Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Kool-Aid Yarn


Just a quick post to show you the results from Sunday...

Quite pleased with it! There's a little more red than I had planned in there - I used the same volume of red and blue but red has covered a much larger area, but I do like it. I'm going to use it for my May pair of plain vanilla socks I think! And then the leftovers will go in my sock yarn blanket :)


Sunday, 17 April 2011

Kool-Aid dyeing in stages

First grab your yarn, and your kool-aid sachets. Choose your colours wisely ;)

I bought my kit from DT Crafts and this is their method. 

Unwind your skein of yarn. Posing it for a picture is optional.

Let the yarn soak for up to 45 minutes. This needs to happens so that the dye penetrates the wool completely, otherwise it goes blotchy. Depends what effect you're after I guess!

Note: This one just looks like spaghetti, my previous skein (90% alpaca, 10% nylon) looked like curly noodles after soaking!

Pour your kool-aid into an empty (clean) bottle. Note how the powder is white, yet magically turns blue when it touches water!! :)

Make up all the colours you need while the yarn is soaking. It doesn't take too long. 

These are Ice blue raspberry (blue), lemonade (yellow) and strawberry (red).

Take out the yarn from the water it's been soaking in, and squeeze the excess water. I squeezed a bit too much, and by the time I got to the second and third colour had to put some water back on it. A spray bottle might be an idea if you have one, to keep it damp. 

I'm awful at not tangling yarn while handling it! This is how not to do it! :)

Pour/dribble/drizzle/chuck your dye over the part of yarn that you want that colour. This time I did it in sections, the first time I dyed I did vertical stripes, which means very short colour repeats, and much more blending of the colours. Check underneath to make sure you don't have any white bits, and fill in the gaps if you don't want them. You can gently squeeze on the yarn to get the dye to move around a little more. 

Once you've done all the sections, you need to 'cook' it to fix the dye. The citric acid in the kool-aid just needs heating up. Scoop up your yarn and put it in a pot. Add water because it's really important that it doesn't boil dry. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

(You can also do this in a microwave - put in a microwave suitable container, add some water and heat on full power for 3-4 minutes in 30 second blasts. When I did the first one mine took longer, I wanted to be sure that it was bubbling!)

(You can also steam the yarn on the hob for 20 minutes, or for 5 minutes if using a microwave steamer.)

Just to show the almost finished object :)

Simmering away nicely :)

Take the pot off the heat and allow to cool. Once this is done rinse the yarn well - insects are attracted to the sweet smell of the kool-aid so make sure you double rinse it! 

Once rinsed, lay out flat to dry, you don't want gravity over-stretching your yarn and ruining it! 

Once dry, rewind into a skein until you want to wind it into a ball. It's better to leave yarn in a skein until you need to use it, as winding yarn into a ball puts tension on the yarn, stretching it. 

Have a lovely Sunday :) 


Dying to have fun


Went to bed at 9pm so now I'm wide awake and apparently unable to sleep for more than 5 hours straight.

I was working today, well yesterday, so on my way home I popped into the supermarket near work and picked up a new 20cm stainless steel stock pot. It wasn't too expensive, but I would have preferred a larger size ideally.

It's going to be my new dye pot. And that must be true because I've written 'Sara's dye pot!' on it! I'm gonna have a go this morning hopefully, before I go to work, planning on splitting an undyed skein of yarn I bought off eBay into half, and dyeing it some wacky colours for the sock yarn blanket.

I'm also thinking of buying a lot of 5 skeins of sock yarn and some acid dyes and just having a go. Hence the stock pot, for kettle dyeing. If anyone has any recommendations for acid dyes please get in touch :-)

Have a lovely Sunday xx
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Thursday, 14 April 2011

Yarn Porn

Evening :)

I promised to show what lovely yarn had arrived this week!

First up is the package from The Knitting Goddess. It contains a Take 5 mini skeins pack in Flower Power, and 4 individual mini skeins.

All laid out in their colourful glory :)

Left to right: Sunset mini skein, Take 5 Flower Power mini skeins (attached to the label), Ocean mini skein, Turquoise semi-solid mini skein and Bollywood mini skein. 

Bollywood, Ocean, Turquoise and Sunset.  


I also had a Jitterbug creative pack from Colinette Yarns delivered. I was a little dissapointed with it though, not really my kind of colours at all, and the whole pack just screams 'BEIGE/BROWN!!!' at me!

There is a little hidden gem in there though, I love the hot pink skein. I do also like the skein next to it, with flashes of pink running through it. The skein on the left is 107g, almost a full skein so I think I will keep it intact for a pair of socks. 

There isn't much to the mini hot pink skein but it should be enough for 5 or 6 squares! :)

The last shot is just the collection of yarns wound into balls that I'm knitting from at the moment. You can see that the pink Colinette, and Ocean and Sunset skeins from the Knitting Goddess have already been put into use! I'm making individual squares from smaller skeins, so that I can dot the colours around throughout the entire blanket, rather than have concentrations of colour in a one area.

Happy knitting :)


Monday, 11 April 2011

Sock Yarn Squares


Here's a quick update so show you progress on the sock yarn blanket so far. It's beguiling, because it seems like it's growing really quickly due to the squares being pretty quick to knit, however I'm gonna need about 700 of them!!

Actually, having taken the picture it really doesn't seem like I've done anything at all! I've done a lot of individuals because I've been making 2-4 squares from the same yarn due to rapidly running out of yarn scraps! I've bought a Colinette creative pack, and some gorgeous mini skeins from Knitting Goddess so hopefully supplies will arrive soon! I've also signed up for two travelling swap bags through Ravelry, and picked up mini skeins through Folksy and Etsy. I'm also thinking of biting the bullet and buying another dying kit, this time using acid fast dyes which seem to have stronger, bolder colours. If that goes well I might be tempted to start selling mini skeins myself as there are a lot of people knitting sock yarn blankets! 

I've also had a load of sock yarn arrive from Ravelry destashes and a sock yarn club, so I'll get on with taking pictures of those in the next week or so :)

Happy knitting :)


Friday, 8 April 2011

Promising Beginnings

Morning :)

I started on my sock yarn blanket yesterday, and immediately realised just how long it's going to take!

I'd like to do mine so that it's big enough for a double bed, although ideally I'd prefer it to be larger than that so that it can drape over. And seeing as it's going to be a few years before I can buy my own bed, when I do eventually buy one, I'd like it to be a tiny bit bigger than a normal double  - a queen or a king ideally. Which means I have to make one that's huge to begin with.

I do have a fleeting fancy of making a single though, because I know when I move I'll have a single bed and I think that would look really great - and possibly more achievable within 6 months! But I know I'll probably never want to do another again, so I'm going to just have to suck it up and supersize it :)

What you probably don't realise, but I know full well, is that each of those squares took me the best part of an hour to knit (I'll get quicker) and are only 4.5 x 4.5 cm. Yep, centimeters! This is gonna need thousands.

It's enough to make a girl turn to...

And buy some....

When the going gets tough, the tough goes shopping it seems!!


Thursday, 7 April 2011

First Square

First square of about 1,700!
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Monday, 4 April 2011

Growing nicely

My TAAT are swimming along. I've already done more thank this, but I didn't have time to take a picture before I left for work. They are now 19.5cm long, and ready to begin the heel.

These are size 6 socks, and I'm going to give them to my mother. The yarn is Debbie Bliss cashmerino, which as you might be able to guess is made of merino and cashmere, with a little rayon thrown in for durability :-)
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Saturday, 2 April 2011

Its a new month!

So its a new pair of socks :-)
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