Dyed in the Wool
A dyed-in-the-wool knitter shares mainly fibre-related information, updates and musings (with the occasional moan about the weather!).

To kick things off

Friday, March 31, 2006
A big "Thank you" to everyone who left a comment about the I Do shrug - it made the rest of the week worthwhile (illness, idiocy, depression and self-doubt, basically!).


I've completed the heel gusset decreases and I'm progressing down the foot now. The initial plan for these socks (when they were going to be my mum's) was to stop the patterning on the top of the foot because (1) it would be wasted because she rarely wears sandals and (2) the texture of the pattern might rub on the bits of her feet she can still feel. However, due to my shoddy memory, I forgot this completely and carried on my merry way.

Winning Stuff:

Mucho thanks to Lou for her "Spot the Difference" competition a few weeks ago. For being one the three people to enter (aww) she gave me this deep-blue-with-flecks-of-stuff fibre to spin:

And this really fresh-looking hand-dyed cotton/elastic sock-weight yarn:

Thank you, Lou!

My first yarn:

The last time I blogged about this was in about 10 B.C., but I've finally finished spinning the bright pink merino I got for Christmas-before-last.

I think it would be polite to describe it as a thick 'n' thin fashion yarn. I've now got to think of somthing to do with it.

Sew good:

After about a year of having this fabric and pattern, I've finally got around to sewing up this blouse:

Oh, yeah - I haven't finished it yet (in the above shot it's missing sleeve seams, collar, buttonband facing, cuffs and hems), but it's getting better!

Pop ya collar - oh, yeah, I know hip-hop! I'm down wit the hommies, I am!!

Laters y'all (or words to that effect).

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AmyP :: permalink

I Do Shrug from knitty

Wednesday, March 29, 2006
I Do front

I Do pose with plant
The model in the pattern was posing with a flower. I chose a broad bean plant instead.

I Do back2
The colour is really off on this one!

I Do back

I Do grafting detail

I Do pattern detail
Close up of the pattern detail.

Click on any of the pictures to enlarge. You'll be re-directed to Flickr (photo host). To get back here, just use the back button on your browser.

Item name: I Do shrug
Recipient: Me
Pattern: I Do from knitty.com
Yarn: Sirdar Breeze DK (60% cotton, 40% acrylic) 216 g total (approx. 622 yds/570m)
Needles: 4 mm straights (one sleeve metal, and the other bamboo)
Size: Erm ... Mostly large I think!
Dates: June the 25th 2005 (!) to 28th of March 2006 (not constantly worked on).
Modifications: Yarn substitution and knit flat not in the round.
Notes and comments: After discovering that I couldn't do purl lace in the round, I converted it to knit in the flat. In retrospect, I should have added two edge stitches (I would have made seaming it a heck of a lot easier).
12:55 pm :: 12 comments ::

AmyP :: permalink

G is for

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Pictures taken earlier in the year, although there's hardly any "Spring" sprouting so it looks pretty much the same now! The bubble wrap is to keep everything at a near-constant temperature during the Winter.

This was the scene of my second most exausting experiment ever. I had to grow three varieties of Red Fescue grass (1) with and without salt water application and (2) suspended above salt and non-salt water.

Part 1

Part 2

And the first most exausting experient? The nitrogen-application nettle one. Oi! The 4-part soil testing of 12 test plots nearly killed me.

Knitting Knews (oh, how witty!)

I've finished the I Do shrug and I'm now waiting for a break in the Bilblical-scale rain storm to take some outdoor pictures. I'm also waiting for decent light to take pictures of the stuff I won thanks to Lou!

See you when there's some sunshine non-rain.


Found via Emma and knitty Amy, I decided to go for it! It's 1 minute 25 seconds long and OMG - I sound sooooo Northern! So, to hear me ramble on, go here. Eep!
8:45 pm :: 3 comments ::

AmyP :: permalink

Suffering for my art

Saturday, March 25, 2006
This was the weather yesterday when I was doing the "photoshoot" for the snaffoed Magknits pattern:

weather 24-03-06

Unfortunately, I can't show you what I was suffering for, but I can show you this:

This is my "Zoolander" pose.

Also spotted in my garden was this:

mystery object

You mean you can't see anything? How about this then:

mystery object circled

No? Still can't see it? Neither can I - and I was there! Trust me when I say that it's a Sparrowhawk.

My Friday Night:


Repairing my dad's jumper. Well, fixing a hole in the seam that wouldn't have been there if I'd done a decent job of seaming it in the first place.

While I had my hands on it, I shaved the jumper:

Simply Lovely Lace Socks:

Or SLLS as they shall hence forth be know. Remember - I'm energy-frugal!

I finally got the chance to try them on my mum. THEY DON'T FIT HER!!! So, I will now have another pair of socks. Depending on what the new SixSox KAL sock is, my mum's next pair will be those, or my own pattern that I'm working on.

I managed to do half the heel flap, turn the heel and start on the gusset in an hour and a half, thanks to the audio book of the Da Vinci Code. I'm liking it so far, but you can really tell it's been written by a man. He includes a ton of really fine, technical detail about cars and radio equipment, and he doesn't seem to be able to integrate facts into the plot very well. Having said that, I'd only planned on listening for a couple of chapters but I ended up listening to about 5!

Well, I'm off to re-learn everthing I'd tried to forget about HIV after last year's course.


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I'm so conventional

Wednesday, March 22, 2006
lovely lace socks 1 progress 21-03-06
Top-down, double pointed needles, heel flap. What's wrong with me?

This is the first of a pair of Simply Lovely Lace Socks from the Spring edition of Interweave Knits, for my mum, in Opal Cotton. My mum's birthday in on the 30th of this month. Can I make it? I am, under my own rules, allowed to gift these at any point next Thursday, right up to 11:59pm. So, can I do it?

Mods: what have I changed? Well, the ribbing (1/1 to 3/3), the number of pattern repeats (I added one to make it fit), the twisted stitches (I made them plain) and the decrease in the lace (skpo to s2tog, k1, psso).

lace socks dec closeup
Click either picture (or both) to enlarge.

But apart from that, they are identical to the pattern.

I Do:

I'm on the home straight now. I've got erm ... 3 and a bit repeats to go on the back, then I just need to block this sleeve and graft the backs together. Oh, and seam the sleeves. Don't expect outdoor photos just yet though - it's freeeeezing here at the moment. Hello Spring!

In homage to mamacate, randomness:

  • Hillary Duff's teeth scare me
  • Waking up an hour sooner than normal because you've got a "feeling" about the cricket is not a good thing. Although 7 for 25 in 16 overs is a good thing!*
  • I seem to have an unhealthly interest in the French-Canadian diver Alexandre Despatie**. Well, if you're going to lust after a minute diver, it might as well be a world champion!

* For the non-cricket-lovers (seriously, what's wrong with you?) that is extremely good. That's 7 wickets (good) for 25 runs (bad) in 16 overs (a miracle).
** He has his own website! I just googled to find pictures, but hey, cool!

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006
after all my pimpin' I'm not in. April?

EDIT: Turns out that Kerrie emailed me asking for some better photos with more detail in them. I never got that email. I now have to go and wrestle the item back off the person I gave it to for Christmas and do some more pictures. The lesson: never assume anything.
12:05 am :: 3 comments ::

AmyP :: permalink

F is for

Sunday, March 19, 2006
Faux suede boots:



I live in these from about September to May. I got them as a replacement for the thirty-year-old ankle boots I wore (my mum's handmedowns) and they are sooooo comfy. And cheap a good bargain!
8:35 pm :: 1 comments ::

AmyP :: permalink

Last call

Friday, March 17, 2006
I've typed up the Acorn pattern now, and so it's ready to be tested.

I've put it up into a PDF file (man, I love Open Office) and it's 9 pages long and 68.5 kb in size.

I'd be sending it via email, so if you are on dial-up or have to pay per kb, be prepared!

There are no pictures of the finished item, but there is a schematic and there are plenty of pictures on the blog.

If it's possible I'd need to have feedback by the middle of April at the latest, and I'd need honesty (but be nice!).

You'll get a credit either in the pattern itself, or here on the blog. And my eternal thanks! Oh, and a workable garment, too!

"aup", thanks for the comment you left, but there was no email address to reply to and when I clicked on your profile link, it was hidden. If you still want to test-knit the pattern, could you email me using the link over in the side bar with your details (including your blog if you have one). Ta.

I'll leave comments open for 48 hours from when this is posted.

Thanks again to everyone reading and I'm now beginning to get nervous. Eep!
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AmyP :: permalink

My brother needs sympathy

Wednesday, March 15, 2006
My little (6 foot tall plus, 20 stone) brother needs all the sympathy you can send his way. I thought about publishing his email address (he could do with a stalker to cheer him up), but I pass along any cooing. He was fixing his computer chair yesterday when he dropped it on his big toe and ... I'm going to write this in white, so that the squeemish don't have to read it - I mean it! If you want to be grossed out, just highlight the following text:

His nail came off. Ewww!!!


On to knitting:

I've finished all the knitting on Acorn, so there's just the finishing, washing, blocking and photographing to do. And write the pattern up, of course!
I could really do with at least one test knitter for this, so if you're interested in knitting up a fairly simple baby/child garment, leave me a comment.
I'm afraid it will have to be someone that I've heard from before and you won't be able to blog about what it is exactly, or show the finished item until it's published, but you will get "bigged up" by me! And you might even come back in the next life as Vin Diesel's string vest! Oh, no, that's just me, isn't it?!

Last edit on this post, I promise - I was going to write the pattern up, put it into PDF format and email it to the unfortunate victim lucky test knitter.

Cheers in advance.
4:49 pm :: 4 comments ::

AmyP :: permalink

A Symphony in Snow

Sunday, March 12, 2006
For snow-less AirCon-usin' Texas-livin' April. And all you Southern Hemispherers! You lucky, lucky people. All pictures taken in my garden this morning. It was freeeeezing!

(All pics are clickable to big them up!)

flower in the snow1

flower in the snow2

flower in the snow3

rose and trellis in the snow

log in the snow

birch tree holly and snow

holly in the snow

ivy in the snow

bootprints in the snow

7:33 pm :: 6 comments ::

AmyP :: permalink

Nearly there

Saturday, March 11, 2006
I just have one more "thing" to do on Acorn, and then I can call it finished. All I have to do then is write up the pattern, test knit it, or find somebody I can trust to help me out, and I can send it to Kerrie.

In the meantime, look at the amazing pooling I got with the yarn!

acorn pooling

acorn pooling2

I'm not saying whether or not this is the "right" way up, sideways or inside out. You'll just have to wait and see!

From the BBC News Online pages

For your scientific-reading. The ones that I'm thinking of getting from the library are marked in red. I'm a great fan of accessable scientific liturature, or "pop Sci lit" if you will! I hope to be able to do this kind of thing for a living one day, either in books, journals or newspapers. Do you think I'm gobby enough? Actually, don't answer that!

The full longlist for the 2006 Aventis General Prize:

Electric Universe - How Electricity Switched on the Modern World, by David Bodanis (Little Brown)

Collapse - How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive, by Jared Diamond (Penguin Allen Lane)

The Elements of Murder - A History of Poison, John Emsley (Oxford University Press)

The Gecko's Foot - Bio-inspiration - Engineering New Materials from Nature, by Peter Forbes (Fourth Estate)

The Silicon Eye - How a Silicon Valley Company Aims to Make All Current Computers, Cameras, and Cell Phones Obsolete, by George Gilder (WW Norton)

Parallel Worlds - The Science of Alternative Universes and our Future in the Cosmos, by Michio Kaku (Penguin)

Power, Sex, Suicide - Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life, by Nick Lane (Oxford University Press)

Venomous Earth - How Arsenic Caused the World's Worst Mass Poisoning, by Andrew Meharg (Macmillan)

Empire of the Stars - Friendship, Obsession and Betrayal in the Quest for Black Holes, by Arthur I. Miller (Little Brown)

Seven Deadly Colours - The Genius of Nature's Palette and how it Eluded Darwin, by Andrew Parker (Simon & Schuster)

The Truth About Hormones - What's Going on when we're Tetchy, Spotty, Fearful, Tearful or Just Plain Awful, by Vivienne Parry (Atlantic Books)

Stalking the Riemann Hypothesis - The Quest to Find the Hidden Law of Prime Numbers, by Dan Rockmore (Jonathan Cape)

The Fruits of War - How War and Conflict have Driven Science, by Michael White (Simon & Schuster)

Hmm ... I have quite diverse interests, don't I?!

And finally, a slightly bizzare request...

Do you work for/study in an institution/organisation that has an online subscription to the Journal of American Medical Association? There are a couple of research papers that could be key to my dissertation, but my uni doesn't subscribe, and there isn't a work-around (I've tried).

***ADDED*** I just tried something and it worked! I registered for the free content, and that means I can get hold of most things over 6 months old. This is great, but be on stand-by in case I need something younger! You have been warned!
12:30 pm :: 3 comments ::

AmyP :: permalink

Swatches don't count ...

Monday, March 06, 2006
... towards my project-monogamy.

tubey swatch
Tubey Swatch

I'm trying to work soley on "Acorn", but knitting stocking stitch on 3 mm needles from here to eternity isn't easy! Ermm ... I mean ... it's good for my hands to change needle size and type of yarn. Yeah, that's it!

More evidence of my geekiness:

My Desktop Wallpaper

Yes, that is a screen shot from Star Trek. Spock was my hero!

I Do Shrug (an update at last):

I've finally picked up shrug again and managed a couple of rows. In the background you can see my abacus low-energy environmentally-friendly portable calculating device. I have, and use, 4 different types of calculators depending on the task in hand. Of course I own an abacus!

And finally:

I watched the last episode ofStar Trek: Enterprise yesterday. It both sucked and blew. Series 4 was so great (much better than 2 and 3) but the last episode was rubbish. I know that they almost literally pulled the plug the month before the end of filming, but still ... And Riker - I didn't know they did uniforms in gigantic! PORK! {grin}

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Guilty Pleasures meme

Friday, March 03, 2006
After vowing not to do memes unless they contained knitting, I thought of this one when it was cold, dark and snowing!

These are the things I do, watch or wear when it's cold or I'm feeling down.


The Three Amigos with Chevy Chase, Steve Martin and Martin Short. It's so funny it hurts. Either that, or X-Men or X-Men2! Or the Fifth Element.

TV show:

Star Trek (any series) or Stargate SG-1 - really, what else would I pick?


I could say chocolate, but that's too easy. My absolute favourite comfort food is peanut butter egg noodles. Yum!


Hot chocolate, definitely!

Clothing :

Yoga pants and the largest jumper I can find!

Tagging? Anyone who wants it. Just copy and paste the following text, fill in with your own guilty pleasures, post it and then link back to this post. Thank you!

Guilty Pleasures Meme.


TV show:



Clothing :

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7:23 pm :: 1 comments ::

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E is for

The Epstein-Barr virus:

© Nasa

© Giant Microbes

Gawd, how I hate this little virus. Because of it, instead of going out drinking, getting pregnant and generally behaving like all of the other teenagers around here, I was curled up in bed suffering with M.E. Still am, actually.

Here's a lesson for ya kids: don't drink sheep-dip-laced waters for four weeks on holiday, thereby lowering your immune system, and then kiss a boy at the Christmas disco for a bet, thereby contracting "The Kissing Disease". You'll regret it!*

I wasn't sure whether I wanted to go "public" with my illness, but with all the "I've managed a row in my knitting today" and "I finally managed to get outside with my crutches" posts recently, I thought it was about time. And if anyone comes forward with "helpful" suggestions involving herbs, water, exersice or Jesus, I will scream! I've heard it, tried it and rejected it - I promise!

I've been ill for longer than I haven't now, and I cope, just about. Hence the knitting, really!

"F" will be more cheery, I promise!

*All of this is supposition and speculation based on a process of elimination and scientific papers!
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