Five Things Friday

I am determined not to let another week go by with just a single, lonely blog post. However, I have not had time to take many photos this week; thus, today will be a list of random things with photos ganked from my Instagram.

1 – I have reached the waist decreases on my Rhinebeck sweater, and I have no idea what to do about them! I am modifying the pattern because I wanted more room in the hips but less room in the bust, so I thought decreasing about 3 inches for the waist and then increasing back out one inch for the bust might work for my measurements… BUT the fabric is an all-over ribbing/cable texture, so I am having trouble figuring out decrease placement that will allow for increasing back to a smaller stitch count than I began with, but still keep the pattern intact. WHY MUST I GET FANCY WITH THESE THINGS, HMMM?

ALL THE LIP BALMZ.

2 – My house has been an absolute mess for the last week or so as I’ve been nonstop making lotion bars and lip balms for a wholesale order and the fast-approaching Squam Art Fair. (September 19th in New Hampshire, will I see you?!) The Fiasco and I will be stickering and shrink-wrapping 150 lip balms tonight while watching The Cider House Rules on Netflix. Is that an exciting Friday night, or what?

3 – I have a very full head of fairly fine texture, wavy-curly hair that can be quite difficult to manage. I’ve been using Deva Curl products for a while now because their more natural, moisturizing, sulfate-free ingredients are supposed to be much better for curly hair and I really do like the shampoo and conditioner. Their styling products are nice, too, but I find they make my hair too ‘gunky’ the next day, and I only shampoo every other day so that’s not ideal. Anyway, they have a training program for stylists that teaches them to cut curly hair while dry so it flatters curly hair’s natural texture. I found one such stylist at a fancy city salon in Providence and I’m going to get a haircut tomorrow. I’ve been so bored with my hair and just generally unhappy with recent haircuts, so this is quite exciting for me. (It’s my blog, and I can naval-gaze if I want to!) Have any curly-headed ladies had luck with such haircuts?

HELP! FROZEN! AH!

4 – This morning, my Kindle screen tragically and strangely froze… just in the bottom left hand quadrant of screen. WHAT THE HECK AM I SUPPOSED TO DO ABOUT THIS? HOW WILL I LIVE?!?!?! I am quite distressed. How am I supposed to get my John Irving on with a screen like that?! What is happening? What should I do????

5 – This Sunday, my spinner’s guild is hosting a sock-yarn-spinning class taught by Amy King of Spunky Eclectic, who also teaches a Foundations of Spinning class on Craftsy and will be teaching lots of spinning-related classes at Rhinebeck. I am beyond excited about this. I haven’t had a proper spinning session since Tour de Fleece in July, and it’s high time I get back into it. I will be sure to report back with details on the class.

That’s all I have for you this Friday. Happy weekend, everyone!

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All The (Pretty) Things

I’m taking a page from Truly Myrtle‘s book and sharing a few sort-of-random things this Friday evening.

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Dyeing!

Dyeing has been on my mind lately. (Also probably Truly Myrtle’s fault!) I have several skeins of the above lovely, naturally grey/brown yak/silk fiber that I plan to use in a Salted pullover. However, I’m not a fan of uniform colors in my knitting and I love the speckled look of the plain stockinette sections of the sweater sample, so I thought I’d dye one skein and see if I could achieve a similarly subtle variegation. I took a stab with a depth of shade of 0.25 of Turquoise and I submerged the yarn in the dyepot all twisted up in the hank, as shown above, with the idea that the twisted bits would act as a resist and prevent the dye from completely penetrating the whole skein. It’s simmering as I write and I keep peeking in the pot, but I don’t think my plan is working. It’s looking pretty saturated and dark and the dye bath is not exhausting… sigh. I suppose that’s why we practice!

All The (Dyeable) Things | Woolen Diversions

BMFA Twisted, colorway Aurora Borealis

My next Grand Plan is to overdye two skeins of BMFA Twisted. It feels blasphemous to overdye Tina’s gorgeous handiwork, especially since I do really love the color, but my stash lacks sweater quantities of yarn, and two skeins of this is just enough to make a Cypress vest/pullover in my size:

Cypress vest by Jared Flood. Copyright Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood. Click for pattern page.

The issue is that I just can’t see myself wearing such a multicolored garment. I have some Silver Grey dye that I think will darken the colors up just enough to make them cohesive enough for a garment, while preserving some variegation. (If anybody has some tips on how best to go about achieving this goal, I’m all ears!) I’m not sure what’s gotten hold of me lately but I want a sweater, and I want it now, so Cypress it is.

All The (Pretty) Things | Woolen Diversions

Sweet, sweet Darwin.

All The (Pretty) Things | Woolen Diversions

Stoic Calypso.

I’ve been continuing to practice with my new camera. I love it. I’ve taken a truly absurd number of cat photos over the last few days. Oh well! I suppose I’m just another stereotype after all.

All The (Pretty) Things | Woolen Diversions

Forthcoming fall scents!

I’ve been a busy bee preparing fall fragrances for Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe. Some of them should go up this weekend after our farmer’s market tomorrow. If you live in or near Rhode Island, come visit the Mount Hope Farmer’s Market in Bristol, we’ll be there from 9am – 1pm (on Saturday 9/20)!

And now for the most random of the things I wanted to share this evening: as you may or may not know, I’ve been a big fan of Jason Mraz’s music for over a decade (yikes). Much of my down time during 2003 was spent watching ad nauseum when I should’ve been sleeping grainy video clips of his small time performances in a coffeehouse in California. His voice and musical style are just… incomparable. There’s nothing quite like his mysic: a little bit of twang, a little bit of soul, a little bit of 70’s rock, a little bit of cheesiness, a ton of lyrical wordplay, and a whole lot of talent.

All The (Pretty) Things | Woolen Diversions

That fuzzy man on stage is Mr. Jason Mraz.

When a friend from grad school had an extra ticket to a show I hadn’t even known was happening I jumped all over the chance to see my long-time-love. He has a new album out that he wrote with an all-girl folk band, Raining Jane. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the band change at first but after seeing the show, I love it. He said about the collaboration that he had needed a change, he was dealing with some writer’s block and he would’ve put out a record either way but that he’s so grateful they agreed to work with him because they were what he needed to produce music that “filled his heart”. It’s interesting to think of artists we admire dealing with creative burnout. If you have Amazon Prime, there are several of Jason’s albums available for free download. His newest one, Yes!, is the one with Raining Jane and it is worth every penny of the $6.99 that Amazon is currently charging. Below you’ll find a ‘short film’ which is essentially 3 continuous music videos in one. They perfectly represent the dreamy quality of this new album, and I’ve never seen someone make a whole mini movie out of their videos before. Check it out!

While I’m super excited about the new direction his music is taking, I’ll always love him best when it’s just him and his guitar. But I suppose that’s enough fangirlin’ for one night. I could go on, but I’ll spare you (unless you want more info, just let me know). Plus, I’ve got a few hours worth of Jason to watch and a dyepot to check up on. Happy Friday!