July 31, 2014

Mixing Colors...

I had a lot of fun last weekend :-) I had ordered a lot of undyed roving so I could continue developing my spinning skills. It was all white, and after spinning white for a while, this girl needs a bit of color :-)

So I decided that I was going to spend a good portion of the day dyeing roving. I had previously ordered a set of Wilton cake dyes from amazon.ca. I also had some Kool-Aid left over so I decided to play a bit with them in the crockpot.

This one is one of my favorites :-) I used the Wilton Candy Blue, Candy Red and Candy Yellow. I love how the blue came out :-)

This braid is a mix of Kool-Aid and Wilton. I used Lemon-Lime, Grape and Cherry Kool-Aid & Wilton Candy Blue to fill in the gaps when the Kool-Aid dye exhausted. I love how the Grape Kool-Aid fractured into a pinky purple & blue. I love that look!

I used Wilton Candy Orange, Candy Blue, and Candy Yellow in this braid. 

So overall I'm quite happy how they turned out. Now that I've played around with different dyeing tequniques I'm going to go back to Acid dyes the next time I get the urge to dye up some roving :-) 

Happy Knitting :-)

July 28, 2014

Obligation Completion .... It's Time For Fun :-)

I am so fricken happy that I finished these socks! They're washed, blocked and gifted already. My brother loves them :-) 

He's already placed his Christmas gift order. He wants another pair of socks using the last skein of Star Trek inspired yarn from Pandia's Jewels . He may have geeked out a bit when he realized I had Star Trek yarn, so he claimed all 3 skeins for himself ;-)

The last skein I had was Beam Me Up on Glitz by Panida's Jewels and it's my favourite out of the 3 so far. The base is a lot of fun to knit :-)

I was trying to decide on a sock pattern a while ago and I decided on Smokestack Socks.  It's working out so well for this yarn. The only mid is that I added 4 stitches to add an extra repeat in the middle to account for my tight knitting. And it's working out well so far. The pattern is easy to memorize and I'm making some good progress on them :-)

On the spinning front:

I filled a bobbin with Prairie Spring by Be Bold My Love.

I LOVE how it spun up :-) I've decided to barber pole it with a bobbin of white Peruvian Wool. I'm in the middle of spinning that bobbin.

I spun most of this while my toddler was napping. I took my wheel out on the deck and enjoyed the weather. Before the storm rolled in. It was absolute heaven :-)

I'm hoping to be able to have enough to ply for the weekend :-) But it may be sooner depending on how beautiful it is outside!

Happy Knitting :-)

July 23, 2014

Where's the damn Knitting Fairies??....

I feel like I've been working on these socks forever. 

I keep knitting.

And knitting.

And knitting some more. Inbetween stitches I'm grinding my teeth, wishing that they were done so I could work on something else. Anything else. As long as it's not stockinette. I'm all stockinette-ed out. 

I resorted to an all time low yesterday. I tried to pray to the Knitting Fairies so they can finish up the the last sock. I'm so done with these socks. They were so close to dying a horrible fibery death. 

The only thing that's keeping me going is that as of late last night, I've just got to knit the 3 inches, or so, of ribbing. It's rediculous that I'm excited to knit ribbing. There was a time (long ago) in my knitting life that I would rather stab numerous knitting needles in my eye than knit ribbing. I used to suffer through it. Not now! Bring it on :-)

On another note, I'm a bit excited to see some of my Prairie Knitting Yarns being knit up :-)

Charley246 (Rav ID) did a wonderful job knitting up some crazy socks for her husband :-) I believe the colorway she used was Crazy Town on Wild Rose Sock.

This is the second project that she knit up! She knit up another pair of socks in A Walk in Fall on Wild Rose Sock.

Well, I need to get going on finishing my socks now :-( Lazy Knitting Fairies!   ;-)

Happy Knitting :-)

July 20, 2014

Beautiful Skeins...

I've been on a crazy spinning kick the last week! It's just so relaxing. I can't help myself :-)

That corridale / alpaca fiber became the beautiful worsted skein below! That's 420 yards of squishy handspun. I'm not sure what I'm going to knit it into but it was so much fun to spin!

I also spun this gorgeous braid :-) The colorway is Spring Has Sprung by Be Bold My Love  Sadly this Etsy shop hasn't been updated in a long while. I bought 2 braids in 2012 and I was hoping to buy some more but I guess it's just not in the cards :-(

This is the end result:

120 yards of an Aran weight yarn. I decided to do a 3 ply yarn for the majority of this braid. It consists of 2 plies of the Spring Has Sprung Merino and 1 ply of a undyed Peruvian Wool. 

I had a bit of Corridale left over so I plied the remaining corridale with 2 plies of the Spring Has Sprung. It resulted in 46 yards of an Aran weight yarn. I think it would look fabulous with the previous yarn in a project :-)

I then had a bit left of the Spring Has Sprung left on the bobbin so I decided to experiment a bit and do a 2 ply with the Peruvian Wool. I got 26 yards of a DK yarn. Which I really liked!! I love this colorway!

Last up, I had some Kool-Aid left on another bobbin previously so I spun it up with the remaining Peruvian Wool. Below is 38 yards of an Aran weight yarn. 

Currently I'm spinning the last stashes braid of Be Bold My Love  :-( This colorway is Prairie Spring  I'm so sad. I really love both of these Be Bold My Love colorways.

I haven't taken any pictures of the partially filled bobbin I've spun up with this braid yet. But it looks very pretty :-) Hopefully next post!

Happy Knitting / Spinning :-)

July 10, 2014

Spinning for Meds...

I should probally clarify ;-)

I've been spinning like a mad woman this week. Spinning has now transistioned from mildly irritating to relaxing to a calming Meditative process. Which I quite enjoy now.

 I've made quite a bit of good progess for a newbie! I fell off the spinning bandwagon for a couple weeks after my epic failure during my first time plying 2 bobbins. I don't even want to go into it. It was beyond a shot to my very small and sensitive spinning ego. I ended up clipping the crappy plied yarn (????) if it could even be called that and left the remaining bobbins to marinate for a bit until my itty bitty ego recovered. 

If you follow me on Instagram, these photos will be recycled. Sorry :-( But there will be further explanations :-)

So at the beginning of the week I finally took out the spinning wheel and continued on spinning. I topped up each bobbin so they were full (after my epic embarrassment) and decided to try plying 2 bobbins again. 

I must have been in the Zone or something because it turned out better than I thought it would. I had mentally prepared myself to fail again. So I was quite happy with myself :-)

I was on a high from my success that I spun 2 more bobbins the next day and even filled up a partial 3rd one. By then, I was tired of spinning white roving. So I decided to dye up the last portion of the roving with Kool-Aid in my crockpot.

All was going well. I added some citric acid to the water in the crockpot, soaked the roving in the sink with water and vinegar. Added the roving to the crockpot and started adding the Kool-Aid I had premixed. I wanted saturated colors, so I used 2 packets per 8oz of hot water for each color. I used Orange, Grape, Lemon-Lime and Cherry.

I added the first layer of color using a cooking syringe. Purple on the bottom and then I did spots of green and orange on the top and let it cook on high for just over an hour.

By then the dye had exhausted, and  I added another layer of dye and let it cook for another hour, then the last layer and let it cook for a couple more hours on high. 

Then it was ready to come out. The water was mostly clear by then so I turned off the crockpot and poured the roving into my sink and let it cool down. It took about an hour. I then soaked it in a mixture of water and synthrapol for about 10 minutes then rinsed it, squeezed it out and put it out to dry on my deck on a drying rack.

It lightened up a bit by the time it was completely dry.

I was not happy with how I dyed it. It looked fuggly. But I was determined to spin it, regardless of how ugly it was.

I was completely shocked how nice it looked as I was spinning it out. I then decided that I didn't just want to do a 2 ply yarn, I wanted it to be mostly white with a hint of color. So I decided to try a 3 ply yarn, for the first time. My 2 ply yarn turned out relatively well, previously. Why couldn't I set the bar a little higher and try a 3 ply?

Wow!! I'm still shocked it turned out so well. It looked even nicer when I washed it and set it in the sun to let the twist set.

Now I'm on a spinning kick and I'm not even participating in the Tour de Fleece!! Currently I'm spinning some beautiful alpaca that I got as a stocking stuffer from my sister in law a long time a ago when I tried drop spindling. 

I have plans for this :-) I have another 3-1/4oz bag of alpaca to spin then a 1/2 lb bag of a beautiful dark brown Corriedale. I think they'll make a wonderful match. What do you think?

Happy Knitting!! Or Spinning ;-)

July 02, 2014


I've been working on a couple bigger projects the last couple months and they are all stockinette or garter stitch. I don't mind mindless knitting but I'm starting to get the itch to cast on something a little more complex. 

Not too complex! 

I don't want to cast on an epic shawl / sweater with a million charts but something with a cable here or there. Just to keep it interesting. 

I've also been thinking about getting started on my Christmas knitting. I definately don't want to be stuck in the situation I was last christmas where I pulled an all nighter 2 nights in a row to get 2 sweaters done. That sucked!! The sweaters were well received and loved, but it's made me rethink my strategy for this year. 

Soooo.... to solve this predicament I'm making a short list of sock patterns to get going on my 2014 Chistmas stockpile of knits. First up? I have this skein of Star Trek inspired yarn. Which is last of the Star Trek yarn out of the stash. 

Yarn : Beam Me Up on Pandia's Jewels Glitz Sock

I'm weighing my options out of these patterns:

It's going to take some serious thought. I'm going to have to take into consideration which pattern my brother would actually like. Hopefully by next time I'll have my choice made :-)

On the knitting front: not much going on. I've gotten to the halfway point of my TFAvector.

I'm still working on it but it's not monogynous knitting for me right now. I love how it's coming out. I'm definately a blue, purple & green girl :-) I've fallen in love with how Rewind is knitting up. It's the verigated purple/ blue skein. I wish it would become a permanent color in Tanis Fiber Arts collection :-)

The other project that I've picked up recently is the Resistance is Futile Socks which are for my brother. They are a WAY belated birthday gift so I need to finish those up. 

Pattern: my go to toe up sock recipe. You can check it out HERE.
Yarn: Resistance is Futile on Pandia's Jewels Snug Sock
Pandia's Jewels Snug Sock

I've got another inch to go in stockinette then I can work the ribbing. Then I can get going on the second sock :-)Yay!!

I want to get this pair of socks done so I can cast on the next pair :-) Until then.... choices, choices!

Happy Knitting :-)