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I went to the St. Distaff’s Day Spin-In again, and had a pretty good sales day.  Interestingly, this year it was the merino/tencel rovings that were selling well, not the blended batts.  Mysterious are the ways of buyers.  Also, the Sterling yarn was popular. 

I bought 3 raffle tickets for $5, and put all the tickets in the cup for one basket — which I won! What caught my eye was the great greeny-bluey merino/tencel roving from Lavender Sheep, colorway “Columbia River”, paired with a very silly and fun commercial novelty yarn.

Isn’t that great?  I think they’ll be very fun plyed together, or knitted as one.

But wait!  There was more  . . . When I unpacked the basket, there was a bounty of other stuff.

Pale green Colonial superwash roving from Great Balls of Fiber,  a pattern for a neat purse to make from quilting fabric, cool fiber and wood purse handles from the Philippines, a needle gauge, a magnetic purse clasp, bottle of body wash in the scent Snickerdoodle, and a fabulous carded batt from Crystal Creek Fibers. This baby is HUGE!

I was thinking it was merino/tencel, but looking at her shop, I see she does silk blends also, which it could well be.  I’ll write and ask.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this amazing raffle prize!  I am astounded at the wonderfulness of it.  Even  the basket is nice.

I made this Jacob’s Ladder Seaman’s Scarf for a friend of ours who is a captain on tugboats along the Pacific Coast.

I knit scarves and hats for the Seaman’ s Church Institute ‘s Christmas at Sea program, which gives them to merchant mariners in US ports during December.  It was nice to knit  seaman’s scarf for a seaman I actually knew!

I love the way the cables twist up the sides.  This was a good opportunity to use the cabling without a cable needle technique, as explained by Grumperina.  It is brilliant, give it a try!

If you look closely at the picture of the whole scarf, you’ll see that there are two different colors of yarn.  I truly did not notice this until well along on the second color! So the neck ribbing and  one front panel are reddish brown and the other panel is plain brown for the bottom half.  In self defense, I can only say that I grabbed the yarn balls out of the basket quickly, and did much of the knitting while traveling with Greg on his book tour, so indifferent light conditions much of the time.  But the scarf  is still warm to wear.

Here’s what I’ve been up to lately fiber art-wise.

I’ve made three pairs of these adorable, comfy, warm, cute, and stylish French Press Felted Slippers, pattern available for purchase here.  They knit up pretty quickly and felt easily.  Sew on the  buttons and straps and you have something wonderful!  Also adorable, cute, comfy,  warm, etc.  They grey ones were for me,

the purple ones for a friend, and there’s also a burgundy  pair I haven’t quite finished yet or decided who to give to.

More tomorrow  . .

And all through the house, cookies were baking . . .

Slippers were drying  . . .

And the lonely little blog looked up and said, “Is it Christmas time?”

Yes, it is, my dear, and I’m here to wish you a merry one.  I know I’ve been busy, and not come to see you lately, but I’ve thought of you often.  So let’s  raise a glass together and move into the New Year resolved to enjoy each other’s company more.



PS — The slippers are French Press felted slippers, and the pattern is available here.  I see that she is shipping PDFs today, so if you, dear Reader, work really fast you might be able to get pair of these babies done in time for giving tomorrow morning.  And the recipient will love you, because they are warm, cozy, and oh, so stylish. I’ve made one pair for me and two more for gifts, and they are great.

I’ve been dyeing some self-striping yarn by winding a bigger diameter skein, dyeing 28 inches of it one color, and the remainder another — when knitted in  a typical sock configuration, you get one row of the first color, followed by two rows of the other.  There are various ways of doing this, but here’s a particularly fun method and colorway that I’ve developed.

blue and purple yarn 001 small

First I make a very hot vinegared dyebath in a purple that I’ve mixed from red and blue dye. The longer section of the skein goes into this while I’m holding the shorter section out of the water.

blue and purple yarn 003 small

The red dye and much of the blue strikes on the skein as purple, but there is some blue left in the dyebath.

blue and purple yarn 004 small

Dropping in the remaining undyed section of the skein allows it to start soaking up the blue.

blue and purple yarn 005 small

The purple section is still taking up a little of the blue as well.  This makes for a very interesting and nuanced purple.

blue and purple yarn 007 small

Since I wanted to reuse the pot of water, I then steamed the yarn to make sure the dye got throughly fixed.  Here’s the skein as it’s cooling down after steaming.

A bonus is that there’s still a little blue left in the dyebath, because I didn’t let the skein cool in it and absorb those last few molecules of blue dye. 

blue and purple yarn 006 small

So I can take another skein of yarn and drop it in to soak up those last bits. It’s a prettier pale blue in person, and may stay that color, or get overdyed to deepen the color.  So many choices!