Thursday, 29 October 2009

Beetroot Knits

A few weeks ago, we got a bundle of small organic beetroots in our veg box delivery. They sat in the back of the fridge for a while, as I wasn't quite sure what to do with them...beet crisps? Nah. Pickled? Heck no.

And, as many veg box customers tend to find themselves at least a few times a year, I was completely confused, until I told EllaJ about it and she said, "What about borscht?"

Duh. As I have a very lovely Russian side of my family in my darling sister-in-law, and have enjoyed her and her mother's borscht on many a find occasion, I don't know how that delicate point escaped me.

So last night I made borscht. And while making borscht and seeing how brilliantly fuchsia everything within five feet of me was, I thought, "Oh yeah, people use beetroot to dye things."

In severe danger of being dyed.

After reading a few forum posts and learning that no, it wasn't a good idea, it wouldn't last, I tossed the beetroot peels into a pot with some apple cider vinegar, took out that beautiful skein of Organic Merino Aran that I bought from Bluefaced last weekend, and shoved it in.

At least I didn't give in to my first impulse and just whack it in with the borscht.

I let it simmer for about 30 minutes, half-expecting it to just soak it all in like it would with kool-aid, but second guessed it and threw it in the sink in cold water. As expected, it bled a lot, but didn't, as I was fearing, go completely white again (which wouldn't have been so bad, really). I hung it up in the bathroom to dry, and in the end of it all, got this:

It's a lot more orangey/rusty than I expected, which is good, because I was fearing it would turn out to be a bit more like candy-floss (which I hate the color of). And because it's kettle-dyed, and because I never fished the beetroot peels out of the boiling water, they ended up clinging to the yarn like leeches and leaving little darker splotches all over it, which I quite like.

I fully expect it to fade and bleach in the sun, but even if it's anywhere between this color and its natural shade, I'll still be happy with it.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Bacchus Scarf

Newest (free!) pattern is up on Ravelry:


Step 1: Work

Moving countries, especially to a country so wonderfully beurocratic that you have to have a European Computer Driver's License to prove you know how to work a word processor, has left me in a bit of a sticky situation: jobless.

Fortunately, we're blessed to have my husband's student loans and a frugal lifestyle (besides the chocolate, and the occasional skein of Fyberspates), that I've been able to devote some time (a lot of time) to both my writing, and, of course, my knitting.

I'm waiting to hear back on the fate of my two newest books from my agent, so in the meantime, it's really all knitting:

My Workspace, with desk thanks to the blood, sweat and tears of my husband and to the cool Swedish stylings of EllaJ, who has IKEA in her blood.

Sneak Peak:

The Butterfly Forest Shawl

Monday, 12 October 2009

French Braid Cloche

I have a new pattern up in my Ravelry Store!

It's the French Braid Cloche, and it's available for download as a PDF and is only 2.00 GBP, (at current exchange rate, about $3.16 USD or 2.14 Euro, or 3.48 Aus, or...)

Available in Adult sizes Medium and Large, it's a fun, comfy cloche hat for all seasons, with a cable-created ruffle for snaz and eyelets that are just begging to have ribbons run through them.

(Link will take you to Paypal)

Thank you to KarateKid, Hobobird, and PocketDanielle for test knitting!

Friday, 9 October 2009

tales of an immigrant housewife

Somehow, a black hooded scarf tends to say everything:

Though it's not for me, but a friend, EllaJ. Since my time is abundant and otherwise useless, since no one feels the need to contact me about volunteer opportunities that I've applied for (I mean...really?), I've been mostly knitting. A lot.

Fortunately, this means quite a few designs should be coming up soon:

French Braid Cloche:

A few other hats, and somehow (har har) managing to work in a little Cookie time into my schedule: