I have to apologize for not being attentive in my blogging. I have been overwhelmed by work/classes and housely duties that I’ve ignored for too long. I did have some more fun this weekend with food dye.
1- On my needles: 1 entrelac baby blanket still in progress. This will last the rest of my life 2- Mulberry Hat from Modern Top Down Knitting which is coming out too big and has been put down till I have the brain power to figure out where I went wrong.
2- On my wheel, brown alpaca from Nancy in our spinning group. I want to make a four ply yarn for a jacket/sweater with three parts wool one part alpaca. Florida is one of the few places where “You know, Alpaca is really warm. . .” could be a bad thing.
3- Out of my dye pot. Okay, this was never actually in a dye pot. I used the Knitty instructions with the Cold Pour Method. I thought this came out wonderful. I even created a giant niddy noddy with pvc to skein it up. I put an old plastic Christmas tablecloth on the kitchen table before I started. I wasn’t sure how messy this would get. I did put paper towels under the different colored sections to prevent mixing. As you can see from the pictures below, I wound up with blue hands and there is a green fingerprint in a yellow section of yarn. All in all, I think it was great. I’m sending this off to Mom so I won’t have finished project pictures unless she provides them.
My Ashland Bay Blue Face Leicester Top BFL Undyed Spinning Fiber arrived from Paradise Fibers and I had one goal for this weekend. As I mentioned last week, I’ve been keenly interested in Navajo plying. I sat down Friday night, finished a bobbin of one ply yarn for the above wool. It was so easy to work with. I’m actually having to overtwist it so it doesn’t unravel on me. Then I took it off and started navajo plying. I have a few issues with this technique. 1- Starting it is difficult. I kept loosing it when trying to get it to take on the bobbin. Finally I made a knot onto the starter yarn. 2- I’m getting a lumpy yarn. I think when I’m plying, I’m loosening the fibers and creating bumps. 3-Breaking. As I was plying, it kept breaking. The finished yarn came out unbalanced and different widths but I decided to dye it anyway.
This is my first time dyeing. I used the instructions on the knitty page. http://knitty.com/ISSUEspring07/FEATdyeyourown.html
I read this over and over and over. First I soaked the yarn overnight in 1/3 cup of vinegar. Then, I woke up early and put the yarn in the crock pot with 1/2 cup of vinegar and just enough water to cover the yarn. I wish I had put less water in. After a little over an hour, I mixed my dyes with hot water and began covering the yarn. I was really going for a blue and orange yarn with spots of green, but the colors muddled a bit. This is really a clean process though. I had no spills or stains. I added more dye, not liking that the colors were so light. I believe this is why I got the muddled colors. By the end, there was too much water in the crock pot.
I used tongs to pull the yarn out and hung it first on my kitchen faucet over the sink. Once it cooled off, I rinsed it, and hung it outside to dry. I was a little impatient. I didn’t even wait for it to dry 100% before winding it on the homemade nostepinne. Okay, it was a size 15 straight needle. I think I did a great job for the first time using a nostepinne (Knitting needle!)
So below is half of the final product. The colors weren’t what I was trying for, but all in all, I think it worked out very well.
It seems like there are now social network sites for everything. I’m one of those people who are completely addicted to Facebook but do not want to admit it. I’m an online junkie who needs to recheck everything, including my knitwerks site, regularly. I wake up, take a shower, go online.
There are many knitting social network sites out there, but my favorite and probably the most popular is Ravelry. It is a community for knitters, crocheters, spinners and dyers to join, share, and talk about the crafts they love. There are thousands upon thousands of patterns available both free and for a fee. You can search by yarn, by needle size, or even designer. Their notebook section allows you to add yarns, needles, books and projects. It is a great way to organize that mess of a stash you may have!
One of my favorite features is the groups. You can join other crafters based on favorite tv show, region, school, or similar interests. There is a group for Knitty fans, for tea lovers, for cat people, for House fans and for nearly every local knitting shop. Inside, you can commiserate, discuss events, and share projects that you are working on and have finished.
I love to browse the patterns. You can use key words to help guide your search, but I generally wander aimlessly through page after page of recently added items, favoriting the ones I like the most in hopes that I come back to it. This is a great inspiration and makes me warm and fuzzy inside.