This is one of the 3 projects due this month. This sweater/tunic was given by 15th Sept. I thought I could manage to finish it within 1 month. But health, guests and travel managed to make this a rush finish job!
I learnt quite a few important things:
Knitting Top-down Raglan shaped sweater. It was a huge concern if I would be able to do it. Yes, I can!!! 😀
Shaping: waist decreases and increases.
Contrasting colors: It doesn’t hurt to try something new, even if the design doesn’t call for it.
I started with a grey Oswal yarn which was originally earmarked for the DH. I’m not really sure why he rejected my offer to make a sweater, actually. But he did. So I decided to use it for this purpose.
The design has an option of making a sweater or increasing the length to a tunic. My only concern with it once I started knitting, was the gauge, or rather the number of stitches it necessitated :(. The sheer number of stitches per row was the main reason i just couldn’t persuade myself to finish it. It didn’t help matters that mine was one of the larger sizes, which in turn meant… u guessed it: more stitches!!!
So I finally managed to complete it to sweater length. The gray was boring me out, so added plum for a nice hem contrast.
Actually I have done other stuff with the machine. It’s only that most of them comprised of repairs of clothing and bed sheets, and new pair of pillow covers. So I finally mustered up some courage to get sewing projects.
I have some self-knit mobile pouches. But, like handbags and shoes, a girl just can’t have too many. So with the left over fabric from the pillow covers, came this lovely mobile pouch. 🙂
The pouch came out fast enough. The problem lay with the handle and the deco. For deco, i zeroed on some leftover flower sequins which could be pastes on. The handle was tougher. I decided to do a ragged-y braid with the same fabric. It’s not the neatest look, but I kinda liked it that way.
After my last post on thread on dyeing the cotton yarn, I had a couple of people ask me to note down the entire process. So i took that as an excuse to finally dye the last hank of yarn I had. This also meant that it would have to be green because that’s the only dye I have left… any more would mean a trip to Commercial Street, and I really don’t have time for shopping now.
So here goes:
4-5 ltr vessel that you wont ever use for food again
Ensure the cotton yarn is tied neatly into a hank. This is necessary to ensure that you can manage the yarn while dyeing.
Though you are tying it in 2-3 places, ensure it is not too tight. The dye will not reach the inside yarn otherwise
Heat about 3 lts of water to lukewarm and add the vinegar. Add the undyed yarn to the water and set aside until cool.
Keep turning the yarn intermittently to ensure that the entire yarn is washed well in the vinegar. Drain and set the yarn aside
The purpose is to wash off all impurities in the yarn and also traces of other dyes. This especially helps when you’ve tried with food coloring, and it didn’t work. I did this, so I know!
Drain the vinegar water, and replace with clean water.
Bring the water to boil, and then add salt and dye and mix well to ensure no lumps remain. Here I added a 1/2 tsp of turmeric just to see if it affected the final green. The last time I’d used the same dye, I got a forest green, So I wanted something different.
Let the water boil for a few minutes more and then add the cotton yarn.
Turn off the flame immediately. This I learnt with trial-and-error. The dye shop guy told me to boil the yarn with the dye. When I did this, the yarn kinda crinkled up. Not sure why, but when I don’t boil it, the yarn remained smooth. Boiling didn’t affect the softness of the yarn, but just gave an odd look to the yarn.
Keep turning the yarn in the dye every 2 minutes to ensure it reaches all parts of the yarn
Once the dye has cooled off, and while turning, you feel that the yarn has caught the color properly throughout the yarn, take it out
Drain the dye and wash the yarn thoroughly until it stops bleeding color.
Add a bit of detergent to water, and wash again till it stops bleeding color.
You may also soak the yarn in fabric softener to help it maintain softness (I do this)
Dry it out 🙂
Here is a pic of all my experiments side-by-side. Note the difference in the green yarns. Apparently turmeric does change the color, But I need to wait and watch if this effect is permanent. Turmeric isn’t really known for permanent cotton dyeing properties. In fact I always manage to get it off my cotton clothes when I have a cooking accident…
Also note the slightly less crinkly nature of the center yarn. Thats the lastest one that I’ve written about.
Most of what I did was a mix of what I learnt through various websites on dyeing, and a bit of experimentation on my part. Had some hit, and some misses… but that’s what learning is all about!