Saturday, February 17, 2007

Searching for the Ultimate Grape Martini

Mike and I were out at this really cool fusion restaurant (a Japanese Fondue place) in Chandler in November. When we were there, we both ordered Martinis. Mike likes a perfect gin martini, stirred not shaken and don't leave it in the shaker so the ice melts! I decided to try their Grape Martini. YUMMY! This is the Martini glasses that they served the drinks in. Aren't they the coolest thing? You put ice in the round bowl portion of the glass and your martini in the triangular glass. Your martini stays nice and chilled while you drink it without the martini getting watered down with ice. Mike and I have been searching for these glasses with no luck. Today, I found them and ordered them! They should be here in about a week. I picked up some Grey Goose Grape Vodka at BevMo this evening and I am working on duplicating the Grape Martini that I had at the Fondue place. I have found 3 different recipes to try, so I am going to try one when I get off of work in the morning. Let the tastings begin! After working a 12 hour shift, having a martini at 6am really isn't all that strange! Now, I need to find a 24 hour pizza place and life will be perfect!

This jewel is currently up for sale on my site. It is my first hand-spun yarn that I am selling. I have one ply in black and the other ply is a lime green and violet color. (see the post below to see the roving it was spun from) It looks really cool, the picture has subdued the colors a bit. I am very proud of this yarn! I've had a few folks look at it but no takers yet...

One week from today (Feb 24th) I will be on my way to San Jose, CA for a Microlithography Conference for a week. I get to learn all about the latest and greatest in my field and I am taking a class in photoresists to learn about the problems they can have. It just so happens that on the 24th and 25th of Feb there is a knitting thing called Stitches West going on in Santa Clara which is about 3 miles from the hotel I am staying at. Guess what I will be doing on Saturday and Sunday? I am SO excited! Last year, I missed Stitches West by 1 day so I feel really lucky to be there at the same time as Stitches West this year. Some of my online friends will have booths or be working out there, so it will be fun to put a name with a face. If St. Joan sees this, I am buying you a drink either Sat or Sun! I didn't sign up for any classes because by the time I found out that I would be able to go, all of the good classes were full up. I will sign up for the brochure and take a few vacation days next year if it's really a cool thing to go to. I am looking forward to seeing the West Coast Knitting "Mecca" as I have heard it called!

Monday, Mike and I are going to be headed out to the Ren Fest here in Phoenix with Julie and Loren. (Julie and I have been friends since elementary school and we both live here in the Phoenix area). It will be so fun to see them again! I have not been to a Ren Fest down here, but it looks like it will be a big one. I haven't been to a good Ren Fest since I left Minnesota. Damn, I really miss seeing Puke and Snot!

Once I get some sleep under my belt, I will be back to dyeing the rest of the roving and watching cars go around in circles on Sunday. Yes, NA$CAR officially starts back up this weekend with the Daytona 500. There have been enough alleged and real cheating scandals in this one race than I have ever seen. My guy starts in the 2nd row and my other guy starts in the back. I need to find a Columbian flag before the April race here in Phoenix!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Dyeing part 2: THE LARCH

The larch.

Lots of stuff happening, let's start with our first attempt at painted roving. This is how it started. I mixed up some lime green and purple dyes, painted on the roving in 2" stripes for the lime green and 3" stripes for the purple. I left an inch between the colors because I wanted to have some natural color peeking through.

THE Larch.

Here are the rovings after wrapping them up in saran wrap and placing them into the pot to be steamed. Pretty...

The Larch...

After steaming, cooling off, rinsing and one last spin cycle in the washer. Here is the final result. I learned a lot from my first hand-painted roving experiment.

First: 1 inch is a good amount to leave between colors to get the colors to go into each other without blending. I only had 2 small spots of "brown" where the green and purple dyes mixed together on the roving.

Second: Painting the roving does prevent the "grabby" roving result that I had from the immersion dyeing.

Third: I really CAN do this!

I am going to be helping out Lisa over at One Planet Yarn and Fiber with some roving dyeing. What a truly nice gal! We grabbed a cup of coffee yesterday and chatted for a while about everything from spinning to sheep to SnB's to sheep breeds to online businesses. It was a blast! Now that I have more comfort with the roving painting, I can get down to business and get her projects done over the next few days.

Last night was the official start of "cars going around in circles" season. Hubby and I watched the Bud Shootout in High Def for the first time. It was like being at the race! Way too cool. Some things should NOT be seen in High Def. On the other hand, pit crew butts should ALWAYS be seen in High Def... LOL!