Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hello, blog!

It's been forever since I've posted here. I've been doing a lot of things. Mostly dyeing. I bought a bunch of silk (9lbs, to be exact) and learned how to dye silk. Which is actually very easy, provided you soak it for 12+ hours in hot water with some soap before you apply the dye. This is from my most recent batch:
I also ordered a bunch of undyed mill spun yarn. Most of it is sock yarn. I ordered a bunch of skeins of 100% superwash merino, fingering weight, 2 ply, and wound it into mini-skeins, which I dyed in colors corresponding to some of the main characters in My Little Pony:
These minis can be used in scrap yarn projects. Most commonly, they are used to make hexipuffs, stuffed knitted hexagons. You knit a bunch of them (hundreds, possible thousands), sew them all together, and turn them into a quilt. The pattern is actually called "The Beekeeper's Quilt" and I would highly recommend checking it out.

I also got some laceweight yarn which is really nice and soft (merino silk blend), which I've dyed 4 out of 10 skeins of thus far. Here's one of them:
I'm considering dyeing some more minis today, since I'm running low on complete sets. Ponies for everyone!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hat! In the yarn called for in the pattern!

I know that I haven't posted in forever. I had the semester from hell as well as infinite a cappella rehearsals. So I did very little knitting, and what I did knit, I didn't photograph.

Until now.

I made a hat as a Channukah present for my boyfriend. I finished it last night and gave it to him today.

Miraculously, it fits him, and he loves it. It's still wet from the blocking I did last night. I just put it on my own head, which is smaller than his head, but I still might have stretched it a bit too much. But it's fine.

The pattern is Knotty but Nice, and I actually used the Cascade 220 Superwash that it called for (though not in the green that they used). I don't think I've ever made a pattern in the yarn that it called for before. It wasn't intentional; I was at Mind's Eye looking for a worsted weight medium blue yarn, and saw this yarn, and realized it was the yarn from the pattern.

I'm very pleased with how it came out, and I really enjoyed knitting this pattern.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I guess dye really can go bad

Yesterday I went on a dyeing spree; it had been the first time I had dyed wool in 2 months. Between renovations in what serves as my studio, the Jewish holidays, and the beginning of school, I haven't had much time or space to dye anything. (I haven't even done that much knitting, for that matter.)

Whenever I dye wool, I mix up the colors in small amounts in tupperware containers, and use sponge brushes to apply the dyes. Often there will be some extra dye. I keep that extra dye in the tupperwares, with the lids on of course, and save it for the next time I dye wool.

Normally, this works just fine, but in one of my dyes there was a not so pleasant surprise:

(I had a lot of trouble getting my camera to focus; this was the best I could do.)

Yeah, that's mold. Fortunately, only two of my dyes were affected, and I wasn't too thrilled with either of the colors (the other was this grey-blue thing).

So don't expect your dyes to last forever.

And at some point I'll update with things that are prettier than moldy dye.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Maybe if this blog entry is witty enough...

One of my yarns was featured on a blog yesterday:

Treasury Hunt Saturday.

(I had featured her bead in a treasury a long time ago.)

Also, I'm finally back to dyeing wool. I had to stop for a couple of weeks because I injured my back. I haven't taken photos yet (I dyed them on Friday) but I'll probably take them tomorrow, since I have the day free.

Here are some from the previous batch:

Not Remotely Steampunk: (From here. (Warning: this part of the website is SFW, but there are also a lot of NSFW things on Regretsy.))

Parrot Riding a Tricycle:

Maybe if this Roving Name is Witty Enough, Someone Will Buy it (see this xkcd):

I'm not sure how I'm going to top those for names. (There was also one called "All The Things", which I named so you could say you've spun all the things. It sold to someone who wanted to spin all the things. So it proves that if you give your roving a witty enough name, someone will indeed buy it.) I guess I just need to wait until I'm sleep deprived enough to be creative. Or ask purpleshiny when she's really sleep deprived, since that seems to work rather well. (The first and third roving here were all my own in the naming, she helped with the Parrot Riding a Tricycle, though I came up with the tricycle part.)

Also, I'm almost done with my shawl. And this past Monday I bought a bunch of yarn at Webs in Northampton, MA. If I'm sufficiently un-lazy with the photography, maybe there will be some yarn pics in the near future.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Featured crafter

I is a featured crafter!.

Also, crafter is totally a word, despite what Mozilla's spell checker says.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Not the best lighting, but...

3 boxes of it!
In my basement!

Of course, it's been there for a while now. And while dealing with the sad wool, I've been ignoring it for a while. Which is probably not so good. I need to do a ton of carding. I think there are like 7-8 fleeces in there.

In other news, my craft show didn't go so well. I barely broke even. But since then I sold 2 skeins of brown alpaca to a friend last weekend, and a roving to someone on Etsy this morning. Maybe things are picking up.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Advanced fixing of Sad Roving

A couple of days ago, I wrote this post on the HRSFAns Crafts Blog about roving that I accidentally felted, but found a way to save. It involved infinite pre-drafting, and would have to either be sold as yarn, or super-discounted bargain roving where I had the chance to instruct the person on what to do with the damn thing.

I found out two things since then:
1. The felting wasn't really my fault. Our house has 2 washing machines, and apparently they leak heat. Someone was washing a load of laundry while I was spin-cycling my roving. The heat is what did it, and not my stupidity.

2. There's a better solution for dealing with the wool. At least for me. I have a drum carder! It can deal with stuff like this. So last night I tried feeding the wool to the drum carder. I learned the hard way that you still need to pre-draft it a bit before the carder will accept the wool. However, once you do, it works really well.

So here's what you do.

1. Do some predrafting.

2. Feed the stuff into the carder. Be sure to adhere to the safety warnings it comes with. Like keeping your hands clear.

3. Once you feed it in, start cranking. The small drum will take up the stuff and put it onto the big drum.

Whee, your carder is starting to fill up. Yay!

4. Take it off the carder. You could end here, and have a batt that looks like this:

Or you could

5. put it through again for more blended colors and get this:

So I have one of each now so I can compare how they spin. I think I like the less carded one better, but if the other spins dramatically better, I'll have more blended batts in the future. Also, my batts go really well with Dominion Seaside:

So the reason why this is so exciting is that now I can sell them as batts instead of having to spin them all. They probably won't all be done in time for the show (where I should focus on getting as much yarn spun as I can) but could later go on Etsy.

Also, the craft show is in less than a week. Here's the link, for anyone who is local to Boston or will be around next weekend: