Sunday, August 24, 2008

Yep - thats Yellow

Well the experiment was a success. Boy - did I get yellow. Turns out I had more than enough flowers - almost two pounds. So I decided to do all flowers this time. I premordanted with alum (4 oz since I was dying a pound of wool) on a one hour simmer then I let the wool sit in the cooling water for about 5 hours. I put the flowers in the crock pot on High for about three hours, then low for an hour. I strained the flowers out of the dye solution, added more water and in went the wool. I simmer for 10 minutes and let cool for two hours. I rinsed repeatedly, spun for two minutes in the washer and here is a sample lock:

Is that yellow or what?? Holy crow - I honestly didn't expect the neon yellow results. The picture is actually a bit muted compared to reality. But I love it! Although I think I may blend it with some natural when I go to spin it up. But for now I have a whole pound of this natural dyed neon goldenrod yellow. 

Experiment Day

Well its been six days since I put DH and DS on a plane. I have been surprisingly content. Once I got word everyone had landed I relaxed and have been enjoying the solitude. I rarely get time alone in my house so here are my observations. 
It is possible to go to bed and sleep through the night without being woken up by someone.
If you put the remote control down, it stays in the same place. (I really thought they had legs). 
If you turn on a tv show it stays on the same show and doesn't turn to something with the initials "CSI" in it. 
I can leave scissors, sharpies, dye chemicals out and not worry. 
I can get something done. 
I miss my family but know they are having fun and I am enjoying getting a chance to have me time. 
So today is experiment day. I wanted to try my hand at natural dying. The goldenrod is everywhere right now and I keep reading it is the simplest to start out as it is pretty much foolproof. So yesterday I picked up the necessary equipment and last night I went out and scored me some goldenrod. Today the plan is to mordant and dye. I have decided on two batches. One flowers, one leaves. I am not sure exactly what I will get but I am guessing yellow and some form of green. I will update later today with pictures!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

More Spoilage Part 3 - HSKS5

The last package! Today I came home and opened my door to one more package. This is the last of my swap packages but oh so wonderful. This is from Cressida at Hogwarts. She had some dark magic interfere in her life so her owl was a little late but so wonderful it was worth the wait. Doesn't it look pretty?
Thats some pretty Hufflepuff yarn, a cool sock pattern and check out the needles - in a gorgeous leather case. 
Here is everything out of the box. There is a theme here - besides Hufflepuff. There is chocolate, tea, cookies and bath confetti. Hmmm - sounds like a wonderful afternoon to me! And I wish the color had come out in the two skeins of yarn - they are the most gorgeous emerald green. The pictures don't do it justice. The bag is perfect - just the style I have been wanting for knitting and walking. Here are some close ups!

Isn't it all just gorgeous? Thank you Cressida. I have to say that I am so very appreciative of this package. I know things weren't easy. The fact that you stayed the course and didn't forget me is a reminder of the incredible integrity and kindness of the Hogwarts students. I wish you happiness and magic in your life and hope to see you next term. 

More Spoilage Part 2 - Saucy Swap

So on the same day as my son's ear tubes I got two packages. This was from my wonderful spoiler, Bobasheebaby for the Saucy Swap II. This swap centered around hot sauces and Bobasheebaby did wonderful. Here are the goodies! Tucker is drooling over the chocolate.

And here is the young one eyeballing the goodies. He is looking at the Dinosaur Egg. 

Ok - so here are all the goodies. Check out the yummy hot sauces! We love hot! These fit the bill.
Oh and the yarn!!!!! This is a gorgeous hand dyed wool. I am amazed at the subtle color changes. Enough for a scarf and mittens. I am excited because it is the color of blue that makes me think of tropical waters -which is what I need to think of in the winter! 
And TWO patterns. A very cute bug mitten pattern - I can't wait to make these for my son - and a Sleepy Eyes cabled mitt pattern. I love Sleepy Eyes patterns - Gina was my spinning teacher and continues to inspire me regularly. 
And some yum and fun stuff. Some Renew hand cream - much needed - some soap that smells amazing. I have kept it in my living room because it makes the room smell so nice. Hmm - maybe it will stay here permanently - very earthy and wonderful. Some chocolate - mmmmmm - with chilis in it - ymmmmmmm spice and sweet. Some bug eyes, a recipe for spicy macaroni salad (hmmm - I'm making that this weekend) and some coil needle holders.
Yet again - spoiled to the hilt! I have so much happy yarn now! Thank you Bobasheebaby!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More Spoilage Part 1 - Summer of Love Yarn Swap #3

Ok - its long overdue but its been hectic! I got this package a week ago. It actually came on the same day my son had his ear tube surgery so I was home and relieved that my son handled his surgery so well. It was nice to have a special treat arrive for me. I actually got two that day - see next blog - Saucy Swap package. 
So in the case of this package, my spoiler who I now know is Flourish, blew me away. I still say Flourish is a star spoiler. I am taking lessons from Flourish. I also don't think words can do this justice so here are all the pictures. Fortunately, as you can read on the card, Flourish advised me well to get out the camera. I took pictures throughout the unwrapping. 

The pretty box! She color coded everything. Yellow for my little boy, red for my puppy dog, and blue/green for me. 
Here we go!!

My son digging in. 
The first of the goodies -a bag of puppy treats and Harmony cable needles (I love Harmonies)

My son continues to dig in  - as you can see some lovely yarn has emerged and my couch is turning into a tissue paper farm.
HOT WHEELS!!!! My son LOVES hot wheels! This was one very happy boy.
Here is it all. Don't worry - better pictures are coming. Does that look like a happy boy? Would you even know he spent the morning in the hospital?

See - I told you a better picture. Ok - so there are hot wheels, a hot wheels auto showroom, Scooby Doo hot wheels (these totally rock!), puppy treats, yarn (details on that to come) a keychain sock blocker - which I have been wanting since I discovered them, an AMAZING book - seriously buy this book. Its all about scarves, but these scarves are works of art. I can't wait to knit some of these scarves but just looking at the book makes you drool. (Its called Knitting New Scarves by Lynne Barr), some Soak samples and a Loopy Ewe postcard. I think I got it all!
Here he is again - happy happy happy. Of course, we then proceeded to set up the showroom and he played with it the rest of the day. 
Tucker was one happy puppy.

And here is the first of the yarn. Araucania - Aren't those beautiful colors? It reminds me of the colors in bubbles. Blue/purple/pink - just gorgeous. 

Isn't this dreamy? Yep - Dream in Color Baby in dreamy blues. Sigh. So pretty. 

Finally, the Panda Silk. When I touched this I said some not so ladylike things I was so amazed by how soft and touchable it was. Im serious, its just super soft. Its totally pettable. And isn't that a pretty blend of colors? Its like peppermint. 
Like I said - is Flourish amazing or what? I have been so spoiled in my Summer of Love Yarn swap.  I have plenty to keep me busy and keep me smiling!!!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Im so spoiled

So yesterday I came home to an awesome package! With the help of the young one we opened it up to find all kinds of goods from my oh so wonderful Starbucks N Yarn Swap Spoiler, Barb, from Utah. I immediately took pictures because my son was so excited by everything. He even helped! I was then going to blog last night but the young one was wiggling on my lap and slammed his concrete head into my nose. It was a total Marcia Brady scene. Oh my nose! Thankfully not broken but still hurts unbelievably and I ended spending last night with my face embedded in ice instead of raving about my package.
So here are the goodies: 
That's the concrete headed boy himself playing Vanna. There is so much here I had to take several pictures.
Here is the absolutely amazing gorgeous cup cozy my spoiler made for me. I love the flower. At first I thought it was felted but upon closer inspection I am not sure. I am going to have to beg for the secret on this one. Its like a purple garden for my cup. Under the cozy is my starbucks travel mug, also flowers. And inside were Tootsie Rolls! Yummmm! In fact, we are sharing one right now. 
Here are all the goodies again closer up. The Pez dispenser is Pooh. My son is laying claim to it as well. There is a Starbucks card in there - that has already been made good use of this morning for my latte! The travel mug will hold my morning coffee when we go to the hospital tomorrow morning for my son's ear tube procedure. The flowers and happy vibes will help. 
Ok - more of the goodies - see the Tootsie Rolls. Big. Yum. The round item in the back is the Coconut Body Scrub from the Body Shop -which is one of my favorite shops. It smells like Hawaii. There is also a little candle which also smells yummy. And the Diego book is a little book with a water pen - the colors come out with water. My son has been having so much fun with it and it is nice because he can color without me worrying about him coloring the furniture. You gotta love the new inventions for kids. 
And now the yarn - is this not just the prettiest color???? Its by Dreams in Fiber, and I think the colorway is called Forbidden if I am reading the tag right. Is from an etsy shop which I am going to have to look up. The colors range from orangy red to mauve to pink to even some camel. It matches my couch exactly. I can't wait to knit it up to see the color flow. I am a huge fan of "warm" colors like this - well as you can tell if I have a whole couch in this color. I was thinking socks but now that I look at it the subtle color changes may be deserving of something lacier. It really is a yarn that you can get lost in as you look at the colors. 
And then there was another skein! This was another mindreading moment. This is exactly the colors and weight I want for a hat. Its so perfect!
I think I covered everything - its all so wonderful and I swear that box went on forever! Thank you Barb! You are the best!!!!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Longest Week Ever

Ohhhh - I can't believe it is finally the weekend! Joy Joy Joy!! Seriously - big happy dance here. It has been one very looooonnnnnngggg week. I mean - long. As in, it started last week. As in I have officially worked 12 days in a row. Yikes. Ok - I love my job and I actually had no problem working the schedule I had to keep these past 12 days. It was for a good reason, I was and will be well recognized for my efforts and I actually enjoyed what I was doing.  Also, this schedule is rare. Most of the time I can keep my workload to about 40-45 hours a week. My company is big on work/life balance. So all in all I am not complaining. But - and there is always a but - what really bugged about the week is that I also ended up having do deal with the all of a sudden surgery for my son. OK - not a complete surprise. We took him in for the appointment we have been waiting for with the ENT specialist. My son is now averaging an ear infection about every two months and this last one came on super fast (as in on the drive home from his school) and super hard. They basically debilitate him with the pain. So the pediatrician finally agreed it was time for the ENT. Yeah. Fortunately, I have been with my ENT now for the past year and he also treats kids so at least I was able to get my son in with someone I know and trust. So we had the appointment this past Wednesday. The ENT took one look in my son's ears and said "tubes". It was a total no-brainer for all given the look of my son's ears - I guess plenty of fluid was visible - and his history, along with my history (I was terribly prone to infections until I started on allergy shots). We all agreed that tubes were the best option for now but the Doc and I did discuss allergy panels when he is older suspecting that the infections may, like mine, be allergy related. But for now, tubes. What I didn't expect was to have the surgery scheduled for a week later. I just hadn't thought about it. But we are scheduled to go in next Wednesday to get the tubes. Now I know this is a routine surgery, very minor and very common. I know all that in my head. But what has taken me by surprise is how conflicted my heart is about it. We had an appointment yesterday at the hospital to do the paperwork and meet the anesthesiologist. All went well but boy, every time I think about the fact that my little baby is going under, even though it will only be for about 10 minutes, wow, my heart just breaks. Its crazy. My head is all "this is totally routine and very low risk" and my heart is all "but he's my baby and he is going to be medicated and out and OMG what if something crazy happens". Of course, upon discussing this with DH it is not helped by the crazy hours I have been keeping at work and how tired I have been as a result. But he's my baby!!! So today, its Saturday, I finally don't have to work (at least so far - the phone can still ring at any time but it's looking pretty good) and I am able to spend some time doing things that I want to do, like knit and spin, so hopefully I will be better prepared come Wednesday. Ok - NOT. I will probably still freak out once he goes under until I see his little eyes again. Sigh. What is it about giving birth that turns you into mush for the rest of your life. So that has been my very long week. So, how bought some of the good things. I did get an absolutely AMAZING package from my Secret Summer of Love spoiler. All I can say is OMG she is a total mind reader. Here is the pic:
Do you see the theme? Paris!!!!! So, first off you need to know that Paris is the number one place on my list I want to go. I have literally dream about visiting Paris. I just haven't made it yet but am hoping to go for my 40th next year. But I really have never told that many people that of this little dream of mine so when I opened the package I just fell apart with happiness. The package started with a note explaining it all. Then I got to look at everything. The yarn is just breathtaking. It is Malabrigo and soft as can be. But the color, aptly named Paris Night, is the color of the nighttime sky. It is so pretty. I tried to capture the subtle color differences below. I am already planning to make this into a shawl with some beads to be the stars in the Paris Night sky. I will wear it in Paris someday!

Besides the gorgeous yarn there was a bottle of wine -yummmm.  Louis Jadot. I love good red wine. The best part is the bottle is small enough to enjoy. I am not a big drinker so this small bottle is a perfect evening at home. I am already planning it for tonight. There was also a wonderful book, Unforgettable Places to See Before You Die, which is like exploring the world from your couch. I can say I have been two of the places in the book, NYC and Ayers Rock. So I have many more to go. Since my husband and I are working on a five year plan that will allow us some travel opportunities, this is a wonderful book - not to mention that my son and I have already sat down and explored it together. He immediately found pictures of cars in the book. He has his priorities. There was also some yummy chocolate with the Eiffel Tower on the bag. We have been enjoying these! And finally the best part - pictures of Paris from my Spoiler's trips to Paris and some of the blogs she wrote during said trips. Ok -these were amazing to get. I enjoy swaps for meeting new people but getting this personal touch was just wonderful. I can't wait to find out who my spoiler is because she I know she is fun and extremely generous, kind and wonderful. To share her life like this with me is going beyond the usual package. I loved all the pictures -they are sitting on my desk to enjoy - and getting to peek into her life through her blogs was wonderful. I am truly lucky not to mention the package arrived with good time to perk up my longest week ever!