Sunday, May 29, 2005

My Bad!

I realised this morning that I hadn't blogged for two whole weeks! I have no excuse other than age related senility :-) I have however been busy - busy at work as well as fibre-busy. I work in the exams section of a further education college and this is our maddest time of year. I've been so tired when I get home from work that I haven't been playing much in the evenings. I make up for it on the weekend though! So here is the last two weeks worth of fibre-ing! :-)

Ta-daaaaaaa!! Meg's socks are finito!

A look back and some experimentation:

The red blobby mass is my very first attempt at spinning on my spindle. The orange is the lovely rainbow dye, I am just so impressed with the colour. The single on the spindle is the light orange I dyed in the leftover dye liquid from the rainbow dye. My plan was to ply them together. Here is the result:

I plied the singles on my spindle, set the spin and then dried with a weight to put the yarn under a bit of tension. The resulting yarn is soooo soft and lovely that I really must spin some more and make something with it - anything! Just so I can stroke it!

This is the wrist-warmer from 'Spin It!' knitted from the green rainbow dyed singles. I only have one at the moment but the second one will be made. There's no great hurry as spring has finally decided to show her face and we are actually getting some nice, warm weather.

And finally, I'm trying to spin as thin and consistent as possible - according to Mum "I wouldn't want to knit with that... its like sewing thread!" - I take that as a compliment! I'd like to ply this with another strand of the same and then see if its thin enough to do a cobweb shawl - or an 'almost' cobweb shawl. This is actually a very pale green, dyed in the leftover dye liquid from the green rainbow dye. The colour is too subtle really and I think I might re-dye it once I've finished the spinning and plying. I'll wait and see though, the colour may become more obvious once its plied.

So that's it for the last two weeks! I will be much better in future.... I hope!Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Knitting, Spinning and Dyeing!

I've finally spun up the green rainbow dyed tops I dyed a couple of weeks ago. It is gorgeous! I only have about 45 gms so I will have to do some more I think. I really liked the purple rainbow dye but this is my favourite. I've spun a little of the orange rainbow dyed tops and they are turning out quite spectacular too - they are quite bright.Posted by Hello

This is my first attempt at using natural dyes. The skein at the top of the picture was dyed with daffodil flowers and the one at the bottom is the natural colour of the merino tops. I quite like the colour but I can't quite describe it! It's a pale, creamy yellow. I didn't use any mordants or modifiers. I poured boiling water over the dried flower heads and left it to stand over night. I then simmered it for 30 minutes, allowed it to cool a bit, added the pre-wetted singles, simmered them for 30 minutes and then let them cool in the dye liquid for about an hour. After I'd done this I read that I should have used fresh flowers - oh well! I think I got a similar colour anyway.

I'm hooked now and I'm eyeing the flowers in Mum's garden to see what else I can use. She's got some gorgeous dark red peonies just coming into flower so I've asked her to save the spent flowers for me when she's deadheading. Don't know if they will work but its worth a try. Posted by Hello

Finally, I've finished the first of Meg's socks and started the second. Looking closely at them I think I've got the striping matched perfectly but we will see when I get to the heel and toe! Posted by Hello

Friday, May 06, 2005

Spinning... I Don't Believe It!

Yes, I've finally been good and got going on some spinning again. These are the tops I dyed a couple of weeks ago. The ones at the front are the original rainbow dyes, 50 gms merino tops in 500 ml of water, and I have to say I'm impressed with both of these even as they are. The two at the back are also 50 gms of merino but dyed in the leftover dye liquid. They are quite pale but still slightly variegated. I'm thinking of alternating spinning them with their matching rainbows. Not too sure yet though.

I'd been spinning up the purple rainbow dyed tops and got a bit bored of the same colour. So I finished up the bit I was doing, set the spin and its drying at the moment. Then I decided to spin some of the green rainbow dyed tops in the pic above. Well! Am I impressed? You bet! I loved the way the purple spun up but the green is even better! It reminds me of the sea.

I used up the rest of the leftover dye liquid from the purple rainbow that looked a 'claret' red in the jar. When I dyed with it, I got quite a purplish raspberry colour, the second lot came out peach coloured and the third and final lot came out more of an apricot. Amazing differences. I will post some pictures once they are dry. I must admit I didn't do this very scientifically! I just grabbed a handful of tops and shoved them in the dye pot - obviously I don't expect to reproduce these! I feel a bit like a mad scientist - its fab!

The socks and cardigan are still progressing. I ripped out most of the right front of the cardigan as the buttonholes were spaced unevenly even though I had followed the pattern. I hate that! So I took it out and adjusted the spacing and it looks much better. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Socks I Believe!

Okay - its true... I've been bitten by the sock bug big time! This is my first pair of socks ever and knitted for moi of course. I used Opal Magic in colour 1035 and the pattern that came with the kit. It was actually surprisingly easy! I was a bit concerned about the heel and gusset shaping but that turned out to be quite logical. I tried to match the stripes but did get it quite right - if you look at the toes you will see they don't quite match. I think I only missed a perfect match by about 2 rows!

Meg (bestest friend in Australia) and my Mum both have ordered pairs so of course I had to buy more yarn. So sad! :-) Naturally, while buying the yarn for them I just had to get more for me! Meg's sock is below and for Mum I got Opal Magic colour 1036 - lovely blues. For me, I picked the Opal Rodeo colour 1153 which is a fab bright mix of yellow, orange, blue, purple with the cream variegated with green. Sounds awful but the picture looked good on the Get Knitted website and I love the colours and can't wait to get knitting.

Also, I had an attack of the guilts seeing as I had shamefully neglected my cardigan. Last night I had a blitz and finished the left front and this morning I started the right front. After knitting on 2.25mm needles with 4 ply wool, knitting with DK on 4mm felt like knitting with rope on telegraph poles!

Seeing as I originally started this blog to track my spinning(!) I have to report that it is going well. I'm still spinning the purple rainbow dyed tops on my drop spindle. I decided to rip out the scarf and once I've finished the spinning I will start it again. Think I might do some sort of lacy pattern. Posted by Hello

Meg's sock in Opal Magic colour 1051, the colour just doesn't come out true! Its a much more vibrant aqua/teal than it shows here. I've had a bit of a nightmare getting this sock started. In the first 30 odd rows I came across 2 knots and a place where one of the plies was cut! I was soooo annoyed! After I'd calmed down a bit I decided just to cut it off and start again after the second knot and so far everything is okay. It had to happen on something I was knitting for someone else - the yarn for the pair I just finished for me was perfect. Grrrrr! Posted by Hello