“I’m Melting, I’m Melting!”

It’s amazing what getting involved with a mill will do to you…

Once upon a time, I was a knitter-and only a knitter.  And I loved every minute of it.  Then, I started spinning.  And I became a spinner and a knitter.  And I loved that even more.  Then, last week, I dyed with some walnuts.  And I’m just wondering, just when did Dorothy throw that water on me?  Did I miss her?

Where do I even start?

Like usual, there are SO many names I could’ve given this post today.

Try this one on.

It Sure Does Take Forever To DYE

As in F-O-R-E-V-E-R! As in not exaggerating.  Excrutiatingly, everlastingly and eternally FOREVER.

I honestly was hoping I’d have this spun up by now.  But, in real people world, wet unspun fiber doesn’t dry quite as fast as handspun.  Meh. You learn something new everyday, right? 🙂

This was the second walnut batch that I dyed.  The fiber is so much richer than the last one, right?  It is so interesting how it really matters when you get those walnuts on their lifespan. But as I was waiting for this to dry, which took more than three days, in which I was getting next to no spinning done, absolutely none, I was wondering, “What the heck am I doing dyeing anyway?”  I’ve been visiting the mill for all of six or seven months now and I’m dyeing with nature stuff.  Huh?  Who am I?  I don’t even know what I’m going to do with so much brown when it’s spun up.  I had bought it from Greenbank Mill on my first visit there though, so I’m thinking about donating it back to them a la The Circle of Life. Besides, as Laurel told me recently, I am “COLORS! All the colors, all the time.”  You got that right!

And Laurel is the author of the next title so if you don’t like it, blame her. 😉

COLORS! All The Colors All The Time!

Case in point.

Another dye job that took forever to dry.  Now, let’s backtrack a minute on this…because, you know, I really thought that dyeing it with that Kool-aid would have gotten me to spinning faster than ordering some colored fiber online and waiting for it to arrive at my home?  Yeah, not really.  I could have ordered it, sent it back and ordered it again and I would have still been spinning faster. LOL!

This was a merino/bamboo combo.  So, it was really fluffy before I dyed it.   Afterwards, it was a little different.  It seemed a little matty in some areas.  Not like I couldn’t spin it.  Just a little different.  But, then, I suppose you really shouldn’t play with it while it’s still drying though… 🙂 In my defense, I really thought it should’ve been dry by the time–I mean the times–I played with it.  I know, I’m so ashamed. My children have behaved better the night before Christmas than I did waiting for this to dry. 

Do you see why I leave the dyeing to the dyers? I’m nothing if I’m not methodical.

So, as you can see, once it was at least mostly dry, I started playing with carding it up.

Here’s some more light.  The rolls to the left of the photos are rolags that I made with my hand carders.  The big rolled up sheet to the right is a bat from the carder (yeah, Natalie will never see that again lol!).  In the middle, is the fiber source that is FINALLY dry. Finally.  That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Except…I can truly say now that I understand when those who paint and dye fiber say they don’t have time to spin.  Forever really is a long time, y’all.

Well, how about this title?  You corporate folks will love this one.

To GTD or Not to GTD (because that really is the question)

Alright, that one’s a little long.  But, it’s really fitting.

This is where I am on my Leafy Knot Purse from Knitting 24/7.  I love the colors!  Still wondering what that’s going to look like when it’s completed. But the color changes in the yarn excite me! I should be further along on this by now. The project has been in my bag since I last told y’all about it and between then and the last time I took it out, it got all tangly on me! I can’t tell you how long I tried to get those knots out of my beautiful handspun before I had to just give it up and snip and save the tangles for another day.  Note my policy on tangles.  I developed that policy in 2011 during a much more sarcastic time in my life.  But it still works! Hopefully I can regain my lost time working on this tomorrow at Linda’s Indigo Dyeing Demo (I know, I know…).

I have been working on some projects that I really can’t wait to tell you about! One, I have to keep up my sleeve a little while longer.  But the other one…I’m going to just spring on y’all now!  I’m a moderator!  Pretty cool, huh?  I’m getting all active and whatnot.  It’s kind of fun! If you had asked me last year whether I’d be so involved with a mill, I’d have asked you what a mill was! It’s a beautiful thing.  It’s fun and I’m making friends that are interested in some of the very things that I am.  You can’t buy that kind of fun!

Okay…What about this title?

Save the Children

That’s a little dramatic…Unless you know that Firefox just crashed on me and I thought I had lost this entire post! So, indulge me. 🙂

This one is a little more appropriate, I think.

Whoa Mama!!

As in, seriously, WHOA mama.  One of my friends from work (you remember Donna?) asked me to find something to knit for a friend of hers that is having a baby.  So, since she’s never failed me yet, I looked up Knitting For Baby by Melanie Falick and Kristin Nicholas, and I found some patterns.  I found too many!

Look at these!

This is just such a cute hat! And it’s all garter stitch.  Honestly, I love the ease of an item made all in garter stitch. But sometimes, I don’t like how it looks. If I knit something all in garter stitch, I really like for the pattern to at least look a little clever for garter stitch.  Ironically, knitting garter on a bias is enough (lol).  But I could just eat that hat! It’s so cute!

Still, I am kind of divided between that one and this one.

This hat just has the potential for that wee bit of swag that I know Donna would appreciate. I imagine I could even knit a little design or something into the stockinette stitch there…Or maybe have stripes or different colors for different parts of the hat…There are things to think about.

Then, there’s this sweater.

Look at the little design at the top! It’s a yoke sweater and I really like those because they go so much faster to me.  You may notice I don’t knit very many sweaters.  For one, I’m more of a sweatshirt-for-a-team-I-never-watch, school-I-never-went-to kind of girl.  The only stipulation is it has to match my shoes. 🙂  But, I don’t mind knitting sweaters for babies though.  I have a million other reasons why I don’t knit many adult-sized sweaters and they are all stacked up nicely in the shelves at Stitches With Style. I never go with the mind of getting 8-10 balls of one yarn for any one project.  It’s more like I get one ball of 8-10 yarns I just had to have for I don’t even know what project yet, lol.  Yeah.  Picture that sweater.  But this sweater is super cute, right?  Would it be really dorky if I put that same star in the hat with the stockinette stitch?  Yeah, it probably would, huh?  But it would be SO cute!! Or what if I used a base color in the body (as shown), with a variegated background that included the base color for the graphic design at the top?  Too much?  Hmmm…food for thought.

Just for those that might be looking into some baby patterns, the book is really great for new moms who are new knitters because it does teach the basics of knitting.  If you’re not much of a knitter (in your own estimation) and you’d like to start knitting, find a baby (they’re all over the place) and try some of these patterns.  They’re really simple and have the potential to get as complex as you want as your skills grow.  And the illustrations are adorable!

And did you notice the images show you a digitized version of the book?  Yup.  It’s on my iPad! Coming from someone that routinely used to go straight to Amazon, search the term “knitting” and click on the “I’d like to read this book on Kindle” link for every book that came up in the results at least once a week, if you are already a knitter, I’d give publishing companies like Open Road Media a pat on the back for making these books easier to get to in downloadable form.  Finally, someone is listening to the knitters! I am quite drunken and very pleased with this new found power.  🙂

Okay, so none of those titles worked for you?  How about this one?

All I Got

So, what did I get done this week?  Absolutely nothing! I got half of Root Veggies by Sosae Ceatano spun.

And, at the spin-in, I did work on the Kool-Aid experiment.

Yup.  That’s all I got. 🙂


  1. I loved your post and your spinning is quite lovely. I’ve not tried dyeing as of yet but I’m curious about walnut dyeing. Is there a website that talks more about this? The reason I ask, I have a very old family crocheted piece that was dyed by walnuts and it’s a beautiful color. I really would love to learn 🙂

  2. Well Stacey, you may not have got much done in your estimation, but my head is spinning [:)] trying to take in all of your busyness!!! Thanks for your fun and interesting post. xx from Gracie

  3. Nominating you for Reader Appreciation Award … next blog … 🙂

  4. I love that “Root veggies” batt, lovely colours, it’s going to make such a beautiful yarn. Makes me want to run to my drum carder instantly and start making batts like that 🙂

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