Friday, July 24, 2009

Zip up the back Hoodie

This is a gift for my little nephew-to-be. It zips up the back and the hoodie makes a point at the top. The little babe should look very gnome-like in this sweater. Self-striping yarn (Universal Yarn Classic Worsted Tapestry) is very reminiscent of self-striping sock yarn. I'm not a lover of acrylic, but must admit that this was a good choice for this project, and my sister will appreciate the easy-care aspect of it. I linked this to Kathy Roletter Gayner's pattern on Ravelry, but it is based on a very old pattern and the version I did was adapted by someone else. They are very similar though, but I do believe Kathy's version used sport weight and the version I worked from called for worsted.

Thanks to Barb at my office, I was able to sew the zipper in with no major calamities. I think little Austin will be snug as a bug in this sweater and I hope he wears it often!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Crock pot dying results

The crock pot dying was a big success! As pictured in these images, the color is fairly true. I used Gaywool dye in Cedar. The outcome was green, but with a blue-gray shimmer. Perhaps the fact that I'm dying light gray wool rather than white adds this element. I've got some white lambs wool to card and then I'll try dying that in order to see how it compares.

I spun up the wool today:
Lovely outcome! But my dye lot was so small as I wasn't sure how much wool my small crock pot could handle. It only spun up about 38 yards double plied. Next time, I will dye more wool and increase my lot.
I'm very impressed with this dye and will use it again (quite a lot came in the container). I noticed no noxious odour but still, it is a chemical dye. In the future, I'd like to experiment with natural dyes as much as possible.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Back in the spin of things

I'm off of work for most of this month and have taken the opportunity to dust off my spinning wheel and get it moving again.
I've probably mentioned before, but spinning with a toddler around presents challenges that will be obvious to anyone with small kids or anyone who has ever been around small children for more than two minutes, for that matter. They are just so curious. My son sees the wheel and says "I'm going to drive it!" He moves his little chair over to it and the wheel is then at a perfect height for him to pretend to drive a boat or car or truck or lawnmower --whatever suits his fancy. While this is nice for Silas and his wonderfully vibrant imagination, his interaction with my wheel can make my head spin faster than the yarn. In a limited way, I have been able to engage him in helping me in the spinning process. I've gotten him to hold the yarn while I'm plying two strands together and he will stand there letting the yarn flow through his hand saying "I'm spinning yarn!" This works while plying, but it's going to be a while until he's able to handle drafting. So, basically, I spin while he's asleep or out of the house with his dad. This limits things, but whatever. You do what you can.

Today, I'm trying my hand at dying by using a crock pot. We had an old crock pot we never used, so I decided to make it my dye pot. I'll know in a few hours how it turned out and will post pics soon. I also dyed wool last fall using coffee and I don't believe I ever posted pictures. I'll be spinning that up soon. Dying wool is pretty new for me, but I'm getting tired of spinning nothing but variations on grey, and I have SO much grey batting. I've gotta do something fun with it!

My knitting speed has slowed while I focus my attentions on spinning, but I have started another project from the book "French Girl Knits." The pattern is Paloma, which is a lace cap-sleeve blouse. While I'm loving the pattern so far, it's been hard to find the time to knit more than a few rounds a day. It's going to be a while before this becomes an fo, that's for sure.

Time to go check my dye pot!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Just one (or two or three) more

I never imagined that I'd be stocking up on Peaches N' Cream cotton yarn and queing pattern after pattern of nothing but dishcloths. Apparently, I just can't help myself. They're quick, useful, and mildly addicting. I really do need to move onto something else. At least, that's what I keep saying...right before casting on for another dishcloth. "Just one more," I tell myself. Right.

Anyways, above and below is the Harmony Mosaic Dishcloth. I LOVE this pattern. The outcome is so pretty! I skipped one pattern repeat because I was running out of the cc yarn, but I don't think it matters much.
And below is my most recent fo: the Scrubby Washcloth, designed by my friend Amelia.
See the whitish tufts in the picture below? that's tulle, sliced into strips and knit along with the yarn. It creates an abrasive surface that should be great for scrubbing dishes and counter tops. Since I just cast off a few hours ago, dh and I have yet to break this one in, but I have a feeling we will like it so much, I'll have to knit just one more dishcloth (or maybe two) before the month is over.