Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year :o)

The New Year is nearly upon us and it is time to consider some resolutions . . . . well, got that over and done with quickly – now I can party :o) OK, OK, I resolve to use up my yarn stash and to sell on Etsy my surplus (as if there ever could be such a thing!) hand-dyed yarn and project bags – which lead me very nicely into a few items that I have just put in my Etsy store – go and take a look, you know you want to :o)

The project bags are my favorite design and came about because when I knitting my socks, this is the size and shape that I go to. I can fit one project per bag - they are lightweight, easy to carry and store, and look so cute. They follow my philosophy of sock knitting as well - let me explain. I love hand-knit socks. once you have tried them, you won't go back to shop bought ones again. But more than that, you can buy some very luxurious yarn - you only need 100gms, and that is pretty much it. No dozens of matching balls of yarn, worrying about dye colors, getting bored part way through a project etc. The same is true of these project bags, I am like a magpie with pretty fabrics and I only need small amounts to make one. And of course hubby is happy as my fabric is now moving out of my craft room and into the hands of a deserving owner!

Having segued into nicely into knitting socks, I have now finished my Dolly Mixtures Socks, using up leftover yarn. Love, love, love them :o)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to One and All!

Well, Christmas was all I could have hoped for. Great food, company and pressies - all wrapped up in one very special bundle!

I was very spoiled with LOTS of yarn from Knit Picks and a fantastic kit from Simply Socks (see pic below). I plan to knit a pair of plain stocking stitch socks that will show off the colors beautifully.

So - how was Christmas for you??!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

And Re-Skeined . . . .

This is how my Neon Punch looks after re-skeining it to a more acceptable length to fit my swift - pretty neat huh? I'll need to wind it into a cake before starting to knit, but I'm getting there!

Now I just need to choose a pattern! I suspect there will be some pooling, so I'm thinking a nice simple rib pattern.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

For the Love of Dyeing . . .

To me, yarn is manna from heaven. I love the touch, the smell but most of all . . . . the color. I'm like a magpie when it comes to collecting the colors - I'm particularly fond of a green/yellow/lilac combination, and have one or two skeins in my stash that meet that criteria. I also see combinations day-to-day; you know the type, a beautiful sunrise, waves and sand on a beach, a wildflower blooming in a grassy field and those are just the obvious ones! So, I thought it would be fun to try out some yarn dyeing - and oh boy, I'm hooked! My first two experiments involved the use of Kool Aid. There have been many tutorials written on the subject, so I'm just going to give you the links! This Knitty article was very useful, as is this article from KnittyOtter.

So, after a trip to the supermarket, I was armed with some Kool Aid in Cherry, Orange and Lemon/Lime. I had some Patons Kroys sock yarn in Ecru sitting by, waiting for an opportunity to show how lovely it could be! I re-skeined the yarn and then soaked it in mild soapy water for 30 mins, meanwhile I dissolved one sachet of Kool Aid in two cups of water - three bowls, one color in each. After squeezing out the yarn and rolling it in a towel to dry a little more, I dipped a third of the yarn in each of the bowls, being careful not to mix the colors. I left a bare patch between each of the color joins and carefully squeezed the dye to fill the gaps. The yarn was then coiled into one of the baskets of my steamer, and left to steam for 30 minutes.

Once cooled, it was given a good rinse and left to dye. A quick twist . . . and it looked like this!Pretty cool huh? I need to re-skein it, but I proudly present to you, Neon Punch (1201).

I loved the effect the cherry had, so I mixed a second packet with the dissolved dye and dropped two more prepared skeins in to get Cherry Love (1202).

It must be love, love, love . . . .

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Peppermill Exchange

It all started with me wearing a pair of hand knitted socks on a training course at work . . . I was wearing my September Mockery Socks and my colleagues commented favorably on them. They are rather cute - lovely fresh green lacy socks with cute silver lined crystal beads . . .

So, my colleague was looking for a Christmas pressie for his wife . . . . and he is a wood turner . . . so I now have a lovely handturned wooden peppermill, and he has . . . .

Hope she likes them :o) And on the subject of Christmas Gifts, we take our recycling to a small local dump where an old boy by the name of Willy always gives us a hand. Hubby got talking to him during the last visit and they got onto the subject of cold feet, hand-knitted socks, you get the picture? Well, it had to be done, and I knit a pair of chunky socks for Willy - and the name (well really, what else would you call them??) Willy's Warmers!