Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hats and Hats Abound


This Christmas seems to be all about hats, for me. And a few other things I can’t share yet, as the recipients might happen upon the pictures, but here are just a couple of the things I’ve been up to.

Four Minnesota Wild hats, though in various shades of forest green. The top beret is handspun, the earflap hat with the Charlie Brown zigzag is Cascade 220, and the two cabled children’s hats are Knit Picks Comfy Worsted (and are some old, old leftovers. Feels nice to be done with the yarn!) These hats will soon be making a trip to the snowy north to live with some dear friends and hockey fans, and I’m hoping to get a picture of them watching a game in the hats!
And then, the little hat I’m most fond of: a gift for Durham Knits, Jr. in Misti Alpaca Worsted.
The pattern is Kate Oates’ Plaid Hatter, and I can’t wait to make it again in an adult size for me. I LOVE it! The little mittens are leftovers in a basic toddler mitt pattern.

Tis the Season

… well, maybe it isn’t quite yet, but it’s been the season for knitting presents for Christmas. As I have an Impending Arrival right around the holidays (and it’s entirely possible that Little Brother might make his appearance on December 25 or so), I’ve been trying to get all of my holiday preparations out of the way as early as possible. Of course, that makes for no pretty pictures for the blog until after gifting.

Instead, here’s a cute cat.

Layla

Sun Yarn

After experimenting with dyeing in my crockpot, I decided to try dyeing using Kool Aid in the sun, inspired by a thread in Ravelry’s A Kool Way to Dye group.

This is what I came up with:

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A couple of my friends asked for me to write out the instructions for this mottled sun yarn, so here it is for future use.

I supersaturated Kool Aid in lemon lime and blue raspberry ice in boiling water, 2 packets of each in separate pots. After it cooled somewhat, I poured it into an ice cube tray and let them freeze into super colored dye cubes overnight.

The next day (forecast to be 100F+, though I’ve heard it’s possible to do this at a much lower temp) I filled a dark casserole dish halfway with clear water and my 4oz. of yarn, just covering the yarn in the pot, then let it sit for an hour in the sun until very warm. I then randomly placed dye ice cubes on the yarn. This created the brightest spots of green and blue. I left the yarn in the sun for the rest of the afternoon to be sure it set.

There were still large amounts of white left after the ice cube treatment, so the next afternoon I mixed another 2 packets of lemon lime and replaced the water in the casserole with the newly mixed Kool Aid solution. I again left the yarn in the dye for the afternoon in the sun.

When I removed and washed the yarn, I was left with this lovely mottled effect. I’d love to try it again with more dye cube colors!

Finished yarn: OBX Sunrise

This summer has slipped away completely. Where did it go? Most of a month tied to my sister’s wedding and a beach vacation will do that, I suppose.

I just realized that I never posted pictures of the completed fiber dye experiment, so here we go:

Dried fiber in braid.

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Spun up on bobbins.

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And the spun and set yarn!

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I ended up with a bulky, squishy yarn that I expect will end up as a hat once I’m done knitting Christmas presents.

6am Wakeup Call

Or perhaps I should call this post “6am Wakeup Screams.”

It’s just after 7am, and I’ve been awake for more than an hour, ever since hearing the dulcet wails of Knits Jr. over the intercom. I try not to complain too much about his sleeping habits, considering he’s probably the most laid-back baby ever (well, toddler, technically), but 6am is just too much. Mama needs more sleep than that, especially when Mama is working on a sibling for the little monster.

I had so many plans for today – the pool, shopping for a present for a friend’s baby shower. Instead, I’m just waiting for naptime. Ugh.

Dyeing Fiber

Yesterday, I decided to experiment with using McCormick dyes and the crock pot for dying. I soaked my 4oz of Cormo wool for about an hour in the crock pot before beginning.

The three colors I used are Sunset Orange, pure yellow, and Dusky Pink, all drawn from the back of the McCormick box. I poured the dye (3x the icing amount listed on the back mixed with 3/4 cup boiling water and 2 tbsps of lemon juice) over sections of the wool in the pot, which was full of water, then put the crock pot on high. I let the dye soak for two hours on high, and it was completely exhausted.

Here’s the fiber washing in the sink post-crockpot:

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And drying in the sun on my deck (yes, that baby gate makes a fantastic rack for hanging fiber):

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Triangle Restaurant Review: Bread and Kabob’s Glorious Return

I’m a foodie. There, I said it. And the Triangle area of NC is full of fabulous food options, including some restaurants to rival the “big cities” – and I know, as I’ve eaten my way through Chicago and Washington, DC. There are certainly blogs out there devoted to food in my area (Carpe Durham is my go-to for new restaurants), but every once in a while, there’s a restaurant that deserves special attention.

Bread and Kabob, located inside the 1013 bar on Main St in Durham near Duke, is one of those restaurants.

I should start with the full story. Bread and Kabob used to be its own restaurant, in the same location, when my husband was in high school. He’s a native of the area, I am not. When we lived in Chicago and DC, we loved to frequent Persian and Afghan restaurants, and almost every single time we tried a new one, he would compare it to Bread and Kabob.

To his great sorrow, Bread and Kabob closed just before we met, and he never got to introduce me to his favorite college meal. The story goes that the owners went back to Afghanistan to start a business. Their children remained in America and opened the 1013 bar in the former location of Bread and Kabob.

Fast forward to Wednesday. Carpe Durham announced that Bread and Kabob was back. We went immediately, dragging along Knits, Jr., and tried their brand new buffet.

For 7 years, I’ve listened to the other half extoll the virtues of Bread and Kabob. It lives up to the hype. The buffet had a chicken curry, two rice dishes, and three veggies (spinach, potatoes, and green beans), though the selection is subject to change. The curry was top notch, the beef rice dish was something I’d never had before and was amazing, and the potatoes were so good as to call for multiple visits to the buffet. The buffet also had rice pudding – perfect rice pudding, with the rice still identifiable instead of mush, and bits of almond adding crunch here and there. Also brought to the table was a big basket of delicious, fresh bread.

It was so amazing, in fact, that we went back on Thursday. My husband went for the buffet, again. I decided to order chicken kabobs with rice off the menu. Again, perfection. The chicken was juicy and perfectly cooked, the rice generously sprinkled with sumac spice, and two chargrilled tomatoes on the side.

We’ll go again, and again, and again. Welcome back, Bread and Kabob.

Wedding Shawl

I have a project on a deadline. I’m never, ever good with deadlines, but we’ll see how it goes.

I’m knitting Triinu from Knitted Lace of Estonia in the pink yarn I overdyed last year to wear at my sister’s wedding on August 13. That’s a whole 2.5 months away. I can do it, right?

Sort of Finished?

After 9 months of knitting, I’ve finished my Featherweight Cardigan – an entire sweater knit out of laceweight yarn. I’m thrilled. So proud!

But you’ll see there are no pictures.

I’ve finished 9 months of knitting… and I can’t talk myself into blocking it. See, in order to block, I need to clean the toys off Knits Jr.’s floor. I need to put up with Knits Jr. screaming like the devil in his crib while I pin the piece out. I haven’t been able to get up the nerve to do it.