Monday, December 27, 2010

Simple Pleasures

I hope you all had as much of a joyful weekend as we did.  Around here, actual knitting took a backseat to other holiday plans, but I still enjoyed a few yarn-induced pleasures.

With the gift of free time brought on by the holiday, I was able to dabble with a bit of yarn dyeing:

I am experimenting with a new-to-me sock yarn and completed one test skein in a mushroom dye-bath, and the other in a walnut dye-bath.   I love working with natural materials and hope to include some dye plants in this year's garden.

In fact, thanks to my mother-in-law (or mother-out-law as she prefers to be called), I'll soon be learning more about natural dyes and about color knitting.  We agreed to exchange books from our wish lists.  So I sent her home with a book she's been wanting to read, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and she gifted me with these two books:

Wild Color, Revised and Updated Edition: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes
Wild Color:  The Complete Guide to 
Making and Using Natural Dyes by Jenny Dean

 . . . and to make use of my naturally dyed yarn:
The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques
The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques
by Margaret Radcliffe

Last but not least, one of our talented friends sent our felines a hand-knit cat toy.  The knit mouse is already well-loved, much to our entertainment.

First, Sister found the box and planted her face in it until she could dig the mouse out with her paws:

Soon Harpo was having his way with it:

It's amazing how much fun a little bit of brown yarn and little bit of catnip can bring to a couple of cats and their humans!

Now that the holiday weekend is over, my thoughts turn to the New Year and the yarn-induced pleasures I hope to enjoy in 2011.  I plan to start the year with a contest so check back here soon for a chance to win.


  1. Hi Shannon-

    It's Steph (of the Strand-Fox clan)!! My mom told me about your blog, and I was so excited to visit! We love our hats!!! The kids all went out to play in the snow this morning, and and they each wore their hat. They fit perfectly, and look great! If only I could squeeze in enough time for that much knitting. I'm still working on a hat for Aiden that I started last Christmas. Tell Robin and Riley hi, and drop us a line if you have time (


  2. Great dye jobs. I need to make some mice for my four. Hope you had a wonderful holiday.

  3. Love the dark color of the mushrooms. Those socks or other handknit will be gorgeous. Now those are the kind of mice that I don't mind finding in the house!

  4. Well, the cats are just adorable. Once again, your yarn turned out beautifully. Love the brown. I'm curious to find out what plants you have in mind for the garden.

  5. Beautiful yarn, especially the brown. I have the color knitting techniques book and love it. Lots of useful, detailed info. It just puts a smile on my face to see such joy in knitted gifts, your cats are so cute!