Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A riot of colour...

Isn't it? I couldn't resist taking a picture of this bowl full of fibre. It sits in my living room, just by the window. :-)


Well, not feeling 100% and having submitted my work a whole 5 minutes before the deadline, I decided that I needed to treat myself a little and took a bit of time off yesterday.

I wonder if this tendency to 'treat myself' has any impact on why I always work to such tight deadlines?



Still reeling from the shock of discovering that my cute Button Hat will never be worn by me (no, not even in private), I decided to knit a hat that I will be able to wear. I quickly dug out that lovely and squishy chunky yarn that my Secret Pal 6 sent to me - I think it's from Handpainted Yarn, although I'm not entirely sure - and my trusty 8mm Addi Circs and cast on. No pattern this time, I just made it up as I went along. A few hours later I had this:

It's basically a K2, P2 pattern, knitted on 1 circular needle, using the Magic Loop technique. I knitted something like 9.5'', then decreased once, using K2tog, P2tog all the way round. 6 more rows in K1, P1 and then one row where I decreased again, this time simply by doing P2tog all the way round. The remaining 12 stitches were tied together with a tapestry needle. Presto! One hat finished!

All very easy, and the best thing is? It fits! And it doesn't look odd - well, at least not more odd than hats normally look. See?

Just ignore the goofy expression, OK? I don't know what I was doing.

Anyway, I love it. It's squishy and incredibly warm and cozy. Can't wait to wear it out.


Another thing I treated myself with yesterday was some Koolaid dyeing. I hadn't done any dyeing for months and my order from Wingham Wool Work had arrived in the morning, so I had lots of fibre I wanted to test. Here are the dyeing results, all hanging up to dry:

On the left is a batch of Wensleydale Tops. I had dyed some of this ages ago and had started to spin it up, only to realise that there wasn't nearly enough. It was a bit tricky to get the same colours, but fortunately I had made notes and I think it's more or less correct.

On the right is some Merino that I had left from my merino/bfl ply, and I dyed it simply to see how the fibres would behave. I get the feeling that I managed to felt them ever so slightly when I stuck them in the microwave, but I fluffed them up a bit when they were dry and it seems OK. This is what it looks like when dry:

Finally, on the middle hook is a small amount of Soya Bean Fibre. I wasn't sure how this would take the dye and, predictably, it didn't work very well. It was odd really - all the dye seemed to be stuck on the outside and didn't penetrate into the middle of the string of roving.

I remember reading that Koolaid basically only works well on animal fibres and after this experiment I can confirm that. That said, the pale colourway that I achieved is actually quite pleasing, in particular as the fibre has such a sheen to it.

Well, and that's the end of today's post. No more to see here. Move along now. :-)


  1. Anonymous12:27 pm

    Oooh, it's like a bowl full of candy floss! Yummy!

  2. Anonymous1:14 pm

    There's nothing like a pretty hat to cheer you up on a cold January day is there? I think the Koolaid worked really well on that last lot, it's so subtle but very gorgeous.

  3. I love your hat and dyeing results, especially the middle one! Was the brown a part of the soy fiber or did you have both brown and green drink mix? I love the light variegation. I don't spin, but I definately need to try this on some yarn!

  4. Oooh I'm going to have to try Koolaid dying now - it looks like fun. And I love the first picture of the bowl wow. Great hat too.

  5. Anonymous2:43 pm

    love the way the soya fibre turned out, very very pretty.

  6. Lovely bowl of fibery goodness.

  7. Anonymous9:52 pm

    Soya bean fibre - never heard of it! What is it like to spin?

  8. Anonymous2:28 am

    oohh.. pretties... mmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  9. Anonymous7:52 am

    Oh what gorgeous colors!!

  10. wow! you are an amazing knitter! I struggle so with that art form! I especially love the yarn here and the look of the orange sweater on the bottom. orange, yum!