Thursday, April 26, 2007

Slow & Steady

It's finally spring here in Brooklyn. I had some orange tulips I wanted to photograph for you, but alas, they curled up and died. It seems as if it just gets harder and harder to find hardy flowers at these Brooklyn "bodegas."

So, instead, I'll give you a sneak peak of what I've been up to. I got more dyeing supplies last week and can now do bigger batches. From left to right are Kelp Seahorse, Lotus Blooms, Wisteria, and Brooklyn Candy. I have more colorways to do before shipping this order off to the Loopy Ewe.

I finally found a simple way to twist my yarn into hanks. It took weeks of practice. I know it sounds silly and perhaps every knitter should just know how to twist a skein of yarn into a hank, but it took a lot of tries for me to be able to do it without blinking. And I'm very particular about my hanks; if a strand of yarn looks off, I can't stand it and will do it again. Now I can get my hanks to look pleasing to me on the first try.

Apparently the Loopy Ewe had so much traffic yesterday that the website kind of freaked out. Leave it to sock knitters and their yarn addiction to bring a site down.

After this order, I'll start a smaller order for The Yarn Grove. I want to maintain some business on etsy as I do like dealing with sock knitters and enjoy having the personal interaction with them, so hopefully I'll be able to do a shop update after these two wholesale orders.

Ever want something so badly?

I told myself to wait two weeks. If I still must have it in two weeks, then it's mine.

I'm working on these socks right now. The yarn is Opal Rainforest II in the Caterpillar colorway. I just love caterpillars and pupas and cocoons and butterflies and moths. I really do. So I couldn't resist this yarn.

I've also started a Woolly Boully Google group to send out notifications of yarn news and shop updates. You can sign up here.

Oh, and my prospectus will officially be turned in next week. That, my dear friends, was no small feat. I treated myself by buying a paper shredder. Strange, I know, but I really really wanted one.

p.s. Is it just me? Or are photographs uploaded to Blogger blurry? My photographs look great over at Flickr, but they look awful on my blog. Humpf.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Red Robin Socks Done; Lots of Yarn; More Squares and Blankets

I finished my Red Robin socks about a week and a half ago. A friend of mine emailed to say, "Hey, you haven't updated your knitting blog in a while. It's not like you. Is something wrong?"

It seems like it must be the time of the semester. Everything seems to need to get done all at once. It doesn't help that the weather has been so eerie and for so long now--nothing but dark clouds and the confusion of trees and birds. My living room ceiling had a putrid leak, I had deadlines, and I had a family affair that scared me. (It's okay--I'm just not ready to talk about it yet.) It's no wonder that I feel the way I do, slightly scattered and anxious.

Here are the specs for my Red Robin socks:

Yarn: Woolly Boully Red Robin: Bird, Nest, & Eggs
Needles: size 1 Crystal Palace dpns
Pattern: plain ole stockinette over 60 stitches, 2x2 2" cuff, heel flap, and decreased toe

I love, love, love these socks. I don't want to toot my own horn, but working with this yarn was dreamy, delightful. I could not put these socks down. All I wanted to do was knit and knit and knit these. I'm sorry that they knitted up so quickly.

Say, see this pile of Wisteria yarn? Woolly Boully got its first wholesale order. I just about flipped out. It was the same feeling I got when I had my first poem accepted for a journal, the same feeling I got when I heard my first book was getting published, the same feeling I got whenever something absolutely wonderful and unexpected happened. I have a lot more yarn to dye before I can ship this order on over to the Loopy Ewe. Oh, yes, the Loopy Ewe! And there is another wholesale order that I'll start on after that, but I'll give more details about this in another post.

I'm keeping whatever yarns are listed in my etsy shop at $21. Any new yarns will increase in price to $23, and I probably won't be able to do a shop update for about two months. So if you see something you like, now would be a great time to buy!

Jody, who was March's prize winner, made these three (!) baby blankets.

She also made these seven, bright, happy squares.

And my friend Joanna, who has just learned how to knit, made these squares.

Joanna kept apologizing for her knitting, yet she is knitting beautifully for just beginning. Her first project was a ribbed scarf. Great day! It took me forever to learn how to knit correctly and then another forever to learn how to purl and then another forever to do both with some ease. You're knitting looks wonderful, Joanna!

Since it looks as if I'm going to be busy dyeing up a storm, writing the ole dissertation, and finishing that 250+ page book I started two summers ago, I think I should make June 15 the deadline for getting in squares, afghans, and blankets for the drive. If you still want to participate, go here for details. Thanks so much to everyone for their support!

Monday, April 09, 2007

March's Winner & April's Prize

Manly accidentally grabbed two entries when I asked him to draw a winner of March's prize. Both entries happened to belong to Jody, so there was no contesting that Jody is now the owner of two skeins of Lamb's Pride worsted in the Creme colorway and Traditional Aran Knitting.

Congrats, Jody!

You might remember Jody's squares here and here.

If your name wasn't picked this time around, remember, your entries stay in the raffle bag, so do not despair--there are many prizes left. There are even some luxury knitting needles that were donated; I'll post details once I get the information from Mom J, who secured the donation.

April's prize will be two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepard Sport in the Watercolor colorway and The Sock Journal: Knit the Year in Socks.

Thanks everyone for sending in your fabulous squares, blankets, and afghans.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

New Colorway: Autumn's Tremblings

Well, running an etsy shop isn't as easy as it seems to be. I need to get a bigger pot so that I'll be able to dye more yarn at a time. Maybe it would be a good idea to use two big pots. Now, I can only do three skeins at a time. If I could do eight at a time, I wouldn't have to spend each day dyeing or preparing to dye. (Very Shakespearean and morbid.)

This new colorway is called Autumn's Tremblings. The full name, taken from a line in one of my poems, is: as vibrant as autumn's tremblings. "Autumn's Tremblings" are, of course, the wind-blown and fallen leaves.

I'm dyeing more Woolly Boully Neapolitan today, and I'll do a batch of Red Robin next--perhaps in the next two days.

I'm almost done with my Red Robin socks, but that isn't at all as exciting as almost being done with my prospectus.

I was so close to being done with it last week, but then I had one of those computer mishaps, you know, the kind that our students always have and we never quite believe them? Well, I guess this was pay-back; two of my pages turned into 30 pages, all with about ten weird characters at the start of every page. It was scary and frustrating. After crying and throwing paper around, I realized that it was probably a good thing that this happened: I was able to realize that I was really stressed out and didn't know it; it also helped me to know that I should probably take another week with it.