Saturday, January 5, 2008

Snow on Christmas

We decided in early December to try to make it up to my hometown in eastern Washington state for the holidays this year. It turned out that our procrastination actually made the trip a bit more interesting. We weren't able to find a flight for the final leg of our journey north, so we opted to take the train from Seattle to my hometown. It was such a fun a relaxing ride. It was snowing for a good portion of the evening trip, which made the train ride all the more enchanting.

It continued to snow every other day or so during our stay, which made the mountainscape where my parents live into a beautiful winter wonderland. The dry, cold air was a refreshing change from the monotony of the weather here in southern California.

I spent a good deal of time knitting and spinning during the trip. I knit 1/2 of a pair of socks (fortunately it was the second half!) for my sweetie for Christmas. I dyed the superwash bluefaced leicester wool using the hot pour technique and about 4 different colors of green dye. I like the subtle pattern that emerged as I worked up from the toe.

green socks

I also made a hat out of seven different colors of my handspun yarn. My hope was that the colors would grade into one another, which to some extent, I think was accomplished. In any case, the hat is very comfy and warm, and will be a nice addition to my winter wardrobe.

Handspun hat

Finally, I started to knit the second half of another pair of socks that have been in the works for quite some time now (see this post for more details). I enjoy working the lace pattern on the top of the sock, but it does require a fair amount of attention, which isn't really the best kind of knitting for busy family holiday time. I did have to tear back a couple of times, but oh well!

In between all of my knitting and time spent with family, I managed to squeeze in enough time to spin several skeins of worsted weight yarn. I spun undyed fibers with the intention of coloring them with natural dyes (e.g., lichen and wine), upon my return to California. Here is how they turned out:

Lichen and Wine Yarn

From top to bottom:
Bluefaced Leicester, dyed with lichen (Alectoria sarmentosa)
Merino/Bombyx (50/50), dyed with lichen (Alectoria sarmentosa)
Merino/Bombyx (50/50), dyed with red wine
Merino/Mohair (70/30), dyed with red wine