Two Left Needles

Knitting, spinning and dyeing
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Picovoli

Picovoli

Picovoli
Started:
3/17/06
Finished: 4/8/06
Pattern: Grumperina's Picovoli, with modifications
Yarn: Classic Elite Provence in a to dye for red (color # 2627), almost 2 full skeins
Needles: #5 bamboo circulars
Notes: For starters, I didn't get gauge. Next, my size is between the pattern sizes. So, all actual numbers were recalculated and fudged to fit. And boy does it ever fit. I suspect that it's either too short or small, or I'm not used to baring the midriff. Scott loves it, though. Any thoughts? I could always add some rows near the waist to make it longer.

Modifications aside, this was an easy and relatively fun knit. The plain stockinette stitch makes for good TV knitting, while the shaping details give it interest. Plus, the fact that you can try it on as you go helps make a garment that fits. The instructions are clear and in-the-round knitting means minimal ends to be woven in.

I enjoyed knitting with Provence. Soft and silky with a nice sheen. Good yardage, too.

The bottom edge won't stay down. I've tried steaming it to no avail. Any thoughts on that one, too?

More Knits??

I'm making a liar of myself, where's the spinning content?? Actually there's been some spinning and dyeing, but today's post was determined to be color coordinated.

Sock one of The Red and The Black is done! My first handdyed handspun handknit sock, hehe.

The Red and The black - sock 1 done!

I added a simple 1x1 rib only in the last black band, because it looked odd any other way.

The Red and The Black - sock 1 done!

Sock 2 is in progress and I'm curious to see how they match up. These I will be sad not to be wearing until the Fall.

Oh hat

I wanted to knit a second hat for MJ's Norwegian Knits-Along, and ran into some troubles. Adrian helped me brainstorm and I tackled the project anew. On my first stab, the gauge and stitch pattern were not cooperating to make a hat to fit my head. I considered:

  • adding larger motifs separating the panels
  • adding an extra repeat to the "front" and "back" panels
  • adding an extra panel to make 5 (Adrian's suggestion) 

In the end, I went with the first option. I'm pretty sure there was a good reason. I distinctly remember trying the second option and having one of those, "<sigh> this is not going to work" moments. At this moment I can't recall what the issue might have been.

Oh hat - in progress

Assuming it will fit, it's looking good. I'm not happy with the way I increased stitches before starting the main pattern, so I'll probably have to rework the first few rows. But, with the Norwegian Knits-Along ending and Spring seeming to be around the corner, there's no pressure to finish anytime soon.

Curlycue scarf

My niece loves her scarf! I think it looks fabulous on her. Even in 80 degree weather.

Curlycue scarf

I was surprised by how much longer it is on her than on me. Which just means it'll last longer. :)

Curlycue scarf

Wow, thank you so much for your comments on spin-dye-knit-a-scarf! (I will be happy not to have to type that again.) I've been fighting a cold the past few days so I hope you'll understand if I don't respond to each comment. Please know they are deeply appreciated.

Anna asked, I also love your cashmere yarn. How did you re-ply it?

I ran the plied yarn through the wheel again and added more twist.

Funny story. (Not "funny haha", "funny I've had enough time and distance I can now laugh at my folly haha".) I was so happy with the re-plied results that I did the same for the larger skein! I added a few S hooks for weight and steamed to set the twist. I think it started out okay, but as I went, I think I added a little more twist, a little more twist. After knitting with it for about 6", I finally gave in, cut the yarn, ran it back through the wheel in the opposite direction to take some of the twist out, steam set it, and continued knitting. Hehe. So you can add or subtract more twist at will; you just need to "tay appention".

Cheryl asked, Possibly stupid question, why do you add the vinegar at intervals throughout the process? Does that make it more effective than dumping it all in in the beginning?

Good question. The simple answer is that was what Hands on Dyeing listed on their worksheet. I had done only one shot deals before, so I thought I'd try something new. My guess is that adding in two stages might allow for a slightly more uniform dyeing experience. But that's just a guess.

Judy said, I'm confused. Did you use a waterbath in the roaster with your yarn and dyebath in the casserole? Nice job. Sometimes if you just let it sit until cool you'll have a better exhaust.

Hmm, I think the answer is yes. I had a few inches of water in the roaster, and then plenty of water in the dyebath in the casserole. It doesn't really match up with anything I've read or seen, but more was an extension of the color experiments I've been doing. I don't have a good thermometer yet (or an immersion dyeing pot), and had a sneaking suspicion that the roaster does not heat high enough for "true" immersion dyeing (sub-boiling). So I hoped the steam from all that water would heat things up sufficiently. And yup, if I were not on an Olympic deadline, I would have left the yarn to cool.

PumpkinMama asked, How much length did you end up getting on the scarf?

Just about 3' 6" pre-blocking, 6" much more than expected!

stephanie r asked, did you choose an established pattern or make it up?

The stitch pattern is from a Japanese stitch "dictionary". I added the twisted ribbing on either side for stability.

It was actually very difficult to find an appropriate pattern, mostly because of my limited yardage. The stitch repeat needed to be as small as possible, yet interesting. There needed to be a reasonable number of holes and an open feel (more stretch). It had to have a stockinette stitch background.

Arrrgh

Enough words, more eye candy!

Arrrgh

Arrrgh
Started:
2/13/06
Finished: 2/25/06
Pattern: We Call Them Pirates by Adrian at Hello Yarn
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Pima Tencel, 1 ball yellow (#0258), just over 1 ball black (#7779)
Needles: #5 circulars, and dpn's for the top
Notes: I've done very little colorwork involving more than 1 yarn in a row, so this was a huge learning experience for me. Sadly, this means I knit enough of this hat to have 2 hats, but only have one to show for my efforts. It was worth the effort, look how happy he is!

Arrrgh

I didn't like knitting with the Pima Tencel. It's soft to the touch, but it sheds a lot and is not frog-friendly (because bits of yellow get stuck to the black, and vice versa). The pattern was fun, and I enjoyed seeing the skulls emerging. The very top of the hat was very challenging to maintain good tension between the colors and I had to frog back several times.

Scott wore Arrrgh to the grocery store yesterday and got quite a range of reactions, from chuckles, compliments and jealousy, to taken abackness and maybe a bit of fear. Muahahahaha.

Next time I hope to knit with wool or a better cotton blend; and I will not stack my stranding (you can see a bit of a gap over the right eye in the first row of skulls).

Hehe, yeah, busted. Who knew he read my blog? I thought he was a skimmer.

Gram's not doing so well. This week has been a rough one. It's getting tough, so tough.

A nice dose of color is just what we need:

Dyed Finn

That's the Finn I had dyed, last seen in piles of strips. This is about 4 oz, or equal in weight to the largest batch I have spun to date. 4 oz left, and I foresee it will go quickly. I love watching the colors. I'm a sucker for colors.

Arrrgh - almost done

Is it just me, or does three rows of skulls and crossbones begin to look menacing??

Arrrgh - almost done

Arrrgh could easily have been my Knitting Olympics project. It has been challenging and has pushed me in many ways. More on that another time.

Speaking of Knitting Olympics...

I wasn't altogether happy with the smaller skein of cashmere, it just didn't look good. The skein was very twisty, despite the relatively loose plying.

Then it hit me. Maybe it was under-plied. A skein will twist if under- or over-plied. To test, I took a small section, added more twist, and then let relax to see if it would twist upon itself. It didn't. A-ha!

I re-plied and am much happier. Here is the before shot again:

KO Cashmere - plied

And after:

KO Cashmere, re-plied

And tonight, a little math:

KO Cashmere - soaking

+

Dyebath

= ???

Thanks for the feedback on the larger photos and your nice comments on my blog. Big photos it is!

It was a crazy weekend, crazy, I say! (yes, we'll all get tired of me saying that, you before me)

Saturday, PumpkinMama Erin and I headed up to NETA Spa Knit and Spin Weekend for the day. What an amazing event!

First of all, Erin is sooo nice, it was really great to meet her and her lovely family. We're both newer spinners that also knit and are getting started with dyeing so we had lots to talk about. She was wearing her bunnycrack scarf and it's just beautiful and so very soft.

It was f-f-f-freezing out, and on the way we ran into some flurries:

The weather started getting rough

that lasted all of 5 miles. Thank goodness.

We arrived safely and parked our wheels in the Gallery room. I have never seen so many wheels before! Here's a terrible picture where all the wheels are just out of range:

Gallery room

But use your imagination: behind those chairs to the left, in the far corners, behind that white table in the middle and that whole gaggle to the right, all wheels. Wheels everywhere!! How cool is that???

Walking around, there were spinners and knitters and other fiber afficionados gathered in rooms, in the halls, in the lobby:

Folks in the lobby

Barbara from BASD (who taught the boucle workshop) was tucked in a corner of the lobby with her sock knitting machine:

Barbara with her sock machine

I have a few knitting machines but had never seen a sock knitting machine before. Cool!

In the vendor area I finally got to see and touch some Grafton Fibers batts (beautiful) and picked one to bring home. I also picked up a pound each of undyed Romney/Corriedale, and Romney for a good price from Nick's Meadow Farm (Barrington, NH). I haven't spun with Romney yet and it was softer than I expected.

We met up with Cheryl, whom Erin knew from a disastrous spinning class, and spent the rest of the day hanging out:

New friends
Erin, Cheryl and me having a wheely good time, hahaha

Why yes, that's my Catharina Rose shawl, second time wearing it out!

The Spa format was casual and the focus was on having fun, learning new things, sharing information, enjoying whatever it is you enjoy doing, be it spinning, knitting, weaving, felting... I wandered around the Gallery room and watched other spinners, chatted with them, learned a few things, realized that everyone figures out what works for them, and you learn as you go.

I also learned from watching Erin and Cheryl spinning and talking to them. My first real BASD meeting was my first time bringing my wheel out, but it was all about the boucle, and not so much about watching or talking to other spinners (it being day 3 with my wheel, I couldn't really spin and talk). Ergo, this was my first time in the presence of spinners with wheels where I could stare all I wanted and ask whatever questions I could think up. Very cool.

It wasn't all talking and gaping. I did finish the cashmere:

KO Cashmere - all spun up!

2 oz. Ahhhh. At long last! Spinning during the day and with good lighting made it go more smoothly than usual. Next, plying, probably Andean. After that, dyeing (and I did some experimenting with reds yesterday so I think I'm almost ready to dye!). That puts me in good shape to actually finish in time for closing ceremonies! I hope. ;)

When I wasn't spinning and chatting I worked on Arrrgh:

Arrrgh - in progress

First thing I came home I tried it on Scott. (Fool me 2 times shame on me...) He said, "Much better" and smiled. Aaahhhh. I've tried it on him numerous times since then; it's almost done!

I'm running out of steam, and I'm sure you are too, so I'll try to wrap it up.

An amazing fashion show with shawls and sweaters from handspuns and handdyes was altogether inspirational and it was wonderful to celebrate our finished works. And post fashion show, the Yarn Harlot spoke wittily about the inevitable uncoolness of being a knitter -- in the eyes of the uninitiated, of course. ;)

Next year I'll be spending the weekend. Oooohhhh yes.

Fiber tumbleweeds
fiber dust bunnies in the aftermath 

Thanks for the nice comments on my skulls! I frogged and reknit back to where I had stopped before, only to realize that the looser colorwork was not making the hat loose enough. Scott very reluctantly and under duress admitted that he'd like the hat a little bigger. I knew going in that reknitting this sucker multiple times was an inherent possibility, nay, a given. So froggy frog frog and back to just before the purl row. I managed to reknit a few rows:

Arrrgh - negative progress

You know, the reason he was so reluctant was because he gets sad for me when I have to frog any project. What a sweetie.

Frogging twice in one night is not fun, but the method I use makes the technical part quite painless (it doesn't do much for the emotional part). I thought I'd share my frogging method with you; I use it for anything more than 1 row.

Olympic Spinning

KO Cashmere

More progress. About 3/4 done, I think. But here's what I'd rather be spinning:

Dyed Finn, split

That's the Finn I dyed last week. I wasn't so crazy about it whole, but split into strips and redistributed, it's calling my name. I walk by the yarn room and stop to gaze longingly.

PumpkinMama asked, Not to get too personal, but I'm wondering why you're not filling your bobbin more evenly? I thought the general idea was to build up a half an inch or so and move to the next hook, going front to back and front again so the whole length gets slowly "coated" with yarn.

Interesting, sounds like a good idea. Thanks for the tip!

As for the why, beyond someone "threading" a wheel and sitting me in front of it (my first time in front of a wheel, which lasted approximately 5 minutes), I haven't had any wheel instruction. I'm winging it, baby! So any help and tips are appreciated.

PS:  I'm trying larger photos. The frogging article didn't work so well with small pics. They feel too big, though. Huge. Flickr doesn't have an inbetween size (boo). What do you think, back to tiny pics?

I put in some good time on the cashmere last night:

KO Cashmere

And then was pooped. Pooped, I say! I'm almost halfway through the 2 oz. It's actually a nice white, but at night that's the best photo you're gonna get.

I'm not gonna say anything about how I think it'll come out. It'll be what it'll be, and I'll do the best that I can, and I'm sure I'll learn a lot in the process. So there.

Arrrgh

I've named this project Arrrgh, for a few reasons. It's a piratey hat. Arrrgh. It cracks me up. Arrrgh. And I'm sure to make a lot of mistakes and otherwise be feeling the Arrrgh-ness of it all.

Arrrghh - in progress

Case in point. One repeat done and you can see the cool pattern emerging. Loverly. Then, arrrgh. See the red arrow? See how tight those stitches are? They're positively pinched! I knew I was headed for the cliffs when the skulls looked best stretched vertically. A hat will not be stretched vertically when worn. But I plunged on. Right about the top of the eyes I got into a groove and relaxed my stitches. Big difference. Yeah, you guessed it. I had a "hmmm" moment. Hmmm. Do I need to redo this? Last night I tried it on Scott and it was tight, but too tight? Tough to tell. The needles get in the way.

(In hindsight, I could have moved some stitches to another set of circs and had my answer right then and there. But at the time, I did not have a "hmmm" moment.)

Today I knit enough additional rows with the nicer relaxed stitches so that, trying it on Scott again, it was very clear. Too tight.

Arrrgh.

Scott had such a sad look. It must be a tough rollercoaster ride for him. The hope, the potential, believing that it may actually happen, seeing enough progress to allow himself to get excited and maybe even a little emotionally attached. And then the setback, disappointment, and expectations of the familiar downward spiral into unrecoverable UFO*-ness... Poor kid.

Arrrgh, this hat will be done, matey. Don't you fret.

Yet.

* for the uninitiated, UFO = UnFinished Object

spin-dye-knit-a-scarf:

KO Cashmere

It takes a lot more concentration to spin this cashmere. It's fine, it's slippery, and spun so fine, it needs a good amount of twist. Tough to hold onto it without it getting away from me! This is all I could manage before my mind was pooped. Pooped, I say! Because it's only 2 oz I'm spinning it as fine as is comfortable for me, to maximize yardage. Since I have very little experience, uh, I mean, no experience spinning singles on the wheel, the plan is a 2-ply. When it's not overtwisted, the 2-ply is oh so soft. The fiber feels quite soft while I'm spinning, too.

My mind was pooped but I was still in the mood to work on something. Guess what this will become?

Guess what this is!

Last week my IK Hurt Book Sale books arrived and I'm quite happy with my selection: 

Spinning Designer Yarns is full of instructions on how to make all kinds of novelty yarns, from boucles to beaded and textured yarns.

In Sheep's Clothing has information on a variety of sheep, including photos of the wool, description of the sheep and fibers and primary uses. A good reference.

Hands on Spinning is full of instruction and photos on spindle and wheel spinning, and includes carding, plying and a few projects as well. Looks like a good starting point for a beginner.

Hands on Dyeing is the one I used to take this:

Yarn soaking
mini skeins of yarn in natural and brown/grey,
washed and soaking, each approximately 13g 

and turn it into this:

Red on brown/grey Red on white
mini skeins dyed with cherry red Jacquard dyes in different concentrations of dye

The left and right photos are the same concentrations, just different base yarn. Interesting, eh? The brown/grey gave a very cranberry/claret color which I dig. How can I reproduce that on natural or white yarn??

Here they are dry and in sunlight; the lighter colors are to the right:

Red on brown/grey Red on white

and laid flat; maybe you can see the color gradations better here:

Red on brown/grey Red on white

The colors are better than the photos, the richness of the deeper colors doesn't come through.

It may be obvious to you, but I learned that it doesn't matter how much liquid you put in, it's the amount of dye that determines how deep a shade you will get. For this experiment I emptied 6 salsa jars (will keep Scott busy for the week) and filled with 300cc water. I then added dye in the following percentages: .25%, .5%, 1%, 2%, 3%, 4%.

How does that work?

The dye solutions I mixed up before were 1% solutions: 20g dye to 2000mL water.

For a 13g skein, .25% dye = 13g x .0025 = .0325g dye. Kinda hard to measure, eh? But working with our dye solution, .0325g dye = 3.25mL dye solution. That is measurable.

Why 13g skeins?

Well, it was 15 wraps on my swift. I was shooting for 10g. Oh well.

I filled my electric roaster with hot water, added the jars of water + measured dye solution + yarn, and heated, stirring occasionally. The .25% and .5% jars started to exhaust even before I added acid.

Once it was heated up I pulled the skeins out (with chopsticks; that's how everyone dyes, right?) and poured in 10mL of vinegar. Or was it 15? Anyway, stirred that a lot in the first few minutes to make sure it distributed evenly. I continued cooking for the rest of the hour, stirring occastionally, and watched the progress.

In the end, the 3% and 4% jars did not completely exhaust, there was still a hint of pink in the water; but the rest did. They say you should leave the yarn overnight so the dyes get fully absorbed and all that, but I pulled out the yarn once it was a bit cooled and transferred to similar temp water and reused the jars for the next batch.

Things I learned:

  • lighter shades are tougher to get uniform, probably because the dye exhausts so quickly. Less vinegar and more (gentle) stirring would probably help.
  • dyeing is fun, though high school chemistry was not so much fun
  • I feel pretty confident I can reproduce the results for more yarn by weighing and measuring yarn and dyes
  • I still have a lot to learn!

The next couple of weeks will probably be more color studies, first continuing single colors on the same two yarn shades, and then moving to mixing 2 colors. I plan to make me a color wheel so I know what the dyes will do alone and together, and so I can figure out how to get different intensities. There will likely be a session involving adding black, too.

I keep saying this and some of you may not believe me, but I'm color illiterate. I don't know no color theory and work on gut reaction. When I'm trying to use more than one color yarn, I usually hold it up against any and every yarn I have and go by my gut reaction -- ick, or hmm, or coooool. Occasionally, I think about all this dyeing business and think, what the hell are you thinking? You, dyeing??? Hahahahahaha, good one. But mostly I'm excited about experimenting and playing. Once I've done some thought out experimenting, I plan to go back to being more whimsical and adventurous about the process.

I'm looking forward to when my sinuses drain and I stop making noises that gross out Scott.

On my trip to NC, I found out my sister reads my blog! She called Buttercup the upside down noses scarf, hehe. Hi Lisa!

I took so much knitting with me and did so little. Knitting can't compete with this:

Akira and Auntie

and the drool he produces (danger, will robinson!):

Akira

That's the best photo I could find of me and my nephew, taken by my niece. My slacker husband didn't much pick up the camera this trip.

Here he is wearing Blueberry Fields, with room to grow:

Blueberry Fields

And Matching Hat (the cardi looked like it might be too tight on him; he SO does not like being changed, clothes or diapers, so I didn't want to risk it):

And Matching Hat

That's Scott, scruffy and not looking at the camera (very camera shy).

Some more New Year's knits:

New Year's

My niece wearing Bramble Roll Hat 2 (here's Bramble Roll Hat, which is just a smidge smaller, and from the top), brother wearing Charcoal Cashmere Scarf, and his fiance wearing Buttercup. Unfortunately, don't have photos of my sister or parents wearing their scarves.

Our non-traditional New Year's feast of Korean delights: 

New Year's Feast

I should explain: my family is Buddhist, and for New Year's, they drive to DC. They stay in some kind of Marriott, get some food, bring champagne, hang out and watch the countdown on TV. In the morning, they go to the Temple for New Year's, hmm, what do you call it, a meeting? prayer? Then lunch, shopping at an Asian food mart, and the long drive home. I've been a non-practicing Buddhist for a while now, so I usually don't join them; but I suppose I got tired of going to NC for New Year's and then spending only a few hours of New Year's day with them on their evening return; plus I missed out on the family time. This year Scott and I went for the ride and the New Year's eve celebrating; were even going to go to the Temple with them, but our colds got in the way. Maybe next year.

Last pic: my sister and me at my niece's school on her birthday. she's wearing the Belt tie that we had dyed together and I knit. The other pics had kids in 'em, but Scott and my dad were there as well.

School lunch

I finished My Birthday Scarf and the Grey Cabled Socks last night! Mebbe pics tomorrow. I'm battling serious startitis, distracted by all the yarn and books I just acquired, projects that have been calling out to me throughout holiday knitting, stash that begs to be made useful...

Not the best photo, and the next one will be of the recipient wearing it, but:

Esther Williams

Esther Williams
Started: 11/28/05
Finished: 12/8/05
Pattern: "Esther Williams" by Laura at Poor Miss Finch
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride worsted in M-26 Medieval Red, 3.1 oz
Needles: #8; E crochet hook
Notes: Required a little more attention to knit because of the stitch pattern, but it's a relatively quick knit and the results are worth it! Pattern was clear and fun to knit. Next time I would probably use a softer yarn, and try to keep looser stitches in the crochet section. At one point I was worried the hat would be too small, but Laura said (and making confirmed) it stretches a little with wear and that the crochet border opens it up. Knock one off the gift list!

For all you designers out there

The Buttercup scarf uses a stitch pattern from a book of stitch patterns (though with slight modification). The scarf itself is more than just the stitch pattern. Are there any "rules" or guidelines for publishing a pattern that uses someone else's published stitch pattern?

On the non-knitting front

Recent (excess, unexplicable) sadness has been attributed to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Basically, I get bummed in the winter when there is less sunlight. I figured this out a couple of years ago, but I think it's been worse this year because I'm home unemployed, not in an office surrounded by artificial light and people and work to distract me. "Knowing is half the battle" so at least I feel better knowing why I get so sad.

Had a scare yesterday when the websites I manage, including this blog, wouldn't show up. Man, talk about stress. Was quickly fixed, but reminded me how helpless I feel when I can't just login to a server to see what's wrong. As webmaster in my last job I would still get stressed, but it would be active stress, looking through log files and event logs, testing database connections, pages, etc.

So... I had a couple of interviews in the last week, both of which went well. Not just that, but one of them is right in town. How cool would that be, a 5 minute commute??? I've done some phone screens as well, and been rudely woken by recruiters (what? they want to conduct business at 9 am???). I'm hopeful that the job search will soon end and that means a wheel will be in my near future. I shall valiantly refrain from whining about wanting a wheel until... Jan... 2. But that doesn't mean you won't hear me mention it oh-so-matter-of-factly.

Snow snow snow

And finally, some pics of the snow! We got mebbe 10-12":

Snow Day!
through the sliding glass door

Snow Day!
covered mini cooper

Half an hour after taking those, I noticed the sunset peaking through the trees. It was beautiful! Hard to photograph, but I wanted to share:

Hints of sunset

Hints of sunset

And I got to wear my yellow boots for the first time. I bought these while shopping for wedding shoes at DSW. They make me smile.

Yellow boots

Here are my first pictures of Esther Williams:

Esther Williams Esther Williams

The color is somewhere between the two, but closer to the first. I was going to trial the pattern and then make one for my friend, but when I went stashdiving I saw this color and went "oooooh, perfect" and got started. So much for the trial.

There is a lot of stranding involved, which requires my attention, which means it's a little hard to get going these days. But I know the finished hat will be worth it, so I'll buckle down.

In other knitting news

The Buttercup is all knitted up, just needs some blocking:

Buttercup

I know, it looks just like all the other photos, except there's more of it. What? Yes, there's more of it, that proves I did do some knitting on it! The edges curl so I'm wondering if a pinned steam blocking will take care of it.

On the spinning front

Spun up the rest of the Wensleydale! That makes just under 4 oz spun to the same weight! That's the most of any one batch I've made! I waited to ply them all (3 spindles full) because if it's not there unplied to look at, I forget what I did and spin thinner. It's hard (for me) to tell from yarn that's already plied and set what thickness and twist I had put in. Is that something you get better at figuring out? Or do you just wait to ply, like me?

28: Winderwood Farms wensleydale

The results (from my first dyeing experience) are in! Here is the dried dyed top (or is it dyed dried top?):

Dyeing Fiber - finished

I had been sooo patient letting it dry that I couldn't wait to spin it up (click to see the larger version, looks better):

19: Kool Aid dyed merino

Here it is on my water bottle, ready for plying (ignore the in-need-of-manicure nail):

19: Kool Aid dyed merino

And my first ever by-my-hand dyed 2-ply yarn:

19: Kool Aid dyed merino

I'm so thrilled! It came out better than I expected. The red was actually very pink, and there was much blending of blue and pink, which created a vague purple. There is more blue than pink overall, though I used more pink Kool Aid. I liked the areas with bits of white peeking out so I will play with that effect more in the future. Not what I expected, but pretty cool. It's only 1 oz, so not enough for anything, really. But a good experiment.

I blended info from The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook (love this book now that I spin), and the Knitty article on Kool Aid dyeing.

Other notes: My twist when spinning was pretty uneven. I wasn't paying much attention to twist, just spun as fast and evenly (thickness) as I could to see how it would look.

Also, the merino is quite soft; my first time spinning with merino. I see more merino in my future.

Oh yeah, yesterday marked month 1 of my spinning adventures.

In knitting news...

In my attempts to whittle my overextended WIP list, I picked up this hat:

Manos Pompom Hat

Can you believe it, it only needed a tassel and a couple of ends woven in. I didn't want the pouffy pompom, but I didn't know how to get what I wanted. I couldn't even think of the word "tassel" yesterday when I was searching the Internet for photos.

The hat is knit with Manos and I winged the pattern. I didn't even take notes; I think I made it in '04. It was my first winged hat, so it came out too big for me (forgot that it would stretch). Fits my sister, though, lucky her!