Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sometimes I hate computers!!!!
Anyway after all that I wanted to post about the yarns I dyed a few weeks ago. In the workshop I was showing how to rainbow dye with both acid and fibre reactive dyes and also how to paint dye with acid dyes and how to use the plastic bag method with fibre reactive dyes.
This first group of 3 yarns where all dyed with acid dyes using the rainbow dyeing method i.e. the wet skeins where put in a pan with a small amount of water and the dye powders sprinkled over them. Although alt the time the dye seemed quite strong the finished colours are quite muted. The large skein at the top was Norfork Horn wool, the middle skein was 100% soya yarn, Just Soya from Sirdar which was already a stone colour and the bottom skein was 100% smooth mohair.
These next 2 yarns are both bamboo, one tape yarn and one plyed yarn, both have been dyed with Fibre Reactive dyes. The skeins where soaked in water first and then the dyes where painted on with a sponge brush.
These 2 yarns are also dyed with Fibre reactive dyes. The top skein was bamboo and the bottom skein is Just Soya, from Sirdar in a stone colour. I didn't make sure the dye was pushed all the way through the fibres so there are areas of undyed yarn.
It was interesting to compare the 2 skeins of soya yarn as one was dyed with acid dyes (for protein) and one was dyed with Fibre Reactive dyes (for cellulose fibres). Neither of the colours where particularly strong but that might also be due to the fact the yarn has already been dyed once.
These 2 skeins of green yarn are bamboo and cotton soya mix dyed with Fibre Reactive dyes using the plastic bag method. The wet skeins where put in a plastic bag with the dye and chemicals already added. The skeins where 'mashed' for about 5 minutes or so until all the liquid was absorbed into the yarn and then left for about 30 minutes before being rinsed. Both skeins took the colour well.
This skein is cashgora yarn dyed with acid dyes which where painted on. Once the dye was applied the skein was wrapped in clingfilm and steamed for 30 minutes. Cashgora which is a variation of angora goat takes dye in a similar way to mohair i.e. good depth of colour and also has a sheen.
This last picture is of some milk fibre tops which has been painted with acid dyes and then steamed to fix the dye. I haven't tried to spin the top yet so I don't know if the dye process has had any effect on the spinning handling of the fibre. I'll post something about this if I ever get around to spinning it.
It was a good day on the whole and I think the students enjoyed the dat as well.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
These 2 bags where originally knitted in Elle Merino Brights (Aran weight) felting wool but as this yarn is no longer available I reworked the pattern for Noro Kureyon.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Despite the heat all the ladies that attended seemed to enjoy the day. They where all very friendly and welcoming (as I find most Guilds and groups are) and I was very well looked after both day.
I'm booked to teach quite a few knitting and crochet workshops over the next few weeks including a couple of new crochet workshops; 'Crochet onto knitting' and 'Crochet circles, flowers hats and bags'. I've also been booked to do a number of talks to machine knitting clubs. People are still finding time to enjoy their craft interests.
A few weeks ago I taught a workshop on dyeing. Once I have got the photos downloaded to the computer I will post them on my blog. I included some 'new fibres' i.e. bamboo and soya among others in the skeins I dyed to see how they would take the dye. If I get five minutes I might try and knit some of the samples to see what the dye is like in a fabric.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
I also forgot to take my camera to take photos of the stand so I must try and remember at the next exhibition to do so. I understand from Kareen (who owns the InterKnit Cafe) who was quite involved with organising the show that the people at The Maltings where very pleased with the attendance at the show and have agreed to run it as a 2 day event at the end of February next year. Lets hope it continues to be a success.
I'm booked to teach a number of hand knitting workshops over the next month and the 'Machine Knititng Live' Exhibition at Bournemouth is on 7th March so I better get back to doing some more work!
Friday, February 06, 2009
With the success of this first hat I then went on to crochet a cap which was in fairly basic stitches, double crochet, trebles and chain mesh stitch
Having got into the swing of things I had another go at making the cap with mesh stitch edging but using a DK yarn this time. i happen to have some Elle Escapade so decided to use that although generally I don't like using acrylic yarn but it did work up very easily so here are some more pictures.
Friday, January 30, 2009
I decided to start with a crochet provisional cast on as I prefer to have 'live' stitches when picking up around the neckline. The top section with sleeves is knitted in rows until the neck shaping is completed. I decided to use a left and right 'make 1' increase for the raglan seams working the increase just before the stitch in front of the stitch marker and after the stitch after the marker to give me the raglan seam. I also worked the neck increases 1 stitch in from the edge to give a clean line of stitches when picking up the neckline to knit the band.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Both the heel and toe are shaped with short rows and the socks are knitted on 5pd (stitches divided over 4 needles and 1 to knit with) so there is no need to rearrange stitches when you come to shaping the heel. The socks also finish with an unusual 3-needle cast off which gives a seam on the top of the foot at the base of the toes, very much like commercial socks, but you don't feel the seam when wearing the socks. Casting off this way means there is no grafting of toe stitches so another big advantage over other methods.
Some of the students found knitting on 5pd took a bit of getting used to and the short row shaping proved a bit of a challenge to some but by the end of the day most students had nearly completed their mini sample sock. Hopefully they will give this method of sock making another try as it is very easy once you have learn the short row shaping.
If you are in the Alton area do go and visit The Knitting Habit. It is in Alton town centre in the street that goes up a hill near Boots. The owner Marion is very friendly and helpful and I will be teaching more one day workshops there througout the year. For details of when and where I'm teaching look at the Events page on my website.