Friday, February 27, 2009

What's a Wordle?

It's what I learned today!
Wordle: Yarn

The text from my blog was used by to create this graphic. Click on the graphic and it will launch the site. Hours of fun await!

This is addicting!
Zack's One Row Hat:
Wordle: Zack's One Night Hat

Thursday, February 26, 2009

You Can Teach an Old Dog

I’m not a big resolution person. That may be rather obvious since it’s nearly March and I’m just now mentioning resolutions. Here’s the deal. There’s all the stress about figuring out what to change in your life and then the bigger stress when you realize you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. Just as you are about to throw in the towel on the resolutions, along comes Lent. So now it’s time to give something up. Ok, that's easy--I’ll give up the resolution that I never made. A complete win/win in my opinion. I guess that’s really not in the spirit of either commitment, but that’s how I feel…today, anyways.

Now, I’m not saying that I’m not goal-oriented. I just prefer to do it on my time. Today, one of the senior managers in my office mentioned his goal is to learn something new every day. I like that. We probably do learn something new every day, but we don’t really think about it after the fact. I’m trying to remember what I learned yesterday that I didn’t know the day before. I’m sure there is something, I just can’t recollect what it could be. Hell, I can barely remember what I had for dinner yesterday. So my Lenten Resolution is to learn something new every day and be conscious of what I have learned. I’m not saying that every day I need to learn how to rotate the tires on my car or learn the finer points of atomic energy. Just something simple….like a better way to graft the toe of a sock, a stretchier cast-on, the Portuguese method of knitting, how to eradicate those #$*&#^!(@ pesky moths.

Today I learned how to use Microsoft Communicator and Powerpoint to give a presentation over to coworkers who reside in different office locations. Whee! I agree, that it shouldn't really count because it has nothing to do with knitting is not terribly sexy, but I it was something I've never done before. The possibilities for tomorrow are endless!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Yarn Makeover

Several months ago, my sister received a gift of cashmere yarn. Pink cashmere. As in bazooka-bubble-gum-pink cashmere. It is a lovely fiber, but an unfortunate color for a 40-something woman who's name isn't Barbie. I told Karen to look past the color. Color can be changed. So she sent it to me.

I asked my sister what color she wanted me to dye the cashmere. I kept the e-mail: "Yesterday I thought that shades of brown, a little pink and burnt orange would be cool. This morning I was thinking burgundyish and burnt orange would be nice. I trust your taste so I'll leave it up to you." I had visions of that decorating show "Trading Spaces" where friends redecorate each other's house. No pressure.

And she also sent me this. An alpaca blend in gray. Very soft but very gray. It, too, begged for a trip to the dye pot. The instructions were as follows: "The gray needs to become a somewhat subdued vibrant green. Can something be subdued and vibrant without becoming pastel??" Seriously? Subdued and vibrant? Here's the weird thing (it's that DNA thing again), I understood what she was talking about.

To be honest, I was a bit nervous and couldn't afford to screw up the cashmere, so I didn't dye the yarn right away. I had to live with the yarn for a while. Touching it. Petting it. Squishing it. I waited for the yarn to speak to me. The gray went first.

I soaked the yarn while I mixed the dye, just like always. Then I put about a third of the alpaca in the water in my dye kettle and then poured in the dye over the yarn. (Sometimes I put the yarn in the dye, sometimes I pour it over the yarn...depends on my mood.)

I poured and nothing happened. Normally, the dye strikes pretty quickly. Not in this case. The yarn was still gray. No color change. Oh crap! I pulled the yarn out of the kettle and resoaked the yarn, this time with a tiny bit of Dawn dish soap. There must have been some sizing on the yarn because the water turned a bit cloudy. A few minutes later, and it was back to the dye pot.

This is the gray alpaca:

And this is the cashmere

Ta da! A successful Yarn MakeOver! Hey, that sounds like a new reality show.

  • Stash in the Attic
  • Rate My Skein
  • Trading Skeins
  • Guess Who's Coming to Dye
  • The Yarn Whisperer
  • It's Me or the Yarn

I'd watch!