Wednesday WIPs: Pink Moons and Birthday Skeins

This week I’ve continued to focus on the Ocean Moon shawl, which is finished and blocking. I’ll post pics of that on Friday.

I also recast on Bob’s socks. I found the flips a little slippery, so I’m back to my Lykke Driftwood and magic loop method.

I’ve been practicing my dyeing. These skeins are inspired by an artists’ trading card I made years ago. They are 50/50 cotton and wool dyed with low impact acid dyes. The cotton content creates a heathery effect, as the wool takes up the dye but the cotton doesn’t. The three skeins shown came out as expected and are now listed in the shop.

Two skeins came out muted due to a less consistent dyebath temperature. I decided to try overdyeing them, inspired by the full lunar eclipse. (Image of lunar eclipse on right by friend Miriam Climenhaga.) I was hoping for a complex black with pops of red. Because of the cotton content in the yarn, there is no way I could get a true black with acid dyes. They are more gray, but a nice memento of seeing the Flower Moon eclipse in the sky on my birthday.

I don’t know whether to call it Flower Moon or Blood Moon. I guess it was a Full Flower Super Total Blood Moon Eclipse! It was quite a sight centered over the trees behind our house. I’m still singing “Pink Moon” to myself.

I’ve also been practicing with procion dyes for the Volunteer Sunflowers yarn mystery box, but won’t share images as they are a mystery! I’ve got a pretty good handle on procion dyes for cellulose fibers and acid dyes for protein fibers. It’s the blends I’m practicing to see if I can improve techniques there. I also want to make sure I know how to get the most vibrant colors possible for nonsuperwash yarns, as colors tend to be less vibrant than on superwash wool yarns. I’m experimenting with that, and ways to ensure the colors are well set and lightfast —all while trying to exhaust the dye baths and impact our watershed as little as possible.

I had a lovely birthday and received heartwarming cards and gifts. This is a small sample of knitting related gifts from friends. I can’t wait to start reading the Knitstrips comic book!

I also finished weeding and planting the garden. I planted less this year in hopes it won’t be such a jungle.

Today I hope to get some sewing done! What are you working on this week?

Spontaneous Fresh Leaf Indigo Dyeing

Yesterday, Bob was clearing out the garden, and mistook my vigorous indigo patch for weeds. And then he pulled up most of the plants! I had been imagining trying the fresh leaf printing technique on my Virginia grown cotton canvas, and although I hadn’t planned to do it right away, I knew I had to get on it or I would have to wait until next year with a new garden patch.

I put together the video to show the process. I told Bob I was beating the heck out of indigo leaves instead of throwing the mallet at his head. He said he appreciated it. Anyway, I can now check this off my list. Thank you, Bob! I also learned from a follower on Instagram that this technique is called Hapazome.

I am setting the fabric with a white vinegar rinse, line dry, and then an iron. What will I make with the fabric? I guess it depends on how well the print sets. It seemed to hold up in the washer okay. Maybe more overalls? If it doesn’t hold the dye well, maybe some cushions for the porch furniture.

Happy Saturday! I hope everyone has some relaxing Labor Day plans this holiday weekend, if you are in the US. Or just a relaxing weekend, wherever you are!

The Lonely Heart is a Hunter MKAL: Friday Finish

I’m so pleased with my mystery knit along shawl The Lonely Heart is a Hunter, by RavenKnits (Rav link). Not only do I love the finished garment, but I enjoyed each clue along the way.

Yarn is Elemental Effects Cormo Lace. I kettle dyed it with Jacquard Acid Dyes in periwinkle and silver, deliberately adding some sprinkles for variegation. Beads are Toho of Japan Seed Beads, Size: 6/0 Color: Transparent Frosted Rainbows Light Tanzanite (lavender blue) Color Number: 6-166DF.

I had never participated in a mystery knit along before. I can definitely recommend RavenKnits as a designer for this format. (Rav link) I love that the fiber is Cormo wool. It’s so squishy! I was worried about the drape, but it blocked out nicely.

The little mermaid glass bead is on a progress keeper clasp. I have taken to wearing it as a closure for my magical cape. My plan is to sew a lavender linen Barcelona Dress to wear with this to my art opening on September 4.

Sunday Year of Projects Update

Hello!

Fiber Art

I had an interesting experiment with the dye pot today. I tried Lanaset dye with citric acid and added some unprocessed wool to the dye pot as well. The merino did fine, but the Shetland (top left) and the Romeldale CVM (top right, unprocessed) did not take the dye well. That’s fine, because I dye the wool for art and I can always use odd colors. And I still got the brown I need for the next piece. Next dye pot will be Jacquard Aztec Gold and back to white vinegar for the acid bath. I also stitched on piece number three today.

Knitting

Knit knit knitting on my Litmus Cowl, which I’m now calling my Lucky Number Cowl, because the number of rows in a stripe is 14, my lucky number. This is great TV knitting. Round and round. And I’m making up for lost time on Turtledove. I hope to be back to my pre-kerfuffle progress soon.

This is my Black Welsh Mountain yarn. I love it, and was planning to make a cardigan with it. But I don’t think this is the right kind of yarn for Emma (Ravelry link). It’s pretty coarse. It would be a great coat, but I’m thinking I might knit an i-cord hearth rug out of it. We need a hearth rug. Did you know wool is fire retardant? It’s true. Wool is a miracle fiber.

This is the gansey I knit for Bob that I am now wearing, because it shrunk and felted and is too small for him now. I found a hole in it so I thought it was a good opportunity to practice my darning. I wanted to try to use duplicate stitch and the results aren’t too bad. I’m calling it “crazy darning” or “darn crazy.” Take your pick. Just remember, you heard it here first.

Don’t worry. I’m planning to knit Bob a new sweater (Ravelry link).

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my updated list here. You can find out more about the group here.

Today is our Blogville Knitters Virtual Knit at 1PM Eastern. If you are new and would like to join us by Skype, please DM your Skype ID to me on Instagram or Ravelry. You might also leave a comment for me to remind me to go check my messages.

Dyed My Own Fade

True to the internet’s word, the red cabbage didn’t do much to my Tunis yarn.

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You probably can’t tell, but it has a slight grayish stain.

Since I now wake up at 4:30AM every morning (WHY?!) I decided to overdye the yarn this morning with acid dyes. I mixed black and blue, and left each subsequent skein in the dye bath an additional 5 minutes. They turned out pretty good.

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Vinegar bath.

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I’m honestly not sure which of the darkest ones is the one which was dyed the longest. These are wet, and I don’t know if the color will lighten or darken as they dry. I do like how the skeins vary in blues and blacks.

I’m going to make Paris Toujours but I’m calling it Twilight Toujours. Clever, non?

This Tunis yarn is SO SOFT. I thought I might need to put a little lanolin back in, but it has really bloomed and fluffed. It will be a super écharpe!

New Habits

In preparation for the new year, I’m starting my new habits early. I’ve started baking my steel cut oats with an egg in it to give it more protein and make it creamy. I’ve started journaling every morning with a pencil on paper. And I’ve started taking twilight walks instead of going to the gym.

The goal of this is self care. I may need to go back to the gym, but I was feeling driven and also stressed by my gym routine, as well as Noom, so I’m changing it up. I’m trying for moderation in all things including food and drink. Seems reasonable.

I’m dyeing my Tunis yarn with red cabbage. I’m trying for a gradient. Most natural dyeing sites don’t recommend dyeing wool with red cabbage as it doesn’t yield much color. I’m going for the soft gray blues and purples of twilight, so I’m hoping it will be ok. If not I guess I can overdye it with some acid dyes.

Bob is making sweet and sour cabbage soup for dinner.

I’m on Typhoid vaccination meds for my upcoming trip to Kenya. It basically makes me feel like I have the flu, so I haven’t been at my best. Not a lot of knitting going on!

Solid Gold Sunday

Yesterday I got really excited about dyeing my Cotswold with turmeric, and I did it. I followed these instructions. It was simple and I love the color. It is still a little damp. I made a mistake by dyeing it at first while still twisted in a loose hank, so I untwisted and dyed it again, resulting in the beautiful gradient. So be like me and make a mistake and love the outcome. I don’t think I would like it as well if it were all the same color.

The dyeing process blew out the lanolin so I ordered some and I’m going to give it another rinse with lanolin. I had someone tell me recently that you don’t want lanolin left in your wool. Well, maybe they don’t. But I sure do. Especially in the Cotswold which got toothier after dyeing. The lanolin makes it softer and also moisture repellent. Why wouldn’t I want that?

With only 10 minutes to spare and my hands still yellow and smelling of turmeric, I rushed to the COWFG meeting. I got lost and was 15 minutes late, but still enjoyed most of the presentation by the owners of Oak Knoll Farm.

I knit on my Weekender and listened to wonderful stories about a sheep named Charlotte who goes into a trance when she gets sheared, and another one who wags its tail and follows you around like a puppy. Yes, I now want a hobby sheep farm when I retire. I want protective dogs and sweet Shetlands.

I purchased some of their fiber. You know they love their sheep when they include their photos on the product.

I also purchased this.

Do you know what this is? I’ll bet HighlandHeffalump does. I am going to take a class today and then I will share with you all about the mystery of this beautiful tool.

Random Thankfulness: Today I am thankful for our immigrant and refugee communities who bring their amazing food to our area, like baby bananas.