Confession time…

I’ve been sorting through my purchases and acquisitions from my trip home and I think I can see why I needed another bag coming back.

Aside from the yarn (12 skeins) and fabric (at least 6 meters) I acquired a few books, a new spindle, niddy noddy, swift and ball winder.  I could pretend I’ve not been to Socktopus since and haven’t been shopping, but I went for the Superspin 2 class last weekend and will be back up on the 12th for the second part of the class so this may not be over yet…

Check out Tripping Yarns for a contest she is running. She’s doing a 100km walk in 30 hours and my feet are hurting even thinking about it. I’ve donated a prize and you can see it here.

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Back home again

Well I’m back, and after a week and a half I pretty much have caught up with work again so I should really catch up with the blog as well. It was a great holiday and a chance to relax. Unfortunately the camera didn’t turn up so I’m waiting for all the confirmations from the airline that they haven’t found it now.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the things I got up to:

  • Got to spend time with my parents, sister, and brother
  • Played with my nephew (he’s good at sharing his food with me now – even yummy food like popsicles and lollipops)
  • Had a lovely visit with my Grandma who was also visiting
  • Stood outside a yarn shop on a Sunday morning drop spindling from 6:30am to 11am then gave up and went home because they weren’t opening until 1pm… OK I was marshalling the marathon and my post on the 10K and 5K route just happened to be outside Make One Yarn Studio
  • Saw that you can kayak Elbow falls – so maybe DH will need to come on the next holiday
  • Finally managed to see bluebirds
  • Had afternoon naps
  • Cleared out some of the boxes of stuff still in the basement
  • And finally, went to a *few* yarn and fabric shops… but more about that when I can either borrow a camera or find the really old one we have and see if it still works

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Across The Sea

It is so nice to have the week off – I’m sitting here enjoying the Canadian sunshine and having a great time seeing all the family. I’m not sure the tan is advancing much but the knitting is – I’ve started and almost finished a Forst Canopy Shawl for my Mom and have picked up my Tulip Cardigan for my nephew. It was supposed to be his Christmas present so it is lucky he is quite skinny as I will just need to add some extra stripes to the body and arms for it to fit him.

We had a great visit to Shuttleworks yesterday so I now have all my Christmas presents from my parents… I wonder if this means I can open them and start using them now? Today I’m spending the day with my nephew and tomorrow I’ll be going to the quilt festival at Heritiage Park.

Unfortunately there are no pictures yet as I managed to leave the camera in the UK. Luckily since I’m with family I can borrow others though so I should have some pictures at some time.

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Not another craft….

I had a great time today on the Inkle Weaving workshop I attended by Anne Dixon after a fantastic talk by her at the Guild yesterday. After warping up last night during the Eurovision voting we were all ready to go this morning. We learned the basic weaving, and Repp before moving onto pickups so that we can make designs and finally lettering. I only have photos of the basic weaving at the moment as we were just too busy experimenting. I think I’ll stay with the knitting but it was a fun workshop and I may need to make a necklace to hang my Guild badge on for meetings and the Summer School.

Inkle

Inkle

On the Knitting front I have made a new bag – the Mitered Diamond Bag by Kristi Schueler from Interweave Felt, 2008 (rav links) and have been working on my last Socktopus Sock clup package – Over the Garden Wall byLoumms. I’m really pleased with the bag and actually managed to take photos before and after felting. It was big enough that I was able to sit inside the bag before it was felted.

Mitred Diamond Bag

Mitred Diamond Bag

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Filed under Bags, Finished Objects, Knitting, New Project, Socks

It’s getting warmer

It’s getting warm here and I’m nursing my sunburn from the last two weekends – strangely enough I must have been facing the same way both weekends since my right arm is much worse than the left.

I hope everyone is having sunshine to enjoy but that you are being more sensible than me and are wearing sunscreen.

I’ve also learned something new about natural dying – don’t overload the dyepot. You can see this in the cochineal below – from left to right – original dyepot, fibre int he 1st exhaust, yarn in the first exhaust, yarn in the second exhaust… The first exhaust had a lot is things in it and obviously this affected the takeup of the dye. I’ll need to remember this for the future.

Cochineal

Cochineal

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Spiral Dying Results

Spiral Dying

Spiral Dying

Here are my results from the dying… I’m not that keen on the results on this one either and I don’t think I have the proportions and technique right yet so I think I’ll leave the acid dying until Summer School where I will be spending a week doing “Fun with Acid Dyes” with Amanda Hannaford. I’m really looking forward to it and I think I’ll learn a lot.

From the Brochure:
The course will start with basic instruction on making and using dye stocks. Recipes and methods will be given for creating repeatable colours and varying depths of shade. We will concentrate mainly on dyeing wool and silk, but also will experiment with some of the newer fibres and different animal hairs.
The course will deal with colour mixing and how to make all colours of the rainbow from a limited starting palette, how to use a photograph or artwork as a colour design source and colour matching.
We will cover many different ways of applying the dyes to yarn and fibre:- space dyeing, injection dyeing, two tone dyeing, rainbow dyeing and dyeing small amounts in the microwave. We will also use the dyes to create patterning on yarn and fabric, including such techniques as Shibori, Ikat, Dip dyeing and creating delicate effects on silk fabric in the microwave

I’ve knit up some of my Logwood spiral dye attempt and made Reverie as I felt the spirals were appropriate. Taking the advise on Ravelry I made the larger size and increased the number of rounds before the decreases. I did 9 extra rounds and it is nice and slouchy now.

Reverie

Reverie

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It followed me home… can I keep it?

We had our Guild meeting yesterday and somehow I seem to have come home with the following:

  • a variety of spinning fibre samples: Coloured Cotton, Silk, Camel, Musk Ox, and Quivet
  • Dyed Silk to spin to be woven into scarves for the Guild Exhibition raffle in October
  • A Flick Carder
  • Dying equipment: Syringes, a beaker and a glass stirring rod
  • An Inkle Loom (borrowed from the Guild for the workshop next month with Anne Dixon and also because the Online Guild is doing Inkle Weaving next month as well)
  • A book on colour and a copy of Handwoven and Spin Off (OK these aren’t for me they’re a delivery)

Actually it isn’t too bad… In January or February I came home with 3 big bags of brown carded shetland tops and some black Wensleydale locks. The talk was Knitting for Spinners by Fiona Morris.

It looks like I’ll have to keep spinning and dying then…

I’ve decided to spend the morning dying. The I’d Dye For Britain (rav link) group on Ravelry is doing a dye along on spiral dying so I thought I’d have a go. I’m using a few online tutorials (Diane Mullholand’s, Moggle’s, and Picperfects) and adapting them. Unfortunately my camera is canoeing in Wales this weekend so I’ll have to see if I can get the old one to work.
My plan is as follows:

  • double up my skein of undyed sock yarn (last night)
  • wind into 20g mini-skeins attached together (last night)
  • soak in water overnight (last night)
  • mix up a solution of the dye – I’m using Kemtex Easy Dyes in Sage. (I don’t have instructions so I am winging it). I’ve mixed up about 150 mL
  • Divide this as follows into cups – 10 mL, 20 mL, 30 mL 40 mL, 50 mL (already using my new syringes)
  • Dilute to the same volume in each cup
  • working on cling film dye each mini-skein at a different strength wrapping each into a sausage in cling film
  • lay my sausages in my dying roasting tray and steam for an hour at 150C

Wish me luck….

I should probably admit that this is actually my second attempt. I thought I’dtry and see if I could do this with natural dyes.

I made mini-skeins in different lengths from my 100g of yarn (50%Merino, 50% Tencel)- 5 turns round my end table (yes I do have several niddy noddys but I like using my nested tables as well), then 10, 15, etc to the end of the skein. I thought I could make a triangular shawl and this would keep the colour changes gradual.

I soaked 30 g of logwood overnight. It started a gorgeous purple but overnight turned a funny brown so looking online I added a little tin and the purple returned. I like mordanting at the same time (impatience mostly) so after briningin to a steaming heat (not simmering or boiling, just lightly steaming) I added 8 g Alum, 7 g Cream of Tartar, and the largest mini-skein. Every 7 minutes I added amother one then after they were all in gave another 15 minutes of heating before turning off the heat. Every 7 minutes I would remove a skein (most recent first), allowing it to cool then rinsing. There is a bit of graduation but not as much as I was hoping.

There was a lot oc colour left so I added a skein of sock yarn and some roving as well as a silk scarf. There was still colour in the exhaust so I have put it in a jar and will sture it in the garage to see what aging does to it. I’m going to be doing the dying the reds that the online Guild is doing this month at some point and one of the things we are doing for it is soaking brazilwood and storing it for several months.

Spiral Dying - Logwood

Spiral Dying - Logwood

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