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Again with the snow? I was not expecting this.  Neither were the flowers.  But they are hardy, and the snow will pass.

We are now one month away from Sock Summit, and preparations are definitely moving into high gear.  Base yarn is on perpetual re-order, and I mutter grumpily about how Kraemer’s Sterling yarn is out of stock until too late. The near-constant use of equipment is taking its toll in the studios of indie dyers from coast to coast.  First, Jennifer’s second best dye-pot blew up, then one of my Rubbermaid soaking tubs developed a crack that slowly leaks water.

rose and basin 002 small

The thin grey line in the middle of the picture?  Leaky crack.  I can still use the basin for soaking and washing dyed yarn if it’s in the sink, but next time I’m at Fred Meyer’s Wall o’Rubbermaid I’ll need to get a replacement.

And what have I been dyeing? Sock Summit and Ravelry are  sponsoring a contest for dyers selling in the Sock Summit marketplace, called Dye for Glory,  and I’ve worked up a couple of colorways to enter.  One goes by the catchy name of Clown Barf, a term of affection that knitters apply to particularly BRIGHT colorways.  This is my version:

Clown Barf 009 small

Available in my Etsy shop, of course!

We had a run of lovely warm weather, so the roses have been happy.  Here is a bloom of Just Joey, a lovely apricot rose with a delightful scent that thrives in the Northwest. No black spot!

rose and basin 001 small

I finished the small sock that I started on World Wide Knit in Public Day. It’s another Wee Tiny Sock, done with no changes this time, just simple and easy.

blue sock and roses 001 small

Nothing quite matched it in the garden at the moment, but it goes nicely with this purple something-or-other.

I now have three tiny socks.  Sock Summit lasts 4 days, so perhaps I need a different sock  pin for each day?

The pink striped rose is now in quite full bloom, and it scents the whole front yard.

blue sock and roses 005 small

You don’t even have to take time to smell the roses, they come and get you!  But taking a moment to stick your nose into a bloom is just divine.

These small socks are quite addictive to make!  Since one was clearly not enough I made another one, in some test yarn from when I was developing my Pink Tulip Tree colorway.

Best picked in the morning hours

Best picked in the morning hours

This is the Wee Tiny Sock  pattern by Emily Ivey, and features a wee ribbed cuff, and a wee heel flap.  I added the wee cables.

The rose is either Fernand Pichard or Honorine de Brabant — there has been discussion in the comments about this.

And why didn’t I like using the removable zip ties for skeins of yarn being dyed?

Their tails, or maybe snouts, got tangled up in the yarn, making extra work to get the skein to lie nicely. See left, below.

zip ties 001 small

Also, they tended to fall to the bottom of the skein when it was lifted up, and then stay clustered together rather than being nicely spaced around the skein.  See right, above.

Additionally, they weren’t easy to reopen — the tab to press down to release the zippy part was tiny, tiny.  I spent more time fussing with them that it would have taken to tie a piece of string. to begin with.  Sometimes one just wouldn’t  release at all, forcing me to cut it, which negated the whole point.

On the plus side, I now have a supply of nicely dyed zip ties I can use in the garden.

zip ties 002 small

I can dye some for you too — they don’t even have to be green!