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Showing posts from August, 2014

Dyeing Semi-Solid & a New Project

Inspired by a tutorial video mentioned in an earlier entry, I decided to dye some semi-solid yarn.

I started with cream/natural (I think they call it "aran") Fishermen's Wool.  Wound the whole skein onto the swift into a large hank and tied in a few places (as always).  Pre-soaked the yarn.  Heated a large stock pot.  Mixed up some food coloring...

I basically followed the method in the video.  I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, and for a while I was concerned that it was going to be plain ugly.

Fortunately, there's almost always the option of adding more dye, and until it dried, I was pretty sure that I'd need to over-dye (dye it again) to get some variation in color.  When it was completely dry, though, there seemed to be enough subtle shading to keep it interesting, so I wound it into a gigantic cake. 

Not sure if you can tell from the photo, but that's a lot of yarn for one cake!   The winder could just barely handle it, toward the last fe…

More on Nickel-Plated Needles

Yesterday, I read this Ravelry thread on nickel-plated needles. 

(It's good to know that other people have this problem, too.)

So, it sounds like the thing to do for cloudiness (which apparently results in drag) is the following:

1. Polish with a microfiber cloth.  (Some suggest a jeweler's cloth-- usually for cleaning sterling silver jewelry.)   If that's not enough...

2. Polish with vinegar on a soft cloth.  (Someone else suggests a damp cloth and baking soda or toothpaste and a cotton cloth.) If that's not enough...

3. Clean/polish with something stronger.  (WD40?  Specially formulated tarnish remover for nickel-plating-- or possibly chrome?)

Sounds like those methods may work for some people, but not for others-- and once the plating has completely worn through in spots, there's not much you can do, short of re-plating them, which isn't really an option.

I've read that cleaning the needles with alcohol can prevent or delay tarnishing, but honestly, I&…

Drat My Bizarre, Metal-Eating Body Chemistry!

How's that for a title?  ;o)

I bought a set of interchangeable knitting needles from Tuesday Morning several months back.  (Just checked.  It's been nearly a year.)  They are nickel-plated, Boye "Artisan" line.  I had some qualms about the nickel-plating, because I've had trouble in the past with nickel-plated embroidery needles.  (The nickel wears off.)  Well, it was a good price, and I hoped the coating of the knitting needles would be better than those cheap embroidery needles.  Worth a try.

I've been using them now and then.  I don't knit that much, but still, they've gotten some use.

Right now, the Frosting cowl is on the size 9's-- and this evening, I noticed that the surface of one of the needles is "cloudy" (the best word I can think of to describe it).  The other needle might be slightly cloudy, too, but the one is much more noticeable.  It's mostly on the "back" part of the needle, away from the tip, and the bit o…

"Catch a Wave" Doily

Here's a recently finished object-- something I've labeled my "Catch a Wave" doily.

Janice (on her blog, Passion of Love) reverse engineered from a doily in her collection, explaining it to her readers as she went, as well as providing plenty of helpful photos.  (Thanks to Pammy Sue for sharing the link!)

Janice worked her doily in autumn colors to prepare for the next season, but when I looked over my own supply of partially used balls of thread, I found more blues than autumnal hues, thus the whole "Catch a Wave" thing.

This was originally supposed to be a CAL, but I came to the party late.  That doesn't really matter, though, and the pattern's still there for any other latecomers.

It was an interesting change of pace to work from something other than a traditional written pattern or a chart.  However, practically my first real project was worked from something written in the same "tutorial" style-- Lucy's (from Attic24) JAYG hexagon…

Dyeing à la Microwave

Back as promised with details from the dyeing!

Administer caffeine now, because this one's a rambler... (Or, you know, skim and/or skip at will.)

- - - - - - -
The goal was to dye yarn with (what I believe are usually called) long color repeats.

The key to long color repeats is to not just make one long hank of yarn by either whirling it onto the swift or wrapping it around chairs, end of a table, etc.  You can do that and carefully dip or paint sections in different colors if you want short repeats, which read as blips of color in knitted or crocheted fabric.

For example, I dyed this yarn with lots of splotches of color, which was lots of fun to do:

And then I knitted it into this hat, which I found disappointing:

It was just too mottled for my taste.

Striping it with another, darker yarn, though, yielded a result that I did like, because it broke up some of the mottling.  Still, though, I think you can see what I mean by "blips of color":

Short repeats can be fine or…

Purposeful Dyeing

A couple of days ago, something reminded me of a scarf that I've admired for years-- Moonstitches' Rhubarb Scarf.  I'd like to make something similar. 

The stitch itself seems simple enough.  It's a version of the well-known "Catherine Wheel".  What's more, there's now a free pattern inspired by the scarf, so you don't have to fiddle around with working out a pattern for yourself.  (It even includes a ruffled edge!)

However, for me, the allure of the original scarf has at least as much to do with the color choices as it does with the stitch pattern (though that scrumptious ruffled edge has definite appeal).  But that yarn is Japanese, difficult to locate (possibly discontinued), and when located, is not the right colorway-- and costs more than I'm willing to pay, anyway. 

The yarn in question (Diakeito Diamusee Fine) is a "light fingering"-- and I happen to have a few skeins of perfectly dye-able light fingering yarn in my stash.  …

Mysteryghan Update!

Still keeping pace, though behind on the photos... This blog entry will catch me up, though.

For last week's clue-- squaring the decagon-- I was sure that I didn't have enough of that particular peach left to finish the "medallion", so I swapped to my new peach (ILTY brand).  I knew the two weren't exactly the same shade, but it wasn't until the next day that I saw them in better light and thought, "Hm.  The vintage peach makes the new peach look a little drab-- dare one say dirty?-- by comparison."  But I left it.  Because I didn't want to rip back and rework.  (And I'm not sure I'd have had enough of my darker vintage peach yarn, anyway.  Yes, I'm using three shades of peach in this afghan.  What of it?)

Anyway, I'm still telling myself that it'll look ok when it's done.  And to be honest, I'm not sure where this afghan will go, anyway.  It can be an emergency afghan for the car, or something, if the color choices d…