Thursday, August 26, 2010

Just because she's cute ;)

So as not to leave it too long between blog entries, and just because I think she's pretty cute, here is a photo of DD2 in the Oriental Lily I finally finished for her a couple days ago. It was a pretty intense knit, not difficult as such, but I hadn't done the pattern before - so I was really pleased when it turned out a perfect fit and I'm loving the colour too.

The pattern is by Georgie Hallam at Tikki Fabric Addict and is called the Oriental Lily - it comes in a fantastic range of sizes and is not really all that complicated. I used a little more than 100g of worsted weight yarn plus matching trim, in Songbird colourway from the clever clogs at the Family Roots yarn store.

Go Gently,
~ Jax ~ xoxo

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Colorful Way to Dye

As part of a swap on a forum I belong to, I recently received a wonderful package of goodies which included a 100g ball of 8ply wool from The Wool Company, and three little pots of cake dye.

I have been absolutely *itching* to try dyeing my own wool, not that I am any good at it, but because it's fun! So I decided that since I was having a PJ-day anyway, I'd get stuck in and take photos as I went.

It didn't quite turn out as I expected, but, that is not to say I won't find something to knit it into - and I also learned a couple of very valuable lessons. Firstly, wear gloves! Secondly, make sure all the containers / vessels that you are putting the wool into for soaking in the dye are free of holes, lest you have a big ole leak all over the kitchen bench.

Initially I thought that I could maybe possibly try gradient dyeing. Then I thought, maybe that's a bit ambitious, perhaps self striping is the way to go. Finally I settled on simply having a go and seeing what I came up with - and here is my 'learning story' ;)

The wool split into five 'mini' hanks and soaking in a vinegar / water solution.

Some of my supplies.

The containers lined up ready for the wool to go in, and I used disposable cups to pre-mix the dye in.

I poured a cupful of dye over each lot of wool, and then added extra water until each mini-hank was mostly submerged.

As I mentioned earlier, don't forget to wear gloves!

Bagged up and ready to go in the microwave for heat-setting.

Cooling off and then drying.

Eeeeek! But, nothing a pot scrubber, some baking soda and a bit of elbow grease couldn't fix...

Drying outside on the clothes horse.

Getting ready to wind! I had to snip the ties on each mini hank without accidentally cutting the wool itself, and then try not to get it tangled - got there in the end with DH's help.

*drum roll*

The End Result (so far, of course not knitted up yet)

The light may be better tomorrow, so I'll take a couple more photos and see if that helps the colour any - but as I said I *will* find something to knit with this - suggestions are more than welcome!

I think at least for a little while, I will be leaving it to the professionals, although I definitely learned a lot from today's little project.

Go Gently,
~ Jax ~  xoxo

Friday, August 20, 2010

And so the journey begins!

I've been struggling with this post for a little bit, I've had blogs in the past that have never really taken off and so it had made me a bit shy in getting started.

However, I've had some admirers of my knitting comment that I could sell some of my work, and I thought it might just make things a little easier if I had a vehicle with which to do it.

I am by no means a speed knitter, and also want this to be a space to showcase my other personal projects as I complete them - this weekend for example I'm hoping to try my luck with hand dyeing some wool.

At the moment I actually have a wee dress on the needles for my younger daughter, and want to get that finished off before I decide where I will go next.

I've obtained a cottage license to knit and sell the StitchyMama Top Down Pinwheel Beanie - a quick and easy knit that looks beautiful in solid colour or variegated wool, and so might whip up a couple of these soon.

A quick tidbit on my knitting history - I started as a complete novice after my first daughter was born 4 years ago, and things have since morphed into a full-blown yarn and knitting obsession. I love kid stuff as of course it knits up in no time and has a very high satisfaction level, although I am also hoping to take the next step up and tackle a more grown up item for myself soon too, perhaps in the form of a simple shawl.

And just so I don't leave this post full of boring old text, here are a couple of photos of items I've recently knit up for my two beautiful girls:

A cabled Milo vest for my big girl in a soft pink merino wool.

A pinwheel beanie for my youngest in a beautiful gradient dyed wool.

Go gently,
~ Jax ~