Monday, April 30, 2007

Kool Aid Addiction

I was so happy with the results I got on Saturday, that I went dye crazy on Sunday!
I wound my remaining 3 skeins of dk weight yarn into 12 skein that were approx. 1oz each and then dyed them using 12 different flavors of Kool Aid in order to make a color card and possibly knit a sampler. I ended up with 6 different shades of red/pink! I will have to scour my local stores to see if I can find any flavors I missed!
I also wound the sock yarn I dyed into a 2yd hank. This was the best picture I could get and it is still very difficult to see the variation, so below is a picture of the hanks dyed with those flavors... it's a little easier to make out the colors.
Now I just have to see if the stripes knit up properly! If so, I see many more skeins like this in the future! :)

I have to say that I am loving this technique for dyeing. In the past I've always used commercial acid dyes, that require lots of ventilation, gloves, goggles & masks or have added vinegar to the Kool Aid (as I was taught) and been very unhappy with the results! You still want to be careful not to breathe in the Kool Aid powder, but it is not nearly as toxic! Hey Kool Aid!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Kool-Aid Dyeing

I dyed 2 skeins of the KnitPicks Bare yarn using Kool-Aid. One skein of the DK and one of the fingering weight. Here's the results...
Dark red=Tropical Punch; light red/pink=Watermelon Cherry; Purple= Grape
DK Weight Yarn right out of the pot

Light Blue=Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade; Blue=Berry Blue; Light (Celery) Green=Artic Green Apple

Fingering Weight right out of pot

Here they are drying in the sun.
It started raining about 20min after this picture was taken!

Unfortunately my camera is having problems picking out the difference between the light & darker blue. I think it's due to them being the same hue under bright light. In person there is a difference. You may notice that the fingering skein is longer, this is because I wound it into an 8yrd hank so that, in theory, the yarn will self-stripe when I knit it up. There is a good tutorial on this technique over at See Eunny Knit. Overall I'm very happy with the results. This is the first time I've dyed using Kool-Aid without adding vinegar. The yarn certainly absorbed it ok, we will just have to wait & see how color-fast it is.

BTW- The Spring Surprise is up at Knitty! Am I crazy for totally wanting to knit this?

Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix

SQUEE! Yahoo has an exclusive trailer up! OMG!

How many days is it until July 13th?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Corrina's New Toy

Best $2.99 spent ever!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Happy Day!

Kris came home yesterday after being away for a week due to work & Gandalf-related activities. Corrina was very happy about this...

Whilst he was away, I placed an order at KnitPicks. I needed to get a sweater stone and then I decided to try for the free shipping...

I got 6 skeins of fingering weight and 4 skeins of dk weight yarn in their Bare line, which is 100% merino yarn that has been washed & spun but not bleached. I got it for dyeing. I've had the urge lately and didn't want to muck about with spinning. Now I just need to find the time to dye it! Not sure what type of dye I'm going to use yet. I don't think I have any laying about.

Btw- I've already tried out the sweater stone, it works great! Although it does leave a bit of pumice dust laying about...

Monday, April 23, 2007


Home sick today... must have been all that fresh air, definitely not good for me!

Got a few things done yesterday...
I was going to make a sleep sack (thanks to Maggie for the link) out of the remaining fleece, but didn't have enough so I made a pillow for the cat's window hammock (modeled by Windle).

Apparently Windle wanted to be prominently featured in this post...

About 1" left to go before toe shaping. Hopefully I will finish it off tonight while watching Drive & Heroes! (They killed Peter! You Bastards!)

Found this at DataWhat, thought it was interesting enough to share:

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sunday Over Easy

This is how I spent my morning...
Knitting, drinking tea & listening to an audiobook. Heaven! I am just loving this weather!!

Don't you love the tea set? It was a X-mas gift from my sister in law & this is the first chance I've had to use it. The cups are miss-matched (they are pink, green & orange) but the set works well together.

As for the sock, I've turned the heel, finished the gusset & am about 1/2" into the foot... Just 7" more until toe shaping!
And then, this afternoon I went to see this...

Seriously funny! There are a few recycled gags from Shaun of the Dead, but still a great film. The violence is a bit graphic, if a bit cartoonish. Simon Pegg is brilliant! Oh, and Timothy Dalton is HILARIOUS! I don't normally like him, but he was perfect for this role. There are a lot of nice little cameos as well. Thoroughly enjoyable! I highly recommend and will be dragging Kris off to see it as soon as he is home for more than a few days at a time! :)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Socks & Sprouts

Since I have finished the baby knits (for now) I decided to start on a pair of socks using a beautiful merino yarn I picked up in Philly back in December. I've lost the band, so I can't tell you who it's by. This is my progress so far.
Windle decided he was being ignored & demanded to appear in the next one.
I'm knitting 72sts on size 2 needles. Started with a 2x2 rib and the rest is plain ol' stockinette. I have about 1/2" to go before beginning the heel flap.

Also, my seeds are beginning to sprout.
Cucumbers & Beets

The weather has been beautiful these last few days, so I moved them outside this afternoon. Hopefully the other seeds will sprout under more direct sunlight. :)

In other news, I'm sure you've all heard about the new expanded pet food recall, which includes dry food. Apparently they now have reason to believe the poisoning was deliberate. They are also warning people against eating pork. Thankfully neither the kitties nor the puppy's dry food is on the list and they are getting their wet food home-cooked. How far is this thing going to go?

Edit: So I just realized that I'm knitting these socks on size 0 needles... how could I forget that?! I even had to go buy the damn needles, because I didn't have anything below size 1 and that was too loose with this yarn! Crazy!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Landlord

This is a short movie that was just put up a few days ago by Will Ferrell. Really funny, although there is a fair bit of cursing so you might not want the kiddos in the room while viewing.

I tried to embed the player but couldn't get it off autostart.

btw- the Landlord is played by his daughter.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sunny Sunday

Is is me or does that little cloud look like a jellyfish?

Nice bright sunny day, still chilly but more springlike. At least it isn't snowing. So I decided to do this...
The individual planters have herb seeds (basil, oregano, parsley, cilantro & rosemary) and the large starter tray has veggies (carrots, cucumbers, peppers, beans & beets). This is the most veggies I've ever attempted to grow. I'm really hoping the carrots & beets turn out because I would love to make the Russian Beet & Carrot salad using home-grown ingredients! :) I also got the seeds going in the little kitty planter we got for x-mas.

There's no catnip, just wheat, rye, barley & oats. I don't know how the cat's will take to it, but there's no harm in giving it a go.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Baby Blanket - DONE!


Front with Back showing

As you can see, once the back was sewn on the edging ruffled a bit. But overall I am happy. It turned out a little more feminine than I had wanted.. let's just hope Joanne has a girl! :)

For those who are interested, the top of the blanket was knit on size 6 needles in 100% cotton. The alphabet border was taken from a chart in the book Nursery Knits (great book!) by Debbie Bliss. The body was knit in stockinette stitch, with the stripes knit in garter for textural interest. The back of the blanket is a piece of non-pilling fleece purchased from JoAnn Fabrics, and is a very close match to the lilac yarn.

Now I need to figure out what to do with the excess fleece. I'm torn between making a nesting bed for the kitties and making a baby jacket.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sad News

You may already have heard, Kurt Vonnegut has died. There is a nice piece about him on the Chicago Tribune site.

He will be sorely missed. Not only was he an immensley talent writer, but he was the last great humanist, one of the few voices of reason in the world.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sockapalooza & Misc.

So I just signed up for Sockapalooza 4. Should be fun! I'm hoping this exchange will be much better than my Secret Pal fiasco of 2005. But now I'm older, and hopefully wiser, and will not mention the "A" word if my life depends upon it! :)

I picked up a lovely piece of lilac fleece yesterday that I am going to attach to the baby blanket this evening. Soooo soft! :)

Oh, and one of the patterns I submitted is in contention. I will get final word in a couple weeks. Wish me luck!! :)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Thank You Easter Bunny (Bawk, Bawk)

...The things that are embedded in my brain!

I hope you had a happy bunny day! We had a lovely Easter brunch with my mil. Best buffet ever. Blueberry crepes to die for. Yummy! :)

I also finished knitting the baby blanket this weekend. It's blocked and has 3 sides firmly attached, I will finish sewing the final edge tonight. I decided I am going to sew a nice, soft, warm backing onto the blanket so it is reversible. I will post pics when it is completed.

In other news, Gryphon Perkins (creator of the Merry Maiden's Dress) has been working on her own line of yarns and is asking for pattern submissions. I have sent in 2 for her approval, wish me luck! :)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Curling Up With A Good Book

Yesterday Mary posted her top ten favorite books, inspired by a program she had heard on MPR. After reading her post I thought, "Well, that should be fun.. what are my top ten books then..". And here is where I got stuck.

What criteria should I use? Should it be books that have inspired me? Can't think of one. How about books that have changed my world view? The only one I can think of is 1984 by George Orwell and I wouldn't really call it a favorite book. I'm sure my world view has been affected by my reading, just not overtly. Just not in a way where I put down the book and think "Gosh, I've had it all wrong" or "Well, that changes how I think about that". It is perplexing.

So, finally I decided it should be books that I loved so much that I would read it again, and again, and again. The kind of book that grows in the retelling. That you can sit down on a cold day, snuggled in an afghan with a pot of hot tea, and just savor. Books that I just can't get bored of.

Ok. Well, when I stopped to think about it that came to a lot more than 10. And they were all by a handful of authors. So, instead of a top ten list of books, I give you my top ten authors (with annotations).

1. Terry Pratchett. I have read nearly every book this man has written as well as his short stories. Not only is he amazingly prolific, but his books never disappoint. He takes events in the real world and examines them in a fantasy environment. His books are always filled with humor and heart and are surprisingly insightful into human nature. My favorite books: Reaper Man, Wyrd Sisters, Wee Free Men, Guards! Guards!, and Good Omens (with Neil Gaiman).

2. Neil Gaiman. I was first introduced to Mr. Gaiman by reading Good Omens, which he co-wrote with Terry Pratchett. It was such a wonderful book that I immediately sought out his other work. He has a wonderful talent for taking the world and bending it slightly to make you see it in a fantastical way. I simply can't get enough. My favorite books: Fragile Things (collection of short stories, must read Study in Emerald!), Good Omens, American Gods, Stardust.

3. J.K. Rowling. Does this one really need an explanation? Harry Potter has changed the world of children's literature for the better and has touched the hearts and minds of millions, nay, billions of people around the world. My favorite books: All :)

4. Douglas Adams. My, and many others, introduction to the genre of comic fantasy. He is an icon, with good reason. Unfortunately, he wasn't very prolific and the few books he has left I savor like the sweetest nectar. I sorely miss him. My favorite books: Hitch-hiker's Guide To The Galaxy, The Long Dark Tea-time Of The Soul.

5. Jane Austen. She is the only traditional literary figure in my list. As you can tell, I have a fantastical bent to my reading taste, which makes her seem a little out of place. But as many readers of fantasy know, you have to have very strong characters to make it work and Ms. Austen was the best at writing strong characters. The people in her stories are very real. I hope for them, and cry for them. That is very rare. My favorite books: Emma, Persuasion, Pride & Prejudice, Northanger Abbey.

6. Christopher Moore. He is an American version of Douglas Adams & Terry Pratchett. Need I say more? My favorite books: Lamb, Blood Sucking Fiends, A Dirty Job.
7. Shel Silverstein. I still enjoy his absurd poems and songs. I think everyone needs a little whimsy. My favorite books: Where The Sidewalk Ends, Falling Up, Lafcadio, Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book.

8. Dr. Seuss. You are never too old for a good bed-time story. Every now & then Honey or I will pull out a Seuss book and read it aloud. Honey said that the Cat in the Hat was his first introduction to the idea of anarchy! :) My favorite books: The Lorax, Cat In The Hat, Horton Hatches the Egg, The Sneetches.

9. J.R.R. Tolkein. He is the father of epic fantasy. Creating a world so beautiful, and filled with such brave, heroic beings, who wouldn't want to visit as much as possible. My favorite books: The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings Triology.

10. Susanna Clarke. This last one was a tough one to decide, but I had to give it to Ms. Clarke. I have only read one of her books (she has only had 2 published), but it was one of the most glorious books I have ever read. It was a book that I kept thrusting upon people, saying "Yes, I know it's 800 pages in small print with footnotes, but you HAVE to read it!". The book? Jonathan Strange And Mr. Norrell. Yes, you now have to read it. Seriously. You'll thank me.

So, that is my list. I hope you will make one as well. I would love to know who you love to read; I'm always looking for a good book, and it is cold outside.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Introducing The iRack

Honey just showed me this & I had to share. This is from Madtv. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Tuesday Funny

(Click for big)

Thanks to Dani for the link. I'm so glad it took me a minute! :)

Natural Born Killer

What the heck am I going to do now?!

My sweet, gentle little puppy has taken another life! She was acting funny this morning. Wanting to stay out longer than usual and then wanting to go right back out after coming in, when she usually wants to snuggle in the morning. I peeked outside and saw a fuzzy mass in the middle of the yard. Oh crap, I thought, she's gotten another squirrel.

Well, it wasn't a squirrel. It was a bird. A large bird. About a foot long from beak to tail. I'm really bad at identifying birds, but both honey & I are pretty sure it was a pheasant. Kris said it weighed about 6 pounds! And I think it was a female, because it didn't have the bright colors.

What the heck are we going to do?? Life in prison?

At least pheasants are legal to hunt in Michigan.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Fun With Photoshop

Ok. Having a really crappy Monday. Needed a little fun, so I started fooling with the paint filters in photoshop.

The pictures were taken yesterday afternoon. I just love the way he is silhouetted by the light coming in the window.

Here are the before pics...

And after...

What do you think? Honey thought it was too subtle.

April Fools

I was reading Neil Gaiman's blog this morning and followed his link to this article. An April Fools' joke by Locus magazine about him being made a saint. Very funny, and the quotes even sound like him. :)