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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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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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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! πŸ™‚

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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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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Whew! What a Hectic Year!

I seem to have started the year on a Knitting Sprint of sorts! I have absolutely no time to blog at all. πŸ™‚ This post is basically a catch up of what I did in December.

December started off peaceful enough. I was on a holiday for most of the month and just made a few projects, but the pace kind of increased as the year ended. The projects I finished during this time were:

Winter Chill Reversible Hat (test knit): this one I ended up gifting away. Well, it wasn’t meant to be mine! πŸ™‚

The right side: reversible hat
The right side: reversible hat
the inside of the reversible hat
the inside of the reversible hat

Cephalopod Pot Hat (test knit):

One more hat to my skills! :)
One more hat to my skills! πŸ™‚

Scarflette for my MIL: This was entirely reverse engineered from one of the machine-knit ready-made scarf that my MIL had. This is a common sight around South India, and I just had to make one for her! πŸ™‚

scarflette
scarflette

And I started a sweater for my nephew – Gilbert: I’m going to put up the WIP picture of the sweater, as it was at the end of 2013! πŸ™‚

the Gilbert! :)
the Gilbert! πŸ™‚

 

At the very end of the month, on the Ravelry Groups suggested we cast-on for a new project on the 1st, and complete it during the month. I couldn’t resist now could I?! So that’s what I did… I waited! πŸ˜€

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Complete – Cephalopod Pot Hat

Okay, so that was a tongue twister of a name! But that’s what the designer, Jennifer Law, named it. And I simply call it “Hat”. πŸ™‚

The design is simple, but made complex with errors on the designer’s part. But that doesn’t detract from the overall look, which is pretty cool. Β But who doesn’t make errors? After all, correcting those mistakes is what test-knitting is all about!

So here’s my funky new hat!

my new hat!
my new hat!

 

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Regal – Finally Complete!

This sweater has been long time in the making. But yes, it’s been finally completed. I do thank the designer, Linda Marveng, for being nice to me by letting me take my time with this sweater.

The completed sweater
The completed sweater

This sweater is my first “assembled” sweater, where I’ve made all the part separately and then sewn them all together. It’s been a long journey to get it all together, and I’m really happy with the final result. πŸ™‚

The yarn that I’ve used is a lovely variegated yarn in reds, and is of fingering weight. As is most yarn in India, this too is acrylic. The whole sweater is knit on 3.25mm and 3mm needles to give a lovely thick fabric.

short sleeve with picot style edging
short sleeve with picot style edging

 

narrow button band
narrow button band

 

buttonholes made with extra sts to give a slightly loopy effect :)
buttonholes made with extra sts to give a slightly loopy effect πŸ™‚

 

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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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WIP – A New Crochet Motif

Now that I’m done with granny squares in crochet, I thought it was time to learn something new. Of course, I cannot do this the easy way and look for a nice stitch and learn properly. I HAVE to go for something more difficult. So I decided to make a collage of motifs. I’m not sure how the whole thing will look, but I’ll try anyway.

In spite of the difficult task I set myself, I did manage to land on my feet anyway. The motif I found on YouTube was posted by Crochet Geek, and featured how to make a circle into a square. The problem was that I’d never crocheted a circle, forget making it into a square. But I managed. And I’m pretty happy with the result!

Couple of things that I learnt along the way are:

  • sc and hdc – Β I already knew dc but the others had to be viewed a couple of times before I got the hang of it.
  • Crocheting through a stitch – I had to rip up a couple of times before I got the hang of this one
  • 4-ply could mean anything – When the presenter spoke about 4-ply I assumed she meant fingering weight. But when I got done, it seemed much lighter than the motif shown on-screen. Then I figured that though she said 4-ply she meant anything up to DK :(! While what I used was almost light-fingering. So lesson learnt was to watch the videos VERY carefully, esp when they show the yarns! πŸ™‚
Crochet Motif
Crochet Motif
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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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Finally – Progress!

After struggling to keep knitting through the last couple of weeks, I finally managed to get the biggest piece of Linda Marveng’s Regal Purple done. I’m calling it Regal, and it’s in a lovely set of reds. The yarn is from Oswal Fibers, though this is the first time I don’t see a tag on their yarns. But my LYS insists that these are Oswal’s yarns…

The reason I say biggest piece is because this is a seamed cardigan. I just finished the back. The remaining pieces are the fronts’, the sleeves and the button band. So there’s a long way to go yet.

The problem with reds is that they don’t seem to photograph well. πŸ™ I havent given the shoulders in the pics, because, well, I’m not keen on a set of stitch-holders in my pics! πŸ™‚

The back
The back
The design
The design