I know I have too much information when ....

When the little plane on the flight tracker map changes direction suddenly and it makes my heart race and distracts me from work. My daughter is on her way to Africa where she will stay for almost a month. I found that I could track her flight in real time. This may be too much information for me. The plane suddenly changed direction significantly and there was no way to find out why.
breathe ... breathe ...

I have faith, though. It is going to be okay. I can't and I won't give in to these roller-coaster feelings.

It looks like the plane turned back now. I need to keep my focus on work for a while and let the pilot fly the plane (and let my Lord protect my daughter).


Too Funny

A friend flew down from Alaska this morning to check on her rental property , visit friends, and enjoy the spring weather for a couple of days. A freak snowstorm hit the valley this afternoon. Too too funny. Of course we are all telling her that she brought the Alaska weather with her.

She brought me a present from Alaska - a Qiviut cap kit from Oomingmak in Anchorage! I am anxious to get this project on the needles.


I want

I want one of these tables!! Go to this link and scroll down. Sheep! hee hee

I don't have room for it, and I would really rather buy fiber than furniture, but it is fun to dream.


Mushroom color

Five and a half hours in the mushroom dye pot yielded a beautiful soft gold color. I am holding the leftover singles from the same fiber along with the 2-ply to show how much the color changed. Unfortunately, the picture isn't exactly the true color (too much of a tan color), so imagine a warm soft gold. One of my concerns about using the mushroom water was the odor. While the yarn was in the pot, there was a strong earthy sheepy smell, but that seemed to rinse away after the dye process. Now, after a bath with a little lavender scented shampoo, it has a very pleasant scent. The adventure continues - now to choose a pattern for 340 yards of imperfect handspun.


Time to dye my handspun

Now that I have 340+ yards of handspun 2-ply what should I do with it? I just happen to have a few buckets of mushroom water on the back deck. The mushrooms have been sitting in water since last fall, and I am ready to try dyeing with it. This is my unscientific, half-baked adventure into mushroom dyeing. I do not have the necessary equipment, like pH strips and electronic scales, to do this scientifically.

I took my handspun off the niddy noddy and it looked really bad like it will never be usable yarn. Should that stop me? I say no.
(The color is more of a light cream natural color.)

Yesterday, I washed it in textile detergent to remove dirt and residual grease.
This worked really well. I was surpised how dirty the water was, especially when the fiber looked so clean. I did it twice for good measure and then hung the yarn overnight.

I recently bought a couple of inexpensive used books to help me with this project.

The mushroom water was put in a slow cooker OUTSIDE on the deck. This stuff will never be a potpourri scent. Beef soup anyone?

I started heating water for the mordant. I chose to use alum and cream of tartar based on what I have observed on other blogs. The mordant will often determine the final color. I don't have scales, so I had to determine the amount to use based on what I read in the books and the amount of yarn I have. The small container gave me the number of grams for that amount of alum and I based my measurements on that. I ended up deciding on 1-1/2 Tbsp of alum and about 3/4 Tbsp of cream of tartar in 2 quarts of water. It was my best guess, plus a little extra.
While I heated water to dissolve the alum and cream of tartar, I soaked the handspun in gradually warmer baths so there would not be a sudden change in temperature when I switched it to the mordant.
I put it in the mordant on the stove and gradually increased the temperature to just below boiling, kept it there for almost a half hour, and then turned the heat off and let it set until it was cool enough to handle without getting burned.

Then I came to a crossroad. I believe the mushroom water needs to be acidic. I don't have any test strips, so I don't know the pH of the water. I had to decide whether to add some vinegar to make it acidic, and if so then how much vinegar. I put in about 40 ml of vinegar by guess and by golly.

Okay my prescious little handspun. This is the moment.
Beef broth and noodles.

What will I get? Tan, light brown, yellow, ???

p.s. If you want to visit the blog of someone who is a true artist using mushrooms, bark, etc., then visit Riihivilla.


Reggae Pi

In the spirit of the larger-than-life knitwear hitting the fashion runway, I give you my interpretation of Reggae Pi, or maybe Slouch Pi. Reggae Pi sounds happier.

I am about half way on my Pi shawl/afghan.


with a yea and a nay and a Niddy Noddy-o

The rustic niddy noddy I ordered from Dragonfly Farm arrived this last week. It pleases me to have something that Alden Amos handcrafted. The wood is not turned, it is shaped with a spokeshave and a drawknife (hence "rustic"). It has my first 2-ply handspun yarn on it.

Look at the packing material that came in the box. Cotton!

Of course my first thought was, "I want to spin wool and cotton together!" Hmmmm. I will have to research that.

Knitting is progressing slowly. I am trying to stay focused on work right now. I dream about being able to relax and knit. Soon. Sometime soon.