Wednesday, June 30, 2010

For once, procrastination was good

I procrastinated taking pictures on Sunday, and that turned out to be a good move.

My repaired camera came home on Monday! Today I'll reload the memory card and batteries, and I can take some better pictures. I'm quite happy about that.

Also, I've been waiting for that all important sales tax number from the state, and it was in yesterday's mail.

Today's agenda, between loads of laundry, includes taking and posting pictures, as well as getting some yarn listed on etsy! Woohoo!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Life has been distracting

I've had good intentions about dyeing yarn. I scheduled it onto my calendar.

I've got to be a better time manager and not let the 4 pints of blueberries that I bought on sale keep me from dyeing instead of making more jam. I'm not sure taking that canning class was such a good idea. In the past two weeks we've made 2 batches of jam and 1 batch of relish.

However, I came home from watching Dehli 6 with the Chicken Goddess on Friday and set to work mixing dyes. That takes time, and I needed to do it. I put some yarn I wanted to overdye in the pot and let it simmer away while I played with colors.

You see, the Chicken Goddess had given me a mission. Could I match a yarn that she liked that had long been discontinued? All she had was a picture on her computer that she printed out for me.

I spent some time on Ravelry looking for this color. It's long gone. I'll probably spend some more time searching for it because I'm insane and like a challenge.

The good thing is that it's forcing me to take very good notes about how I'm mixing colors. I find that I don't always want to take that step, then I get great colors and can't quite remember how I mixed them.

Anyway, I'll be back with photos a little later today.

Have a great Sunday!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Two dye days, woohoo!

It seems there have been so many other things going on right now!

I went over to Gale's (of Gale's Art) house yesterday and got to use her electric drumcarder to card up some of her leftover fibers into some absolutely beautiful batts. Wow! They are so much fun to make.

I always like visiting with Gale. She has done so much over the years with fiber related arts. She is an amazing art quilter. She has done silk painting and silk screening and dyeing her own fabrics for quilts. I still can't believe that we were in the same beginner's wheel spinning class. She took off and running with it, turning her new love into a wonderful, viable business.

The most wonderful thing about her is that she is generous with her knowledge and experiences. She is one of my fiber gurus.

Part of why I'm gushing about her is that I always come away from visiting with her with new bits of knowledge. This time, I came away with batts, handcarders and some Shetland fleece.

So let's all blame Gale for my current impulse to buy an electric drumcarder, make batts, and quit knitting to spin all the time. Luckily, looking at the prices for those drumcarders has helped to curb this impulse. I'm sure it will take some time to find a good used one, as she did.

I'd best get back to the title of this post. I've spent time this past week making batts, making and canning relish, and just spending time with hubs. I finally have 2 days that are open for dyeing after I clean some veggies for easier salad making. Look for more pictures soon! I do have to spend some time today mixing up dye powders, and I expect today to be a low output day. I do have a batch of blueberry jam to make either today or tomorrow, and I may see if I can squeeze it into this morning's schedule in order to have more time tomorrow.

Please go check out the links on Twitter to the Facebook page. I posted pictures of Swampwater over there!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Color pooling

Originally uploaded by Fiber Charmer

I recently learned about using color pooling to knit amazing laces, scarves and shawls. I decided to start working on some yarns that could be used this way.

I know, this one if very bright, but I like wild, bright yarns. I haven't always known what to do with them besides socks, but that has never stopped my from buying them. Now I can dye them too.

It's been a dry week!

Hubs has been on staycation this week. We procrastinated about going anywhere, so we ended up staying home. However, I've been doing other things, such as making homemade jam, and yesterday was the first day I'd gotten out the dye supplies.

I've been wondering how to show you pictures since I've been motoring through my blogger alloted photo storage, so here's a link to my Flickr. There's not much there yet, but that will be changing as I upload new photos.

Yesterday I spent some time working on replicating a color I named Bronze Age. I think it's a great color, golden tonal brown with just a hint of green, but for the life of me I couldn't get it right. I did one batch that came out way too dark. I thought maybe I'd done something odd with the blue. I did another batch, and it's not right either. Don't get me wrong! I like the color I got. I've named it Swampwater, and once it's dried, I'll post pictures. However, darnit!, I had the right dyes for Bronze Age. Why wasn't it working?

I didn't think about it anymore last night, but when I woke this morning, the answer was there in my head, waiting for me. I had done my math wrong! As easy as that. I tell you, there's nothing like a good night's sleep.

Also, we've solved the camera issue. Honestly, while I know I'll need that fancy, expensive camera, it's not in the budget right now. We have a Canon Powershot A95 that does take very good pictures. Within the past year it has started acting really crazy, turning everything purple and blurry. Sometimes we can get one or two good pictures before the wild purply, watery effects. I know someone else who has this camera, and she had something very similar happen to her. Hubs mentioned there were a lot of them on ebay for a whole lot less than what we'd paid for ours, and I decided to take a lot. Lo and behold! Several of the ones listed had the same purply problems. I thought perhaps I should do a search on it and discovered that it was a problem with a defective card inside the camera. We could contact Canon and have it repaired for free! That includes shipping! Now we're waiting on the shipping info, and it will be in the mail by Monday, if not today.

I'm so excited to get it repaired and not have to pony up for a new camera right now. Decent pictures are in my near future. Woohoo!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What a feeling!

It's an amazing feeling to see that someone has purchased my yarn and posted it on Ravelry! In my head I'm thinking "they like it! They really like it!" It's very exciting.

As for the photography and etsy thing, I've got something else to try before I go buy a whole new camera. Honestly, I'd like to put off buying a fancy-schmancy new camera for a little while as we just had to repair the air conditioner a few weeks ago, and while it was cheaper than buying a whole new unit, it wasn't cheap. As the temperature here has reached 97F either yesterday or today, we need a working a/c.

I've got hubs on staycation this week, and I can assign picture taking to him. He's done photography professionally, although it was almost always weddings and dances, so working with yarn will be different for him.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

About the photos

I'm eating up the meagre amount of photos that blogger allows. What I'll do is post them to the Facebook group and Flickr account instead of here. Facebook links to twitter, and you should be able to see the photos through twitter. I know, it sounds terribly convoluted, doesn't it? You could just become a fan on Facebook and see them there.

There's also a group on Ravelry now.

I'll keep you updated on where you can find pictures.

I'm hoping to get the bugs worked out of my picture taking in the next day or two. I've got yarns ready to go onto etsy, but right now I'm having trouble with the colors washing out. It's to do with my lighting, and I've got a cunning plan that I'll try tomorrow.

I did drop off some yarns at Needle Nook today. It's the Chris sock yarn, a blend of 75% wool and 25% nylon. I think it will probably be ready for sale by Monday, if not tomorrow.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Here are some blues

Blues seem to be particularly fiddly to photograph. There are some subtle color variations that haven't been caught in the pictures very well.

Some have bits of turquoise or green or gray, but they look flat when photographed.

Some of the flatness is due to the photographer. I'm sure the more I do it, the better I will become.

Just like dyeing.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I've got the the blues

They are drying right now. I'll take pictures later today or tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What about the blues?

I spent yesterday afternoon both handpainting and kettle dyeing. Some of these are one of a kind or a single batch as I didn't take any notes and played with colors.

I can probably reverse engineer a few of them.

I like the oranges and warm colors, but I must remember that not everyone is a fan of them. I have to settle down and work on some blues.

It's interesting because I almost never wear blue, except for blue jeans, and I don't buy blue yarn for myself. I get bored working with blue dyes after a few minutes, yet I know that a whole lot of you are blue fans.

Bear with me, and I'll get some blues worked out.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

No dyeing these past few days

I've been busy with other "important to me" activities.

I participated in my first transport of rescued dogs from the shelter to their foster.

I was told by a Georgia Power contractor about a starving dog in an abandoned house on my street, so now I've been working on my first "real" rescue. It's exciting and scary and takes more time than I thought, but it's all worth it to save this guy.
Since this is a fiber blog, you can read more about it over on SouthBork in a little while. I've not written that post up yet.