The Week

Last week’s goals, with progress noted:

  • Do my copy edit of the patterns and send them off to Becky.
  • Get the fancy camera out (and find a memory card for it) and take picture of the Gir hat & the secret project. It was actually Ky who took some better pictures of them. I also downloaded & cleaned up Brandon’s inspiration drawing for inclusion in the patterns.
  • Finish the back hem of The Green Wood. Started both fronts; got them both to the point past the short row section where I can knit them at the same time.
  • Clean up the spinning wheel & spin, even if it’s just for 15 minutes.
  • Finish the Luchadore Mask Balaclava for Ethan. I’m making hats for all 3 of my boys; Brandon asked for the Gir hat, Ethan asked for a Luchadore Mask, and Henry is still deciding. Henry also decided: there was a failed PS4 controller hat. I’ve asked him to come up with something else as a PS4 controller hat is a job for sewing & embroidery, not knitting.
Design fail: Henry asked for a PS4 controller hat & this is my interpretation. After thinking about it more, this is a job for sewing & fleece (not my forte), not knitting & wool. Let's see what I can get him to come up with now ...
Design fail: Henry asked for a PS4 controller hat & this is my not-so-great interpretation.

 

This week’s goals:

  • Clean up the spinning wheel & spin, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. For real this week.
  • Come up with some hat ideas to suggest to Henry, like making him a Jayne hat & more.
  • Continue with the fronts of The Green Wood.
  • Last week I also decided on some of the hats I’m making for my furry crowd, so this week I’d like to finalize them and get started on at least one.
      • Eevee (kitty): Shark fin hat because she’s like a furry piranha but I don’t think I’m up to making a piranha (what would that even look like?) so shark fin it is.
      • Jeff (kitty): Mohawk? Unicorn?
      • Lily (small dog): Bunny ears.
      • Moose (big dog): Mohawk? Unicorn? (Clearly I’d like to make a mohawk hat and a unicorn hat for two of them.)

The Week

Last week I set some goals for the first time here and I crushed them but was a bit ambitious:

      • Finish the secret project that I haven’t told you guys about Washed & blocked it, too!
      • If the yarn comes, finish the 2nd Gir-inspired hat Also washed & blocked.
      • Finish the pattern for the Gir hat & secret project & send them off to the copy editor (my generous & meticulous friend Becky)
      • Finish the back hem of The Green Wood
      • Clean up the spinning wheel & spin, even if it’s just for 15 minutes

Not bad, not bad at all. This week let’s see if I can hit them all:

  • Do my copy edit of the patterns and send them off to Becky.
  • Get the fancy camera out (and find a memory card for it) and take picture of the Gir hat & the secret project.
  • Finish the back hem of The Green Wood.
      • Clean up the spinning wheel & spin, even if it’s just for 15 minutes.
      • Finish the Luchadore Mask Balaclava for Ethan. I’m making hats for all 3 of my boys; Brandon asked for the Gir hat, Ethan asked for a Luchadore Mask, and Henry is still deciding.

24/30 Design and Dye

30 Day Knitting Challenge Day 24: Have you ever made your own pattern or dyed your own yarn? How did it turn out?

Yes to both.

I have several patterns for sale on Ravelry and etsy, which all started with the Owl Honeycomb Blanket. That wasn’t actually my first pattern, just the first one I actually screwed up the courage to write, have tech edited, and published (I didn’t know about test knitters then). The rainbow sock yarn baby blanket (probably) was the first pattern … oh wait, no, no it wasn’t the first pattern I made up. I had a special button in my collection and made a felted belt specifically for it. I got the wool from the shepherd on ebay, which was special also – I love the greens in the yarn and it was one of my first all-wool yarns.

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The belt with the special button and special yarn -the special belt.
beltdetail
Detail of the special button.

Now, yarn dying – yes, I’ve done that too. The very first time, I unraveled an angora-wool-nylon blend sweater and dyed it with KoolAid.

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Recycled sweater yarn dyed with KoolAid. The skein is sitting on the last remaining piece of the sweater, a sleeve.

In the Spring of 2011 (2010?) I took a natural dye class with two friends at The Art League of Alexandria, which I really wish I lived closer to (I live over an hour away) so I could take advantage of their classes more. That class started me on an exploration of natural dying that I’ve only recently finally admitted has fallen by the wayside. If you’re curious, I documented most of it on flickr and on this blog, but here are all of my sample skeins, Lion Brand Fisherman’s wool in white mordanted with alum, copper, or iron and tossed into the dye pot with larger quantities of material.

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Natural dye sample skeins. Some of the natural dyes represented here: cochineal, indigo, walnut, osage orange, avocado skins & pits, dandelion, marigold petals, lichen, onion skins.

Natural dyeing is a lot of work, so I also branched out to dye/over-dye with Jacquard Acid Dye, Rit, and most recently, Dylon (that Emergency Project). Dyeing is fun, even though when it’s a lot of work. It’s fun to see how the dyed yarn or fiber turns out. If it turns out badly, you can always overdye it with a darker color, keeping in mind that a pure black is very difficult to achieve; basically, you have infinite chances to dye something a color you like, it may just be darker than what you originally hoped for.

 

 

13/30 Project-less Yarn

30 Day Knitting Challenge Day 13: Do you have yarn that you love but can’t find a project for?

I used to, but I solved the problem by writing a pattern for the yarn: Infinite Wave Cowl (on Ravelry, etsy, craftsy). I had 4 skeins of Plymouth Earth Ecco Baby Camel in my stash for 6 years. It was a Mother’s Day/Birthday present (my birthday is close to Mother’s Day) from my husband in 2010. He got it for me so I could make a hat, but IMO, the yarn didn’t want to be a hat – it’s baby camel and needed to be something next to the skin, something extra special for a special yarn.

eccoBehbehCamel
Plymouth Earth Ecco Baby Camel picture from my stash

This yarn was picky; I’d periodically check Ravelry for 200yd bulky weight yarn patterns & projects without anything speaking to me or the yarn. This spring I decided that 6 years is long enough to not knit super special yarn so I designed a cowl thinking there must be other people out there with super special bulky weight skeins who would also appreciate a close to the skin project. Bonus: the pattern is reversible.

Infinite Wave Cowl
Infinite Wave Cowl (I should retake this picture with the fancy DSLR!)

So I do have other yarn (and fiber) in my larger-than-I-thought stash (like my treasure trove from MDS&W this year) that doesn’t know what it wants to be yet, but I’m pretty sure that I’ll be able to come up with something for it all with time and the right inspiration.

MDSW 2016 Haul
Goodies from MDS&W 2016