Saturday, September 29, 2007

Dye Pot Day North Country Spinners, September 7, 2007

These are the skeins I dyed at Dye Pot Day, an eagerly anticipated annual event at North Country Spinners, my spinning guild. Here are the skeins hung up to drip and dry at home. Please pardon the funny white splotches on the photograph -- I believe it's water spots from the skeins.
My osage orange pot produced the deep golden skeins, to the right of the trunk. The four skeins are lace weight, unidentified wool, 1 oz/c.1400 yards. I soaked 4 oz of osage orange chips overnight in a recycled stocking and brewed it for about an hour. It went a very long way, successfully dyeing a huge skein of cotton and many skeins and scarves. The dye was not even exhausted by the end of the dyeing session.

Jean brewed up goldenrod which makes a beautiful yellow, especially on my skeins mordanted in alum the night before. (I mean the 3 skeins towards the middle and left of the tree trunk.) The middle one of these skeins is a greenish yellow, as it had been in the pot with Greta's skein, inadvertently mordanted in her iron-rich tap water. It's always fun and a wonderful experience dyeing with Jean. She' s a genius with dye and colors.

The guild provided the indigo vat and the cochineal dye pot, along with an alum mordanting pot, with Jenny in charge. Each member also received a silk scarf. It took some time for Jenny to prepare guild's pots and vat as the indigo turned out to be trickier than expected. But as three of us had brought dye pots to share the delay wasn't wasted time. I wish I'd been able to get to May McCay's osage orange which was dyeing a deep, almost olive green.

I used the cochineal pot for the magenta skein, which came out a pale, almost pastel shade. The problem was that it wasn't allowed to stay in the pot long enough to attain the richer shade that my silk scarf had. (no photo of the scarf yet.)

The indigo was fun, as usual, as it seems like magic turning wool from green to blue, merely by waving it in air. Two of my skeins were Norwegian yarn I'd originally dyed at Peter's Valley. They'd had some logwood blotches which looked like spilled grape jam on the pale blue. Now, the indigo has made the purple richer and the blue a good dark medium -- sort like Copenhagen blue. Now I can seriously plan a sweater.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Knitting for the Women's Auxiliary

This scarf was knit last March for a charity project chaired by one of my favorite people at my place of employ, Phyllis H. Yarn: Gedifra Teco Hair; 50 g / 90 m; 100% nylon. I used about 3 balls. The scarf will be sold at Ronald McDonald House in November. This is a corkscrew scarf. The model is Judy, my lunch buddy. Thank you, Judy.

I'd agreed to knit three scarves. altogether. However, the second scarf was a total disaster and very surprisingly so. I'd used a wide rayon ribbon yarn, space dyed and frayed at the sides Gedifra Costa Rica; 50 g. / 31 m.; 100% nylon. Using my hairpin lace loom and working at a great pace, I'd used two balls of the yarn before I took it off the loom. Unfortunately only the bottom fourth had worked. The rest was useless, giant loops. And with that kind of yarn you can't tink it because you'd end up having to iron 100+ yards of the stuff to get the kinks out. Oh well. But, the good news is that the third scarf, also knit with novelty ribbon yarn, is going to be a great success. Thank goodness.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

More Beer Cozies for Sam

Well, I finally finished two ribbed beer cozies my son asked for. Click on the title of the blog to see the ones I gave him last January. Sam insisted -- and emphatically -- that the cozies sport his name. After needle felting one cozy and fulling the other in the washing machine, I painstakingly cross-stitched his name with gold novelty yarn. The inside isn't so tidy (which is why I didn't photograph it). I gave them to Sam on Rosh Hashanah and he was delighted. Apparently he really did want the cozies monogrammed. I used yarn I'd spun from some naturally dark brown merino (?) my sister gave me which she'd bought for felting. It was one of my early attempts, spun as a raw newbie on my trusty Louet. Sam wants the toasty cozies to take to ball games in the fall or early spring, to keep his hands warm as he drinks the cold beer. Would you believe that?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

PICC Sleeves

May 11, 2007 (Yes, this is even before my last post in June!)

Fellow spinners from North Country Spinners (my spinning guild in Blairstown, NJ).are modelling 4 of the 8 PICC sleeves I've knitted for the Guild's 2007 chairty project.

I hope to keep catching up. It's been a busy summer with not much leftover time or energy.

Yarns used:
Schoeller + Stahl Fortissima Colori Socka Color -- great for this project as it gets softer with washing.
Cascade Yarns Fixation -- a yarn with elastic -- made a very tight sleeve
Scheepjes Donna 50% wool and 50% acrylic

All the yarns are machine washable.