Archive for the “dyeing” Category
I love the Phat Fiber theme this month – Gems and Minerals. February, of course, being my birth month and just the love of all things purple and amethyst, how could I not make these batts?
Also going out in the February boxes are my January samples which didn’t quite make it time last month due to Priority Mail not quite living up to my expectations. These are Peace and Prosperity and I have 3 flavors currently listed over at Spincerely yours.
There are lots of very lovely offerings by all the Phat Fiber artists this month, and isn’t this perfect weather for spinning and knitting? Hope you have fun checking them all out!
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Can you believe it? A 1o day forecast full of sun in Connecticut! This week, I’m dyeing for the September Phat Fiber box which has the perfect theme - Farmer’s Market. Last weekend, I took my camera to one of our local markets to gather some inspiration…
“Zinnia” is already out “baking.” I want to do at least one more theme color – I can’t decide – I like the Heirloom Tomato and oh – those apples! I think I’m really ready for fall. One more week of summer weather with the girls back at school will be perfect, then give me the clear skies, cool breezes, and glorious days of autumn!
Just one more quick “advertising interruption.” I just want to talk about the “August Superbox Giveaway- BUY PHAT incentive” for a moment. This is a prize you can enter to win if you purchase anything in the month of August from either my shop or another Phat Fiber contributor’s shop during the month of August. All you have to do is post what you purchased and from whom in the above linked forum threat to be eligible to win. I think the Superbox is like a regular box, only with a set of larger than average samples in it. At the top of the first post int he thread is a link to the video.
I’m off to the “dye pots.” Hope you have a great weekend!
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Outside my window…
I am spinning for the Tour de Fleece…
I finished spinning and repackaging my second bobbin of merino in Shaded Sapas and I’m now plying. I know, today was supposed to be a “challenge” day for my spinning, but I’ve opted for different challenges. Of course, my biggest challenge through this whole Tour is blogging everyday.. That is BIG for me! My other challenge for today was to get as much fiber out to dye today as I could. I try to get at least 8 (4 ounce rovings) out to dye and a big day is 16. Today I have 24! It was not as sunny out today as predicted so I’ll see how tomorrow goes, as to whether I take these in on Saturday or Sunday.
I am thinking… Thank goodness the humidity is finally giving us a break!
I am thankful for… electicity and cable. Yesterday we lost power around 5 and didn’t get it back until the middle of the night. If that wasn’t bad enough, today we lost cable just when there were 2 km left going up the mountain and Schleck and Contador were neck and neck. I was on the edge of my seat (which seriously, me? I’m not a sports person!) and the broadcast was not that great to begin with so when my screen blacked out, I just thought it was technical difficulties on the Versus channel, but then nothing… and when the cable goes out so does the phone and internet. Oh, so then I walked next door to my parents to see if it was just my cable or everyone’s cable (everyone’s) and I’m telling them what happened, and okay, maybe I was being a little over-dramatic to make them laugh, and my mom tells me that I should not get so excited because “I’m going to hurt my heart.” Really? Sigh.
From the learning rooms… The girls played another game of Settlers today. I think that is very educational and counts for this learning room thing.
From the kitchen… I made a tex-mex type of macaroni casserole for dinner tonight. I think it was pretty darn good and I put in all things that girls like but they were less than enthused. But I made a lot so left-overs all weekend so I don’t have to cook.
I am wearing… pj’s
I am going… to spin some more tonight!
I am reading... Chat by Archer Mayor
I am hoping… for more good weather
I am hearing… night bugs and K’s tv show.
Around the house… quiet, but everyone is around and about I think.
One of my favorite things… Humm… I had such a good idea for this earlier, but just can’t remember now…
A few plans for the rest of the week… Field Hockey tournament tomorrow night, more spinning, blogging, dyeing, a picnic, and maybe some scrapbooking
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For the last month or so, I’ve been doing R&D. (DH loves when I say that, btw.) I’ve been the proud owner of a set of Greener Shades dyes for about 6 months and finally happened across a really nice supply of organic wool top to try it out on. I did some testing and voila! We have a new product line to play with! This new line is called Spincerely Naturals and thus far is is composed of exactly *one* product. But, it is an awesome product!
What is Spincerely Naturals? It is soft, white (prior to dyeing), wooly and makes fantastic yarn that is squishy and elastic. (And it smells heavenly!) Here is the description from the supplier that just says it all, ” Fine wool top. Imported for one of the United States’ few certified organic spinning operations, and sourced from a leading European certified organic wool topmaker who worked with a South American organic wool grower, we’ve been able to secure a supply for handcraft use. Specifications: organically grown and sustainably processed top, white. Staple length 2.2-3.5 inches (55-89 mm). Fiber count 74s (19.5 micron).” Did you notice? 19.5 microns??? 74’s???? Yes, this stuff is as soft as merino!
After previously dyeing with the wide array of acid dye color choices, it is a bit different to work with the limited colors available from Greener Shades. But I think I’m getting there with my mixing. The photos in this post show mostly the pure dye colors as I wanted to see what they were all about before starting to mix. Greener Shades also doesn’t come with much instruction on hand painting, but fortunately most of the acid dye techniques I’ve used work very well.
Are you ready for photos?
Turns into this:
turns into this:
turns into this:
Oh wait! What ARE those? Phat Fiber samples?
Yes! Sixty samples were sent off for the Midsummer Night’s Dream box for June. The color? Lysander, picked and named by Agent J who happened to be reading it just when color advice was needed. She picked the green, black, and purple because she said that “everything happens at night.”
I’m happy to announce the official product launch of Spincerely Naturals 74’s Organic Wool Rovings. Watch for them to appear in my shop soon!
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I think there is some sort of significant here – a MILESTONE that should be noted – in reaching 1,000 sales. On this day, February 5, 2010, my Etsy shop tells me that I have 990 sales. Ten more and that is 1,000!!!!
What is the best way to mark a MILESTONE such as this in this virtual landscape of blogs and online shops? Yes, it is with a CONTEST!!! A contest with a prize that sends actual fiber into your hands!
Here is the prize, a 4 ounce roving* of Lagoon in 60% superwash merino/ 30% bamboo (from Rayon)/ 10% nylon:
So, I need to tell you the rules, right?
Post a comment on this post to be eligible to win.
Contest will run until the number of sales in my Etsy shop reaches 1,000.
I will then randomly draw a winner from the entries.
That’s it! I have no idea how long this will run so it will be interesting! And just one thing I want to note about the way Etsy marks sales; if someone buys more the one of the same item – that is only marked as one sale. I’m not sure why, but that is the way they do it.
Oh yeah, and I should tell you, I’m sure there will some extra treats sent out in the package to the person of the 1,000 MILESTONE sale!
(* if you are a knitter and not a spinner – please do enter anyway – we can *talk* later if your name is drawn.)
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You would think I would know me by now being that I’ve 4 whole decades on me, but no, sometimes it takes a while for me to catch on. I thought I could live with a certain little mistake in my Damson shawl. I knew it was there and continued to knit on. 6 rows later, at 300 stitches per row, I had to rip. So for the last 3 days I’ve been ripping and tinking and now I think I’m finally back to my error and moving forward once again.
I’m knitting Damson by Ysolda. I think this may actually be my first shawl (or a least a can’t think of another at the moment). I’m knitting it in Grape Goddess. Grape Goddess is my favorite late summer color – I can’t resist its purples, greens, and golds for the goldenrods and purple asters. I think it may even smell of ripening grapes.
Here are some quick project details:
Pattern: Damson by Ysolda which I purchased and downloaded from Ravelry
Yarn: Superwash BFL in Grape Goddess by Spincerely yours
Needles: Size 5 Addi Turbos – the pattern calls for size 6, but I liked the look of the stitches at size 5
Thoughts: This pattern is very well written. I like the detail given to how many stitches you should have on your needles on any particular row. Mine seemed to be a bit off from time to time, but after restarting once, I continued on. This is very addictive knitting and does make for good travel.
More thoughts: And the cleverness! The cast on for this shawl is so incredibly clever! There is no seam at all! I forgot to take a close-up of the beginning so I’ll have to save that for the next post, but I’m in awe!
I’m through with the garter section and it is in the lace section where I made my big mistake. I forgot to do one decrease. I thought, “oh, no big deal, no one will notice” and I knit on. And on. And on. And then I couldn’t take it any more and ripped out. Didn’t rip out far enough so had to tink back. Dropped a few stitches so had to pick them up and now three days later I’m knitting on again. Phew…
Well, as I haven’t been seen around these woods of my blog lately, I suppose I should give some quicky updates. Here goes:
Weather: September weather has been awesome! Must give it its due. Good job September, you rock!
Reading: Just finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and have started on Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah. They are both for book clubs. Both book clubs are meeting on Monday, Sept. 21. Since one of them is meeting at my house, I think that is the one I will go to.
School: All the girls are back at school and they all have way too much homework. We have finally finished going to all the open houses and maybe we will be able to breath again.
Fall Sports: Agent K made the varsity field hockey team and scored a goal in her first game! Between field hockey, school, and all her clubs, haven’t seen her too much lately. I did clean her room the other day, but I will withhold all info on the *interesting* specimens found wherein. Agent B is running cross country for the first time and is sticking to it even though I believe her feelings toward it are less than love-filled. Agent J is not playing fall softball as there were not enough girls for a team, but instead she is taking an art class that she loves, so all is well. (And we can rejoice that our weekends are sports free!)
Etsy shop: I’m busy trying to find new ways to promote my Etsy shop. I’m starting a mailing list (you can see my sidebar for info on how to join) and I’m starting a Facebook Fan page. I’m still debating on starting a Ravelry group. I’m not sure how many different things I can maintain and I have to admit to being less than stellar at keeping up with bulletin boards and always figuring out the best things to write without wanting to go back and delete.
Gardening: My flower gardens are starting to perk up with the return of the sunshine, but it was just a little too little, a little too late for the veggies this year.
Nature: It felt like last summer there was always something new and unusual in my yard to blog about. Not so much this year. I have not even seen a turtle. Haven’t seen any snakes either, but that is way good. Not too many butterflies and no interesting metamorphosis stories to tell. We did have a great crop of very friendly and personable hummingbirds this year. They have all moved on now. I think the one at my feeder this morning was a traveler from a distant land as he just didn’t look familiar to me.
This weekend: Tomorrow I have to work at the library, but after a long week away from my dye dungeon studio, I hope to get back down to it on Sunday morning. I have lots of wonderful special requests to brew up for you!
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I really do love candy, I just finished up a bag of M&M as a matter of fact! (Not a good thing to do, but chocolate was needed.) The very first time my sister ever showed me wool roving I just could not get over how much it looked like cotton candy. I wanted to eat it SO much. I still believe that fiber looks like cotton candy, and last year I even made some Ravelry ads that featured my roving dressed up to look like cotton candy.
The Phat Fiber theme for this month is “Meet me at the Fair” so, of course, I had to do cotton candy:
So what do you think? Real or not? Okay – that’s the real thing–we went to Dave’s company picnic last night and the girls favorite “activity” there is eating the free cotton candy
My cotton candy is not quite that authentic, but I think it is pretty darn close!
Perhaps it is a little pinker than the real life cotton candy and it doesn’t “melt” nearly as quickly but I think it is cool. I think the darker pink will make it a bit more fun to spin than the paler real life company picnic cotton candy was much closer to white which is good for food, bad if you are trying to advertise your dyeing. (I wish I could get a matching photo with the girls pretending to eat the fiber candy, but the weather and our schedules are not cooperating.) So I’m sending off 30 of these cotton candy samples and then a bunch of “Tilt-a-Whirl” samples. Before I send them though I need to hunt down a bigger box, as you can see they overflowith from this one:
Here are what the labels look like on the backsides:
Did you notice how I had previously alluded to the weather not cooperating? Well, it is totally crazy! On this, the last day of July, we have already (before noon) had 2 inches of rain! This is the month where we have already had over 10 inches of rain! If June was the cloudiest month ever, this July is certainly the rainiest month ever. This is just not the best of situations for a solar dyer! And as I’ve said every month so far this year, next month has GOT to be better! We are counting on you August! You are going to have shine!
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Twilight by Melissa Morgan-Oakes from 2-at-a-time Socks
Hand dyed sock blank from Knit Picks
Size 3.0 mm 40 inch Addi Turbos
: January 7, 2009
February 7, 2009
Thoughts: This is a very interesting technique. When I first started the socks, I just did what the book told me and everything was fine, but it took a while before I figured out what was really going on and how to keep the yarn from tangling. I wish I had a photo to show this, but the sock blank and working socks fit so well into the Box Bag from JessaLu, it was like it was just meant to specially hold this project. There were a few areas of the pattern around the heel turning/gusset parts where I didn’t really follow the pattern. I never checked to see if there was any errata, but there may well be, or it could have just been me. The best part of these socks is NO SECOND SOCK SYNDROME!!!!!
Frog It or Finish It: I have taken something out of hibernation. I don’t think it will be done by Friday but I’m well on my way!
Phat Fiber: I’m going to be participating in the March Box of Phat Fiber. This sounds like a very interesting marketing concept. If you haven’t heard of it yet, you can visit it on Ravelry, Etsy, or it’s Blog. So far I have dyed the fiber I’m going to send. I still have to package it and make all the graphics! I have to get moving, but what a really cool concept to get your product samples out to other fiber addicts. I’m very excited, so if you don’t see me around here to much it is because I’ve been eaten alive by the monster called Photoshop…
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Even though I’m focusing on dyeing, I’m kicking off the fall fiber season with a completed knitting project! Okay, so maybe I technically started in summer, but I definitely finished in fall.
Back to School Cardi
Pattern: Hey Teach from Knitty.com
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease. A little less than 3 skeins in Cactus.
Needles: Size 8 Addi Turbos
Modifications: I added 2 inches to the length in the stockinette section and I only added buttons to the top lace section.
Thoughts: This was quick knitting until the seaming. There was a lot of finishing! Lace pattern was easy and intuitive. I would make this again if I didn’t have so many other things to make. Actually, I’m thinking of making a smaller size for one of the girls as I have 2 skeins of yarn left. I’ve never used Cotton Ease before but I liked knitting with it. Since I’m always too hot to wear anything wool or even slightly related to wool (including Cotton Fleece) and since 100% cotton is hard on my fingers, I’m hoping that this will wear well and I can use it again. Also, this yarn is very easy on the knitting budget!
I’ve actually been working on Sock Blankie quite a bit lately. It is just so easy to pick it up and just knit and take it in the car with me when I wait for field hockey to never end. I just ordered Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard of Knit and Tonic and I have my eye on a couple of patterns in there. I’m ready to start swatching!
So moving on to dyeing…
I am very excited to be participating in my first fiber show! On November 1, I will be sharing table space with Llama Farm Girl of Hemlock Haven Llama Farm and Cathy of IBIWISI Alpacas at the 4th Annual Southern Vermont Fiber Event. It is in downtown Brattleboro from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. I have a link to the directions in my sidebar. I’m going to try to continue to stock my Etsy shop while preparing for this show so I’m going to have to start dyeing like a maniac. This isn’t easy with 3 children playing sports and all the fall yard work to do, let me tell you!
So moving on to spinning…
I just finished spinning for my Ravelry Fibery Goodness swap. I’m a bit late but my yarn is just not drying. Darn yarn. Anyway, I better not put a photo up yet, as you never know, my partner may decide to cruise by my blog…
I also have some plans for Hollis (the drum carder that LFG and I share). I hope he is ready for me!
Around the blog…
I’ve been busy updating my Reading page. I’ve also noticed that some of my tags do not work properly so if you want to search for something (like Dark Victory), the best way to do that would be to go to my archive page and type into the search box. Maybe someday I’ll have time to figure out the tag thing. I think it may be because I some of the tags were former categories and they didn’t convert well. Lately, it seems like may pattern has been posting about once a week. I’m going to try a bit harder to step that up a bit, but time seems to be on fast forward lately. It is just crazy, you know??? Anyway, have a great day and thanks for reading!
ETA: Photo credit: Agent B, age 10
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