Tag Archives: yarn

How much do I love self striping yarn?

15 Jun

Enough to go through these shenanigans.

That there is a long hank.

I’d say this is well worth the trouble.

Oh hello there colors, waiting to come out!

I’ve been wanting to do self striping rainbow for a while.  As a first try, I’d say this is pretty good.  The yellow is a little neon and the purple is a bit dark, but now I know what to do next time.  I’m anxious to see how large the stripes are too, as I didn’t plan that part ahead of time.  At least I’ll have a frame of reference of fencepost to fencepost next time I try this.

It’s been too hot to want to knit too much during the day.  Having this yarn dyeing outdoor operation is a nice change.  I wonder, could I somehow rig a dyepot to the gas grill??


Easter Dyeing

24 Apr

We bypassed Easter egg dyeing this year and went straight to yarn.  Much more fun.

The base yarn for today is Patons Kroy sock yarn.  Not the softest but I love the way it wears and it sucks up dye well.

This is using Jacquard Acid Dyes.  I love the colors I get with these dyes.

As an added bonus, I got to hear Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me while I was working (this week featuring John Waters!)

Some spring colors


And an experiment that I’m rather pleased with.  Okay, tremendously please with, not to toot my own horn. 

One of these two will probably end up as a variegated sample for a scarf pattern I’m working on.  Here’s my solid one so far:


I figure that working on a scarf that I’m excited about is the most surefire way to end winter.  Seeing as how it snowed here yesterday that may be wishful thinking.

Inspiration and Motivation

11 Apr

This weekend some friends and I went to check out the Firefly Handmade market at the Makerie workshop in Boulder.  Although money kept us from attending the actual Makerie event, the market was a fun public addition to the weekend’s activities.  Just look at all the great vendors that were there!

It was great to be immersed in all the craftiness and if nothing else it was a much needed kick in the ass to get me back on track for my own art and craft endeavors.  I bought a woodcut print from Wonderbound Press and felt a little sheepish over the fact that I’ve been telling myself for over a decade that I need to learn how to do this.  I’ve done lots of linoleum cutting in the past but never on actual wood.  This is going back on the top of my list of to-learns.

When I got home yesterday I had a new set of eyes.  I’ve become stuck in a craft rut.  So in the last day I have come up with a list of Spring Crafting Resolutions, if you will.

#1: More respect for my craft room.

I adore this room.  This is the one place in the house that is all mine. Often times it’s the only room in the house whose door remains closed.  Because of this  the room usually houses a number of things that I’m trying to keep away from small hands (hence the box of weeded out toys and the boxes in the lower left).  When it starts to get junky I’m less likely to try to keep it nice in there.  I mean, really, there is no reason that the dye pot and the dye pot lid aren’t together.  Or why the doors and drawers of the lovely yarn cupboard never stay closed.  Enough with the excuses.  I need to make this my room again.  And it needs to be clean and comfortable enough to hang out in.  And I need a chair.

#2: No more using yarn that I don’t like.

I’m so much less likely to finish projects that use yarn that I’m not crazy about. I don’t need to knit exclusively in Malabrigo or anything, but my cheap side needs to be muzzled a little bit more.  And kitchen cotton doesn’t need a permanent place in my stash.

And while we’re on the subject…

#3: Who needs to knit dishcloths?

I’m committing myself to knitting things out of love, not always necessity.  Yes, knit dishrags are awesome and last you forever but my knitting time is precious and I need to use it more wisely.  If it’s not the kind of project that I’d take to knit night and say, “Look how freaking awesome this is!!” I don’t think I need to knit it.     

#4: Part with the infinite hibernating UFOs

Oh sad, red pinwheel blanket that I started when I was pregnant with my now four year old.  You are never, ever going to be finished.  Green sweater made from another sweater’s recycled yarn, your half finished self needs to be frogged.  And that baggy purple Hourglass Sweater that’s two sizes two big?  I have something grand in store for you once you leave this tomb of UFOs.

#5: Not every known newborn baby needs extensive handknits

I know so many moms.  And my circle of friends from high school seem to all be finally having babies.  I know about 8 pregnant women at the moment.  I need to vow to not feel the need to making every one of them an entire layette.  Today I boxed up two baby hats to send to Seattle to a friend who had her baby in November.  I’ve been dragging my feet because I have this nagging side that I need to add something more.  No more.  It’s not going to kill me to buy something for a baby.

Whew.

I’m ready, bring on the spring crafting!

 

Gypsy Wools

28 Jan

There is a tiny yarn store in Boulder on Spruce Ave on the south side of the Boulderado. For probably 18 months I occasionally walked by Gypsy Wools, usually on the way to Rebecca’s next door or Sushi Zanmai one more door down. My bias against most things Boulder and assumptions of downtown businesses told me this place was beyond my budget. Once while walking a sleeping baby around downtown, I wandered in expecting to look at nice fiber, scoff at the price and leave. Fifteen minutes later I ended up walking out with a rather nice and surprisingly inexpensive skein.

For such a small store this place has a large variety of colors, weights and materials. This week I bought a skein of bulky weight yarn called Gaia. I went in looking for a very specific shade of pale green in bulky weight and they had it. You can’t say that about many yarn shops this size.

Last time I was there I wanted a nice soft yarn to test knit the Junie Cap with.  This Kona Sport in a rich brown color was a dream to knit with. I highly recommend this line.

It’s nice to have a new destination in Boulder and I look forward to visiting again!

Green to gold and other overdyeing fun

24 Jan

I love a good loophole. Even when the loophole is in regard to a rule I’ve made (Kind of like I’ve outsmarted myself, heehee). I said I wouldn’t work on any other project until I finished my cardigan but dyeing doesn’t count, does it? I mean, the yarn isn’t for any project in particular so it’s not really another WIP. Right? Right?

My new favorite dyeing challenge is overdyeing colored yarn. It’s relatively easy to start with bare yarn and come up with a color scheme that you like, but adding onto an existing color throws a wrench into the mix. I have quite a few nice skeins of yarn in my stash whose colors I’m not too crazy about. Most of these were either given to me or were orphaned in a clearance bin somewhere and I couldn’t pass them up. I am thrifty beyond belief and I will, in fact, buy yarn that is hideous if it’s a good enough price.

I’ve had quite a few nice surprises this month with overdyes. I hope you like them too.

The first one was an overdye of a skein of Knit Picks Bare worsted that had an unfortunate outcome with the first round of dye.


Sorry, should have warned you to shield your eyes. Bright, huh? Who needs that much pink? A dip in a blue dye bath gave me this:

Ah, better.

Next, a beautiful yarn handed down to me by a friend. It’s Spotlight Basics, a beautiful Australian wool, but just wasn’t a color I could see myself knitting with.

So in a crazed state I went nuts with various colored dyes. When all was said and done I couldn’t even remember what colors had gone into the pot, but I love the golden brown color that resulted:

From this same friend came two skeins of Sandnes Lanett, some wonderfully soft merino wool in fingering weight. Again, not my color. Actually, this was the color my living room was when we bought our house and it almost made me not want to buy the place. Almost.

Since I am a sucker for stripes, as I’ve said, I decided that this yarn would evolve into self striping sock yarn. Behold:

If my math is correct (which is nearly always is – thanks, math degree!) each stripe will be two rows thick with a 7-stripe repeat. I can’t wait to try this out. Striped knee highs, here I come…. eventually.

And although it wasn’t my favorite dye job, this is my favorite in terms of transformation. Two skeins of Soles & More that I got on super clearance at Joanns.

At a dollar a skein, I couldn’t pass up the chance of $2 socks. The colors of this yarn are so awful but with 75% wool and 25% nylon, I love the wash-ability of it. So this went from pastel stripes to:

semi solid ruby deliciousness. Mmm. I can’t wait to see how the original stripes add to the slight variegation of this one. I think this will look great as either Absinthe or Evening Stockings for a Young Lady. Hmm, this may be getting dangerously close to working on a WIP. I’m off to go work on my sweater now.