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Showing posts from August, 2011

Indigo woes

One of my most involved recent projects has been a gift knit with 2 skeins of Dazzling 4 ply yarn from The Natural Dye Studio.
Throughout the whole knit I have been frustrated by excess dye rubbing off onto my fingers; I don't mind getting covered in dye but was concerned with the prospect of giving a flawed gift.
 I tried a few experiments with sample sized pieces of the yarn, based on my previous dye-speriments, & on advise from the Natural Dye Studio.

 L-R;
1 Simmering in vinegar solution for 40 minutes; blue yarn was turned grey, & excess dye still marking hands
2 Soaking overnight in vinegar solution (a glug of vinegar in small basin of water); yarn was slightly faded & still marking hands
3 Washing with dish-washing liquid; in this case Ecover; yarn was very faded but did not mark hands anymore
4 Untreated, for control purposes.

After trying these experiments I was livid; with only a week before the gift-giving occasion I had to make this work. I was gutted tha…

Winding yarn by hand

A couple of yarnie friends have recently mentioned that they are not entirely comfortable hand-winding yarn into centre pull balls (or 'cakes'). I use the inner tube from a roll of cling-film; it's longer & sturdier than a toilet roll insert, so I find it easier to handle, especially for 400 metre skeins of sock yarn. I've covered mine in clear contact plastic because I cannot stand the feel of yarn rubbing against cardboard. I also use a swift to hold the skein; this is much less of a work-out than unwinding the skein over your knees or a chair, & takes less time. It takes me about 30 minutes to wind a 400 metre skein of sock yarn, while watching TV & not particularly hurrying. I feed the end of the yarn down through the centre of the tube, & use a little bit of sticky tape to fix the end into place about halfway up the outside of the tube. Then, I start winding the yarn around the tube from left to right (as seen from the front of the tube). After …

Finished knits; the baby boom!

The babies have started to arrive, so I've been rushing to finish some baby knits.
First FO; Owlet by Kate Davies Yarn; Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran; this was the 6 month size. Second FO; a log cabin blanket. There are several blanket patterns available online, so I knit a variation of the theme, starting with 10 stitches & increasing by 10 stitches for every section. I knit this using 3 shades of Sirdar Snuggly DK & finished with a crochet edging. Of course, my family pointed out that my choice of safe gender-neutral colours are also the Kerry County colours. And this new baby is in Cork. So I had to knit something red.
Hello Baby Hat by Susan B Anderson Yarn; Debbie Bliss Cashmerino aran. I decided against making the wee fruit topper as per the pattern. This will go in the post later in the week. I am assured that new mam & baby boy are doing well, & the new auntie (my bestest friend in the whole world) is looking forward to conversations about art & politic…

FO; Lacy Baktus scarf in handspun yarn

Pattern; Lacy Baktus by Tehri Montonen Yarn; 'Louisa' merino tencel fibre, dyed by LHogan and spun by me (2 ply) Needles; 4 mm
I enjoyed knitting this pattern; it was just simple enough to carry around for social knitting, but the lacy pattern, combined with the subtle shifting colours of the handspun yarn make a nice, interesting and just-pretty-enough finished scarf. The only difficulty was figuring out the middle of my yarn so I could make the most of it! Mostly because I didn't weigh & mark the yarn into halves before knitting.
PS.. yes this is the yarn that appears in my blog header.