Thursday, August 20, 2009

I dyed today.

I dyed yarn for the first time today.
After the desire to dye (very different than to die) was stumbled upon, I scoured the web (mostly Ravelry) looking for information. I opted for Kool-Aid dyeing, but then found out you have to Kool-Aid dye animal fibers (like wool), which I didn't have. A feature I don't particularly care with wool is that it felts when it is washed. While felting is neat, the texture of felt kinda weirds me out. So, you can imagine the pleasant surprise when I dropped by AC Moore (to pick up the stuff to dye cotton yarn with), and found Superwash wool in the clearance bin! Woohoo - it was my lucky day!

Here is how today went:

1)Wrap ball of yarn around Niddy-Noddy to create a hank. It is not necessary to us a Niddy-Noddy; you can use the back of a chair for example. But why would I do that, if I can build, and have another little gadget to use?

2) Tie yarn in several places. I tied near each 'leg' of N-N (you can see the little colored strings). Slip yarn off Niddy Noddy, and soak thoroughly in lukewarm/coolish water. I added a tad of baby shampoo, because I read that helps the yarn absorb the water.

3) Mix yarn and Kool-Aid. I didn't want a uniform dye, so here was my approach. Put 2 packs of Kool-Aid in bowl. Add warm water. Mix. Dip partial skein of yarn into dye. Hold for a few seconds, put the rest in. Submerge yarn. Sprinkle packs 3 and 4 of Kool-Aid onto yarn. Wearing a glove, squish and swish yarn around in Kool-Aid dye. The yarn will begin absorbing the color, and therefore the dye. My assistant in this photo is my neice.

4) Cook mixture in microwave until water is totally clear. I cooked it for 2 minutes, stirred, then 3 more minutes. This is our finished product, which I'm very happy with.
It is exactly how I pictured it, and I love the variation in color - some is lighter, some is darker.
5)Hang in shower to dry.
6)Wind into ball.
7)Crochet or knit with your yummy smelling yarn! This is the most challenging part of it all - deciding what to make!
8) Beg family members and passer-byers for more Kool-Aid and Superwash wool, so you can dye again!

An added bonus? My house now smells like Berry Blue Kool-Aid!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Not meant to be

I really don't think my Waffle stitch knit dishcloth is meant to be. I've frogged more on this cloth, and considering it's a dishcloth, that's absurd. I'm persisting though.

Anyway, I began a knit preemie hat, but that didn't work out (it was big enough to fit me, thanks to a stretchy cast on), so it got frogged. I really will make one, one of these days. I'm going to attempt the double pointed needles next, but it's a bit intimidating to me to think I'm going to have to keep up with 4 needles at a time. Ahh!

I will also be crocheting 2 candy corn trick or treat bags that have been requested. I'll post pictures as I can - probably when I complete them both.

I'll may also attempt yarn dyeing tomorrow, as my dad helped (ok he did most of the work, but I did a little) me build a Niddy Noddy today. What is that, you may ask? Details to follow in a yarn dyeing post. Dad also helped me make a drop spindle today, as I'd like to see how I like spinning my own yarn. I'm quickly understanding why handspun and hand dyed yarns are so expensive.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Coffee anyone?

I've been quite busy the last couple week working on coffee cozies, and my knitting.

My Knit Nuts knit and crochet group was asked by the owner (of the coffee shop we meet at) if the group would make coffee cozies for her to sell on consignment there in the shop. Between everyone in the group, we had a large number of cozies up for sale, so I only left 6 of the 14 I crocheted. Here is a picture of all 14.

Some are very basic, and some are more unique. If you see one you want, or want to to custom make you one, email me!
I've completed my first Ballband dishcloth. I made it of Peaches and Creme cotton, and have fallen in love with it. My husband and I are planning to stop by the Peaches and Creme outlet store this Friday while we travel, and I'm trying to figure out how to limit my spending!

I enjoyed making it so much, that I've cast on a Waffle Stitch dishcloth. Another member of Knit Nuts showed of a precious blanket she made in Waffle Stitch, and I just had to make a cloth.
A group I belong to on Ravelry is doing a preemie project, and we're seeing how many objects we can knit for preemies between now and October. So far, I've only cast on one hat, and am determined to complete it, even though I'm frustrated with it already.
I've fallen in love with my Knit Picks interchangeable knitting needles, and now, I want to complete set, and additional cables. Considering the set is almost $70, I'll save my pennies... I'd also like to try some of their yarn I've heard nice things about.
I've also gotten the itch to try spinning and dyeing my own yarn. I purchased the items I need to make a drop spindle and a niddy noddy (which created skeins of yarn). I can't wait to see the results of my dyeing attempts!
Sweet E's Toddler bloomers are almost completed, but I have decided I don't like them. I'm so close to completing them though, so I hate to completely frog them. But, when she grows big enough to wear them, she won't actually need bloomers. So, what to do. Hmm...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

All kinds of creations

I've been up to all kinds of stuff the last two weeks.
July 20 we left for vacation. Upon arrival, we unloaded the car in the pouring down rain. After the torrential downpour let up though, we had beautiful weather the rest of the week! We spent the first several days stringing, breaking, and canning beans. My grandmother also gave my sister and I a pickle recipe, so I've made some, and we're waiting to see what they taste like.

I also worked on quite a few projects.

I made a couple coffee cozies which will soon be for sale in a local coffee shop,
a little bag for Sweet E to carry small toys in (coffee cup there for size reference),
and a cloth for her to chew on to soothe sore gums, and busted lips (that's why it is black, and not a cute girly color.)

I also began some Bloomers for Sweet E to wear with her Pink dress I just completed, and completed a poncho/shawl for her too, except for adding buttons (the same one my grandma started.)

I've also started a Ballband knit Dishcloth, and will be starting to knit a dress for Sweet E - yes, another dress.

Another project was a cosmetic bag I crocheted for my best friend for her birthday.

I received my Knit Picks needle order, and love them! They have great customer service too, and I'll definitely order from them in the future.

When I arrived home from vacation, not only had my Knit Picks order arrived, but so had my swap package! This is what my swap partner sent me. What an awesome package! There were 2 balls of Peaches and Creme yarn, two, yes, two, sets of bamboo sock needles, two dishcloths and one pot holder.