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It’s been a long time…

March 22, 2012 Leave a comment

I got in a serious knitting funk, and I know I’m not the only one that’s ever happened to. A lot has happened in the last year and I don’t even want to get into it. If you genuinely want to know, ping me on twitter, email, facebook, SA, whatever. I just don’t want it out there in the public about my personal life on a knitting oriented blog for the world to see.

So I’m participating in the RedditGifts yarn exchange #1, and finally feeling up to working on my giftee’s yarn the night before I have to ship it, eek! I have some lace weight that I won’t use anytime soon if ever that they said they’d use, and some worsted weight wool that I’m custom dyeing with some food coloring gel and vinegar in a crock pot. I’m following this knitty dye post for the last method and I’ve had a few interesting learning moments so far. Everything started out well, but as time went on, the colors weren’t continuing to darken and I was confused. I gave it more time but no go. Then it hit me, there was some serious wicking going on because I wasn’t putting the lid back on, and it wasn’t only the water! So I added some more vinegar, got the lid on tight and we’re back to darkening up! I have taken a few pictures during the process to show my mom and her boyfriend since it’s their crockpot. And if all goes well, I can’t wait for flea markets to try to get some 8 quart single tub pots of my own! And if I ever do this method again, I’ll try to put the pot down lower and the large pot for the yarn up higher to try to eliminate the wicking.

I was inspired to dye my own for my giftee by my random browsing of Ravelry, namely this group on dyeing.  There was a post there about How to do that, and browsing it I came across some of the most interesting, unique looking yarn I’ve ever seen. The lady was even nice enough to make this video to share with everyone there (and now you!) how she gets these colors to do what they do. I’m now even more interested in studying more about color theory. I can’t wait to try the knotting method. I want to start with bare yarn, knot it up, dye it a medium pink, redo the knots or some other method and then drop it all in black to get a nice tri-color yarn in one of my favorite color combos. Also love light blue, brown and white.

As for the machine, since my grandparents were so kind as to cover my car’s inspection this year, I have the money I needed to get a sponge bar and a used power cord for my Brother Electroknit KH-930E knitting machine. I’ll be getting my cord shortly and will place the order for the bar and oil shortly after that. I hope that’s all I need to get it going, and things work smoothly, but we shall see. Of course, if anything happens or I am perplexed, there’s a Ravelry group for that.

As for hand knitting, I finally finished my first project in about 11 months. My old friend from High School’s SIL had another baby and his mother threw a baby shower for his middle brother and her and invited me since SIL had never met me in person and his mom hadn’t seen me since graduation. I power knit a Shadow Cable Baby Blanket in two days. Well mostly, I had a huge boo-boo 3 repeats back and had to rip it out a few hours before I had to leave. The cable repeats had shifted over 4 stitches and I didn’t catch it. So when I thought I had plenty of time, I really had to rip it all back and panic knit. I had another 30 or so minutes left to do by the time I had to leave, so I finished it in spurts during the shower. Thankfully I wasn’t the only knitter there and was seated next to a lovely lady whose name I have forgotten. She’d never done cables before and after a 30 second demonstration, she was excited to try it herself soon! Always glad to enable a fellow yarn addict 🙂 And of course I forgot to get a picture to share, so hoping the SIL will send me one soon if she gets the chance!

Hopefully I’m done with that funk for a while since I enjoyed knitting that and it didn’t flare me up too bad, which was a huge hump/fear for me to get over to get back into it. I have plenty more projects queued up on Ravelry that have definite deadlines looming, including another baby gift, a if I have time before that baby arrives awesome prop, a helmet and beard for another gift exchange, a cute project bag for me and then I want to try my hand at sock knitting. I got some beautiful solid sock yarn from my exchange partner (yay superwash!) and am actually happy it’s sport and not fingering for my first pair.

Anyhoo, here’s a picture for you! This was where the colors stopped darkening before I figured out the vinegar thing. I was hoping the drink jug thing would catch the water if it wicked off or prevent it being up higher. I have to do some more research on that!

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Categories: Dyeing, Knitting

Dyeing yarn with KoolAid

April 28, 2011 Leave a comment

I forget how it came to be, but I’ve promised my brother an i-Pad coozie made from fingering weight yarn. Last year, I bought my first blank hank of fingering weight anticipating making socks from it but it’s pure wool so now that I know better it sat waiting for the perfect project. TA-DA! But it was white and he wanted either grey or dark blue, so what to do…

KOOLAID! Yes folks, if you’ve never heard of it, Kool-Aid can be used to dye protein fibers in a very simple process. This is the tutorial I used along with this color chart and it came out perfecto if I do say so myself. So far I only have starting dyeing and cooling down in the pot pictures but you’ll just have to love them.

EDIT: I’ve added a picture of the sloppy hank I made 🙂 The yarn is darker in person, not quite as dark as it was wet but not that light either.

Categories: Dyeing