Monday, September 29, 2008

An Important PSA

If you have ants in your backyard, it's probably not a good idea to let your yarn hang out with the ants to dry. If you do this, there's a good chance you'll being a small colony of them back into the house with you. And find them the next morning while trying to fix breakfast.

Not pretty.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

There's More than One Way to Cook your Yarn

Today I tried my hand at multicolored yarn! This is another skein of the KnitPicks Bare sock yarn. I used Jacquard Acid Dyes in Chartruese and Sapphire and cooked this puppy in....a crock pot!

I suppose I should have taken the step by step photos but I didn't have time today so let me see if I can explain for future reference.

First I put my yarn to soak with a drop of vinegar. I have an old crockpot that I don't ever use so it is now my designated dyeing pot. I mixed my dye up (1/4 tsp dye powder with 1" of water and 2 Tbsp vinegar) in plastic bottles, thenplaced about half the yarn in the bottom of the crockpot. I poured half the blue dye on one side of the pot and the green on the other, then layered on the rest of the yarn and poured the rest of the dye on top, keeping the sides seperate.

I know it sounds like it should all mix and muddy up, but I had two distinct sides - green and blue. I covered it and turned it on low and let it sit for a few hours. The blue exhausted rather fast, the green never did totally exhaust. I turned it off and let the yarn cool off until it was room temperature. Then I rinsed it and hung it to dry.

Notes - I need to get a different type of bottle...a small squirt bottle or a few eyedroppers would work well to get the dye on the yarn. Also, to avoid the white patches I need to overlap my colors some. The white patches don't bother me on these colors at all, but if I don't want them I need to push my colors together more.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dyeing to dye

Wanted to bookmark a site for further reference...I am going to try crockpot dyeing next!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sock Yarn and More Sock Yarn!

First up, I finished this hat and matching socks last week. I sadly ran out of yarn and the very tip top of the hat and had to substitute with another color - could be a better match, but it's ok. And DD won't leave the hat on for anything - of 20 attempted pic, this is the only one where the hat stayed on.

Today I tried dyeing for the first time! I started with KnitPicks Bare sock yarn (merino nylon mix).
Here it is soaking before immersion in the dye
My pot of yarn! I boiled it for almost an hour and still not all the dye was exhausted, so I went ahead and pulled it. I hope it didn't hurt anything to do so, but that's why this was my first run!
Finally, drying outside. It started threatening rain soon after so I pulled it in the house to finish. I love the shade of blue!It's still pretty wet - I have no idea how long yarn takes to dry! I will update more when I have more to update (ummmm.....stating the obvious?)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Vine Lace Scarf

My finished lace scarf! This is my first attempt at knitted lace and I found to be thoroughly enjoyable. Knitting the lace was soothing, and this pattern was super easy and really repeated the same each row so once I had the pattern down, it was nice and repetitive.

This is a ME project (yay!) and while I don't see it being super warm, we don't get super cold so I think it will even out.

Last night I blocked and thought I'd share the process...

First a soak with a drop of baby shampoo to wash the wool. This is NOT superwash wool, so it must be gently handwashed. After the initial soak I rinsed two times, then squeezed out the water with a towel.

Luckily this fit on my ironing board, so I pinned and pinned and pinned and finally had it all stretched out on the ironing board- it just barely fit!

And here is the finished product! I love it :) The color is a little different, but I like it.

I have tons of this yarn so I think I will make at least another scarf, maybe a tiny one for my DD too. Although I'm not sure I want to dress a one year old up in a handwash-only scarf. We'll see.

On the needles now....socks! I have some sock yarn and am working on a pair for DD now, have skeins marked for myself, and this weekend I hope to try my hand at dyeing yarn in manly colors for my husband.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

So what have I been up to, you ask?

Longies! Yes, September is here and while we're still waiting for a certain crispness in the air (which just simply doesn't mesh with 94 degrees, what we have today), it is getting to be longies weather!

These are my two newest creations -

The first are a small pair for a friend, made with Berroco alpaca - a DREAM to work with! The second pair are size mediums for my daughter, made with Ella Rae wool - affordable and cute! Ah, I am in longies mode now!