Random thoughts of a fiber enthusiast - mostly fiber related, sometimes coherent

Month: September 2008 Page 1 of 3

My car smells like an eucalyptus grove

While taking Penny to a doctor’s appointment last week, we pasted an arborist pruning some eucalyptus trees.  I said, “Hey! Eucalyptus is supposed to make a wonderful dye!”  After Penny stopped laughing, she told me that I should go back and get some.  (As if there was any doubt!)

After I dropped Penny off, I returned to the arborist and salvaged some branches before they were fed to the chipper.  He must have thought I was crazy.  I filled the back of the station wagon with the branches, but ran out of steam to deal with them that day.  So, the branches stayed in the wagon until the next day.  It’s been a week since I’ve removed the branches, but my car still smells like eucalyptus.  The real stuff.  Not that scent they put in stuff that’s supposed to help you breathe easier or the stuff in the natural cat/dog flea collars (which don’t work all that well, by the way).

As you can see, there are 2 different species here: one with green elliptical leaves and one with silvery round leaves.  The round leaf variety also had some berries on them.  Next step is to strip the leaves off.  I left them on the patio table to dry a bit so that they would be easier to strip.  Didn’t work.  I had to strip the leaves one by one off with my clippers.  I can only do about 60-90 minutes a day before my shoulder started screaming.  So, a week later, they look like this:

I finally finished defoliating the branches yesterday.  Just in time to get the bare branches out to curbside recycling today.

I kept the 2 different species separate because I’m interested in what colors each would generate.  I was also curious as to whether the berries would provide dye material.  Okay, I know they would, but I wasn’t sure what the color might be, and I didn’t want it to contaminate the color produced by the leaves alone, so I kept them separated.

Next up, macerate the leaves a bit and soak it overnight.

Another Made-Up “Event”

Is anyone else offended at the idea of “National Stay at Home Week”?  It all sounds good until you realize that it’s ABC’s attempt to get everyone to stay glued to the idiot box for their premier week.

Sorry, I’m not going to link here.  I’m not going to offer up any eyeballs to the website for their advertisements.  Just freaking Google it if you want to find out more.

Centered Eyelets

Several months ago (okay, close to a year ago), I availed myself to Gudrun, of The Loomy Bin, to help me out of a mess I made with my card weaving.  After she helped me sort out why the pattern wasn’t working for me (I was overthinking it), we sat down and looked at some of her latest knitting projects.  She was trying to translate some weaving patterns into knitted fabric as an exercise.  One of the areas that she wanted me to look at was lace.  She wasn’t satisfied with the way lace always leaned toward one side or the other.  There wasn’t a way of centering an eyelet.

I gave her a short lesson on the anatomy of a lace, and how it really isn’t possible to make a perfectly centered eyelet.  The only way I knew how to do it was to do a left leaning decrease, yarn over, and right leaning decrease.  But this decreases 2 stitches to the one increased stitch created by the yarn over.  To counteract the lost stitch, I told her to hide an increase either somewhere in the same row (lace knitting) or somewhere in the next row (knitted lace).

Neither options were terribly elegant.

But now, there is an elegant solution!  Thanks to Janine, I stumbled upon the answer at Schoolhouse Press.  Scroll to the bottom of the bottom of the article for “Pithy Instructions for Centered Eyelets.”  Pure genius!  So simple!  So elegant!

Okay, I’m off to re-write some of my lace patterns to center my eyelets.

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