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  • knitting1105 2:49 pm on April 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    House Guests 

    House guests that will not wear out their welcome.

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    These guys came home from Sofia’s for an extended stay.  Apparently her cats are more than fascinated by them.  She thought that they would live in my knitting room, but I think a guest bedroom is better.

    The big guy was a Christmas present while in college.

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    And Carmen a more recent Christmas present. She comes with extra outfits.  This was a kit from KnitPicks, fun to knit up.

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  • knitting1105 9:53 pm on April 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Easter Sheep 

    This photo has been flying around Facebook, stating that a farmer near Bathgate, Scotland has been dying his sheep with nontoxic dye since 2007 to entertain passing motorists.

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    While this photo is a clever use of photoshop techniques, I was surprised to hear that it actually does happen, in Scotland for amusement, and in New Zealand to thwart any thieves.  Also has been reported to being used to keep track of flocks.  Obviously not fiber sheep, but it would be fun to get some of this wool.

    To Easter dyed sheep.  Would love to see a flock of these one day:

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    • tricotreat 7:36 am on April 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      This made my morning. Man do I want to own sheep…

  • knitting1105 1:14 pm on April 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: lacto-fermenting, preserving vegetables   

    Lacto-Fermenting 

    I know that this is supposed to be a knitting blog, but occasionally I just have to post about other cool things.   Recently we have started lacto-fermenting vegetables, and we are hooked.  Love the spicy crunchy taste, it is so easy to do and almost fool-proof.  This is how we are going to keep many of our vegetables from this summer’s harvest.  The technique has been around for centuries, think Kimchi and Sauerkraut.

    The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anti carcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine.

     

    I called Cass to ask if he had ever done this, and he said that he and Mom used to do pickles this way all the time.  I wish Mom were still here so that I could talk to her more about this.  So many things I still want to know about/find out from her…

    Basically, you just get a clean sterilized jar, add whatever vegetables and spices you would like, top off with some slightly salted filtered water, herbs and spices of your choice, and set on the counter for a few days to start the fermentation process. (The 2 small jars here are carrots and Daikon radishes in a slightly sweet vinegar bath to gently pickle and those went straight to the refrigerator).  These took about 20 minutes to prepare.

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    After about 3 days, the jar will become a bit cloudy.  When you open it you will see all of the veggies fermenting and bubbling away.

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    Let them fizz until you like the crunchiness and taste, then move to cool storage or the refrigerator to drastically slow down the  fermentation process.

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    In theory, they will keep for months in the fridge, we have trouble keeping them for days.   Any combination that you can think of works.  Our first test was just carrots, this is cauliflower, carrots, daikon radishes and red peppers along with some spices.  So yummy.

    This is a good blog post  if you are interested in learning more.

     

     
    • MrsPeterson 4:48 pm on April 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Yay! I have been making sauerkraut in a Harsch crock for a couple years now and it’s definitely one of the best investments I’ve ever made for my health. Sandor Katz has links to beautiful handmade crocks you would probably appreciate here: http://www.wildfermentation.com/fermentation-links/#info_box_9

      p.s. the link in your last sentence doesn’t work.

      • knitting1105 5:11 pm on April 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks MrsPeterson, will have to check out that crock. And fixed the last link, thanks again!

      • knitting1105 5:16 pm on April 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Oh, beautiful crocks, will have to get one definitely…

  • knitting1105 6:16 pm on April 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , YarnCon   

    Yarn Con 2014 

    This morning I went to YarnCon, held in the Journeymen’s Plumber’s Hall in Chicago, a nice space indeed.  There were more vendors than last year, lots to choose from.  Last year I went with Lynette on Sunday and we were one of the first 50 people, so got a great goody bag.  This year I arrived 10 minutes before the door opened, and there were over a 100 people already in line.  A couple of friends got there early and received the goody bag (to the first 50 people only), but it was not as impressive as last years.

    There was knitting performance art, not really sure that I “got” it, Mimi shared it on Instagram, as she felt the world needed to see this.  My photos are not the best, as they were done with my phone.

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    I met Martha at the event, new to Chicago, she has been following my blog!  It was fun to meet her and introduce her to some of my knitting and spinning friends.  My first “selfie”, don’t seem to ever like photos of myself.  I had a photo of her great boot toppers, but it did not turn out well.  Great to meet you Martha!

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    I went with the intention of buying enough fingering weight yarn for a very large project, and was able to restrain myself as I found nothing that was perfect.  I need 2,600 yards, so it needs to be the right choice.  My amazing restraint involved only getting 2 small bags for my knitting bag (from the same vendor I got my beautiful bag last year!),

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    And, some sock yarn for Dan.  This is from Anne Hanson’s new line, all American sourced, Bare Naked Wools.  The natural colors were so beautiful, this one is called Breakfast Blend.  It is wool, nylon and alpaca.  He loved the yarn, and I can’t wait to try it.

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    There is still time to check out the vendors and amazing selections tomorrow, don’t let my restraint stop you from attending, there is some really beautiful yarn to score!

     
    • Diane 7:35 pm on April 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Love the little bags. I think the group was knitting and meditating at the same time, reflecting on their lives.

      • knitting1105 5:13 pm on April 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I hope they were reflecting. Performance knitting just doesn’t do it for me…

    • tricotreat 5:01 pm on April 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Fun seeing you at YC and meeting Martha! I totally went back and got the yarn buddy. I’m so weak.

      • Martha 9:21 pm on April 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        It was great meeting you and your knitting and spinning friends :) I am so glad I found your blog a while ago and can put a friendly face to it. See ya one of these Sundays…

        • knitting1105 5:14 pm on April 7, 2014 Permalink

          Good to meet you also. We had a nice spinning group yesterday, hope you can join us soon.

    • Manning 10:33 pm on April 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Cute picture! I can’t wait to get my cast off so i can knit again.

      • knitting1105 5:12 pm on April 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Cast?!!! I told Dan and he said that he had seen you at church, he thought I already knew. Not being able to knit would be pure torture. Hope you recover soon.

  • knitting1105 1:48 pm on April 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Socks, Socks, Socks 

    There are always socks in my future, here are my next 3 sock projects I think, providing I find the appropriate patterns.

    First, my great buddy JoBeth went to Iceland for Vacation recently and brought me back some beautiful Icelandic sock yarn.  They love their socks thick, these will make great house socks.

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    And then, at one of the local winter Farmer’s  Markets, my husband chose this color for his next pair of socks.  It is 10% Bison, 90% Superwash, should make for some very comfortable socks.  I think that I will look for a great cabled pattern for these.

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    And lastly, this was in the personal destash of the local yarn shop owner.  I love these colors, apparently this dyer is not in business any more. The great variety of colors will cry for a specific design that does not fight with them. Purple and green are 2 of my favorites…

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    • Diane 11:35 pm on April 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Quilts in purple and green are my favorite colors too!

  • knitting1105 9:41 am on April 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    How I am giving up knitting! 

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    Just joking!  Happy April Fools Day!

     
  • knitting1105 2:13 pm on March 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , ,   

    Reef Shawl 

    Work has been steadily progressing on the Poppy Shawl by Brooke Nico.

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    If you decide to knit this pattern, look for the errata.  I found a mistake in the first row of Chart 3 and in the repeat width (it is 8 not the 9 std boxed out). When I emailed Brooke to ask if I was correct, she concurred and issued a correction on Ravelry.  It is a lot of knitting of the same pattern repeat, which is fairly straight forward albeit a bit boring at times.  I am very intrigued with the shape which is 3 triangles separated by 2 narrow rectangles (those are the sections with the nupps).  It should sit nicely on my shoulders and have lots of fabric to wrap.  One thing that I would like to change is the ending, rather than just casting off.  I have plenty of time to mull that over, still not finished with the first skein of yarn, my spinning was wound in 2 sections.

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    The colors are so gorgeous on this fiber, that I had to go back and see what the inspiration photo had been.

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    Which generated this colorway:

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  • knitting1105 1:31 pm on March 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Because I love color! 

    This long, dreary, cold, icy, snowy, interminable winter is getting to me. My spring break last week was hardly that, and they are calling for snow this week! Color is a great comfort. So, I pulled out the yarn that I had spun this winter, Reef by Fiber Optic.

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    And I turned to my new book, Lovely Knitted Lace by Brooke Nico to choose a pattern.

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    While this is not the pattern that I really want to knit from the book, I like the look the yardage requirements were almost perfect.  Poppy Shawl.

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    Here is my start.  At least the sun was shining for photos.

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    • Diane Hamilton 8:39 pm on March 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Love the colors, it will look beautiful on you as you watch the sunset on Lake Michigan!

      • knitting1105 1:35 pm on March 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Oh, it is indeed a sunset shawl!

    • Linda 6:17 am on March 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Wow!! This is going to be beautiful! Can’t wait to see the finished garment.

      • knitting1105 9:25 am on April 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, maybe another week of knitting…

  • knitting1105 1:30 pm on March 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Soft to the Hand 

    I recently finished the second of my 12 items for the Spin the Bin Challenge.  This was a fiber from River’s Edge Fiber Arts, called Monkey.  Silk, bamboo and Merino.

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    It was a dream to spin, but the fiber was so silky that it was not a fine spin.  Thinking that this would feel so good on my hands, I chose to make a 3ply yarn for some future mittens.  Yardage was not as good as I would have liked, 160 yards of 3 ply, 4 oz.

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    On the knitting front, I am currently finishing up some CookieA socks from my last club shipment last winter.  The yarn is Tanis, made in Canada. 70% super wash merino, 20% cashmere and 10% nylon.  Look at their website, the colors are amazing (my color is off in this photo, it is really a lovely soft green, color Julep, which describes it well). This yarn, called the “Purple Label Cashmere Sock” is a dream to knit with, I have another skein in my stash that was from my birthday Twin that I now can’t wait to pull out.  Not sure how easy this yarn is to get in the US, that was the great thing about the past 2 sock clubs, was finding and trying yarns that I would not have necessarily found on my own.   Even though I have size 9 feet, I am knitting the size small in Cookie’s pattern.  When I took classes from Cookie, I realized that she knits so incredibly tight that my gauge is never the same as hers.  Not sure yet if these are for me or a gift…

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  • knitting1105 7:02 pm on March 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    The color of Amish 

    Sometime last year I purchased this braid of fiber from JulieSpins.  This is one of the braids from my Spin the Bin challenge

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    Her fiber and sense of color are wonderful, this was very different from what I am usually attracted to, the color was called Amish.  I wasn’t really sure about the name, I work with the Amish, and wondered about using that title.  Then I started to spin it, and it morphed into these lovely muted shades.

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    It got me thinking about the colors of Amish.  Their quilts have always intrigued me, the dark offsetting the wonderful colors within.

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    And I found more inspiration in the traditional clothing, which if not from natural dyes, surely mimics them well.

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    Berlin PA 6b Amish farm north of town 2010 BlogA fiesta_amish-80-qpr

    And Amish scooter colors!

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    This will be very interesting to ply up.  I think that it will make a gorgeous scarf.  Perhaps appropriate for my husband.  My hope is that it will not muddy out when just doing a 2 ply.  I was tempted to make it a 3 ply to avoid that, but wanted the yardage.

     
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