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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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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. πŸ™‚ 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! πŸ™‚

Viola! You have a brand new flower vase! πŸ™‚

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Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2013! ok, I’m a lil late, but so what? Happy New Year!!! πŸ™‚

It’s that time of the year when we make resolutions and goals, in the fond hope that we’ll actually stick to them. πŸ˜‰

Well, here’s my list for this year. Since last year didn’t have any resolutions, I decided to make some this year vis-a-vis my crafting life. So here follows my list:

Knitting:

Sewing:

  • Start! that is so important!!!

Crochet:

Learn a new craft:

  • Haven’t decided what.. but I want to learn something new and different; something not related to yarn!

Cross-stitch:

  • Complete my table-cloth, and design more bags.

What’s your resolution list?

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A Day at the Beach Bag

This bag is a simple 2 day project. The only reason I couldn’t complete within the said 2 days, was that I was travelling, followed by the hectic pace of the Diwali festival. The festival was fun, but I really glad to have completed this project!

A couple of thing I learnt from this test knit were:

  • provisional cast-on: This was done using Judy’s Magic Cast-on, with a difference. The 2nd needle was used as the provisional cast-on! This was quite a convenient method of casting-on for provisional cast-ons.
  • Kitchener Stitch. My first time out was a mess. But at least I learnt something!

So here’s the bag! πŸ™‚

The bag.