Emergency Project: The Conclusion

This is one in a series of posts about an emergency (of my own making) project – here’s the post that started it allthe first update, the second update, the third update.

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Finished!

There it is in all it’s glory: the finished blanket, slightly squished to fit on the couch cushions. I have maybe 1/8th of each skein left. I wove in the last end late yesterday afternoon but could have easily finished it on Thursday if I had taken it on the trip, though I opted instead to take smaller projects. That’s 5 (4) days to make a baby blanket, somewhere between 30-40 hours. Granted, it’s a thick, heavy baby blanket, but a blanket nonetheless.

IMG_6299But I couldn’t let the color stand. I tossed the finished blanket in the washer and dashed off to JoAnn for some dye. I was planning on using one of the liquid Rit dyes but the colors just seemed blah. Tulip jumped on a marketing opportunity and has started to package some of their dyes in a yarn dying kit, sold in a display with undyed cotten yarn, but those colors and the colors in the mothership display (the individual dye rack) were too close to neon for me. I ended up bringing home 3 packets of Dylon dye, in 2 colors. Please note, I haven’t used these dyes before – last time I used Jacquard Acid Dye and I’ve done a bunch of natural dyeing and plenty of fabric makeovers with Rit, both liquid and powder.

The Dylon directions involve stirring the dye pot (with the thing you’re dyeing in it) occasionally for 10 minutes and then constantly for 45 minutes. I don’t have that kind of patience. Dylon, unlike acid dye, is set with table salt (Rit varies depending on the fiber you’re dyeing), so I weighed the appropriate amount of salt (12oz) and dumped it in my front loading washer. Then I carefully cut open all 3 dye packets at once and emptied them onto the salt mountain. Finally, I added the still-damp blanket, closed the door, and ran it on my washer’s Deep Steam cycle.

I immediately ran it through another wash cycle with detergent without opening the washer. At the end of that cycle, I opened it up to see the blanket artfully spread on the back of the washer drum:

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Blocking by washer

When I pulled it out, there was some yarn barf that I stupidly didn’t take a picture of – one of my bound off edges came undone somehow, I’m not sure what I did to cause it because the yarn tail was still securely woven in. I tossed the blanket in the dryer (and ran the washer empty to get rid of any remaining dye) and after the blanket dried, repaired the wonky edge. I tossed it back into the washer again, this time with some dark colored beach towels; I really don’t want the dye to leach onto my friend’s laundry. So, here’s the final blanket this morning:

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And a closeup:

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I like it much much more all blue. The uniform color makes the stitch pattern stand out while still being slightly variegated and interesting. Here’s a comparison shot of the finished blanket and the finished dyed blanket, almost matched up side by side:
Left: finished blanket before washing, dyeing, and drying. Right: after. Details on my blog soon/later today. #knittersofinstagram #knitting #knitdesign #knittersofig #yarndyeing #dylondye

I just got back from lunch with my friend; her doctor has tentatively scheduled a c-section on October 6 for her and her little boy. She looks beautiful but miserable because it’s so effing hot out – it’s 95ºF/35ºC but with humidity factored in it feels like 111º/44º. She has a 2 year old daughter and babysits her 1 year old twin nephews during the week and boy oh boy is she ready to have this baby.

Anyway, she really liked the blanket. I also gave her the Herringbone Rainbow BB Blanket because IMO the one I made this week is too thick & heavy for a baby blanket. So why did I make it? The last one that I made similar to this, Super Quick, my sister in-law loved – it worked really well for nap time to sort of weigh my nephew down so he wasn’t as restless as his older brother was. So I thought that out of 2 blankets, my friend would at least be able to use 1. She’s very happy with both blankets; her house is super cold and drafty in the winter – old windows – so they’ll be very useful. Hooray!

And now I hope to spend the afternoon catching up on blogs so I know what everyone’s been up to while I’ve been knitting all week.

So Many WIPs and an Emergency Project

Funny, I went on vacation and still (mostly) kept up with this blog, but then we came home and I didn’t post at all last week, not even the easy Wordless Wednesday & TBT. I have plenty of knitting-related projects to talk about, though.

I took my Old Town cardigan on vacation hoping to chug through the sleeves, which I finished over this past weekend. I also took along a smaller one-off project that I still haven’t added to Ravelry: a cuff and choker using an interesting stitch pattern, crochet cotton, and size 0 (2mm) needles. I made the cuff first and then wasted a day stringing beads on the crochet cotton for the choker.

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Cuff

Beading didn’t go as expected; really I need to string beads on both legs of each stitch or pull an entire stitch through the bead because of the stitch pattern. I’d rather do the latter, but the beads I had on hand were too small for this, so I did what anyone would do – researched beads and ordered some 6/0 beads, which should be big enough for the crochet cotton, along with what I hear is a handy tool, the Beadle Needle, from EarthFaire. The beads and the Beadle Needle are here, but I have other things I need and want to work on before I dive back into the cuff and choker.

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My design plan for the choker and the beading fail

While on vacation, I visited Salty Yarns on the boardwalk in Ocean City, MD and came away with yarn to make hats (and maybe mitts) for my boys (Mirasol K’acha) and a Cheshire Cat gradient mini skein sock yarn kit for my Mom, who just had her birthday. She loves purple; I had a hard time choosing between the Mimsy and Phantomwise colorways and almost got both, but came away in the end with Phantomwise.

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When I got home and started thinking more seriously about my Mom’s gift. She’s been knitting a long time but mainly with worsted weight craft store yarn (meaning: acrylic). Knitting sock yarn is new for her and she’s not really online, so I can’t just tell her to look on Ravelry to see what other people have done with their Wonderland Yarns – I’d have to do that myself and choose, which I did. Out of all the possibilities, I think she’ll like the Dreambird KAL best. She doesn’t like things close around her neck, lace, or frilly things so I think this is a good choice from that perspective. I also think it’s a good match skills-wise; the short rows might be challenging, but challenging is good. The only thing I worry about is that the needle size, US 2 1/2 (3mm), is going to be a mental stumbling block.

As with the beading project, in order for Mom to make the Dreambird, I needed another hank of yarn for the background color and needles. Webs to the rescue – Madeline Tosh Merino Light in Ink is on the way with needles and two Lavishea lotion bars (one for her, one for me) because they work really well and aren’t greasy.

There’s more! But not much more … just two more projects:

Before we left on vacation, my fingers slipped and I ordered a Bohus kit from AngoraGarnet – The Green Wood arrived on Saturday. I wanted to start on it immediately, but I was almost done with the sleeves for Old Town, so I made myself finish those first. And I made myself sew hooks and eyes, my choice of fastener, on the choker and cuff. Unfortunately, I managed to cut a strand of the crochet cotton on the cuff while trying to correct the placement of one of the hooks. I’ve set it aside to repair later in favor of winding all the yarn for the Green Wood and swatching.

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AngoraGarnet yarn for the Green Wood: 50% merino, 50% angora, 100% soft and fine

The last project is kind of an emergency of my own making. A friend of mine is expecting her second baby in 3 weeks. We’re both really bad at keeping in touch and setting up get togethers, but I reached out to her yesterday and set up a lunch for Saturday. For her first baby, a little girl, I knew she was going with an owl theme and came up with The Owl Honeycomb Blanket, my first pattern. But for this baby, a boy, I don’t think she’s chosen a theme. I’ve been thinking about creating another cabled baby blanket, but also kept thinking that I have plenty of time to do that.

Well, my procrastination got the better of me once again. Yes, I’ve been here before, though last time I had all 3 weeks and made Super Quick (boy do I wish I’d taken notes). I’d really like to have the blanket done by our lunch on Saturday, so I’ve been to Jo-Ann already today and am ready to make the magic happen again with 3 giant skeins of Bernat Handicrafter cotton. I think I’m going to write a post every day (or nearly every day) with my progress. We’re taking my oldest son to college Thursday-Friday, so I’ll have 3+ hours of car knitting each day. And this will be a good distraction from and consolation for the fact that we’re taking my oldest son to college.