As if I needed ANOTHER hobby. I don’t have enough time for my existing hobbies as it is. However, over the weekend I decided to have a go at dyeing my own yarn. I really love the look of the speckled yarn that is the rage at the moment, but it’s so specialised, it’s very expensive.
I’m using cheap superwash merino to practice on, and it seems to be holding the colour very well. I’m also just using food dye (although I did buy a packed of black dye powder today for my next attempt) and vinegar, as a cheaper option for now.
I began with tying the yarn into a skein (they came as balls), and soaking it in a mixture of luke warm water and vinegar (a couple of ‘glugs’, I didn’t measure the exact amount).
I then put the tray onto the stove and heated the yarn and water/vinegar mix to simmer point. Taking the tray back to the sink I went about dotting the colours onto the yarn. Some of the colour mixed with the water, and some of the colour landed on yarn that was sticking out of the water and concentrated there as speckles. I used a toothbrush to get the smaller speckles, with a mixed result.
After I was happy with the colour placement I left the yarn/dye/water/vinegar to cool back to room temperature, before rinsing in the sink with another vinegar mix, and finally a bit of hair conditioner to keep the yarn soft and get rid of the vinegar smell.
It took two days to completely dry on my clothes rack, and I plan to re-ball the yarn tonight ready for use.
It’s been a while since I posted last, because I’m slack. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing anything though! Last week I finally finished my Cedar Leaf Shawlette. I am SO happy with it. After blocking it ended up over two metres in length, and I’m sure will be a regular accessory in the cold weather in a couple of months time. That pattern was extremely easy and very well written, and I already have the yarn to make another for a friend.
My current WIP is another pair of socks. This pair is in stockingette stitch, no fancy pattern, which is easier to frog when I inevitably make a mistake or three. It’s been knitting up extremely fast, but it’s not that surprising as I’ve recently made the switch to flick knitting and I’m now FLYING through the rows 🙂
Let me first get this over and done with – Happy Christmas and New Years and all that jazz! I’m having a wonderful time at the moment doing whatever I please, since I’m in the middle of my almost three weeks off. My day usually starts with a lovely sleep in, followed by some computer games and then knitting or crochet (or both) in the afternoon. The housework is piling up, and my garden has become a jungle. My gym access card also hasn’t seen much use in the last few weeks, but screw it I’m on holidays!
I reorganised my stash one afternoon last week, and decided that I had way too much crappy acrylic yarn and needed to make a stash buster project. I chose to make a mandala rug, using 5 strands at once and a 8mm hook, using any yarn I could get my hands on (acrylic, wool and cotton mainly). The pattern is John Kelly’s Mandala 21, which is easy to find on Ravelry. The pattern itself was well written and the only painful row was the backpost double crochets and front post triple trebles….yeah you try working those in five strands at once and if your hands don’t feel like overheated iron weights afterwards, you must be superman!
This took me two full days (I watched all six star wars movies plus a season of a tv show all while I was working on this) but it WAS worth it. If I make another of these, it won’t be for a while in order to let my poor hands recover.
I don’t have time for much of a post today, but thought I would share some images of my finished project – the Fallout Wrap! I finished it on Saturday, and I’m in love with it. It didn’t need blocking so after binding off and weaving the last few ends in, it was ready to wear! I’m now happily knitting away on a new shawl pattern which I will show you in the next couple of days, using a lovely colourway in Crazy Zauberball 100 yarn.
This time last year I created this website to blog my adventures in crochet and life in general, and I am happy so say that my love of crochet has only increased over the last twelve months! I can’t believe that I hadn’t tried to crochet before then – I liked knitting but I found it slow and got bored very quickly.
As a ‘birthday’ gift of sorts (any old excuse will do) I bought a LOVELY new handbag yesterday. It was designed by knitters and has hook/needle pouches, roomy pockets and is big enough to not only house your usual handbaggy items but also a crochet project as well – all the while still looking like a classy handbag! Absolutely in love with it.
So last night (after finishing a very stressful maths assignment) I treated myself to a start on the Summer CAL by Amanda Perkins. I’m only using cheap Spotlight wool for this, but they have a great range of colours and I needed a full spectrum. It’s a little fluffy but I don’t mind working in it. So I finished the first square last night with a 4mm hook, which is the size I usually use for this yarn, but because of all of the HCs being used in this pattern, it worked up very tight and stiff. So today during my lunch hour at work I finished a square with a 4.5mm hook, and it looks and feel SO much better. It’s amazing how drastically a slight hook size change will affect crochet! I am very happy with the CAL so far, I think this little block is very cute and it’s nice to change colour every row, for something different. There are two block patterns out this week, and I have to do six in one and nine in the other. I can’t wait to get home now, curl up under a doona on the lounge and crochet my little heart out in front of the TV! No uni for me tonight! 😀
FINALLY! I crocheted the last stitch on my CAL on Sunday night, and I almost got a bit teary! It’s been an epic adventure, and I’m SO happy with the finish product! While I haven’t blocked it for the final time (my dogs have been inside at night and they don’t have any manners when it comes to stepping around things), it’s now draping casually over my bookcase in my office at work, centre stage. I’m so pleased with myself for keeping at it and finishing it off – I usually don’t have the patience for this scale of project, but I’m proud I did it!
On another note, I’ve been busily making cotton coasters of various colours and patterns to give to my boss’s wife who owns a salon here in Hobart. I originally gave them a set of coasters for Christmas, and since then she’s been using them in the salon and has been getting a lot of comments and queries about them. I gave her a couple of sets to display late last week, and they’ve sold already and I have new orders coming in….so now I’m happy I’m crocheting for money (and good money at that, Hobartians sure like to pay for quality, can’t complain with that!) I’m stressed out trying to keep up with demand as well as fitting in time to crochet my usual projects. Busy times! I’ve asked my sister to crochet some coasters too and send them to me, to try and keep up with demand. This way it will help her out as she is in a worse financial situation than me at the moment, and give her something to do with her hooks 🙂
I’ve gotten back into my Sophie (Sophie’s Universe CAL 2015) and have been working on it as much as I could over the weekend. I’m only one part behind now, very exciting! During the last couple of parts I had begun to think that my colours were way too out there, and that I either had too many or it was just too busy. However now that it has the green butterfly border to it, it has calmed right down, and that large amount of green links the rest of the blanket together – in my opinion anyway 🙂 Can’t wait to see the finished product. If I did another Sophie, I would probably do it all in one varigated yarn – those Sophie’s look really interesting and I’d like to do one at some point for the bed.
I decided last week to join in the fun of another crochet-along, called Sophie’s Universe CAL 2015. After carefully choosing my colours on Friday, I set to work over the weekend and nearly finished part two of the twenty-part series. I’m having so much fun – I think it has something to do with all those gorgeous colours I’m working with! I’m using a 4mm hook with 11 colours of Cascade 220 10ply yarn. It’s great to work with.
As you’ve probably guessed from the title of this post, it was my birthday a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve just received a present that was purchased with money from my Grandmother – twenty balls of 100% cotton yarn! Unfortunately the order has been stuffed up a bit since I received only nineteen balls and some of the colours are different. But the yarn I did get is beautiful, so good I could almost eat it!
Also, I’ve started a new crochet project, one which I’m extremely excited about. My niece is into everything black, pink and white, and is on board the Monster High train. Absolutely loves the emo/goth/punk fashion. So I’ve decided to make her a skull shawl! I found the most beautiful black wool with tiny sparkling strands throughout, and below is my progress so far. It’s crocheting up surprisingly quickly, and I should well and truly get this done in time for Christmas.
With a bit of weight in the shawl once I get some more lines done, the little skulls should flatten out and be more obvious. I think it’s adorable, and hopefully my niece will too 🙂