Sunday, April 25, 2010


This photo shows the view from the back deck where I spend the weekend. I was at the Stagecoach Ranch outside of Sedan, Kansas with a group of 20 wonderful women at a dye workshop put on by the Wichita Weavers and taught by Linda Burt.

The 18 participants were divided into 8 groups. Each group was given 14 small hanks of undyed yarn. Each group was given different formulas to dye their yarn, using only the primary colors. At the end of the weekend we cut our yarn into pieces, attached them to cards and shared the yarn we dyed with the rest of the group. All of us left with samples of over 100 colors of yarn and the formulas to reproduce them.

The weekend was a visual feast--the food and company was good too.

I took about a dozen pictures of this color pyramid--it makes way more sense to me than the color wheel.

Blue, red, yellow, vinegar, salt, and a little soap were used . . .

. . . with a little bit of mad science--these two particular scientists are also bike riders. Gail and her husband just got a tandem . . . we had lots to talk about.

My partner, Amanda, is a computer support supervisor for Cessna. So the two biggest rule followers found each other . . . there was no nonsense at our station. Our reds and blues were dyed in a very orderly fashion, and the directions were followed to a "T."

Yarn and dye were put in quart canning jars, the jars were put in a water bath in a canner, placed on a burner and simmered for an hour.

Here are the blues Amanda and I dyed.

Here are all the samples attached to cards all ready to be distributed.

On Saturday morning I got up before almost everyone else and went outside to a sheep serenade, which for some reason just cracked me up.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

UFO Sightings

Y’all knitters know that UFO means UnFinished Objects. Try as I might to avert my eyes from the train wreck of a storage problem that my UFOs produce, I can no longer avoid the issue. The reason for this has little to do with household hygiene, but more with needing to reclaim the bags where the UFOs are stored or the knitting needles that are tied up. That, and at this point even I cannot justify taking on any new projects until something gets completed.

So, I have come up with a plan. Simple plans work best. Therefore I plan to:


Ahhhhhhh–having a plan makes me feel much better.

I’d like to bask, but the reality is that this plan will also entail deciding what to finish. To do that I’ll have to define what constitutes a UFO which is problematic because there are so many possible definitions.

That rumbling-- I feel it, don’t you?--is the unmistakable sensation of my simple plan breaking down.

The first, and easiest, possibility is to define a UFO as a knitting project started, that is-- cast on but not completed. That definition might work for some, but not for me because I’m kinda special that way. If I define UFO too narrowly, I won’t deserve the I-worked-the-plan high I expect to experience. On the other hand, if UFO is defined too broadly, I doom myself to certain failure. Acknowledging my track record on grand plans, I know I’ll probably lose steam for this project by the time I finish this post, but still hold out hope that if the plan is realistic, things could work differently – THIS TIME. Well, they could!??!

So, to continue . . . Yarn purchased for a particular project should qualify for UFO status, especially if a completed item has been actually, or even mentally, promised to another individual. The loophole here is that a yarn purchase is not a UFO, even if it was purchased for a particular project, if a specific pattern and recipient was not (mentally) assigned to the yarn. For instance, the lovely blue wool that would make a great hat for my mother, is NOT a UFO because although I’ve found a number of patterns that would be nice, I have not committed to one pattern. (Besides that, I’ve made her one hat already this year). To be clear, a UFO must have 3 elements: specific yarn, specific pattern, and a specific recipient–plus I must be able to recall all three elements.

Gifts for babies already born are definitely UFOs, regardless of yarn status. Gifts for babies on the way should probably be honorary UFOs, even if the yarn has not been purchased. If I wait those items will go in the oh-shit-I-gotta-get-that-done category, which is a whole ‘nother (and usually unhappy) world.

As I ramble, I’m wondering if I should include sewing and weaving projects? Or would adding them depress me into a chocolate binge? Actually, the idea of a chocolate binge appeals to my hormonal self which is probably what started this nonsense, therefore sewing and weaving projects are invited to the UFO party.

All of which brings me to the point where I must actually identify the UFOs which signifies some level of commitment to completing them, and that scares me a bit.

Ado, Ado, Ado, Ado, Ado, Ado, Ado . . . . .

And, without further ado . . . . I give you

my UFO list
(I was tempted to say the list was in no particular order, but it does have an order)

Knitting UFOs cast on and taking up needles, physical and mental space:
Category 1--projects being actively knitted
– Olympic Reindeer Hat for Alex (20% complete, but just started this week)
– Skew socks for me (38.5% complete)
– socks on 9" circular needles (10% complete)

Category 2–projects cast on in the last 6 months, but . . . resting
– RAGBRAI mittens (35% complete)
– Bohus wrist warmers (50% complete)
– Gray cardigan for Meredith (Sr. Divine Providence) (5% started)
– Green cardigan for Me (15% complete)
–booties for Ellie, who is probably too big for them now anyway
– black wool scarf (20% complete)

Category 3– projects underway but stalled for quite a while
(serious doubts exist about whether I can figure out where I am)
– Linen Stitch Vest (Sally Melville Pattern) (30% complete)
– Cashmerino Wrap (50% complete)

Weaving UFOs, well stuff I need to get off the looms, anyway
– green and white dishtowels (I’ve woven 7 of them and YARDS of warp remains on the loom)
–red sock yarn scarf on rigid heddle loom

Sewing UFOs stuff cut out but not getting sewn
– jacket for niece Emily (fabric purchased about 4 years ago)
– costume skirt for me for spinning demos
– multiple bags cut out and partially sewn
I have fabric recently purchased for specific projects, but it would be too depressing to include those projects here too.

Other Stuff-- stuff I said I’d make, but which does not fit in other categories and which I need to get done
– Woven baby blanket for niece Ellie
–dog sweater for Wally
– Handwoven scarf of handspun for Mom
– Blue dishtowels for Mom
– Placemats for Mom

Disclaimer–Mom is not demanding, its just that stuff for her tends to go on the back burner–sorry Mom.
Further disclaimer– Dad, your handknit sweater hasn’t made the list because I can’t get the yarn until I get some of this other stuff done.
Dis-disclaimer-- stuff for babies not yet born was left off the list because I had to draw the line somewhere.

Did I ever say how I was going to define success??

My Tattoo

My Tattoo
A bike chain tattoo, that is It's chain lube ya know