(Nearly) Wordless WIP Wednesday: Yarn Dyeing Edition

The story of my latest project, in photos:

There's A Thread: Yarn Dyeing Cards

There's A Thread: Dyeing Yarn

There's A Thread: Hand Dyed Yarn

There's A Thread: Hand Dyed Yarn

There's A Thread: Knitted Cowl

I know it looks like a sleeve, but it’s going to be a cowl. I was inspired to get back to dyeing by these cool mini-skein cowl kits that Pepperberry Knits had for sale at my local yarn store recently.  I couldn’t find them for sale on the Pepperberry site anymore, but you can see it in the background here.

My Life in Knitting

I don’t have much to show for the last four days; my major project has been excavating my craft room (aka former living room) out from under the mounds of scraps and random projects on every horizontal surface. Here’s a peak into what it looks like now.

sewing room

Ahhh, so much better! (Except for the weird rippling in my cutting mat. Does anyone else have that problem?)

Those built-ins are one of my favorite things about my apartment. The left hand side is where my yarn stash lives.

sock yarn

While cleaning out this room, I also sat down and sorted through all my knitting projects that are in progress stalled and going nowhere since I started quilting. I’m going to show them to you here in the hopes that I’ll get some motivation to just finish them already. Give me a kick in the pants, ok?

To try to keep this to a reasonable length, I’m not going to include what all the yarns and patterns are, but holler in the comments if you want more info.

Ok, first up, some socks. Pair #1 just needs a few more rows.

rios socks

Pair #2 just needs the bind off for the second sock. The first one is around here… somewhere.

serpentine socks

Pair #3  is almost to the toe of the second sock. This is yarn that I dyed to satisfy my craving for yellow socks.

yellow socks

Moving right along, we have this little polar bear, which I did not finish in time for last Christmas.

knit polar bear

Next, this pretty awesome sweater, which I just need to get up the courage to seam together. I made some modifications to the pattern to remove a hood, so I also need to reacquaint myself with the plan. What did past me have in mind, exactly?

sweater

This next one is a “pattern” of my own design. Basically it’s a long tube scarf that forms a double layer because it’s knit in the round and then folded in half. I’m planning to put button bands at the ends so I can wrap it around and button it into a big thick cowl.

textured scarf

And finally I have this little dilemma.

mittens

I’m pretty sure that I knit the mitten on the right first, based on the improvement in the colorwork from the right one to the left one. I have plenty of yarn and should probably just make another one to match the one on the left, now that I’m over my initial disappointment. And yes, I did try wetting the smaller one and stretching it out, but that didn’t help too much.

So that’s it! Oh, except for these three!

yarn

Sometimes you just have to know when to call it quits and give the yarn a new lease on life, you know?

In Which Yarn Fantasies Come True

My ears perked up recently when Jason mentioned he needed to go to Seattle for work. About six years ago, I had what I think of as a “perfect” day in Seattle. That day began with a trip to Bainbridge Island and ended with a nearly front-row seat to see Andrew Bird at Bumbershoot. It’s kind of a funny story how I ended up in Seattle that time: I was suffering from extremely bad seasonal allergies, and so I cross-referenced an online allergen map with a discount airfare site and decided to take a cheap last-minute flight to escape my misery. Thank you, internet.

Anyway, the last time I went to Bainbridge Island, I hadn’t yet started to knit, and so that day was actually not as perfect as it could have been: I missed out on Churchmouse Yarns and Teas. Ever since I learned about this store, I’ve been dreaming about taking a trip back to Bainbridge Island. Luckily Jason was game for the idea of a yarn pilgrimage romantic getaway weekend.

Bainbridge Island is a short ferry ride away from Seattle.  We had a few hours to kill before the ferry, so we went first to Pike’s Place Market. So began a weekend of epic eating.

Pike Place Market, Seattle

The ferry ride is very pleasant, if cold. You get great views of Seattle, Puget Sound, and the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges in the distance. The weather forecast was for rain during our visit, but we got lucky!

Bainbridge Island Ferry

I was happy to discover that there’s also a fabric store on Bainbridge Island: Esther’s Fabrics. They had the cutest displays and were very helpful. I picked up a few more prints for my Hawaii quilt.

Esther's Fabrics

And then it was on to Churchmouse. I can only say that this is the most beautiful yarn store I have ever been in. That’s saying a lot, given that two of my local yarn stores are A Verb for Keeping Warm in Berkeley and Imagiknit in San Francisco. But, wow. This store is like a museum. A museum of incredibly tasteful yarn. If you are a knitter, you know there’s a lot out there that is… a little regrettable. I’m not saying there isn’t a place for loud, variegated yarn, but this store is an oasis from all that is crass in knitting. There’s an almost religious quality to it.

Churchmouse Yarns and Teas

This last photo is their collection of yarn from Brooklyn Tweed, which you will almost certainly have heard of if you’re a knitter. If not, it’s a line of two yarns, both spun in the “woolen” style, which makes them very lofty and lightweight, but warm. The wool is dyed before it’s spun, so that each color is made up of many different base colors, with specks you can see close up, and a beautiful heathered look from a distance. Jared Flood, the owner of Brooklyn Tweed, did a great series of posts on his blog about the making of this yarn. I was so excited to be able to see all the colors in person, since there are only a handful of stores that carry this yarn. I’d been planning to get enough yarn to make the Emery sweater in Camper (a pink color), but ended up preferring the look of Old World (a deep blue) in person.

Bainbridge Island Photos

A few other favorites from the weekend:

The view from the Eagle Harbor Public House (photos above) is fantastic at sunset. The clam chowder was yummy but too rich for me to finish. (Yes that is a pat of butter floating in the clam chowder.) We enjoyed trying some local rye called John Jacob Fremont Mischief. According to the bartender at another place we visited, the distilling laws in Washington State have recently changed, and there are more small independent distilleries opening up.

Pegasus Coffee was our home base for several meals.  Our favorites were the baked eggs with chiles and the savory cobbler of the day.

We also made a brief foray into Ballard. We had great cocktails at The Sexton and I did a little stash building at The Quilting Loft on our way to see the Ballard Locks.