Saturday, July 21, 2007

Magical weekend

A few magical events this weekend

Chromo mudan├ža

Okay it wasn't quite that easy.
Last fall I collected the berries (sloes) from my blackthorn tree (Prunus spinosa) and have kept them in the freezer.
Last weekend I made a dye bath -using 230 g sloe and left to cool overnight before filtering

Yarn was mordanted (Copper Sulfate)

Yarn was dyed.

I premordanted 2x 114g skeins with 28 g CuSO4, and only dyed one skein so I can use another type of dye with the other skein. I am not overly enamored with this colour, while I was preparing the dye bath I thought I would end up with a more greenish colour. When I removed the skein from the heat I thought it was going to be a walnut brown.

However, after all the rinsing and the yarn is now mostly dry it is more of a khaki colour. I'll have to think carefully what I am going to make with it since it is not a colour I normally wear.
A question to throw out there. Before the yarn went into the water, the strands seemed balanced (not sure if that is the correct word or not). After all the dyeing the yarn seems to have to much twist to it and is twisted back on itself. You can see the difference between the two skeins above. Is this a normal process? Is it just going to be a pain in the ass to knit with or can I correct it somehow. Can I prevent this from occurring in the future? Is this just because I used magic improperly.

The other part of the magical weekend...

Ali and I both finished reading it this weekend. Ali picked it up Friday night and finished early Sunday morning - I finished it at about 2pm this afternoon. Ali blogged about some of his thoughts while reading it (starts here). I won't discuss it anymore as I realize that most people didn't read the entire book this weekend.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy National Holidays

I completely missed blogging on Canada Day - hey I spent most of the day away from internet activity celebrating the holiday. So Happy belated Canada and a Joyous Fourth to the Americans.

I mentioned yesterday that I would fill you in on the weekend activities and seeing that it is Wednesday - I don't think it is too late to do that.
So here is a hint to activity number one:

Why yes those are completed entrelac socks - just in time for summer.
Yarn: Koigu PPPM 2 skeins colour: (light blue) and one skein of KPM colour 1003 (dark blue) I have probably 1.5 skeins total of yarn left - so I could knit a short pair of socks.
Pattern: Entrelac socks by Eunny Jang - IK Winter 2007
Needles: 2.25 mm dpns
Pattern modificatins - not nearly as long as the knee highs. I started the 7 st blocks a repeat earlier to take into account my thick calves. I just did a normal 1x1 rib instead of having folded cuff for the ties and tassles.

Now back to the weekend activities - what is that the socks are on - why yes it is a kayak

We went kayaking on the Grand River again this year. We went last year with Jeneric
We used a different outfitter, and this year we didn't have any holes in the kayaks ( always a bonus) although the water level was very low in some spots so I am sure we contributed to some wear. We kayaked from Glen Morris to Paris .
After the trip we went back home to pick up Keeper and headed to my parents and ended up at their cottage.

Of course that meant spending beach time with the family - I know it sounds awful doesnt' it.

We go to see Keeper play in the water for the first time. The first time I took him down to the waters edge he didn't seem to sure about the water. He didn't get his feet we but watched the waves.

I took him to the edge about 5 min later, and he lapped up the water (yummy L. Erie water) and proceeded to lie down in it to cool off. He wanted to run and jump in the water but that is difficult with the leash and everything.

A good time was had by all.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A Non Knitting FO

After our fence was built, we realized our backyard was missing something. (Okay I'll admit the backyard still needs a bunch of work, but one step at a time.) I began to think about this, and thought maybe we should build one. Build what you say. – A picnic table.
I broached the idea to Ali – seeing as I couldn't build it myself, and he was for it. Now the original idea was to build an A –frame table. You know the ones I mean – the ones that immediately come to mind when you say picnic table. However, the power of the internet gave us another idea.

A google search on picnic tables showed us an octagon plan, an octagon plan with slide in seating so you don't have to step over the bench. An octagon table, with slide in seating, that you can use an umbrella with. We decided to think about, to make sure we weren't going to get over our heads.
Then the plans bought, the lumber purchased and the picnic table flew together.

This table could be built over a long weekend or for the more wood savy – in a normal weekend.
This table has two problems with how I see things
It highlights the fact that our patio needs to be redone. (This is on the schedule for next year, as well as moving soil around the back yard.
It is freaking heavy. As was pointed out to be by Mom, most picnic tables are heavy and awkward to move. There is no getting around this one.
Despite these things, we can now eat outside and enjoy the wonderful (albeit dry) weather we have been having.

I have a another post to write about the weekend. Hopefully I'll have a chance tomorrow.