Saturday, June 20, 2009

My First Attempt at Dyeing Yarn

If you are visiting from TIP JUNKIE, welcome! I also have a video tutorial on dyeing yarn with Kool-Aid HERE. Be sure to check it out and feel free to browse my blog! :)
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Fruit Cocktail
Recently, my fabulous co-hosts of Fiber 'Tudes and I decided to take the plunge and hand dye some yarn. Being a yarn dyeing virgin, I did a little research on the internet and decided that the simplest method would be the method I would use. So I chose the crockpot method of dyeing. I also decided that I would use a non-toxic, edible dye since my kiddos like to help out with my projects. Kool-Aid dyeing it was! Also, a non-toxic dye meant that I could re-use my crockpot for edible endeavors. (If you use a toxic or inedible dye - use a crockpot that will NEVER be used for cooking food again. You can get crockpots pretty inexpensively at yardsales.)

Tips:
  • Do not use Kool-Aid that is pre-sweetened. You need the original Kool-Aid packets that have NO sugar or sweetener in them.
  • Use an animal fiber not a plant fiber for Kool-Aid dyeing. Plant fibers won't take the dye properly.
  • Tie your yarn with a pure white cotton yarn (it won't bleed onto your yarn). -OR- Buy Bare Yarn by Knit Picks (like I did). It comes already tied and is ready to go straight into the crockpot. Of course, if you spin your own, you're going to have to do all of the work yourself. (But that is part of the fun!)
  • DO NOT agitate non-superwash fibers. This is a hot water method and you will felt your yarn if you agitate it prior to being COMPLETELY cooled.
  • Be careful. The water AND yarn are very hot. Let the yarn cool completely prior to rinsing. If you burn your fingers, you will not enjoy knitting your gorgeous new yarn.
  • When mixing up the Kool-Aid - remember the more water you use to mix up the dye, the less concentrated the color. Don't be afraid to experiment with your color. It's only Kool-Aid after all.

Step 1:
I had to choose the colors I wanted. I had an entire bag of Kool-Aid and decided for the first try, I wanted pink, orange, and cranberry. So I chose Pink Lemonade, Orange, and Black Cherry Kool-Aid packets.

Step 2:
I re-read the tutorial from Nermal, Not Normal. (Hot Pour Method) I deviate a tad from her tutorial. But I used her tutorial as my knowledge base.

Step 3:
I placed the yarn in the cold crockpot and covered with water. Then I added 1 cup of vinegar and turned the crockpot on HIGH.
Step 4:
I mixed up all of the Kool-Aid. I wanted a really brightly colored yarn and decided to have alot of Kool-Aid and a little water to produce that effect. So I mixed 2 packets of Pink Lemonade Kool-Aid, 3 packets of Black Cherry Kool-Aid, and 3 packets of Orange Kool-Aid each in a glass of approx. 6 oz. of water.
Step 5:
Once the water in the crockpot was sufficiently hot, I poured the Kool-Aid dye mixtures in different areas on the yarn. I had planned on pouring in thirds, but quickly realized that I still had surface area that needed dye. So I mixed up a fourth color - Lemonade Kool-Aid (4 packets) with 6 oz. of water and poured it in. Then I replaced the crockpot lid and set the timer for an hour.
Step 6:
After the timer went off, I stuck a spoon into the yarn to gently check if the dye had penetrated all of the yarn and to check the water. Clear water on the spoon meant that all of the dye had been absorbed into the yarn! Time to rinse!
Step 7:
I carefully dumped the yarn into a very CLEAN bath tub to cool. Once sufficiently cooled, I rinsed and re-rinsed with a cool water bath. BE SURE to allow the yarn to cool. It will be very hot. You don't want to burn yourself or felt the fibers.
Step 8:
Gently squeeze out excess water and hang to dry. THE Vickie Howell commented on my yarn!!!!

Step 9:
24 hours later... my yarn was completely dry! Time to wind the yarn ONTO the swift in a larger diameter so that when twisting into a hank, it shows off the colorway. I put the yarn on my Adirondack chair and wound onto my swift. (Like an idiot, I did this at 1p in the hot sun. I was boiling hot and drenched in sweat by the time I was done.)
Step 10:
I added some waste yarn to tie the yarn together (weave in and out of the yarn) so that it didn't get twisted in the hank. I used some waste cotton I had in a natural color so that I could see it easily.Step 11:
I twisted the yarn into a hank. I had a little difficulty as this was the first time I'd ever done that - so it's not as tight and neat as I would've liked - but it does show off the colorway nicely!Step 12:
Finally it was time to name the yarn. Hubby named this colorway Fruit Cocktail.


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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stitch & Dish Launch & Giveaway!

Beginning Friday, June 26th - "Stitch & Dish" will air live on MomTv at 8p EST! If you are a knitter, crocheter, needlepointer, felter, or any hand-crafter.. grab your project and your webcam and join us as we stitch and dish the topic du jour. Don't have a webcam? No worries. There is a chatroom for those who either don't have a webcam or wish not to be on camera.

I would LOVE to have a full house Friday nights! Here's what you've got to do to participate:
  • Sign up at MomTV for a FREE account.
  • Sign up at Stickam for a FREE account.
  • Show up and get ready to have some fun!
You will need both a Stickam account and MomTV account to participate in the Streaming Live WebShows. If you have never been to MomTV - you're going to get addicted! There are Live Streaming Shows for every interest a mom could have.

I'm lining up sponsors to give away door prizes for the first show! So far, it looks like we'll be giving away:
In order to be eligible to win one of these amazing prizes, you must RSVP and be in attendance to win! I will randomly select winners from the RSVP list and also the comments. Would you like additional entries to win a door prize? Do one or more of these things and come back and comment after each one.
  • Tweet about the giveaway with a link to this blog post. Leave a comment with a link to the status update that shows your tweet. Only 1 tweet per day.
  • Blog about the show and link back to this blog post. This is worth 5 additional entries. Leave a comment for each of the five entries.
  • Visit 1 or all of our sponsors' sites/shops. Come back and leave a comment as to which item(s) from their site/shop is your fave. You may leave an entry for each sponsor!
  • Refer a sponsor for a door prize. Have the sponsor email me & let me know you referred them. This is worth 5 additional entries. Leave a comment for each of the 5 entries.
(If you're interested in sponsoring a door prize - email me at knitpurlgurl [at] gmail [dot] com!)


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Monday, June 15, 2009

Fiber 'Tudes Radio Show Re-cap: June 15, 2009


On today's show, we talked about:
  • We missed Lara today :(
  • Karen has decided to use the cold water method of dyeing her yarn with cold water dyes. She plans on dyeing up some cotton
  • Stacy plans on attempting the solar dyeing method and will dye up some wool with Wilton Cake Dyes. She is also going to try her hand at hand painting yarn.
  • I decided that I will try the crockpot dyeing method with Kool-Aid on some wool.
  • Karen is trying to meet her deadline as she designs a lace jacket on the loom for an E-Zine.
  • Stacy continues to "plug away" at her Botanica Medallion Cardigan and also her display sock for her shop, The Fine Needle
  • I haven't progressed at all on my Botanica Medallion Cardigan and worked on my DD's triangular garter st shawl with yo border instead
  • Stacy's fiber guild in MD participated in WWKIP Day on June 13th!
  • We talk about the dying art of all things handmade and the resurgence of 'Homesteading' and sustainable living
  • We talk about why we knit socks INSTEAD of buying them at WalMart
  • Why it's important to create memories and pass down traditions through hand crafting
  • We talk about knitting retreats. Stacy's shop hosted a successful retreat last spring. I want to try and convince hubby that a retreat in Tuscany is a good idea.
  • We talk about Extreme Kid Fighting
  • Karen says my tight knitting is due to my personality ;P
  • We discussed all of us being ADD to a point with our creative endeavors
  • The Fine Needle may have a craft yard sale in July


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Monday, June 8, 2009

Fiber 'Tudes Radio Show Re-cap: June 8, 2009

This week, on the Fiber 'Tudes Radio Show, we talked about:


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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Progress on the Botanica Medallion Cardigan


As you may know from my Blog Talk Radio Show, Fiber 'Tudes, I am tackling the Botanica Medallion Cardigan by Shiri Mor (featured in Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2009). Don't ask me why I thought this was a good idea. Sure, the pattern is gorgeous. The designer is amazing. BUT - a few things hit me as I started knitting this:
  1. I'm NOT too proficient in lace work. Sure I knit a lacey sock - but it was simple yo(s) and K2tog(s). - Nothing too fancy or challenging
  2. I've never knit a sweater. I was dazzled by the 2 piece construction of this cardi. Now, I'm terrified that I won't be able to sew it together properly.
  3. There are alot of different techniques in this pattern that I've never done before.. such as SK2P, Indian Cross Stitch, and seaming!
  4. I'm an advanced beginner and this project is a 3 on a 1-4 scale of difficulty (4 being the most difficult)
That's right - I'm ridiculously stupid for attempting this cardigan. But I will keep on trying.

During the medallion part, I dropped a stitch and messed up round 52 about 5 times. Thankfully, a very patient knitting friend of mine, Celeste, helped me figure it out and patiently tinked back my stitches 3 or 4 times. She's part knitting guru, part saint! After she helped me retrieve the dropped stitch and tink back sufficiently, I was able to knit past it and finish the medallion portion of the cardigan. The picture above is of the medallion blocking.

Now I have to start the outer band which, I'm sorry to say, looks much more scary than the medallion. Cross your fingers for me, knitsters.

If you're interested in joining us in the KAL, be sure to check out the KAL group we have on Ravelry!! And be sure to tune in to Fiber 'Tudes to hear all the details of Stacy's and my Botanica Medallion Cardigans!


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Monday, June 1, 2009

Fiber 'Tudes Radio Show Re-cap


On today's show:
Be sure to tune into the Fiber 'Tudes Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio every Monday @ 1:30pm EST. If you cannot tune in live, you can listen On Demand at Blog Talk Radio or subscribe (FREE) to our podcast via iTunes.


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