There's no time to blog. I'm off to the theater again in about 2 minutes, but I had to say something about last night. Opening Night was like magic. We sang beautifully. The audience totally got it. And we were all just on top of the world! Want proof? Look at the smile on my face. Yes, that's me with Stephen Schwartz at the after party. So much to tell and more pictures to come. Meanwhile, know that I am the happiest girl in the world!
Taking a moment out of show preparations to acknowledge my marvelous Dyeorama dye pal. Her package arrived earlier in the week and I finally photographed it this morning. She Kool-aid dyed 800 yards of Knitpicks Laceweight. Thank you, Kat! I love it and it will make a perfect shawlette to wear with my Kool-aid dyed sock yarn. The colors are a pretty close match.
It's really happening. See that name on the marquee? That's us! Preparations for One Is the All continue at a rapid pace. We've had a couple of technical glitches with the lighting set up, but performance-wise, we are really on top of our game. We have a dress rehearsal at 3 today and a dress preview tonight. Tickets are selling fast and furious.
I'm feeling run ragged. I've been at the theater early every day and running around managing logistics. This morning, though, Kevin and I have massages scheduled here at the house so we can relax at least a little bit. Dying to give my weary feet a break - 4 hours a night in heels is killing me! Oh, but it's so worth it.
Ack! My brain is exploding! Last night was move in at the California Theater. The place is huge! Rehearsal was spent adjusting to the new space. Tonight we'll run through the show twice. Tomorrow is our dress rehearsal, Friday Dress Preview and Saturday and Sunday are the culmination of months of work. Please come see us sing if you can. The show is going to be fabulous!
Meanwhile I promised yarn pictures. Here's my first attempt at a self-striping yarn. I didn't get technical about it, I just visually divided the hank into fourths and went with it. This photo is pretty true to the colors, though there's no substitute for seeing them in person. I can't wait to re-skein it so the colors distribute.
I haven't gotten too crazy with naming colorways that I've dyed, but this one just needed a name. It's shades of rose and moss with a little bit of darkening sky thrown in. It just reminded me of watching dusk fall over the forest. Voila Woodland Dusk!
I like this one so much you get a close up! Each of these is a double hank of Louet Gems Pearl Merino. I bought a cone and divided it into two hanks. Not sure what exact yardage is, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 430. Plenty for a pair of socks!
Knitting for the past week has been a frantic activity. One of the characters in the show needed a shawl and, not having one the right color, I decided to whip one up. (Do you hear that chorus of "I'm Just a Girl Who Cain't Say No" or is it just me?) I chose the Litla Dimun Shawl from Folk Shawls for its petite size and relative simplicity and cast it on last Tuesday. We needed a shawl that had a bit of weight to it so it wouldn't slip off her shoulders during dancing, so the Faroese shape was perfect. I chose RYC Cash Soft 4 Ply in a beautiful navy (to coordinate with the choir's accessories) and knit my little heart out. I finished it yesterday morning - in plenty of time for Shannon to work with it during rehearsal. Hurray!
And just so y'all don't forget.... here's where I'll be for the rest of the week. Tickets are still available at the Choral Project website.
I'm settled back into my proper time zone now, almost caught up and hitting the ground running as usual. TNNA was a marvelous experience, overwhelming to the senses and marvelous for the small moments shared with the wonderful people of the knitting/needlework world. Gail, the co-owner of commuknity, and I departed for Indianapolis on Thursday afternoon, arriving at our hotel after midnight. Fortunately we didn't have any appointments until noon on Friday. We attended the Retailers' Luncheon on Friday and then went separate ways to various classes. The fashion show rounded out the evening and it was off to bed.
Saturday was the first Market Day. I met Michelle, Amy and Lauren for a bit of nosh at Starbucks and then Amy and I perused the new products table for a while until Gail arrived to walk the show floor with me. Lots of beautiful new stuff to look at. I was particularly enamored of the new offerings from Rowan and RYC for autumn. Lots of classic and feminine shapes and fine detailing. Sunday we attended the Westminster Fashion Show Breakfast (featuring Rowan, RYC, Jaeger, Gedifra, Schachenmayr/Regia and LB Evans Handbags), then back to the show for a bit more browsing and soon we were off home.
- Being stopped by a woman who said, "That's the Flirty Ruffles Shawl. I designed that." Dorothy Siemens rocks! I had to go get business cards from her, so many people wanted to know where to get the pattern.
- Having Myrna Stahman oooh and aaah over my shawl.
- When Michelle said to Amy, "She hugs like she means it." Then I hugged Amy and she agreed. Y'all give great hugs too!
- The owner of Westminster Fibers (distributor of Rowan and Jaeger) knew me by name - without checking my nametag
- Sitting and knitting with Iris Schreier and Annie Modesitt
- Being asked by a couple different yarn companies to submit designs
- Sitting alone in my hotel room with my knitting and my travel DVD player
- Pedicures in the airport. What a splendid idea! (Yes, such a good experience I had to crow about it again.)
Since I got home I've been knitting a shawl for One Is the All, rehearsing (both formally and in my head with my iPod plugged into my ears), dyeing more yarn and visiting with my little brother. I'll try to post pictures of the newly dyed stuff in the next couple days because OMG next week is Hell Week!
Arrived home last night around 10. Resurfaced this morning long enough to get the kids off to school (the last week!). Hibernating now. I have lots of great things to tell you about TNNA and the marvelous people I met, accosted and gawked at. Tomorrow. Or Wednesday. For now I'm putting on a movie, propping up my feet and knitting. So happy to be home.
P.S. Pedicures at the Indianapolis Airport spa rock. Thank you, Gail!
I had to show you some more dyeing. I received my plastic bottles from Dharma and immediately had to start mixing up colors. I think this is the beginning of another grand obsession. I mixed up a pretty standard (if slightly muted) rainbow and decided I'd make my own Tie-Dye colorway. This was partly to see how the colors will turn out and to see what happens at the various overlap points. Kevin was kind enough to snap some photos of the process. The new squirt bottles are far more efficient than the medicine dropper and I can be very precise with my placement of color. A little squirt here, another there, mush it around a bit with your fingers and bingo! Handpainted yarn!
After Tie-Dye I still wanted to play, so I dyed up another colorway with mostly cool colors and a little black cherry to make it pop. I don't know yet if it's bright enough to be Emy's colors, but I'm pretty enamored of it. I won't have a chance to steam it until I get back from Indy, so hang tight for final results, 'kay?
And now my bags are packed and I'm ready to head out the door. TNNA, here I come!
Cookie asked about steam-setting the Jacquard Green label dyes. I read through the info on the Dharma Trading site and realized that I'd have to kind of make things up on my own since the instructions there are mostly for handpainting silk fabric. No matter. I got creative. First I took each hank and wrapped it in restaurant cellophane. This is slightly thicker and more resilient and clingy than your standard plastic wrap. I filled my pot with a couple inches of water, coiled the yarn sausages into a colander suspended over the steam bath and put the lid on. Since the handles of the colander stuck out I wrapped a large piece of tin foil around the edges of the pot to keep the steam in. I set the pot to simmer and waited 30 minutes for the timer to go off. I then stripped the cellophane off, hung them to cool and when they had reached room temperature gave them a bath. Voilá! Yarn!
The colors are, of course, much softer after they've dried. I'll try a higher proportion of dye to water in my next go to get more intense, rich color. Overall, though, I'm pretty well pleased with the results. So pleased, in fact, that I brought home a bunch more yarn to play with, including a shawl worth of Zephyr to hand paint for a as-yet-to-be-determined shawl.
Here's a close up of the yarn for my dye pal. I'm quite enamored of the cognac/tobacco color. I had hoped for the green and rose to be a bit deeper, but c'est la vie. I'm still incredibly happy with the result.
This is the best picture I could capture of Alice's Yarn. It's not quite so pale and very, very pretty. I hope that she'll be as pleased with it as I am.
Meanwhile the week has gotten off to what I'm coming to understand is the near constant breakneck pace of my life. We had a weekend retreat for Choral Project. Two full days of staging and blocking the show. Another rehearsal last night left me bleary-eyed and sleepy this morning. Unfortunately my car was feeling sleepy too and refused to start. The battery was completely drained, probably due to a light in the interior being left on (not my doing!). I took the bus to work instead. I'm heading to Indianapolis on Thursday for the TNNA show. Tomorrow is for packing. If I'm lucky I may even get some dyeing in!
Oh, have I got the dyeing bug. I brought home some more Gems Pearl this weekend, intent on dyeing up a batch for my Dye-o-Rama pal and maybe a batch for myself. Since the weekend was mostly taken up with a Choral Project retreat to prepare for One Is the All this was terribly ambitious. Nevertheless, this morning I woke up just itching to do some dyeing. I washed up a couple hanks of the Pearl, this time I used the cream for my base since my dye pal specified "muted earthtones." I wasn't entirely sure that I could accomplish this. I lined a jelly roll pan with plastic wrap, set out three plastic measuring cups that have now been donated to the dyeing cause and set about mixing the dye while the yarn soaked. I used the Jacquard Green Label silk dyes from Dharma Trading Co. mixed with water. The main color was meant to be a Cognac Brown. I mixed 1.5 cups water with Apricot. I added a dash of Chocolate Brown, Sapphire Blue and Scarlet Red. I did not use exact proportions as my medicine dropper was too big for the lip of the bottle. Oh well, a splash here, a dash there; it all came out to a beautiful shade of brown. Then in another cup of water I mixed some Viridian Green with a splash of Brown Sienna for a perfect shade of Olive. Another cup of water was mostly Digital with some Brown Sienna and just a hint of Chocolate Brown for a shade of Russet.
I donned my latex gloves before applying the dye. The medicine dropper is ideal for getting the dye just where you want it, then I squished the yarn between my fingers to work it into all the strands. The dye did an interesting thing though. As I squirted it onto the damp yarn the area directly in the flow of the dropper was the intense color that I had mixed, but the area on either side of it wicked away just a bit of the dye leaving a pumpkin color that faded into the cream. Cool, I thought. I divided the circumference of the yarn roughly into fourths and did four runs of the cognac. Then I added the Olive and finally the Russet. The colors are deep and intense and perfect, I hope, for my dye pal. The Jacquard dyes require sitting for 24 hours before being steam set, so I won't know what the true color is until sometime tomorrow, but I could not be more pleased with the results at this stage.
It turned out though, that I had a lot of the dye mixtures left over. Not enough to do a whole other set, but I figured if I stretched it with water I could make it through another couple of hanks. My friend Alice who comes into the store with her twin grandbabies to visit and who introduced me to Eugen Beugler also loves these colors, so I decided to dye them for her. This is a much paler version and I did a shorter run with the colors, doing eight sections with each color. I was so happy with my results that when Kevin came in to see what I had done I got verklempt and had to fight back tears. Color just thrills me and to be able to paint my own yarn is amazing. I can't wait until these hanks are all finished so I can give them to my friends!