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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 πŸ˜‰ (I’m NOT a pink person)

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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! πŸ˜€

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. πŸ™ 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! πŸ˜€

Have fun! πŸ™‚

 

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Hooking Away

As a couple of friends pointed out here, I’m just too used to “needles”. And I finally found the need to change my terminology to “hooks”! πŸ™‚ Crocheting has recently become my go-to option when I’m tired of knitting. While knitting usually involves wearables of some sort, they take a lot of time to complete. On the other hand, I crochet only to take a break from garments. So these are small projects, doilies to be precise.

Here are a couple that I’ve completed recently:

  • Floor Show: Every bit of this rug/mat is a gift. The yarn was a gift from Rinku, and the pattern came from a crochet magazine gifted by Swapna… And I just couldn’t resist putting it all together!

 

Floor Show!
Floor Show!
  • Mallika: My very first test pattern. Designed by Srividhya, and tested on the Crafty Dozen forum on Ravelry.. and helped through the process by Jaishree and Swapna on WatsApp! πŸ˜‰

 

Mallika
Mallika
  • Dove Doily: I wanted to challenge myself… and challenge I did! It definiltly challenged my patience to stick to it till it got done. As it is i skipped the last few rows. πŸ˜›

 

Dove Doily
Dove Doily
  • Clematis: this was pretty motif that I found in a book… and decided to make a couple. Not sureΒ what I’ll do with them though….

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Pine for Me! :)

This one is freshly completed, though it actually slid off my needles a couple of weeks back. Unfortunately, I’ve just not had the time to wash and block the garment, not to mentioned finish off the weaving in of threads n sewing on of buttons. But here is the finally product, and am really really thrilled with my lovely Pine Cardigan!

The design itself is a test knit run on Ravelry from the very talented designer/s Tincanknits. Its been fun, though the sleeves were boring… I mean how fun can 20 inches of stockinette be?! But the end result more than made up for it! πŸ˜€ <3

Here’s my lovely Pine!

The un-blocked version
The un-blocked version

 

the buttons :)
the buttons πŸ™‚

 

And the lovely finished cardigan!! <3
And the lovely finished cardigan!! <3
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On a Doily Trip…

I seem to have been bitten by a doily bug! I just can’t get over how fast they get done, and how beautiful they are. To the point that I’ve made 2 since the beginning of this very week. πŸ™‚

I’ve never really got along with knitting cotton in the past. The maximum I made were coastersΒ and a mobile pouch, and then I couldn’t really think of much to make with them. They seemed to strain my arms holding onto the slippery thread. So they were relegated to the back of my cupboard where they languished for a looong time.

With the Ravellenics starting in a couple of days, I decided to challenge myself this way. What better to do than use up old thread and make pretty stuff? So I sat down and carefully looked at all the notes by the designer and thought long and hard. Then I just started doing it! I still wasn’t convinced that this was a good idea… till I starched out my first doily. Then I was hooked!

Both doilies that I’ve made have been designed by Linda Browning, for whom I’m tested earlier. The doily designs were her gift for testing!

So here are the pictures! πŸ™‚

Flower Doily
Flower Doily
the bigger doily
the bigger doily
and how they look together! :)
and how they look together! πŸ™‚

 

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Intriguing Shawl

This was supposed to be a quick project which I signed up for it. Unfortunately I got so side-tracked with other projects on needles, that I got late for my deadline! πŸ™

The nice part is that the designer was cool about it, and had no problems extending the deadline. So here’s my Intriguing shawl, with its lovely design! It was made with a silk-wool blend that I got from IndianSilkShop on 4mm needles and it was also the first time I knit with anything silk! πŸ™‚

I did make a couple of changes to the design namely I cut out on the repeats for the end garter ridge and I didn’t do the picots. Did that make a difference? No, it didn’t, because the focus is now entirely on the design! And a very pretty one it is. πŸ™‚

before blocking
before blocking
immediately after blocking :)
immediately after blocking πŸ™‚
a clear look!
a clear look!
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Hat and Mittens – Crafting for Gifting!

Once I completed the Gilbert sweater, I realized I hadn’t made anything for my niece! So I immediately went looking for a new pattern. However, Lara Simonson (who designed Winter Chill reversible hat) connected with me for this new design, Little Elsa’s Hat. It was just perfect for my niece. The cables were not over-whelming, and the button was a fun touch.

Little Elsa's hat
Little Elsa’s hat

So that was the story behind the hat! At the end of the project, however, DH remarked that its “only” a hat, can’t I make mittens to go with them?! But then I didn’t know how to make them. But I figured: how difficult could they be afterall?! Well, the answer is: difficult till you actually get the experience to knitting them. πŸ™ After 2 froggings, I finally managed to make these mittens in record speed: 3 days… Of course they were toddler size! πŸ˜‰

Toddler Mittens
Toddler Mittens

 

 

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Gilbert

Gilbert was a sweater that I made for my nephew. The pattern was designed by Melanie Coogan, and she was very generous when she gave me the pattern for free! And for no reason but that I asked for it on Ravelry! πŸ˜€ Thanks, Melanie!

The sweater is knit seamlessly and knit bottom-up. This is the first time I made anything with such extensive cables, and it was great experience!

A close-up of the cables
A close-up of the cables
The final Sweater!
The final Sweater!

 

 

 

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Quickie Knit: One Path Scarf

This project was part of Project-a-Month-KAL Group on Ravelry. The design was donated by Siew Clark for whom I had earlier completed a test knit: Twist-er.

There isn’t much to say about this project actually. It was made on Nako’s Makilenik lace yarn in light brown, the yarn held double for this project.

The scarf is actually the lace outer edge of the shawl. I wasn’t keen on making a whole shawl, sop the option of the edge itself was pretty cool! Also, it wouldn’t take to make as long as the shawl itself! πŸ™‚

One Path Scarf
One Path Scarf

 

Close-up of the design panel
Close-up of the design panel

 

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New Skills: Sock Knitting!

Yes, that’s the new skill I’ve managed to add to my knitting repertoire: sock knitting.

Sock knitting had always baffled me. So many knitters seems to churn them out at the drop of a hat, and yet the very vocabulary of sock knitting terrified me! It especially since it contained words such as: short rows, toe up, cuff- down, grafting and so on.

So when HiyaHiya KAL group connected with me asking me to join their cuff-down KAL, I decided to give it a go and conquer my fears. It further helped that there was a hefty penalty for not completing: I would have to pay up $5 as design price in case I didn’t complete the pair of socks before deadline i.e 30th Nov 2013. Ample time to learn, and enough motivation to get it done indeed! Also the clause that I had to complete a pair would ensure I completed both, not just one sock!

The first sock got done fairly fast. So fast, that I figured I should have cast on both at the same time, I’d have got it done together!!!

Anyway, i did finally manage to complete both socks, and here’s my final result. πŸ™‚

In process: the in-step
In process: the in-step
in process: the heel
in process: the heel
How it looks
How it looks
2 feet together! :)
2 feet together! πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

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Cotton Apron

When I got up this morning, I promised myself that I’d get cracking on the sweaters that are pending work. However, once I finished breakfast, I suddenly decided i wanted a new apron. I’m not really sure why I want one though, i hardly use it!

But one thing was sure: the apron I already own has strings to be tied at the back.. and I’ve been enamoured by the professional chef aprons that tie right around to the waist in front. It’s just so cool! So that’s what I decided to make.

Another reason is that I desperately need to use up my fabric stash if I intend to buy more fabric.. So my project was for a good cause: to create space for more shopping! πŸ˜‰

While I havent reached the level where I’m comfortable showing off my haphazard sewing /cutting skills in photographic detail, here’s the final product. Though there are a couple of things I’m proud of:

  • The neat way I managed to make the borders without having fabric lift up after the stitch line
  • My stitched apron strings. This is my second attempt, and I’ve done a great job (even I say so myself)

What I’m not happy about is the fact that the armsyce is different on both sides. I’m not really sure how I managed that, though I do remember thinking that one side seemed easier to stitch than the other…

Without any further ado, there’s my apron!

How it looks on me!
How it looks on me!
Final apron with the disbalanced armsyce
Final apron with the imbalanced armsyce
The neat edges
The neat edges
the neat curved edge
the neat curved edge

 

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New Achievement: Doily in Thread!

Well, lots of people knit with thread. But this is the first time I actually managed to make something big… in thread. Now, we’re not talking knitting cotton, but proper thread. The type used for doilies, crochet and heavy embroidery! πŸ™‚ So, YAY me!!

I did manage to knit a doily with the Crossed test knit. But have been thinking about the thread one long and hard. I started a couple of times with lace weight wool. But I figured I liked that even less than thread. πŸ™

Faced a couple of problems at the beginning. I managed the center crochet cast-on but wasn’t very happy with it. But I still plowed on to find a massive mistake that I made on Line 7. That meant ripping up completely. So I decided that the 2nd attempt would have a knit cast-on. Well, I should have figured there was a reason for the center to be crocheted! Mine turned out messy. But I wasn’t in the mood for ripping again. So I plowed on, and made the smallest size possible!

But it’s done, and that’s all that matters! πŸ™‚

vintage doily
vintage doily
Another angle
Another angle

 

without the flaws visible! ;)
without the flaws visible! πŸ˜‰