Red Merino Love

So I apparently like to forget to blog about spinning.  Here is my latest finished yarn, actually finished a couple of weeks ago.

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It’s 253 yds of sport-dk weight super-soft merino (~4 oz).  When I spun the singles, they were as soft as Malabrigo lace.  I think the finished yarn is pretty close in softness too.  I’m totally in love with this Merino. 

I spun it up to make a stag bag (link to pdf pattern), although now it looks like I’m a little short on yardage.  I think I’m going to try it anyway.  If I run out… well, I’ll just have to spin some more.  I guess I better go get more of this roving soon.

I’m currently spinning this to use along with the red merino for the stag bag.

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Same super-softness.  I love merino!

March 28, 2008. Spinning. Leave a comment.

Yarn Dyeing

A small bit of yarn dyeing activity.  After & before pics:

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I did this Sunday in my crock pot using food coloring.  The base yarn is Knit Picks Essential bare, 100g of sock yarn.  I used 16 drops of blue to 7 drops of green (although using much more dye than that – my blue bottle is almost gone!).  I used knitty’s dip-dye method.  It was so easy to do!  I just put the yarn in the crock pot and would occasionally come to pull some out.  No exactly science or anything. 

When it was done, I washed it and it bled a little bit.  It kept bleeding even after 4 washes, so I decided to put it all back in the crockpot with clear water and vinegar and left it overnight to set the color.  It did set the color a bit more, but still not completely.  I’ll just try to remember to wash the socks separately until it stops bleeding.  The bad thing about leaving it overnight was that it starting boiling.  No biggie since the yarn is superwash, but I used maroon yarn to tie the skein, and the maroon bled a little onto the yarn.  Whoops.

I enjoy doing food coloring dyeing a lot more than kool-aid.  The color is more predictable and controllable, and I’m just not a fan of the kool-aid surprise.  It’s almost much less neon colored.  I also really enjoyed reskeining the yarn after dyeing.  I think it looks much better mixed in like that.  I’m quite in love with this dye job.  Who needs $20 hand-dyed sock  yarn when I can dye my own?

March 28, 2008. Yarn. Leave a comment.

More Yarn Love

More yarn love:
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I bought 2 pounds of the Highland Tweeds yarn from WEBS when it was on closeout for like $12 a pound. It comes in cones in spinning oil, so I’ve been skeining and washing it. It’s been through the wash 10 times, but the water is still coming out like this:
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I’m going to wash it next with some vinegar. Hopefully, this will set the color and soften the yarn a bit (I heard that vinegar smooths the scales in the wool.. hmm…).

Even though it’s not completely finished being washed, look at the difference in the before and after washing picture! (Before = right, After = left)
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I love how it bloomed and takes on a softer texture. I’ll have to swatch it and see how it behaves.

Next goal after washing it all? Dyeing it. I’m not sure I’m a big fan of this yellow color. Maybe I’ll dye it with blue to make a green. Or a purple to make a brownish color.

February 17, 2008. Tags: , , , , . Yarn. 2 comments.

More Spinning

I finished spinning my orange alpaca a couple of weeks ago. I don’t know how I forgot to blog about it!

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It’s 8 oz, 250 yds of super soft 100% baby alpaca. It’s 3-ply and approximately DK to worsted weight (varies by section). There are some bulky spots too, and spots where the plying because a little boucle-ish. For my first yarn, it turned out pretty even.

This is what I’m spinning right now:
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4 oz of “Cinnabar” Merino. It’s going to be a 3-ply DK as well (the orange alpaca was actually practice for this). I have another 4 oz of this in the color “Patina” – a beige-ish color. Combined, I’m hoping to make the stag bag in Harry Potter-ish colors (warning: pdf link).

February 17, 2008. Tags: , , , . Spinning, Yarn. 1 comment.

Etsy

I started an etsy shop!

For those of you who don’t know, Etsy is a place where people buy and sell handmade goods. I’ve been making stitch markers lately and have been really enjoying them. The big problem is that I don’t need a bijillion stitch markers! So to rationalize my new beading hobby, and to perhaps fund an expansion of my yarn stash, I decided to sell stitch markers online.

These are two I have up right now. Yeah, that makes the store pretty empty, but hopefully I’ll have more time to devote to filling it up after this round of exams and projects coming up.

Anyhow, check it out at http://bdeitrick.etsy.com. Hope you enjoy!

January 29, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

New Iron!

A slight divergence for non-knitterly activities.

I received a Rowenta iron for Christmas!

I had never understood why one would pay more than $15 for an iron, but now, I completely do. This was recommended to me by fellow knitter and crafter Lisa. She sews, and therefore irons a lot. While I do not sew, I hope to learn one day. Primarily though, I asked for this for Christmas since I’ll be starting my new job soon (ish) where I have to wear ironed shirts and pants. I really hate ironing. Somehow, I always manage to mess it up. Not with this iron.

First off, it is super hot. No idea exactly how hot it is, but on my white cotton button-up shirt that has not been ironed in literally years, one glide took out all the wrinkles. Not back and forth – just once. The steam is really strong, and I can even force a burst of steam over a particular stubborn area. In fact, when I accidently ironed in a wrinkle on the sleeve, I made it burst some steam, and the wrinkle came right out. Amazing.

Secondly, it heats up super quickly. I plugged it in, and less than 30 seconds later, it was all the way up to the hottest setting. There is even an indicator light that tells you when it’s ready. Sweet.

The water tank is huge. The heat dial is easy to understand. The cord is long and tangle-free. Most models have an auto-shut off feature, but I choose one that doesn’t in case I use it to sew. It even has a vertical steam feature, although I haven’t tested that particular feature yet. I imagine it’ll come in super handy with my knitting some day.

So for those of you who sew, or just who wants a good iron. This one rocks.

January 26, 2008. Tags: , . Tools. Leave a comment.

Seduction Socks

This is my only Christmas gift crafting I did this year. I had to wait to give it away before posting, just in case the recipient sees it.

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Pattern: Seduction Socks (link to PDF)
Yarn: Reclaimed yarn – 43% Rayon, 39% Nylon, 10% Cotton, 8% Angora.
Needles: 32″ US1.5 (2.5mm)

This was knitted almost exclusively as a travel project for about 2 months. I kept it in my purse and worked on it at weekly SnBs and when bored waiting somewhere. I finished pretty quickly, considering. I did work at home on the heel and toe, since those parts are a little more complicated. I even had to wait on the heel because it was simply impossible doing it 2 at a time on one circular. I ended up order a set of sock dpns from Knit Picks just to tackle heel area. I’m really glad I have it now though.

The socks turned out a little snug, but in a good way. It stretches nicely, but I’m not sure of the yarn’s recoverability. Erin tried it on and it seems to fit her better than me, so yay!

January 1, 2008. Tags: , , . Knitting. 1 comment.

Another Baby Cardi

So here is the second of the baby clothes that I’m knitting. This was made specifically to go with a Christmas dress that baby received.

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Pattern: Mossy Jacket
Yarn: Knit Picks Crayon, double-stranded
Needles: KP Options size 9
Size: approximately 22″ around the chest
Gauge: 3.5 sts / inch

I modified the pattern to make the opening centered with buttons going all the way. It is turned inside out to give it a reverse stockinette stitch. The mom wanted the nubbly texture, and reverse stockinette featured the boucle texture much better. The bottom 5 buttons are generic maroon colored buttons. The top one is a jeweled, super-sparkly one. I really like how it looks almost like a brooch.

I started knitting this on Thanksgiving day. It’s a quick knit because of the gauge, and also because I’ve made the pattern before. Finished on 12/10, and took 4 more days to go shop for buttons and tack it on.

The yarn is wonderfully soft! I might make a bath mitt or something with my leftovers. It’s a 100% Pima Cotton boucle texture yarn. Cheap too. It took approx 3.5 balls for this cardigan. Not bad.

(Oh wait – I’m supposed to make baby mitts & bootees… gotta remember that!)

I didn’t have nearly as much trouble with the sleeve join this time around.  Instead of picking up one stitch, I picked up 3 stitches so that it has a smoother underarm join.  I reduced the decrease from every 4 rows to every 3 rows and it worked out pretty well.  Of course, maybe it’s just the boucle texture hiding my mistakes, but that’s fine by me.

December 18, 2007. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Foliage Hat

I made this hat to go with My So-Called Scarf. It’s out of the same yarn (Manos wool) but in a solid color.

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(excuse the hideousness – it’s exam time which means jeans and t-shirt time)

Pattern: Foliage
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Wool, Color 57
Needles: KP Options size 10 for body, 8 for ribbing, 11 for bind-off
Size: Chunky

This was such a quick knit and wonderful pattern! I love charts, and there was a lot of charts and minimal directions (although directions in words are provided for those who don’t like charts). The lace pattern was just relaxing enough, but still engaging. The ribbing was a little boring at the end, but I was able to do it at SnB using the continental method, which meant I got to practice something new, chit-chat, and get it done without much dreading. I finished this in just one week – in the middle of finals too! Needless to say, I loved knitting this hat.

On another note, I blocked the My So-Called Scarf to be much longer and slightly air-ier. The result is nice and soft and drapey. I love it more now than even before. I’ve never blocked a hat so I’ll have to figure out how. Maybe I can get this one to open up a little too.

I now have half a ball of this yarn left… can’t decide if I’m going to add fringe to My So-Called Scarf with it or not. I think if I do, it’ll tie the two colors together better (it doesn’t really show in the pictures, but they’re ever so slightly off). But I’m not sure if I want fringe… decisions…decisions…

Now I just need some mittens to finish up this set of hat & scarf. I can’t imagine doing mittens in Manos though, so off to the LYS I go (tomorrow… after finals…)

December 6, 2007. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

My So-Called Scarf

So I joined the My-So Called Scarf craze. I never really intended on knitting it, since I didn’t think it looked that good. However, it was about the only pattern I liked for a scarf out of Manos, so I decided to try it anyway. As it turns out, it looks way better in person than in a photo. I’m quite happy with it!.

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Pattern: My So-Called Scarf
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Wool, Color 118
Needles: KP Options size 11
Size: 20 stitches wide

This was such a quick knit! I bought the yarn on Black Friday and started it that weekend, and I finished it just now. It’s really quick to memorize and a very enjoyable stitch pattern. I made it a bit narrower since I plan on wearing it doubled-up. I used up one entire skein of yarn (with about a 3/4 in. tail at the end!) and it’s just a tad shorter than I like. I’m going to block it to be longer, since that’ll also give it a more drapey feel.

The yarn is scratchier than I like, but maybe it’ll soften up after washing. As it is, it itches my neck a little. Maybe washing & blocking will help?

I still need to weave in the ends and block it, but right now I’m obsessed with the hat I’m knitting to match.  We’ll see when it gets truly and completely done.

December 2, 2007. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

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