I Dye

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That used to be a hat. I held the fingering weight Socks that Rock Lightweight double and made a lovely Heartfail that I never wore.

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I hated the color. I should’ve liked the color, but I didn’t. So I figured I’d over-dye it.

Initial process took 12 cups of water, 1 cup of vinegar, 4 blue raspberry lemonade packets (thanks and shout out to podcaster PurlBug). But it came out sort of “meh.”

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Try two I used roughly 8 cups of water, a splash of vanilla, and a teaspoon of black icing color. Because why not.

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I like the final result & hope that the color sticks. An initial dunk of another skein says yes, but I’m not holding breath.

De-pill, De-pill!

Remember my great green sweater?

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It’s far from perfect, but I’d like to knit it again, a smaller size, a tighter gauge. Right now it’s a housecoat and I bundle up in it in the evenings when it’s chilly in Santa Barbara. Chilly in Santa Barbara is anything below 68 if you’re a local. And too hot? That happens at 73. Spoiled?

Because it gets worn, and worn hard since I have two kids, two dogs, and a house, it’s covered in pills. For years I’ve used a Windmere Sweater Shaver. And by years, I’m talking 15+ since my little tool pre-dates my husband. It works pretty well, but it’s slow and you have to have the technique down: small circles, about 2″ in diameter in a back and forth pattern will generally get you where you want to go with the sweater looking almost new again.

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The new player on the field is a Gleener. I’ve heard it buzzing about the knit-sphere. No battery, elbow grease power. But supposedly the best thing since the knit stitch.

Pre-Gleen. Lots of pills.

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Post Gleener you can see it’s removed a lot of the bigger stuff. But there’s still a haze on the fabric. There is a finer Gleener head, I’ve played with it but not officially. (that lovely half button is thanks to the puppy. She’s a chewer.)

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The big pils is Gleener. The smaller is the Windmere going over afterwards. The Gleener is definitely faster for large area pill removal. For fine work, I’m leaning towards the sweater shaver. It takes batteries and is slower, but the fabric actually looks like new not just de-pilled.img_20170106_095508

Do I like the Gleener? Yes. And I’m going to keep trying it out. But I’m not going to be tossing my trusty sweater shaver.

Soon to come

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I want to be a sweater knitter. I’m not scared of the number of stitches, I’ve even made a few. But none have been just right. Too big, too floppy, not nicely finished, etc.

So I’m trying again. Because that’s what we do. And each one has gotten slightly better, so it’s coming.

This time I’m trying Granito by Joji Locatelli. I wanted to try a pullover, but I’m sticking with fingering weight since I do live in Southern California. I wanted something with a shoulder seam. But I do still love top down.

And pockets!

The pink yarn is not what the sweater will be out of. But it’s the same Knitpicks Stroll. I have 4 skeins in a golden yellow. And I’m planning grey accents. Wish me luck! You can see I’m being a good knitter and swatching. I’m doing 3s and 4s, the pattern calls for 4s. And since I’ll be doing knitwear laundry today or tomorrow, the timing is perfect.

Yarn Expansion

I use a lot of Knitpicks yarns on my projects. It’s super affordable and has some really great color options. But I’ve been trying to expand my yarn use a bit.

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I ordered some mini skeins from Knitty & Color in order to make my first Christmas Socks. I’m using the red as the toes, and hopefully either heels or bind off, and the two different colors for a “naught & nice” pair of socks for next year.img_20161219_201908

Also during the holidays, i finished my second socks from Havirland‘s Droid set. Love.IMG_20161213_183702.jpg

And thanks to Knittin’ Little, I’ll be turning this fabulous skein of yarn from Magpie Fibers Swanky Sock in Rhinestone Cowboy into, well, into something 🙂

img_20161130_162910-1And last, but not least, I won a fabulous skein of yarn from Woolfiend on Instagram that I’m super excited about.

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Here’s to fantastic new yarn tasting in the New Year!

A Kool Way to Dye

Like a lot of sock knitters, I have the odd ball of bits and pieces left over. You wouldn’t think so considering I wear a US women’s 11, but I favor short socks. I love Monster Socks, basically mix up the colors any way you like. There are patterns written just to help you use up leftovers!

The Monster group I follow kept suggesting the LOSY  hat pattern. And I thought, why not!

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I wasn’t sure at first. But the white, pink, red, brown started to grow on me and reminded me of peppermint bark.

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But then I blocked it and it bled, of course. Bleh. It looked terrible

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So I bought 3 kool aid packets in Cherry, boiled up some water, and dunked the hat.

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It gently boiled away for a few minutes.

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And the resulting color was really gorgeous!

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Unfortunately the hat was made with superwash wool that was totally de-sproinged and the hat was HUGE. I’m trying to figure out what to do with the yarn.

Knittin’ Little

Over the summer I got to review a collection by the group Knittin’ Little. I was certain I was going to cast on the whale hat. It’s adorable! But when I tried, the yarn just wasn’t having it.

Instead I cast on for the Summer Sunset. I had some appropriate yarn in my stash that wasn’t a color I would wear…but also was a bit bland. So I gently boiled it with some Kool-Aid and ended up with a nice tonal yarn.

A little winding and I had it ready to cast on.

The knitting was pretty straight forward. I opted to omit the lace on the front of the tank. And my first time connecting the “sleeves” to the body got twisted and I had to rip out. But it’s a pretty smooth, easy knit.

And it grew pretty quickly.

And went for a bath and then got laid flat to dry. I wove in the ends pre-soak but didn’t attach the buttons.

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Et voila!

I used this to participate in the Knittin’ Little Summer KAL and won a prize! I’ve sent off my address and am awaiting my yarn 🙂