn 2

I think I need to wash it again. Blarg!

But pretty, though. Yes?

***For those of you interested, I AM going to write out a detailed tutorial on how to dye with walnuts sometime next fall. So check back!**

Actually, I guess that should read, “Sheep and pumpkins and walnuts, oh my!” because that’s the order in which they appear. It sounds better the other way, though. I get poetic license, don’t I? It’s my blog, dammit.


Last weekend, my little bro and I went out to Schacht Fleece Farm for their annual sheep shearing. If you want to actually see pictures of that, please see Elli’s or Huan-Hua’s blogs. They actually saw the shearing. I had my brother in tow, who didn’t want to leave his seat at the bar because the Bears were on. Feh. I did eventually drag him out of there, but we missed the whole deal. Oops. Oh well, it was still a beautiful day. Here’s the yarn I bought from them.* It’s 100% Icelandic wool, but it doesn’t say that on the label.

Eve's wool

It just says ‘Eve.’ This makes me smile in a way that non-knitters think is really weird. Just ask my brother.


guard llama cropguard llama 2 crop 2

Well, that’s only one. He kept looking at me. I don’t think he liked me. I think he took his guarding job a little too seriously.

It just occurred to me that, while at the sheep farm, I didn’t take any pictures of actual sheep. Um. Hey look, a silo!


The good thing about sitting on my ass watching football was that I got a lot done on the pumpkin hat.

What pumpkin hat, you say? This one.

Nels with pumpkin hat 1Nels with pumpkin hat 2

(A big thank you to my lovely model)

It’s for my nephew, Baby J, who turns one on October 24th. A pumpkiny hat for a fall baby, from Itty Bitty Hats. How friggin adorable. Anyway, I’m not so sure about the stem. I did my own thing and I don’t know if I like it.

pumpkin hat stem

Does it look like poo? Or a real pumpkin stem? I also don’t know if I’m going to knit a leaf for it. Opinions?


walnuts in a bucket close up

I have several Black Walnut trees in my yard. Okay, a lot. In fact, it’s slightly dangerous this time of year to venture outside without head protection. We had a walnut fall during a storm last week that actually put a hole through one of our cheapass plastic porch chairs. I’m just glad it didn’t hit the glass table. There’s also a walnut tree right over the shed in the front yard—the one with the flat metal roof. When a walnut hits that, it sounds like a bloody cannon going off. It never fails to scare the shit out of me, and the cats are looking shell-shocked. Ha! Ha ha! Get it? Shell-shocked! Ah, fun times.

walnuts in a bucket 3

Anyway, this year I decided to actually put the damn things to some use, so I’ve gathered them up to dye with. Those are just the ones I picked up from the front yard in about five minutes. I haven’t even looked in the back yard yet. Black walnuts make a pretty dark brown dye, and you don’t even need a mordant. You do, however, need to get the hulls off the walnuts. The hulls are really hard—I read one website that suggested laying them in the street for cars to run over. We don’t get a lot of traffic back here, so I’ll be going at these later with a hammer. Then I’ll soak them overnight, and dye with them tomorrow. Huan-Hua’s coming over to join in the fun. Yay, brown yarn! If it works okay, I’ll use the dyed yarn to make my FIL’s Christmas scarf, Here and There Cables by Norah Gaughan. I think it will be pretty, no?

Have a great, yarn-filled weekend!

*At the Farmer’s Market the day before. They weren’t selling any yarn at the farm. Good thing, too, because I’m sure I would have come home with Eve’s whole outfit, hooves and all.

Whoopsie! I missed my first blogiversary. Kind of. My first post was technically September 10, 2006. But my first *real* post was September 29th. So I only sort of missed it? Or is it in two days? Whatever, I’m taking the weighted average and saying that it’s today.

Happy Blogiversary to me! Hooray!

So in my first (real) post, I talked about the yarn I dyed and wasn’t it so great and I was going to do so much more dyeing.

Yeah, that was a year ago.

Since then I have done, um, no more dyeing. So I thought I’d pull it out now. Cuz it’s my blogiversary. Uh-huh! Here it is.

Berry Bootaful 5

Jaggerspun Zephyr DK (50% wool, 50% silk), dyed with ProChem WashFast acid dyes in raspberry, mulberry, and boysenberry. I’m calling it Berry Bootaful. Because it is. I took lots and lots of pictures.

Berry bootaful 3

It’s the leftovers from the cone I bought from Sarah’s Yarns awhile ago. I made my MIL’s swallowtail shawl out of half of it. This is the other half. I’m thinking now I need another one. Maybe the laceweight this time?

Berry bootaful 4

Dang, that’s pretty. No, it’s bootaful!

Berry bootaful 747

It’s for Clapotis. I might have to make a mini, because I think I only have about 550 yds. I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it.

Berry Bootaful 2

Happy blogiversary to me! One whole year. It sure doesn’t seem like that long. It’s been a hoot.

…and many more!

Well, you might. But you don’t have mine! Neener neener!

Gracious, I’m being unkind, aren’t I? I have to gloat a little, though. Please forgive me. You know that if I had my way, you would all be able to reach through your computer screen and pet my cashmere.

Hmm. That sounds slightly dirty, doesn’t it?

Maybe I should stop blathering and just get right down to it…

Here’s my latest dyeing project—DK weight cashmere from Sarah’s Yarns, purchased at the outrageous (Alert! Sarcasm!) price of $13.75 each. It’s not quite that cheap anymore—I think it’s up to $14.50 each now. Well worth either price, and quite a bit more in my opinion. 200 yards you get for that. Nice.

I bought three skeins of white. I hadn’t really intended on dyeing them when I ordered them, but I couldn’t resist. White yarn is like a blank canvas. It must be filled! So I filled it with purple.

Yes, I know. Me, dye something purple?

I tried to be all clever this time around. I didn’t want just any purple. I wanted a greyish purple. You know, like purple, but grey? Right. So first I dyed it grey. Then I overdyed it purple. Then I decided it was too purple, so I dyed it grey again. The result?

dyed cashmere 1

Pretty much purple.

dyed cashmere 4dyed cashmere 3

But kind of grey! Some spots are definitely grey.

dyed cashmere 6dyed cashmere 5

Aren’t they? Don’t you see them? Please, tell me you see them.

dyed cashmere 2

Well, I do like it nonetheless. It’s purple, but with subtlety. It’s purple with sophistication! It’s purple with pizzazz!

Another result of the thrice dyeing process was a complete. Tangled. Mess. I did not even dry the yarn between the first two dyeing jobs, and then just dunked the hanks back into the third dyebath. All that stirring. Oy. It took me two hours to wind the three balls of this yarn. That’s with a swift and winder, by the way. After that, there was no way I was putting them back into nice pretty little skeins. In balls they are, and in balls they will stay.

Until their transformation is complete, that is.

Shetland shawl start

Miss Lambert’s Shetland shawl, from Victorian Lace Today

And of course, since I just finished one pair of socks I had to start another.

Vera socks

The River, um, something, socks from Knitting on the Road, in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport, color Vera. I do love me some Lorna’s Laces.

The red Fleece Artist socks? They’re being punished. Do not speak their name.

Okay, so. There are a few projects that have slipped through the cracks lately, that I haven’t put up yet. This post serves to get them up here and out of that place in my mind that naggles and niggles and won’t let me sleep at 3 am. Begone foul knitting demons!

Here they are in no particular order:

The Monster Hat

monster hat 2

Eric and Nels xmas


For: nephew Eric
Pattern: um…from New Knits on the Block, kind of
Yarn: Lamb’s Pride Burly spun, dyed monster colors by me, held together with evil icky fun fur.
Notes: The white things at the bottom are supposed to be fangs. Do they look like fangs?

And next, tap dancing her way into your heart is Elizabeth in the Super Stripy Legwarmers!

Elizabeth in legwarmers

Da da, da da da da! Dum!

For: niece Elizabeth
Pattern: Yeah. Right.
Yarn: Paton’s SWS, 2 skeins (color? what color?)


zee close up…

hypotenuse finished

…and zee manly shot.

hypotenuse finished on tractor

What’s more manly than lace on a rusted-out lawnmower, I ask you? Lovely, darlink. Lovely.

This was lovely. Lovely to knit, that is.

For: the blub
Pattern: Hypoteneuse, by anne.
Yarn: DK weight cashmere from colourmartUK (ebay)
Notes: Loved the pattern! I made the scarf size, but did 19 pattern repeats instead of 14. This put the scarf at over 7 feet long. Finished measurements: 92″ x 11″. It was supposed to be about 12″ wide, but for some reason I got this idea in my head that the gauge was supposed to be 5 sts/in, not the 4 sts/in very clearly marked on the pattern. Oopsie! Oh well. It’s still nice.

Random hat

big cables hat

For: my head
Yarn: Lamb’s Pride Burly Spun
Pattern: No
Notes: Yes, it’s boring. I made this a few months ago when I was teaching my friend Sunni how to knit (Hi Sunni! Hi! You made two awesome hats so far!). It keeps my head warm, though. Yay for that.

The cat sock

Buster with stockingBuster with stocking 2

What can I say? Buster was the only one who didn’t have a Christmas stocking. So I made him one out of scrap yarn. What else would I put his catnip mouse in on Christmas morning? Besides, it fits pretty nice, don’t you think?

Okay, I think that was it. Whew! Maybe now I can get some sleep…

P.S. Guess who signed up for her first clogging class today? Heh heh heh.

Contact me

thechemgrrl AT gmail DOT com (you know what to do with the extras)
June 2021