Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dyeing To Meet You.

The jig was nearly up! Last night, I'd assumed man-beast (N) was off doing his own thing, when lo and behold I hear music and a car pulling up at my window.  It was, indeed, the man-beast here as a surprise!
I love when he comes over, and I'm always excited for the surprise.  This time, however, I was in the middle of weaving the ends on his birthday present! Luckily, I got it all packed away from the time I said hello to him at the window, and the time he got into the apartment.

I mentioned Soak Wash doing a photo challenge in my last post.  One of the pictures was to be of dyeing!  Now, I've promised to upload my photos at the end of the month - and I still plan to, however I'd like to post some of the dyeing process!

This is going to be somewhat of an experiment for me, as I'm not using the usual dye... but hair dye!
I started off with blank yarn:

I then boiled some water and added a custom mixture of hair dye, stirring well.  I've dyed a few skeins in the past, and found this to be a simple process to dye - without having to boil the yarn in a pot all day.
Once I had the colour and water the way I wanted, I added in the yarn.

I only use these jugs for dyeing, so there's no danger of cross contamination.
From past experiences, I've noticed the longer you leave them, agitating occasionally, the stronger the yarn colour will be - and the lighter the water gets!
Starting out with very bright water and white yarn, slowly the yarn absorbs the colour:

 It may be a little hard to see, but the yarn is soaking up the dye nicely.  I had no idea if this method would actually work or not, but I'm pleasantly surprised to find it seems to work equally as well as other methods I've used.

Last Year I dyed up some Halloween yarn as part of a prize for a challenge on Ravelry. I'd hoped for it to end up being a self striping skein, but the prize winner hasn't knit with it yet (I know one of them personally) so I'm not quite sure how it turned out.

This one should turn out regardless, since it's all going to be one colour.  I have another 4 skeins of bare yarn (sadly only 50g balls, which is 239 yards), so I may make a set of self striping yarn with koolaid next.  I plan to (eventually) have my own custom dyed yarns, and maybe a monthly yarn club, but it will be a while before I end up with the start up.  I need a good set of yarn base, and a reliable dye system; I'll have to look into my options! 

I'll update with the results of my latest dye excursion once the skeins are finished soaking up the colour and dried.

Friday, September 26, 2014

It's that time again!

Officially Autumn, the air is crisp and cool and we find ourselves amongst pumpkin season!

I love autumn... Pumpkins, Halloween, warm snuggles and cool air... and the Vampire Swap!

I've been a bad blogger lately and haven't posted any of the knitting I've been working on.  I've been sick a fair bit since the last post, and haven't done all too much.  That being said, the High Tops and Icarus are finished, the Surry Hills has been frogged, and Melia hasn't been touched.  I somehow either blocked too aggressively or just have a weird shape, but Icarus doesn't sit well on me - I did use acrylic yarn, that may have something to do with it.  I still don't have any new pictures for any of the previous projects, so there isn't much to show.

With the vampire swap in progress, I am knitting a few small things for that, but they won't be revealed until my partner has received their package. I designed my own pattern for one of the items, and I hope to have the pattern written and available for October, so that may be a spoiler a bit in advance, I'm not sure.

What I *can* show you (I've been working on N's birthday present, and I'm not thrilled with it currently) is miniscule, but hopefully enough to keep you sated!
First up:  Neon Ski Bonnet
This was for the Reddit KAL for October - yes, I'm already done and it's not even the first yet.  We were given the go ahead to cast on as of September 22.  I think I'll likely make another as a gift before the end of next month - because, why not?

Soak  was having an Instagram challenge for knitters in the month of September (October is for Quilters, if you're interested! Sadly I don't know how to quilt, or even where to start), and one of the days was Cowl.  I didn't have any I'd recently knit (I'd gifted all the ones I'd knit in the past), so I knit up my own.  A very basic design, I used the star stitch and that's pretty much it!  It's knit in Malabrigo Worsted which is super warm and soft.

I love this pattern, it's quicj and easy and absolutely adorable.  The designer suggests running a ribbon through it, to hang as a decoration.
This little bat is full of catnip for the brat cats.  Phoenix didn't seem to care too much - it seems he still doesn't know how to play... Demon on the other hand:
He loves it.  I may have to make and keep a few of these as back up, so I'll always have a few lying around for him (although keep the spares in the cupboard where he can't get them! I happened to come home one day after being out with N, and there was catnip bags torn apart - all over the living room.  It seems the two furballs got into the cupboard and pulled out every bit of catnip that was in there, as well as all sorts of toys.  They then ate through the ziplocks to roll around in the nip.  I felt like a parent coming home early to their teenagers throwing a party!

I hope to update a bit more, now that I'm feeling better and hopefully have more knitting coming up!
At the end of the month, I`ll post my soak instagram challenge pictures.