Monday, October 30, 2006

Next Project, Coils!

As if I needed another project, here it is. Blue Faced Leicester Roving. Lovely and soft. Takes the colour nice. I can't figure out how I used to get such brilliant clear colours in the beginning of my dyeing adventure. Seems all my colours come out a bit muted. Anyway, this is the dyed and dried roving. I like it. I still have a thing for purple and greens.

This is the single spun. Yummy. I plied it with a white mohair that I got at Avoca last year. The cone was 7 euro for 1/2 Kilo. Great price. Very fine, so it would take an eternity to knit anything with. Great for plying. Nice and strong. Look what I did by accident. Coiling!! Oops. Got a little carried away with feeding it into the orifice and ooh, that looks cool. So I continued on. I really love this. Think I'll try a big coil on the next one.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Makin' a List, Checkin' it Twice

Well the list is dwindling. The colour board is complete and ready to go to the show on Wednesday.

The yarn is all labeled and priced. Must make out a price list for the ladies at the booth.

Fleeces are in bags for the demo. Drum carder is here, hand carders, combs, wheel is in use on another project, but will be ready.

Seems like the list is going down in size, but still have a few things yet to do. Make several hundred copies, make my costume for Tuesday party, still finish a few Christmas presents, doctors appointment and a few other unavoidables before then. Kids are off on school break this week coming, so will need to divide time wisely. Whew!!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Dyeing Day

Yesterday was dyeing day. I used two types of non-toxic dyes for the display presentations for the Knitting and Stitching Show. The Guild is selling kits made up of Goodall's Food Colouring and Kool-Aid.
I started with wool yarn. About 10grms each. Soaked them in vinegar and water for about 30 minutes. 1 teaspoon to 1 cup of water per colour. Plus a glug of vinegar per pan.

15 minutes on the stove top for the brights or the microwave it's 2 minutes on and then let it rest for 2 minutes until the colour is gone. Pretty simple. Nice range. The purple was blue and cochineal. I wanted a pinker purple. The red is very orange.

The pastels were 1/2 teaspoon to 1 cup water. Plus a glug of vinegar to each pan. I took it out when the colour was what I wanted. Not a timed thing, but an eyeball thing.

This was the best. The green dyed up quick and dark. I pulled it out before it was done. There was some colour left. I thought, "I'll do the pastel." Not green at all. Very turquoise. Very pretty. If only I could exhaust the green to get the turquoise.

Bit of multi coloured yarn. I may knit these into samples. Not really liking the look of these in comparison to acid dyes, but I probably need more practice.

Kool-Aid Pompoms. I really like these. I used 1 packet per 1/2 oz of yarn. Very strong colours. Same cooking time. No vinegar needed. What does this do to our insides???

Friday, October 20, 2006

Big Wheel Keep onTurnin'

One more thing off the list. 900 grams of Blue Faced Leicester is spun. This is the roving that I unintentionally dyed pastel instead of brights. Whoops!! Anyway, I decided to spin it up for the Knitting and Stitching Show that will be in Dublin, November 2-6. I'm working at the Weavers, Spinners and Dyers booth one day doing fibre transformation. You know. Greasy fleece, carding, combing and then spinning. Right before your very eyes!!
They will have items for sale, representing the 3 disciplines of the Guild. This is some of my contribution. I have yet to measure or label my skeins. Now I'm on the hunt for a great software program for labels. Easy click and drag stuff that looks fantastic. I know, I'm not asking for much, but if anyone knows of one, let me know.

I'm also doing two dye boards with samples of non-toxic dyeing options. The Kool-Aid samples are done, so today belongs to Goodall's Food colouring. We'll see how that turns out. I'm not sure how complicated to go. Do I do a lesson on colour theory in Pompoms? Mini skeins, solids, blends? Oh, the possibilities are endless, but my time isn't, so press on.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Crock Pot drop out

I've really not had that much practice at the crock pot dyeing. It was only last May, that I got a little carried away (again) on my trip back to the US. It was the beginning of my dyeing experience and I was feeling good about it. Had many successful attempts in the micro and stove. So I went to STUFF MART while I was home. I measured the suitcase. SHOOT!! The turkey roaster won't fit!! But the 8 qt. Crock Pot will. So I stuffed more stuff in that crock pot than humanly possible. More than 8 qts!

Whew! It made it threw. No scrapes, no breaks, no cracks. OK... Let's dye something. First try. UGLY! Brownish, yellowish, poohish. Looks good plyed with brown. So, it worked out ok. Next. The Aqua. That did alright. One colour. Hard to go to wrong. I've been reading blogs on this subject. How do people get bright clear multi coloured wool? Mine is murky, smudgy, dull.

So, I tried last night. Three primaries in the separate corners. They'll blend nicely and I'll have Secondary colours. Lovely.... NOT!! More Murk... Bright Murk, but not clear by any means. If anyone knows of a good blog or tutorial on crock pot dyeing. Let me know.

Out in the bright sun, it doesn't look so bad, but no green, muddy purple. AAARRRGGG!!! Try, try again.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

I Gotta Golden Ticket

Well, not exactly, but better I think. A little background would be good. I'm admittedly odd by world standards. I don't crave chocolate and I don't drink coffee. Believe me, I've tried. My sisters are not coffee drinkers either, so I fine with that. The chocolate thing, well, if it has nuts (salt) and Carmel then I'm tempted, but don't crave it. Oh yeah, it has to be dark, no milk chocolate for me. We have bars that sit in the cupboard for a year or more until I need room and then out it goes. Sick, I know. Popcorn, chips, garlic bread. I'm a big carb craver.
So a few years ago, we had some friends come visit from France. Guess what they brought as a thank you gift. Yes, chocolate! Several variations of lovely French chocolate. Among them were 2 bars of dark. Ok, I'll try. First bar was lovely, 70%+ coco, plain dark coco. Then next was very pretty from the outside. Nice packaging, but, coffee. Well, my taste buds must have had a laps, because this was the absolute BEST. Roasted bits of coffee beans with dark bitter goodness. I have a Winner!! So now, when we have visitors from France, or coming through France or are French, or just like French things, I put in my request. Noir Cafe. Yumm. Well guess who just went to France?? I know, you'll never guess. No, not me, I'm going in November. (guess what's on the list) My friend Sharon of Clickety Knits had a holiday with her husband and so I said, "If you're near a supermarket, could you pick something up for me???" Ever seen Shrek 2. Imagine the cat eyes. Yeah, that was me. Guess what I got yesterday!!!! No, I haven't opened it yet and it would have been awful on the Smores. Thank you so, so much Sharon. You're the best!!

Another addition to the knitting books came from my husband. He was just back in the US for a wedding and he had a small list. Things that are hard to find or really expensive here. Among them was this. I've knit the mittens from this. Well written and easy, with a great look too. Here's the thing. I generally like to look inside before to see if it's worth the money in actual patterns I would knit and is it worth the space of another hardbound book. Never got the chance. No bookstore in Dublin has this. Couldn't find it in Birmingham either, but I must say, there are many things from this book that will be made after Christmas stuff is done. Getting close by the way.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

His and Her Camping

Well the boys finally got a weekend this autumn, that is not to cold, to rainy, to busy or to anything else. They've planned a camping trip. Son is thrilled. They've picked a spot, packed the car. The thing is, that like having an infant child, you pack the same amount of gear for one night as you would for 6 nights. The only exception would be the quantity of food. They're off.
Daughter Avery is very disappointed. Really. She loves to get out and camp, as I do, but this was the boys weekend. So.... Mamma (that's me) decides we will camp too. Yes, the tent is inside. Our birds get up early and they're loud!! During the summer it starts at 4:00 am. I'm not willing to risk it. So we're set up and ready. Picnic dinner, movie and for dessert....

Smores. Not American type, since the marshmallows are different and there's no gram crackers (Hovis like) but, we did our best.

So here's the differences for us this evening:

Boys / Girls

Tent / Tent
Outside / Inside
Cold / Warm
Sleeping mats / Air Mattresses
Sleeping bags / Goose Down Duvets
Bushes / Toilets
Sponge bath / Bubbles Baths
Nature / Comfort
Camp Fire / Central Heat and Stove

Ok. I'll stop there, because I really do enjoy camping and being outside, but tonight I'm really enjoying the comforts of my own home and a girls night with Avery.