Thursday, February 23, 2006

Socks That Rocks and other stories

I didn't do any dyeing yesterday because I got sidetracked by the arrival of my order of the famed Socks that Rock from Blue Moon Fibers.

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I ordered mine from The Fold and Toni provided excellent service.

The yarn is thicker than Lorna's Laces Shepherd Socks and closer to Shepherd Sport and much too thick for our weather.

Which brings me to this question - what else can you do with sock yarn other than socks?

I did finish of Samus and it is blocking right now. The front is curling terribly! I haven't decided whether to add the zipper or not. I think I will since I added in the waist shaping and that doesn't show very well if the front is open all the time.

So another FO and now I am wondering what to add to the rotation. Cables?? Lace?? or may be ** gasp ** Fair Isle?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Dye is Cast

Thank you for all your kind suggestions and comments on my 1st dyeing attempt. I've decided not to over dye it and keep this skein as a reference. I kind of like the colourway although it isn't so intense.

I have an idea, an inspiration to dye a range of colour scheme called "Brocade", full of lush silky colours in chinese brocades , and this particular colourway would be called "mandarin plum" (if the purples had been a bit more intense). I have a few more colourways in my mind but not the yarn and dye to do it yet. So there - I get first dibs on the name.

Celia tagged for a meme -
Name 5 things in my fridge - My fridge is almost empty - we don't cook much at home so there's not al ot in there. However after a visit from my inlaw's there will always be 1001 and one things inside the fridge.
Anyway at the moment there are :-

1. A bottle of Coke - can't do without my pop
2. Frozen sausages - for when we need some quick filling for the pasta/ fried noodles / fried rice
3. Wine - some white wine my husband put in there from christmas that we didn't get round to drinking.
4. A jar of mayonaisse and ....
5. (...and I am scraping the bottom of the barrel here) various mini chocolate bars ( cloud 9 /mars) for when my son has been especially good or brave.

Not tagging anyone except Lyn who I know does not cook as well.

On the knitting front , I've finished seaming Samus and working on the I-cord edging now. I would have finished it this weekend, but I was in Penang for work, and I didn't want to pack an almost finished project with me.

I am still suffering from a cold and the doctor had told me off for flying without proper medication. He said that I could have done permenant damage to my ears (it's currently very blocked) and the phlegm from my chest could have spread down to my lungs. So I am worse then when I was before I flew and I am taking another sick day tomorrow to dye some more recover.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Final Results

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See how the purple / blue is completely washed out?

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Flip it over for more orange.

Well at least I know not to use these dyes again. I'll be trying to salvage this lot by dip dyeing a little in Koolaid later and see how that turns out.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Fun with Dye in 30 minutes.

I've always put off experimenting with dyes because I thought it would take an huge amount of time and I haven't had a weekend free since the Christmas.

Well I was home sick yesterday and I was getting a little stir crazy by the afternoon so I decided to brew up some nice Colour Your Own merino sock wool from Knitpicks .

First of all, soak the yarn in water and a little dishwashing liquid. - 10 minutes

I would assume that one would already have the dyes. I used Pebeo Seta dyes which I got from a craft shop. Apparently the dyes are used for tye dyeing and silk painting and the label also says all natural fibers.

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Get your work area ready - 10 minutes. I wrapped the table in cling wrap and got my squeezy bottles filled with dye. I had also squeezed out all the water from the wool.

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Paint the wool - 10 minutes

I started to squeeze the dye on the skein and also rolled it around a lot to get maximum coverage. I couldn't take a photo of this part cos - well my hands were dirty.

But here's what the end result looks like before steaming

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I was all excited as the colours looked very dark and intense but let me tell you, a lot of it washes off later. I'm not sure if this due to the brand of dye as I can't find anyone who has used this brand for wool and blogged about it.

Ok that's the end of the dyeing part. The rest is all the steaming and washing and and washing and drying, not much fun any more.

I got a nice cheap little steamer from the local super for RM 30.00 ( USD$7 or so) which will only be used for dying
Steam the skein for 30 -45 minutes

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Then let the skein cool to room temperature before rinsing. This took the better part of the evening and or in tv terms - two episodes of Deadwood, one episode each of American Idol and Medical Investigation - in knitting terms - one sleeve of Samus until the beginning of the sleeve cap.

Then I rinsed and rinsed the skeins until I was so sick of rinsing the water was almost clear and a hell of a lot of dye ran out. So much that the skeins look very washed out at the end of it. I am waiting for it to dry completely before taking a pic of the final result.

Check back again soon for the final photo.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Old habits die hard

Yes I got sick of the last template as it just got tooo busy and crowded with 3 columns. So I opted for a 2 column format and a cleaner look.

Recently I revisited an old hobby of mine. We had a biscornus exchange at the Malaysian Stitchers group and I chose to do mine in hardanger.

A biscornus is a cute 8 sided pillow that looks deceptively hard to do but is actually quite easy to execute.. Check this site out for an online tutorial

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Hardanger is actually pretty nerve wrecking especially since I've been out of practice. The holes are made of actually cutting the weft threads (or is it weave?? I can never remember the term) and then weaving the remainder to make lacey patterns. Here's a great online tutorial.

It's not so hard, but one snip at the wrong thread can ruin the whole piece.

My little biscornus is going to Najwa tomorrow morning. Hope she doesn't mind me giving a sneek peek to the world first.

I've also been working on this mysterious cables project - So mysterious I don't know what to make out of it yet. It's actually the back of a sweater from a japanese magazine but I think I'm going to make a rectangular piece and turn into a clutch purse.

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Erin asked about my Plaza - umm it's languishing. I stopped with one front piece and the collar to go but just can't get myself to carry on. I will go back to it when I finish Samus. Only one more sleeve to go.

Friday, February 03, 2006

CIT, say goodye to Cotton Ease

Yep - it's just not working out -

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The pic is quite a bad one taken in artificial light, and the cables are actually better looking than that.

But the gauge is soo off and it will be a huge cardigan. I need something between 19 - 22 st per inch in stockinette stitch. So my yarn quest will go on.

I had a very eventful Chinese New Year- my husband and I did 4 different states in 4 days, visiting his grandma, his parents, my friend back for the holidays from Hong Kong and then back home to my mum's.

After Chinese New Year, various orders of yarn started to arrive. This is the best part of online shopping. It's exciting to finally click the "BUY" button after weeks of surfing and waiting for the best deal on ebay. Then because it takes anywhere from 10 days to 1 month for stuff to arrive, I get all excited again when it hits the mailbox.

So what did I get in the mail

1. Another lot of All Season's Cotton in a dark lavender colour
2. Rowan Vintage Style
3. Vanessa helped me get some Knitpicks Dye your Own Merino for dying as well as some Kool Aid and 4 skeins of Knitpick Shadow in Vineyard for the Mary Jane cardigan
4. Lyn brought over the Debbie Bliss Cathay in Black which will one day be Knit n Tonic's Somewhat Cowl.

And with all that I still don't have the right yarn for project I have in mind. BUT it does bring me to one conclusion.