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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! ๐Ÿ˜€

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. ๐Ÿ™ 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! ๐Ÿ˜€

Have fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Sock Me! ;)

When one of my Ravelry groups suggested a sock-along, I jumped at the opportunity. I already had made 3 pairs and I was sure its just a matter of sitting for a few hours n getting it done! Delusional, anyone?

Which essentially was stupid. I already had 3 sweaters (out of which 2 were for me… Small. Not), and a shawl. Not to mention I knew I would be busy with the in-laws here and stuff on the personal front. And did I choose a free pattern?! No, I went ahead and signed up for something that said “complete within 2 months or pay up”. So, ya, sock me!!

Anyway, today happens to be the deadline for the socks, and I’ve just managed to finish it.

The yarn is an entire different matter to crib about. It looked good on skein, and that’s the only reason I can come up with for buying it!! The color changes are normally small i.e 12″ in most Indian acrylic yarns. However, this took short to a whole new level: approximately 6″. The design is mostly invisible. ๐Ÿ™

Anyway, here’s my pic!

Arrow Lace socks
Arrow Lace socks

 

PS: I don’t think I’ve ever written a “rant” blog ever before!ย sigh

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HiyaHiya Fruit Lace Socks

This is the 2nd pair of sock I’ve made, the design again from the HiyaHiya Designs. While the name of the lace was funny enough, I really liked it, and would have loved to show it off. However, I had a stash of yarn left over from my Regal sweater, and I decided that it was better put to use as a sock yarn! ๐Ÿ™‚

The KAL (Knit-A-long) was for the duration of Dec 2013 – Jan 2014. However, this was the project that I decided to cast-on on the 1st of Jan this year!

So here’s my effort. The only change I made with the pattern was that it was meant to be a mid-calf design, while I made only ankle socks.

My lovely red socks!
My lovely red socks!
Another view
Another view
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Mid-week WIPs

My brain’s working over-time! I have so many ideas and too few hands to make them work!

Having said that, I’m right now working on 2 sweaters. Yes, 2, like one wasn’t enough. One is a test knit from Linda Marveng called Regal Purple, and the other is a Design-Along by Anna (Kuduja on Ravelry).
Both are amazing – in construction as well as design.

The sweater for Anna has just got modified from Sweater to Sleeveless Jacket, as in the last 20 minutes. The yarn I’m using is from Oswal and has short color variegation in blue. This yarn called out to me sometime back when chopping with the In-laws, and always remind me of Old Denim… and that’s what it’s called! The premise is to make a completely customised sweater for oneself. So there are no fixed measurements, and one would have to check the size while knitting. This is definitely a very good learning experience for me. The only requirement of the Design-along is that the stitch pattern is supposed be a zig-zag pattern. There is a choice of making the exact one Anna made, or making out own. SO i opted for my own choice of pattern.

The front right panel with zig-zag pattern
The front right panel with zig-zag pattern
The back panel with the neck stitches on holder
The back panel with the neck stitches on holder

The 2nd sweater I’m working on by Linda is really slow-moving. It is a traditional sweater with sleeve length options, and seamed. I don’t think I’ve made a seamed sweater before. Once I discovered the joys of seamless knitting, that has always been my choice. However, I’ve read that when it comes to sweaters, seamed is probably what lasts longer! Hmm. I just hope that with the effort going into this one, it does last!

I’m calling my sweater Regal (as it’s not purple ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and its being done is another Oswal variegated yarn, this time in reds.

It was a choice between color and clarity: I chose color! :(
It was a choice between color and clarity: I chose color! ๐Ÿ™

Bothe of these sweaters need to be done by the end of September. While, I’m sure the old Denim will get done, I’m not so confident about the Regal. Here’s to fingers crossed! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Multi-tasking

The fact of the matter is: I’m not really good at this particular thing.

In fact, I tend to start projects, and then focus on any one of them!!! In any case, I really don’t want to go into the new year with loads of unfinished projects. A fact that got drilled into me by a random comment by the DH: why are you making another shawl? I think I saw you make 2 more (UFOs, both) and haven’t seen you wear either! Don’t make any more! (Really??!! But then again, they aren’t complete, so how would you see me use them?)

But of course, the very next day I HAD TO sign on for 2 Mystery Shawl KALs. This is the first time I’ve signed on for something like this. The process is that the designer gives us clues (or rather parts of the design) spread over 1 month. Following the timeline, we need to complete the shawl. Missing the deadline means that the design goes paid, and you will have an unfinished shawl unless you complete on time! The plus side is that I can be sure to complete it by December! ๐Ÿ˜€

The first one is Crushed by Rachel (RemilyKnits), and she has provided us with a swatch. So here’s mine in 3 different variants.

variant One: done with nupps and a single color and looking blah!

Variant 1: cant even make out the nupps on the first repeat ๐Ÿ™

variant Two: done with nupps in variegated yarn… much better!

Variant 2: at least the nupps are visible!

variant Three: done with beads in place of nupps, and prob the yarn I’ll use finally.

Variant 3: beaded wonder! ๐Ÿ˜€

 

 

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Chocolate Fantasy – Mobile Pouch

Every trip to Pune isn’t complete without the requisite craft shopping trip.

This time it was to Samrat Stores @ Laxmi Road. And found the cutest variegated cotton yarn. Ma loved it instantly and said it reminded her of chocolate. And so I decided to make her something special with it.

The final result was a simple mobile pouch, with the cutest wood button (even if I say so myself!).

Chocolate Fantasy