Thursday, May 31, 2007

Octopus dyer

I have been busy with something very new. Actually I have invented something!! It is of course something for dyeing and it was inspired by a link on how to make a board for self striping yarn

I actually started out by making a board like that. Only bigger. I can make a 21 m skein from it –just have to get more nails (I ran out twice).

Then I sat to draw and think. I wanted to be able to make self striping yarn for a sweater, so the length of each coloured sequence had to be quite long. I came up with this:
Imagine you divide the board into three areas. Each area is going to have a different colour. By going back and forth several times in only one area you get a longer strand in the same colour = wider stripe. After, for instance, 7 meters move on to the middle area and go back and forth there for as long as you wish. Move on to the third area. You now have a long strand with 3 colours.
Now move back to the middle area, the first area and so on. You will end up with different (or the same if you chose) lengths of colours throughout the skein.
I have no idea whether it works or not but I see a major drawback: you can not get colour one and three next to each other, they will always be separated by the middle colour which therefore will be more dominant. The more colours you have the less represented will the end colours be.
To overcome this problem you would have to have the colour switch place in the center. So I made this: An octopus dyer

It works like this: Wind the yarn around the nails on one arm (I have put 2 nails in the end close to the center to make it easier to tie up the hank). Each round is 1 meter -giving you whatever lenght you want (wider stripe) depending on how many rounds you make. Ie. each arm represent a diffferent colour.

Move on to the next arm (I skipped on on this photo, it doesn't really matter, you don't have to use all arm) but make sure you put the yarn around the nail in the center. This is where the different colours "meet" -and I guess it is the weak point. I wanted to keep the colours seperate to avoid mixing/bleeding, but I guess you have to be very carefull not to tangled up the whole lot.
Continue to the wind around the others arm and to go back to arms already used. This gives you the opportunity to mix all the colours and to make each section the length you want.
When you run out of yarn/decide to stop, tie each hank loosely together at several places...
...and remove them from the nails. You now have up to eight hanks connected in the center. Dip dye. microwave dye or whatever you feel is most succesfull (and please keep in mind I have never tried to dye apart from 1 go with kool aid!)
The difficult part is when you have to reskein the coloured dry hanks end everything is a mess!!!

Below is a little photosession of how I made it. Please respect copyright. No selling, but feel free to make one for yourself -and show it to me :-)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Lace sweater and girl's hat

I'll not knit hats for a while now!
Still going strong....

I finally sorted out my needles!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Yarn to dye for

I have seached the internet to find danish stores that sell acid dyes. Found 3: Lanasyn, Remazol and Irgalan. They all have to be mixed with vinegar + other "stuff".

I have borrowed a pile of books about dying. One of them is particularly good: Yarn to dye for by Kathleen Taylor. She uses Gaywool dyes which can be ordered here. Again you have to add vinegar and urea.

I have been to several indian/asian shops to bye food colouring powder -never managed to find blue.

I have been to several hobby stores, paint stores etc looking for acid dyes -they all looked pretty puzzled when I asked about it! The only thing I got was a headache (and a pair of sandals but that a different story).

But why in the world didn't I just do the most obvious thing. My Secret Pal has explained how she dyes, she has send me yarn with colours I like. DOH!

I have now ordered the same dye as she uses. Omega dyes -all in one acid dyes. 7 different colours. Postage was only 4 GBP the colours just 20 GBP. That is SO much cheeper than the dyes I could get from danish dealers.

Turquoise (25g)
Malachite (25g)
Marine Blue (25g)
Mahogany (10g)
Mail Red (25g)
Naval Blue (25g)
Moss (25g)

SP10 holiday questionaire

Bobbi our SP10 hostess has set up a new blog contest that really isn't very easy even though there is no right answers!

With the weather turning warmer, many of you are thinking of traveling (though some of you have just returned, you can play along). 1) What do you pack to knit? and 2) What do you hope to shop for?

1) We are going to Norwy in the end of july so there is plenty of time left for deciding what to bring. I have two major projects on my mind.
The most interesting one is some kind of sweater (have to find a nice pattern) made from homedyed yarn. I am in the middle of planning the whole thing (with lots of help from my Secret Pal). So far I have the yarn (800 g of peruvian off white wool 100m/100g) and I have manged to get some foodcolours: red, yellow, green and orange. However, blue seem to be difficult to get -it might even be impossible to get here in DK due to the strictness of foodadditives. I might just try the ones I have for fun and move on to acid colours which will probably be better at providing me with the colours I prefer. I know I end up with tons of mixes when I try to make nice colours for the kids to paint with and I am pretty sure this won't be easier!
Apart from the homedyed yarn I'll probably bring some of the mohair I bought last month and make another sweater -with stribes (which I usually avoids) using the blues and green.

2) Norway isn't famous for it's yarn. I have heard it is pretty expensive and that norwegian often bye their yarn in Denmark. Besides, I doubt there will be any yarn stores where we are going!!

Assume that you will be gone for ten days to someplace "foreign" that is known for having great knitting locations. (Bonus: Where would you go on a "knitting holiday"?)

This queation just make me realise I don't know much about foreign knitting locations! The best location I can think of is anywhere with good friends and family next to me :-)

Thursday, May 24, 2007


One more hat, same pattern as this one, but it is too small so I am working on a third one.

I have reached the armpits on my lace sweater and am now working on the first sleeve. I will do raglan sleeves -unless I change my mind -again :-)


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Firts go in Kool-Aid dyeing

Ready to dye. I more or less did like explained here.

First, I soaked the wool in lukewarm soapwater for 30 min

Time to find out what colour the Kool Aid has. It Looks purple!!

But it sure isn't!! And the smell!!!! I couldn't even smell the vinegar!

All set, just waiting for the wool to be ready.
Killing time with knitting a hat for a friends daughter
I made two mixtures. One with 1½ packet KoolAid and one with ½ a packet as I wanted to have 2 different shades in the yarn. The powder was diluted with water and vinegar (3:1). I soon realised I had to put in more liquid.
Ready to go into the microwave
Killing time and breathing fresh air (gosh it smells) I gave it 3 x 2 min in the microwave with 2 min rests in between.

FinishedWell!! I have to practise. Part of it only has a little colour. I think I should have used more liquid. It sure is red!! It was a lot of fun to try it and very easy. I like the reddest of the red so I guess you'd have to use 4 packets of KoolAid if you wanted that colour all over. I can't figure out how to use several colours; how do you make sure all the wool gets dyed but at the same time avoid bleeding!? Maybe it would be easier to divide the yarn into 2 glass bowls at the same time, but I don't know how the area in between the colours would end up.

I'm ready for more. Still have 800g of undyed wool!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

SP10 #3

My Secret Pal told me parcel #3 would arrive no later than yesterday -which it didn't, probably due to thursday being a public holiday. This morning I stood by the window and saw the postman arrive. He had a bag with letters and one single big package on the back of the bike. He picked up one letter from the bag and YES he took the package too. That's when I ran to the door :-)
She has done it again! Totally spoiled me with tons of goodies. Just have a look for your self!

Exciting. Even the box is usefull for storing yarn. The theme for this parcel is local and homemade. With that she has revealed a little bit about her self -she is Glaswegian :-) So I was right when I thought she might be from Scotland :-)
Lets start out with the yarn! We must be in telepathic connection (if only I believed in that). The day she made the parcel was the day I posted about wanting to try out dyeing yarn. She has send me lots of homedyed wool in fantastic colours. The wool is locally made from local sheep. Pal, you are so right about the "Lene" colourway. I absolutely love the colours!! I can't wait to see how it looks when knitted up. Albert really liked the "Lochs and Glens" colourway. I might use it for a booga bag as suggested or maybe I will use it for a sweater for Albert. He would look great in those colours.

Kool-Aid and wool for making my own hand dyes yarn. GREAT!! I almost ran straight to the kitchen to try it out. She didn't know the colours of the KoolAid, so that will be a surprice for both of us *lol* It doen't matter if it is purple (she was worried about that, as purple is not one of my favourites). I am sure I'll like it no matter what -just because of it's history.

A shawl pin is one of the things I needed the most.!! This one is perfect. And so personal. When wearing it I am sure I'll have to tell everybody the story about my secret pal :-)

A knitting counter! I didn't even know they existed. It will be a great help for future projects.

Dinosaur playing cards. The kids love them. I'll take along to Norway this summer.
A spurtle. You should have seen my mystified expression when I saw it!!! And it can be used for chrochet too! I wonder who got the idea!! She has enclosed recipes for oatmeal porrige as well other traditional scottish foods. They will be fun to try.
And lots of local treats as well as a scottish magnet. Yummy.

Finally a knitting and crochet magazine. It has several interesting patterns in it includes a leaflet with knitted embellishments.

Dear Secret Pal. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I loved every single bit of it. I look forward to hear more about dyeing and I am still amazed that my new interest in hand dyeing popped up with such perfect timing.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Baby Blanket finito

I just have to weave in the ends (did most of it during the assembling) and block it