Sunday, January 31, 2010

All about socks

I love to visit a few thrift shops in my area. I usually check out the dishes (I collect pottery and have come across some unbelievable finds) and the linens (I love nice linens!). I do not often check out the books, clothes and shoes.
When I went to my favorites thrift shop last week, for some reason, I started to check out the craft books they had. I got this wonderful sock knitting book!
I was really excited about it.
The book is written in such a way to teach loads of techniques on making great socks.

I started reading Chapter one and the first pattern teaches a different way of doing the gusset increases. The little sock is called Little Sky. Clic on the name to see it's Ravelry page.
I could not only make one of these practice socks, so I got extra practice by making the second too! After all, a pair of socks is much better than a single!!
Notice how the increases are done on the front of the sock and not on the side.
It has really nice explanation of how to pick up the wrap and turn stitches on the short row heal.
The little socks will most likely be a little bit big for bébé O but they will fit her later.

Now on to the next chapter that calls for toe up socks called Little Coriolis. I've never done that kind of cast on yet. So it should be interesting!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Just in

I am just so glad that it's Friday today. Allthough, it's quite cold, the sky is blue and the sun is shinning. I just love favorite time of the year.

But the best part of today is I just received a package with my online order from KnitPicks. It's the first time I order from them and I have to say the service was wonderful and the shipping fast enough.
Want to see what I ordered?
I decided to start with some yarn, Natural Bare Peruvian Wool Worsted yarn. Why bare? So that I can play around with more colours and dye again.

And to take it one step further, I also ordered a sock blank. This is a knittted piece that you dye then unknit to knit your socks. Since the blank is double knitted, you use one strand for one sock and the other for the second sock. That way both socks are identical in colour. This should definetly be fun.

This little gadget is a yarn cutter. You simply pull the yarn through one of the little dents on the medallion to cut your yarn. The great thing about this is there is no sharp edges in your knitting bag and the big bonus for me is that I can take it on the plane with me. I travel a fair bit and I like to carry my knitting with me. I had bought a similar yarn cutter at Michael's for $12 and this one was only $4.99. A good buy!!

I have dyed with Kool Aid and Easter Egg dyes but I wanted to try the Jacquard dyes. Now I will have a good selection of colours to give this a good try!

But where to start when you learn things by yourself??
I ordered these two books to guide me along! I have quickly leafed through them and they look wonderful!!!

The great thing is that both of these books were at 40% off. Even with the shipping, they were a whole lot cheaper than if I had bought them in a bookstore in Canada.

I also ordered one other thing but it was shipped seperately, so I will tell you about that later on.

Guess what I will be doing this weekend?
I'll be back with pictures to show you.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Better get your sunglasses for this one!

After using KoolAid dyes to dye my yarn, I decided to try using the Easter egg dye I bought last April. I was curious to see what each colour would give. So I mix vinegar and water with each of the five colours that came in the box and decided to 'paint' sections of my skein

With gloves on, I worked the colour in the yarn section by section. I liked seeing the new colour produced when two colours overlapped (ie: the purple between the pink and blue)

I then rolled it all up in plastic wrap and set it in a glass container.

I heated it in the microwave for 2 minutes at a time, about 4 times. (Let it rest 5 minutes between each time.)

Once cooled, I proceeded to rinse it and the colours ran way too much. So back into vinegar and water to set the dye. This time I placed it in a low oven for 30 minutes.

That did it, the colours were set and no more bleeding. Once dried, the colours are vibrant and wild!

Very happy colours indeed.

This yarn is a bulky yarn. It would work really well for a felted project or for a child's item. At 8.5 ounces (242 g), there is plenty.

I will add it to my Etsy shop.

I must try my Jacquard dyes next time!! I'll keep you posted

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Here we go...

I finally got around to dyeing some handpainted yarns today!

My experience with dyeing yarns has always been with one single shade at a time.
But this time I used four flavors that kindda gave me four different colours.

I used KoolAid powders in:
  • Tropical Punch
  • Grape
  • Cherry
  • Ice Blue

The Tropical Punch and Cherry are pretty close in colour but the Tropical Punch is a bit darker. In retrospect I should have seperated those two colours a bit more than I did when I handpainted the yarn.

Here you see the yarn drying after the whole dyeing process. I actually hung it over our cookstove by opening the door to the warming oven. Too impatient to let it dry slowly.

Turned out ok. But I was not quite so happy with it so I decided to overdye it with Tropical Punch KoolAid. I found it had too much blue.

I'll get a pic of the new yarn as soon as I can.