Saturday, May 30, 2009

Root Beer Float!

Out of the dye pot and skeined up today...Root Beer Float really does look like a root beer float spilled all over the yarn. it's so pretty!! Midnight Craving:


I was going to take a picture of the kittens but I just checked them and it's time for a little bit of a I'll add an updated picture tomorrow.

Sibling Protection


And a pocket pet before he wizzed on Rosemary's shirt...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Doctors are confused!

The ortho that gave me that &#$*@^ cortisone shot 2 weeks ago did a re-eval today and looked totally perplexed, basically having no clue as to whether this is carpal tunnel or not. So now I get to do an MRI. Yippee!! I'm game - that's non-invasive and non-painful. If it's a cyst, it's one that can't be seen (or felt) from the outside so this should be interesting.

Knitting group tonight was fun - I took my latest batch of yarns to show and see the reactions and the overwhelming favorites were Harbor Lights and Grape-Blueberry Freeze. And a "I must have Obama's Favorite but not today." I love this because they are receptive so it further validates that I'm on the right track.

Any suggestions for yarn names that can somehow be tied to ice cream or desserts welcome. The most recent one involved migraine recovery and I love it! Midnight Craving is coming...drying as I type. Especially for my preggy friend. Hope she agrees that the colors would satiate a midnight craving for something sweet. More pictures tomorrow.

OH! And I started an advertising campaign to launch on Ravelry June 1, and I've been accepted as a prize donation source for the Sock Knitters Anonymous group, which means **FREE** advertising on that group. Over 7,000 members on that one so that should be well worth the cost of a skein of yarn! Such exciting stuff...

It's Quads!

I went back to Brenda's house to feed her ferals and there was a 4th kitten...looks just like the other 3. Very cold but vigorous, so I'm optimistic. I've got him on a heating pad right now and once he warms up he should feed then I'll put him with his siblings. I think she had a couple more...not a pretty sight.

At least these 4 are safe and out of harm's way. Now I just need someone to take them off my hands!

Foster anyone?? They're very cute...and eat well...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New babies, new venture, and rejection

This yarn dyeing venture is going to take off...I feel it. Now I need to learn to set up an accounting system. Ray got me Microsoft Accounting 2009 and I haven't even gotten past the initial stage of setting up accounts. Fortunately I've been tracking everything in Excel and if I have to hire someone to set it up for me then I'll at least be able to send them something to start with.

My advertising on Ravelry starts June 1. I did a one-day feature ad on Etsy on Saturday and got 2 sales that day, so that was a good thing!

And it suddenly occurred to me that my job hunting has resulted in 'thanks but no thanks' letters...something I'm not really accustomed to. I've been turned down for jobs that I'm way overqualified for, which I guess is to be expected...but at least I'm not at TPL right now where layoffs are happening yet again. The pressure cooker environment around there when those are pending are just not worth it.

Oh! And I pulled 3 newborn Siamese kittens, 2 boys and a girl, from a really bad situation this afternoon. Hopefully the shelter can find another foster pretty quick...

Woo-hoo!! This is SO cool!!

I made an appointment with Marie, the proprietor of llama llama knit in Novato to show my yarns and see if she might want to carry my line in her shop. I didn't take everything, I was afraid I'd overwhelm, so I took one bag with a nice variety and got good reviews and a promise of an order to come. Sigh. Renewed confidence. I hope to show the newer stuff that was still in the dye pots at the time of our meeting when I take yarn over for the test sock she'd like to knit. Things like:



And I took these with me and they loved 'em:
Grape Blueberry Swirl:

Desert Sun:

Harvest Mix:

There are time to post right now though. I'll try again tomorrow!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Headaches are slowing me down

So 20+ years ago I had a problem with constant headaches 24/7 that wouldn't go away with any kind of treatment. They tried the traditional meds and nothing worked. Then 10 years or so ago a neurologist finally gave me a preventive drug that worked. She explained I didn't have just headaches, I had migraine headache disease and that I needed to take something to prevent them rather than trying to make them go away. It's worked well, so that I was just like most everyone else in the world that would get an occasional headache, take some Tylenol, and be done. And now the past week I've got 24/7 headache that isn't going away. I even tried Ray's Midrin...that just made me sick like Imitrex, Maxalt, and Zomig used to do. Sigh.

It's really hard to stay focused on the job at hand, making sure I've got enough yarn to support Sock Summit when my head is throbbing and I'm nauseous all the time. So I've just been ignoring it as best I can and came up with some really pretty yarn. I thought I'd name one of them after the headache since the inspiration came out of ache, but didn't think naming a yarn migraine would particularly appealing. The one drink that gave me a massive headache back in the day was 151 rum lit at the top and the bar called it Harbor's a much prettier version, a blend of dark olive, dark purple, and sky blue.

Harbor Lights:

Licorice Twist:

Ribbon Candy:

and Obama's Favorite:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Yarn Vendor

My first order of undyed yarn was quite a disappointment. I ordered from a vendor in Hong Kong after doing lots of research for different wholesale vendors, comparing costs, and looking at samples. It bothered me that I had to buy from abroad in order to get the best pricing, but I did it anyway. Their prices were substantially less than competitors, even with the shipping it was lower, and their yarn felt great. But it was full of knots and flubs, so much so that my yield was much less than expected. When I contacted them, I was told that the "industry standard" is no more than 3 knots per 50 gram skein, but their standards were higher, no more than 2 knots per 100 gram skein. Now, 50 grams is about 200 yards and makes one sock, so I'm being told that it is acceptable per industry standards to have 3 knots in a skein that will make only one sock, which means it is acceptable to have 6 knots in a 100-gram, 400-yard skein? If I bought a skein of yarn with 6 knots in it I would take it back. I don't expect to find even 1 knot, much less 6! So when I skeined up this order, I cut at knots and started making mini-skeins of 100 yards that I was reading on the Ravelry forums people want but not many indie dyers are providing. But I was still discouraged by the numbers of knots and flubs in this order.

The new yarn I just received was from another vendor, here in the U.S. (YAY!!) and I've skeined up 2 of the 9 cones I ordered without a single knot. I'll skein up the remaining 7 I purchased later on today and tomorrow, but I'm quite optimistic that I'll be able to buy domestic product and feel much better about doing it, and have a better yield of goods to sell as well. Very happy dyer indeed.

Time to go skein more yarn...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Weekend Accomplishments

While I'm kind of beating myself up about not feeling like knitting, I realize I was actually quite productive this weekend despite it being really hot (105 here Saturday and Sunday). I got my airline tickets for both Stitches East and Midwest and made my hotel reservations. I knew stockpiling all of those air miles would pay off someday!

I have no undyed yarn left in my house...waiting for the next shipment to arrive.

I created my menu for the display table at the shows - it's so cute! I made it real simple in Word and it looks like a restaurant dessert menu - ice cream and banana splits in a wide variety of flavors.

Not exactly productive, but I did destroy a skein of yarn too and I did it badly. I hated the way it looked but it was too dark to overdye, so I tried color remover. Not a good idea for sock was really slimy and nasty and went from the pot to the garbage. But how would I have known until I tried?? And it's a business loss for tax purposes, right?

Would it be totally crazy to dye Chanel in a nice little rainbow of color and photograph her to show how nontoxic my dye really is? She got a bit of pink and blue on her tail a couple of weeks ago and it looked really cute! Don't know how she did it...

This week's disease

Okay so last week I had castonitis...wanting to cast on more when what I've got on the needles already are not finished. Now I don't know what to call this disease...maybe it'snevergonnabefinished-itis.

My first Cookie A socks, Vilai, are at the half way point. And I'm reminded why I don't like knitting socks cuff down...I already know they don't fit because she thinks everyones legs are a skinny 8", and the foot is going to take forever. Or so it seems. I have to finish them because even though I can't wear them they'll be great to display in my booth at Sock Summit.

Jillian's lacy knee high socks have heels, and I'm thinking "how far do I have to go to get to her knees?" Umm...maybe not.

Finished the air conditioned socks and they're so cute! But I started the heel too soon to have ankle shortie socks, so I need to rip'em back to before the heel and make the foot part a bit longer. Why didn't I realize that at the time? Guess I should have tried them on more often.

I've been dying to do Hypnosis from the Electic Sole and so I started them with some yarn I'm not happy with the way the dye job came out (for sale) but I like it (for me). If that makes sense. So those got started when I had castonitis.

So NOW somebody posted an adorable pair of socks that I really want to re-create and I can dye myself the yarn even...

Problem is...I don't feel like knitting. At all. How did that happen? I hope this disease passes quickly.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Pretty stuff from this week's dye pots!

This week resulted in some pretty stuff:
Cherry Berry Swirl

Campfire Marshmallow


Watermelon Grape Sorbet

Tequila Sunrise

Strawberry Shortcake

RingMaster's Favorite

Citrus Sherbet


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Oh the pain of cortisone shots

Egads. The doc wanted to give me a cortisone shot into my wrist and I've been resisting. I finally gave in. the shot was into the carpal tunnel and the pain was so stinking intense it caught me by surprise. I expected it to be painful, but I didn't expect it to be so painful that every foul word in the English language would come to mind as I broke out into a sweat and watched the room start moving. Good night...that hurt like hell.

Cortisone shot means immobilize the wrist and don't use it. That means no knitting! For at least 24 hours. So I waited the 24 hours, dyeing 12 skeins of yarn during that time, and then tried to knit while at the knitting group tonight and discovered I can't knit yet. So I dyed more yarn. Pictures to follow...some very pretty stuff this week came out of the dye pots! Tomorrow I get to do the least fun part of this wonderful new job I've given myself: skein the yarn.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A disease called castonitis

I guess all knitters go through this. There is a disease I believe I am afflicted with called caston-itis. It is a disease caused by an addiction. The addiction is knitting socks. See yarn? Envision the socks it could become. But envisioning those socks isn't good enough...must cast on and start making them!

Jillian's lacy knee hi's,

which are going to be way cute, but they're knee highs so is there an end...ever?

The bright panda cotton hole-y socks

I started 2 weeks ago when it was way hot and I couldn't stand the thought of touching wool. Those are nearly done since I'm not making long socks, but simply ankle socks.

And May's challenge for SKA is cables, so I picked a pattern out of the new Sock Innovation book, and they'll be my first socks by this designer. I've gone through one exhausting 28-row pattern repeat and was like "am I done yet?" those 28 rows didn't get me very far.

OH! And May also has a mystery sock pattern. I've never done one, so I started that one too (no pictures yet...)

So what happens? I'm on the phone with Jillian yesterday and she tells me that every time she wears her socks I made (not originally made for her, but they became hers after she tried them on and fell in love with them) from panda silk that Sarah gets all jealous and says she wishes they weren't so girly because if they weren't pink she'd have to share. And she asked if maybe I would make her a pair of socks. So that translated to "I have to make them NOW!" So, Sarah's socks have officially been started.

Can I make Sarah a pair of socks and not make a pair for Noah? No...that wouldn't be a very good grandma, now would it? So I've got the dark green Tofutsies I bought for him long ago sitting out here waiting...

I dyed a pot the other day of a color I'm calling butterscotch and it's gorgeous! It has a pattern called Hypnosis from my Eclectic Sole book screaming "make me make me NOW!" The only reason they have not yet begun is I'm out of needles. Maybe that means I should actually put that yarn up on Etsy so I'm not tempted to use it myself. I can always dye more, right?

What to do what to do??? Buy more sock needles? Sounds good to me. KnitPicks is bookmarked...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

This week's dye pot revealed

Last week's dye pot yielded several disasters, but this week's provided some really nice colors!
Marschino Cherry:

Blue Raspberry


Burgundy Cherry