27 March 2008

What you might call a dyeing tutorial.

I know it's been a long time since I've posted, but that's just how things have been going around here. I was gone for 5 days over the St. Patrick's Day weekend, and I still haven't recovered. Like, I'm still living out of my suitcase so to speak. Really it's my duffle bag.

All that said, I've been doing quite a bit of crafting. Even some dyeing!

kool aid mosaic

I dyed this with 9 different flavors/colors of Kool Aid: Cherry, Black Cherry, Strawberry, Grape, Orange, Lemonade, Lemon Lime, Ice Blue Lemonade, and Berry Blue.

Basically, what I did was soak the hell out of the yarn. Patons Classic Merino, if you wondered. I wanted the yarn to absorb as much colors as possible and not have any white blips, so I made sure it was really saturated with water. Then, I squeezed it out a little bit before I laid it out. That way when I painted the dye on it would be sucked up by the yarn. I
arranged it in the biggest pan I could find, which happened to be a metal roasting pan. I proceeded to paint it in rainbow order, mostly to avoid weird color muddiness. (i.e. red touches orange on one side and purple on the other.) I made my dye really concentrated (less than a cup of water to each packet) and just kind went crazy painting. I only painted enough on so that the yarn would absorb it; I didn't want a lot pooling in the bottom and thus mixing with other colors. I ended up with quite a few places where one color dripped onto another while I was painting and things like that. But they really give it character. (Expect some pictures of those spot when I photograph this yarn knit up.)
Once I was content with my painting job, I covered it with aluminum foil, stuck a meat thermometer in, and popped it in the oven at about 180°F. I left the oven on for about 20 minutes and then turned it off and left the yarn in there overnight to cool.

(eta: I used the knitty.com tutorials as references for this. There are a few good ones about dyeing with food color there.)

I'm super happy with this yarn. If I re-create it, I will add more blue. The darker color, Berry Blue which is consequently in the lighter package, came out great. I love it! I also would make at least part of the yellow darker, maybe by adding food coloring. But I like intense yellows. I've already got something knit up with most of this, and I'm trying to figure out what to do with the rest. I'm not normally into such bright colors, but hell, I did it myself!

I'm working on quite a few other things, including some secret gift knitting. And I am definitely open to suggestions about cute baby patterns. Everybody and their mommy-to-be is having a kid, it seems!

06 March 2008

more favorites.

I know it's a little late, since I made this on Monday, but I wanted to post my newest favorites mosaic.

Monday faves

I've been doing a little tattoo planning, and also trying to figure out what color of STR to order (see post about wanting opinions!). Oh, and I'd never seen granny triangles before this. I love them! I am dying to make some.

typing is not my strong point.

60 words

Speed test

I took it three times and that was my best result. Interesting, though!

02 March 2008

Wanted: your opinions.

A while ago, I saw an ad for a place to take surveys for money. I thought, "what the hell" and signed up. Turns out that it was legit, and I actually made $4.50 from taking a survey last week. (If you want more info I will give it to you but I don't want to sound like an infomercial!) Anyway, I've been saving this money in my paypal with the intended goal of getting some more STR to knit a pair with it for myself. It's basically the only way I could afford it. Well, it's been a few months and I finally have enough to get some. Now, my dilemma is choosing which colorway and what pattern to knit.

I've narrowed my choices to Fire On The Mountain and 24 Karat. There are a LOT of colors I like, but I think these two are the most fun. I like the rainbowyness (totally a word!) of Fire On The Mountain, but yellow is my secret favorite color and I have been thinking about 24 Karat for at least a year.
Look at my flickr or ravelry favorites, and you'll see what I mean. There are a lot of gorgeous socks in both colors.

I'm alsot debating whether I should go with lightweight or medium. I liked th medium the first time I knit with it, and I do like thicker socks. But I also like cute patterns, and most of them work better (meaning with fewer mods) with the lightweight.
Pattern-wise, I'm really having a hard time. I have a personal rule (for the time being) that I won't knit the same pattern more than once. I have a tendancy to get caught up on one thing and miss out on all the great other stuff out there. I've seen a lot of Fire On The Mountain Jaywalkers, and I like them a lot. But, I've already knit a pair of Jaywalkers, so that's out. I also think Charade would look good in that colorway. Then, I saw a pair of Hedera socks in 24 Karat. Beautiful! Also, some Pomotamus socks turned my eye. And really, grevillea's recent FO in 24 Karat is what stirred my liking for the colorway again in the first place.

Now, I know all the socks I've mentioned are like the most popular patterns around, other than Monkey, which I despise. I'm not a trend-follower. Most of the time! I've been searching through pages and pages of patterns on ravelry, looking for something good.

Basically what I'm saying is if you have any suggestions or a strong opinion one way or the other, throw me your two cents. I tend to either look at the big picture and over look the details, or get so caught up in the details that I miss the overall point. You might have that unique perspective I need right about now!

(Some requirements, though, now that I think about it. I prefer socks that can be knit toe-up. I'll knit 'em to-down if they're cute enough to warrant the extra hassle. Also, I will only knit socks using the magic-loop method. Fuck DPNs!)