Friday, April 17, 2009

What Happens When...

This is what happens when you leave roving in the washing machine after you spend all that time dyeing it, spinning it and forgetting to take it out and then running a load of heavy bath mats:

It makes great dog dreads too:


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dyeing and Spinning Day

Yesterday was chock full of dyeing and spinning. I got nothing else done except for making dinner and taking kids to and from school.

Here's what I got busy with:

1. Easter Egg Dye: I had three goals with this project.

a) I wanted to play around with mixing some colors. There's a green that I would really like to have a on a sweater, so I got out the Yellow, Blue and Orange dyes and mixed them up. I put a tablespoon of citric acid and one cup of water in glass containers with the dye tablets.

b) Then, I took out some scraps of roving and made crochet chains with them. I wanted to do a different dye technique where I colored the bumps of the chains. I was going for a mottled effect where I would still have some of the white in the roving showing. In the first chain, I combined one part yellow, one part blue and two parts orange. This ended up giving me a lovely olive color, but not what I wanted. The second chain had one part yellow, one part blue and half a part of orange. Got the perfect green in that one. The last chain had all three colors randomly placed all over it, just for fun.

c) Microwave setting the dye (Mini Tutorial). I put the chains, one at a time in a glass dish that was lined with plastic wrap. I then colored them with the dye and then covered the whole dish with more plastic wrap. Next, I turned the microwave on for two minutes. Let it rest for two minutes. Then repeated until the dye was exhausted. Really simple, but you want to be careful not to cook it for longer than two minutes at a time. You could felt your roving/yarn if you cook it longer. Slower is good and it's always better to be safe than sorry!

The Results (re-chained - they were unchained so that they would dry better):
Moss green on top, Mix in the Middle, Olive on the Bottom

I'm thinking I might mix all of these in one tiny spinning project, just for fun.

2. Second dye Project of the day: Dyeing with Dandelions. I made the kids go out with me and pick a big pile of dandelions. It was great fun until we realized there were tiny little bugs on them. Now, I'm a self confessed hypochondriac. It's not good for us to see tiny bugs that might possibly crawl from our hands to the top of our heads. I'm positive no bugs made it into my hair, but now the top of my head has been itching like crazy for two days! I'll tell you about this project more tomorrow, it's still in process.

3. Spinning Project of the day: Actually, this would be a Plying project. I had two bobbins that needed to be plied and this was not how it turned out, at first.:

This was the second time around. The first time was way over-plied, crunchy hard and mega twisty. I ran it back through the wheel and untwisted quite a bit of it. This is approx. 216 yards, give or take. This is a two ply yarn and was intentionally made thick and then. I want this yarn to be more rustic looking.

I have a bobbin of more plied yarn that needs to be skeined and I've got about 4 more ounces to spin and ply of this stuff. I have a project in mind, but there's no guarantee I'll get enough yardage for it. So, I'm keeping the project under my hat until it's determined whether I'll have enough yarn or not.

Whew! That's it. Now can you see why I didn't get anything else accomplished yesterday?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How I Spent My Morning

I haven't knit anything in, like, four days. I'm starting to get the shakes. My hands have been all twitchy and stuff.

I finished a big project and want to start another. The problem, is that I used up my spare change to buy fiber to spin, so there's no money for yarn. So last night and tonight I will be spinning like crazy to get enough yarn for a medium sized project at least.

Meanwhile, this morning I started opening boxes of Easter Egg dye (25 of them to be exact) and breaking everything down into it's component parts:

I now have 25 of each of the 6 colors that came in the box in separate bags. I also clipped the directions and put one in each of the bags. The directions were interesting because they gave instructions on using different kinds of acids to get different shades of each color. I probably won't pay much attention to these, but it will be nice to have them if I get curious. I ended up with one mixed colors bag. I had one box of PAAS dye that came with 12 different colors in it. Nothing labeled, so telling one from the other was just too much to take. I'll play with those later and figure out what they are the hard way.

Unfortunately, I now have 25 sheets of stickers, 25 sheets of an Easter memory game, 25 sheets of cardboard circle creator thingies and 25 egg dipping tools. There has to be some use for these, doesn't there? I hate throwing these kind of things away. Feels wasteful. The stickers won't be a problem, The Youngest will take care of those, but the rest? If anyone has any crafty ideas on what to do with those, I'm all ears! My Sister In Law is a teacher. Maybe she could use some of those for something.

This afternoon's project will be to dye some wool top in the microwave. I haven't done that before. I'm also going to experiment with mixing some of the egg dye and hand painting it onto the wool. I'm really looking forward to making a big mess in the kitchen. I might, maybe, eventually cook dinner for the family too.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Something Useful for Bloggers

I found a useful site that I thought that I would share with the other bloggers out there. It's called Tracer and it helps protect the content of your site. If anyone copies the content of your site, it basically forces them to give you credit for your work. No more of this copy/paste/change a few words and take credit nonsense! Yeah!

It's free and quick to add this to your blog as well. You register on their site, insert a simple line of script into your html on your blog and you're good to go! Love this.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Believe it or not, I got more than enough time to knit this past weekend. I actually finished the Owls Sweater. It's not blocked yet and I don't have a modeled photo of it yet (fits great, but snug - note to self: block it bigger, lose weight or get another pair of Spanx), but I do have this:

I used glass beads for the eyes. They are not gold in real life. They are red with swirls of gold, green and blue and are stunning to look at. This pic does not do them justice. I tried and tried to get a good one for you today, but the stars were just not aligned right.

This morning I took a trip to Walmart for some 50% off Easter goodies and boy, did I find them. Check it out:
Normally 88 cents a piece - Got 'em for 40 cents a piece. I bought 20 of them. Gotta love a good sale. Have I told you that Sale is one of my favorite words? It ranks right behind the word Free. :) These should color a heck of a lot of roving/yarn. Not pictured: I grabbed some dessert paper plates and napkins for 50 cents a piece, 1 yellow and 1 green. Also, some cute brightly striped kitchen towels for a buck a piece.

Somebody got some fake teeth in his Easter Basket this year:

A face only a mother could love?
Notice the chocolate on his face as well. Boy devoured his chocolate bunny in about three seconds flat.