Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Dye Day Details

Some people have an idea of what my dyeing was about. Well, at least half of it! The blanks were from Machine Knitting to Dye For. I'm going to unravel and ball the yarn and make a hat using the pattern that came with the two blanks.

Now for the roving. I've been mulling over ideas about blending different colors of dyed fiber to get a color that I can't get by dyeing alone. I have about 100 grams of each colorway and I'll sample different ways of blending. Two I've done already are stripping the roving and blending by attenuating, which Deb Menz explained in during the SOAR retreat classes a couple of years ago. She also explains blending on a carder in Color in Spinning. I've tried a couple of times, but not with any planning or forethought. This time I want to take the dyed roving, try several methods and then knit up small samples. That way I can refer back to something I've done myself which always helps the learning process. After reading Deb's book and taking a dyeing workshop with Sara Lamb I came home and started my own samples to help me understand a little better.

This time I wanted to take two sets of 5 colors, each set would blend well together and one color from each set would blend with one from the other set. (Keeping up here? It's so hard to type out your thought process. Or maybe that's just me!) The magic will happen when the experimental blending starts. So here are the dye results.

For those of you who like to start with something concrete and then add your own touch, I've included my formulas. The color key is below.





































b=bright blue
These are Sabraset dyes from ProChem. I also used red from the Washfast line (WFR=Washfast red). My basic palette comes from Sara's handouts and Deb's book.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Finally - A Snow Day!

Not too much snow but the ice was enough to give me a snow day. I got to use the new mittens and Calorimetry while shoveling. Both worked like a charm to keep my hands and ears warm, which was no easy task with the sleet and snow mix blowing all around. When I came back in I treated myself to this.

As you can see I couldn't wait until after I took the picture to start eating. My oldest, the papa-to-be, gave me the recipe. He makes it for mama-to-be, cuts it up, wraps it in foil, and freezes them. She takes them to work for a healthy snack. If you cut them into 16 bars they're about 75 calories and 8 grams of protein each. The recipe is below.

The Faroe Vine Cardigan is coming along well.

The easy-to-remember vine pattern is a delight. I also love the way Claudia has drafted the pattern to have the vines meet at the raglan decreases. Beautiful, yes?

Blueberry Bars

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup ground Flaxseed
1/4 cup wheat germ, oat bran, or ground nuts
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
1 1/2 cups white grape juice concentrate
4 tablespoons butter -- melted
2 large eggs -- lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup dried or dehydrated blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 F Lightly coat a nonstick 9-inch square cake pan with vegetable oil cooking spray.

2. Place the whole wheat flour, flaxseed, wheat germ, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a mixing bowl and stir to mix well.

3. Place the grape juice concentrate, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract in another mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on a low speed or with a whisk until well mixed.

4. Slowly add the flour mixture to the grape juice mixture, continuing to beat at a low speed just until thoroughly blended; be careful not to over mix. Gently fold the fresh and dried blueberries into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

5. Bake the cake until the top springs back when lightly pressed, about 40 minutes.

6. Let the cake cool slightly in the pan before turning it out onto a wire rack to completely cool or let it cool and serve it straight from the pan.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Has it Been That Long?

While I was pulling out the dyeing equipment yesterday I tried to remember the last time I dyed. That's one reason why I blog. Just used my search tool and found it was over a year ago!

I have some roving I want to dye, along with two blanks from Machine Knitting to Dye For's self-striping hat. I had in my mind a blue-green, red-orange, and some shade of violet. I looked back at the samples I did a couple of years ago to use as a starting point. In fact I still had some of those 2 yard lengths of 2/8 wool I used back then.

I like to use the clear measuring lids from liquid detergent to mix up the 10ml samples. After putting a few drops on a coffee filter I sopped up the rest with several yards of yarn and dumped it into a ziplock freezer bag. I steamed the bags in the roaster oven using empty tuna cans to keep the rack above the water level. I need to turn it up to about 450 to keep it steaming nicely. I worked on the three sets separately because I wanted to let the paper dry to help me decide in which direction I needed to go.

After letting the bags cool overnight I wrote out Tyvek labels with the dye formula and then slit the bags - they tend to look like they've been shrink-wrapped - and immediately slipped them through the hole in the label before washing.

What I like about this method is that the uneven dyeing of the yarn gives me an idea of what DOS I want to use.

Where the yarn sat in a puddle of dye gives a good prediction of a 3% DOS while the lighter shades would be accomplished with .5%DOS.

I always need to slip in a little green!

Who would have thought that I am getting the best color representation when I take pictures in my basement? I think it's the combination of the cheap flourescent shop light hanging to the side of the table, an incandescent tree lamp to the other side and non-direct natural light coming through the patio door. The colors, at least on my monitor, are spot on. Now I think I need to work on some golds to spark it up a bit.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Jewel of India Bracelet

This is the Jewel of India bracelet, designed by Kathleen Kimball-Baker, from Best of Beadwork 2006. You can see several variations on the cover (bottom right).

I used four different Delica beads with a 3mm fire polished crystal as the accent down the middle.

I changed up the ends a bit.

This is a breeze to make using the herringbone stitch. I'm making it again in silver and black. Here's one that somebody did with a button and loop closing.

This month's Online Guild workshop is on crochet techniques. I haven't done much crocheting since college and early baby days. The project for the first week was crochet weave. I've heard of crocheting a mesh and then weaving the accent yarn but we used a method where the accent yarn is carried along with the base yarn which allows you to use heavily textured yarns without worrying about pulling or distorting. One member used raffia as the base "yarn" weaving in iris leaves. Very cool.

Mine wasn't nearly as creative!

This week we explored Tunisian crochet. Just so happened to have several Tunisian (or afghan) hooks on hand so I used the same yarn combination for a sample.

The back is interesting too.

Lots of progress on the Faroe Vine Cardigan too, but I'll save those photos for tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Faroe Vine Cardigan

Don't you just love starting a new project? I'm starting Claudia's Faroe Vine Cardigan. You can read more about her steeking samples here. I'll let her do the research - I'll just knit! Be prepared for plenty of pictures because I'm already in love with this sweater. This is Heilo in Evergreen (discontinued) and medium brown heather. Claudia put the combination together for me. Guess she knows me pretty well, eh? The stitches between the two markers are the steek stitches. Since I took the picture I've finished the hem (yellow stitches are the provisional crocheted cast on) and border. I've also reversed the color combination to the evergreen background and the medium brown heather for the vine for the body of the sweater.

The short-row toe-up sock is starting to feel a little left out!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Catching Up

Oops, I did it again! I've uploaded pictures and started two posts, only to discover later that I never finished nor published them. Oh, well! So.....

After listening to the interview with Bonnie Tarses on WeaveCast last fall I was intrigued with the idea of Horoscope Weaving. I put it on the backburner until Marie brought up the idea again when she was planning a baby blanket. Now that I'm going to be a grandmother in June (like the way I slipped that in?), baby blankets are a top priority! ETA: Thanks, Sara, I forgot to include a link to Bonnie's blog!

I finally found some nice fabric for the Amy Butler messenger bag that Carolyn talked about a few months ago.

I've been getting in the habit of putting things in a big tote as I think about them then bringing them into my mother's. We're getting settled into this every fourth day routine and it's working out very well. When I have weekday duty it's from 4:30 until she's ready for bed, but weekends are all day and evening. While there's no sewing machine, loom, etc. I can get tons of prep work done.

One of the perks of the Online Guild is that you have access to archived notes from all of the past workshops. I've only done one toe-up sock before so I was eager to try some other variations. This is the crocheted provisional cast on with a short-row toe. You cast on half of the number of stitches you need and short row until you have 10-12 left in the center, then reverse the short rows until you are working all the stitches. Rip off the crocheted chain and pick up the other half of the stitches and you're on your way. I love this technique. I'm almost up to the heel which is also short-row. The other sock in the workshop uses a Turkish cast on and a Reverse Dutch Heel.

What about that boundweave sampler, you asked? Well, it is coming along, slowly. No sense posting pictures as I'm working my way up the back of the little purse I'm making and it's the same as the front only rightside up! I'll post more pictures after I change my tie up with the next sample. I also bought some more perle cotton in different colors at JoAnns (thanks, Sara, for the tip) which is good. I was getting tired with the blue/red/yellow/white scheme.