Thursday, September 27, 2007

What I did for my summer vacation

I meant to post this earlier. We had such fun making these videos. Does my hair look like Sting's or what?!?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Dyeing with goldenrod and overdyeing with kool-aid

As we drove home from our summer vacation in northern Michigan several weeks ago, I stared forlornly at all of the blooming goldenrod in the fields we passed. I was just aching to pick some and take it home and try dyeing with it. But our car was already so full of junk and so I hoped that I'd just find some when we got home.

So, when we drove down our alley at home I discovered that it grows almost everywhere! I tried it out on some superwash yarn I bought at my lys (I was too impatient to wait for undyed sock yarn to come in the mail so I just bought 2 skeins of Dale of Norway Baby Ull in the off white shade). I think it will make fine sock yarn.

I first mordanted the yarn using an alum mordant. I then made the dyebath by soaking the blossoms in a pot of water overnight and then steeping them for about an hour or so. I put the blossoms in bags made from panty hose so I didn't have to filter out the dye bath very much. The dyeing directions I followed said that for the lighter, less "dirty" shades of yellow to steam the yarn in the dye bath for only about 10 minutes or so. Even still, the color was awfully bright (sorry, no pics this time). It seemed like a repeat of the mullein dyeing but at least this time I was equipped with some packets of kool-aid from the pantry (and some food coloring too).

I was very happy with the results this time. I overdyed the goldenrod dyed yarn with 3 shades of kool-aid/wylers/food coloring. I overdyed with blue food coloring to get the deep aqua color. For the orange I overdyed using a cherry lemonade flavor (or maybe it was watermelon strawberry - I just can't remember!). And I got the lime green colorway just from using lemon-lime kool-aid. The skein on the right was how it looked after dyeing and I rewound the skein on the left to see what the colors would look like mingled together. I need to think of a fun sock pattern to knit to bring out the colors.

My other thoughts are that it might look lovely to dye with goldenrod and then overdye with indigo. So, I made another batch of dye and stuck it in the freezer. It will be a good project for when the endless winter starts to get to me.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bird of Paradise Socks Started

I am so utterly behind in my sock club socks! This is the beginning of the Bird of Paradise Socks from Sundara's Petals Collection. This is the FEBRUARY 2007 mailing! How will I ever catch up? Anyway, the colors are pretty and the pattern is very basic - which is nice because I don't have to think too much! I hope to have it done soon, so I can move on to the Socks That Rock April 2007 mailing! Eek!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New Sock Stash Goodies

This summer I heard about a new yarn shop, Thistledown Shoppe, that opened in Suttons Bay, Michigan. We were in Suttons Bay for an art show (wonderful show - always takes place the first weekend in August) and I made sure to stop in. The woman who owns it (so sorry - can't remember her name!) was extremely nice. She made it really inviting to want to be there.

I tried to control myself and managed to escape without major damage. I really wanted to find some sock yarn to make my husband some socks but everything I showed him was "too colorful." So, I had to just buy for myself - darn! I bought 2 skeins of Shi Bui 100% superwash merino sock yarn in the Pebble colorway (each skein is 50 g - 191 yards). I just love the mixture of all the natural tones with pale blue. I also bought a honkin' big 100 g - skein of Opal ZwergerGarn sock yarn (75% Schurwolle, 25% Polyamid). I have no idea exactly what it is, as the label is in German, but the color number is 211. It is a lovely mixture of pastels and grey. I tried to figure out just what it is called but couldn't really find it anywhere on the internet. Anyway, I am looking forward to seeing how it knits up. If anyone knows what this yarn is called, please let me know!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Le bikini est fini!

Well, I finally finished the bikini. Needless to say, it was challenging since I had to just do my own thing. Luckily I have this watergirl bikini that fits pretty well and I just used it as a model to follow. The bottom started out pretty well but I got to the end of the pattern and the bikini wasn't nearly big enough, so I just kept knitting until I had the height and width I needed. Fortunately the relationship between height and width was o.k. as I kept knitting, so I ended up knitting and increasing until I had 106 stitches for the size 6 bottom instead of the 82 stitches required by the pattern. It's a little late to wear it this year since the beach-going days are about over, but at least it's done!

Bikini details:
Pattern from Knitty Gritty
Yarn: Cascade Fixation in Magenta (6185), Chartreuse (5806) & Turquoise (2706). Pattern calls for 1 skein of each but I needed 2 for the Magenta
Sizes Made: Top - B cup; Bottom - size 6