Love Bytes says hello and welcome to author Felicitas Ivey joining us today here at our blog!
Welcome Felicitas 🙂
I love to knit. It’s a thing to keep my hands occupied while watching TV, keeping me occupied on long car rides or just hanging with friends. My three cats hate my knitting, since I’m not making of them while I have the needles in my hands. I also have to wrestle with one of them once in a while to stop them from eating my yarn. It’s not good for them or the yarn. I rarely get away unclawed either.
I have far too much yarn in my house, about five crates of it. Most of it’s been impulse buys and I didn’t have a project in mind. And sometimes I have a project in mind, and then forget what it was supposed to be when I rediscover the yarn later. I need to keep better track of these things. I have some lovely heather blue sport weight wool that I have no idea what I bought it for or even how much there is of it, since it’s not a commercial brand, but something I bought off a farm in Vermont over a decade ago. But I have finally figured out what to do with the lovely alpaca yarn I got a couple of years ago I got from a little place in Vermont called Maple View Farm Alpacas. It’s naturally black and oh so soft. It’s getting turned into a shawl.
With knitting, I’ve also gotten into dyeing my own yarn with either commercial dyes or Kool-aid. Yes, that chemical filled drink from long ago, you need to use the unsweetened kind. Kool-aid dyeing is great for natural fibers like wool, silk or any animal protein. You can also use unsweetened Jello to dye animal proteins. Easter egg dye pellets are also good to dye animal fibers with. None of them are color fast, since I’ve had a silk top turn from dark blueish-purple to a faded light blue shade of the course of several washings.
Kool-aid and Jello dyeing are also good projects you can do with children. But I haven’t tried it, since all my kids are the four-legged kind. But those dyes don’t stain the skin too badly, it can be a fun project to dye small hanks of yarn. Clean up is easy and nontoxic. This is important, because there have been days my fingers were odd colors since the gloves leaked and I didn’t notice. But using these products to dye yarn is good, because you can reuse the pot for food. That isn’t true with commercial dyes. When I use commercial dyes, those containers can’t be reused for food prep. I have separate pots, bowls and crockpots for dyeing yarn
The commercial dyes are good for plant fibers like cotton and rayon. I use iDye and Dylon for the most part for commercial dyes. Dylon’s advantage is you don’t have to heat it up like iDye and it will work on plant fibers as well as animal. iDye will only work on animal fibers like silk and wool.
There is a lot of fun in dyeing your own yarn. I have a lovely shawl I did for my first project. It didn’t turn out the way I thought it would, but I’m very happy with the results. A lot of my dyeing projects I could say the same thing about though, since dye and yarn don’t always turn out the color you think they will, due to dye absorption and type of fiber involved. Wool and silk don’t react alike to the same dye, and the same is true for cotton and rayon.
I’ve recently gotten into crockpot dyeing. It’s a lot easier then setting up a separate hot pad and plastering the area with newspapers to protect your table or counter. Commercial dyes in a food prep area isn’t a good idea. I have the crockpots on my kitchen floor, and I protect the floor with cardboard. The kitchen floor is stone, so I’m not too worried about staining it, but I don’t want to take chances. The only problem I have is the cats sometimes like poking their nose about, curious about what I’m doing. When working with non-heat dyes, I usually do them in my bathtub. The plastic doesn’t stain and while I don’t have a lot of room to work with, it’s fairly comfortable.
The next couple of knitting projects I’m working on is a bag from the Downton Abbey 2014 collection. You can get an e-copy of the magazine from Interweave.com. It’s a small, portable project. I’m also going to knit a shawl or two from the Knitting Architecture book. It has several lovely designs I know I will work with yarn from my stash, once I died it the color I want it to be.
Eventually I’ll get around to posting pictures of all the yarn I’ve dyed in the past couple of months and the projects on my Facebook account. Just to show some of the things I do when I’m not at work or writing.
Billionaire Fathi al-Murzim is a workaholic businessman, too busy running the family’s companies to even think about marriage. Too bad he never told his grandfather he’s gay, because Grandfather just announced a childhood betrothal, to a Bedouin girl Fathi never heard about before.
Ikraam din Abdel was raised as a woman by his avaricious and abusive older sister, who didn’t want him to be their father’s heir. He’d never thought to be married either, and is surprised when his sister informs him of his betrothal.
When Fathi and Ikraam meet, they are drawn to each other in a manner neither of them expected. As the plans for their wedding progress, they both realize they need to tell the other the truth. But can they, with both cultural taboos and family pressures to deal with.
Felicitas is a frazzled help-desk tech at a university in Boston who wishes people wouldn’t argue with her when she’s troubleshooting what’s wrong with their computer. She lives with three cats who wish she would pay more attention to them, and not sit at a computer pounding on the keyboard. They get back at her by hogging most of the bed at night and demanding her attention during the rare times she watches TV or movies. She’s protected by her guardian stuffed Minotaur, Angenor, who was given to her by her husband, Mark. Angenor travels everywhere with her, because Felicitas’s family doesn’t think she should travel by her lonesome. They worry she gets distracted and lost too easily. Felicitas doesn’t think of it a getting lost, more like having an adventure with a frustrated GPS.
Felicitas knits and hoards yarn, firmly believing the one with the most yarn wins. She also is sitting on hordes of books, which still threaten to take over her house, even with e-books. Between writing and knitting, she brews beer, wine, mead, and flavored liqueurs. Felicitas also bakes, making cakes whenever she needs to work out an issue in her novels. Sometimes this leads to a lot of cakes. Her coworkers appreciate them though, with the student workers buzzing about on a sugar high most of the time.
Felicitas writes urban fantasy, steampunk, and horror of a Lovecraftian nature, with monsters beyond space and time that think that humans are the tastiest things in the multiverse. Occasionally there’s a romance or two involved in her writing, with a happily-ever-after.