Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Entering the Summer of Dyeing

I've realized that rather than make resolutions around the new year (as is convention, I'm told) I tend to make my big commitments in the spring time. It makes sense...the world seems rejuvenated, cute baby animals are popping up all over the place and the air is fresh with possibility; I feel inspired. Does this happen to anyone else?

Either way, my creative juices have been flowing! I barely have time to stop and jot down an idea before another pops into my head. I'm working on a few knitting projects that are really exciting- and I plan to share those very soon- but most recently, I have caught the dyeing bug! Last week I pulled out my acid dyes, and some yarn blanks that I had kicking around my stash. I've been really loving a very specific shade of green - I'd call it a cross between forest green and teal... a stunning colour which looks like the needles of an evergreen. So I set out to make it!

I mixed up the perfect green dyestock, but because I can't leave anything simple, I decided to add a sprinkling of some brown and navy into the mix. The result I was anticipating was totally diffrerent from what I got. As I rinsed the yarn I was dissapointed, it seemed to be waaay too dark! But only when I wound the skien into a ball did I really see how beautiful this colour actually was...its STUNNING! Not dark at all, its complex and very interesting, but not too loud. Perfect!

I gleefully cast on for an Ishbel shawl by Ysolda Teague, the percect pattern I think because the first section is in stocking stitch, and I wanted to see the colours knit over lace as well as a plain fabric. I'm still knitting on the stockingette portion at the moment, and it looks amazing! My only problem now is coming up with a name for this lovely new colour...the green I was aiming for was going to be called Juniper, but this colour needs a name that equals it's loveliness!

After my success with the un-named colour, my imagination has been overflowing with colour ideas (and witty names for each). Later in the week I plan to test out a few more colours ideas, and will surely be reporting my progress. Provided that I don't become distracted by another creative endeavour, I'm hoping to make the upcoming warm months "the summer of dyeing!"

The yarn I used is Malabrigo Lace,and I'm hoping to have enough yarn to knit the large version of the pattern (on 4mm needles). The colours are even prettier in person....I'll try again in different light to get some more accurate pictures.

P.S. Thanks to whomever left me a comment...it was super exciting...good luck to you too!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Greetings... and Spindle Mania

I've had this blog set up for over a month now, and just haven't felt the inspiration to post...until I was struck with a serious bout of spindle mania! I really love the idea of keeping a little online journal about my crafty endeavors, don't get me wrong, but I just could not pick a topic that was important or interesting enough to be a "first post". Typing this now it sounds a bit ridiculous, but I've found something that I can't wait to talk/write about, and I'm finally posting, what could be bad about that??!

So what have I been spinning? I just spun up a teeny weeny amount of Fleece Artist BFL, in a colourway that I can't identify (this is rare people, I can name just about all Fleece Artist/Hand Maiden colourways off the top of my head...just a gift I guess), but I have dubbed robin's egg gray. I origionaly bought this roving for needle felting, and I beleive that a very cute cat and birds were made from the 100 g that I bought. Just last week, while on a stash diving mission, I remembered just how much I loved the clourway of this roving , so I picked up my spindle and decided to give er'. After I spun up what remained of the first 50 g the totally insane notion came into my head that I should ply it. I pulled out my little how-to-spin-on-a-spindle book and read a little bit...plying made 80% sense to me, but it worked!

I realized that my yarn was pretty lame, and if anyone who really knew how to spin laid eyes on it they'd likely feel sorry for me, but everyone has to start somewhere, right? I also knew that if I didn't knit this yarn right away it would linger and my love for spinning would fall by the wayside, so this morning I picked a pattern for a cute little cowl and cast on. I chose the Ridged Lace Cowl from Exercise Before Knitting...I've had my eye on this one for a while. Words fail to describe its awesomeness; I've stopped to admire nearly every lumy little stitch, and will continue to do so until the entire thing is knit.

of course I have now begun to plan out more and more spining projects. I have a few more ends of Fleece Artist rovings that will likely be combined into a garter yoke sweater - you know the one that EVERYBODY is knitting? But more exciting than anything else is that I have an undyed alpaca and a beautiful merino in quantities enough to make a real project with the yarn I get from them ...I'm saving these until I've had a bit more practice!

I have countless other knitting projects on the go, and can't wait to blab about them...now that I've got this "first post phobia" out of my system. Apologies for this and future posts; I am prone to ramblings and run-on sentences.