April 30, 2014

Silk Fusion...

I posted a teaser picture of my, then, WIP  from my Arts & Crafts time a couple weeks ago.

I figured it was time to show what it looks like now!

First off, I wanted to make sure that it was DRY so it didn't de-laminate when I took the screen / tulle off. So I've had it pinned in my basement for the last couple weeks. 

It looks a little scrunched up on the one side but that's a by product of hanging it to dry. It will totally iron out. I hope ;-)

I peeled the tulle off, which came off fairly easy. Aside from the 'fringe' edging which took a couple seconds to work out but once you get one edge it came off ok.

The next step was to sandwich it in fabric and gently iron it in small sections WITHOUT rubbing the iron. So I went hunting around for some fabric I could use. I didn't have any 'scrap' or 'waste' fabric kicking around so I grabbed an old fitted sheet that I was going to toss. Of course I washed it before though ;-)

It worked fabulous. I had to tension the silk a bit to iron it out so that there wasn't any bunching where the wrinkles were. Overall it turned out well. 

I wasn't sure what I was going to make when I initially went to the workshop, and I still don't ;-) So at the time I made it bigger so I could decide that later. I would rather make it too big then not enough. So now comes the task of trying to decide what I'm going to make. It's going to take a bit of thought. I want it to showcase how beautiful it really is.

I have enough of the silk and medium to make numerous other projects and I have an idea of what I'm going to make this time ;-)

In case anyone is wondering I bought the Tussah Silk Top (in dyed and undyed) from TheWackyWindmill on Etsy. She doesn't have any undyed Tussah Silk but I'm sure if you contacted her via Etsy that she could create a listing for you. I can't emphasize how much silk fusion you could make with 2 bags of Tussah silk and the medium. I have just over 2/3 of each bag left and I made a fairly large piece of fabric.

I also bought the textile medium from Shuttleworks Fiber Arts. If you call them you can order over the phone and they'll ship it to you for just the cost of the product and shipping. Some places charge an exuberant amount for shipping, not them. Just the shipping cost :-)

Also if anyone wants to know where they can get a quick tutorial on how to do Silk Fusion here's a brief description HERE. The only modification I would recommend would be: when your pulling the Tussah Silk to make sure that it's light and wispy. Meaning not a thick section. Otherwise it is going to take a lot of soap/water to make sure that it's wet the whole way through. Which is going to be easier for you!

Now I'm off to get my knit on :-)

Happy Knitting :-)

April 28, 2014

Finally some knitting :-)

I've been waiting to finish up my Papaya Cancan for a little bit. A wonderful knitter came to my rescue (Thanks Dawn!!) and mailed me 15 grams of Tanis Fiber Arts Red label in Papaya. I was sooooo excited to get it in the mail today. I wound it up and got going on finishing my Cancan.It didn't take long, then it went right into the bath.

I can't tell you how much I love this colorway. It is my all time favorite colorway from Tanis Fiber Arts. I am soooo happy that she's recently made it part of her permanent collection. Once I get a few projects done, I would love to order some more. I haven't decided what base I need or what I'm even knitting, for that matter. But really....... does it really matter ;-) I would love have it on display in my knitting room until I decided what to make with it. 

Speaking of yarn, I added a few more skeins to my Etsy Shop today. I've still got a pile more I need to re skein, photograph and list. It makes it a little complicated to do when my 14 month old is running around EVERYWHERE getting into EVERYTHING!! She likes to go into, what I call, CRAZY MANIAC BABY MODE!!! She likes to be all stealthy & silent (like ninja baby) then when your the most least suspecting, she grabs my knitting and bolts. It's ridiculous. Really fricken ridiculous!! I always laugh after, but not during the chase. I'm worried that she'll hurt herself. She's also quite ingenious of how she gets onto the couch, but then she gives me a complete heart attack trying to run on it. So while she's awake, I am completely useless for anything else except for making sure she doesn't hurt herself.

Anyone who knows me that orange and greens are my favorite colors. So I completely love the colorways below :-)

I've had so much going on and so much to get caught up on recently, that I totally haven't been knitting as much as I want to. I'm hoping to change that up a bit once I get the last of the yarn posted, then I can prioritize it when my daughter naps :-)

I also haven't forgotten about the silk fusion I did a couple weeks ago. I have the post written and pretty much ready to go but I was waiting to do the last step of ironing the fabric out and I've totally been procrastinating. I was finally able to do it today so there will be a post shortly on that :-)

Now I'm off to block my Papaya Cancan :-)

April 27, 2014


I found the cutest mini skeins at Michael's yesterday. I had to buy 2 packs. If anything, they're good for display :-)

April 23, 2014

Shut Up Inner Wench...

I've been dyeing up a pile of yarn lately. I've posted a couple pictures on the blog,  a couple more on Instagram (PrairieKnitting) and tweeting via Twitter (@PrairieKnitting) but I haven't shown everything. I finally decided to take the final step today and open my etsy store,  PrairieKnittingYarns.

It was a big moment. I almost chickened out. I've had a couple friends tell me that the yarn looked fabulous. My husband told me he thought that it looked as good as some of the yarn I was buying. Which is a compliment. But there's always that nagging wench in the back of your mind that tells you: 'its not that good' or 'its not perfect yet' or 'people won't buy that. Then you'll be stuck with it'. I know, it's completely irrational but I seriously doubt that I'm the only Yarnie that has these thoughts. 

Anyways, I told my inner wench to shut up and I listed 12 skeins. I have a pile more, which I'll be slowly adding when I have time over the next week or so. I'm planning to continue to dye a few skeins here and there. Mostly when my 14 month old daughter decides to take a nap. So for the time being I'll just be doing small batches here and there. I might be able to do a larger batch if I can get my husband to take over baby duty. 

I'm determined to have fun with it so I'll be doing more OOAK's for the time being. In the mean time, I'm going to have to decide which skein is begging to be cast on ;-)

Happy Knitting :-)

Practice Makes Perfect...... Eventually

Last time I met up with my friend Deb she lent me her single treadle spinning wheel to  start spinning on. My initial experience spinning was on her double treadle and I was struggling. I was so not used to coordinating my hands and feet. I was also overthinking everything. She gave me some guidance and let me take her single treadle home to practice.

So I was so happy that she let me borrow her single treadle! I decided that since the weather is so crappy today that I was going to spend it inside doing whatever I wanted. I pulled out the wheel and attempted to get spinning. I had no expectations when I started. Then I wouldn't be disappointed. Which is good because I am sooooo bad! I'm going to need lots of practice. 

Some sections are over spun. Some sections are under spun. Overall I don't really care though. I don't think anyone is perfect when they start out spinning. It's going to take lots of practice and I'm ok with that. 

Although my husband will probally not like me taking on ANOTHER hobby but we'll see if I can eventually sneak a wheel into my house after ;-)

April 19, 2014

Skeined Beauties :-)

I spent part of the evening last night skeining my dyeing experiments from last week. I was a little skeptical when I saw how they turned out after dyeing but when I started skeining them their inner beauty started to show :-)

Some were planned colors. Others were complete surprises. I guess it shows that it doesn't matter if you have a plan you'll sometimes end up with something completely different :-)

April 17, 2014

A Little Color...

It's been a little dreary here with on and off snow flurries the last couple days. I decided to dye some more yarn to brighten my day :-)

Happy Knitting!!

April 14, 2014

Sneak Peek :-)

Here's a sneak peek of what I made during my Arts & Crafts time with some new awesome ladies on saturday. I'm going to work on a post dedicated to it once it's dry. It should take another day or two. 

It was so much fun :-) I'm hoping that it ends up looking how I wanted it to. 

On today's docket, not much. I'm working on my Papaya Cancan. Just finishing up the last couple of rows of garter stitch then I'll get going in the border. Loving the color :-)

Happy Knitting :-)

April 10, 2014

Drive by Posting...

Not much going on today. I'm going to relax and knit a bit. I'll have more to post this weekend since I have some plans that involve a road trip and some arts& crafts time :-)

In the meantime, here's a better look at the mini skeins I dyed last weekend. I'm going to mess around with lightening up the dyes on the skeins that didn't turn out. Hopefully it'll work out.

Happy knitting :-)

April 09, 2014

Surprises come when you least expect it...

It's amazing how sometimes you have plans and then something thats completely different happens out of it. This is what happened yesterday when I did a little road trip to pick up a couple dyeing supplies. 

It was a straight foreward plan. I would hit the road after my baby finished breakfast and get what I needed done. I had a plan and I was even able to visit my sister in law (and friend) for lunch. My last stop was to visit Shuttleworks to get some Citric Acid and a couple other chemicals. Plus bum around a bit ;-) 

When I was bumming around the store, I was completely entranced by a woman testing out a spinning wheel. I had always wanted to spin on a wheel but stopped short when I learned how to drop spindle. Which was mildly frusterating to me. 

Anyways, I had to introduce myself (so it didn't freak her out that I was blatantly staring at her spinning).

 I would be creeped out if I was her.

Just saying. 

Aside from this we had some great conversation. She asked me not to use her full name so I'll be referring to her as Deb :-) 

I also think she was a bit entranced by my daughter ;-) 

She asked me if I wanted to visit with her a bit at her house and I thought that was great. Which is strange because I usually don't trust anyone. I know, but it didn't feel weird at all. It was a meeting of kindred fiber spirits ;-)

When we got to her house, she had a wonderful little farm that wasn't far from the beat & path. It was completely charming. Deb had to quickly tend to the horses before we could sit and visit so I followed with my 1 year old daughter since she has never seen a horse before. It was so precious!

She was a little wary at first because they are so big but she warmed up. She was quite curious about these gentle giants!

Then she got to see Deb with one of her horses in the ring! My little girl was completely entranced and giggled relentlessly when Diva the horse would run by. So adorable :-) 

She tried to crawl into the ring. Then Deb took her for a short slow ride on Diva which she LOVED!! I've never seen my daughter smile so big! Her daddy is going to have to get a second job to get a horse for her :-)

After all this fun Deb took me into her Studio. Which was "Fiber Heaven"!!

Looms, spinning wheels, FIBER!!, and everything in between. I was almost speechless!! Almost. I could stop from exclaiming how awesome this studio was. 

She had drums filled with fleeces! I couldn't stop myself from touching the locks that were attached on top. 

It took all my will power to NOT just jump and roll in all this fiber. 

This lit a spark in me that has laid dormant for a while. I wanted to learn how to spin on a wheel and Deb let me try out her wheel for a bit. 

I was horrible... but slowly got the basics. It's going to take lots of practice. 

I now need to find a Guild that I can join to get more experience. I also need to see if I can rent a spinning wheel. I would love to purchase one but since it's an investment I want to make sure that its a wheel I would enjoy spinning on. 

Again, it's amazing how something truly SPECTACULAR can happen out of a chance encounter at a Local Yarn/Fiberarts Store :-) 

Happy Knitting :-)

April 07, 2014

Creative Weekend...

My weekend was:

1. Exciting
2. Exhilarating
3. Surprising

And lastly.

4. Slightly Frusterating

I decided to experiment a bit with dyeing yarn. I've had a couple yarn dyes in my craft room for a LONG time but I've been too chicken to try them out. I decided to buy a couple other colors and finally commit to dyeing some miscellaneous stash yarn that I've had forever.

1st up was winding a sweater sized ball if worsted weight yarn. It was a rediculous ball of yarn. Then I created 24 mini skeins weighing about 21.5g each.

Then I gave them a bath in Synthrapol. I was totally surprised how dirty the water was after.

Since I was dyeing small skeins it didn't make sense to use a dye pot for each. So I bought some large canning jars and decided to make a dye bath in each jar.

This was the exciting part :-)

I followed the jars directions and set them out to dry for the night. In the morning I did a test wash to see if there was any color leeching. Of course there was. I was beyond frusterated. 

I did some googling and tried out a couple methods. It still was leeching color in the bath like a mother ______. I was loosing my mind. 

The last effort was to go out and buy some Citric Acid. After a long hunt I was able to find some. It's not something every grocery store carries. You need to go to a specialty store (at least in my area). 

Then I did a bath of Citric Acid and Synthrapol. That did the trick. 

The colors came out dark but thats part of experimenting. Now I know to add less dye powder for the next time.

Sunday, I decided to try to handpaint a couple skeins of undyed sock yarn. That was FUN. I was totally surprised that when I put the blue dye on that it looked super light but when I steamed it the color totally transformed :-) it turned out how I hoped it would.

The last skein I had was a remnant skein and I just used whatever dye was left over. It's blah but I'll be able to use it for something.

Overall, it was an exciting and eventful weekend!!

Also I joined the BlogLovin Bandwagon. So if you'd like to follow me you can now follow me there :-)

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/12075073/?claim=bvu3w44hnyg">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Happy Knitting :-)

April 02, 2014

My Shame...

This is my side table on my side of the couch. It's PACKED with WIP's. I haven't been able to work exclusively on any one project lately so they've all been living here. Then I can pick up any project I want to work on and knit away.

It's a total mess ;-)

April 01, 2014

FO : BFF Socks

I'm so happy :-) 

My sister wanted a pair of socks for her birthday. I was hesitant because I was still on my anti-sock movement but relented. I was determined to use an older stashed yarn and while perusing the stash decided on using an old skein of Bamboolicious Yarn by Zen Yarn Garden in a OOAK colorway. I'm not going to lie. I absolutely HATED the colorway when it was skeined but after I got it wound into a ball I started to like it. Then as I knit it I started to love it. I guess it's a lesson on not to judge yarn when its in the skein. 

And another picture so you can see the cabling. 

I will be finishing up another pair of socks for my father for his birthday which is later this month. I have no progress pictures of it but I've finished the heel and am working on the leg portion. 

I'm using Trekking Pro Natura by Zitron.
It'll be interesting on how it wears. It's a bit rougher than standard wool but not uncomfortable to knit with. As soon as I cast off the first sock I'm going to give it a wash to see how it blooms. If at all. I'm not sure since it's made with 25% raw bamboo fiber. 

Hopefully I'll have a yarn update for the next post ;-)

Happy Knitting :-)