Thursday, May 28, 2015

Oh the pretties!

Hey there!
Quick post today to show you the pretty yarn I added to my shop today. These first four usually go pretty quick.  They are:

 Winter Sage
Blue Raspberry
Fire Hydrant

Today I added a new colorway:  On The Edge

Come and get 'em while they last!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ten on Tuesday

Ten on Tuesday is all about this past three day weekend.  Memorial Day, taking time to remember members of our military who have fallen in the line of duty. An extra day to play! And the start of Summer!!

1.  I tried to make caramel.  Epic fail.  No, really epic.  The idea is to make caramel from a can of sweetened condensed milk that is unopened, cooked in the crock pot.  Here's what I did wrong:
 Didn't take the label off the can.  Ok, not that serious an error but DUH.
The can should be on it's side.
(probably most important) The crock pot should be on HIGH not LOW.
Cook for 8 hours (on high) not 10.5 hours on low.
 And if you decide to take the lid off the can and cook it sure to cover it with foil or something.  Water condensates and will drip into the can making it impossible to make caramel.  Epic fail, um, yeah.

I'm trying this again today, the right way.  We'll see if it works.

2. Mike, Justine and I went to the National Arboretum.  Justine really wanted to go, so we went.  The weather was so nice and there weren't as many carpenter bees as before so I was happy.  Anyway we had to see the Bonsai garden again.

 I am so amazed by these trees!!  Almost any tree you can imagine and be a bonsai tree.  I didn't know that, I thought only one particular kind of tree could be a bonsai tree.  

3.  We noticed there were tea bags on the soil of many trees.  Here's why:

4.  A new area for us to visit at the arboretum was a circle park, surrounded by mini gardens all with a theme:  Colonial Garden (what colonial gardeners would have planted), Medicinal Garden, Fragrance Garden, etc.  And the Dye Garden! 
5.  We brought lunch and had a nice picnic in the National Grove of State Trees.  
6.  While at the arboretum, Justine modeled a couple scarves I recently finished so I'd have some cool photos to post.  She's a good sport and a great knitwear model.

7.  Mike and I had a nice canoe ride on Monday.  It was late in the afternoon. It seemed every dock at people sitting out, enjoying the day.  Usually we're on our own and don't see many people, I guess the holiday brought everyone out.  The tide was quite low so we didn't go too far into the inlets.  We did check out both osprey nests on platforms above the water and saw one osprey dive into the water about 20' from us and grab a fish.  So cool!

8.  We had a great lunch date on Monday with our friends!  It was funny, we had two failed attempts at restaurants closed for the holiday...but finally found one open.  Yummy middle eastern kabob type food and good company.

9.  Saturday I went to knitting, like I always do on Saturday.  This time Mike drove me so he could have the car.  Joey took Mike's car to work.  Yeah, you heard that right...Joey is working at Target now!!  
My knit friends:  I didn't see your car?!  
Me:  Yeah, today I have a chauffeur!

10.  Mike grilled burgers!  
Canoeing, sunscreen and burgers...yup, it must be summer.

Monday, May 4, 2015

End of the Row Yarns

Well...helllllo!  I've been busy.  Oh yes! I've been dyeing yarn and preparing to open my own Etsy shop!  Never heard of Etsy?! Think of it as a online store with tons of smaller stores inside...all online and all either vintage or (my favorite) HOME MADE!!  I, of course, fall into the latter category.

I started experimenting with yarn and dyes many years ago.  First with Koolaid and food coloring then with acid dyes.  I made two awesome skeins of Koolaid self striping yarn for socks...I still have them.  This was probably 10+ years ago.  I had fun but the colors weren't too great.  They were pretty, but not very vibrant in color...missing that "wow" factor you feel when you see yarn you HAVE to buy.  You know?  Anyway, fast forward to a few months back (that sounds weird)....I decided to try acid dyes (again) but this time, with the benefit of Youtube, I felt more armed and dangerous with my ability to really get good color saturation.  The first skein I did was a mixture of three colors:  Sun Yellow, Sapphire Blue and Hot Fuchsia.
The ladies at knit group went bananas over this color and asked if I was going to dye some more yarn and in what colors.  So a couple friends gave me yarn-to-dye that they didn't want, some dyes they had...and I started experimenting! As I would bring in my newly dyed knit friends would buy them up! My knit group friends have been a huge influence in my success and confidence in this new adventure.  I can't thank them enough!! 

I knit these socks with a tonal colorway I call Beach House:

 I love dyeing yarn so much that opening up a shop on Etsy was a natural progression.  

Last week I finally opened the shop.  It's called End of the Row Yarns.  I feature sock yarns in a variety of bases. All are machine wash so far!  Here's a peek at my yarns.  Some of these are listed already...some will be listed in the very near future.  

I try to have a nice variety of tonal colors and variegated.  The tonals are perfect for lacy patterns, cables and such...your pattern won't get lost in a nice tonal.  The variegated is dyed in a random way to keep pooling to a minimum (or not at all!). Either one would make beautiful socks, of course, but also shawls, baby items, cowls, scarves and infinity cowls/scarves.  Ok, so pretty much anything you can make with one skein.

Please visit my shop and have a look at all the pretties!
All the yarn is hand dyed by me in my kitchen.  I ship items in 1-2 days so you don't have to wait too long for your yarn.  I know how knitters hate to wait for yarn, I do too!!  I also put in a little surprise in each shipment...another little hand made item just for my customers!  I do like saying customers!!

Have a great day!