Sun Dying, Christmas Cowls (FO's), and WIP's

From AKQGuy

Yesterday I started my day by mixing up the Kool-Aid and getting some roving set to dying in the sun. The forecast was for an 80+ degree day with little wind so I set to it and by mid morning had a batch of dye sitting on the roof of the car (out of the reach of marauding animals) and soaking up the sun for heat.

By the time I had it all drying in the evening I had a good batch of dyed roving I hope to take with me to the Grand Canyon with the easily packed sidekick for late evening around the campfire spinning.

From AKQGuy

I think the lovely cantaloupe kettle dyed looking stuff that the Peach Mango flavor produced is my favorite at this time.

I also have a batch of cowls for Christmas knitting done and blocked.

From AKQGuy

And more to come unfortunately. I'm about tired of coming up with ideas for these, but by far of these my favorite at this time is the tri-colored linen stitch one I blocked last night.

From AKQGuy

Looks like fancy color work, right?

From AKQGuy

Nope, just the way the color changes lined up with the stitches done in the round in a linen stitch caused this effect. And even better is the thickness. All four are made with Berocco Ultra Alpaca so they are wonderfully warm for the necks of Wyomingites, several which are ranchers. The lacy ones aren't going to the ranchers.

I found today as I work on a spiral ribbed cowl, that I'm tired of cowls. In fact, I'm sick of them for at least a few days. So when Andrea and another yarn store customer started discussing the Ilene bag, i got sucked in. You see, I've been looking at starting a market bag from three skeins of hemp I have downstairs in a rather unattractive color. I had an idea brewing about how to make this thing when this pattern was put in front of me and besides a few changes I would make (and did) it was exactly what I wanted! So, I had them print me up a copy off ravelry (it's free, titled Ilene Bag) and bought some Classic Elite: Firefly and hacked into it tonight.

From AKQGuy

So far, so good. I wanted a firmer knit so am working only on the smaller sized needle, but added more stitches tot he bottom of the bag to account for the size difference. I also picked up a couple additional stitches along the floor of the bag's edge to add decrease tot he corner points to give some additional structure. We'll see what more I insist on doing, but I'm happy with it at this time. And when I say that I did these changes, it by no means is meant to say there is a lacking to this pattern. It's a lovely pattern and fine just the way it is. I just knit like I cook, patterns and recipes are more like guidelines that sure and true directions. I always have to play with things and make it mine, and when it all goes to hell because I deviated from the tried and true method, it should in no way reflect poorly on the designer who gave me a perfectly good pattern. It reflects all upon my insistence that it could be better fitted to my wants.

Anyway, me and the kids are heading to bed so I can go play at work tomorrow night, you all have a great week, and keep knitting/crocheting/macrame'ing/playing with fiber in all ways wonderful.



ronhuber's picture

The linen stitch is beautiful. I think it would be difficult to do while watching a Soccer Game. Lovely choice of colour and congratulations on getting those gifts started in time.

AKQGuy's picture

After a few inches and your in the groove, I bet it would be easily doable. But mine was in the round, not flat, that might require a touch more attention.

potterdc's picture

The kool aid dying is, well, so cool! Nicely done. Can you suggest a web page for reference on how to?

Think less, enjoy it more.

AKQGuy's picture

I just googled it... has an article regarding it. I basically just mixed my kool aid and either soaked or painted my fiber and set it out to bake in the sun.

1. Soak my fiber in a tepid bath.
2. Mix drink mix to your desired darkness (I did 3 packs to a cup of warm water for the "painted" ones and the due bath I just did enough water to flit my fiber with 3 packs of mix. I know several things say that kool aid is acidic enough but I added a tablespoon of white vinegar per cup of liquid an it seems to aid in color absorption.
3. On a cookie sheet cove with Saran wrap, lay out fiber using a spoon ladle the color on where you want it. Mash it in for good coverage.
4. Cover with Saran wrap and close edges up with the layer of wrap under fiber. For the bath just cover the top of the bowl.
5. Set out in the sun. I waited until dusk to pull mine in. The metal containers were still warm to the touch.
6. Rinse thoroughly in cool water. Let fiber cool if needed as to not shock the fiber. Be careful not to accidentally felt fiber.
7. Lay out or hang to dry.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Nice work, Q. Forgot to mention in my other comment elsewhere that I really like that canteloupe color. I look forward to seeing how it spins up.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

AKQGuy's picture

Thanks Joe. If it doesn't talk to me when I get it spun you'll be the first one I let have t it. Deal?

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Sounds okay to me. Unless someone else in our circle starts a turf war over wanting it. ;-P

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

twistknit's picture

Wow! You've been busy! I died yarn with Kool-Aid but not roving. I will have to try that sometime. I'm thinking I need to do some Linen stitch with my next project (after all my UFOs are caught up!) lol.

AKQGuy's picture

You just have to be a bit more careful not to felt the fiber. I do notice that the dyes fiber compared to undated needs a bit more careful ore-drafting for these novice spinner finger to make it behave.

The linen stitch I think called to me because it seems weaving is calling my name lately. Is there a fiberholics anonymous group?

michaelpthompson's picture

On Wed, 2012-05-16 22:28 — AKQGuy wrote:

I just knit like I cook, patterns and recipes are more like guidelines that sure and true directions. I always have to play with things and make it mine

I'm the same way Quinton. I never seem to be able to follow a pattern exactly as written. I did pretty well on a baby sleeper I made last week, but when I was finished, I thought of two places I would have changed the pattern because I thought it would work better.

Haven't done any dying myself yet, but I still have some yarn left that I dyed at the 2011 MRMKR. I should dig that out and see what I can come up with. I have a couple of skeins that QueerJoe dyed with the colors of the Irish flag and gave to me. I wonder what kind of socks they would make? Or maybe a scarf? He did the painting style on those.

"All knitting is just one stitch at a time."

AKQGuy's picture

I remember that yarn. My stuff I dyed there unfortunately didn't work out well.

So did you jot down the notes on your pattern for the next time around. I can never seem to turn off that little part of my brain that keeps wanting to make changes.

scottly's picture

"....Grand Canyon with the easily packed sidekick for late evening around the campfire spinning."

Seriously, are you hiking with a spinning wheel in your back pack?!! Please adopt me!!!!

Lovely work! Congratulations! I loved the seed stitch!