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So many projects, so little time. May 25, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in Crafty, dyeing, kidlet.
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I’ve been doing some thingies over the weekend – haven’t had a chance to sit down and do any sewing, sadly, as it takes too much prep and too much awakeness that I haven’t had. I have picked away at dyeing a bunch of stuff and I made a ton more buttons and thumbtacks as I can cut out little circles all at once and cover buttons all at once and glue them together all at once so it goes in stages. I really want to make a bunch of pincushions, I found the one I had made here after getting home from Montana last Autumn and squee, so cute, only it would go a lot faster if I sewed the pieces together using my machine, which I haven’t done yet.

I also decided to try my hand at self-striping sock yarn. It’s an easy enough concept, there are a billion tutorials online about it, so I grabbed a big hank of Treadsoft and put two 6′ tables together end to end. I figured I could put the hank on my umbrella swift and walk back and forth, wrapping it over each end. The thing I didn’t think through is that over 900 yards of yarn really goes a long way and it’s very tedious to walk to and fro, not to mention my umbrella swift is one of those wooden jobbies so while it doesn’t seem all that heavy to pick up, holding it out at just the right angle so I didn’t get the yarn snagged on it while walking was exhausting. Both of my arms are sore in strange ways.

Anyway it took me about 20 minutes to make one uber-skein and then I dyed it in blue-green and what I thought would be a blue-purple but ended up just purple. I can’t wait to get some new dyes, the ones I have are what I bought initially and are a pretty limited set of colors. Sure, I can mix stuff but it would be a lot nicer if I had the hue I wanted at the start. The blue-green ended up really pretty, though, and gave me some ideas for a technique using this colorway. Which means I’m wrapping another giant skein right now, I’m just taking a break to write this :)

I dyed up the rest of the merino seacell I had on hand, I love that stuff. I’m going to see if I can buy it in bulk from Melodi if she can offer me a good discount, otherwise I’m going to try and find a supplier where I can buy it wholesale since I have my EIN. I also dyed eight ounces of a merino, alpaca and tussah silk blend which, when I bought it many years ago, I thought was pretty awesome and a bargain at $18.50 (umm…yeah). It’s surprising to me just how much I’ve learned about fiber in the time I’ve been working with it. I definitely know what is better quality and what is not these days and almost all the stuff I bought the first year I went to the Fiber Frolic was crap. This blend seemed soft and nice enough, but once it got wet it is literally bristling with guard hairs, some of those suckers are four inches long! I don’t see how I’ll be able to get them all out so I’m hoping maybe I’ll come up with some brilliant idea for it because I’m not really keen on selling it as-is.

I let kidlet dye some clown barf yarn from Easter egg dye I had bought on clearance a few weeks ago. I discovered that you really need to let those little tablets dissolve completely before adding the vinegar or else they erupt and make a huge mess. I also discovered that food-safe dye stains everything, and I mean everything. At least the acid dyes I use don’t do too much staining if you clean them up quickly enough, but the Easter egg dyes are epic. They stained my stainless steel sink. I filled up some squirt bottles and let him go to town on a couple of skeins of Knit Picks and tossed them in the oven to heat set the dye. They’re really…um…colorful. Heh.

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