Friday, August 19, 2016

Laziest Kate

I just discovered a way to make a very easy, temporary "lazy Kate". I had some small amounts of handspun yarn, from a recent class, that I wanted to ply. One exercise I didn't get to during my week at Sievers was to ply from a center pull ball. One ply from the outside, one from inside. I was too lazy to use the "Kate" on my Louet wheel which was in a room some distance (downstairs) from the table holding my ballwinder. There happened to be a straight, # 7 knitting needle nearby. It was being used to replace one of the antennae on my old studio TV. Hey, whatever works. And I'm a big fan of repurposing so I took the needle and slipped my bobbin on it. I attached the yarn to the winder, held the needle upright and in just a few minutes I had a neat ball ready for plying.

I wouldn't be surprised if someone had done this before, "nothing new under the sun,"and all, but it was new to me. If it is new to you, give it a try. Yes, I put the antenna back so its handy for next time.

The other part of the exercise was to ply the yarn so that both plies were the same color. I knit this swatch to see how I did. Not to bad. One more exercise to check off my list.

I had spun the yarn from rolags pulled from a blending board, my new favorite spinning tool. I realize that some of you may not be familiar with spinning terms so my next post will deal with some of those. In the meantime, enjoy doing whatever you  love, and maybe try something out of your comfort zone, a crazy color combo or an unfamiliar technique.

Happy knitting, spinning, stitching....................

Monday, August 1, 2016

And Dyeing, and Spinning, and Embroidering

I may have to rename this blog because I'm not just knitting now. For example, I just returned from Sievers school of fiber arts on Washington Island at the tip of Door County, WI. I took a class titled "Color for Spinning."

Here are a few things I've done since my last post.

Three of twenty size one hand-dyed sweaters made for a
charity auction to support the Diocese of Renk in South Sudan
 sponsored by my cousin, Jackie's Church in Barrington, IL

More later, it is getting late and tomorrow is "Holy Tuesday." That is, it is "open knit" day at my LYS, and my family and friends know the day is sacred, no other plans can be made for my time.

Monday, October 5, 2015

In praise of a dishcloth

I don't know if it is the result of working with so much color, but I have recently become enamored with a plain garter stitch dishcloth. In the last few years I have been dyeing sock yarn which is sold at my local yarn shop Spin of Door County. I've also knit 20 small hand-dyed sweaters that were auctioned off for a fundraiser. Each sweater was different, lots of color! More about these later.
I needed some dishcloths and I had a cone of white cotton. So one night while I was watching TV, I decided to get to work. I cast on 25 stitches and knit. The result was a pure white garter stitched square. For some reason I was delighted with its simple elegance, if you can use that word to describe a dishcloth.  Yes, I live a simple life so it doesn't take much to move me.

For the last week I have knit a cloth each night so that I will have a good supply. My husband and I do the dishes together each morning. I wash, he dries. I get to play in the warm water. At the same time my hands enjoy some hydro-therapy. And when my husband puts his ears in we enjoy a pleasant time visiting. Once in a while, not nearly often enough, I appreciate the simple things in life. It feels good. I encourage you to do the same. The easiest way to do that may be to knit a simple, white, elegant, garter stitch square.
Happy Stitches.

Thursday, April 2, 2015


Spring is gushing forth with April Fool's Day, the Final Four, Easter, and my son, Mike's, Birthday all in one week. There have already been solo ensemble, prom, forensic meets, tournaments of all sorts, and now there will be award banquets and presentations to celebrate EVERYTHING!! Don't you love it? Have you perfected your bilocation skills for those multi-time,  multi-venue, multi child challenges? 
Not to worry. This is when the joy of knitting comes in. Take a deep breath.   
 Round up your twigs and strings, and all will be revealed. Actually you may be able to knit your way through some of this busyness. I did some Badger knitting during the Elite Eight with my team wristers being the result.

Since we're talkin' Wisconsin life, next is a picture of the yarn I am knitting now. It is one of my hand-dyed Door County Socks designs. It is named "Horses and Holsteins."


Friday, March 20, 2015


Since I last posted, and can it really have been that long ago, I've been busy doing stuff. Apparently, I haven't been posting about any of it. So here are some of the projects I've been up to.

I've continued to dye sock yarn for my lys, Spin of Door County The yarns are sold with the label, "My Door County Socks" and they are designed to evoke memories and the Spirit of the Door. In case you are not familiar with Door County, it is the finger of the Wisconsin glove. It is a lovely area in which to reside, and is also a very popular Midwest vacation destination.

More snow's a comin'
Here is one of the more than fifty yarns that I have designed and dyed. I've been having a great time playing with my colors.

I also have discovered knitting from the top down. I have made 12 different sweaters riffing on Deb and Lynda Gemmell's  "Basic Pullover" pattern from their book Top Down for Kids,  These sweaters have been auctioned off in a fundraiser at my cousin Jackie's church, St. Michael's in Barrington, IL, for the support of the people in the Diocese of Renk in South Sudan.

This is hand dyed and hand knit, and features little bobble snowmen. I like to do small projects. That way I get to get on with my next idea.

Well, I have to finish now because I have to go to my daughter's house to watch the Wisconsin Badger, basketball team win another game.

Good Stitches

Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy International Women’s Day
Isn’t it wonderful how so many women around the world are tied together with sticks and string? Teach someone to knit so he or she can benefit from this joyfilled and powerful union.

Happy stitches.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cunctator, yes, cunctator
This is a new word to me, although it describes me to a T. I found the definition to this crossword hint in my Websters. It means a person who delays. The actual word that fit in the puzzle was procrastinator, a word I’ve been familiar with wayyyyyyy too long. And it describes what I’ve been doing since last Friday when I had an experience to share with you. My excuse for the delay was that I was tired. Last week was very busy, but it ended with a lot of fun.
My granddaughter, Gretchen, and her friend Helen wanted to tie-dye some socks. I volunteered to help with this project they were doing for school. They had purchased cotton socks at my suggestion. Let me tell you, it is not easy to find just plain unadulterated cotton socks. We ended up with 80% cotton after finding some with as little as 46%.

I dropped off my supply of marbles and rubber bands earlier in the week so the girls could have that all done. On Friday we were ready to dye, 22 pairs of socks! I had premixed dye solution in six colors. We proceeded in an assembly line fashion using the low immersion technique of dyeing. 

We placed four pair in each bucket. The girls decided to use two colors in some buckets, including green and gold for “Packer” socks. Other combinations were yellow/orange/red, and red/purple/blue. 

While we waited for the dyeing process to finish the girls had fun mugging for the camera. 

After the initial rinse we removed the bands and marbles. 

I’m always excited to see the lovely combinations of colors that result from low immersion.  

The results showed where the synthetic fibers were located, mostly in the foot area. The anklets and upper sections of the socks took the dye well. 

There will be some very Happy Feet at school. And besides the beautiful socks, some wonderful, colorful memories were made.

Gretchen and Helen ROCK!!!

There, I’ve overcome this episode of cunctation. Have a great time getting ready for the holidays.
Happy stitching and dyeing.