Current Projects, Daily Life, HPKCHC, Yarn & Fiber Dyeing

Dyeing Experiments: Two color dyeing, kettle dyeing, and gradient stovetop dyeing.

I recently have been experimenting with dyeing yarn, and posted some photos of in the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup (HPKCHC) group on Ravelry. I got asked what dyeing methods I used, so I decided to post about them here, and save everyone the gigantic forum essay (and also my posts weren’t posting correctly!)

So:

Here’s all of my finished skeins. I used 3 different methods of dyeing to create them so I’ll explain each method separately.

20150913_174001

I started with these yarns: (not super expensive, but you get a lot of yardage to play with!) 20150912_130717

I skeined them (or rolled them in a ball if I wanted to do a gradient – more on that later)
and soaked them in water with white vinegar for at least 30 minutes. I believe the ratio I used was 1/2 cup of white vinegar for every 4 oz of yarn, but I’m not 100% positive: 20150912_143807

Method for creating two color yarn: 20150913_173443 20150913_173613 20150913_173705

  • Squeeze (do not wring!!) vinegar/water soak from skein.
  • Take two quart sized mason jars and fill them about 3/4 of the way with your vinegar/water soak.
  • Add food coloring until you reach your desired colors (I used about 30 drops of McCormick food coloring per jar, but I like REALLY saturated colors, and was using 100-120 gm skeins).
  • Put yarn in water 😉
  • Put the two jars in the microwave. “Cook” on high power until you see the water start bubbling a little. Let it rest for a couple minutes. Repeat “cooking” process until the water in the mason jars is clear (basically the goal is to keep the water hot without agitating the yarn, which would cause felting).

Jars in the microwave:

20150912_162948

Remove jars from microwave, and let sit on the counter to cool down a bit.
Once the water has cooled to room temperature, remove yarn and rinse. The water should run clear. If it does not, rinse until it does. Wash the yarn gently, and rinse again.
Hang to dry!

Kettle Dyeing Method:

20150913_173637 20150913_173551

Do the same vinegar/water prep as above, including squeezing out the water.
Fill a pot part way with your vinegar/water, and add dye.
Place yarn in pot. <– this part is where you can change up how the dye is distributed. For the purply skein above, I made sure the entire skein was dunked in the dye water. 20150912_162935

For the blue one, I only partially submerged it: 20150912_163849 and then once half the dye had been absorbed, I submerged the rest of it. It gave me that lovely variation you see in the blue skein! Anyway, turn the burner on a low heat setting. Your goal is the same as with the mason jars. You want to heat the water without agitation, so a little bit of a steam or simmer is ok, but no boiling.

Once the water in the pot is clear, carefully remove the yarn and place it in a separate bowl to cool off. Once the yarn has cooled to room temperature, follow the rinsing and washing procedure as mentioned in the Two color method.

Gradient Dyeing Method:

20150913_17342420150913_173512

Wind the yarn into a ball instead of a hank before soaking. Soak it as a ball in the same solution, and squeeze out the water once it has soaked.
Fill pot on stove with water (you can use the soak water – I did, but you don’t HAVE to).

Add dye: I used about 40 drops of McCormick dye for a 100 gm ball of yarn

Turn stove burner on low heat (so the water heats up but doesn’t boil – and thus felt – the yarn). Heat water/yarn until the yarn absorbs either all the dye, or almost all the dye (when you’re happy with the outside color, you’re good to go).

Remove ball of yarn CAREFULLY. Place in empty bowl to cool down.

When you go to squeeze out/rinse the ball of yarn, be careful, because the center might still be really hot. I use kitchen tongs to grab and squeeze the first time.

Rinse and wash yarn (I use a little dish soap) and make sure the water runs clear.

Wind into a skein and hang dry (in the sun works the fastest).

Play with pretty yarn 🙂

Please keep in mind that this is just the method that I used. It may not be the “right” way, as I’ve never been trained in dyeing – I basically just do some research and make it up as I go along because I love playing with colors!

Thank you to Wbmommy on Ravelry for asking me, and prompting me to write out this post! I hope it helps someone 🙂

Current Projects, Daily Life, Gardening, Housekeeping, Spinning

I’m still here!!

So, on a completely non-knitting front, I recently got my first spinning wheel!

I took really blurry photos, so just google Ashford Kiwi 2, and you’ll see my wheel 😀

Here’s some of my first wheel spinning, though:

IMG_8601 IMG_8602

In other news, the garden is doing really well! Check out the addition of the raised bed and arch! The arch will act like a trellis for the excessive amount of acorn squash that I planted!

IMG_8605 IMG_8607 IMG_8608

Crochet, Current Projects, De-Stashing yarn, Knitting

Completed Things.

Remember how I said I finished some things??

Now I have pictures to prove it!

This pattern is a test for Tanja Luescher from Knitted in Switzerland designs.

Yarn: Paton’s Lace in the colorway Bonfire (a personal favorite! I just love the color combination!)

Yardage: 672 yds

Weight: a little over 4 ounces

Measurements: 180 cm wide, 72 cm long (that’s about 62×27″)

I couldn’t decide which photo I liked best, so I’m showing you all of them!

DPS1 DPS3 DPS5

Like the finished product? It’s available here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/229887886/luxury-medium-weight-knit-ombre-shawl-or?

Project #2: a little corner to corner blanket

Yardage: 492 yds

Yarn: I think it’s Red Heart Boutique Treasure – I LOVE the squishiness of this yarn – you don’t usually find that in an acrylic yarn. I don’t know what it is for sure, though, since it was in a mill end bag at Jo-Ann’s.

Size: 27″ Square – just a little snuggly blanket!

rainbow1 Rainbow2

Like the finished product? It’s available here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/229887607/ooak-bright-rainbow-snuggle-blanket?

Blog, Crochet, Current Projects, Daily Life, De-Stashing yarn, Housekeeping, Knitting

Progress!!

No Photos yet, but I just wanted to share my progress with you!!

This morning I frogged 8 WIPS!!! I also re-arranged my WIPs so I can see what I really have left.

So, that’s a big deal.

Also, last night I finished and blocked my first shawl ever, wove in the ends on a second shawl, a sweater, and a blanket, and i’m really excited! I’m on a roll here – I’m really enjoying finishing up projects, because I have such a super huge list of things I want to make.

It’s actually really freeing to look at a project, realize you’re really not interested, not going to make it, and to just frog it!

My de-stash is going well too. I’ve given away over 8lbs of yarn, which means I’ve probably gotten rid of over 5,000 yds.

Destash totals (I only tally yardage once a project is 100% finished, including blocking and weaving in ends):

April 2015 (so far): -1,165 yds

YTD Yards Used: -9,371

YTD Yards bought: +4,000

Net Yds: -5,371 (woo hoo!!)

Current Projects, Daily Life, Housekeeping

Flash Your Stash 2015

A few years ago a tradition of “flashing your stash” was created, and if you weren’t aware of it before, it can be a really fun way to keep track of the yarn & projects you have. It’s kind of like spring cleaning for knitting and crocheting people, especially since we seem to be prone to amassing large quantities of yarn without realizing it, because it’s just so darn pretty!

Here’s my stash flash for this year:

Sport-super bulky

WIP&Fabric

SF1

SF2

So. Obviously something needs to change. I’ve already come to that realization (see the post below about changes being made over this summer), but doing this stash flash confirmed it for me. I’ve obviously gotten into the habit of just buying yarn because it’s pretty, starting projects, and not finishing very many of them. These aren’t really character traits I want to be known for; I would rather be someone who exercises self control, and finishes what she starts. Therefore, I will be working SOLELY from what is in these pictures for the foreseeable future. There’s absolutely no rational reason why I shouldn’t use what I have and finish the projects I’ve already started. I’m really excited to show you all progress photos as these goals are achieved!!

Have you done a stash flash yet this year? What does it look like, and what did you learn from it?

Current Projects, Daily Life, Designing, Knitting, Paid Crochet Pattern, Paid Knitting Patterns, Promotions, Reviews

Indie Design Gift Along 2014

I know i’ve been bad about posting regularly on here, but there’s a good reason! I’ve been preparing for the Indie Design Gift Along on Ravelry!! <– that’s a link to the Ravelry group. You should go check it out now. It’s ok, I’ll wait.

waiting….

Ok, you’re back now, and you realize how fantastically awesome this is going to be?!

(for those of you silly people who didn’t go check it out, here’s a brief rundown)

Do you know what that means?! That means almost 300 designers are having a massive sale together! That’s 3,822 patterns that are on sale. And then, as if that weren’t enough, we get to all have a massive knit along/crochet along to make christmas gifts together!

So. Much. Happy.

Must knit All. The. Things.

*sigh* I know I won’t be able to make all the things, but guess what? I get to include my designs in the sale!! You know how I said i’ve had a good reason for being AWOL? Check out the new patterns I was getting tested and published:

BWIS KPSIS Whalecowledited_small2

These are (from left to right): Black Walnut Infinity Scarf, Karen: A Puff Stitch Infinity Scarf, and A Whale of A Cowl

(aka examples of how my photography skills have improved *facepalm*) These patterns and more will be part of the sale (that starts in just 2.5 hours, at 8 pm EST – I’m so excited!! There’s a countdown clock here, I keep looking at it!)

So, what can you expect from me through the end of the year? Interviews with designers, project photos, me squealing with joy when someone has interviewed me and I feel like the most legit designer ever, and just generally a lot of yarn-y goodness!

 

p.s – like my new logo?!

 

Current Projects, Designing, Knitting, Paid Knitting Patterns

A Whale of a Cowl

Whalecowledited

I’m very pleased to announce that “A Whale of A Cowl” Is now live on Ravelry, and available for download!

{Link to Ravelry Pattern Page}

I’m quite pleased with this one – it comes in sizes all the way from the little 23″ cowl you see pictured, to a whopping 68″

“whale of a cowl” hehe. Get it? It’s the sister pattern to “A Whale of a Scarf,” which I published a couple years ago.

It’s been fully test knit, and i’m loving making it myself – I’ve already made two, and will likely be making more soon! I made the second to smallest version in about 1 day, so it really is a quick project!

I was going to post pictures of my WIPs, but my camera decided to die while I was outside taking a million pictures of my little guy watching a lawn mower. You’ll see pictures. It’s adorable. I couldn’t help myself.

Here’s the WIP status right now: (remember my handy dandy spreadsheet? I can’t find it on my computer! ahhhh!)

  • Giraffe Mittens: Need to weave in ends on one mitten, and photograph the pair (see aforementioned camera issue)
  • Galilee Slippers & Juliet Mitts for a friend: Not yet started. Supposed to give them to her Saturday, 10/11. Right.
  • Urban Jungle Slouchy for mom’s b-day: b-day is tomorrow, “party” on sunday. I’ve started the brim of the hat.
  • TARDIS blanket: supposed to cast on this week. Likely not happening yet.
  • Design project. That’s all i’m telling you.
  • Second Design project. Also that’s all i’m telling you. Secrets will be unveiled in the future.. {mysterious music}
  • Silk and Lace drawstring bag: side 1 totally complete. Side 2 75% complete.. then I ran out of thread. More is on order.
  • Cotton Flowery Cruise Purse: Outside totally done. Flowers in the works. Need to sew in lining.

Whew. This is only like 10% of what i’m planning on making/working on, but it’ll do for now!

Current Projects, Daily Life

Scheduling

Say that with a British accent, please, as that’s how it sounded in my head when I wrote it!

I’m the kind of person who likes to have checklists, spreadsheets of projects, and timelines for what i’m working on. I guess you could say that makes me a nerd, but I like to have everything i’m going to be working on laid out, especially if I have multiple large projects going on. Want to see what my current timetable looks like? (it’s totally unreasonable, and is in the process of being revised..)

Current Timetable

So, this is my brain. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start! These are all intended to be finished before Christmas (there’s actually a couple small items missing here, but that’s because they’re small, and can be worked in 1-2 days each, such as stuffed animals, mug cozies, phone cases, etc).

 

Highlights for right now:

Remember the HPKCHC group on Ravelry? They’re super good for inspiring me to keep deadlines, by offering imaginary points for finishing projects 🙂

For the next two days, i’m finishing a colorwork mitten test knit, which shall be revealed.. eh, probably Wednesday or Thursday – once I get all the ends woven in.

Am I the only one who makes spreadsheets? My favorite part is going to be highlighting/filling in the cells once I accomplish these projects!

Current Projects, Designing, Free Knitting Pattern, Knitting

New Free Knitting Pattern: Mitts for Juliet

Light1

Sneaking out on a balcony at night to whisper (or shout) sweet nothings to your love can be chilly business! These thick Mitts will keep you warm! They knit up quickly, and would make wonderful gifts for friends and loved ones.

This pattern is written for two sizes: a Women’s Small/Medium, and a Women’s Medium/Large, which also fits a Men’s Small/Medium. Instructions for the larger size will be in parentheses. Where there is only one set of instructions, they apply to both sizes.

Materials:

  • 100-115 yds Super Bulky Yarn (I used Paton’s Colorwul)
  • 1 set US 10.5 (6.5 mm) DPNs
  • Stitch markers
  • Tapestry Needle

Gauge: 15 sts/20 rounds = 4” (10 cm) in Stockinette Stitch Knit in the Round.

Stitches and Abbreviations:

  • K – Knit
  • P – Purl
  • St – Stitch
  • M1R – insert left needle from back to front into the space below the current two live stitches. Knit this loop.
  • M1L – insert left needle from front to back into the space below the current two live stitches. Knit this loop through the back loop.
  • Cast off- use your preferred cast off method. It needs to be a little stretchy because of the k1, p1, ribbing.

 

Pattern

Left Hand:
Using a cabled cast on, Cast on 24 (28) stitches.
Place beginning of round marker, and work a k1,p1 rib for 6 rounds
Next 14 (16) rounds: knit every stitch

Thumb Gusset:
Increase Round: k9 (11), place marker, M1R, k1, M1L, place marker k14 (16) – 26 (30) total sts
Next round: Knit all stitches, slipping markers as you go
*Increase Round: k9 (11), M1R, knit to next Marker, M1L, k14 (16) – 28 (32) total sts
Next Round: Knit all stitches, slipping markers as you go*

Repeat rounds from * to * until you have a total of 9 (11) stitches between your markers, ending with an even knit round.

Next Round: k9 (11), slip all stitches between markers onto waste yarn, remove markers, cast on 1 stitch with the backward loop method onto the right needle, k14 (16)

Next 7 Rounds: Knit all stitches
Work k1, p1 rib for 4 rounds

Cast off.

Right Hand:

Work as for left hand, but reverse the thumb placement in this manner: k14 (16) sts, place marker, M1R, k1, M1L, place marker, k9 (11).

Continue to increase every other round, but begin each round with k14 (16), and end with k9 (11).
Next Round: k14 (16), slip all stitches between markers onto waste yarn, remove markers, cast on 1 stitch with the backward loop method onto the right needle, k9 (11).
Next 7 Rounds: Knit all stitches
Work k1, p1 rib for 4 rounds

Cast off.

Thumb (Both Hands):

Move all 9 (11) held thumb stitches from waste yarn on to DPNs
Round 1: K1, p1 around, picking up 3 stitches over cast on gap to close the thumb hole 12 (14) total stitches
Round 2: (k1, p1) 4 (5) times, k2tog, p1, k2tog (this ssk is worked over the last stitch from this round, and the first stitch of the next round. Beginning of round moves one stitch to the left. 10 (12) total thumb stitches.
Rounds 3-5: p1, k1 round

Bind off and weave in all ends.

 


 

Terms of Use

Finished items may be sold from my patterns, of course, as they are your work. Please credit me as the designer in your listing and provide a link back to My Web Site in your listing if you are selling online, or credit me on your physical tag if not selling online.

Standard copyright restrictions still apply to the pattern itself. Please do not sell, distribute, copy and paste the pattern itself to other websites, or otherwise reproduce my patterns or any of their charts or images without written permission – we call that stealing. Also, please do not alter parts of my pattern and then claim it as your own – this is still stealing. There’s no such thing as a 10% rule.

Use of this pattern indicates agreement to these terms

Thank you for supporting me as a work at home mom!

Pattern (c) 2014 Ruth Brasch, Brasch Elegance

 

Current Projects, Daily Life, Designing, Free Knitting Pattern, Knitting

New free pattern coming soon

It’s fall! Well, sort of. I’m so excited for knit and crocheted accessories! I’m working on a bulky mitt recipe/pattern and just had to share my progress! I’m using patons colorwul, and I adore it. I’ve never used it before, but it is my new favorite mitt/mitten making yarn!

image

Sorry for the fuzzy phone pic- I’ll take good ones when they’re done, promise!