Please Don’t Yodel

I got back to school on Sunday and went to the campus post office this morning. I had three (3!!) packages waiting for me . The largest box was my KnitPicks order. It was their annual big sale and I went a little crazy buying yarn for Christmas presents. (You get a hat, you get a hat, you get a pair of socks!) There’s also some yarn for a Magikarp hat in there for me.

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Like I said, crazy. (It’s KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Superwash, Stroll fingering, and Swish DK)

The other two were from the #getyouryarnwishesgranted on Instagram. I received a package from Kathryn.

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She sent me two skeins of KniPicks Felici in the Rainbow Colorway (which I was this close to adding to my purchase of Christmas and hat yarn.) and some candy (I will have you know that I think the banana laffy taffy is the ‘shiz-nit’) and tea and a lovely card.

The other package was from Knittersgonnaknit on Instagram.

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She sent me a mystery skein of green-orange-yellow self-striping yarn, two skeins (one’s knit up into a yoga sock) of Paton’s Kroy Sock, FX in ‘Celestial Colors’ (Paton’s Kroy is another yarn I love), two skeins of Deborah Norville Collection, Serenity sock weight, in “Spring Fling’, and a sweet card.

I now have a veritable mountain of yarn in my dorm room. Let’s see how much I can knit up before Christmas…

PS~

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Dyeing Day

I decided that Friday needed to be the Dyeing Day. As soon as everyone was snacked and watered I hustled the girls out to the workroom to get to work. The whole time I was feeling kind of antsy. I’m kind of gun-shy around dyes at this point. I haven’t had any much success, which is why I haven’t really been living up to the ‘natural’ portion of my URL.

I, unfortunately, do not have any links for you guys to follow, I can only give you my recollections and hope they help (The important stuff is in bold). I decided to pull out the stops, not cut any corners this time… So, at 11:00 AM (approximately) I mixed ½ a tablespoon citric acid with enough water to cover the two skeins of yarn. (It’s 1 tablespoon of citric acid to 1 pound of fiber) I let it sit and soak into yarn under its own weight until about 2:00 pm. (So about 3 hours. I also turned the wet yarn a few times so it was soaked well) I don’t have any pictures from this part because they were already taking up some of my mom’s precious counter space and I didn’t want to be in her hair any more than absolutely necessary, that and I had homework.

Then I heated up the water and added some food coloring. (It’s 10/11 drops of food coloring to 1 cup of hot water). I taped two cut-open garbage bags to the table, being sure to overlap them and then laid down saran wrap that was long enough to be wrapped around the skeins of yarn folded double.

Then the fun began. I dressed the girls in two of my old tank tops that I keep especially to use as aprons on small bodies. The girls got to work spooning the dye onto the yarn. 2 & ½ -year-old M favored the greens and yellows (she’s really big on green, as evidenced by the green apron, which  she demanded requested) , while 5-year-old A decided to use more red dye and experiment with combining the colors in some spots (she likes red because it’s close to pink and she can turn it into purple if she wants).

They were both consumed by their work as I hovered nervously nearby. Their mom (my sister-in-law) snapped some pictures and my stepdad (the girls’ grandpa) helped M with her technique.

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Halfway through I had the genius idea to flip the yarn over so the girls could dye the bottom. This ended the neurosis over whether the dye would absorb all the way through.

At some point (they were occupied for about 40 minutes. Holy cats, is that impressive. I mean, I’m told to write lesson plans for 6-year-olds that are 15 minutes long, lest I lose them) my mom stopped by to watch and commented on A pressing her hands into the wet yarn. She was understandably concerned about them staining their hands. I smugly pointed out that all she was doing was squishing out clear water. That’s when it hit me. This was going to work. The dye was affixing to the yarn and staying where the girls wantonly flung it (in the case of M) carefully placed it.

Once the girls had stopped filling up clear spaces and started bordering on muddying the colors we gently suggested that they might be done.

Once we got them back into regular clothes and bundled up and off for a late-season bounce on the trampoline with Gramma and Grandpa, I folded the saran wrap up around the yarn and placed it in a glass casserole pan and heated it for 1:30 in 30-second increments.

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In between each microwave session, I let the water drain out into one corner of the dish. Then I tested to see if it was clear (since the pan was brown) by placing a white paper in the pan. (It was clear each time but since I’m neurotically type-A careful, I still microwaved it to heat set the dye. Then I wrung it out (Pro-tip, the water, and yarn will be hot. Let it cool first) and hung it up to dry in the basement.

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I’m sure the universe will even everything out for me and make A’s skein impossible to ball up (she was ‘playing’ with it beforehand) in response to how well the dying went. I’ll let you know what it looks like once it’s dry. (Hopefully, today sometime as I was to wrangle both skeins into center-pull balls before I leave for school Sunday.)

Thankful

I spent most of yesterday after I posted doing homework. I spent most of today doing homework. I even made a l*st. Despite Sal’s warnings about making l*sts on this weekend I decided to dance with the devil and make one. It looks like this:

Homework

Social Studies Responses

Record Lesson

Graph Tests

Grade Tests

Error Analysis

Lesson Plans

Goals and Objectives 

Worksheets

Fix Math Graphs

Make Final Drafts of Grafts

Spanish Homework

Science Lesson brochure

Science Lesson PowerPoint

Phase Change Sheet

Scan & Print pages

I left the ones I’ve finished in the l*st because I need validation I want to show how much effort I put into my schooling. Not because I want to brag, but because I want to explain how grateful for it I am. I am going to college to become exactly what I want to be within the world; a teacher. It takes a lot of time to come up with Minecraft-themed worksheets, but I’d do it in a heartbeat so two little boys will see meaning in learning to do math and learning to read.

It’s all so overwhelming sometimes, and I admit there have been tears and there have been times when I thought I should just give up and do something else, but really, I can’t imagine doing anything else in my life.

Some other things I’m grateful for today are my cat who has quickly found herself a new spot in the extra seating we pulled out.

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My stepfamily that has grown so large in the past years since I joined it at age 8 that we now have a hard time fitting everyone at the table (we’re actually one seat short in this picture).

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And for my knitting, which has just reached the lace section.

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(Ignore the pinky picture, our printer was on its last drops of colored ink)

I hope all of you who celebrate Thanksgiving today have a wonderful weekend and spend lots of time with those you love, and doing what you love.

TGITGB

Thank God it’s Thanksgiving Break!

I have a cup full of coffee…

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A lap full of cat…

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Needles full of knitting…

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And a backpack and a box (seriously, it didn’t all fit) full of homework.

I’ll see you in 12 hours.

PS~ What do you think of the pictures? I tried some new stuff in photoshop and I’m not sure if they came out looking natural…

A Month

Now that we are in the end half of November I feel like it is appropriate to say that November has been a month. There was judgment election day, there’s the constant Christmas fervor (not that I don’t love Christmas but can we please have Thanksgiving first?), and the looming deadlines for all of my assignments for school. Also, there has been a lot of illness going on. It all started on the weekend before Halloween, when I had a migraine that turned into a sinus infection. Then, as soon as I got off of my antibiotics, Jake got sick. Now he’s on the mend but  I have an awful cold.

Like I said, a month. The knitting has picked up a bit since I last talk to you all. If you look at my Cladonia it’s hard to see much difference. But, believe it or not, it’s been getting bigger as the plot thickens in Arrow and as time has an identity crisis in ‘Legends of Tomorrow’. (If you love campy sci-fi and the idea of a show made up of side characters appeals to you, then this is the series for you. Also, it has some pretty great LGBT representation as a bonus.)

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I also spent some time knitting an infant hat for the charity Knitting4Peace. The fiber arts club on my campus is going to be donating to them in the spring. I think it turned out adorable although the pom-pom is a bit too reminiscent of a baseball for my taste.

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Surprisingly, some yarn came in the mail yesterday as well. I say surprisingly because I thought I had it shipped to my house, not here to school. They’re a very squishy two skeins of bare Knit Picks Worsted weight yarn. It’s 100% superwash wool.

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In the description online it states that it holds dye colors very well, which is good since I will be having my two nieces, ages five (I can’t believe she’s 5) and three, dye this yarn when they visit for Thanksgiving. Once the plan is underway I will explain what it’s for. Until then, pray for my sanity, and the floor my workroom, and the clothing of my nieces wear on dyeing day.

Calming Cladonia

I planned on writing this post several days ago. But, things happened. Things happened that will affect all of our country, though some of us will feel the effects more strongly than others.

I have lost a lot of knitting mojo lately. However, I do have a bit to show. The November challenge  for the Oh! Loops Harry Potter Knit-a-Long is the Cladonia by Kristen Kapurimg_9012

I have been plotting this shawl since I went to the Steel City Fiber Fest in April. While I was there I bought a skein of Hedgehog Fibres, Twist Sock in ‘Pistachio’. I had been looking for a skein of brown to complement it even since. I finally caved and ordered a skein of Knit Picks Gloss fingering in ‘Topaz’.

This month’s theme was ‘Light vs Dark’ which turned out to be shockingly appropriate and we were tasked with knitting a project with two colors. I held out for few days but quickly realized Cladonia was what I needed to knit. So here is what I have so far.

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It doesn’t look like too much yet, but I love it. I have been enjoying the simple increase section while watching Legends of Tomorrow with Jake.

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The colors look so nice together and, even though there is silk content in the Knit Picks yarn but the Hedgehog Fibres is 100% superwash wool, the overall texture of the shawl is very soft and even.

Hopefully, we can all find a bit of peace from our knitting.