My current work in progress:

Corrugated Shawl, designed by Cecelia Campochiaro, knit from Crave Caravan in the Tilly colorway, using U.S. size 4 needles.

About Hand Dyeing Yarn

It’s not that I don’t enjoy it . . .

I had a lot of fun playing with Kool-Aid and yarn. But I live in a high-rise condo with a relatively small kitchen. This kitchen is the only place where I can dye yarn, and not surprisingly, dyeing yarn can be very messy and space-consuming. Mebbe if I had a nice big garage or basement. Well, I do have a nice big garage, but I am only entitled to one space in that nice big garage, and that’s where my car lives. ๐Ÿ™‚

The other thing is that I can picture myself getting all obsessed over handpainting (imagine that) and ending up with a whole ‘nother hobby that I don’t have time and space for.

Because I was curious, I started knitting a sock from some of last weekend’s yarn.

koolaidsock080306 About Hand Dyeing Yarn

Hmmmmmm . . . I dunno. I can’t decide if I like it or loathe it. What do you think?

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Feel free to leave your honest opinion in the comments. ๐Ÿ™‚

So I set it aside and cast on a sock using yarn painted by someone who knows what she’s doing.

sock080306 About Hand Dyeing Yarn

This is Claudia Handpainted Yarn in the “Ingrid’s Blues” colorway. To say I love the colorway is the understatement of the century. This colorway just takes my breath away. I cannot stop staring at it. I have a mad pash for this colorway.

sock080306a About Hand Dyeing Yarn

Noni Bag Handle Alert

My buddy Blogless Margaret in Manhattan reports that she went to Knitty City today and lo and behold, they have all the plastic handles for the Noni Bags, including the lime green handles for “In the Sculpture Garden” we were discussing the other day. They don’t have an online store, but Pearl will be happy to take phone orders. Give her a call and tell her Wendy and Margaret sent you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

On To a Question . . .

Kelly in New Mexico asked me if I ever knit scarves. I do, from time to time. There are patterns for several scarves (in varying degrees of difficulty) in my book.

Scarves are great for trying out stitch patterns, and for relatively small amounts of handspun. They are also great knitted from luxurious yarns — like qivuit. Buying enough qivuit to knit a sweater is prohibitively expensive for me, but enough for a small lacy scarf is do-able!

But until the heat breaks, I think I’m gonna knit on projects that are small enough to dangle from the needles without touching me. You know, like a sock.

But hey! The heatwave is supposed to break tonight. Tomorrow is only supposed to get to 90 degrees or so. Brrrrrr! Mebbe I need to start a scarf.

lucy080306 About Hand Dyeing Yarn

I Used Up the Rest of the Kool-Aid

And I didn’t drink it.

yarn080206 I Used Up the Rest of the Kool Aid

If I wanted to be all artsy-like, I’d call this colorway “Fall Foliage” or “Autmn Splendour” or something like that.

yarn080206a I Used Up the Rest of the Kool Aid

But I’m calling it “I Used Up the Rest of the Kool-Aid.”

It’s a combination of Orange, Grape, Cherry, Black Cherry, and Pink Lemonade Kool-Aid, mixed together in a variety of ways. I rather like it. I wonder what it would look like knitted?

Thus endeth my career in handpainting yarn.

Today was, I think, hotter than yesterday, but (wonder of wonders) they left the a/c on at the office overnight. When I got in this morning my office was a cool 79 degrees, and wavered between 79 – 82 all day. Aaaaaaah! I have a digital clock in my office that displays the temperature along with the time. It amuses the hell out of me that I am so obsessed with the temperature in my office. (Could it be because I’m writing something difficult and staring at the thermometer is a good distraction?) I watch it go up when the a/c kicks off, and I can now predict the exact point at which the a/c will kick on again. Yep. Easily amused.

Despite the heat, there has been sockage. I finished the Pond Scum socks!

pondscum080206 I Used Up the Rest of the Kool Aid

Some Q&A

Mary asked:
As a new sock knitter and recent train traveler, I have to ask – do you ever drop and lose a DPN during your commute? I tend to be fairly clumsy, so if a needle can be dropped, it will be, and I can’t think of anything more frustrating than knitting happily along and then having to stop knitting until the next time one can find a replacement for the lost needle. Do you carry extras for such an occasion, or are you just savvy enough to not have that problem anymore?

Surprisingly, I’ve never dropped a dpn during the commute. I attribute this to the use of wooden dpns, which are far less likely to slide out of your work then metal ones. I sometimes carry spare dpns, but that is in case of needle snappage, not needle droppage. I’ve snapped a sock needle just once, and that was at home. But you never know . . .

Mary also asked:
Oh, and a Lucy question – is she of the belly-rubbing breed or is she of the freak-out-if-you-touch-my-belly species? She sure looks like she wants a belly rub in that last picture! ๐Ÿ™‚

lucy080206 I Used Up the Rest of the Kool Aid

Lucy is indeed a fan of the belly rub. She loves being petted and scritched and cuddled. I think the only part of her little kitty anatomy that could be considered off-limits is her paws. She doesn’t like having her paws touched.

Joan asked me how I get so much knitting done while working a full-time job. It’s simple — I don’t cook and I don’t clean. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Head In the Freezer Club

Stephanie suggested we start a club. Excellent idea! It is a good way to cool off quickly.

So . . . if we’re gonna have our heads stuck in the freezer, i think said freezers should be stocked with ice cream (per Becky’s recommendation) and frozen daiquiris. Right now my freezer contains sugar-free popsicles, frozen veggies, ice, and frozen “Amy’s Kitchen” entrees. Yawn.

Welcome to August

Hey, guess what? It’s hot.

And hey, guess what? Building management for the large and seriously clunky federal building where I work apparently turned off the a/c overnight. Those of us who get to work early were gasping. Three hours later, the temperature was down to 82 degrees in my office, and it felt pretty good.

You know it’s hot when a member of your staff, an exceedingly dignified gentleman in his 50s, was sitting in his office with his shoes off and his trousers rolled up to his knees. It made quite a picture, but my request to take a photo for the blog was not met with enthusiasm. Go figure.

(However, since said staff member volunteered to brave the elements and went outside, across the alley, to a cafe to get ice cream for everyone — his treat — I will refrain from posting photos.)

Then there’s the commute home . . .

Fortunately, my home is relatively cool. I keep the shades drawn during the day and of course all lights off and the a/c running, so Lucy can nap all day in cool comfort. (And I am praying to the Gods of Electricity that the power stays on so things remain as they are.)

lucy080106 Welcome to August

But after spending an hour outdoors and on trains (where if the a/c is working at all, it’s minimal) this afternoon, one is pretty wiped out. I want to finish my green Noni bag (can’t finish the pink/green one til the zipper gets here) by making the lining and attaching the hardware, etc., but I’m just too tired and overheated to think about it.

But I can answer a couple of questions . . .

A couple of you asked where I got the lime green handles. I bought mine from EweNeedYarn. She doesn’t list them on her website, but you could drop her an email and see if she’s still got some.

Also, try Angelika’s Yarn Store. She carries a lot of hardware for the Noni Bags, and when I last checked she had some of the lime green ones in stock, but in a larger size — 6.8″. She might just be out of stock on the 5.5″ ones that are called for in the pattern.

Lisa asked what colors I used for the body of my bag — I used colors #9407 and #9459.

Christina asked: “Do you think you’ll carry this purse?” If I do a good enough job of finishing it and make it sturdy enough, I will!

Honor asked about the loopy bits shown on the photo on the front of the patterns — those are supposed to be vines. I didn’t make any vines for my bag. ๐Ÿ™‚

What I Am Knitting

I am more or less happily knitting along on the second Pond Scum sock during the commute. I find that I don’t mind knitting wool socks too much when it’s hot and steamy, and I do, after all, have to make the time pass while on the train, right?

sock080106 Welcome to August

And at home, I finished the back of Keelan:

keelan080106 Welcome to August

Yee ha.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go stick my head in the freezer.