PurpleSteph’s Blog

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This week I would like to thank April 6, 2009

Filed under: General yarniness,Sock obsession,Thoughts and Observations — purplesteph @ 12:42 pm
Signs of Spring

All photos taken by me, near my home - within 2 miles of the centre of Leeds. At least half of them are also within 10 feet of major roads. Also included: a shot of a local grass roof (big thanks to the homeowner for letting me inside for a better look); a bouquet my OH gave me on Friday; some local graffiti that caught my eye.

So, this week I would like to thank:

1. The people who planted the flowers

2. The One who makes them grow

3. Lynne and Hazel for being there while I was wrestling with an uncooperative heel on my latest socks (see future post for full gory details)

4. Helen from Ripples Hand Dyed Yarns for the gorgeous Iris yarn:

5. Everyone else on Ravelry who offered me suggestions in the Iris yarn thread.

(Memo: must get to Socktopus next time I’m in London).

6. Ooh – I almost forgot one! Thanks to Boots for bringing out the £1 ethical sock bag! They didn’t know that’s what they were doing, but what does that matter?

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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.