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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Buttons for my CPH!

I've decided on buttons for my CPH! All that is left is to finish the button band, sew on the buttons, and tuck in the ends!!

I found the buttons at a trimmings store in NYC :).

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Adventures in dyeing!

I had promised myself that this summer I would dye some yarn with Kool-Aid.  I took this past week off from work to work on my dissertation and relax a bit.  After getting a bit written for my proposal (***HOOORAY!!!!***), I decided I deserved to take a fun break.  What better to do then to try dyeing yarn with Kool-Aid?  I searched the web for a good tutorial and found this one from Knitty.  I also found a tutorial on how to paint roving and yarn, which I used bits and pieces of.  Next, I had to go and gather my supplies.  I went out an bought a turkey baster, some natural wool, and searched for Kool-Aid.

After visiting 4 different stores....2 of which did not sell Kool-Aid, I returned with these flavors.  3 which were red (kind of clockwise starting with the red packet at the bottom): Cherry, Strawberry, Tropical Punch, Lemonade, Orange, Grape, and Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade.  The tutorial said to use 1 packet per ounce of yarn and each skein I bough was 3.5 ounces so I just bought A LOT of Kool-Aid.  Luckily it is relatively inexpensive :).

I decided to try three different types of yarn.  At first I was just going to try Patons and Stitch Nation, but then I discovered that the Michaels I went to had Classic Merino Wool in Tweed and I needed to buy that. Anywho, here we have Classic Wool in Aran.

Classic Wool Merino Tweed in Aran Tweed.

And Stitch Nation's Little Lamb :).

The next step was to wind the yarn into hanks because center-pull skeins don't allow the dye to get into the middle of the yarn.  So I took out my handy-dandy Knit Picks swift, attached one end of the yarn to it, and started spinning the swift.

And about 10 minutes later per skein, voila!  A nicely tied ring of yarn. (And a somewhat tired arm...). I used left over bits of acrylic yarn to tie the yarn circles so that they wouldn't get tangled during the dyeing process.

I only decided to dye 4 skeins of yarn--the two Stitch Nation skeins and one each of the different types of Patons yarn.  Here they are as hanks.

Next, the yarn had to be washed in mild soapy water, rinsed, and soaked while the dye was prepared.  I have to admit, my kitchen started to smell like a wet sheep....

I wanted to try different methods of dyeing the yarn.  Here is the tweet in a pot with 4 packets of the Blue Raspberry Lemonade Kool-Aid.  This was brought to a boil (ewww, this fruity smelling sheep...) and then covered and let sit for 30-45 minutes.

On my windowsill I placed 3 glasses each filled with a different flavor of Kool-Aid.  One of the reds (I can't remember which one), orange, and lemonade.  I stuck the yarn circle in like snake and let the colors absorb up the yarn.  I was hoping for some sort of gradient color change.  IF you do this, remember that the yarn is wet and WILL spill water on the floor....I learned this the hard way haha.  This was one of the Stitch Nation skeins.

I hand painted the second Stitch Nation skein with every flavor of Kool-Aid I bought.  I coiled up the yarn circle and then just used the turkey baster to squirt colored lines across the yarn.  This used up more dye than I thought, so I chose to leave some "natural" parts of the yarn.  This was then steamed for 30 minutes and sat covered for another 15 minutes.

Finally, I used all 3 red flavors to dye the Patons Classic Wool.  I put down plastic wrap, then they yarn, and spooned the colors on the yarn to really saturate it.  The red sadly went all over my counter...and dyed it red for a little bit (thank goodness for Clorox wipes!!!)...sooooooo put down a big garbage bag if you do this!!  After the colors were applied, I folded up the sides of the plastic wrap and rolled it into a little packet, and then microwaved it for 2 minute intervals 3 or 4 times.

When it was done, I carefully opened it up and let it cool.  Notice how the white acrylic ties didn't take the dye at all.

Next, the yarn had to cool and then be washed with mild soap and rinsed again with water, THE SAME TEMPERATURE AS THE YARN.  If the water was colder, the yarn would felt.  After each was washed and rinsed, I gently squeezed as much water as I could out and hung them to dry in my shower :).

It took over a day and a half for the yarn to really dry.  Then I twisted them up and now have 4 hanks of fun dyed yarn!

Color-way: R.O.Y.

Color-way: Icy Blue

Color-way: Taste the Rainbow

Color-way: Really, really, really red!

This was definitely a fun project and I'm looking forward to dyeing the remaining 2 skeins of yarn AND some roving that I bought at the NJ Sheep and Wool Festival last fall :).  Maybe I'll use Kool-Aid to dye the roving...or maybe not.  I do have to admit that the smell of "cooking" 100% wool and Kool-Aid isn't the most desirable smell, even if the end product is fruity smelling yarn!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

WIP Wednesday: Central Park Hoodie

Life has been a bit hectic lately, but I've still found a bit of time to knit.  Here is a little update on my Central Park Hoodie!

We had our second KAL meeting Friday night (unfortunately one of us couldn't make it :().  We had decided that we would have up to the sleeves completed so that we could begin the hood.  The pattern saves all the seaming, except for the shoulder seams, for the end after everything is done.  During this meet up, I sewed my shoulder seams and started a few rows of the hood.  Picking up the stitches wasn't bad--got one side on the first try and just had to do the second side once over.  I've only ever picked up stitches while turning the heel of a sock, so this was good practice.  I decided to omit the double cable running up the back of the hood because I imagine myself wearing the hood down more than on my head and I think that I'd rather not see the revers side of the cable.

During this KAL meeting, Alex's mom seamed the sides of the sweater, one sleeve, and attached the sleeve and tried it on and also had Alex try it on.  The sweater has a nice fitted appearance.  (It seems really easy to modify the fit once you have an idea of how a certain size fits you.  Just make it larger to have it be more "relaxed" fitting).  The next evening after our meeting I was really anxious to see how my sweater fit, so I seamed the sides and tried it on.  It fit nicely, but I couldn't tell if it would be kind of snug once I added the sleeves.  So, the next day I seamed the sleeves.  I tried them on without attaching and they seemed tight. Then I sewed them on the sweater, and low and behold, it fits WONDERFULLY!

So, now all that is left is to finish the hood, add the button bands, and tuck in all the ends.  In the pictures below you can see that the front is hanging open a lot.  I think that once I add the button bands it won't do that so much--I think it is just rolling.  I still can't get over how much it looks like a sweater!  Yippee for my first sweater *almost* being finished!!! I can't wait!