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April 5th, 2006 (02:14 pm)

current mood: blah

Bits and pieces of stuff. Lots of knitting, a hint of tea related, choco... and piccies. :P

And so, the upcoming choose-your-own adventure KAL hasn't even started, I haven't even finished MS3 or DFKALs, and I'm already looking at joining another (potentially as a lurker though) KAL. This time? It's not a shawl or scarf that's got me. It's SAM! Specifically, it's Sam the Ram who happens to have a girlfriend: Sue the Ewe. >_<;; I'd first run into the two here when drooling over their Rosy Fingered Dawn shawl pattern, but didn't think I'd want to do him because he's 13" tall; a little big really. But, recently, folks in the Aran Knitting group started talking about Sam and someone started talking about doing Sam in fingering or laceweight yarns wondering if they'd end up with keychain sized Sam. (Probably not that small, but certainly much smaller than 13"). Someone else chimed in going the other way wondering about using Lopi and ending up with a foot-stool sized Sam... And so, now I'm seriously debating whether I actually do want to try out Sam and Sue. >_<;

......And apparently, reading other people's blogs and clicking on links can be extremely hazardous when debating things?!? After reading ginny_t's blog yesterday, I casually clicked on one of the links she has listed. >_<; Bad move. The first entry on Linz' Blog was for some cute fuzzies. Worse still, it appears Fiber Trends has a whole bunch of cute fuzzies. I'm especially fond of the alpaca, sheep and koalas now. >_<;;

I then had a brief break-down in will (and it's not Sam, Sue or the other fuzzies). But... I've been wanting to get more of these for a while and I used a different credit card so it won't be so bad. :P Earlier last month, Cargo & James sent its newsletter about getting in Teeli mug strainers and having them at a reduced rate for online orders. After double checking and finding it still for ~$9 CAD per strainer I decided to cave in and get some more. (Harney carries the same strainer for $9 USD regularly). I'm not a tea pot user so much as mug user for teas and usually have a stack of strainers in the sink at the end of the day. :P

FWIW, the shop is based in Dead... erm Edmonton, but sadly, I'm not fond of their teas.

Knitting and related photos. Some of it isn't moving very much at the moment, but some is going well too. :P No need to fear massive DLs as they're all clicky links. :)

Charlotte's Web shawl unblocked and still awaiting a little more finishing. ^^;; Unblocked, it's about the same size as MS2 was blocked, so if it does get blocked, it'd be a reasonably sized shawl. :P

Sivia Harding's Diamond Fantasy Scarf after 1.5 repeats of chart B, 4.5 more to go... Lengthwise (along the top where the needle is) it's about as wide as my laptop is 16" long. ^^;

Kool-Aid Dyeing attempt #1 using left-over Koigu from the Charlotte's Web shawl. The original yarn was a variegated grey and was over-dyed using Orange and Strawberry Kool-Aid. I might do the remaining ball of Koigu in similar fashion and make my first pair of socks in funky orange & red?! Maybe... :P

Kool-Aid Dyeing attempt #2 using Knit Picks Paint Your Own merino laceweight yarn. Used Cherry, Ice Blue, Grape and "Mystery" Kool-Aid. The Mystery Kool-Aid ended up green in colour, possibly their lemon-lime flavour. I'm not keen on the green and am thinking about overdyeing this in some more blue. ^^;

Fiddlesticks' Lotus Blossom shawl almost at the end of chart 1 being done in Handpainted Yarn's burgundy 100% wool laceweight yarn. Currently stalled.

Fiddlestick's Spice Caravan Robe being done in Blackberry Ridge's Mer-Made fingering-weight yarns in variegated pink and Joyce's Choice colourways. It's a very simple pattern (so far) and this section is ~50% finished and will make up the back of the robe. This is what I'm mostly working on at the moment, but it's also giving me the yawns as it's very mindless. I suppose that's good though as it's making me want to pick up MS3 again. :P

And Renee's announced that she'll be doing an MS4 sometime around June. Shall see how that goes if I decide to join. Not sure yet as it'll be a circular shawl which would mean a lot of yarn again.

Oops! I forgot to take a photo of my Easter bunnies. Yes plural! *laughs* Bernard Callebaut has some "big eared" chocolate bunnies in both milk and dark chocolate and they're simply too cute (and just too perfect)! *laughs* I'm pretty sure the woman at the shop thought we were nuts (goes well with chocolate though), since we were so focussed on the ears. :P If you have a chance to go to one of the shops, it might be worthwhile. Sadly, they don't show the bunnies on their site. >_


Posted by: Ysabet (umadoshi)
Posted at: April 5th, 2006 06:29 pm (UTC)
Rin dress of knives (flamika)

*sobs* How many online tea stores do you frequent?

Posted by: Too cute for evil (ginny_t)
Posted at: April 5th, 2006 06:44 pm (UTC)
Gimme tea! (by epi_lj)

Too too many. *cry*

Tee hee - the toy thing can be "revenge" for the specialtea thing. ^_^

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: April 6th, 2006 03:53 pm (UTC)

:P Turnaround is always fair play. ^^;

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: April 6th, 2006 03:52 pm (UTC)

^^;; Currently, I'm ordering from 2 (Adagio and Harney) with 2 in the wings (Upton and Specialteas). The female sibling orders from 3 (Murchies, Totalitea, and Tea Trader). I've tried 3 others (Cargo & James, Tea Junction and Delaware Cafe) but dropped them for various reasons.

I also lurk on Yahoo's Teamail group which can be very bad in the tempting category as many vendors are in there too. Every first Wed of the month is Ad Day, so they advertise their shop and offer specials to the list. Sometimes I won't read that day's digest as it's a bit too tempting sometimes. >_<;;

Posted by: Ysabet (umadoshi)
Posted at: April 6th, 2006 07:43 pm (UTC)
Haru sugar&spice (phrixus_)

You've converted me to several--Ginny and I need to get our act together and combine an order from Adagio (their Cdn. s&h pricing is rather traumatic), and I've ordered from Murchie's, and I need to get more of the Upton's Caramel . . .

*peers at ML*

Posted by: f_ireworks (f_ireworks)
Posted at: April 6th, 2006 05:48 am (UTC)

Sam and Sue are just too cute. You're amazing! I love every piece you're working on. I really like the colors you've picked for the robe.

I am very impressed by the Kool-Aid dyeing. How many packages/tbsp do you use each time? The colors come out great.

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: April 6th, 2006 04:07 pm (UTC)

I was surprised at the Kool-Aid dyeing. ^_^ I think the starting point is ~1 pkg Kool-Aid per oz of yarn but you can probably play around with that a bit. (BTW, do you have the method for Kool-Aid dyeing?)

Posted by: f_ireworks (f_ireworks)
Posted at: April 7th, 2006 06:13 am (UTC)

Oh, I'm writing this down. No, I have never worked with Kool-Aid. I have dyed things in the past, but this technique gives beautiful results. The colors are really vivid and bright. Is it different than dyeing with other pigments?

I still can't get over how beautiful the Charlotte's Web shawl is. Great job!

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: April 8th, 2006 02:57 am (UTC)

... I haven't tried dyeing with other pigments so I'm not sure if it's that different, but suspect it's probably pretty similar. ^^; I've read two different ways overall to dye with Kool-Aid, one uses vinegar, the other doesn't. The method I used was published in Jan 2006 Creative Knitting magazine and uses vinegar. Basically, it involves:

- pre-soak skeined yarn in water
- soak yarn for at least 30 mins in water with 1 cup vinegar / 4 oz yarn
- squeeze out the skein and arrange in microwaveable dish
- dissolve 1 pkg of Kool-Aid in a mix of 1/4 c vinegar and 1/2 c water for your dyes
- paint yarn with dyes (make sure to get good dye coverage/penetration) with a syringe, pastry brush, or turkey baster
- zap in microwave for 2 mins, let yarn rest for 2 mins and check for dye set. Repeat until dye's set (2-3 cookings usually).
- let yarn cool
- rinse yarn until water is clear
- hang dry

Knitpicks' tutorial doesn't use vinegar at all and seems interesting. I'm tempted to try it later, but... we already bought a ton of vinegar for dyeing. *laughs*

Posted by: f_ireworks (f_ireworks)
Posted at: April 11th, 2006 08:32 am (UTC)

Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you!

I want to start dyeing *now*

Thanks so much for posting this for me, I really appreciate it.

Good luck with your projects. I'll be looking forward to read how they are all going :-)

Posted by: Lina (chibi_plum)
Posted at: April 6th, 2006 08:14 am (UTC)

OMG... your Charlotte's Web Shaw and Fiddlestick's Spice Caravan Robe are so gorgeous! I'm totally envious. So much talent. ^__^

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: April 6th, 2006 04:19 pm (UTC)


Pssst... you want to knit... you want to knit... :P

Posted by: beamspam mcmuppet (snapdragon76)
Posted at: April 6th, 2006 12:05 pm (UTC)
Haru --smile (flamika)

The Charlotte's Web shawl turned out nice!! Good job!

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: April 6th, 2006 04:20 pm (UTC)

Thanks! ^_^

Posted by: sakurinha (cris_yoshida)
Posted at: April 8th, 2006 08:14 pm (UTC)

You´re really talented! I didn´t imagine you knit... Kirei desu, ne! ^_^

Posted by: Laurie (ichi_san)
Posted at: April 10th, 2006 07:44 am (UTC)

Oh God, what I would give to be as talented as you are. *sighs* I can't even knit a scarf. I would love to learn though. Your shawls are so pretty.

I'm pretty sure the woman at the shop thought we were nuts (goes well with chocolate though)
LOL! Gotta love the bunnies... you don't see Easter Bunnies at all, here. It's all about eggs. Y'know, l'oeuf de Pâques.
Its kinda like a tradition, church bells stop ringing on the thursday before good friday, and remain silent. Children are told they went to Rome. When the bells start ringing again on Easter sunday, little kiddies know they've come back, scattering little chocolate eggs everywhere on their way back. And that's why, first thing in the morning on Easter Sunday, small children go fetch chocolate eggs in the garden (haha, I bet the parents, who have to wait until the kids have gone to bed to scatter chocolate eggs in the yard at night, must not find this as funny as I do XD)

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: April 11th, 2006 03:06 am (UTC)

*laughs* The bells ran away to Rome? ^^; Reading the background info on Callebaut's site makes me wonder if there's a bunny associated with Easter in Germany or not. It's funny, as a kid, I remember there were chocolate hens as well as the bunnies, but bunnies were more popular. These days, I don't know if I see the hens anymore. :?

I really must take a photo of one of my bunnies (they're essentially the same but different sizes). The ears are truly hilarious. ^^;

Knitting's good. If you're stressed or need a break or take a side step, it's a good stress reliever. (At least it is unless you do something that requires unknitting for mistakes or dropped stitches). ^^;; There's a good learn-to-knit site on the 'net complete with videos. I'll see if I can dig up the link again. ^_^

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