Posts Tagged ‘kool-aid dye’

So…Now What?

Monday, March 1st, 2010

The Olympics are done.  The Knitting Olympics are done.  The Ravelympics are done.  Or……are they…..

Ceilidh and Eirinn (Photo credit: Mom)

I had such a good time, I think I will start up another Olympic challenge for the duration of the Paralympics later in March!  Who’s with me?

I’m happy to report that the sales of the Olympic Red Mitten Pattern have been rolling in, and are currently at the $1550 mark raised for the Penguins Can Fly swim team.  I hope that people continue to purchase patterns and knit these mittens through the end of the paralympics.  Maybe we can hit $2010…wouldn’t that be cool?

Who knows….one day maybe some of the Penguins will be swimming in the summer paralympics!

Tonight, during the closing ceremonies, after proudly modeling my gold-medal pattern creations Ceilidh and Eirinn, I sat with no knitting in my hands–for all of about 15 minutes.  It’s at times like this that I wonder if I do have a serious problem, but I was suddenly struck by inspiration to knit more cables for a baby sweater/vest of sorts that I can almost see in my mind.

The trouble with things in your mind is that it’s very difficult to make them appear just like you imagined they would.  I am doing my best though, keeping careful scrawly notes and math written down just in case this project ends up successful enough to share with other knitters out there.

I absolutely LOVE the yarn.  It’s Life DK by Stylecraft, a blend of acrylic and wool.  Easy to care for, and so soft.  I may need to go back to Wool Tyme to get more–there are so many babies to knit for this spring!

Are you gearing up for March 12th when the torch gets re-lit?  The Paralympics run from March 12th to 21st in Vancouver!!

Pattern: Eirinn

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Knit in the round from crown to brim with two contrasting worsted weight yarns, this celtic inspired hat would be perfect to wear on St. Patrick’s day.

Buy Eirinn for $4.00 CAD

The Gaelic word Eirinn (pronounced air-en) is a poetic name for Ireland often used in songs.  The celtic patterning of the braid represents the continuum of life, love and faith, and the circle motif represents eternity.

As the final hours of the Ravelympics, knitting olympics and sporting olympics wind down, I am extremely proud to present a second pattern.  This is like an unexpected medal win for me as I thought it would be a big enough challenge to spin and knit and publish one pattern!  Watching all of the fantastic performances of our Canadian athletes I felt inspired to go for the double gold.

Skills: cast on, knitting in the round, purl, cables, kfb increase, stranded knitting, chart reading
Needles:   4 size 4.0mm DPNs, cable needle, darning needle
Yarn:  Worsted weight in 2 contrasting colours
Gauge:  4.5 sts per inch, 7 rows per inch in stockinette stitch

This pair of hat and mitts is perfect for someone interested in a little colourwork and a little bit of cable knitting.

If you like Eirinn, you may also like to knit Ceilidh mittens to match!

Download the .pdf pattern for Eirinn (hat) only  $4.00 CAD

Download the .pdf pattern for Ceilidh (mittens) only $4.00 CAD

Download the .pdf pattern for Eirinn and Ceilidh together for $6.00 CAD

Check out my other patterns here.

For Double Gold-A Hat To Match!

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

With the extra yarn that I’d spun, I decided to create a hat based on the charts and patterning in the Ceilidh mittens published yesterday.  This could bring me a double gold medal in the Ravelympics/knitting Olympics.  I’m up for the challenge.

This much of the hat was knit through a fabulous evening of improvisational theatre.  I have been a fan of the highschool improv since I was first introduced to it about 5 years ago.  If you’ve never been to an improv event before, you should check it out!  Here’s the national link, and the local link too.

It is great to see these teenagers working together, trusting each other, taking risks, and producing some moving, some hilarious, and some very interesting pieces of spontaneous theatre.  Audience participation is encouraged, and it’s the audience suggestions that form the backbone of the sketches performed.

I was inspired by them to improvise a little on this hat design.  Fingers crossed it works out!

This lovely celtic inspired hat is looking for a name!  Any ideas?

Pattern: Ceilidh

Friday, February 26th, 2010

$4.00 CAD

A ceilidh (pronounced Kaylee) is a traditional Gaelic social dance originating in Ireland and Scotland.  In days gone by, there were ceilidhs in most town and village halls on Friday or Saturday nights.  The cheerful and lively ceilidh music is provided by fiddles, flutes, tin whistles, accordions, and the bodhran drum.

This pattern is the results of my Ravelympic challenge: to design and publish a pattern during the Olympic games, and to knit a pair of mittens from sheep fleece that I carded, dyed and spun during the span of the games.

The green was inspired by my 4 leaf clover, and was created using orange and green kool-aid.  The fleece was spun and Navajo plied to form a worsted weight 3-ply yarn.

The celtic patterning of the braid represents the continuum of life, love and faith, and the circle motif represents eternity.

Knit in the round with two contrasting worsted weight yarns, these celtic inspired mittens would be perfect to wear to a St. Patrick’s day ceilidh.

Skills: cast on, knitting in the round, purl, cables, M1 increase, decrease (ssk and k2tog), stranded knitting, chart reading, kitchener stitch
Needles:   4 size 4mm DPN, cable needle, darning needle
Yarn:  Worsted weight in 2 contrasting colours
Gauge:  4.5 sts per inch, 7 rows per inch in stockinette stitch

These mittens would be great for a beginner who is ready to try cable knitting and colourwork in small doses.

EDIT:  Ceilidh now has a matching hat called Eirinn.

Download the .pdf pattern for Celildh (mittens) only for $4.00 CAD

Download the .pdf pattern for Ceilidh & Eirinn for $6.00 CAD

If you like these patterns, check out my others!

Weaving In The Ends

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

It’s a satisfying thing to weave in the ends on a project, specially when it is completed ahead of schedule!

This past 10 days of carding, spinning, dyeing, and knitting has happened in fits and spurts….mostly late into the night.  The Olympic coverage is played late into the night too so it has kept me company as these mittens grew.  I have started to chart and write the pattern, and will attempt the impossible: test knit another pair of mittens in a commercially available yarn to double check my instructions before publishing the pattern.

As I examine the almost finished product a few things come to mind:

1.  The wonderful thing about handspun, or at least about my handspun, is that each bobbin is different.  One mitten is thus a little bit bigger than the other due to the thicker wool.  I don’t know that it is all that noticeable.

2.  This wool is still greasy.  My hands have never been smoother!  As I spin, and knit this wool, the lanolin has been conditioning my skin.  I think I will wash the mittens though, to remove some of it.  Maybe the bits of straw will be removed with a good washing too. (Note to self: Card wool 3 times as many times as you think you need to…I thought I removed all of the straw but boy was I wrong!)

3.  I have also learned that cables on a cuff are not stretchy at all…maybe knit with larger needles it would be better.

Hope everyone is enjoying the Olympics, and that Knitting Olympics and Ravelympic projects are going strong.

My test knitting begins during the Canada-USA hockey game tonight.  GO CANADA!!!

Mitten #1 Complete

Monday, February 15th, 2010

What a day for Canada yesterday!  I watched while we won our first gold medal on home soil, and as I watched I knit, and knit and knit.  This morning I woke up and knit some more, enjoying the relaxing Family Day holiday.

I’m pleased with the results of this wool.  I think it is much happier as a mitten than it was as a sock.  I think I’d have to card it a lot more, and then spin it thinner and make 2-ply yarn for socks, or use this thicker weight and knit a nice slipper pattern.

close up of braid

I used my knitting journal and charted out this pattern in it as I went along.  It is great to have a paper trail now….so I can hopefully make a second one that matches.  I’m going to reverse the cables and the braid design on mitten #2.

Speaking of mitten #2….If I’m going to knit one, I better get to carding and spinning more white.  Thank goodness I dyed enough green to be used in both mittens, I don’t know that I could repeat that colourway.

My recipe for this lovely colour of green:

To dye 1 full bobbin of 3 ply handspun, I put it in a bowl full of water, added about 4 “glugs” of white vinegar, 1 full squeeze bottle of liquid green food colouring, and the left overs from another mostly empty bottle.  To that I added 3 packets of lime koolaid, and one packet of orange koolaid that I didn’t mix in thoroughly (this leads to uneven colouring which I think worked nicely).  I microwaved it for about 10 minutes total, and let it sit until the water in the bowl was clear.

I’ll write up this pattern and share it with everyone when I’m done.  I’m looking for a good name though…

What would you name this mitten pattern?

Frogged Sock Becomes Mitten

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

My grand plans of making a sock with my handspun fell through today.  I got part way into the foot (toe-up), and realized that it was going to be ridiculously thick and bulky so I ripped it out.

I have since cast on for a mitten.  “Thick” and “bulky” are words that seem to go with mittens, particularly in Canada!

I’m making it up as I go along.  So far I’ve incorporated interlocking cables in the white cuff, a chain design before the thumb division, and a colourwork braid in the middle of the hand.

I think these will be great for St. Patrick’s Day!

Knitting Olympics Day 1

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

My wheel is fixed–thanks to my dad, some long thin pieces of rubber, and locktite adhesive.  This afternoon I carded and spun up two bobbins full, and navajo plied them.

I chose to make the yarn 3 ply since my fleece isn’t so uniform.  There are lots of short fibers, and it’s still a bit greasy (not soiled though).  Even though I carded it twice, and removed many small pieces, it still is riddled with “fluffy bits” when I spin it.  Luckily when it is 3 ply, the fluffy pieces blend together with the thin bits to make a “rustic” yarn that seems to be worsted or aran weight.

This wasn’t really my plan, but that’s what the fiber does.  These socks will be very thick, good for wearing in rainboots I think.  Maybe thick socks will be finished quickly.  If there is time, perhaps I’ll make mittens too.

dying yarn with food colouring and vinegar in the microwave

To add some interest, I dyed one bobbin full of yarn a nice shade of green.  I needed to use a lot of food colouring, and then I added green kool-aid, and some orange too, to dull the intensity a bit.

hanging up to dry

The colour in that picture is not very accurate.  When it is dry, and in natural light, it will look better.

Now I’m off to bed to dream up a pattern!

Spinning Wheel

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

I packed up my spinning supplies and headed to see a friend’s girls this morning (they are the ones that dyed the beautiful roving).  I brought 4 bobbins, a lazy Kate, my one treadle Lendrum spinning wheel, orifice hook, yarn swift, ball winder, niddy noddy, and a great deal of dyed roving.

I gave the girls a lesson on how to spin with the wheel.  It was fun to see their skill develop, and how they got mesmorized by the spinning colours.  By taking turns, they did a good job of spinning, plying, and winding up their new yarn.  They learn so quickly!!

I look forward to seeing what they will make with this!

We’re looking for ideas for projects that beginner knitters could do with small quantities of  bulky “novelty” yarn (100% wool, so it could felt nicely).  Are there any ideas out there?

Saturday Night Spinning

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

Look what I’ve been up to this evening!  I spun up some of the roving that the girls dyed last week.  I’m going to visit them again tomorrow for a bit of a spinning lesson, but we wont have time to spin it all then.

I am so impressed by how their colour combinations look when they are all spun up.  I hope to see something fabulous knit from these small skeins.  I’m motivated to try some of my own fiber dyeing sometime soon.

Amazing what can be done with kool-aid!