Meditations on dyeing entangled yarn.

It is a cringe inducing process to detangle yarn. It physically hurts to stand for hours, during a whole week, battling those tiny felted knots. But it leads to an interesting meditation state, until you just wonder why.

Why do I actually fight this ? It would have saved me so much time and migraine to grab the scissors and happily cut away. It’s a 400m skein, it would be ok to loose a bit of yarn to the knots.

But I wouldn’t give in. Until this morning. I woke up at 5.30am, started right away and at 10am, I grabbed those scissors. And I’m done. And happy. And I’m proud to show you my beautiful first hand-dyed ball of yarn.

Why did I wait so long to cut the knot ? Why am I so pig-headed ? I would have been proud to be able to say that I didn’t cut it. But seriously, who cares ? It’s just a knot. I squinted for a week for a bloody knot. I have no regrets I cut it, but I’m not sure next time I would be able to cut it right away. Maybe because I’m not very good at putting my happiness and comfort first. But, hurting myself for some felted wool is a bit scary.

At least I know my skein by heart now. I just have to decide what to knit with it. I’d like some scarf or shawl.

Now, on to the fun part. It was my very first attempt at dyeing a ball of yarn. I had previously dyed some fiber and spun it, as you can see here.

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A tight ball of white yarn 

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First dye batch : way too much red for my liking

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Second dye batch : lovely teal gradient

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Winter sun

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Hints of green

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From turquoise to blue

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That knot.

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That finished ball of yarn that took me on such an introspective journey

I used vinegar and food coloring. And a 400m skein of Cascade Yarn Heritage, a fingering blend of 75%wool and 25% nylon. I found out the hard way this quality doesn’t like being touched too much as it felt very easily. Not with the warmth of the microwave though, but just turning the skein into a ball and then into a skein and then into a ball was too much.

I binged watched dying tutorials on youtube and decided to dip a ball of yarn in the dye to get a gradient effect. Those weird ideas you have when migraine creeps in.

So I ended up with this gradient from pure white to orange to red. And I didn’t like the red. I never wear red. I thought I could name this “the speckled red-head”, but the reference to Sherlock didn’t even make me laugh, so I didn’t.By that time, it was past 10pm and I decided to dye it again, at least to have a smoother gradient and less white.

But I had no more yellow. So I used blue. Totally makes sense, thanks migraine. Then I happily went on mixing red and blue and microwaved away and ended up with this.

Speckles of rich brown and a nice gradient of teal and blue. I don’t have a name yet. But this ball of yarn and I have been through a lot together. Ups and downs. I just squeeshed it. We should squeesh our yarn more often.

Thanks yarn for being a part of my life. Even when you felt, you teach me something.

(Sorry for wordpress messing the post again. Just writing this used 2 hours of my time, can’t be bothered trying to fix it to make it look nicer).

Free crochet pattern tutorial for a doily or dishcloth

Jazz age free crochet pattern tutorial

So today, I’m coming out as a lady that crochets lace dishcloths. I was looking for an easy but interesting pattern to improve my crocheting skills, and I’m happy with my choice. Not too complex, but not boring either.

 The free crochet pattern is available for download here, and here is the video tutorial the brand made, which I found really helpful.

I used some Katia dégradé sun yarn and a n°5 hook. This pattern would look lovely on a summer tank top.

I can’t decide wether to use it as a doily or a dishcloth, which reminds me of this epic moment :

Excuse me, that is a doily, not a dishcloth.

Remember you can find me on Ravelry !

Another cloudy sweater

IMG_8075.JPGSo I casted on this sweater in February 2016. Can’t believe it. Thanks Ravelry for keeping tracks.

I started this as a quick, easy sweater. I had previously completed one with the same yarn and pattern in just 10 days, you can see it here.

But for some reason, this one took me a very long time.

Mostly because I decided to make it a bit longer and add some ease for my hips.

Then I tried the sleeves over and over, but it was always way to loose. Original idea was to have long sleeves, then cut the middle to have a cardigan.

I gave up on long sleeves, I think raglan patterns don’t really work for flattering sleeves, and I improvised some ribs instead.

It’s not perfect. It’s actually rather bumpy. And I had to sew in a lot of ends, as I used a lot of small leftover balls of yarn. The dark one are from this shawl. Funny enough, I still have some yarn left.

I’m really pleased with the final result, it’s wearable, and that’s all I could have asked for. Sure next time I’ll have to figure out a better way to do stripes in the round and such. But I’m letting go of my perfectionism and actually finishing projects, so it’s all good.

 

Spinning hand-dyied wool first experience

So a friend showed me how to dye wool with food dye, and it was messy and pretty and fun and I managed to get this beautiful gradient. It does leak color a bit, but I hope I’ll get better at it with time.

I used 45g of white Cheviot, and spun it with my basic spindle in a few days and got about 170m of yarn (roughly 185 yards).

Because it’s not much, and I didn’t want to loose the gradient, I kept it as a single. But now I don’t really know what to knit with it. Any thoughts ?

Have you ever tried dying wool ? Do you prefer dying fibers then spinning it, or dying skeins of yarn ?

UK anyone?

Ok, so I am hoping to take a trip to the uk in june.
What should I visit?
Which yarn shop should I go to ?
I can’t drive so I will use trains.
My main interests are :
– Architecture
– History
– Plants
– Crafts of all sorts
– Libraries

I plan to go to London, Oxford and Manchester.
Any tips welcome!
( I am a celiac and poly allergic so any advice on local food appreciated!)

A Hitchhiker shawlette

Today I feel like a real knitter. And a real blogger.

I feel like a real knitter because I’ve just finished knitting a pattern from a designer. I feel like I belong to some posh knitting club now. It reminds me of some knitting clubs I attended back in the days, where knitters looked down on me for knitting improvised shawls and using acryl. Not that I care about what people say, I’m going to knit anyway.

This time, I paid for a designer’s pattern and used expensive yarn. Just because I fancied making something nice for myself for once. I must say the result is gorgeous !

Ho, and I feel like a real blogger because I borrowed a camera and went to the park and tried to take pics of the shawlette. I’m a lousy photographer, and self-stripping yarn makes it pretty impossible to have a decent image, but I tried !

Pattern is Hitchhiker available here. Pretty easy, quick and fun, I finished it in 10 days, knitting mainly in public transportation. I wasn’t able to learn the pattern by heart so I wrote it down on a piece of paper that I kept with me. Garter stitch feels so soft and the shape works well around my neck. I did 36 dents (Dear, dear Arthur…) and used the not-so-pointy ending.

Yarn is Cascade Yarn Heritage Paint in Seattle Blue. The self-stripping does all the fun, I’m not sure the pattern would be so entertaining with a solid color.

Have you tried this pattern ? How did you feel when you made your first posh project ?

 

Basic orange mitts

Funny how that knitting mojo is everchanging. My mum asked for some mitts, we went to buy wool, and I knit those simple mitts in two afternoons. Super easy, pretty fun, in the round, no head-scratching. Every project should feel that rewarding.

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Knitting pattern is Semplice Fingerless Mitts free here on Ravelry.

I stumbled upon another mitts pattern, much more technical this time : the Double Helix Mitts. I find the construction very interesting, but I don’t know if I’ll manage to keep focus enough to finish them. And I don’t want to start another project that may remain untouched for years in my drawers…  But they are pretty.

What do you think ?