Spooky Martinis

Author: Valerie LaVay /

Fall is my favorite time of year. My martinis gain a bit more magic when drunk out of my witchy glass and my house is turned into all things Halloween. The same goes for my knitting and crafts. Every Fall there is a new magical shawl or scarf on the needles. Perhaps this is the year that I will actually complete one! Last year I made cross stitched raven that I framed and hung for the holidays. I was so taken with it, I started a new one for this year.
While not quite done,working on it will provide me with some entertainment as I watch my Halloween shows from my vast collection. New for this year, is the yarn I hand dyed that is being made into a scarf or shawl. I plan on knitting until the yarn runs out, so the result will be a surprise to me. I named it "Halloween Candy"
I knit two spooky bibs for a friend who's baby is due in late October using the tried and true bib pattern from "Mason-Dixon Knitting" and Sugar and Cream yarn.
I have started and re-started the Batty shawl from Anti Craft several times. Though the pattern is pretty easy, it seems to require that I sit without distractions in order to properly read the chart! I'm thinking this would be a good project to work on in a plane where escape is not possible.Note to self for next month. Cheers!

Dyeing For A Martini

Author: Valerie LaVay /

Freya's Cloud
Last night I took my first yarn dyeing class at my favorite indie craft store in Denver called "Fancy Tiger Crafts". This was not my first go around with yarn dyeing but it was the first time I have worked with acid dyes. We used two techniques, kettle dyeing and hand painting. There is far less control over what is going to happen when the kettle method is used, but I really liked the results. "Freya's Cloud" shown here on the left, was made using the kettle method. We asked our teacher to show us the yarns she had for sale in the store after we had done ours since we didn't want to get overwhelmed by our novice status. Still, everyone's yarns turned out beautiful and so unique. Although we used a microwave, our teacher uses a crock pot for her kettle dyeing so she can add color as it cooks, which I thought was a good idea.I have already taken a leap forward in my mind and am now wondering about some hand dyed fabric. How much fun would that be? I am still contemplating whether I would like to continue with hand dyeing anything on my own at this point, but in the meantime I look forward to hopefully being able to attend more advanced technique classes.
"Storm", made using the hand painted method

  

Martinis with Orange Juice

Author: Valerie LaVay /

In early March I was laid up with a vicious cold for about two weeks. It rendered me speechless (literally) for a few days and just miserable for much longer.  I sat like a rock on the sofa all day, watching television and trying to concentrate on the subject at hand through my fogged out brain. Because I wasn't too terribly sick, I got fidgety and decided to pick up the needles and knit some squares for the local charity knitting group I've been working with. Although I knew I couldn't concentrate very well on my own scarf project, I decided that even if I was a bit foggy in the head, I could manage a simple knit square. For the most part I did. I knit five of them with no problem. It was the last one that somehow grew on the needles and subsequently became a not very attractive tarot bag for me. I moved on from the squares to making a couple of what i like to call "Fairy bags". They are a big bigger than a tarot bag, and have a ribbon with a sparkle that is knit with the yarn. I really had a good time creating them. these are on sale in my Etsy store since I actually like the look of them.
The one shown here is called the "Ostara Fairy Bag" I really like the way this one turned out with it's muted colors. I've had the ribbon for a while. I had bought several colorsways of it on sale several years ago. It's by Louisa Harding. I might just try to find more now that my stash of it is gone.
I was feeling quite chipper by the Spring Equinox and while dyeing some eggs to celebrate Ostara, i got the brilliant idea t o dye some yarn I had, using the egg dye. I got on Google and sure enough, found directions for it. it was a good start that left me with lots of ideas for future color combinations. I am pretty happy with the pastel purple and green because it's oh so very Spring like, even if they are not the normal colors I work with. Different can be good. Now that i am fully recovered from my cold and my taste buds are back, I have happily traded in my orange juice for some very dry Martinis. Gin, of course. Cheers!