Saturday, 29 September 2007
But, as dutifully promised, here is my guide to dyeing sock yarn.
1. Get your stuff together. You will need a skein of yarn, Kool Aid, water, jug, a bowl, a microwave and rubber gloves. Whatever you do, don't forget to wear those babies!
2. Mix your KoolAid with water until you get the desired colour. I know that some people are really scientific about this and say so much powder to so much water. I don't have any of that. I let my eyes be the judge.
3. Soak the amount of yarn into the dye. Take care to soak all the area and not leave patches of white. Then put the yarn in the microwave for two minutes. Leave it a couple of minutes, then blast it again for another two minutes. When the colour has left the water, you're ready to repeat the process with your next colour.
4. When you have dyed your yarn and you're satisfied with it leave it to cool down. Then rinse it thoroughly in cold water. Your yarn will be quite hot from its time in the microwave so don't rinse it straight away as this could cause it to felt.
5. Then you just leave it to dry and give your one-off skein a name. This yarn is called 'Saddo sock yarn' because it is for Ezzie to cheer him up with his Seasonal Affected Disorder. He suffers terribly in the winter with this. Hopefully these socks will give him something bright during the darkness.
You might have noticed the turkey baster in my photos. You can use this if you want to add splashes of colour here and there. I did that last time and it's nice but the splashes can turn into purple (which I wanted) or brown (which I didn't) I'm quite happy with this lot, so I'm not going to bother today. Believe me it is good fun and doesn't take long.
I hope that answers any questions Wheezy. Let me know how you get on!
Thursday, 27 September 2007
I went to the Baa and bought some undyed sock yarn and Kool Aid. I am desperate to start dyeing but I have to wait until Shona is here because she missed out last time. I have ideas for the sock yarn and am going for striking colour combinations. The difficulty will be convincing Shona that it's what she wants as well.
I've put the colours together as I think they should go.
Now I know September is supposed to be about Stash-busting and all I've shown so far are purchases, but I have managed to use up existing yarn. The first toe-up is now finished and was scrutinised by Caroline at a meeting last night. She seemed pleased. I cast off as I normally do but loosely but I really missed grafting the toe. It didn't feel as satisfying this time. Nevertheless I think the sock is lovely and I liked having only a small amount of yarn left at the end. The trouble has been the lace pattern. It has slowed me down so I am not going to do the second one until the October holidays when I have more time to concentrate. Ezzie keeps teasing me that I have 'Second Sock Syndrome' but I don't. It will get knit and promptly in October.
I have started a Christmas sock from the sock stash for my Uncle John. It's Opal Rainforest in Pfau (peacock). I'm a big fan of the German language, but Pfau is such an ugly name for such a stunning creature. Despite the name, I really love the colours and disagree with the saying that "blue and green should never be seen without something in between". Utter rubbish. They work a treat.
I went out on the town last night - knitting. I had a great night and enjoyed myself loads. Rather inevitably I didn't come home empty-handed, but I didn't buy anything. Caroline taught (ha!) me to spin. I had a go but I don't think I got the hang of it so she has sent me home with a drop spindle and wool. I am going to have a go because I love the idea of spinning yarn and making my own sock yarn one day. I strongly suspect this will be another October Half Term project because I am busy at work at the moment and I can only cope with easy projects. It's amazing to think that a piece of wool and a drop spindle can be turned into usable yarn and then into usable garments.
Friday, 21 September 2007
The trouble for me is that I never feel I know where the pattern is going. With my regular cuff-down socks and heel flap I "get" what's going on. With these socks I've felt bemused throughout. I have completed the first foot and have down the short row heel and so am now on the leg. But it's weird because I don't feel like I've "turned the heel" and I thought that was compulsory with socks. It seems you just make a heel and join it all together again. I think there's less knitting but I miss the heel flap and gusset.
I did add a lace pattern. I'm not sure anyone else will like it, but I do. In white the pattern would look like those school socks I used to wear as a lass. Trouble is, I don't think you can see the X pattern so well from my photo. If you squint a bit you might be able to make out something, but don't bank on it.
Sunday, 16 September 2007
Saturday, 15 September 2007
I have almost finished Shona's Christmas socks and don't know what to knit next. I have to knit more Christmas socks but can't decide what. I braved the stash today and came across some lovely RYC Cashsoft yarn which would be ideal for socks. I bought it ages ago for a Sheffield Forum Knitalong, but the pattern was so difficult that I decided not to bother. I really would like to knit toe-up socks and raced to the Wool Baa to buy circular needles. When I got home and had a look at the pattern on the web, it looked so complicated that I couldn't face it alone. I think I will need to start that at the Wool Baa's group meeting for help.
That still means I don't know what to knit. I could opt for some faux fair isle as I have plenty of the stuff. But I want more of a challenge. I think I will hit my Stitch Reference Book and consider something original from there. It's not a good feeling not knowing what to do next.
Friday, 14 September 2007
Saturday, 8 September 2007
Monday, 3 September 2007
I started my new job today and I felt a bit out of my depth, but I'm not going to know everything straight away and having met with various people and had various meetings, I actually feel quite excited about it all. There's a lot of work to do, no doubt about it, but I'm looking forward to getting my teeth stuck in.
No further news on the knitting front, except the new Magknits is out and I love the Kaibashira socks. I felt sure I would knit them, but they are knitted on two circular needles. I love my dpns far too much and don't want to knit on circulars. It just sounds too difficult. I like the socks because they are a Feather and Fan pattern. I'm wondering whether I would be able to work out a pattern of my own for dpns. Surely by now I can? I have worked out that I am on sock 28 at the moment, which I consider to make me quite accomplished at regular socks. I think I enjoy knitting Monkey socks so much because they challenge me a little more. Maybe making my own pattern (albeit from someone else's inspiration) would be a good thing for my Knitting Development.
Sunday, 2 September 2007
I'm tempted to rant and rave about the accommodation and the proprietor but I am going to heed the advice of 'Destiny's Child' (always a good source of wisdom) and say "I'm not going to diss you on the internet", but believe me I am sorely tempted. Some of the other people there had been there six months; how they stood it, I'll never know. There are just too many anecdotes to mention.
Anyway, this is just a quick catch-up post. Here are Ezzie's Madrid socks. He has tried them on and they are a perfect fit. I have also tried them on and they are too big and baggy for me, so there can be no getting round it, he is indeed the recipient.
Yesterday I finished this sock, which I think is female and will then be going to my Mum for Christmas. I have taken Caroline's advice and used up my own hand-dyed spare wool for the cuff, heel flap and toes and used a plain Opal sock yarn for the bulk of the sock. Jill helped me choose the colour for the plain bits and I think the green works particularly well. The pattern is Monkey again and I like it because it is not difficult but gives a lovely effect. I think it works better with the plain sock yarn. Have any of you guessed where this photo was taken?
I went to the Bernabeu stadium yesterday, home of Real Madrid and just had to take this photo. There can't be many people who have taken photos of their handknitting in the stadium.