Thursday, December 27, 2007

Dyeing Soon

7 pounds of superwash BFL just arrived which means dyeing in the next week or so. Please comment or email me at stlrachelknits at gmail dot com if you have any special requests. Most of my rovings are one of a kind, but I can usually recreate sock yarn colors in roving. I also have 3 pounds of superwash/tencel blend I will be experimenting with. I can't wait to see how it turns out.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Zombies

First, I would like to announce to all that read this blog that 7-letter Deborah is the shiznit. After reading my last post, Deborah showed up at knitting that night with a stack of zombie movies. Peoples, she really is a rock star.
Roma, can I introduce you to my other love?
Second, I want you to know that I am in love with a boy that is bad for me. Jaeger Roma is...oh, it is heavenly. Soft, bouncy, great stitch definition, a great hand, good drape, great elasticity, sleek and not at all fuzzy like other angora yarns. Did I mention softness? Oh, so soft. Sproingy, too. I am such a sucker for good sproing.
Roma, My Love
This 63% Viscose/22% Nylon/15% Angora blend is about to do me in. I have been petting it for months now. I never bought it because I am sensitive to angora. Every member of the staff has had to sit through at least one rendition of the "Should I or Should I Not Buy This Yarn (Do you think it will make me wheeze)" blues. I finally decided that even though it is dehaired and even though it isn't fuzzy that it would probably be a Bad Idea. Then Jaeger announced it was being discontinued. Then it got cold. Then I couldn't find the sock I was working on. Then a ball threw itself at me pitifully and begged me to buy it. Yesterday, I caved. I bought 1 single ball just to see if we could make this doomed relationship work.
Roma, My Sweet
Look at it. I'm holding it double here to start Alexio's Ocean Wave Scarf. Look at how pretty it is. *petpetpetpet* Never mind that my hands were red last night and never mind that tinny pre-allergy tickle in the back of my mouth. It's just a small itsy bitsy tiny little allergy induced asthma reaction. Now, now, I am not trying to justify our love! I'm just saying that every relationship has its problems.
Run away with me, Roma
Hush you, I am not just fooling myself. This yarn loves me. I love this yarn. We were meant to be together. Where's my inhaler?
Roma, wrap me in your love
Okay fine, I won't buy anymore. But, dang it, I wanted it to work out.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Santa

I don't know if Santa reads this blog, but in case he does....

...Thank You.

Friday, December 7, 2007

New Official Position

Original position on holiday knitting:

I will knit for my family who I always thoroughly enjoy knitting for, any person who asks and any person who thinks they don't want knitted gifts. For those non-believers especially I will dazzle them with my brilliant command of two sticks and string.

Here is my new official position on holiday knitting:

Fuck it.

It isn't because I can't get it done. Only two more single socks to go and the 6 "must knit" pairs will be finished. Once I realized that was all I had left, I added slipper socks to the agenda along with 2 rag rugs, but not no mo'. Fuck it. [Added for clarification: They are "must knit" pairs because they are the ones I enjoy knitting the most.]

I brought up the possibility of knitted gifts to our various friends and family groups (who I think I might start referring to collectively as Framily). I don't know what I was thinking. The only parts of the Framily who have ever expressed any interest in fiber arts were the parts that married in, the parts that raised me from a wee one and, of course, the knitters. I should not have been surprised when the response to the hand knit offerings was to tell me--hastily and tripping over their own words trying to find excuses fast enough--that they didn't go outside evar, they don't wear socks evar or they would never use them. I only believe that last one. They would never use them. Let their stylish Wal-Mart acrylic polar fleece be cold comfort when they freeze in a pool of their own sweat while shoveling their walks this winter. No winter hats for them.

Let's not even talk about popular media, television shows and talk radio's insinuations of the horrors of receiving handcrafted gifts. Depressing, I tell ya.

Those 6 pairs of socks nearly finished will be given to the intendeds on Christmas Day. Even though they didn't ask specifically for them, I know them well enough to know for an absolute fact that they will wear them. It might not be the best gift they receive, but they are in my price range, I enjoy knitting them and best of all they will use them until there are holes in them. But next year I'm remembering this year's new official position and I'll make them ask for winter woolies.

As for the knitters, I'm not knitting knitters anything for Christmas. I think they'll understand. Don't you?

Bah Humbug.

*We now return you to your regularly scheduled holiday cheer*

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Alexio's Ocean Wave Scarf

[ETA: Trying to knit Alexio's Ocean Wave Scarf and can't make heads or tails of the pattern? It's not you. I screwed up and posted the wrong instructions and then deleted the correct ones. *headdesk* Deepest apologies to anyone who tried to knit this and gave up in frustration. Further apologies that it took me this long to catch the error. Below is the correct pattern. 04/08/08--Rachel]

Finally we have this back up! I'm sorry for the lengthy copyright notice. It proved necessary after the last time we posted this.

Happy Knitting!

Rachel and Scott

Alexio’s Ocean Wave Scarf

Design by Scott

© Dyeabolical Yarns, 2008; © Scott Kluesner, 2006. All rights reserved. Alexio's Ocean Wave scarf and derivative works may only be used for personal and non-profit use only. You may knit this for personal use, a gift or as a charity item donation. If you would like to knit this item for sale, you may obtain a commercial license for this pattern by contacting dyeabolicalyarns @ gmail . com If you are knitting an item for a charity sale or auction, please contact for written permission. Please do not redistribute this pattern unless printed or linked directly from this site. Please contact via email for permission to distribute in your store.


Materials

  • 150g heavy worsted weight wool or desired weight/fiber. Cotton or other inelastic fibers are not recommended.
  • US 6 or 7, if using a heavy worsted weight. If using a weight other than heavy worsted, use at least one size smaller than recommended on the ball band.

Gauge

  • Gauge for this project is flexible. Your primary concern is to make your stitches tight enough that they easily pull into a wave pattern, but not so tight as to make it difficult to knit. In general, smaller needles make wavier waves.
  • Gauge for the scarf pictured is 5 sts/inch in pattern when pressed flat

Key

K= Knit

P= Purl

Kfb = Knit in both front and back loops

Pfb = Purl in both front and back loops

Kfl = Knit in front loop

Pfl = Purl in front loop

Kbl = Knit in back loop

Pbl = Purl in back loop

Pattern

Cast on 36 stitches [To make a wider scarf, add multiples of twelve to this cast on number.]

Row 1(RS): K3, (P6, K6) to the last 9 stitches, P6, K3

Rows 2, 4 and 6 (WS): P3, (K6, P6) to the last 9 stitches, K6, P3.

Row 3, 5 (RS): K3, (P6, K6) to the last 9 stitches, P6, K3

Row 7 (RS): K2tog three times, (P6, K6) to the last 6 stitches, P3, Pfb in the next stitch, (Pfl, Kbl) of following stitch, Kfb of last stitch

Row 8 (WS): P3, (K6, P6) to the last 9 stitches, K6, P3

Rows 9, 11 (RS): K3, (P6, K6) to the last 9 stitches, P6, K3

Rows 10, 12 (WS): P3, (K6, P6) to the last 9 stitches, K6, P3

Row 13 (RS): P2tog three times, (K6, P6) to the last 6 stitches, K3, Kfb in the next stitch, (Kfl, Pbl) of the following stitch, Pfb of the last stitch

Rows 14, 16, 18 (WS): K3, (P6, K6) to the last 9 stitches, P6, K3

Rows 15, 17 (RS): P3, (K6, P6) to the last 9 stitches, K6, P3

Row 19 (RS): P2tog three times, (K6, P6) to the last 6 stitches, K3, Kfb in the next stitch, (Kfl, Pbl) of following stitch, Pfb of last stitch

Rows 20, 22, 24 (WS): K3, (P6, K6) to the last 9 stitches, P6, K3

Rows 21, 23 (RS): P3, (K6, P6) to the last 9 stitches, K6, P3

Row 25 (WS): K2tog three times, (P6, K6) to the last 6 stitches, P3, Pfb in the next stitch, (Pfl, Kbl) of following stitch, Kfb of last stitch

Repeat Rows 2-25 until desired length is reached.

Use a stretchy bind off to finish. Weave in ends.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Single Socks

How many single socks can you have waiting for you before you start to feel a bit guilty about not finishing them? The magic number in my knitting basket is 6. I never thought knitted garments could achieve sentience until I cast on for sock #6. 10 rows in to the ribbing and I could feel the other 5 socks staring at the back of my head.

When I reached for yarn to start a seventh pair, I swear the second eldest started cursing under its breath. The oldest single sock said nothing. At over a year old it has given up all hope. I thought that the single orange sock would find a purpose in life when I took it to the shop as a display sample, but I think I might have traumatized my sock by letting strangers touch it. I set the needles down for a few minutes and gave the socks a group hug. That seemed to pacify them for a moment.

Secretly, I think the single sock siblings should be grateful that there are only six of them. I had planned on knitting 14 single socks before thanksgiving and then knitting their seconds before Christmas. Yeah. 14. Even I know that "optimistic" is probably an understatement. Finishing six single socks before Christmas seems more reasonable. 1 sock every 3-4 days seems doable, especially since most of them are stockinette, short-cuffed or fat-yarned. I even had a reasonable knitting schedule planned out before a 3-day turkey haze set in. 3 days of lazy knitting has set me a bit off track, but no need for the socks to panic yet.

Barring illness or injury *knock on wood* each of the socks should have partners in the next few weeks. All I have to do now is make sure that the single socks don't meet up with the unstarted rag rug strips and we'll all get through Christmas knitting without any bloodshed.

NOW, if you are a related to me you might want to stop here. I'm not saying that I'm making you anything for Christmas, but if I am then a picture of it might be below. You wouldn't want to ruin the surprise would you? Or worse, you wouldn't want to get your hopes up and find out that the picture below wasn't for you. So just do yourselves a favor and click off the page now. Yeah, I could just refrain from posting pictures, but what fun would that be?

I've warned you. Click each picture for larger.

Ravelry
Love the pattern. Hate the yarn. But hey, it was free yarn. Free yarn is free yarn. I do like how the striping inside the heel came together, though.
Close up of the inside of the heel

Ravelry
Ja Wolle Aktion sock yarn. I love this. I love it. I love it. I love it. I made the mistake of showing a few customers at work how this yarn looked knitted up and now we're sold out of the yarn. Before I showed this to any body I should have stashed away a second skein. I think I'll have enough for the second sock. If not, panic.

Ravelry
The foot of this sock is 13" long. I don't know who I was trying to fit when I started it. Okay, that's a lie. I was trying to fit me. I was a little overzealous on making sure the foot was long enough. I don't actually recall, but I think I might have been trying to compensate for it only being 3" wide when unstretched. It will fit someone, right? There I go with that optimism again.

Griffyndor Sock
Nearly a sixth single sock. I knit this far in 3 hours using Mission Falls 1824. I could have had it done by now but I'm blogging instead. Priorities, you know.

Single Socks
A family picture.

Rag rug in progress Wavy rug
Rag rugs are the other Christmas project. Any ideas to keep them from waving or cupping?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Naturally

There is a month and a half until Christmas. I have 3.5 socks finished of the 28 I had fantasized since last Christmas that I would have done in time for this Christmas. It is 60 degrees outside with no indication that it might turn in to winter any time soon. I have been absolutely craving to knit a comfortable chunky wool sweater. I have tried (and failed) to knit the same Adrienne Vittadini cardigan 3 times. I have never hit gauge no matter what needle combination I try. The only yarn I have enough of in stash to make a sweater is a color of Noro Sakura that honest to god features florescent yellow and hot pink as main colors. I didn't do a gauge swatch. I have to be at work in 2 hours at a store full of wonderful chunky wool yarns that I can buy one ball at a time if need be. So, naturally, I have cast on for a new cardigan in florescent Noro.

Nicole
Sakura
Some people never learn.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Insubordiknit

May I just say how goddamned excited I am that there is a new Insubordiknit podcast?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Fall back fibering

It's November and that means That Time of Year is upon us. Yep, time to start some serious sock knitting for the holidays. Luckily I already have 3 single socks done....from last year. *ahem* This year I am making a pair for a non-knitter out of Koigu, which is handwash/dry flat. I feel kind of guilty giving away something like handwash socks to non-knitters and I've been giving a lot of thought to changing the yarn. So, what are your thoughts on handwashing socks just for you? Do you handwash all of your socks? Throw them all in the wash and hope for the best? Only buy sturdy reinforced sock yarn? Treat each of your handknitted treasures like they were made from the finest and most exclusive of hand painted yarns?

My intention is to lovingly handwash the socks in lavender scented wool wash and let them drip dry while draped daintily across the shower curtain. The reality is that they get washed in Cheer and taken for a tumble. I have always washed and dried my socks in the washing machine and dryer as a matter of convenience. That is, I would throw them in the laundry pile with the intention of throwing them in a bucket of warm water later, forget they were in there until I glimpse them in the bottom of the dryer after being washed on warm with my jeans and then have a brief moment of panic before reassuring myself they are fine and vowing to be better about sock segregation in future laundry endeavors.

This week a lovely lovely lovely lovely friend helped me with laundry and remembered to not dry my socks in the dryer. And you know what? I learned three things that I didn't think would be true. 1) I think I like socks in the dryer. It firms them up, like jeans. I like my socks with a little discipline. 2) The Collinette Jitterbug label is not lying when they say handwash, dry flat. They mean it. They really do. 3) Claudia Handpaints gets so soft in the wash that it feels like adultery to wear them. Silky, silky adultery.

I promised the the extra hour tonight would be devoted to knitting. That sort of happened.

I finished the first sleeve for the Curvilicious Cardigan. One more sleeve to go before joining them to the body and shaping the shoulders. Then i-cord and sewing a zipper. So far, so good. I'm not a fan of the way the fabric feels, but my swatch tells me that it really wants to washed and dried in an actual washer and dryer before a final judgment call is made.
Curvilicious Cardigan

I cast on for a new sock made from Jawoll's Aktion:
Sock yarn

Scott and I untangled yarn for far longer than an hour and are looking forward *cough* to many more hours of untangling. That's not really knitting, but I suppose it is a fiber-related activity.

After I post this I will be working on my mystery project until the time change, which happens in....10 minutes. Well, better get on this then. Mystery project, which you can figure out if you think at all about it, is being made from fabric strips obtained from DnL Fabric Crafts and More. I really cannot say enough good things about my first purchase from Lorri. $1.60ish to $3 for a 6"x27' strip that is then further cut in to smaller strips at no charge? Oh heck yeah, I'm there. It beats cutting strips yourself. I thought I was buying enough for 2 Mystery Projects, but the amount of fabric in the box is easily enough to do 3 or 4. Great deal.

Mystery project Strawberry fabric strips

Blue squares fabric strips

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Etsy Update

I just made an Etsy update. The same colors will also be in the shop later this week, plus Knitorious' signature red colorway and the new blue colorway of Herdsmen of the Alpaca Lips (or should it be Alpacalypse?)

ThemysciraBlue BeetleDeck the HallsLuthor's RevengeDance Mistress

Monday, October 29, 2007

Good Day to Dye

Today was a good dyeing day....
Dyeabolical Yarn's Herdsman of the Alpacalypse

...and a good picture day.
Dyeabolical Yarn's Alter Ego

Also, alpaca is bizarrely crunchy when wet.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Picture kind of day

[Edited to add links, edited formatting and clarify a paragraph or two]

I'm nearly out of coherent words today. Bullets and pictures tell story of my week, okay? [As always, click the picture for a larger view or to view any notes on the picture.]
  • So many people commented or emailed me privately to let me know that I am not alone in experiencing SSRI discontinuation syndrome, specifically with Cymbalta prescribed to treat nerve pain. Thank you so much. It is so hard to describe to people who have never experienced a brain zap. It just sounds so ridiculous. I'm both sad and glad that I am not alone in experiencing this.
  • Last week my mom gave me socks she made that were too big for her. Look how cute they are with my new Mary Janes:
New Socks, New Shoes
  • Customer Lisa (blog?) emailed me a picture of this adorable cardigan she finished using Dyeabolical Yarn in the Neapolitan colorway. Great job, Lisa! Lisa did this in fingering weight, but I think with my next order of base yarns I will order some DK weight yarn and dye this color again.
Cardigan made by lpinette
  • Carrie from Socks in the City sent me the most adorable picture of her husband and son wearing hats made from my Herdsmen of the Alpaca Lips line. I hate to share pictures with people in it without permission, and of course I forgot to ask permission before I started writing this. Go to her blog and demand she show you the cuteness! And....which do you like better? Herdsmen of the Alpaca Lips or Herdsmen of the Alpacalypse?
  • 7-letter Deborah brought me barley for lunch this week. Today she called me to tell me about a sale on some fabric I wanted. Deborah is full of win.
  • I finished these socks for Scott last night. I knit the first one in a day. The second one took almost 6 months.
Penant socks

When the shop first started carrying Colinette Jitterbug, there was some concern that it didn't have enough yardage for a pair of socks. In the name of science, I cast on 48 stitches around and did the box toe and pennant stitch from More Sensational Knitted Socks. I thought one sock might be too much shorter than the other, but it is a good thing I stopped when I did. I had about 13" of yarn left. Still, that is a pretty darn respectable amount of sock.
Leftovers
  • Last night I plyed two singles spun from Perchance to Knit's Merry Go Round colorway. I am very pleased at how well this turned out. Spinning was a breeze. I didn't pre-draft. I just pulled off a length and spun. The singles are mostly even. I used my high ratio bobbins to ply this skein. The plies are much tighter, although still a bit inconsistent. I am very happy with this 212-yard skein:
New Handspun
Merry Go Round Plying
Merry Go Round
(the one directly above is color enhanced)
  • This morning I woke up feeling creative. The light was perfect in my living room, so I took several shots of every day objects, the results of which is that I finally have pictures of my skeinwinder from Carolina Homespun.
Swift Love
The Brass Ring
Crossroads
Wood
  • I love this skeinwinder. It is smooth, easy to assemble, easy to disassemble and easy to store. The only two complaints I have is that the nut likes to undo itself when I wind to the left and that the wing nuts can tighten themselves up so much that it is difficult to undo them. Neither one of these are major complaints. I can see myself buying another one of these if I ever need to replace my swift.
  • I really did spend hours this morning taking pictures from the comfort of my couch. They may not be the hight of photographic excellence, but they make me happy. Now, could someone tell me when I turned in to my father? The man is never without a camera. [Many of these pictures have quotes associated with them. I'm not usually a quote girl, but today the quote databases called to me. Click through to see which quote was chosen for each picture.]
Of asses and apostles
Sassy Changed My Life
(best viewed large)
Bound
(best viewed large)
Velvet Gloves
(best viewed large)
That world

  • This afternoon I sat down to mix dyes.
This is what I was in the middle of.
I had just mixed the first color when we were forced to evacuate our building because some...some...okay, I'm trying to stop using "fuck" and "fuck" derivatives, so I'll say some....PERSON OF DUBIOUS CHARACTER flung her still lit cigarette from her second floor balcony and out in to the parking lot. On a windy day. During a drought. Idiot. Her apartment is fine. Her neighbors is completely ruined. The fire went down in to the walls of the apartments below. One is fine. The other appeared to have some damage. [Update: One of the damaged apartments seems to have damage to the apartment itself, but thankfully not to many of the tenant's possessions. One of the apartments appears to have been recently vacated. Thank God.]

Guess how many departments responded to this fire that caused very little smoke or water damage? Six. The actual flaming fire was put out with extinguishers before the firemen got there. What caused the most damage was the firemen tearing in to the walls to make sure the fire hadn't burrowed any further in to the walls.

There was hardly any smoke in the hallways because most of the actual fire happened on the exterior of the building and on the outside walls of the affected apartments on the other side of the hall. About an hour after we were allowed back in I noticed smoke filling the hallways again and once again the firemen showed up.

I didn't bother to go outside to figure out what was going on and the firemen didn't evacuate us, so I'm going to speculate now as to what happened. I think the landlord was tearing down the damaged dry wall and the fire flared back up and caught the detritus on fire. Since one engine and the fire chief were there to supervise anyway, they had the fire out in record time but not before they called the same six departments back.

[Rewritten to clarify] I am so grateful that no one was hurt. I am so grateful that our apartment only has a lingering smell of smoke right at our front door. I feel so terrible for my neighbors. Except for the idiot who started the fire. I don't feel terrible for her. Forgive me, but even though our life is completely unaffected except for a few hours excitement while our neighbors have had the terrible luck of happening to live on that side of the building, the whole "is there a fire/isn't there a fire" and the actual "YES. There is a fire and it won't go out" is too much stress for my zapped brain. I eventually put the rest of my dye materials away and started writing this post.

It would figure, wouldn't it? The most blog worthy event of the day and I left my good camera inside. Here are pictures from my camera phone.

I used to be a smoker, too.
Fucking Smokers
The smokers apartment has minimal damage.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Public Service Announcements, a few updates and a disclaimer

  • PSA #1: I just discovered the iRuler. It is damn handy when you're in bed knitting in the dark and catching up on blogs instead of sleeping and need to measure something. iRuler tells me that I have another 1/4" of stockinette before I need to haul my dragging ass out of bed to find out what I do next. I suspect this is when I will finally go to sleep.
  • PSA #2: Don't share an adjoining bedroom wall with us. Scott's alarm clock goes off at 3:33AM every morning. He hits the snooze button for at least half an hour.
  • PSA #3: Cymbalta has withdrawal symptoms. Don't let your overpriced, affluent, overeducated, undercompassionated (like how I make up words?), nonresponsive, fat phobic physician tell you otherwise. Be irritated when they didn't listen to you that you were sensitive to medication changes. Be angry when she isn't listening that you are taking Cymbalta primarily because of nerve pain and not because of depression. Be angrier when your doctor doesn't call back for over 24 hours because the office "couldn't get ahold of her yet". Be livid when you realize that she changed your medications because she was trying to treat your fat rather than your pain. Fire her when you have dizziness, vertigo, paresthesia, anxiety, diarrhea, fatigue, gait instability, headache, insomnia, irritability, nausea, visual disturbances, nightmares and the return of the nerve pain for no reason whatsoever. Oh, I have so much more to say about this. Not now, though. It took 6 hours of sitting in a dark room just to feel well enough to even write this post.
  • My Twitter updates are now visible only to those who I allow to see them. If you have been following Twitter updates on the website but have not added me as a friend, you will have to sign up and ask for me to add you to my list. I'm sorry if it's an inconvenience.
  • I have finished the main body of the Curvalicious Cardigan. Next, the sleeves then joining the sleeves and the body. I would take a picture of it in progress except the only light in here is the computer screen.
  • 4:16AM and the snooze button is still being smacked. Aren't you glad you don't share a wall with us?

If, for any reason, there are concerns with the content of this blog, or the content and representation of this blog or blog persona in other forums, I invite you to contact me directly at stlrachelknits at gmail dot com.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Ranty McRantypants

I am irritated with my LCS (that's Local Comics Shop). I need venting space. I know, this is a knitting blog, but humor me.

I might be projecting my own insecurities as a new-ish comic book reader, but I think Assistant Boy Wonder from Local Comic Shop is intentionally vague with me. I am pretty sure he knows that I want when I ask for comics X and Y to be added to my pull file when I really mean I want them added to my pull list. I am getting fairly sick of finding past issues of comics I already own in my file while current issues of comics I want remain on the shelves being sold first come, first serve. If I am asking for the wrong thing please tell me, Mr. Comic-Geekier-Than-Thou.

In my own job, customers frequently are not as familiar with the terminology of the knitting industry as someone who works in the industry. Asking questions helps clarify customer requests. It is just good customer service for other industries to do the same. Also, it doesn't engender feelings of happiness and loyalty when you don't help people you know to be new to reading comics navigate the store, the lingo and the overwhelming amount of choices.

I go to your shop specifically because I don't feel like I am invading some sort of "man space". Don't mess that up. When I start asking for stereotypical "girl" comics, don't smirk at me. When I ask for something you think is lame, don't scoff at me. You think you can hide it, but you aren't. I see you start to roll your eyes before catching yourself. It is to your advantage to reinforce the validity of the choices your customers make. It is also to your advantage to suggest new comics you think your customer might like based on past purchases; or, heaven forbid, you could ask your customers what they like and suggest titles based on their responses.

Finally, would it kill you to let me use your bathroom? Is this some sort of universal comic shop law that customers are not allowed to use the bathroom? If I can use the facilities when I need to, perhaps I would stay at your shop longer and buy more items. Grrr!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Lupus Awareness

[Please see the end of this post for more information on how to win a skein of Dyeabolical Yarns.]


Today's blog entry is written by Julie. Julie is an extremely talented photographer and devoted friend. Not only is she raising money on Apple's behalf, her family also creates and distributes Love Stems to those who need a smile.
=====================================================

In 1999, my very dear friend, Apple, was diagnosed with Lupus SLE (Systemic-lupus-erythematosus), a chronic autoimmune disease. Witnessing the affects that this disease has had on her body and her lifestyle has challenged me to raise awareness for the disease.

October, which is notorious for breast cancer awareness, is also Lupus Awareness Month. And while there aren't as many purple ribbons around as pink ones, the need for more research and awareness are still vital and important to combating this disease.

I have started a group on Flickr, dedicated to raising lupus awareness. For every purple photo uploaded to the group, I am donating 10 cents (up to $150) to the Lupus Foundation of America, (California Chapter). To start uploading purple photos,go to the Purple Photos for Lupus Awareness Group on flickr. Purple yarn photos count. In fact, they are encouraged. I love yarn and purple is my favorite color. Plus you'd be helping a great cause. It's a win-win-WIN!

In addition to the $150 I will be donating when we reach our goal of 1500 purple photos, I would like to raise $500 more for the Lupus Foundation by November 4, 2007. I have set up a donation account where you can make a tax deductible donation directly to the Lupus Foundation (California).

I know that many donations are headed over to breast cancer awareness this month, which is awesome, but if you have any extra you can donate to another worthy cause, we would appreciate it so very much. You can do so, by visiting the Friends of Apple donation page.

Don't have any purple photos or extra cash?? Not to worry! You can still help! Just forward this information to as many people as you can. You know people….and chances are, someone you know has been touched by someone who has lupus. If you would like to learn more about the disease, visit the Lupus Wiki entry, because, Wiki knows everything!!

If you have any questions, you can email me directly at lovestems @ gmail.com (you know the drill, no spaces). Thank you for taking the time to read this. Rachel, thank you for having me as a guest blogger (it makes me feel so damn important!).

--Julie (sungazing)

========================================

For every $5 donation made to the Lupus Foundation, I will enter your name in to a drawing for a skein or roving braid from Dyeabolical Yarn. Please drop me an email at stlrachelknits at gmail dot com BEFORE NOVEMBER 1 and let me know how much you have donated. --Rachel

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Oh what a beautiful MORNing!

  • You know what's great about insomnia and being awake at an obscene time in the morning? Laundry. The washers are open and free at this time of morning. Oh, I know for most of you 7 in the morning isn't an obscene time of the morning. And I know technically that getting five and three-quarters hours sleep isn't quite sleep deprivation, but Peoples, this is my day off. Day-off sleep should last at least 10 hours.
  • The Alpaca Lips is coming, my friends. I just ordered a small shipment of alpaca yarn (and a LARGE shipment of sock yarn!) that will hopefully be here this month. This first run will be limited to 14 8oz skeins. 8oz is approximately 660 yards. Most likely this first batch will be 1/3 blue skeins, 1/3 brown/greens/camo skeins and 1/3 reds/oranges. Many many many many thanks to DharmaFey, host of the Socks in the City podcast, and to Fiona for testing this yarn and giving their feedback.
  • In other Dyeabolical news, I did a small dyeing session this week. I have 12 rovings (2 each of 6 colors--Neapolitan, Themyscira, a purpley/black thing, purples/greens/blues, and 2 potlucks) and 12 skeins of the Alter Ego line (6 Hidden Tigers, 2 Derby Girls and 2 Pot 'o Gold). They will be listed, um, soon. Soon-ish. Before next week. Possibly today if I get ambitious. Maybe.
  • Time to switch the laundry.
  • The laundry room is infested by spiders the size of monkeys. And when I say infested, I mean I saw one and when I say the size of monkeys, I mean if monkeys were the size of a quarter. But still, I squished it and now I'm a little concerned that little spider minions might come get me because I killed their queen.
  • So knitting then, since this is a knitting blog. The new issue of MagKnits came out this week and I cast on immediately for the Rainbow sock. I thought that my Regia Nation rainbow yarn would be a perfect yarn for this short row sock, but it just looked like wide slanty stripes. Meh. Not the look I was going for. I cast on again alternating between a varigated yarn and a solid yarn. I'm liking the results much better. It is a fast knit, too. I cast on Tuesday and am halfway through the heel. I've knit maybe 3 hours on it total:
Let's try this again
  • My high speed bobbins finally arrived. I donned my spinning mask (shaddup) and spun some beautiful fluffy purple sparkled mystery wool that blogless Jamie purchased for me at the Bethel Sheep and Wool Festival. I should post a picture. Camera camera, where is my camera...
Lace yarn
Do you see why I need a Woolee Winder?

Sock yarn
  • Work on the Curvilicious Cardigan and the Irish Diamond Shawl progress. No pictures, though, as they both look like big undefined lumps right now.
  • And that leaves me 11 minutes until it's time to pull laundry out of the dryers. Yes, it really did take me an hour to write this. See why I struggled so much doing deadline writing?