Thursday, August 21, 2008

Coloring: It’s not just for Easter eggs anymore!

Yes, autumn or anytime, in fact, is a good time to break out the unsweetened Kool-Aid packets and dye wool. All summer, I’d had these skeins waiting to be dyed. Many other activities which involved driving repeatedly to the same location on a daily basis took care of my evil plans for dyed wool world domination. So they waited along with a host of other projects I’d had in mind.

Funny thing about Kool-Aid dyeing is how one gets caught up in it. I started out this morning thinking: “Holy Hannah and her underwear, Batman! Look at all this wool I have to dye! Surely, it will take all day into night requiring a pizza delivery at some point!” Batman snickered as I dyed 4 skeins in 2 hours. I had a lot of Cherry Kool-Aid left; my reds tended toward the Strawberry flavor. Lemonade didn’t do much in terms of color ~ it would make a very pale yellow on a single skein nicely, but doesn’t do well with the hand-painted technique. The Lemonade gets lost. I fell in love with the Lemon-Lime green, especially on the Icelandic. Where the white showed through the gray, once dyed green, it really popped out from the drab background. Of course, all the colors (except the yellow Lemonade) showed well on the last two Rambouillet skeins.

The other funny thing about Kool-Aid dyeing is that I’m not sure I want to knit up the finished product. It looks so pretty sitting about in a twisted skein. It’s no wonder some people think I’m weird.

And now for something out of the ordinary . . .

I’ve discovered a new landmark, if you will, in my yard. If one were to exit our house via the front door and go to the garden, the only unobstructed direction is due south, the Trail of the Dead Moles ~ so named for said critter carcasses littering that passage. Clearly, the Feline Majority has been busy this summer. Each one is a gift, of course. You can tell a gift from your cat. It will not be unidentifiably eviscerated on the front porch, liver here, left lung there, small intestine laid neatly next to the still-beating heart (accurate anatomical identification increases with frequency). It’s bad form and presentation; cats aren’t so rude. No, a Gift from your cat is neat and pristine, almost untouched except for the teeth marks about the neck. It’s a big deal; break out the cat nip.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Do the day . . .

And let the day do you. I’ve been plying the Blue Leicester. The spindle, my heaviest one, turned out to be the best tool for plying in this case. I’d started plying on the Millie so that I could be completely finished with fleece bought 2 years ago at the Sheep & Wool, but the woolen bits kept getting caught. This was overtwisting my ply making a nasty, rope-like yarn. All the fluff I’d spun into it was lost in half a spool. So I switched to the drop spindle and things are now going quite well.

I just need to be left alone long enough to finish it.

Summer is waning. I can see it and smell it here. There’s an early morning chill and an early evening brisk. There are people under this roof eager to get back to school. Living half-way up a mountain does that to restless youths who would like to hang out in town at the pizza joint or cruise to the Foundry or just move in a nomadic fashion from one friend’s house to another eating along the way, laying waste to pantries in the village. So getting back to school is paramount to continued social activities.

Things, however, need to go differently this school year. Some people need to tow the line. They know who they are . . .

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Balck & Blue Berry Pie

I am so pleased to have a blackberry bramble growing in my back yard. Seeing that I had quite a lot of blackberries, Bennie and I went out and picked what we could reach. The bramble has purposefully grown in a difficult place on site. On one side, you’re met with many thorns and twisted growth. On the other, you have to climb rocks left over from the initial foundation blasting 7 years ago. Despite the difficulty and prickles and scratches, we picked enough for a pie. Well, not a full pie. I added frozen blueberries to create the rest of the filling, hence the name Black & Blue Berry Pie. Although, in this case, not only does it describe the filling but also the bruises one receives in this business of picking berries for pies.

It is a tasty pie and perfect for this Harvest Time.