PurpleSteph’s Blog

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Multi-tasking July 5, 2009

Filed under: Dyeing,General yarniness — purplesteph @ 4:07 pm

So, I haven’t blogged for ages. More because of too much stuff happening to blog about than too little. Not that that’s something I complain about, by the way.

But it does leave me wondering why I so frequently spend my free time multi-tasking – for example at the same time as I am flinging words at random in the direction of my blog, I am also watching a DVD, composing a mystery pattern for a swap (full details will be on a future blog), re-doing 2 rows of my Ishbel to sort out an error (thank God for lifelines)… oh, and my first attempt at natural dyeing is merrily cooking to itself in the microwave. The sofa beside me is littered with needles and part-finished projects.

Why do I do this? Do I really have that short an attention span? Possibly. Do I risk making mistakes because I rarely give my full attention to one thing at a time? Almost certainly, especially on row counts. Is it more fun this way?  Definitely.

Anyway, enough about me. Look at the pretty picture!

And there are more in my Flickr photostream – go on, look!

 

Spring is a state of mind March 15, 2009

Filed under: Dyeing,General yarniness,Sock obsession,Thoughts and Observations — purplesteph @ 4:09 pm

After spending this weekend at a conference centre (which had a swing! all conference centres should have swings!) I arrived home and found that my street looked unfamiliar.  The houses looked prettier, the gardens tidier; there were more green spaces than I remembered, and more trees.

I was pretty puzzled by this until the realisation hit me that I hadn’t walked down my street in that direction in daylight for ages, without carrying heavy shopping bags and being by definition intent on nothing else besides getting home to put them down.

For months I’d been leaving for work in a hurry without looking around me, and arriving back after dark.  At weekends I’d fallen into bad habits, hardly leaving the house at all except when I had somewhere else to be – and was usually again in a hurry.  It wasn’t the neighbourhood that had changed, it was me.

I never make New Year’s Resolutions, and suspect I’d have very little chance of keeping any that I did make.  The darkest and coldest time of the year always seems to me a depressing time to be making big changes.  Although it’s so long since I was in education myself, I’ve never managed to shake off the academic year, because I’ve always either worked at companies or volunteered with organisations connected to schools and education.  So sometimes I make September Resolutions, when the school year starts.  There’s an exciting bite to the breeze, the birds start massing to migrate, and there’s autumn to look forward to.

This time however I’ll be making some Spring Resolutions:

  • Get out more.
  • Look more closely at your local surroundings.
  • Take time to take time.

Every year the blossom catches me by surprise: This year I’m waiting for it.

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Quite early in the year I dyed some yarn an optimistic spring-y green – right before the week of the biggest snow that I’ve known in 12 years living in Yorkshire.  The yarn sat and looked at me – it practically laughed at me – as if reproaching me for misplaced optimism.   But I’ll have the last laugh when I knit with it.

Top: Alpaca/Nylon sock yarn, dyed with many many colours of Kool-Aid. Bottom: Alpaca/Nylon sock yarn, optimistically dyed a nice spring green with Lemon & Lime Kool-Aid.
Top: Alpaca/Nylon sock yarn, dyed with many many colours of Kool-Aid. Bottom: Alpaca/Nylon sock yarn, optimistically dyed a nice spring green with Lemon & Lime Kool-Aid.

And here are the results of my first ever foray into natural dyeing:

Top: Pure Wool DK dyed with used coffee grounds. Bottom: Pure Wool DK dyed with beetroot. These yarns will be a toy lion eventually.
Top: Pure Wool DK dyed with used coffee grounds. Bottom: Pure Wool DK dyed with beetroot. These yarns will be a toy lion eventually.