Posted on Leave a comment

The Dye Project .. again!

my updates on the yarn I (finally) dyed.

1) Soaked the alpaca for 2.5-3hrs in vinegar to mordant
2) after letting it semi-dry, put it into cochineal dyebath:

3) after around 3 hrs, i moved into a steel vessel and put it top heat on gas (no micro here)

4) I let it cool in the vessel itself. and once cooled, washed it with running water and hung to dry:

5) So when it dried it looked like this:

6) and finally got it ready to store, to be used for some future project

What I learnt:

* It’s great fun!!!
* It is work.. do not take shortcuts, the results will also be a shortcut.
* if you use expired/really old dye, dont expect the original color to show up. be prepared for surprises
* Learn to live with the surprise 😉 (I’m NOT a pink person)

Posted on 3 Comments

When I Dyed….

A few days back a dear Ravelry friend piqued my interest in a post when writing about dyeing acrylic yarn. The reason why I was interested is that till date, I’ve been told that you cant dye acrylic: the color doesn’t hold. So how was this going to work?!

Acrylic mainly needs acid dye in commercial quantities to be viable, and to hold the color the way it does. However, HodgePodge Crochet mentions the use of acrylic colors. Seemed interesting and do-able. So the moment I was alone at home, I got to work!

The first hitch came at acrylic paint. The blog doesn’t really say wall paint, but if you read carefully, you’ll understand that that’s what she meant. Now the problem here is that I get a massive headache with the smell of paint. The only paint I was willing to work with was the children’s acrylic paint bottles. The difference: the paint is more diluted and therefore has not significant amount of smell. One more: I don’t need to burn by hands with turpentine if it does manage to get on me; soap works just fine!!!

I did figure I probably need a lot more color than the “squirt” the blogger mentions, but I decided to go ahead anyway.

The reason I was comfortable to go ahead was a stash of “natural” color yarn lying in my stash, and I had no clue how to get rid of it. Ta-Da! Solution found! So out came the hanks (which I hadn’t bothered to wind, Thank God!)

The starting point
The starting point

Step 1: Wash the yarn in hot water. Since its summer, the Solar Heater in my bathroom works just fine. So the moment I turned on the tap, nice hot hot water came rushing out. The yarn got soaked in this.

Step 2: I had a spare steel vessel I had used last time for dyeing. In this I added Leaf Green, Lemon Yellow and a dash of Burnt Sienna, all being in 15 ml bottles. I was dyeing 3 hanks (approx 150 gms) of acrylic.

The pic here isn’t great. I was conducting the process in my bathroom, which had no access to natural light ( a fact I realized only after dunking the yarn). So please don’t mind the neon shade of green! 😀

Dripping away...
Dripping away…

Step 3: I put on a pair of gloves and got to work ensuring the color reached every bit. Then I let it sit in the color for about 15 minutes, and then hung it over the tap to drip into the vessel. This was finally hung in the balcony to dry out for the rest of the day.

Later that evening
Later that evening

Step 4: I washed the acrylic to check for color fastness. Unfortunately it was not color fast. I remembered to put in salt to hold the color. And surprisingly it did hold. The yarn went back into the balcony for drying out.

The final effect is an ombre-like gradient in green. But without the flow of color. It simply became patchy where the darker color settled at the base…

After the wash, the colors lightened up
After the wash, the colors lightened up

I wanted to try once more to check for the amount of color required. So I dyed a single skein in Magenta. The experiment wasn’t really a resounding success. Apparently you need the amount of color concentration for it to hold onto the yarn. 🙁 The pink almost seems faded…

Drying out in Pink
Drying out in Pink

 

The skeins together
The skeins together

By this time the original skeins had dried out, and so I wound one up to see how it worked for a project. I made a doily and a knit swatch to display the colors.

All rolled up!
All rolled up!
a quick doily
a quick doily

 

A knit swatch
A knit swatch

 

Finally I would say that, if you can manage, go ahead with wall paint. Else acrylic colors aren’t bad at all! 😀

Have fun! 🙂

 

Posted on Leave a comment

DIY – Flower Vase

With all the roses blooming in my home garden, I’ve always wanted a nice flower vase to show them off. Unfortunately, commercial stuff has either been too delicate or too bland. I just haven’t been able to find the one I wanted.

In the meantime, this has mean that all my flowers get shown off in glass bottles. I had an idea for dressing up the said bottles, but somehow I hadn’t gotten around to getting my supplies.

Recently on a grocery run, I managed to pick up all the stuff I wanted. 🙂 So here’s my DIY Flower vase

completed flower vase
completed flower vase

You need:

  • A glass bottle – I used old ketchup bottles
  • colored thread – you can opt for paper, cotton or plastic wire. I used a chinese brand macrame plastic wire.
  • Glue – use any multi-purpose glue. I used Fevicol‘s All-fix.
  • Any decorative sequins that you may wish to use.

How to do it:

  • Gather all your supplies
The supplies
The supplies
  • Apply the glue in a ring at the top of the bottle where you will start sticking the thread. Thereafter, draw lines along the length of the bottle. For a small bottle i drew 5 lines which covered most of the bottle
Notice the lines of glues along the bottle length?
Notice the lines of glues along the bottle length?
  • Stick the start of the thread and hold it in place with your thumb and proceed to wind the thread around the bottle. This may be a bit messy, but is the most effective way. You need to hold the starting point only for a few seconds as the glue will act fast.
  • Keep winding around till you reach the end of the thread. Attach another string in the same manner as the start point and continue winding till you reach the end.
  • The lines of glue will hold the thread in place while you are winding. This makes the entire work less messy than if the whole bottle was covered in glue.
  • Cover the joins with sequins if you wish (I did!)
Sequin overload! :)
Sequin overload! 🙂

Viola! You have a brand new flower vase! 🙂

Posted on Leave a comment

Works of Art: Midori OBI Bags

Hubby has just returned from the Land of The Rising Sun, and got me this wonderful gift. When thinking of Japan, we think Kimonos, kokeshi dolls and goegeous hand-made fans. But this was a gift a totally unexpected surprise!

The main reason I’ve mention this gift here, is because of the beauty of this handmade product.

OBI bag
OBI bag
The back panel in self-design silk
The back panel in self-design silk

This is a OBI Paccetto in handmade pure silk, made from vintage sash belts (obi). The upper pane features the design panel, while the rest of the bag is made in handmade black silk. The back of the bag is done is self-design black silk that feels absolutely decadent.

The Midori OBI Arts in Japan specializes in kimonos, and gifts made from the same materials geared towards tourists. So the bags are made from kimonos or, in this case, from the sash belts worn in the traditional japanese dress.

So now I’m off the enjoy my gift! 🙂