Sunday, March 25, 2007

a handy online colour wheel

I first came across this from blog ~ it is, though, a program that you pay for, but you can get away with seeing the colour schemes that other folks have been posting. It's quite awesome ~ and it's been a huge help in inspiring me to dye my yarns, among other things.

Plus, this past week in dying my yarns, I've discovered how to make the colour Olive: by mixing orange and green, 3:1. And brown is made by mixing red, green, and a little yellow, approx 4:4:1. (yay!)

Finding a free colour wheel is a bit hard online ~ I'm all about the free, but everyone wants to sell you something. So, the colorschemer site will have to do for now. It's a good start, and awesome inspiration nonetheless.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

hand-dyed yarn ~ my first batch

My adventures in yarn are a never ending story: This week, I tried my hand at hand dying yarn.
This particular batch was dyed with Kool Aid. The process went like this: I bought a few balls of Patons Classic Wool, and seeing as how each ball was 100 grams and had over 200 meteres per ball, I cut them all in half. (I wouldn't've normally done this, but I think that over 100 meters in a ball of yarn is simply awesome yardage in itself.)
I had wrapped each new ball around 2 chairs ~ I took 2 chairs and had them face each other, their backs furthest away, and just wrapped. Using embroidery floss, I tied the loose ends into this new skein, and soaked it all in a water/vinegar/salt mix. (1 gallon warm water, 2 tsp salt disolved into it, 1 cup vinegar.)
After 10 minutes of soaking, I expunged each skein, leaving it a bit damp. I then took 1 cup of this soaking water into each of 5 tupperware containers, added half a cup of vinegar to each, and disolved 1 packet of Kool Aid in each, for a variety of colours.
Starting with lightest colours first, I soaked part of a skein into the colour for 5 minutes, which gave it a nice shade. I continued to add all the colours I wanted to add.
Leaving a bit of the dye in it, I put each coloured skein into a microwavable bowl. In some cases, to make the colours a bit stronger, I added (with a tablespoon) some extra dye. I then nuked each skein individually in the microwave for 2 minutes.
Now, the skeins are pretty hot and still a bit damp, so in order to avoid felting the yarn, I picked up each skein with a pair of tongs and let them air dry on a flat surface for an hour. (Cooling them off with cold water would felt them!) After that hour, I then hung them on coat hangers and hung the hangers off of a lamp, putting a towel on the floor to catch whatever moisture dripped off of them.
The next day (yesterday) they were perfectly dry, so the embroidery floss was removed, and they were re-rolled into new, colourfull skeins.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

getting into sewing

Well, I've got to take a bit more initiative I think, with sewing. So, I handsewed this crochet hook holder... I adore the butterflies! The pockets for the crochet hooks also carry pens, which is good for marking patters ~ a pocket in the center to hold your pattern in as well...

Monday, March 12, 2007

holey hat

I found this one ball of yarn in the discount bin at Walmart (yes, I know, bah to walmart!)....
It was all pretty and pink and varigated... but lonely, all by itself. So I knit it into a funky hat ~ or what I think is funky.
To make a holey pattern: ssk, yo, k1. Next row after that, just knit as you normally would. This one pattern creates a hole, so continue around your circular needles or whatnot to scatter holes throughout.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Origins of Baa Baa Black Sheep

I'm sure we're all familiar with this nursery rhyme. I only think it's appropriate to at least mention it at least once in a knitting or crochet blog, right? Just for kicks. Just for the sake of learning some obscure, random fact ~ in case it ever comes up in conversation. Because you know it will one day, if not on its own, then by your own incantation.

from: wikipedia (the greatest online resource ever!) Baa Baa Black Sheep lyrics:

Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full.
One for the master,
One for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.

An occasionally used second verse is:
Thank you said the master,
Thank you said the dame,
Thank you said the little boy
Who lives down the lane.

Another rarely used verse is:
One to mend the jerseys,
One to mend the socks,
And one to meand the holes
In the little girl's frocks.
Well, I never knew that last verse, but now it's my favourite. :)
And my favourite snippit of info from that wikipedia site for the rhyme, which I didn't know but think is a riot:
In 2005, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America released two public service announcements, each depicting a young child singing a parody of a nursery rhyme. One, a parody of "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep", referred to MDMA dealers with lyrics like this:

Baa, baa, black sheep, have you any E?
Yes sir, yes sir, first hit's free.

This and the "A, B, C, D, PCP" commercial are targeted at parents, explaining that children may know more about drugs than their parents think they know. Critics fear that these commercials might cause the children to learn the parodies before they learn the more traditional versions."
lol. Live and learn.

Monday, March 5, 2007

new baby hats for March ~ and mastering the new digital camera

Well, boys and their toys ~ my husband was on a 'new digital camera' kick, so we finally picked one up as a Christmas gift for ourselves. I must admit, the pictures with this new one are much crisper; the only problem I have is that I have to re-teach myself on using a new digital camera program. It's a bit of getting used to (I hate change!) but it's alright.

Lately, everyone that I know is getting knocked up, so I'm surrounded with a bit of baby fever, which inspired me to start knitting for those with wee ones on the way... I've got a baby blanket that I'm nearly done and will soon post online to sell, but in the meantime, I've these hats (to fit 6 months old or so) done...
Another Stitch n' Bitch pattern, these Umbilical Cord hats ~ I thought ~ were just peachy. I had a ball of Patons Canadiana Orange that has been sitting in my knitting basket for months which was itching to be used. (I still have some left! arg!)
The first two hats look (to me) a bit punk-rockery, which is kinda nice, and my obsession with Halloween needed me to knit this baby pumpkin hat. Unable to find a suitable leaf pattern, I improvised my own.

To knit a leaf: green worsted weight yarn, 5mm knitting needles. Cast on 3 stitches, knit first row. Row two: knit, add 1 stitch at the end. Repeat for rows 3 and 4. Knit 3 rows. Each row afterwards: Knit row, k last 2tog until 2 sts remain. K2tog, bind off. Voila, a new leaf!