Life is Like a Box of Chocolates

Hello, I'm back again! I don't know how long this posting more than once a week business is going to hold up, but I really want to get through some of this backlog of projects. Also, I have made some progress on that yarn that I dyed last week that didn't quite turn out as expected. This next project goes along with the falling leaves hat. When I was done with the hat I had a ball of yarn left over and thought I should make something to go along with the hat. Someone from the knitting group at my local yarn store (Black Sheep) was making some fingerless mittens that I really liked. The lace pattern doesn't match the hat, but the yarn does and I think they look just fine together.


They are surprisingly warm considering the amount of holes in them. The pattern is called "Mericash wrist warmers" by Jean Gray and is free on Ravelry. (By the way, I'm crystalcrafts on Ravelry if anyone out there wants to check out my project pages.)

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On another note, remember that roving from last week? I spun it and plied it into this:

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I was not such a fan of the colors. I decided to make up a dye pot of dark blue (Wiltons royal with a little black) and throw it in. After round 1 of dye it looked like this (sorry for the bad picture):


I still wanted it darker so I added more dark blue and put the yarn back in. Here's what it looks like now:

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It's weird, but I can't decide if I like it. I definitely like it more now then how it was. I just don't know. Although, after getting a great response from my knitting group yesterday I'm feeling a little better about it. You just never know what you're gonna get when dying yarn.

Dye Oops!

Sorry I haven't posted in so long again! I really will start trying to post on a more regular basis. I thought today would be a good day to dye some roving that I've had sitting around for a while. It is 4 oz of a wool/bamboo/nylon mix. (I have discovered that it takes about 4 oz of fiber to spin up enough yarn for a pair of socks.) For a while I have been trying to decide what colors I wanted to use. This morning I decided to try something new and go with orange, brown and green. This part always scares me because there is no turning back with dying. You can unravel knitting but there is no turning the roving back to white. (Although sometimes you can over dye and get a decent result which I will show you in a later post.)

I decided to go with the slow cooker method so I put the roving in with some water and vinegar to soak for a while.


While that was soaking I mixed up some Wiltons icing coloring to use as my dye.


After waiting a little while I added them to the pot. Green first,


then orange,


and brown last.


Not my personal favorite colors but it was looking like it would be promising. Especially once it was spun and all the colors kind of blended together. So, I put the lid on and let it sit for a while.

When it was time to take the roving out I felt really silly. I had just thought that the dye would make it all the way through to all of the roving. It didn't. So, now I essentially have a white roving with scattered chunks of green, orange and brown.


At this point I feel like I have 2 options:

1: Just let it dry and spin it up. Maybe once it is spun and plied it will look ok?

2: Lay it out so that the colors match up again and hand paint it. This would make it more like what I was originally going for, but I don't know if it's worth it.

What would you do?

Adventures with Kool Aid

Welcome back! First of all, the tank top that I mentioned in my first blog  finally dried and my head still fits through the head hole! It's pretty heavy and won't be as cool as I would like, but I'm glad I went ahead and finished it. 20110725-064427.jpg

Now to the main subject of the blog- Kool-Aid dying! I learned about this when I was at the fiber studio in Uniontown and had to try it out for my self. Kool-Aid dying works with any animal fiber (not with cotton or other non-animal fibers). It is so easy and fun. You just take a pot of water, get it boiling, add Kool-Aid (without sugar!) then add the yarn/roving.


The yarn (or roving in this case, which will be spun into yarn) absorbs the Kool Aid and the water becomes completely clear. With this batch I used cherry flavored Kool Aid for half the roving and lemonaid for the other half. I spun each color separately and plied them together.


Then, with different yarn I decided to attempt to make a teal color by mixing blue and green. Turned out more green than blue but it was an interesting experiment!


For my next batch of roving I decided that I wanted to experiment with more colors, so I took 8oz of Corridale roving and divided it into 4 chunks. I dyed each piece a different color. I had purple, blue, yellow and green. I then took random  pieces of each color and spun them. Then, by plying them together I ended up with an interesting blend of colors.



What's next? Well, I decided to go for the reds this time. Turns out that cherry and strawberry make the same shade of red. So I took another 8oz of Corridale roving and split it into 4 pieces. Along with the cherry and strawberry there is also pink lemonaide and orange. The goal here is going to be to spin the red together in one single ply strand, then alternate pink and orange in the other strand.


Once those are done I will ply them together and see how it turns out!