Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dyeing Day at Lisa's (Denise)

It was a lovely hot and dry day with little wind. Perfect for solar dyeing. We got started at a nice leisurely pace that seemed appropriate for the sunny Saturday. After setting everything out to cook, we ate and drank iced tea.

Instead of a long wordy blog, I'll let the photo tell the story with limited dialog. If you have questions, please drop me a line.

Of the three solar ovens, the kitty litter one worked best for the roving. When the Plexiglas was moved to the paper box, that one skyrocketed in temperature. If you aren't sure if the dye all took, just leave it overnight and rinse in the morning...if you can wait that long.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mobius Cast On

Holy Cow!! I've got it!! How I love YouTube.

After being shown this technique and told how easy it is so many times and not getting it, I gave up. I found this video clip about how to do the Mobius Cast On and watched it over and over again. I even got out my needles and practiced it with the video playing. I am successful at this funky cast on now.
Cat Bordhi takes you through 9:52. "This tutorial will take you through the Moebius Cast-On (MCO) and first round of Moebius knitting, as taught in [her] two books on the subject: A TREASURY OF MAGICAL KNITTING and A SECOND TREASURY OF MAGICAL KNITTING."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Space Dyed Kool-aid and Solar Oven - Denise

Finally a beautiful day to try out the solar oven!! I grabbed another 4 oz (113 g) of Shetland/Mohair roving.

I'll try to outline this in the steps I took so it is easier to follow.
  1. I soaked the roving in soapy water for about 1/2 hour while I got everything ready.
  2. I picked out the colors to play with for the day: Pink Lemonade (pink), Blastin' Berry (red), and Grape (purple). I put down a damp paper towel and filled 3/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of vinegar with each envelope of dye. The vinegar may not be necessary; some directions call for it, some don't.
  3. I laid out newspaper and plastic wrap on the table and then squeezed out the water from the roving and laid it out in a long "S" pattern.
  4. I dabbed on the pink first followed by the red, then purple in a palindrome pattern: pink end, red middle, and purple end (red, pink, red, purple, red, pink).
  5. I folded in the ends and wrapped it up like a jelly roll.
  6. I slipped it in a Ziploc bag.
  7. Out it went into my "preheated" solar oven at 11:00 AM. Temperatures reached around 160 degrees.
  8. At 3:10 PM, I pulled it out and let it sit to cool. It was hot! By almost 4:00 PM, I got antsy and filled the sink with warm water and set the whole thing in to slowly cool down.
  9. After about 15 minutes, it was cool enough for me. I filled the sink with warm, soapy water. The soapy water helps the wool slide off the plastic and rinses any remaining dye off the wool. I opened the Ziploc and hoped for the best. The good news is there was no bleeding from either me or the wool. Everything was absorbed!
  10. I did a final rinse with hair conditioner.
  11. I squeezed with towels and set it outside in the shade to dry.
  12. Check out the colors. I think Cosmos and Iris Garden.
A bit of fine tuning and I'll have the perfect oven. I think a second black kitty litter pan on the outside filled with wool as an insulator will keep even more heat in. Maybe a bit of foil. By then I should see temperatures reaching 250 degrees.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Space Dyed with Kool-Aid (Denise)

I planned on using my solar oven, but the storm clouds rolled in. I went with Plan B instead - the microwave oven.

I know some of you will be horribly shocked that I dyed with the same nuker I cook, but it is food grade dyes. The things in Kool-aid (KA) are less than in chicken nuggets or hot dogs.

Here my daughter is helping me paint the 4 oz. Shetland/mohair roving I bought from Jan Johnson some time ago.

I mixed the KA in 3/4 cup hot water and 1/4 cup vinegar. I soaked the wool for about 40 minutes beforehand in a slightly soapy water. I put down newspaper and plastic wrap and then laid out the roving. We chose what went first and painted. All the dye was used up.

I folded over the ends and rolled up the roving. I placed everything in a Ziploc bag to control the mess. Alternating 2 minutes nuked and 2 minutes rest, it cooked for about 6 minutes. I slowly cooled it down (in the bag). I rinsed and this is what it looked like. Not bad? It smells good too.

I've spun it up and it is destined to become some boucle yarn.