Knitting and a Movie
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
      ( 12:09 PM ) Rebecca  
A Very Blustery Day
To quote Pooh Bear... (well A. A. Milne). We are having some amazing wind today, so hopefully I can update my blog before losing power.
Sorry to be gone for so long... my hubby's digital camera was out of batteries, and I've been sick sick sick with a nasty cough/fever thing, and I've been struggling with my sewing machine to sew one vampire cape for my son and one Emma Peel costume for me which it insists upon sucking into the hole between the feed dogs. I never thought your notions list needed to include one screwdriver.
On the movie front, we watched Cradle Will Rock, directed by Tim Robbins. It is a true story that takes place in the 1930's around the government-subsidised theatre industry. It has a laundry list of stars (click the link to see what I mean, I can't possibly list them all there). It's a great film. Factual, and well-edited, just great all around. Go rent it. (We also watched another true story, Joe Gould's Secret, which had some nice messages although it was less of a story and more of a character piece. And for just plain old fiction, we watched The Emperor's Club, which stars Kevin Kline as a teacher at a boys' school. Nice drama, although not outstanding.)

What have I been doing while watching all these movies? Working on an afghan square for New England Textile Arts... we are going to make an afghan and raffle it off to raise money for the Ships' Project. Getting there with my square....(one of the squares from Knitters' Great American Aran Afghan)

Oh, you wanted to see my grey yarn? Here it is:

And if you like Quentin Tarantino, then go see Kill Bill if you haven't already. We just saw it at the matinee and it is Tarantino at his best, with lots of neat camera work and fun Hong Kong style action. (However, if you hate his films, best stay away from this one, it does have excessively gratuitous violence.) #


Thursday, October 09, 2003
      ( 5:43 AM ) Rebecca  
Sage Dyeing and Pumpkins
Well, my dear son couldn't wait any longer to carve a pumpkin, so here's one we got from the farm the other day (as opposed to the three in my garden that aren't ready to pick yet):

(I cut the lid for him and helped him cut the ears which you can't see, but he did the whole face entirely by himself.)
I also heard on the Natural Dyeing List that you could use sage to dye with.... well, I thought, I have a bunch of sage in my garden and I already harvested what I wanted to dry. Why not try it? No one on list could tell me what mordant to use and what colour you got, so I did a web search and heard "alum gives you yellow, iron gives you grey-green." I wasn't really interested in yellow, so I thought I would boil the dyebath in an iron pot (since I don't have any copperas handy). Here's what I did:
4 oz of sage
1 c. of vinegar
8 c. of water
I simmered this in an iron pot for one and a half hours. Then I let it cool, and poured it into the dyepot. It was a dark green-grey. (It was greenier early on, maybe I should have rescued the dyebath earlier).
Then I added 1 oz. of white yarn and enough water so the yarn would float freely, and simmered THAT for one hour. I turned off the heat and let it sit overnight, then washed out the yarn with lavender Dr. Bronners and lukewarm water until it ran clean. It's now hanging on the clothes dryer on my back porch. Currently it is a deep charcoal grey, almost black. We'll see what it looks like dry. (Stop back by for the results.)
Now, I'm not sure if this was a successful experiment or not. It blows my mind that with something out of my garden (and my iron pot) that I can get almost black dye. Is it a colour I would normally want? Not sure... I mean, I do like black and grey. Now that I only have an ounce of yarn, however, what can I do with it? I thought about making a bunch of natural dye swatches and making a natural dye afghan. I can't wait until next year... if my sage takes off again like it did this year (I was begging people to take some root divisions and sage leaves), then I can do more experimenting next year. Also, I have the leftover dye liquid (which is still quite dark grey) so maybe I can use that to get some lighter grey yarn.

I bet the real reason you stopped by is to see how progress on the baby dress is coming, however. So here you go:

Also, I got a lovely bag to carry it in:

We watched Bowling for Columbine Tuesday night, and I came upstairs after watching special features, to find out Michael Moore has a new book, and was going to be on the Daily Show right then. So we trudged back downstairs and watched 15 minutes of the Daily Show. It was a great documentary, funny and entertaining yet touching and thought-provoking. #


Monday, October 06, 2003
      ( 6:02 AM ) Rebecca  
Norwegian Wool
So Friday, my husband got home from the post office with this:

Anne very sweetly sent me yarn to do the Dale baby sweater. It's Norwegian Sport Wool and it theoretically is a sport weight, but I was able to get it to get gauge on the size 1 Addi's so all is good. Look at the lovely lavenders that she dyed herself!
Seeing that Christmas is coming, I put all personal knitting on hold to work on the baby dress. I got to the base of the flower heads, although this picture is a bit blurry and the contrast isn't that great:

(Now it's only been recently that I've done any personal knitting; I usually knit for other people, but since all the "babies" in the family are getting bigger and pickier it's fun to be able to actually make some things for myself. Still, I love knitting for babies, so it's no big deal.)
Harry Potter scarf (don't need to post photos) is the soccer knitting and that's almost done. I imagine I will be to the solid yellow part of the dress by the time that scarf is done and I will be able to work on this while at the soccer games. You really need mindless knitting to do at your child's soccer game because we all know how fast-paced a game soccer is. #


Thursday, October 02, 2003
      ( 7:05 PM ) Rebecca  
Update On My Friend's Twins
She had her twins today (on her due date); I just heard. They were 10 hours apart! Both born naturally and healthy. Hopefully I don't end up being so busy next week that I can't go help her around the house. #

Comments       ( 5:48 PM ) Rebecca  
Church Knitting
So on Wednesday I went to the newly formed knitting group at my church for the first time. It is very open... you can bring your personal projects, or projects you are making for charity. You can share patterns or not... you can work quietly, or pray, or whatever you want. I think it's nice because it's an excuse to get together with other knitters, and take time out of your day to be quiet and meditative (and get some knitting done). I worked on my shawl a bit. I had brought a bunch of free patterns for outreach projects if people wanted them (my afghan squares, some other free charity patterns from the web, and a list of charities) so that people who needed inspiration could get it. Another woman brought a bag of odd yarn from her stash. We're trying to find an attractive storage piece of furniture (maybe a steamer trunk or something) at a yard sale so that we can store our knitting things in the church library without it looking out of place (like a plastic Wal-Mart tub would look). One woman brought Zen and the Art of Knitting which looks really good; I think I will have to get a copy and read it.

Fall is definitely coming here. We are supposed to get a frost tonight, so I picked all my green tomatoes and finished gathering my pokeberries into jars of vinegar. I have a quart and a half of them. (I am going to attempt to dye with them and we'll find out if they are light fast or not. I have heard if you use only vinegar as a mordant, they will actually be light fast. Worth a try. I will let them ferment for a few days while I do make pickled green tomatoes and some apple butter and whatnot with the huge bag of apples I got at the local apple farm, and keep everyone posted on the dyeing experiment later.)

Meanwhile I found a dream job, which I applied for. I have no idea how well it pays, but at least it would be a job. It's doing costume design for theatre at a local university. It involves shopping at consignment shops for costume parts and material, as well as researching historical costuming, hairstyles, and millinery appropriate for the period. Well, I am good at thrift store shopping, and I LOVE historical costuming. I wrote a really glowing cover letter highlighting my love of the topic and the fact that I was very involved in theatre back in college. I have absolutely no professional experience in this, so I probably won't get the job, but I think it would be amazingly fun. It's ironic... I was thinking about going into an artistic field (theatre, music, or fashion design) but went with engineering because I am good at math and problem solving, and engineering/computers would be a sure thing for a job, unlike art fields, which are so hard to get a sure job in. Now the only full-time job I've found has been an artistic job, with all the laid-off computer people sitting around trying to find work. Sometimes you have to wonder about the universe.

I leave you with one full pattern repeat of the Moss Stitch and Cable sweater:



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