Tuesday, February 9, 2010

dyeing is so much fun!

Hello my dear readers, whoever you may be.  :-)  Last week I had about 3 times as many hits on my blog as I normally do, but still no comments so I really don't know why. Well, a couple of comments, but they were spam.  Unfortunately I've been getting a lot of those lately so I had to enable that weird "type this word out" security feature.  If they want you to decipher and type that word, why do they make it darn near impossible to read??  Anyway, sorry about that, but I hope it doesn't deter people from posting comments! 

I have been knitting quite a bit but not finishing much because I've had startitis lately. All the lovely yarns in my stash have been calling out to me!  I haven't made much progress on my Michigan socks, they're about halfway thru the instep.  The striping is turning out wonderfully though, they are beginning to switch to the opposite color but the color switch is going across in a diagonal pattern.  Very interesting looking.  Of course I don't have a photo, but I will take one for the next time I blog!  :-) 

These are the mittens I made for my daughter Meg.  I didn't follow a pattern, just made them like toe up socks and increased a bit for the palm.  Once I got to the point where the thumb starts I knit 2 sts, knit 7 sts onto scrap yarn, slipped them back and knit them again on the regular yarn and kept going.  I did the same for the other mitten but I started the thumb 9 sts before the end of the mitten and knit the last 2 sts.  Then I decreased the top when I got to that point the same way I do socks.  I picked up the thumb sts plus a stich on either side so that each thumb was 16 sts.  Since there is no thumb gusset, they don't fit perfectly but they're good enough for her since she rarely wears them and will outgrow them (or lose them!) by next winter.  :0)  She loves them, as you can see.  I think the yarn was berocco metalics.  A little itchy but not too bad.  Very sparkly!  Perfect for a little princess.

Now these are photos of some yummy yarn that I dyed.  My friend Kim is learning how to spin yarn and spun some very soft undyed wool.  She gave it to me so I measured it with a meter counter thingy (that I overpaid for, according to my husband.  He said it is a fishing line gauge and costs 1/4 of what I paid for it if you buy it at a sporting goods store.  However, mine came with a neat wooden thing to hold it to the table, so I don't care.  :-D ) 

Anyway, I used a mix of red and blue jaquard dyes and then added a bit more red to the mix halfway thru the dye process.  I think I used a bit too much dye because it didn't all absorb into the yarn, but it did create a very deep indigo color that I'm completely thrilled with.  There were also a couple spots on the hank that turned out more mauve than indigo, and it added a lovely effect.  Plus the 2 plys took the dye differently so you get a lot of verigation.

It is a bit darker here than in real life because it is still wet in the photograph.  In the last ohoto you can see the pink-y part in the middle of the hank near where it is gathered.  I've already started knitting this and it is turning into a very lovely, simple ribbed scarf.

You're never too young to start knitting!  Erin is 9 months old in this photo.  :-)  Of course, right after the photo was taken, she tried to eat the needles and I had to rescue my scarf before she pulled it off the needles.  LOL.

Do you see the needles?  My husband decided a few weeks ago that he wanted to start building custom electric guitars.  He loves to play and he is always tinkering with his own guitars, changing pickups etc, but he wanted to start his own from scratch.  He was talking about ways to test different wood finishes, using scrap boards etc, and I suggested knitting needles.  This developed into a whole brainstorm about ways to make knitting needles, should we sell them, how to combine knitting supplies and guitars etc.  Then I mentioned how much I love dyeing yarn, and how I wanted to make stitch markers, so now he's working on a website for me to sell hand dyed yarn and handmade stitch markers and needles.  The needles in the above photo are a prototype.  I also gave a pair, along with some stitch markers, to my friend Dawn as a birthday present and for her to test and review for me.  :-)  If it ever warms up and stops raining here, we will be able to make more needles.  He buit a spray booth out in the garage and now has all the tools etc to do different paint finishes, and he really wants to work on a paint dipping technique, but if he does them now the paint won't ever dry.  In the meantime I've been working on dyeing some more yarn (I have a lovely colorway done that I named "marigold", it is yellows and pinky-oranges, very pretty!) and making stitch markers.  I also made labels for the yarn and markers that turned out very nicely I think.  Once he gets my site up I'll put them there as well as post the link here.  I'm going to order more yarn to dye too, it is a lot of fun.  Messy, and time consuming, but a lot of fun!

OK off to do mommy stuff.  Happy knitting!


John Francis said...

I'm surprised you don't have blue hands from the dyeing. I'd have dye everywhere. You must be a very neat and tidy person.

Love the colorway... Maybe you could start a side business :)

iffer@AOL.com said...

ha! neat and tidy! ::::snort:::: definitely not! I just have a husband who is a neat freak, and I wore gloves. and a mask. and my hubby helped [supervised] me. :-)

Suna said...

Love that sparkly yarn--my son loves his gloves that are the same yarn! And I really like those needles Scott made.

ladyb1 said...

I wish I could get the hang of dyeing my own yarn, love the mottled look of yours.

tinkerplinkmama said...

I just :have: to comment on your gold fingernails - love them! And the picture of your little one looking like she's about to knit is too cute.