Microwave Dyeing

I looooooooooooove microwave dyeing.  This afternoon I was working with a red/black striped yarn.   It would have been much better to use a skein of solid black for the edging on this (instead of having to remove sections of red from the stripey yarn ball and use it that way).   I DO have a skein of the same base yarn and it’s in colors that aren’t working for me… and black dye and citric acid and a microwave.  Voila, not half an hour after having my thought, there is a skein of black yarn hanging in front of the fireplace to dry. 

Now I just need a bigger microwave container.  This one only holds one skein at a time.

Lacy Night – Complete!

A few weeks ago (after returning from Reading) I finished the Lacy Night cardigan, but the weather has been so dull here that it was impossible to get a good picture.  Today it’s still dull, but I had Chris take a few pics anyway because I wanted to post it.  So here it is.  This was created with three skeins of Kraemer Yarns’ “Sterling Silk and Silver” that was dyed navy by Mom.  The lace edging was taken from a free shawl pattern on Knitting Daily.  The shaping of the cardigan was designed and knit by me (of course), and the “star and moon” shawl pin closure was purchased from etsy seller NovaSteel.  Other than one sleeve being about an inch longer than the other, I’m really happy with this.  I love the starry-night look of the navy yarn and as a springtime evening jacket this will be perfect.  As long as I keep one arm up in the air so nobody notices the sleeve length discrepancy 🙂

No flash was used. This is how it looks in regular light.


With flash. This shows the lace and stitching better, but is more washed out.

Trusting Online Translators

Recently Diane was interested in turning some phrases into Russian, so she roped me in to do the administrative work.  My first stop for translations is always Yahoo, the home of the Babel Fish translator, and while it did translate the text, it of course translated it into the Cyrillic (Russian) alphabet.  Neither she nor I can read this.  Chris then directed me to Microsoft’s Bing Translator.   Wow, this looked easy – and it was – AND there is a button you can click to hear the translated word spoken!  This was perfect for Diane’s needs, so I sent her the link, expounded upon the Russian phrase a little bit, and went off to do my regular thing.

Yesterday the thought occurred that I really ought to have tested the Bing Translator before telling her to use it.  Several times (admittedly, years ago) Babel Fish had given me translations that were ridiculously wrong while being technically right.  I started off with the phrase “Dark Peacock” (one of my alter-ego nicknames) into Russian.  Yes, yes, we have already established that I don’t know Russian, but…at least it might do something.  It appeared to, and gave me a Cyrillic answer and a spoken translation.  So…how about “Dark Peacock” into German?  I’m fluent in German, remember…or at least I used to be.  Unfortunately Bing Translator turned it into “Dark Peacock” for the German!  Augh.  I put in a lot of little German phrases (little cats, little peacock, little one, dark cats) and the only phrase that turned out right was “little cats.”  All the other ones came out the same as the English starter phrase.  Even though the word “little” turned out right in “little cats,” it didn’t do so in any of the other phrases.  And even though “cats” turned out right in “little cats,” it didn’t do so with “dark cats.”  I noodled around with some French, too, having a smattering of that, and got a lot of irritating non-translations.

So, let the translator beware.  At least Babel Fish got all those little German phrases right.  It looks like the best way to do this sort of thing currently is to use a mix of the two websites.