December 30, 2013

Surprise FO

I couldn't talk about this one when I actually finished it, since it was a gift for my friend Sam, who is one of the three people who actually read this blog.

This is The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief by Orange Flower Yarns (I blocked it to be more wingy and less triangular because I have no blocking wires). 

I used yarn from the Mean Girls Yarn Club inspired by Scar from the Lion King (colorway name: Pussyfootin') because the colors are just the ones Sam loves; plus I thought the "rusty" nature of them suited the pattern name.  My picture above sadly does this colorway little justice--it is SO pretty (and I'm not usually into warm colors!)  I also adored this pattern--it was easy but interesting, and using a DK weight and size 8 needles made it a breeze!  I will be making another for myself.

December 9, 2013

A long overdue FO

I forgot to mention that at the beginning of the month I finally finished my Trillian.

I was supposed to finish this for a KAL back in August...oops.

December 8, 2013

Adventures in Dyeing Takes 3 and 4

As mentioned in my previous post, I spent a whole day last weekend messing around with different Kool Aid/food coloring dyeing techniques.  My two more successful skeins resulted from trying two different things.

For the first skein, I wanted to create a turquoise gradient because I was inspired by my recent trip to the Caribbean and the beautiful water there.  To do this, I followed the tutorial for the Dip Dye method described in an article on Knitty.

I mixed up McCormick food coloring again, this time Neon Blue and Neon Green, which was supposed to create a turquoise (at least, according to McCormick's mixing guide for icing).  However, my final color ended up being much more of a green-teal, possibly because my yarn wasn't pure white (I used Knit Picks Bare in fingering weight, which is slightly off-white).  Still pretty though!

Here are some "action" shots of the Dip Dyeing method, for which I used my crock pot:

Slowly yet surely...
Hanging to dry

The final skein!  Not the color I was aiming for, but I love it anyway.

My only problem with this skein is that it won't stop bleeding.  I'd rinse it and the water would run clear and I'd leave it hanging, only to come back later and give it a squeeze and it would be bleeding again.  I think I need to heat it up in some water/vinegar to really set it.

The last method I played with was the Hot Pour method, which is described in that same Knitty article.  I hadn't exhausted my teal bath at the end of the gradient experiment, so I saved some of that to use, as well as mixing up a reddish orange and a purple to contrast.

Looks a little muddy here, but it actually turned out okay!

I like this one, but I do wish there was less white...wondering if I could overdye it a smidge just to get rid of the white areas, but no idea what color would work.  Maybe a pinky-purple? (I have a thing for purple, I can't help it!)

I'd definitely like to play with these methods again--maybe do a light immersion dye before the hot pour next time?  I also have to try the Cold Pour method described in that Knitty article, too!  So many things I want to try, so little time...

December 7, 2013

Adventures in Dyeing, Take 2: The Fail (?)

Last weekend I played around with food color/Kool Aid dyeing again.  I actually tried three different things, but I'll discuss the other two later since they turned out far better than the first experiment did.

I decided to trying over-dyeing a skein of yarn again, since I had a flavor I was pretty sure I wouldn't use for another project.  The skein in question was Knit Picks Stroll in the colorway Cartoons, which is a very bright rainbow colorway.  (I used some of it for my knitted monster because I thought it was a very kid-friendly colorway, but beyond that it was a little TOO bright for my tastes).

The original rainbow craziness.

I decided to try to use actual Kool Aid this time, and to over-dye the skein green.  I used the immersion dyeing method (basically, heat up the color in water and vinegar, blopped the skein in until the dyebath cleared, done).

My first attempt was not super successful:
Barely colored at all! Boo.

So, I prepared a new dye bath using McCormick food coloring (green with a dash of blue), and re-did the skein again using the same method.  It came out a little darker, but not nearly as dark as I wanted.

The second attempt turned out little better.

Strangely, I don't totally hate it.  However, I'm thinking I should have over-dyed it blue rather than green; the red areas would have turned purple, the yellows to greens, etc.  Oh well, you live you learn, right?  I may play with it some more, but we shall see.