Can we talk about the pattern on my ironing board in the above picture? Let's just say that not only do I love using my ironing board and don't mind leaving it out to store (not that there's anywhere to store it in this apartment), but I use it for everything. Especially wet blocking. I needed an ironing board cover replacement and everything commercial was so boring and commodified. But I finally found and purchased it at City Chick Country Mouse. They have a fun selection. I hope I don't sound like a 1950's housewife.
Anyway, I really enjoy this cable pattern. It's just so interesting and textured. I modified it from a coffee cozy pattern of all things, although I can't find the original link.
I used the leftover yarn from this project and decided to make it into a huge-ass cowl.
All ready to dye!
A lot of people, now that they know I've opened this little business, ask me when they see me, "Why aren't you wearing anything you've made?"
I've been quite busy making Christmas presents, and frankly have sold most of my stuff (this was not an attempt at gloating) but I figured I should probably put something together to show off in person. Okay. I'll squeeze that in, along with the rest of my tasks....
So here it is. A new scarf. Based on this one, but scaled in both directions and I changed the pattern a little. Solely for me. Consider it an early present to myself.
|100% alpaca with ombré over-dye|
I've been perusing the free knitting patterns on ravelry.com lately to find different and unique patterns mostly to use for practice, practice, practice. When I first started to knit cables, I stumbled upon the pattern for this lovely cowl. (I got the free pattern here.) It's simple enough, and a good way to practice larger cables which I don't have enough experience. With enough practice, I will surely get rid of those uneven gaping holes near the cable and loosen up my stitching. (Why does it get so tight on the cable row??)
And of course I had to ombré the crap out of it. It's ridiculous, I know, but I couldn't help it and it looks so good!!!
|A good soak with a little scour...|
|Preparing the acid dye baths...|
My goal hear was to get 3 different shades of one custom mixed color. But I couldn't figure out how to replicate the color, especially with such small yarn quantities. Normally I would just measure out the dye on my scale if I was replicating. Unfortunately, my mini scale doesn't measure past a tenth of a gram. So my solution? Use two cups of water to mix up the darkest color, then parse out fractions of that to each dye bath. And I would say it worked fairly well! You'll see my knitting end products soon...
Lately, I've been spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Yes, I love to cook. Creating elaborate meals for my loved ones is one of my favorite past times. But my first passion is dyeing. Oh, goodness how much I love it! It can be a bit of a pain with getting out all the special pots and pans and laying down pieces of plastic tarp all over the countertops and floors (not sure our landlords would appreciate random splotches of red, yellow and blue all over the place.) But when I do it, I am in my element even when it might not turn out right.
Recently, I decided to fix some of my blah looking knits. I've been on this crazy knitting streak with some less than fancy yarn. So I've decided to ombré up a storm, hombre.
There are times when I look at the yarn I have bought and I end up scratching my head wondering if I chose it in a past life. Most of the time I buy with good intention; I'll actually have a project in mind, a certain weave pattern, a color scheme perhaps. But there are times when I look at it and say - often out loud, "What was I thinking about doing with that?" Honestly, I can't remember. In this case it was a cone of wool in a "mushroom" color that must have looked better under the lights of my favorite yarn store. I know it was meant for some sort of weaving project, but lord help me, I can't remember.
Anyway, since I've been on this random knitting kick, I decided to use it as my "practice" yarn. I made an infinity scarf using a honeycomb pattern.
Not to shabby, right?
And then I just kept knitting. I made two more - one of roughly the same size and another that was twice the size. But there was still something off, which of course goes back to the color. It's just blah... so I gave it a boost! Stay tuned to find out how...
So I recently taught myself to knit. Or more like I reminded myself. My mother was amazing at teaching us how to do creative things, especially if we asked, because it meant more alone time for her. Four kids is something I'd want to escape from too if I had them, and she liked to steal away to read in her fireside chair whenever she could. Thus, I learned how to sew at age 6, crochet by 8 and knit by the time I was 10 or so. Looking back on it, she really knew how to do everything. A jack of all trades, that woman.
Except she never taught me how to bind off. I think she just forgot to teach me how to bind off, and I was too young to know any better and never asked. And it's quite possible she just figured I'd never finish anything since at that age I was picking up and discarding hobbies like a fat man at an all you can eat shell fish buffet; picking up a hobby enough to figure out and remember the basics, but not really wanting to enjoy the whole of it. So here I was knitting long thin scarves and belts, taking them off the needles before binding off and wondering "why the heck do they unravel??" Oh, little one. I think back to it and just laugh.
Anyway, I re-taught , or rather taught, myself with this book. The cover of the book really turned me off, but the inside truly is amazingly well thought out and simple, and well, visual. I'm a big fan of reading a book to find out how to do something. When I was in high school, I would go to the Ann Arbor public library and check out how to books - on how to play tennis (my boyfriend doesn't believe my amazing backhand came from a book), how to paint with water colors, how to create science experiments at home, how to make a terrarium, the list goes on - from which my addiction and fascination with how-to books was born.
My current (re-discovered) how-to book? Check it out here!