I Need Another Skein

The True Tale of a Novice Texas Knitter who admits to loving yarn more than she loves knitting...

Location: Plano, Texas, United States

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


We've had a discussion in one of my groups about whether or not a hand-dyed yarn should be reskeined - and if it did the yarn any "good."

This past weekend, I reskeined some of my yarns that I've dyed recently and I can give a resounding YES - it does the yarn GOOD!


And After:

I love the way it looks reskeined - gives me more of an idea of how the colors really work - or don't work - together and how they will look when they are knit up.

But the yarn that pushed me over to the "It MUST be reskeined" school of thought was this ugly mess that I dyed for my friend Lise at our retreat. (To be fair, Lise never thought that it was ugly - only I did.)

But it turned into this when reskeined...

Go read her blog for more reskeining and dyeing fun!

This is the other skein I dyed this weekend - I'm liking it more and more - and hoping that it will reskein as something I really like - if not - it's back to the dye bath. It's a different fiber - not superwash. It's 50/50 Merino and Silk - and this fiber just seems to mute the colors more than the superwash does. I'm liking it more and more - just because it produces something "different."

And lest you think I'm only dyeing - I'm also knitting...I'm still working on the Socks using the other yarn I dyed and My So Called Scarf. I'd like to finish it before the end of March - but don't know that I will.

I did finish a bunny for my new Goddaughter, Dot.

I hope it's something she will be able to carry around for years - knowing that I made it especially for her.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Our Anniversary

March 17 was our 6th anniversary. We got married March 17, 2001, in Jefferson, TX in the Excelsior House courtyard (yes, I first typed that as courtyarn.... I think I have an obsession.) surrounded by friends and family.

A couple of days before our anniversary this year, we got a call letting us know that we could have a condo through our timeshare for a weekend down in the hill country of Texas. We grabbed the chance and packed a bag and left after work on Friday for Canyon Lake.

Saturday, I spent the morning letting Alek sleep in - his weekday work schedule has him up early every day, so Saturdays are his days to sleep. I, however, can't seem to sleep very late anymore - so I went downstairs and dyed some yarn. HA! (I know this shocks everyone!)

Manda has named the one on the right "Amber Waves of Grain" and the one on the left is "Circus Freak."

After Alek got up and got ready, we went into Austin for Breakfast at Kerby Lane Cafe - YUMMO! If you ever go I have 2 items - both appetizers - that are must buys - Kerbylicious Soft Nachos and the Sweet Potato Fries...

And then we drove around town and wanted to go to this coffeehouse on South Congress that we'd read would let us take Sabine with us. (She did get to come on the trip with us.)

Well, it was the last weekend of SXSW in Austin - and Jo's Coffeehouse was one of the venues for some of the bands - SO, South Congress was PACKED and very hard to find parking - but we found it - and where do you think we found it - right on the side street that brought us out to

Yes, even the car knows where the knitting/yarn shops are!!!

I was good and didn't ask to go in right away (but did check the door to see what time they closed...) and we walked down and back up S. Congress - looking at shops, listening to bands and enjoying the beautiful weather. (You can see in the Hill Country Weaver's sign above how clear of a day it was!)

As we got back towards the car when Sabine had really tired out, I did go inside HCW while they went to get the car - thinking I do need some Chibis....and honestly had every intention of not looking at anything else - yarn diet and all - but the very evil saleslady walked me by their "just in" shipment of Koigu...so THIS is what Alek got me for our anniversary.

(He didn't know he got it for me 'til the next morning - but I finally fessed up.)

That night, we went to the Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood - which has to be some of the best BBQ in the world...

Sunday morning - we checked out of the resort, went to Austin Java Company for a delicious breakfast with some of the best coffee ever, drove around Austin some more and then headed home - along with what must have been close to the entire population of North Texas AND Oklahoma - if not Kansas...since our little 3 hour drive expectancy turned into close to 8...Finally got off in Hillsboro and went up the backroads to Fort Worth. (The hold up probably was 2 miles ahead of where we turned off - but by that time, we just wanted to be moving!!)

We had a wonderful, relaxing weekend - and here's hoping for another year or fifty with this loving man of mine!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Retreat and Dye!!

I thought this had posted a couple of weeks ago - Guess I should check out my own blog every now and then!!

I just spent an awesome knitterly weekend with a group of friends at a lovely retreat center in East Texas called Arabella Gardens.

It was a lovely center out in the country set up like a B&B with lots of farm life - chickens, roosters, ducks, dogs - just outside the door.

There were about 10 of us altogether and we had such a relaxing time - knitting and chatting and just enjoying being away from everything.

The food was beyond every expectation - in a good way! A VERY good way. There were even conversations about getting glasses of the salad dressing to eat/drink by itself. It was THAT good. (We didn't, though, I promise!)

We got there on Friday night - people straggling in until about 7 or so - then we were all there in time for dinner. We arrived to lovely gift bags on our beds with everything from yarn to hand lotions and candles and Lambs' Ears - Lovely little fuzzy headbands with lambs ears on them. And yes - all of us grown women wore them all weekend!

Saturday morning, we got up to a scrumptious breakfast and then packed the cars to head "into town" for - what else - some yarn shopping!

We went to a little shop called Rose Path Weaving in Lindale and took it by storm! The ladies there are just the most friendly, wonderful people and they made special sales for our group and, quite possibly, made their entire income goal for the month with our group alone.

Rose Path is a great source for yarny goodness in East Texas - and has looms and spinning supplies - and lots of nekkid yarn - which does the heart of this novice dyer good!

They have lots of yummy yarn flavors and the most adorable mascot - Sandy

After Rose Path, we went to Wally World to get some stuff - 'cause you know that's what Wally World is good for - and it wasn't until we were out in the car that I realized that I had been walking around the store for all of East Texas to see with - yes, you guessed it! Lamb Ears on my head!!! (Let me just say I was NOT the only one who got the stares....ahem...)

Now let me say - the week leading up to this retreat had been one of the more stressful weeks that I have ever experienced on a personal level and I needed this time away. It could not have been planned at a better time. I honestly don't think I actually knit more than 10 rows on anything all weekend - BUT, I did get to dye.

I brought all of my dyeing supplies with me and spent a good deal of Saturday night dyeing not only my own nekkid yarn - but also the nekkid yarn that others had bought at Rosepath. These trusting souls just handed me their yarn and said, "Play!" It was the best medicine that anyone could give me...the relaxation factor was 11 on a scale of 1-10.

These are our yarns drying in the morning light...and all of them skeined up for their photo ops!

On Sunday afternoon, we left Garden Valley more relaxed - one of us with very purple hands - having laughed and giggled so much our tummies hurt and wanting to know when we were going to do it again.

I wondered if those animals thought we were the craziest they had ever seen - with our lamb ears on all weekend - but, I think the picture I got of the cat confirmed their feelings...

Crazy Women!

Monday, March 12, 2007

SP10 Questionnaire!

I did it! I joined the SP10 Secret Pal Exchange - and really look forward to spoiling my SP!

For the one who got me - here are the answers!

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

SOCK YARN! Right now - I'm loving the yummy multi-colored sock yarns out there - mostly superwash with a bit o' nylon thrown in there. I also enjoy the "nekkid" yarns so I can play with the dyes. I love cotton and silks to work with, also.

I'm not so big on scratchy wool and have been known to begrudingly work with acrylics - but usually only like it for baby things. Basically, I don't consider acrylics "good yarn."

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

Alas, I have no real organization here (much to my DH's chagrin!). I try to keep the Addi's in their sleeves, but otherwise, there's one of the old fashioned knitting baskets sitting next to my chair that the needles are just poked down into 'til I need them.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I've been knitting for almost exactly 2 years. I went to a class at a local shop with a group I belonged to and was immediately hooked. I joined a local knitting group and have learned so much from the ladies in this group. I would consider myself intermediate in my skills.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

I do have an Amazon Wish list.

5. What's your favorite scent?

I like most scents - except vanilla and rose. There are some new Bath & Body Works scents that are intriguing to me like the Japanese Cherry Blossom and Midnight Pomegranate.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Dark Dark Chocolate- the darker the better! Also love nuts of almost any sort - just not crazy about Walnuts or Brazil Nuts.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I don't spin - figure others are much more gifted in that area and I'll just take the finished product, thank you! I do love to dye - it's becoming a passion!

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I like most music in very limited amounts - mostly jazz, blues and, yes, country. I've got an iPod full of music but usually listen to podcasts and Audio books.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

I love all colors - especially if they have been mixed together well. I'm not opposed to solids - but love a great variegated or striping yarn.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I'm married to a wonderful man - March 17 is our 6 year anniversary - and we have a 14 year old cat named Barton and a 3 year old Schnug - 1/2 schnauzer 1/2 pug - named Sabine who thinks she rules the roost. DH and I are looking to adopt in the near future and are researching our options at this point.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

I love scarves - they aren't just for knitting! Hats, occasionally. Mittens and Ponchos, never.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

I love to knit scarves and socks - mostly socks right now.

13. What are you knitting right now?

Do you want the whole list??? HA! Right now, on the needles are a "My So Called Scarf," a pair of socks using some yarn that I dyed, a "Beads of Earth" scarf from "Scarf Style" and a bunny for my new Goddaughter.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

I love it!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I love my Lantern Moon rosewood size 11's but usually I prefer either the shorter aluminum straights by Susan Bates - 10 inches or shorter - or metal circs with great cords. I love my addi turbos and have one set of 2 size 3 Knit Picks circs - and am itchin' to get some more of these knit picks needles in the US 1 and 2 sock sizes.

Absolutely hate dpns - except for doing i-cord or using them in a pinch. But socks were an "I'll never do those!" until I found a socks on 2 circs class!

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

I do not - but they are definitely on my list of things to save for!

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

My oldest UFO is probably about 6 months old - everything else, I've finished or frogged.

18. What is your favorite holiday?

Thanksgiving - love being around family!

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Does yarn count???

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I want the new "Favorite Socks" book and can't wait for the "More Sensational Knitted Socks" to get on the shelves. I've never actually owned one of the Yarn Harlot books and they are on my list of things I'd like to add to the library.

I don't have any knitting magazine subscriptions but do buy some on occasion from the bookstore. Honestly, most just have very few patterns I'd actually do!

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I'd like to hone my dyeing skills and knowledge. I love cables and keep trying to learn new kinds of cable patterns.

I'm interested in Magic Loop sock knitting - but am trying to master the socks on 2 circs methods first.

I've also never knit a hat - the old "I hate dpns" thing. BUT, I'm thinking I can just do the Hat on 2 circs method and figure it out.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Yep - I do consider myself a sock knitter. I wear a size 9 shoe and have "thick" calves (Isn't that a nice way to say fat? HA!) so I usually just knit myself ankle socks.

23. When is your birthday?

October 8