Friday, January 25, 2008

A pinch of this, a dash of that

With the new year and the Christmas pressure mostly eased I've been doing lots of little things, finishing up projects, trying out new ones, and just fooling around.

I am so proud of finishing the kids' stockings:

Here they are with the stockings my sister has knit for her family. They are very sweet but I really wanted to make ones that would match the stocking my mother made for me when I was small (and known as Cindy). The stocking that's between my angel and my father's Santa (subtle, huh? but I never thought about it until just now)(I am not suspicious or quick to pick up on things) is the one that started it all. Someone gave it to my mother when she was a teenager; I believe it came from a craft fair.

Aren't my sister's stockings great? She has done very clever things with the motifs -- everyone in the family shares one motif; all the boys have a matching motif as do the girls; everyone shares at least two motifs with everyone else; and everyone has one of their own. She'd really be in trouble if she had another child, though! My sister-in-law knit stockings for her family using the same pattern, and feels a little betrayed that I haven't. But although it might be heresy to say so, knitting isn't always the answer.

I've gotten back to spinning with great delight. Here is a lovely merino/silk blend that was a gift:

I plan to use it as weft for a scarf, so I left it as a single. I hope I weighted it enough; it looks a little kinky:

I have about 650 yards and it weighs about 70 g. I think I will use zephyr for warp but I want to talk to a real weaverTM before taking this on.

I have also been catching up on batt club spinning. This is from August. It's 40% fine wool (a mix of white & brown), 40% tussah silk, and 20% camel/yak -- very pleasant and a little different. I'm going to ply it with tussah to make a laceweight yarn. Then I hope to dye it a deep red; all those different creams and browns ought to give it real depth.

I say "hope" because sometimes my dyeing doesn't turn out the way I plan. Take a look at my Ayany yarn:

This was supposed to be a medium-pale periwinkle. I used Jacquard acid dyes, .5% DOS, 70% brilliant blue,30% hot fuschia. Obviously I should have done some samples gone with something like .2 DOS, but what I'm really wondering is what happened to the fuschia? While I was dyeing the dye liquor looked too pinky-purple for my taste but there's really no hint of the color at all in the finished yarn. Instead it's Brilliant Blue all the way.

I've thought about overdyeing, either with the fuschia, or with some orange to tone the blue down, but it is really a pretty screaming blue and I'm afraid I would make it too muddy if I tried to change it. Also it matches my winter coat exactly. So I think I'll just knit it up and see what it looks like.

And here's a little something I noticed while hanging the yarn to dry:

I thought the soap was just called cashmere, but then I noticed the statement "with cashmere extract." Sure enough, the ingredients list "Hydrolized keratin (cashmere extract)." Isn't that a hoot? I'm washing my hands with the carding waste from cheap cashmere sweaters!

1 comment:

Caroline M said...

One of the Landscapes dyes is called Clematis and it looks deep violet. Add water and it's violet, the dyebath is violet, the yarn starts to be violet and then the purple element vanishes and it's blue. I tried it in several DoS and on several fibres. I even brought in witnesses to make sure the purple wasn't in my imagination.

This may explain why fuschia never exhausts, there's some wormhole effect and it's sucking in the colour from yarn a continent away.

It's a lovely colour even if it's not what you aimed for, only you know what that was.