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

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

  6. Lovely bowl of fibery goodness.

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

  8. oohh.. pretties... mmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  9. 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!