Knitpicks Wool of the Andes superwash and the next blanket

In case you haven’t figured it out, I spend quite a bit of time knitting blankets. Big blankets, small blankets, they are familiar and useful here in South Florida. I want to knit my kids things and they’d fry in wool sweaters.

I knit the last few blankets in inexpensive acrylic yarn and I’m not happy with the quality or the outcome. My cables in the pink blanket look terrible.

I purchased 11 skeins of Knitpicks wool of the Andes superwash – which will be not even close to enough yarn ūüė≠. Nobody tell the husband what that actually costs. I usually use a seed stitch or blocks but I really like this pattern on Ravelry for the Maxi Cosi Blanket. It’s a simple pattern which I find easier with big blankets.

So far it’s easy and looks great.

https://www.knitpicks.com

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/maxi-cosi-blanket

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Spin, Dye, Knit

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.

Felted Heating Pad 2010-01

We all have aches and pains and what a great way to soothe them than with a heating pad.¬† To create your own knitted or felted heating pad, begin with natural fiber.¬† Acrylics are likely to melt with heat.¬† If you are not sure how the material will react to heat, make a swatch and apply a hot pan to it.¬† If it melts/scorches, don’t use it.¬† If felting, use 100% wool.¬† Other materials will not felt as well.

For the heating pad above, choose three colors of 100% wool yarn.¬† I used Galway from Gabriella’s knit shop.¬† Gauge does not really matter because of the shrinkage, but the gauge in this case was 5 stitches x 4 rows = 1 inch with size 7 needles.¬†

Cast on 50 stitches.

With colors A,B,C

Row 1:  K2A, K1B, K2A, continue to end

Row 2: P1A, P1B, P1C, P1A, continue to end

Row 3: K1A, K3C, K1A, continue to end

Row 4: P1A, P3C, P1A, continue to end

Row 5: K1A, K1B, K1C, K1A, continue to end

Row 6: P2A, P1B, P2A, continue to end

Work these six rows until it measures about 14×9 inches.

Work another panel as you did above.

Sew these two with right sides together leaving a small section 2-3 inch section open.

Turn so that right side is facing out.

Throw it in a pillowcase rubberbanded¬†closed or zippered shut.¬† Place in washer machine to felt.¬† To felt, put washer machine on lowest water setting with highest heat setting and use a pair of jeans or tennis balls to help with agitation.¬† Put¬† longest cycle and check regularly.¬† Finished project should be¬†about 11×7 inches, unless otherwise desired.¬† If necessary, let machine cycle again- do not let it go into rinse cycle.¬† Take felted project out, rinse manually, and allow to completely dry.¬† (See my entry on felting https://knitwerks.com/2010/02/20/felting/.

Fill with buckwheat husks (better at maintaining heat), rice, or beans.  Sew up the small hole and toss in microwave.  Relax.