Archive for June, 2007


Size thus far: 28.5″ x 28.5″, with only the center five panels. This is going to be a whopper! It’s so pretty and soft that I was tempted to sleep with it tucked around me. 🙂

I found it best to seam with a whip stitch, working from front to back (or left to right, depending on where you have the seam positioned as you work on it.)

Working in the opposite direction resulted in a pretty, but visible seam:


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D-Day June 25


Breezed through the edits for Chapters 4 & 5; how much better the chapters seem than I remember! Now I’m balking at writing the Introduction. My mind reels at the task of reconciling lofty theoretical ambitions with the messy, 70 year narrative I ended up with.

The diss is a ramshackle house made of random materials — the product of mixed method, a euphemism for whatever-I-can-find — hammered into a multi-faceted narrative. I myself hardly believe that it makes sense in toto, in its entirety. But in the Intro I must convince the reader, likely another overspecialized academic, not just the point of the next 300+ pages but also why it matters.

Okay, enough of that. Time to get back to work.

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Mixing different colors in Wilton’s and Kool-Aid is tricky! I tried a dozen different permutations, aiming for lilac (reddish purple) and periwinkle (blueish purple) for the Babette Blanket. The bit of yellow in some of the colors wreaked havoc, creating mauves and brownish pinks/purples. Next time I’ll look more closely at the list of ingredients. Even the unspecified “artificial color” can cause problems when you mix colors. I suspect the Red #40 was also causing some problems; it just wouldn’t mix into a true purple when combined with Blue #1. Still hunting for something with pure Red #3.

Finally, I came up with these:

Hand-Dyed Yarn, originally uploaded by Rina7.

On the left, a lilac/periwinkle blend using Wilton’s icing dye in Violet (Blue 1 & Red 3), plus a tinge of Strawberry Kool-Aid. Right: Berry Blue Kool-Aid, plus a tinge of red (I think Cherry KA). Both are Knit Picks Bare Superwash, worsted weight. I put the main dye in first, and then fished the yarn, stirred in a tiny bit of the second pigment, and put the yarn back in. I repeated this process several times to get the right color saturation level.

The semisolid effect is great for Babette, but I was still struck by how unevenly the yarn drank up the dye. I wonder if pre-soaking without the vinegar might make a difference? Maybe it was the yarn: I did my test batches with Patons Classic Merino, which took the colors more evenly, though it resisted blue and generally turned out muddier looking.

Anyway, now my Babette yarn collection is complete! Until I have to buy/dye more, of course. I’m already running short on a few.

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Deja encore — in green


Lest you think all I’ve been doing is buying yarn… I finished this a week or two ago. The first one I made is here. This time, it’s the same length as the French Girl Deja pattern, but I made some adjustments to smooth out the neckline, and did a slightly denser shell stitch on the last row of the border. My intention was to make long sleeves, but I’ve been wearing it around as is. One of these days I might finish those sleeves and join them.


I look like a linebacker in this shot! 🙂

ETA: A few notes about pattern adjustments.

  • For both: In the row where you create the arm opening, the spacing as prescribed by the pattern was way too large for my proportions. So I wrapped the fabric around my torso to see where I needed to place the openings.

For the light green version:

  • I did a series of edge decreases at the neckline, above the row where you place the armhole openings. This created a smooth, plunging neckline
  • In order to reduce the floppiness of the border, I used a smaller hook size around the neckline.
  • For the same purpose, I also substituted (dtr, ch)x5 for the shells in the last row all the way around, and x6 for the shells on either side of each of the bottom corners. Dtr = double treble crochet.
  • Instead of crocheting the ties into the border, I just did a separate length of chain stitch. That way, I can tie it wherever I want or leave it off.

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Back from Oregon

The view from the front porch.

Ulysses and I visited his parents weekend. They live in a green, rolling landscape near Ashland, Oregon with their sweet old Labrador retriever, Joby.

Meet Joby. She likes to hug people by leaning against them.

On Saturday, I browsed through Websters in downtown Ashland near Lythia Park.  Great yarn selection, no sales tax. Also crocheted the last panel of a purse and sewed the pieces together. Still needs some tweaking to look finished.

I’m not sure that a visit with family counts as vacation. My partner has a large family. I need a lot of personal space and don’t like crowds in enclosed spaces. That makes for stress during extended or large gatherings. But this time was mostly mellow and pleasant. We had a great time biking around Hyatt Lake on a sunny day, then relaxing at the beach and playing fetch with Joby. Outdoors, she transforms from an obsequious underdog to a total jock.


Yup. We need a dog.

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Goody Friday

Okay, it’s actually Thursday, but I’m taking off for Ashland tomorrow. Considered”Fiber Friday” but there are other kinds of craft related goodies, so…

Assorted Kool-Aid

Clockwise from left: Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade, Lemon-Lime, Berry Blue, Slammin’ Strawberry Kiwi, Blastin’ Berry Cherry, and Pink Lemonade.

The Safeway & Albertson’s monopoly in the East Bay carries only the basic flavors. So I scoured the web. E-Bay is wonderful! Quite a mark-up over retail prices, but I was on a mission. Still need a source for Mandarine Tangerine, though.

invisible Kool-Aid


It’s 80 degrees Fahrenheit and these arrived at the LYS. Malabrigo Worsted in Shocking Pink, ordered in February. I have 5 skeins. When the fog rolls into the Bay, I’ll think of a knitting project for this. The delicious pink wants to be a feminine sweater, don’t you think?

shocking pink Malabrigo

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It’s 2:21am and I just printed it out.  47 pages.  I wrote 22 pages in about three days.  In other words, it’s a total hack job.  Really.  A mess.  But I am handing it to my advisor tomorrow morning.  He hasn’t had much work to do in terms of serious editing so far, so I’ll have him go at it with this one.

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