Panic Over (for now)

So, a little while ago I had a little panic, mid-life crisis, whatever you want to call it.  It’s not completely over, but at least I’ve made some changes that have made me feel better.

First, I played with fiber, which always improves my mood.  And I’m planning to play with some more through the end of the summer.  I have more yarn dyeing planned so stay tuned for photos of that.

Second, I went to the beach.  I always feel better after going to the beach or walking in the dunes.  Maybe it’s the sound of the waves or birds, or the smell of the air as it flows over the water, or through the trees.  Whatever it is, it works.

Third, I started going to yoga.  I really believe yoga will save me, in many ways.  It forces my body to stretch and become strong.  Who would have thought sitting still would be such hard work?  I like that I just have to show up and someone tells me what to do.  I struggle with self discipline when it comes to things that are physically hard to do.

Fourth, I ended my employment at my new job at the end of the probation period.  It was never going to make me happy.  The job wasn’t what they sold to me in the interview.  They were happy to call it a mutual ending of the contract and were super nice about it.  I think it was clear to everyone that it wasn’t a good fit.  I told the HR woman that I think they need to figure out what they really want before hiring someone again.  I won’t go into any more details.  All the people there were lovely, friendly, welcoming.  It just wasn’t right for me.  Now I’m back to looking for a teaching job.  I think I panicked when I took this job.  I panicked about being unemployed and I didn’t stick to my guns when it came to what I really wanted.  I’m not going to settle again.

Fifth, and finally, I’ve decided to write a book.  I don’t want to spill the beans yet, except to say that it will be about knitting.  It will be a very specific topic in knitting.  I’ve got a detailed outline done and I’m working on filling it out.  I hope to finish it in a year.  At least that’s what I’m thinking now.  I have never written a book before so I don’t know if that’s a reasonable estimate or not, but it’s what I’m going with for now.

And that’s my story.  That’s how I got from feeling down and disoriented, to feeling like I have some kind of direction and feel good about it.  Life is fluid.  I need to just go with it.  And not panic.

22 Purple Silk Leaves – FO

At the end of May I started this little shawl.  I won the pattern from the Yarniacs (thanks ladies!) and used some silk lace weight yarn that I dyed last summer.

Due to the (yes, I’ll mention it again) shoulder problem, I stopped knitting it in June and just now picked it up again to finish it.  I only had 10 rows to go to finish it up.

The pattern is 22 Leaves (Ravelry link) by Finnish designer Lankakomero.  She has a lot of lovely shawl designs.

Now, for the first time in years, I have no knitting projects on the needles!  Oh no!

I am making some worsted weight swatches, planning for a sweater pattern.  Or, rather, a series of sweater patterns.  Yes, I have something in mind in answer to the blog post of two weeks ago.

Dye Job

Even though I can’t knit (the shoulder saga continues), I can dye yarn.  I’ll always find some way to play with fiber!  These projects were done specifically for the Ravelympics Ravellenic Games “Hand Dye High Dive”.

For this event, I gathered up some sock yarn that I didn’t like.  I didn’t like the colors and knew I would never knit with them.  The answer was to either give them away, or over dye them.  Dye it is!

First I’ll show you the before photo, then the after photo.  All the skeins are 50g of fingering weight yarn, 90% merino and 10% nylon.

Pink to Purple –


Now, isn’t that better? What’s interesting is that 2 of the pink skeins were darker but in the purple, only 1 looks just a touch darker (the bottom skein).  It’s a lovely semi-solid color with just hints of lighter purple throughout.

Now the green –

Wow, I have to say, I LOVE how this came out.  What’s interesting to me is that all the original skeins were different shades of blue and green and all turned out dark green with hints of kelly green throughout.  The bottom skein has just a touch more lighter green than the rest.  The dye I used was 80% kelly green and 20% black.  I mixed the colors together in a jar before putting into the dye pot, and stirred it really well.  Did the dye just not mix as well as I thought it did?  Why did the yarn dye in this semi-solid way?  I just don’t know, but I’m thrilled with the result.

And finally, the blue –

I love this blue!  As you can see in the “before” photo, 2 skeins were dyed blue and black with some grey between, and 2 skeins were dyed with just the blue.  I didn’t expect the new blue to cover the existing black, and it didn’t, but it did cover the grey (like a good dye should, you know).  The dye I used was sapphire blue with just a touch (10%?) black.  The depth of color is really lovely.  I’m going to make a short sleeved T with this, alternating the skeins to get black stripes here and there through the entire sweater.  200g should be just enough, I hope.

So, that’s my games, done and dusted.  I am super happy with these results!  I love dyeing yarn.  I have to stop myself from thinking about making it a side business.  I think, as with a lot of things, it would kill the joy.  I will dye what I will knit myself.  At least for now!