Monday, May 5, 2008

Coffee time

This is not strictly knitting related, but I'm hoping some of you may be able to help me out:

I have some natural yarn that I want to dye and I want to dye it with old coffee grounds. For the past few weeks I've religiously put the used grounds from my espresso machine into a glass jar, where they usually manage to dry pretty well out before the next batch is added (usually the next day). A few days ago I noticed some mold in the lower reaches of the grounds pile and when I poured it out of the jar I saw that there was quite a lot of mold growing in there.

I'm pretty sure I don't want to dye with moldy grounds, so my question is: What's the best way to store the grounds between brewing and dyeing?? Should they be spread out and allowed to thoroughly dry or should I brew a giant pot of coffee all in one go and use the grounds for dyeing immediately after they've been used for brewing? Or should I do something entirely different??

Friday, May 2, 2008

My knitting, month by month

I participate in a blog called Stashalong, where yarn maniacs like myself band together to get our fiber addiction under control and use up some the the yarn we've accumulated. The following is my progress post for April (my first month on the Stashalong). Since I've been one lazy knit-blogger during April, I thought the post belongs as well here as it does on the original blog. Pictures will hopefully soon follow:

Progress on April goals:

- Start and finish EZ's Baby Surprise Jacket. Done.

- 5 pattern repeats in the Justina Skirt Done

- One basket weave chart repeat in the Hanami stole. Done

- Finish the Orphan Pullover (only things left: Kitchner stitching of the sides (a first time for me) and picking up hem and neckband). Not done

- Finish the Jilly cardigan (only need to do the seaming and knit a neckband. Not done

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the result, especially since I also knitted the body of the Retro Redux Shrug from Lace Style (from stash, of course) and started a Norwegian Baby Sweater (from stash, of course) for a class in steeks at my LYS. I do need to get my act together on seams, though.

New goals for May:

- Finish the Orphan Pullover and Jilly cardigan, as well as the Retro Redux Shrug
- Work on Justina skirt (up to woven band)
- Stay on schedule with Norwegian Baby Sweater for class

During April I used 4 skeins of Noro, 3 skeins of Knitpicks Swish and ~8 of Knitpicks Andean Silk = 15 skeins. I bought one skein of yarn for the NBS class, but I later found yarn in my stash to use instead so I'll return the skein next week. The net stash decrease during April: 15 skeins, or ~ 1.4 km/1500 yards.