Hall of Finished Projects 2016-All

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Dyeing Yarn Tips: Or What I've Learned

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Just this summer, I dived into the wide world of dyeing. Before I started, I did a ton of research and watched a lot of videos (sometimes over and again). 

After dyeing 30 skeins of yarn (so far, I have 20 more to start on this weekend), this is what I've come up with for tips.

1) If you are going to dye in a pot, get a HUGE pot. Seriously. I started out with this little pot, and I ended up with white spots because the yarn needs to be able to move around and soak up the dye. 

2) Keep the color wheel in hand on your phone. There a dozen pics of one available online, just save the pic. It will help you immensely with trying to decide what colors to use.

3) Pictures are a great source of inspiration, use them for color inspiration, I am a fan of the skylines.

4) Be fearless. The worst that will happen is that you hate what you did and you can simply dye the yarn black, it isn't the end of the world.

5) Take classes, watch videos, buy dyeing books. Educate yourself on techniques and ask questions. 

Some of what I've worked on this summer:

So get out there and dye that yarn!!!

Be Well!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Pulling those big girl panties up.

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  Oh yes, it is a post in which I release the quackin, on myself. 

  Do you ever start to take something for granted? And feel that you are owed something because of maybe your education or whatever? Guess what? I've finally learned some humility. What, you didn't know I didn't have any? Well, we all have a little bit of that ego, and a little bit can go a long way sometimes. 

  In 2014, I couldn't find a job in my field, and by the time it was winter, we were running out of heating oil so I went back to the state as an employee and was truly lucky enough to find a job where I was very much appreciated for quite a bit of time. 

  Things change, as everything does, and my frustration at my lack of upward mobility is showing. And I realized today that it is greatly my own fault. My husband and mother have been very ill the past two years and I have had to take quite a bit of time off. So my fault in this is that I didn't realize that the job I have is so important to my family and sometimes that needs to come first, which may mean taking that extra trip back, no matter how late, so that you save some time. It may mean asking people to drive family members to doctor appointments so that you can save your time up. It may mean putting your job first sometimes. 

  Things are a little level now, not great, my mom's health is better but my husband is still not doing great. But everything is level enough that I need to focus on giving back to my job and really be there.

  Writing this is not easy, I was wrong. I took it for granted. I forgot how much I owe to this job and how it came through at a rough time. 

  Sure, I want to finish my novel and become published, but I have a ways to go for that. I would love to work in the yarn and designing field, but that isn't going to be happening any time soon. I would love to do a great many things. But right now, I need to focus on doing what I need to do for my family to support them with the fantastic health insurance that I get through my job that won't be effected by the possible changes in D.C. 

  So I printed out some signs for my desk, to remind me to go humble and get my ass to work. And I am grateful for the job, I just forgot that I was. 

"This job was a gift during a hard time."

"No one owes you anything."

Nope, no one does either. And I need to stop thinking they do. I am where I am because of the choices I have made, good and bad. So time to pull my big girl pants up and be grateful for what I have and accept what I may not like for now. 

Time to grow up.

Be Well,

Friday, June 30, 2017

Game of Thrones, Dyeing Yarn and Projects Galore (Busy Gal here).

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  A little over two weeks until the new season of Game of Thrones starts. I wonder if there are any KAL's going on that day haha. 

  Yes, I am still obsessed with dyeing yarn and manage to get some dyeing in every weekend (so far). This past weekend was an attempt to make self-striping in Wonder Woman colors. Not sure if I managed, but will be cast on a scarf with the wonder woman W in it (wish me luck, it looks great color-wise).

  Then I decided to do some yellow. I have yellow dye in the sample pack I got for christmas, though not my favorite color. What the heck, right? They came out lovely, with one having a little more orange (I apparently didn't wipe down the pot well enough and a drop of pink/red was still on the side of it). But very summer flower fun!

  One challenge that I had this month was to double knit this square for my Geek A Long Blanket (and for a defense against the dark arts class in the Harry Potter Knitting/Crocheting House Cup). The big challenge was that this was not straight double knitting.

  With normal double knitting, you have pairs and the first stitch in the pair corresponds to the appropriate color in the chart you are following, then you do the second stitch in the pair (a purl) in the other color, always. Well, I wanted the S of the superman to be fully reversible. You can find the chart HERE. And for good measure, if you are interested in doing your own Geek-A-Long Blanket, go HERE. This square was done in knitpicks.com swish worsted and size 4 needles.

  I've also been working on a baby blanket (had to kick my butt in gear as it's due before July 10th.. eek!!). It is called Under the Sea and is basically several squares with crocheted animals stitched on top. The pattern for all of the animals is pricey, not going to lie, but I anticipate making a few of these squares and framing them to hang in children's rooms. So hopefully worth the investment. Here is Mr. Crab, without his mouth.

  Lastly, yes, I'm still plugging away on the Joji shawl "Starting Point", the MKAL is officially over but I'm still plugging away and hope to finish it soon.

   Perhaps the shawl will be done next month, if I have some luck, or before the next MKAL I am participating in starts in August, that one is called Part of Your World by LilyGo. I have this gradient yarn that is 1200 yards, maybe I'll use it for this one, not completely sure. Perhaps I will try to dye it myself.

  In other news:

  Paperwork for the local fairs is due Monday, should I submit one of my finished pieces? I have no idea which one... Not sure on this one. 

   Goal for today? Get the registration ticket changed out lol.

Be Well, Happy Fourth of July, Happy Canada Day!